The NFL Draft is an event unlike any other. Occurring during the first weekend in May, the draft lasts for three days but holds many fans and sports bettors’ attention throughout. There’s a reason for this: A key draft pick or two can be a real difference maker for the right team. Here’s a look at the NFL Draft and what it can mean to you as a sports bettor.
Every year, there are a few guys in the draft who have the ability to be impact players. However, these guys will often go to the worst teams, where’s it’s actually much harder for them to make an immediate contribution. Does that mean that a top team cannot acquire a player who will make a big difference?
Actually, often clubs that had great season and are low in the draft order can still find important players. Usually, they do it one of two ways. They will trade up with another team, making a deal that allows them to go ahead of other clubs. Or they will draft a guy who will be a great fit with their team and who will fill a specific position and need. By choosing carefully, a team can really upgrade an area in which they are deficient.
Always consider the pick and why a team made that specific choice. Might the new players have an immediate impact? In what way will they affect the team? Can their contribution generate more points and/or wins?
They are not always the most visible players, but often these selections are the most important in any draft. A few of the defensive players will have an immediate effect on a team. This is especially true for the players in the frontline. Sometimes, fans are surprised and outraged when a team uses its first pick to get someone on defense. However, this is often a smart move.
A solid receiver with good hands and great speed may be put to use immediately. You may find a team with a good or above-average quarterback will get an instant upgrade by adding a quality receiver who can become that quarterback’s go-to guy.
The QB Factor
Here is a fact: There are very few college quarterbacks who have had and can have an immediate impact on any NFL team. There are various reasons for this, including the fact that professional football is so much tougher physically and mentally.
Young quarterbacks face huge challenges in the NFL: They must learn complex plays, develop pinpoint timing, and avoid pressure from huge, extremely fast linemen and linebackers. It usually takes about three years for a young quarterback to transition from college to professional football. Don’t overvalue QBs in the draft.
For most teams, the NFL Draft is about preparing for the future. Along with defensive players and receivers, you may find an offensive player or two who can contribute immediately, or a running back who will be used quickly by a team. One more area of concern is a player’s stamina and health. Remember that many college players have a very hard time adjusting to the physical stress and strain of the NFL.
Situation is Key
A football team’s situation in relationship to its draft pick will help determine how useful the new guys will be. The NFL Draft is really a big futures pool, and the thing about futures is that their actual outcome is very tough to predict. Monitor the new guys in training camp and throughout the preseason to see if they will be used and how effective they may or may not be.