The NFL Draft Day is often said to be 'better than Christmas' in America but just what is Draft Day? The National Football League Draft is an annually occurring event in which NFL teams select promising college (equivalent of University) football players to join their teams for their rookie season, so effectively it is a new batch of promising young players moving into the National Football League each year. Unlike in standard English football there isn't much buying and selling of players in the NFL and most new player recruitment is done through the draft. It is so exciting and tense because no one quite knows what is going to happen, like transfer deadline day for football fans. The teams in the NFL are given an order in which to pick players so obviously everyone wants to be first to pick the most promising young players. However the teams are arranged based on the previous year so the last placed team in 2014 will pick first this year. This enables the league to be more even instead of having a few teams far superior to the rest like in normal football, particularly in the Premier League, where one player from Chelsea or Manchester City might cost as much as Leicester or Burnley's entire teams! Clubs often trade first picks and current players and even their picking positions so it is a tense and exciting time each year.
The draft has come a long way since it first began in 1936 back when there was no media coverage and the teams did not yet hire scouts to research into promising young players and instead simply relied on the references of the colleges. The first ever drafted player was named Jay Berwanger who was known as the ‘one man team’ at his University of Chicago and left a distinctive scar below the eye of a man named Gerald Ford during a match against Michigan state University; Ford would of course go on to become President of the United States. Berwanger was actually never signed because the Chicago Bears could not afford the $15,000 salary he asked for. Today there are huge amounts of money in the game and the top 15 highest paid NFL players currently all earn at least 20 million annually!
As well as worse teams being able to pick first, any new teams to the league (called expansion teams) are given first pick as they are obviously missing out on some of the best players in the league having just been formed. This system works effectively in trying to prevent too much imbalance in the league though inevitably some teams are better than others. Such famous players as New England Patriots’ QB (Quarter Back) Tom Brady and Seattle Seahawks’ RB (Running Back) Marshawn Lynch (known colloquially as ‘Beast Mode’) were drafted into the teams after being identified as playing well at their colleges. They were not first choice picks and it is often the case that lesser known college ballers grow to be the best players in the NFL, that’s just the way of sport!
IMAGE 1: http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/04/23/042313-NFL-Draft-Stage-DG-PI_20130423141057135_730_350.JPG - The Draft Stage.
IMAGE 2: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3685/11783478313_6b017de211_z.jpg - Marshawn Lynch running the ball for the Seahawks.