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I don’t give two shits about the NFL draft.
I do care about the results, of course, but I’d be just fine receiving an email the next day with a link to something like this.
The spectacle itself is a dull reality-TV concept with too much time between picks. If they wanted to make it compelling, they’d do it NFBC-style, one minute per pick. Put these GMs under pressure, make them earn that money!
That wouldn’t leave time to trade up or down, but it would be worth it. Make trades before or after the draft, make the draft itself high-stakes chaos. (And if you don’t make your pick in time, you get autopicked based on some ADP board comprised of qualifying mock drafts. Imagine a player going to a team that had no interest in him due to autopick! That I would watch.)
Incidentally, I once went to the live event at Radio City Music Hall about 15 years ago. It was even more boring in person.
. . .
I want to preface this section by saying even though we know the results, we still know nothing. Especially me because I don’t follow college football. I remember when the Giants took Odell Beckham at pick 12, and I was mad because it seemed like a weak size/speed combo for a pick that high. Instead he was Randy Moss for three years.
That said, I trust this Giants braintrust. They understand modern football, and I already liked the offseason moves they made ahead of the draft, getting a field-stretching tight end in Darren Waller and a deep-threat with good size in Parris Campbell, in the unlikely event Campbell ever stays healthy.
I like that they got a corner in Rd 1 — it was a bigger need than WR. But the only thing I know about Deonte Banks (besides that he’s fast) is his initials are DB. Which you’d think bodes well for a DB, but the last DB the Giants took in the first round was Deandre Baker whose career went south when he was framed for armed robbery.
The Giants needed a center, and they got one in Round 2, and they snagged skinny deep threat Jalin Hyatt in Round 3. My inclination is to fade a 6-0, 176-pound anorexic, but in an era of bigger receivers, I had thought Beckham was too small, so what do I know? And downfield pass catchers serve a function beyond their counting stats — to make the defense account for more of the field.
So I’m happy, and I’ll be plunking down some cash on the Giants at 44:1 to win the Super Bowl. (I would have done this no matter who they picked, though.)
. . .
I’d be remiss if I didn’t note two teams took running backs in the top-12 picks, Bijan Robinson to the Falcons at No. 8, and Jahmyr Gibbs at 12 to the Lions. I imagine this must have driven the running-backs-don’t-matter (RBDM) zealots into a frenzy, though I don’t know for sure because, as I said, I don’t care about the live draft, it’s on too late here for me to watch live and I rarely engage with RBDM Twitter these days.
I’ve written about this before and I think it’s reasonable to take a running back in the first round, provided you think he’s an elite prospect and don’t love the players at typically more valuable positions in his range.
Moreover, the argument that few running backs are worth second-contracts doesn’t really move me, either. Saquon Barkley is in Year 6 and getting the franchise tag. That’s more than enough usage out of your first-round player, given the time-value of production and higher cost of established veterans. (Even if you got a rare receiver, for example, that *was* worth a second contract, you still have to pay full freight for him. Releasing your market-value-demanding star isn’t much worse than paying him, unless it’s a Hall of Fame-level player.)
And imagine worrying when drafting Barkley in 2018 that you won’t have him in 2024! That’s an eon in NFL time for which you have to discount steeply the time-value of production.
The Robinson pick was foreseeable because by many accounts he’s that type of prospect, but Gibbs was a big surprise. That said, if someone took a stoutly built wide receiver with 4.36 speed at 12, no one would make a big deal of it. The Lions have been well-run the last two years, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, even if it costs them leverage in prospective/potential D’Andre Swift deals.