Manage Your Expectations Heading Into the NFL Draft
We’re now exactly a week away from the NFL Draft, and as we navigate the last of the pre-draft speculation and craziness, we need to manage some expectations.
What the Packers need in this draft is not going to be equal to what the Packers need from their roster next year, and the chances of filling every hole on their roster with high quality players through the draft is low. I’ll give you one example.
The chances of finding a receiver who can be as good as Jordy Nelson was even in a down year last year are pretty slim. Even you're taking a real stud in the first round, I don't think you're going to find a guy who can replace Jordy Nelson in the draft.
But that’s okay, because the chances for the Packers adding depth along the offensive line, at cornerback, or at edge rusher are very good. They may even find a star at one of those spots, but that's not really the point.
What the Packers need from the draft (and what every team needs from the draft) each and every year is a few guys who can help you become a more complete football team from top to bottom.
If your expectation from the draft is that you’re going to find a star at every pick, or even a few picks, you’re going to have trouble, because no one can draft that well. You might find a star on one pick, or even every other year, but what you're really looking for is guys who can help your roster become more complete top to bottom.
So maybe you get two or three guys who can be starters in their first season, and maybe another couple years down the road your draft class ultimately produces five or even six starters.
If that’s your reality, you’re doing really, really well. Maybe, if you’re really lucky, one or even two of those guys a year become Pro Bowlers, but you’re really looking to find a bunch of guys who could at least project to be starting caliber talent. That's what we should be shooting for as fans.
Don't talk yourself into this guy that they pick fourteenth being the second coming of whoever the greatest player was at the position they happen to play. That's unfair to the player, that's unfair to yourself, that's probably unfair to the Packers. You’re probably just going to end up just being frustrated and sad because it's really really not gonna work out for you unless they they happen to get real lucky and get a guy who's a stud from day one.
That could happen! But I think the better way to go about this whole draft process is thinking about it as bringing on board guys who can help the team become better as a whole, both in the first round and beyond.
This post is an adapted transcript of the most recent episode of Blue 58, a Packers podcast from The Power Sweep. Listen to the full episode below, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, CastBox and more to stay on top of the best in Packers news and analysis.