Nfl DraftThu, 18 Sep 2008 22:18
Watched by a multitude of football fanatics across the nation, the National Football League currently consists of 32 teams from different American regions and cities, forming the biggest professional American football league in the world. To pick newly eligible players that will join the rosters, the NFL draft is done. The NFL draft happens annually and it's used for determining which newly eligible players will get to play for which teams in the NFL. There are two events leading up to the NFL draft, and these are the NFL Scouting Combine and the pro day.
NFL Scouting Combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is a showcase that occurs annually at the end of February in the RCA Dome located in Indianapolis, Indiana. This showcase lasts for three days and is a chance for college football players to perform mental and physical tests in front of scouts, general managers, and NFL coaches. The athletes are invited to this event and their performance can have a huge bearing on their draft status, salary, and career. The evaluations and tests include the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle, three-cone drill, and position-specific drills. Aside from that, the players have to undergo injury evaluation, drug screen, physical measurements, and even take the Wonderlic test and Cybex test.
All universities have pro days. A pro day is a day when NFL scouts come to watch football players participate in various events at their own school, events that also take place at the Combine. The pro day is set because many believe that there might be players who are more comfortable playing in their own campus and do better there than they would at the Combine. Coaches and scouts are typically interested in major college teams because these often produce many NFL prospects.
The draft gives teams the chance to negotiate contracts with players who have already been out of high school for three years. Players are usually juniors or seniors who are picked out of their college football programs, although there are some players that come from other professional leagues such as the Arena Football League. The draft lasts seven rounds and certain teams get to choose players first.
Rules for defining draft order
* The Super Bowl winning team is the last to select players, while the Super Bowl losing team selects players second to the last.
* Regular season records determine which teams get to pick players first. Those with the worst records select players first.
* For teams having the same record, the team that doesn't make the playoffs get to pick first before the team that goes to the playoffs.
* As for teams that get into the playoffs, ties are broken by looking at the order in which teams lost during the playoffs.
* Remaining ties are broken by using the strength of schedule. The strength of schedule of a team is determined by combining the records of its 16 opponents, counting divisional opponents twice. The opponents' combined losses and wins will make a sum of 256, and a team whose opponents had more wins has a better strength of schedule.