clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The post-NFL Draft blues: Why Draft fever can make us miserable

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I really, really, really wanted the Chiefs to draft Tyler Lockett.

I'm not a K-State fan. Nor am I guy who has any real attachment to Kansas or Missouri (I moved away years and years ago, I'm a MN / ND / MT guy). So my obsession with Lockett as a fit with the Chiefs wasn't born out of any kind of homerism. Instead, it came from falling in love with his tape.

I spent a couple hours watching and writing about Lockett's ability to make corners look foolish with highly precise routes. By the time it was all said and done I was (and still am) CONVINCED Lockett was a perfect fit for what the Chiefs need on offense; a guy who knows how to get open and do it quickly.

By the time the draft had rolled around I'd essentially convinced myself that there was no way the Chiefs WOULDN'T draft Tyler Lockett. It just made too much sense (or so I'd convinced myself). The reasons for taking him were overwhelming, the reasons to pass on him were all stupid and wrong (or so I'd convinced myself). He'd very likely fall to the late third round and would be a great value pick (or so I'd convinced myself). All that was left for me to do was sit back and get ready to write "A+" next to his slot in my draft grades.

Of course, John Dorsey and the Seattle Seahawks don't care about my wishes. And in the early third round, Lockett vanished off the board to the Seattle.

I was not thrilled. But I think I handled it like a mature, rational adult.

OK, "mature" and "rational" are very subjective terms. You're not perfect either.

Anyway, I sat there in a funk and pouted about the Chiefs second round pick (something called a Morse whose film I'd never reviewed) and the rank unfairness of it all. The Chiefs traded up for one of the few wide receivers I HADN'T looked at (despite many of you telling me to check out Chris Conley, I never had - before this) and I pouted more. The Chiefs took a corner and I pouted more.

I think you're seeing the pattern. It took me a full evening and one very real "are you being serious right now?" comment from Mrs. MNchiefsfan to snap me out of my funk. I then started asking myself why I cared SO much about an individual player being drafted by the Chiefs.

Let's consider the odds here. There are 31 NFL teams who AREN'T the Chiefs. Leaving out compensatory picks, that means there are 31 chances in seven different rounds that a team other than the Chiefs will pick up a particular player. And that's IF the Chiefs like the same player I like (obviously not a guarantee).

So let's review. For the Chiefs to draft a player I like (a guy who is considered a third or fourth round prospect) at the PLACE I like (you know, to avoid being a reach and making me unhappy in a totally different way), the following things have to occur...

1) The Chiefs have to like said player enough to use a draft pick on him.

2) Other teams have to pass on said player until he falls to the round the Chiefs value him at.

3) The round the Chiefs value a player at has to roughly match up to my (totally subjective) evaluation of what round the player is "worth."

Realistically, what are the chances of that happening? A few hundred to one at absolute best? I have no idea, since math is evil, but I bet somewhere out there is a nerd who can figure it out (by "nerd," I mean someone smarter than me).

So I (a guy who likes to think of himself as relatively rational and sane) am raging against the Chiefs because my hundreds to one odds weren't fulfilled. That's what's happening. I'm angry that I didn't catch lightening in a bottle.

How did I go from sane and rational to such a lunatic?

It's not just me. Every year after the draft literally millions of otherwise normal human beings become irrationally angry that teams didn't do exactly what they wanted at exactly the time they wanted.

This doesn't make sense. Even factoring in how crazy we are as football fans, it's strange that we're so willing to completely chuck our favorite team under the bus for not fulfilling what essentially amounts to a pipe dream.

But I'm still mad.

I think what we have is a situation where the NFL has a monster of its own creation. The hype surrounding the NFL is unmatched (despite attempts by the NBA). More people care about the NFL draft than care about any other sport, period. It's unreal. We talk about it starting in October (sometimes even sooner with REALLY bad teams ... hello, 2012 Chiefs). We discuss team weaknesses. We watch college games with our favorite pro team in mind.

And now, thanks to sites like Draft Breakdown, the "average" fan now has access to more film (well, broadcast tape. Which is very different. But you get the idea) to review on prospects than ever before. Now a guy like me, who would have NEVER seen Tyler Lockett play a single snap, can review six of his games and develop an unhealthy obsession.

We do so much work on our mock drafts and our attempts to figure out what our favorite team should do. Literally dozens of hours are wasted (and that's on the low end. There are some people who spend more time on the draft than they ever do watching the pro games themselves). We've practically memorized scouting reports on the guys we like, as well as the "projections" for where guys fall.

And then, when the team (inevitably in most cases) goes another direction, all that time, all that energy, all that WORK... was for nothing. Less than nothing, really, if you want to count disappointment as something negative.

I wish I knew a cure for draft fever. I really do. Because next draft season I'm quite certain I'll be doing all the same things (obsessively studying film, reading scouting reports, falling in love with prospects, etc.) I was doing this year. I'm also quite certain the Chiefs will not do what I want them to do (well, at least not entirely). And finally, I'm quite certain I'm going to be irate about the whole thing again.

I mean, I could just... you know, stop doing what I'm doing. But let's not be ridiculous. Draft fever is permanent. And I look forward to more delicious pain next season. Until then... welp, time to watch some tape.

Arrowhead Pride Premiere

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Arrowhead Pride Premier, with exclusive updates from Pete Sweeney on the ground at Arrowhead, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Chiefs analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.