Draft Thoughts: (Market) Size Matters
“With the first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the worst team in the NFL selects,” ‘Best overhyped player’ available.” By no means is this a bad thing, yet just another day, another roster for first round politics. However, the buzz of a team with 12 overall picks to work with, opens up a thirst through the entire league to make the “Cleveland Downs” work.
Bleacher Report did their thing with its post pro day mock draft. A draft class depth that represents a fresh start for Cleveland, and all other small market teams for the league to innovate its business model. Hell, might be time for Goddell to cook up his project for the ages, take the NFL to go public.
We have a league clearly learning on the job as an entertainment company, with this current “star player” office culture. Yet we all know the team is selling tickets. Look at the Las Vegas Raiders. Too soon? I can’t imagine being a corporate employee with a million dollar salary, or whatever the contract reads. I can question when, and if small market first rounders can see that what they get is more the same as being in New York or LA?
Players can capitalize on a small market with the potential of 500k to 1m “subscribers”: Instagram followers that spend hard earned currency to attend one, or 2 games a season. Much more than a small number of new fans a player from UCLA to connect with, in Jacksonville, to be born and raised in a region that had a chance to grow alongside toward becoming a professional; can be the Lion King in real life, with humans. In a society when more is not enough, and what you can’t afford is “leveling up,” improved business relationships between the NFL, it's players, and the region would be a win win for everybody.
League scouts “assess character” through past media clips, and news articles of the year’s worst stories. More on “Scouts” to come, btw…
Can the NFL go a little further, investing on the job research and development to emphasize the sociological upside of a player, within the metro/regional fanbase?
Some good ones come to mind:
1. Patrick Mahomes(QB/Texas Tech)
Shoutout to the Ringer for its eulogy of the “system quarterback reference.” Dad was a pro baseball journeyman with 10+ years in the majors. Leaving little doubt young Patrick will be able to “act like you’ve been there before.” We are about to see a player take this moment, this grind, to the next level. Mahomes is a legit sun devil, and would thrive best in the comforts of the desert.
Best Fit: Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals
2. Joe Mixon(RB/University of Oklahoma)
Best fit: Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints
Screaming heads didn’t scream quite as loud as Josh Brown, progress? Brent Musberger even stood strong for dude…That said, Mixon has the talent to plug 500mhz into a billion dollar baby, Philly would be foolish not to seriously inquire. Et concludium, we shouldn’t expect too many problems from Mixon and become one of the best multi-back systems in the league real quick.
3. Dalvin(RB/Florida St.)
Best fit: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers
One of our favorite players through the college ranks, and the best running back to be drafted in 2017, Dalvin would fit well in the midwest. He would thrive in these markets with potential for constant visibility on the East Coast, in addition to his “SEC” following.
The time is now for the NFL to start recognizing it’s opportunities to breathe life into a social relevance that can last nine lives, literally.