Football is still arguably the biggest sport in America, with millions of fans. Following top teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers is a big deal for lots of people due to the excitement that games always deliver. Betting on the NFL is also popular for many fans, with the SugarHouse sports betting PA site being one of the most-used sportsbooks around online. However, it is not just the chance to make money and see some hard-hitting action that draws people to this sport. The game has many interesting features that help to make it even more enthralling. The annual NFL draft is certainly a great example of this – but what is it, and how does it make football better?
What is the NFL draft?
Before we take a look at what benefits this system brings to the NFL, it is worth clarifying exactly how the NFL draft works. In simple terms, it is the process of dividing up the latest fresh talent between all NFL teams in the offseason. The lowest-ranked NFL side gets the first pick of the best college players in the draft, and this carries on until the Super Bowl winners from the previous season pick last. The draft usually goes on for seven rounds with each team making a pick in every round. Sides can also choose to trade draft picks if they like. It is usually held in mid/late April each year.
Now that we know what the draft is, why is it so good for the whole game?
Gives smaller or poorer teams a chance to improve
In many other sports, such as soccer, money is the defining factor as to whether a team will succeed. Bigger clubs, such as Chelsea in the English Premier League, can snap up all the best young players and thus continue to do well every year. The problem here is that smaller teams who are not doing that well, and do not have the money to compete, get left behind. The NFL draft solves this in football by automatically giving the teams who performed worst in the previous season the chance to turn things around for next season.
Makes the game fairer and more competitive
Another big benefit of the draft set-up in the NFL lies in the effect that it has on the game itself. Unlike other sports where one or two teams can dominate every year, football is a much more competitive affair. Due to the draft making better talent available to all teams, any side can beat another on any given week. This makes the game much more exciting and interesting to follow. Of course, spreading around the best emerging talent via the draft is also just a much fairer way to run the game.
Helps to spice up the offseason
All sports fans know that sinking feeling when the season is done for another year. This normally means months of inactivity with no games or news to satisfy your cravings. The draft helps to solve this problem somewhat for football fans as it gives plenty of news and drama to think about in the offseason. From the build-up to the draft, to the draft itself and then the fallout from it, the whole offseason is made much more enjoyable thanks to this system being in place. The other big benefit to the NFL is that the game stays in the news all year round with lots of media coverage to attract new fans.
Gives young players the push they need
In a lot of other sports, even the most talented young stars can find it hard to nail down a place in the senior professional line-up. This can then see a problem develop with not enough youth coming through or getting the game time they need to develop. By giving young players the platform and push they need to make the leap into pro football, the draft helps to eliminate this issue. The exposure and attention that draft picks often get is key to them being valued by their new team and getting a fair chance to shine.
The NFL draft has many fine points
As the above shows, there are many benefits to the NFL using a draft pick system to bring the best young talent into the game. Not only does it make football fairer and more competitive, but it also prevents the biggest or wealthiest teams from dominating each season. When you also add in how it allows young players to make their mark in the sport, it is clear to see what this system offers.