Draft Fatigue Is Real, And The League Should Take Notice

The NFL draft fatigue is evidently very real, and hopefully the league will learn something from this in the future rather than continue to tempt fate and risk losing interest in their offseason goings-on, now that the league has successfully turned itself into a year-round business.

The league has expressed its interest before in creating greater separation between their major offseason events, with the Combine taking place in February and free agency beginning close to mid-March.

In recent years, the draft has typically taken place about six weeks afterward, in late April, but this year, it’s happening about two months later, beginning on Thursday—at long last.

It’s not just the fans that are growing weary, and perhaps less interested, as time slowly bleeds on. Team officials are also finding the extra time on their hands little more than a nuisance, rather than a scouting aide.

Earlier this week, former Pittsburgh Steelers personnel man and current Philadelphia Eagles adviser Tom Donahoe gave his thoughts on the timing of the draft, expressing concerns that it leads to overthinking.

Ian Rapoport recently said that the general managers around the league that he’s spoken to have said that the more tape they watch, the less they like the players they’re scouting. The added time makes it easier to find the warts, which could result in psyching yourself out of drafting a high quality prospect.

The New Orleans Saints are among surely the many teams that believe that they’ve already done their homework on the draft, and are attempting to stave off the dangers of overthinking by actually taking a step back.

According to Mike Triplett for ESPN, upwards of 50 Saints personnel are taking a weekend trip to Las Vegas to relieve themselves of the tunnel vision over the draft created by the excessive amount of time they have on their hands.

They intend to come back on Monday with fresh eyes to wrap up pre-draft procedures. And perhaps this is an approach that other teams should explore, as the article also notes that “sources said the Saints are one of many NFL teams that have grown weary of the extra weeks of preparation”.

With even their own teams tiring of the artificially elongated offseason process, perhaps it’s time for the league chiefs to take notice and realize that they can only spread the butter so thinly over the bread before you can’t taste it anymore, and instead look for something more palatable to eat.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • dkoy85

    If I didn’t like the draft this much, I would boycott it. It’s getting ridiculous. I hope the average fan has already lost interest and viewing will be down.

    But then again a savvy team will take advantage of the overthinking and grab a top player that falls… or a mid rounds player that falls a round or two. Either way, this wait seriously is too long. My excitement has peaked and is waining.

  • ApexSteel

    Honestly it’s to the point where I’m more tired of hearing about the draft than anything. I just want to get it over with now.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    This year has been a big SNAFU as far as interest in what was something to enjoy, the NFL network has even screwed up their path to the draft series by turning it into a 12 player draft and repeatedly talking about the same regurgitated crap about the same few players. How many times and ways can they tell us about johnny football, or clowney, how many different ways can they try to build up a over sized wr that has a bad drop rate, and I know their are 32 teams in the NFL but the NFL network believes there are 10, I guess by talking about the first 10 spots in the draft all the time they think they can convince everyone there are only 10.

  • michael young

    The changes made to the draft format were bad enough. I used to throw a draft party over the weekend (when most people are off of work) but no longer choose to since it runs Thursday, Friday then Saturday. It makes it impossible to get a group of people together. They will just watch “some” of the draft then go to bed since they have to work the next day. I concur that pushing the draft into May has created an anticlimactic ending to what used to be an exciting event for die hard fans. Change for the sake of change is never the right answer. Change for the sake of money that takes away from the customer experience is truly NEVER the right answer. If I were a scout or a GM and my homework was done on my players (as it usually would have been by April) there is nothing really to gain. You will most likely talk yourself out of players. I wasn’t a fan of the format change or date change. The only way they will change it back is if the ratings suffer. Roger runs this league as “big business” first and as a sports league second. I’m not saying that is wrong, I’m just saying it is obvious. He may wear sports socks under his suit but he is all businessman.

  • joed32

    That has always been my complaint about all of the draft shows.

  • Weiss Chad

    I just want it over so I can sleep right again.this stuff is driving me insane