Overkill: Why the NFL Draft is way too long

05/05/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Three days. That equates to 72 hours. It's the same amount of time you'd need for a long weekend road trip. There are 3 day juice cleanses for the health fanatics out there. 3 days is enough time to lose 10 pounds according to some fitness websites. You know what else takes 3 days? The NFL Draft. And that's 48 hours longer than it needs to be.
There was a time when the NFL draft was done in one day. No really, there was. Not only was it done in one day, there were more rounds than the 7 rounds there are today. In the 1970's there were 15 rounds in the NFL draft. The draft was reduced to 12 rounds in the 1980's. Then it was dropped to 8 rounds in 1993. All of those drafts were done in one day. Now with only 7 rounds, it takes 3 days to complete the draft? Why?
A big part of the reason why is television coverage. Somehow the NFL draft has become another network spectacle. How many people actually watch the NFL draft from start to finish? And if you're someone who answered that yes, you do indeed watch the entire draft, you're most likely answering no to the following questions: 1) Do you have a significant other? 2) Do you have any kind of social life? 3) Do you have any friends? Seriously, if you sit there for the better part of 3 days watching the NFL draft from start to finish, there is probably something wrong with you.

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Of course its television that is the reason for the expanded NFL draft coverage. But it used to be televised and done in one day. With more rounds. Why can't we do that now? I know Mel Kiper Jr. knows a lot about players entering the NFL via the draft. But do we really need to know how many tackles for loss the defensive end from Tijuana A&T who's drafted in the 7th round had his junior year? Come on, we don't. And lets face it football fans, you've never heard of most of the players selected from Round 3 on, and by the time training camp opens, you don't even remember who your home team drafted. And what if you're one of the players who is in the draft, but not one of the big names? Do you really want to wait for 3 days to find out if you've been drafted or not?
The NFL is a big time business. The top sports league in the world. It would draw viewers if they televised a tap dance off, as long as it had the NFL logo associated with it. But 3 days of NFL draft coverage? That's overkill. There are 32 teams drafting 7 times. That's 224 picks. Plus there are up to 32 compensatory picks. So at a maximum, there are 256 picks made in the NFL draft. Do we really need 3 days to make those picks?
The NFL has done a lot of things right over the years. There's a reason they have the drawing power they do. But when a 15 round draft could be done in one day, why can't a 7 round draft be done that way as well? There's a saying that sometimes less is more. In the case of the draft, can we please have more picks in one day and less days of draft coverage.

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