If it seems like everyone does a mock draft (or two, or six), well, it’s probably because everyone does. I recall being a 13- or 14-year old in the early ’80s, staying home to watch the Draft on ESPN (it was a day event until recently), to see who the Green Bay Packers would pick, only to be disappointed when it was a lineman I’d never heard of.
Of course, today, it’s much easier to have not just heard of every team’s top selections, but every detail down to their 40-times, vertical jump and shoe size. NFL Draft analysis is in itself a big business, and near the front of that pack is the thorough Pro Football Focus and its expert analyst Steve Palazzolo.
Palazzolo, in a media teleconference on Monday, talked about some of the reasons that the business of the Draft has grown over time.
“I am of the Madden generation,” he noted. “A whole set of fans who lived in that video game world, with all of the hands on aspects of building a franchise. People followed the draft more and more as the real life component of that.”
Another factor for Palazzolo is the proliferation of fantasy games and gambling.
“The NFL has become a monster,” he added. “There’s a 365 day a year news cycle, and the Draft has become a huge part of it. In the NFL, all good teams are built through the draft. It’s a franchise changing event; teams will draft guys that will help turn the team around, or set them back a number of years.”
The ubiquity of information online has seemingly only made the appetite for more even greater. That has led to niche outlets like PFF growing exponentially.
“More [media outlets] are involved in it than ever, because so many people are interested… more people care,” concluded Palazzolo. “Mock drafts sell, so you’re bound to see more and more of them, right up until Thursday.”