By Ben Harbaugh and Danny Kelly, writers at Field Gulls.
The 2012 NFL Draft is almost upon us. Many NFL fans discuss the draft even more than regular season and it is easy to see why. The draft represents the future of the league. It can push a team to ultimate victory or leave them looking to next year's draft. Each pick symbolizes an opportunity for improvement. Success takes a team that much closer to the title, while failure leaves them that much farther away. The gravity of the situation is difficult to overstate.
Understandably, many of us don't like following such an event with our eyes closed. We've learned about the prospects and developed opinions for who we want our team to select. With opinion comes debate and intrigue. The sea of scouting fosters a sense of competition based on the desire to predict the outcome of the draft. However, until now there's never been a platform to give that sense of competition meaning. This year that changes. It's time to put your armchair GM skills to the test.
In a nutshell, the challenge is to predict the draft picks for your team of choice. You will rank the twenty prospects most likely to be selected by your team in the order you feel is likeliest. If your top player is picked then you score 20 points. If your second player is picked - 19 points. Third player -18 points, etc. Whoever accumulates the most points by the end of the draft is the winner. We will discuss tie breaking and the finer details of the rules in the competition after the jump.
As with any good competition, there will be a prize for all the winners. Money it is not, but it does capture exactly what you demonstrate by winning. By winning this competition you will have shown a particular acuity for predicting the actions of your team in the draft. Whether through profound knowledge, dumb luck, or the ever mysterious inside source, the cause your victory is irrelevant.
By winning, you've earned the right to play the GM for your team in a mock draft to be conducted next year (2013). This mock draft will be akin to the one that Mocking the Draft conducts every year with the head writers from each SBN site, except will include all of the winners instead - theoretically pitting the people that have the best grasp on their team's needs and preferences against each other.
This competition is easy to participate in and it gives you the ability to quantify your opinions on the draft. Even if you don't win, it can still be something to hang your hat on down the line once we start finding out how successful these players become at the next level. So step off the sidelines and into the war room and show us your armchair GM chops.
It's time to put your knowledge of the draft and commitment to your team to the test. The challenge is simple.
-- In the order you feel is likeliest, rank the 20 prospects most likely to be drafted by your team (make sure to start by naming the team you're picking for).
-- If your top prospect is selected, you score 20 points for that pick. If your second ranked prospect is selected - 19 points, etc. How you weight your predictions to players projected in first few rounds to those likely to be chosen in the later rounds is up to you.
-- Whoever accumulates the most points by the end of the draft is the winner.
Tie Breaking (3 tiers)
- Who predicted the most picks.
- Who scored highest for the highest round.
- Who scored highest for any signed undrafted free agents.
Simply post your list in the comment section below and you will have given yourself a shot. To borrow thoughts from yet another arena, almost nobody shoots 100% at their NCAA bracket, but winning your pool is awfully satisfying. In order to prevent the comment section from becoming a mile long, please post your list in a horizontal manner, such as:
TEAM NAME: 1) Andrew Luck 2) RG3 3) Burt Reynolds, etc.
The best part is the winners reap what they sow. Next year the winners from each NFL SBN site can represent their team in a comprehensive mock draft hosted at Mocking the Draft. So access your inner GM, pick your prospects, and become your team's champion.