The NFL Draft order is strictly based on the finishing records of all teams. Ties are often broken with (what else?) a coin flip. At the end of every season, some teams with no shot at the playoffs deactivate their star players with mysterious ailments. This has lead some to cry foul over the fact that these teams are essentially tanking in order to better their draft positioning.
Is this reason enough to change the process?
Proponents of change point to the NBA’s Draft Lottery as a means to a better result. The process has been described as fool-proof due to the fact that teams with the worst record in the league rarely land the top pick. In 2008, the Chicago Bulls entered the Lottery with only a 1.7% chance at landing the top pick. Fans rejoiced when the Bulls were announced as the team drafting in the top slot. This brought us hometown hero Derrick Rose, who immediately changed the fortunes of a franchise mired in a stagnant state of mediocrity.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter wrote about what this change could possibly mean:
It would certainly add interest to the draft, which is already the top offseason event in American sports. An NFL Draft Lottery Special would be a highly rated prime-time event the league could televise after the Super Bowl and before the NFL Scouting Combine.
Some argue a lottery would prevent teams from tanking late-season games, or from failing to improve their team down the stretch, in order to get one of the draft’s top selections. The “Suck for Luck” meme that spawned last fall raised the possibility of some teams potentially not doing their best so they could be in the hunt for a quarterback whom some considered the best overall college prospect at the position since John Elway or Manning.
I, personally, would love to see this alteration made. Not only would it negate the obvious tanking some teams employ at the end of the season. It would also add more intrigue to what is already the most interesting American sport.