Jake’s Sport Court: Why the draft is better

Hours and hours and hours of footage of people sitting down waiting for their name to be called and then coming on stage for a grip and grin photo with their new boss.
Whoever decided the NFL Draft should be televised probably wasn’t too bright from a video content standpoint, but they were probably trying to show something else. Those draft picks will be dictating the future of those franchises.
While the upcoming draft class for the NFL isn’t exactly the strongest or most star filled it will be important, as all 32 teams will be making moves that will dictate the future of their franchise.

So while free agency can make a big splash it doesn’t have a direct effect on every team quite like the NFL draft does.
Sure, free agency may be the quick fix a team will need to put them over the top and into the next round of the play-offs or even put somebody into playoff contention, but it is just that, a quick fix.
What teams get when they take a player in the NFL draft is a chance, and with that chance there is the risk that the player will fall short and not perform as expected, but there’s also the chance they get an RGIII type player that changes the culture of a team and adds life to a franchise.
When a team rallies behind a rookie player and they see success there is no better motivation booster than that. The city get reinvigorated ticket sales will soar, ESPN will be covering that team everyday.
Think of it this way, the team can get a brand new fresh faced player that will only improve as time goes on, or they can get a player like Ed Reed who is admittedly on the backend of his career, sure he may have his moments of greatness but the thought in the back of everyone’s mind is that he will only get worse as time goes on.
While concussions, transitions, level of competition and dealing with the temptations of becoming filthy rich in one moment, all play a factor in how a draft pick will perform, there is one factor back that every player fears regardless of position and that is Father Time.
He’s a merciless hitter and can strike at any time in a player’s career but without a doubt targets the older players. It has happened many times before, running backs will be having great and prominent careers, and then their contract runs out they try their luck in free agency, get to a new team and become a shadow of their former selves and fade into an unnoticed retirement.
This reason above all is the reason that the draft, even with the chance of the bust players like Ryan Leaf, is the better option for the long term success for an NFL team, if you want proof of this look no further than last year’s draft class’s impact on the NFL landscape, I rest my case.