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NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com


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It is so hard to get draft picks right!

In the NFL Draft, the NFL can't really win. If it picks a great player early on, it's an obvious move undeserving of acclaim. If it finds a great player late in the draft, the NFL is at fault for not picking him earlier. A large chunk of a great draft is spent rummaging through the middle rounds and picking up the little un-sexy odds and ends that might give a quarterback an extra half-second in the pocket, or provide essential insurance in case their middle linebacker tests free agency next year. When done right, it's masterful work, but it's also subtle work that most fans -- fans like me, for instance -- don't notice or care about.

Aside from those thankless maneuverings, there is nothing left for NFL teams to do but screw up and look stupid. Collectively, the NFL spends an estimated $50 million or more to scout the players it will eventually draft. Maybe their failures are telling us that $50 million is being wasted, or that $50 million isn't enough. A team must look at a prospect and plot out how good he really is and how much potential for growth he really has.

At least as daunting, though: the team must determine how this person, with these metrics, will fit into the NFL machine. It's an enormous and hopelessly complicated machine of hyper-specialized parts that break down at random and occasionally fail to work in tandem with other parts for reasons unexplained. So maybe we're to conclude that no money, no resources, would be enough to project the future of a system that's sometimes simultaneously rigid, and sometimes nonspecifically blob-like. Whichever happens to be more confusing, really.

Some teams are better than others:

NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com

NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com

NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com

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