Chip Kelly: Draft hype is worst thing about the NFL

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There’s no question that the NFL loves the draft and all they hype that goes along with it.

They’ve added days to the process, moved it to prime time and pushed it further back in the calendar to expand the amount of eyes taking in the move from college to the pros for the top prospects in the land. They spend plenty of time and money to promote the event each year and get even more free publicity from around the country as mock drafts and draftniks help whet everyone’s appetite for the selections, a hyperbolic process that inevitably leads to huge expectations for players a few years removed from high school.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly has gone through the process twice on the NFL side and he doesn’t share the league’s fondness for the event.

“What’s the worst thing about the league? I said the draft. I mean, the hype that goes into the draft is insane. Totally insane,” Kelly said, via Peter King of “The biggest thing for me is that everybody thinks whoever you drafted or whoever you signed is now gonna be a savior. They come in just like me and you come in as freshmen in high school or freshmen in college, or your first year on the job at Sports Illustrated — you’re not telling people what to do, you’re just trying to figure out what room to go to.”

“I think a lot of times the hype turns into really, really hard times for the individual who got picked, because there’s so many expectations of everyone building them up to be Superman because they had three months to write about them and talk about them. Then when they get picked, they’re a very, very good prospect, but there’s a learning curve when you go from any job out of college into a company. If you take a job at Wells Fargo when you get out of college, your first day of the job they don’t say, ‘He’s our first-round draft pick, he’s the savior to the company!'”

Kelly went on to add the NFLPA’s Rookie Premiere event, post-draft grades and just about everything short of the food in the Eagles’ war room onto the list of things he doesn’t like about the draft process. Kelly’s either going to have to grin and bear it or find somewhere else to coach, though.

While the draft came into existence as a way for teams to add young players to their rosters, it has gradually become a television show devoted to promoting the league and a new crop of future stars. That creates an industry for people trying to make it seem like there’s a science, rather than educated guessing, to picking 21-year-olds who will become great 26-year-old football players and a message that the moves made over seven rounds in the spring can profoundly change the fortunes of a team in the fall.

With those conditions in place, hype is an unavoidable byproduct and it is one that isn’t going anywhere.

63 responses to “Chip Kelly: Draft hype is worst thing about the NFL

  1. As one of just 32 NFL head coaches, I think that Chip Kelly has not only an odd opinion on the draft and all that the draft is, but what is even more startling is that he comes out loud in the media with his opinion. Roger Goodell and 32 franchise owners just let out a collective, “Oh, oh….”

  2. It is overhyped but I love it. Gives me a chance to learn about all the new faces entering the league, etc. NFL is my addiction/soap opera.

  3. He sort of is right. You see the same franchises or teams in the bubble for first overall pick or first-fifth range (I won’t drop any names but it’s obvious) yet all people talk about is “oh what a franchise changer this guy is going to be”, etc even though it’s just an offensive lineman.

  4. .
    Very few rookies contribute measureably their first year. Those who do, often are doing it late in the season after the injuries have hit.

  5. I remember when the only way we knew who our team drafted was by a crawl on the bottom of the screen, and a story in the next day’s paper. Thanks to ESPN, who was desperate for any fresh sports to cover, (remember when they covered Australian Rules Football?) the draft exploded to what it is today. To see how the draft was, check out the “30 for 30” documentary, “Elway to Marino.” They held the draft in a hotel ballroom with annoying Jets fans in a balcony.

  6. Agreed. See Dion Jordan. Most of these draft picks aren’t NFL ready from Day One. Unless you’re fortunate to be drafting a prospect like Andrew Luck–who comes along once every 20 years–the expectations are insane.

  7. It pains me to agree with the Eagles’ coach about just about anything, but… man, he’s 100% right about it. The pageantry and hype that comes with the draft is just painful sometimes.

  8. Part of the problem is that the expectations are set by what these top picks are being paid right out of the gate. You may be the new “savior” at Wells Fargo fresh out of college, but you aren’t being paid more than the vet that’s been there 5 years. That’s why expectations are tempered.

  9. Chip relax a few more seasons out of the playoffs and you will be back coaching in some flyover state where you belong

    One thing you have to give Chipper credit for he is going to extend the record of years the egals go with out winning a Super Bowl

    OK now strike up the egal fans tell me how many NFC East titles you have and how many times you have been to the NFC title game
    Come on lets here about all those meaningless records

  10. Not a Chip Kelly fan but he’s 100% correct. But just about everything about the NFL is overhyped in order to keep the money flowing.

  11. Gotta respect that Chip tells it like it is. The draft, like the NFL, is over-rated and in danger of over-exposure.

  12. What if Goddell went out suspended Kelly like 4 games over his comments about the league. The internet would break.

  13. I think the Wells Fargo comparison falls flat until they begin offering multi-million dollar signing bonus.’

    I also think the people who follow mock drafts and pay detailed attention to the real draft understand 95% of the first round picks (and 99% of all picks) are not guys who will be saviors in their rookie years.

    We know future HOF QB’s can go 1-15 if they start every game in their rookie season. We expect year 3 to define a WR. We know RB is the position where a rookie can have immediate impact.

    I don’t blame draft hype for over expectations, because the educated fan pays attention to the draft. The people who look for Bortles(sp?) to be the savior in Jax are the same people who will be scratching their head when Henne takes the field week 1. Because they have not paid attention to the talk they are looking to have him learn from the bench.

  14. When the highest paid rookie makes about $4 million a year and the lowest over $300k it comes with a pricetag. That is more than most executive positions in many major corporations. Unfortunately the NFL is entertainment now for all intents and purposes. You want to get paid like a rock star then you accept getting treated like one. And that means under the microscope. Kelly better learn that is what the NFL is these days and complaining is not getting him anywhere.

  15. The hype has gotten out of control with everyone having their say on the draft. The best part are the fans who blast or mock teams for a certain pick just because Mel Kiper said the player should/ could have been taken later.

  16. I see what Kelly means. These days, with all the attention given to the draft, everyone expects high picks to come in an be All-Pro players right away. Sorry, but that takes time, and for some positions that can take several years. Truth be told, NFL GMs are doing a good job if 55% of their picks end up being solid contributors.

  17. People will come to learn that Chip thinks out the box and he hasn’t changed one iota from his days in New Hampshire. He is going to do it his way and doesn’t care about the old guard NFL. He reminds me a lot of Marv Levy and Jimmy Johnson.

  18. He’s absolutely right. 95% of coaches probably agree with him. Sports media coverage is insane. Great for the fans……terrible for the sport. NFL Draft coverage = Reality TV

    Everyone knows its garbage…..but lots of people will watch it. That means money. Pretty simple equation.

  19. He’s entirely correct. No one knows if any of these players will be bust or boom until they get on the field in live, regular season NFL games the preseason does not count. What round they were taken in is immaterial as there are as many first round busts as lower round ones.

    I see people all the time on here posting how this rookie or that rookie is a future HOF player who’s going to lead their favorite team to the Super Bowl this year. And I laugh every time I see that kind of post.

    Yes, its fine to be optimistic that the first rounder or QB your team took will be a good player, but proclaiming them the best player in the NFL, HOF caliber, etc before they’ve ever played a game, ridiculous.

  20. Well , if anyone would know about overhyped people coming from college , it would be Chip. Chip Kelly back to school in 2015.

  21. The draft is about talent evaluation, not Mel Kiper Jr. The best personnel men find those late round gems to build the foundation of their team.

    Ultimately Chip you’re either picking the right guys or you’re not. It’s not like college where you can pay guys to come to your program.

  22. Chip’s right. the draft is cool, but the hoopla around the draft is embarrassing and pointless. It makes you wonder how much talent has been wasted over the years because of the pressure for early picks to be stars in their first season.
    put another way – would Aaron Rodgers have developed into the player he is if he hadn’t been groomed behind Favre?

  23. Even as a Pats fan, I don’t like many of BB’s friends. I mean look at the list: Bon Jovi, Saban, Jim Brown, Urban Meyer…puke. But Kelly, I love. He’s a funny and smart dude. To date, my favorite Kelly riposte was the one last year late in the season on a question he got about “controlling your own destiny”. His point was how can you control it if it’s your destiny? He’s right, and his presser where he talked about it was hilarious.

  24. Forgot to add, Kelly kind of reminds me of Parcells… can just eviscerate people but make you laugh.

  25. Obviously, it started with ESPN but proliferation of the 24 hour news cycle (all mediums) along with a dedicated NFL network really has taken it over the top.

    The hype is staggering when you look at pre-draft, draft and post draft analysis.

    That being said… I watch it.

  26. I love guys who speak their mind like Kelly, Parcells and Buddy Ryan. No wonder Rex is such a wallflower.

  27. The thing I hate most about the NFL is Roger Goodell. There’s not even a close 2nd.

    I love the draft. The problem is the draft coverage. You never heard of a player all year then all of the sudden he’s a first round draft pick. And predictably he’s a bust.

    Drafting isn’t rocket science. Look at the tape and watch the games. The combine is only a tool to see if there is someone that you overlooked. The teams that put stock in the combine, I guarantee you are the worst teams in the league.

    With the way the Browns draft, I don’t know what they are watching, but obviously they aren’t watching the right players or picking them.

  28. so Chip left himself out when talking about the worst thing about the NFL.. how nice..

    you have to laugh at his old school…. Oregon is allowing Mariotta to take 2 classes this Fall… yoga and golf (serious)

  29. He’s right. You wonder how guys like Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russel, or Aaron Curry would’ve done had they entered the league without all the hype. Conversely, how would Tom Brady or Kurt Warner have done if they entered the league as top five picks, had to start right away, and knew that the hopes of a franchise rested on them.

  30. Why the following comment — which was among the very first posted — was not allowed to stand (twice) is beyond me. I hope it stands this time, as I don’t see this observation in the article or any other comments:

    The next time a big time college job comes free, expect the media to dredge up these comments to build a case that Chip is leaving the NFL.

  31. From a coach’s perspective, I totally understand what he is saying.

    When your goal is to get the guys you want, bring them in as rookies and assimilate them into what you do, plus not have other teams get them, hype = bad.

  32. Illegal recruiting and paying college football players is whats wrong with college football. Chip knows all about that……thats why he bailed on Nike U.

  33. I agree with him. I rarely watch more than a few minutes of the draft. You never know if is a good draft or not until the players actually take the field and play in games. He is right.

    However, the worst thing about the NFL right now to me is how boring so many games are. There is no atmosphere at many NFL stadiums. Ticket prices have outpriced the true fans. Where all the team chants and traditions? Not that I condone this behavior often, but when is the last time you saw a group of fans care enough to tear down the goalposts? I am not saying that should be done much but at least in college, fans can’t contain their excitement. The NFL celebration rule is also ridiculous. You are supposed to play as a team but you can’t celebrate as a team. The league is a little too sterile these days.

  34. Kelly doesn’t realize the NFL is nothing but entertainment. The draft is a part of the NFL, so the draft is also nothing but entertainment. They are doing what they can to get you to watch. The more people watch, the more money they make. It’s sad, but at the end of the day, it’s all about money. It always is.

  35. I’ve been following football for 30 years and have never watched the draft for more than a few minutes here and there. It is an important part of talent acquisition for the NFL, obviously, but it is stupid TV watching material. I honestly can’t fathom why so many people sit around watching it. Kudos to Chip for stating the obvious even though it may insult the “die-hard fans”.

    Anyway, training camps are here. Pads are on and we’ll see what really counts.

  36. Okay, all the dullards and guys who think they know something about the NFL and Chipper, you have had your say. All I know is, I love this guy. He was asked a direct question by Peter King. He answered the question, in a football context, about football. He is all about his players. He wants players to concentrate on football, not hype, and, also, he realizes that some players can’t hack the hype. In this, he is stating the obvious. All the sycophants and idiots who tear down guys who “can’t play,” because they aren’t “allowed” to develop, at their own pace, who aren’t mentally tough enough to stand the hype, should listen up. Chip is basically saying that anything that makes his job harder is bad. Therefore, the hype around the draft, and the entertainment aspects of the whole process, are bad for “football;” that is, the product on the field and the guys/players who produce that product. Nothing more, nothing less. He is not hyping himself, or ego-ing out. He is stating his opinion. He is not talking out of turn, and talking just because he likes to hear his own voice. What, if Peter King asked you a question, would you keep it to one-word answers? Or, ignore him? Yeah, right.

  37. This guy completely solved the NFL as a rookie. He got a backup QB to set an all time NFL record for fewest INTs by a starting QB with at least 20 TD passes. Not suprised, since his offense is way more innovative than the NFL is used to. He’s right about the draft too.

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