Within the past handful of years, it seems as if the NFL Draft has gained more and more publicity. I think it’s safe enough to say the draft is a bigger deal nowadays than it was just a mere five years ago.
The suspense seems to build with every passing day as fans grow more and more anxious as to who their team will take. For me, this has really begged the question, who REALLY decides who gets drafted and where.
Mock drafts nowadays are easier to find than cheese in Green Bay. It seems as if everyone has their professional opinion as to where prospects will be drafted and why. This is all fine and dandy but to a certain extent I believe we, the media, truly dictate where a fair number of these prospects go.
People like Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, and Mel Kiper Jr. are more popular this time of the year than at any point after the draft is over. I have to say, however, that some of the positions players have been drafted at in the recent past have been because the media has dictated it.
Last year, the buzz was whether or not the Indianapolis Colts would draft Andrew Luck first overall or not? Thinking back on it, did the majority of mocks and media not have the Colts drafting him? There was probably a solid week of indecision from all the experts as to who the Colts would select. In the end, it seemed as if the experts almost had the final say as to Luck was better or more deserving to be first overall than Robert Griffin III.
Some teams and general managers I believe are more prone to what the outside mocksters and experts say than others.
I would even go as far as to say some markets may influence draft strategies as well. One might go as far as to say the New York Jets were pressuerd into drafting Mark Sanchez.
If I remember correctly, Sanchez was not projected to be drafted quite that high, but the New York media seemed to have the Jets conditioned to draft a quarterback regardless of the overall position of their pick.
As much as I don’t want to bring his name up yet again, to say that the Denver Broncos reached when they drafted Tim Tebow where they did is a complete understatement.
And just what really drove the Minnesota Vikings to draft Christian Ponder where they did? Talk about a pick that came completely out of left field and even caught the experts off guard.
While it seems some teams give in to expert opinions of who they should take and where, we should give Ted Thompson credit for his philosophy.
It has been proven to work and in the long run can only benefit the team itself. We should also credit him for being oblivious to what the outsiders say.
He has stuck to his guns with his “best player available” way of thinking and to-date really only has one major flaw in Justin Harrell.
So weigh in Packer Nation. Just how much influence does the media have on teams and who they draft?