John Harbaugh thinks the draft should be sooner

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Four weeks from today, the 2019 NFL Draft will be wrapping up.

If it was up to Ravens coach John Harbaugh, none of us would have to wait that long.

Via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Harbaugh said if he could change anything about the pre-draft process, he would make it significantly shorter.

I think the draft should be earlier, sooner,” Harbaugh said. “We don’t need to be so involved where we need three months to watch the players ourselves. Let’s draft these guys, let’s get them to us.

“And let’s be honest, they’re all coming. Nobody’s taking their last semester of school. You want to get in the real world here? Let’s understand that that’s how it works. Because they end up graduating a high percentage of the time we get them, anyway, because we make sure they do. Let’s help them, but let’s not have them worried about running 40 times. Let’s get them working on football so they can contribute their first couple of years.”

(At least we’re no longer pretending that drafted players from schools on the quarter system are still going to class so they can’t attend OTAs.)

Coaches have been complaining about the amount of time they get with players in the offseasons, and if more people saw it Harbaugh’s way, the rookie class would at least be on the same schedule as their veteran teammates. Teams with new head coaches can begin their offseason programs Monday, the rest can start April 15. That means some of the draft picks will be a month behind getting ready for the job, so we can spend another month wondering where they’ll punch the clock.

34 responses to “John Harbaugh thinks the draft should be sooner

  1. Yeah but Jay Gruden is waiting for Rodger to rule on Reuben Foster, hopefully before the draft. So we probably need to delay the draft.

  2. I agree with everything said, with the exception of the implication that college classes shouldn’t matter to draft prospects.

    I know that we pretend that college athletes are professional athletes, but come on. We should at least wait for school to be over. Just because it’s true that they don’t go to class does not mean we should promote it.

  3. What the NFL calls their ‘league year’ starts mid-march…
    why not draft end of march – first part of April…
    the new players would be signed and ready for OTAs…

  4. Harbaugh forgets the Draft is such a huge event now that it’s difficult to change the date. They have to work around the NCAA Championships, NBA and Stanley Cup Playoffs, etc. and can’t just plop it on the schedule even if the NFL is the 800 pound gorilla of sports.

  5. I think I don’t care what John Harbaugh says. For whatever reason he thinks all of us want to hear about him (and his brother) on a daily basis. He should never criticize people who have diarrhea of the mouth on social media.

  6. xenova1 says:
    March 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm
    “Is he afraid another team might have time to target players he already found? Be patient and use the time to your advantage“

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    Oh please! All Harbaugh is saying is that he’d like to get the careers of the new (inevitably-arriving) crop of rookies underway sooner and with greater consistency while pointing out the antiquated reasoning behind waiting until the end of April to hold the Entry Draft…

    …and he’s right!

  7. Then other coaches are going to complain that they didn’t have enough time to evaluate players themselves because they were busy coaching and prepping for games during the season.

  8. The draft should precede free agency, that way teams can target free agents afterwards and fill holes. It would be much more efficient since the draft is a bit of a crapshoot in terms of targeting players, where free agency isn’t.

  9. The NFL is going to do whatever they feel will bring in the most money. If they thought they would make more money making it sooner, they would.

  10. John’s been saying a lot of smart things lately. First the Browns being the best team in the North, and now this! WTG John!, Now tell you brother how to get a clue to beat Ohio State.

  11. Dennis Koulatsos says:
    March 30, 2019 at 7:26 pm
    The draft should precede free agency, that way teams can target free agents afterwards and fill holes. It would be much more efficient since the draft is a bit of a crapshoot in terms of targeting players, where free agency isn’t

    ________________

    A lot of GMs like to fill all the roster spots with FAs then enter the draft without having pressure to fill spots. It allows them to take the best player at any position over a player that fills a need who may not be as talented.

  12. Let just change all the freakin rules, while we’re at it!! Order some flags, for flag football so whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabaugh won’t complain about too many injuries. NFL is just about unwatchable, and with all the new PI penalties, it will surely be the dagger thru the heart. Glad I retire when TB-12 does. Very soon.

  13. Dennis Koulatsos says:
    March 30, 2019 at 7:26 pm
    The draft should precede free agency, that way teams can target free agents afterwards and fill holes. It would be much more efficient since the draft is a bit of a crapshoot in terms of targeting players, where free agency isn’t.
    —————————–
    I dont think the NFLPA would go for that since it would inevitably cause open roster spots going to unproven rookies first before the vets get their chance to catch on with a team. Why look at a 27 year old vet when the spot gets filled before free agency starts

  14. mightyminer says:
    March 30, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    It should be 2 weeks after the start of FA

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    NAH, I think the Draft should be 2 weeks before FA starts that way teams know the exact pieces they need to finish building their team going into FA.

  15. The draft and FA is ridiculous and so yesterday.

    Do away with both and just have Roger assign players to the teams. Pay is fixed by position and seniority, payable for each snap or kickoff. Bench players are prorated at a percentage. That’s another thing: kickoffs are so yesterday, they should be abolished too.

    Stop all this bickering and hate over money.

  16. You would think that john would like to have the draft later. Then he’d have more time to read the rule book , complain about the other teams plays and then incorporate them into his own gamenplans.

  17. Only thing wrong with the draft is how many rounds there is! Let’s make it 8-10. Give the early drafters (worst records) first crack at some of these guys verses teams like the cowboys, ny teams or California teams cause that’s where all these guys wanna go.

  18. I completely agree with him other than the ridiculous assertion that “they end up graduating a high percentage of the time”.

    Umm.. Have you HEARD the average NFL player speak? They can barely construct a sentence.

    Unless be means after they retire, I find that assertion to be highly dubious…

  19. Players Association would not allow the draft to happen any earlier. They want holes filled by veteran players. If the draft happened so close to free agency then teams would fill holes on their roster with drafted players, thus reducing the leverage that veteran players would have in obtaining a new contract.

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