Well, I think we beat up on the Sabres enough, so it is time to transition to the most overhyped time of the year...The NFL Draft. Funny, but my excitement is a little down in comparison to the past few years. I can only assume the huge splash we made in free agency has to do with it. For fans, the draft represents the biggest hope for the Bills to turn around their franchise, but since Mario Williams arrived, the majority of the hope has tied in with him more so than the draft. At least that's my opinion.
As I've stated in the past, I understand the importance of the draft but I just can't stand the coverage and the hoopla. Draft experts are always wrong. Draft experts give grades to teams after they haven't even played a down. ESPN hypes QBs because they move the ratings needle. Teams leaking information/misinformation to experts so they can map out their mock drafts accordingly and make other GMs sweat. Risers/fallers after not even playing a down for 3 months. 300 Mock drafts. Mel Kiper saying that every player drafted is going to be awesome without people remembering he was wrong two years earlier.
The whole thing is a damn paradox.
With that, I need to exercise the demons about the draft, which means I need to complain about it. I'm just going to get it out of my system and then pretend to be an expert. Hey, the stuff registers great on the site. Anyways, here are five things that are annoying about the draft from a Bills perspective:
5) ITS MAYBIN!!!
Last year, when Von Miller was a topic of discussion by the Bills, you had a small part of the Bills fanbase say that this guy was the next Aaron Maybin because of his size. Can we stop? Please! Don't let the physique of a player remind you of a draft bust gone by. I know Buffalo fans hold onto bad memories like the parents who killed Freddy Krueger the first time, but get over it. Don't think about guys from the past when the pick is made.
4) Cold weather QB
If I had to hear one more person mention that we can't draft a QB from California or from a hot weather city, I'll puke. For the 20th time, it doesn't matter where the QB is from. Jim Kelly played college in Miami and he was a hell of a QB in the cold weather. Brett Favre played on the Bayou and threw ropes that could have captured a gator in Green Bay. I know, I know. If Rob Johnson, Trent Edwards and JP Losman are from the land of the Vikings, we would have hall of famers.
3) Longhorns aren't long odds
"We can't draft that guy from Texas?! They kiss the asses of their players. They are all fat like Mike Williams and have not motivation." OK, maybe I'm using hyperbole to make my point, but I've heard this mentioned before. Look, don't worry about what college these guys are coming from unless it is like a Division III Schools. Just forget it!
2) Turn the TV off after round 4
I know you won't and neither will I, but don't get caught up in yelling at the TV during this time. The percentage of these guys making an impact is extremely low. I was listening to the draft on WGR a few years back during the late round coverage and they were going nuts because the Bills didn't select a tight end in the 4th or 5th round. They were acting like it was life or death. Um, guys...even if they picked a tight end, there's probably a good chance the guy will play special teams and make his way to Derek Schouman status. Just watch for the entertainment value, please. Don't get caught up in Kiper's best available screen grab during the 17th hour of draft coverage.
1) Don't listen!!
There's misinformation everywhere. I know the Buffalo media want to make it out that Nix tips his pitches when talking up prospects, which he kind of has over the last two years, but I don't think it's that simple. If he has a throwaway comment at some point (We like scat backs and defensive tackles), they make it out like they predicted/cracked the code on what he said. Wow. So you figured out that Nix liked Cam Newton. I mean, the guy did go first overall last year! Not exactly mind reading here, right? Look, every draft luncheon pretty much consists of Buddy building up every single player known to man. Two years ago, Nix said that Jimmy Clausen was a winner and he performed well at the high school level, the college level and will probably do it in the NFL. Um, yeah. Not exactly considering he passed him up twice. I think he'll throw some curve balls, especially if some are saying that the Bills could get the player they want at the 20th spot. From what everyone is saying (Yes, I'm a hypocrite while listening), the board from 10-20 is very much up in the air as far as best available player goes. So, there will be a ton of schmoozing about other players in order to send misinformation.
Final word: Look, I'll be glued to my seat and will probably get excited on draft day. The main reason I'll be stoked is it means football is kind of around the corner and I love any sort of football coverage on TV. Just be careful. Don't fall into traps of dismissing or praising picks. Rookies rarely have a huge impact unless they are top 10 picks.
Quick: Who were the rookies last year that helped out the Giants, Pats, Ravens and 49ers?
It is all hype.
I wish there was a way I could go into the future and watch the NFL season and not know where these players came from and then come back to 2012 and see where they land in the draft. It would make it much more exciting, right?
I'm pretty sure most of us never heard of these guys until we started reading mock drafts in January, so why go crazy? The two biggest things to keep in mind is that you won't be able to grade these drafts until at least 3 years later and as a fan, I suggest just figuring out what your biggest needs are and where they rank in importance. I think the Bills have a bigger need at WR than OLB and LT. But, I won't go crazy if they go in a different direction at the number 10 pick.
My guide is this...
- Rounds 1-2 will be for players who will probably start from day 1.
- Rounds 3-4 will be for players who will start in two years (hopefully).
- Rounds 5-7 will be just throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks.
Stick to that plan. Of course, we won't and we'll need to reach for some sort of conclusion. Myself included, of course. Oh, let the hype begin.