Update: The NFL officially announced Tuesday that the 2014 NFL Draft will be held May 8-10.
While we pride ourselves here at Buffalo Bills Draft on bringing you quality draft coverage year-round, the NFL’s “draft season” is typically considered to be the time between the Super Bowl and draft weekend. The draft season is expected to be a little longer starting next year, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter tweeted Monday that the 2014 NFL Draft is expected to be held May 15-17. This is three weeks later than the fourth weekend of April, which has been the draft’s typical time slot since the draft converted to its current three-day format in 2010.
NFL Network’s Albert Breer tweeted Tuesday that the league is also discussing holding the draft just two weeks later (May 8-10), but nonetheless, it appears the league is set toward moving its late-April staple to early May. According to another Schefter tweet, tentative dates for future drafts are May 7-9, 2015 (second weekend of May) and May 5-7 (first weekend of May).
This news of a later draft/longer draft season has been met with strong reactions from many NFL fans and media, many of which are negative. We know that many of you, our readers, have strong opinions on the topic as well! If you do, share your comments in the thread below the post, and let’s discuss the pros and cons of a May draft!
A few of us here at BBD shared our thoughts here. We will re-post interesting, unique, new and appropriate thoughts alongside ours.
Dan Hope (Editor):
My gut reaction when I heard that the NFL draft was moving to May was a negative one. That seemed to be the way I was expected to react judging by the social media comments of my peers. I’ve often been of the “Why mess with a good thing?” mindset, but when it came down to reason, both from personal and broader standpoints, I don’t see moving the draft back as being a bad thing at all.
My initial reaction when the NFL changed the draft from a marathon weekend to the current three-day format was one of disgust, but I’ve come to embrace that new format as well. Moving the draft to May certainly has its benefits, as it gives NFL teams and those of us who study the draft more time to scout players and be fully prepared for the draft. It also shortens the only relatively quiet period of the NFL calendar, which has typically been from May-July (though the relative quietness seems to disappear more and more each year).
Many NFL media are upset about the change, because it could take away what is typically their only vacation time of the year. From a personal standpoint, having the draft in early May is actually much better timing for me, at least in 2014, than the end of April. The bigger issue, however, seems to be around the thought that a longer draft season will lead to even more wild and incorrect speculation. While I understand these concerns, I will personally use the additional time to watch more game tape and become more well-versed on more draft prospects — can’t I be optimistic that NFL teams and other media draft analysts will do the same?
Ryan Talbot (Staff Writer):
If the NFL moves the draft to May, it wouldn’t bother me too much. I’m a rather impatient person, so I’m sure I’ll get fidgety around late April, but May will be nice too. It’ll give teams even more time to evaluate prospects and I’m sure I’d eventually get used to it. If anything it’ll give me more time to do mock drafts, although that’s not a good thing to most people as the draft nears.
Eric Samulski (Staff Writer):
I understand the move from a football perspective. The idea of the draft date never seemed to make sense when rookies then needed to leave their teams, miss practices and head back to school in order to graduate. It puts certain players, like the Brandon Kaufmans of the world, at a significant disadvantage. Having the draft and OTA’s (presumably) after graduation would make it possible for these rookies to be at each and every practice and speed up the learning curve. That said, my restless leg syndrome will certainly be kicking in with the extra wait.
Evan Sidery (Staff Writer):
Moving back the draft to May will affect draft analysts, but it will help out NFL teams. Moving it back and starting the new year earlier allows more time to scout prospects. Some fans might not like this move at first, but it works better for both players and coaches in the long run.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts!
Zach Fleer (Reader Response):
“April already feels way too late. I don’t like the move to May.”
Omar (Reader Response):
“It is my anniversary, so I will have to get a new wife.”
Paul Guillemette (Reader Response – via Twitter):
“Went the wrong way with this one. For many fans NFL season will B too far gone or too far ahead to care as much.”
Lou (Reader Response):
Well, the draft is now moving from my birthday weekend to just some random weekend in May, what’s fun about that? Now I have even less to look forward to with each passing year.
In all seriousness, I like the move from the incoming rookies’ perspective for the reasons Eric Samulski outlined, but I also certainly understand why it’s problematic from the ‘football people’s’ perspective. All in all, I think it’s a zero sum move, where the better move may have been to adjust some rules around the NCAA and eligibility, rather than move the actual date of the draft.
TNever (Reader Response):
Hate the move from April to May.
The college players are done playing after the Senior Bowl at the end of January (if they are in it) and the scouting by NFL clubs is pretty much done soon after. Teams don’t need anymore time to “scout” players. Last game played in January and then wait until May?
It actually would make more sense for the draft to be earlier in April. Dragging out the wait for both the college prospects – and fans – is no fun. Move the draft to April 15th.