Sunday, March 22, 2009

Football draft to become earlier like hockey

I found this interesting -- football wants to move their draft to be before veteran free agency (as hockey has long had it). This would increase the ability of teams to plan around their rookies. One difference between the two sports is that you expect many fewer hockey players to step right into the lineup. Only about 10 do so every year lately, a number that has grown since the new CBA and salary cap increased the importance of rookies. The same age pressure seems to be happening in football in These Economic Times -- having more rookies on the roster is cheaper, therefore more desirable.

Multiple inside sources throughout the league have told PFW that the economic climate, coupled with the uncertainty of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players in addition to the potential for an uncapped year in 2010 and a potential lockout in ’11, have made cost-cutting measures a top priority...

One other key factor in holding the draft earlier is that it is likely to limit the amount of input from the head coach and his assistants. It will force teams to rely more on their scouting staffs and personnel departments. The earlier draft will reward well-organized and talented scouting departments and expose less-talented, less-informed scouts...

The earlier draft would allow teams to select for need with younger players first, then see what they’ve got in minicamps before deciding whom to pursue in free agency. The system currently encourages teams to fill roster needs with veteran free agents before the draft.


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