Why Do We Mock Drafts?

Thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Sayre Bedinger on the front page and the myriad contributions of our enthusiastic community on the sidebar, Mile High Report has seen a steady stream of mock drafts – and diverse variants thereof – so far this offseason.  For those like me who rejoice at the simple thought of the upcoming NFL Draft and revel in constant preparation for it, those posts are an endless treat.  For others, however, it must feel like a relentless deluge destined to drown their spirits and devastate this site.  This piece is written for all of you, regardless of your level of interest in the draft, hoping to shed some light on why we discuss it as we do.

We are all here, at MHR, because we care about the Denver Broncos.  Whether we are veterans of this site or newly signed-up today, eternal optimists or perpetual skeptics, diehard fanatics or ignominious trolls… I typed these words and you are reading them now because we have a continual interest in our team.  Therein lies a conundrum, however: how are we to sustain a robust discussion about a subject whose season lasts all of 26 weeks?  The solution is simple: we draw main themes from how we engage with that season, apply them to the few meaningful events of the offseason and extend them as best as we can throughout the periods in between. 

 

For a fan base, a season typically follows a rather predictable arc.  In the beginning, an inordinate amount of irrational optimism or pessimism is voiced, rarely tempered by the efforts of the far steadier but generally more reserved majority.  Once the games begin, instant analysis takes hold and a reactionary cycle results.  Upon its conclusion, a more measured reflection takes place and eventually leads to the contemplation of the future.  That space between those two offseason deliberations, that’s where the draft and all of its accompanying hype occur.  Because they exist at that fulcrum point, one which creates a very powerful nexus, they can become incredibly important and attractive to some fans.

 

The truth is that NFL Draft is the only point at which college and professional football meet.  It is an event that illustrates the repercussions of the recent past, holds all the promise of the future and all the possibilities we can fathom.  It is where most if not all championship contenders trace back their roots and where downtrodden franchises being their long journey back to the Promised Land.  Unlike with free agency, the teams hold all the cards, but they’re all wild!  When it comes to the draft, we can experience the entire arc of the football season compressed into an even shorter period of time without the definitiveness that limits elation only to those supporting the sole survivor of the postseason.  Regardless of whom we are and what aspect of the Broncos we care about the most, we all have something potentially valuable to add to the debate about what our team should do in this April’s amateur draft.

 

I realize that it may be too easy for me, as a person who already cares for the draft and who will begin writing about it here soon enough, to appreciate MHR’s already exhaustive coverage of it.  To be entirely honest, I don’t expect everyone else to feel the same.  What I am hoping is that this piece shows everyone just how similar it all is to what we do during the season itself.  It’s all about better understanding our team, rooting them on and embracing all of the little things that make sports so great.  So, the next time you come across yet another mock draft and grudgingly ask yourselves "Why?" dig a little deeper, remember what it’s all really about and find some common ground upon which you can actually enjoy it.

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