The 1st Round of the 2013 NFL Draft is now in the books. 32 newly crowned millionaires and their families most likely woke up this morning still smiling from the events of the night before.
I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in my neck of the woods, all I heard this morning as I drove into work is how the Lions made another boneheaded draft selection when they chose Ziggy Ansah from BYU.
Sure, Ansah is not the big name pick that most NFL fans are hoping for each year. Before last night, I’m sure that many Lions fans had never even heard of Ansah. Those same fans call into their local sports talk radio shows and complain aloud about how the Lions don’t know what they are doing. They all claim that the Lions should have taken “insert random 1st round draft pick by another team here” instead of Ziggy Ansah.
I’m all for fans’ voicing their opinion, but it really infuriates me when they spout off without doing any sort of research to back their opinion. It just makes them look plain silly. These are the same people who say “we” when talking about the Detroit Lions when they win and “they” when the Lions lose. They compete in their annual Fantasy Football drafts and think that makes them experts in evaluating players.
Making picks in the NFL Draft isn’t an easy thing to do. It isn’t just Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz sitting in a room throwing darts at a board to determine which players to draft. There is an entire room full of people (scouts, assistant coaches, player personnel staff, etc.) discussing each possible move the Lions can make. There are also many factors that need to be considered before investing millions of dollars into a person. What position does he play, who is already at that position on the current roster, how many contracts are expiring on the current team, how did the draftee look in his workouts, how did he do in his pre-draft interviews, what other people (former coaches, teammates, etc.) had to say about him and his work ethic, what the team doctors found out when they examined him, and what trade offers the other teams are offering are all important factors that go into making the decision to draft a person.
Will the Lions regret drafting Ziggy Ansah a year from now? Perhaps…but what if he finishes the season with 9.5 sacks and makes the Pro Bowl as a rookie? Then those same people that were calling into sports talk radio stations today complaining about the pick will be applauding Ansah and wearing his jersey.