This is my NFL Draft Day Primer, draft day for dummies. Now, I don't mean to insult anyone. It certainly doesn't make you a bad person if you don't understand how the NFL Draft works. Fact is, there's a lot of days I wish I didn't.
But, it is incredibly simple -- and yet, a very effective way to making the NFL the game it is now.
32 NFL teams and the draft starts with the worst team getting the first pick.
Second worst, the second pick and so on... until you work your way to the Super Bowl champion who gets the final pick in each round.
It's a great system so that the bad teams can get better and it gives their fans a little hope.
Now, this system of rewarding mediocrity or outright failure is not a system that NFL owners would accept in any other business. But, in this business.. it works.
And, there might be a lesson in that for all of us.
There are seven rounds and every team gets a pick in each one, unless you trade the pick. And that can get a little confusing. Maybe you trade a late first round pick for a second and a third -- or trade a second and a third to move up to the first round.
Teams trade for a variety of reasons. They know you don't need the player they want. But, a team in front of them might. So they offer something to convince you to move down.
It's the simple barter system that has been around since Adam and Eve. You have something I want. What do you want to give to me?
It's why you not only need to know the player you want. You need to know the player the other teams want.
Some teams place a hard value on those picks. I still think they'd be better placing a hard value on the player. But that's just me.
The Cowboys like to trade picks a lot. Some work, some don't. Because, if I know nothing else, I know drafting college players is not an exact science.
NFL teams spend weeks looking at tapes, interviewing the players.. personal workouts. They weigh 'em, they measure 'em and they test 'em.
And, they draft Johnny Manziel anyway.
It is one of the great arguments about drafting a player. Do you draft the best player available or do you draft for a specific need?
My theory for the past 20 plus years has been to watch what the Cowboys do and then do the other thing.
Which reminds me. This is my NFL Draft Day Primer for Dummies.