Draft delay could impact rookie development


Teams and players and agents and fans have many reasons to not like this year’s two-week delay in the draft.  Here’s another.

Rookies will have two fewer weeks to make the transition from college football to professional football.  Two fewer weeks to have the playbook.  Two fewer weeks to get to know teammates.  Two fewer weeks to make the adjustment to the new city of residence, which could be on the other side of the country.

On one hand, it’s only two weeks.  On the other hand, it’s two weeks.  Fourteen days.  Precious time to not be getting ready while the clock ticks toward the inevitable start of the 2014 regular season.

And while the transition traditionally has been more of a challenge for players coming from schools with June graduations, since an outdated but stubbornly unadjusted NFL rule blocks them from coming to offseason workouts until circumstances have permitted the playing of Pomp and Circumstance to which few or any of them will march, those players nevertheless get their playbooks promptly and come to town for a rookie minicamp, which gives the new teams a chance to see where they are from a fitness standpoint and, if necessary, to make specific recommendations about diet and workout plans for the next month or so until they can return.

The reduced time with rookies impacts all teams equally, although those with the best plan for dealing with the situation could turn it into a positive.  The delay also could hurt the product by making it harder for rookies to make an immediate impact.  At a time when plenty of concerns exist regarding the incoming class of quarterbacks, that’s another one.

Ultimately, fewer rookies could capture the imagination of fans in September and October.  It’s one of the most intriguing aspects of a new football season — watching new players come in and make their mark.  This year, it’s going to be harder than usual for that to happen.

That should be reason enough for the NFL to move the draft back to April in 2015, and beyond.

45 responses to “Draft delay could impact rookie development

  1. I believe the reason the NFL moved the draft back this year was because with Easter being later this year, Radio City Music Hall (where the NFL draft) wanted to extend their Easter show an additional week. There was no way the NFL was going to have the draft this past week due to the Kentucky Derby, so that forced them to this week in order to keep the draft there as I understand it.

  2. Seems like a reasonable argument. It will also be interesting to see if the TV ratings suffer from the new date. That would really prompt a move back to April.

  3. Good point, NFL went a bridge too far on this one, move the draft back to normal time next year, this “improvement” was not an improvement at all.

  4. Unfortunately, the arrogance of the owners will pay no attention to what their customers really want…I predict the may draft will continue.

  5. I’ve been saying this since it happened. The draft should be first. Teams are supposed to build through it and rookies have to learn a completely different brand of football, wait for guys drafted ahead of them to sign so they know what to sign for, etc. Free Agency is first and most guys know where they’re gonna sign before it starts or like 5 seconds in. Much easier and less time needed for a vet to change teams than for a 22 year old to adjust to the NFL. Plus, I bored as hell, bring on the draft!!!

  6. Of all the reasons that the two week delay was a bad idea this is far and away the lamest. With the exception of a rookie mini camp for every team right after the draft for a weekend rookies are barred from team till after their schools graduation which is not until later in May and in some cases June. So all rookies with a work ethic will still have plenty of time to learn the play book before joining the team and this two week delay should have zero impact on development.

  7. Qb is the most difficult position to develop in all of sports. It’s not like any other position where you can draft a few high round prospects and let them battle it out either. You have to commit to that one guy for years. And if you get it wrong with guys like christian ponder you waste the prime of guys like Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen and watch the sSeahawks build a dynasty.

  8. I don’t like this year’s date of the draft any more than anyone else but I don’t see how two weeks is going to make that much difference in player development or rookies coming in and making their mark. What really would affect that is the reduction of the preseason to two games. Then you would really see fewer new players making their mark. There would be much less time for coaches to assess what their draftees, especially the lower round guys, and undrafted free agents, have to offer to the team.

  9. What is the reasoning for moving the draft two weeks later to begin with? I’m not a big fan of the way they do it now to begin with the first round one night and the next night the 2nd and 3rd… Sometimes things are better just left alone…

  10. The draft delay also tests the patience of NFL fans and completely throws off their timing! We should be bragging about our teams draft already gosh darn it!!!!!!

  11. The draft should be no later than early April IMO.

    Hey Goodell, if it ain’t broke….DON’T FIX IT!!!!!!

  12. It’s sad the entire NFL was held up by the Radio City Music Hall’s scheduling conflict. Time to take the draft on the road. There are many cities that would welcome the NFL draft and make it a priority.

  13. The 2 week delay stunted my development also on a mental standpoint………but then I stopped watching all things related to the upcoming mock draft…….so yea, the overall strategy worked if you like angering your fan base and having them tune out.

  14. I think they should space the draft out more, a week between each round, that should definitely help with talent evaluation!! (sarcasm noted)

  15. I also think 2 weeks is not much of a difference. I’m fiending for some foosball like everyone else but it’s because I have no patience (thanks technology). But if anything, they should’ve moved the draft up a couple weeks. They should always have it on April fools day. So much room for hijenks & shenanigans. It’d be great.

  16. For everyone saying “it’s just two weeks” let me point out the obvious.

    All nfl teams are in their conditioning programs by now, a process which was delayed because of the new cba mind you. So this has been the first chance to get players regimented for conditioning to the upcoming season as well as installing new offense and defensive schemes.

    The rookies will have been conditioning not to play football but to prepare for the combine. So they’re not in football shape, they’re sprinters and power lifters because those are the stupid drills which will make them money but have little to no baring on a game. They get their football legs back but it takes some time.

    Just look at most rookies at the start of a season versus the end. Also that whole “rookie wall ” is because of the lack of conditioning and expectations of a shorter year because of the length of schedule from college to the pros.

    So they’re the ones who need the work the most when it comes to conditioning, and understanding a play book. And while two weeks doesn’t sound like much, it’s still two weeks less they have to make up for on top of already being thrown into the deep end on every nfl team.

    But hey I guess Rodger wanted to draft in May. Watch how many rookies get injured week one of camp because of mr. Player safety.

  17. Myabe teams will quit taking chances on the college kids who are NOT ready for the NFL. Way too many players coming in from the NCAA unprepared for the next level of football. Regardless we hand them millions of dollars and keys to teams (Geno Smith anyone).

    Honestly though, move the draft back to where it was… This added time of speculation is not neccesary… The internet age has plenty of time for that, extra weeks are not needed.

  18. when do the college kids graduate? until then, they aren’t allowed to join their teams anyway.

  19. The underlying object of delaying the draft is, as with the cba, delaying the development of the rookies to protect the job status of the veterans. Less time for the rookies to develop increases the job security of the vets.

  20. The thing is, people talk about how the NFL wants something each month. But why exactly do they consider the releasing of the schedule as something that fans target as a day of importance enough to take up its own month? Every knows the opponents their team will play. The only thing they are revealing are the dates of the games. And finally, if they do think that its a big deal, why not move that to May, and leave the draft in April??

  21. Blame Goodell. Anyone really believe his BS excuse about Radio City Music Hall being prebooked? This was premeditated by him. We’re not talking about an antique show that got bumped. NFL DRAFT! Cmon Man

  22. I have a feeling the TV ratings for this years draft will be higher than usual, and Goodell will use that as an excuse to keep the draft in May. Hopefully he does the right thing for everyone and moves it back to April though.

  23. As always, follow the money, the NFL doesn’t make more money just because rookies are more prepared to start the season. The May date this year financially made more sense to the NFL somehow.

  24. I haven’t read anywhere that moving the draft to May was anything other than a one year deal to accommodate Radio City Music Hall. The reason for moving it has been stated in this thread yet people insist on applying some financial motive to it.

  25. The NFL doesn’t care about product quality because they know they are the only game in town. As for the 18 game schedule, they don’t care about the impact on the players for the same reason.

  26. Is’ not this the same sight that used to bombard us with stories regarding how players can’t join their teams till they graduate?

    We’re not the the agents holding their players out for months just a few years ago?

    You people are such fools to not see that this website is suffering from this two week lag because they have nothing to write about….you all continue to whine about junk. What God given right do you have to say when the Draft should be?

    Get a life! And quit promoting Florio’s agenda.

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