Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Has The Best Draft?

Draft season is nearly over. We had the NFL Draft a couple of months ago and the NBA and NHL Drafts last week. Coming soon is the MLB Draft.

So which pro sports league has the best draft? The answer may surprise you.

NO. 1 NHL DRAFT: Yeah, the NHL Draft tops my list. I couldn't tell you any of the players that will be drafted beforehand and, like baseball, there's a good shot we don't see many of these kids in the big league next season. But the draft itself is magical.

I love the fact that members of each organization stroll up to the podium with jersey in hand, chat for a second and then make their selection. When the drafted player makes it up there, it's a nice scene that he is officially welcomed into the league by the people that wanted him ... not just a photo op with the commish.

Also, the NHL Draft seems to have more of a sense of community to it. Many more prospects attend the draft (some not being drafted until the very late rounds). Plus, the NHL Draft still travels while the NBA and NFL Draft stay in the New York area.

NO. 2 NFL DRAFT: I'll have more on this at the end, but the NFL has been at the forefront at pimping its draft. Now it takes about a week (okay, weekend) to hold the draft. Round 1 takes place on Thursday night ... 2nd and 3rd on Friday night and the rest on Saturday. It is much harder to predict as there are so many positions and the depth of talent at those positions greatly impact each draft.

The NFL also has another huge advantage -- their "draft season" is so much longer. The college season ends after the beginning of the new year and the NFL season ends at the beginning of February. That gives everyone 2 to 3 months to break down everyone. The NBA and NHL drafts are held about a week after their champions are crowned.

NO. 3 NBA DRAFT: Personally, the NBA is my favorite draft. I'm more of a basketball junkie than anything so I'm more in tune of teams' needs as well as the pool of draft picks.

However, there are two major items weighing the NBA Draft down. One, there are no stars in the draft anymore. The one-and-done rule has watered down the draft because picks are made more on potential than anything. That's why there are people who were lottery picks that have barely played any high level of basketball.

Sure, John Wall, Blake Griffin and Greg Oden are name guys ... but their names weren't as big as the games of guys like Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Shaq, etc.

The other problem is the way they do trades. The NBA has a gag order on deals the day of the draft. That means that picks get dealt but ... techincally they don't. So it looks like the Kings draft a guy and he wonders around wearing a Kings hat but really he'll be a Bobcat. Look at last week's draft and you'll see a bunch of guys getting "traded" right then and there.

NO. 4 MLB DRAFT: Nothing against this draft but it just doesn't strike a chord. First off, it is in the middle of the baseball season so it isn't like the diehards are fiending for some action (unlike the NFL). Plus, there is, like 200 rounds it seems and many of these guys will never sniff the major leagues. Add in the fact that some of the best players that will enter the major leagues to make an impact are foreign and they don't have to enter a draft to do so.

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