NFL’s Future welcomes back contributor Jeff Risdon to our stage. Jeff is a busy man as he’s heading up detroitlionsdraft.com and plugging away at RealGM.com. It’s always a nice breathe of fresh air to check out Jeff’s insight on all things draft related.
Ask any NFL General Manager about his draft strategy and you are likely to hear several code words. You’ll hear things like “top rated
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talent”, “best fit for what we need”, “best value at the slot”, and sometimes even (especially if you asked the late Al Davis) “highest athletic potential”. Most teams throw all those factors into a pot and filter out players with character concerns or injury issues, and they try to make the best soup possible with their seven rounds of picks.
One factor you will never head a GM speak of is “we are thinking of the fans” with their picks. Sure, some will throw an occasional bone to their fans by using a late-round pick on a local collegian or perhaps a prominent name that has unexpectedly fallen to them. Seldom does that strategy work, however, and most GMs pay little attention to what the fans might think. Ones that do consider the sports radio callers and Twitter trolls don’t keep their jobs very long or produce successful teams. But in the 2013 draft, there are a couple of teams that just might have to bow to public pressure and make picks they don’t necessarily want to in order to salvage any fan base left.