There may not be a more polarizing activity for football fans this time of year than an NFL mock draft.
Or should I say drafts, as in very plural. There are literally thousands of them floating around the Internet--there's one; there's another one. Actually, they're both pretty old, and they've probably been torn to shreds a million times over, by now.
But that's OK, because there are many more where they came from.
If you clicked on all three mock drafts linked above (or if you've been making and updating your own, which, I wouldn't put past you), you'd know that, for example, Eric Ebron, a tight end from North Carolina who is apparently allergic to blocking, has gone from a top 10 prospect in March, to a player who may zip right on by the Steelers, Thursday evening, all the way to the latter portions of Round 1.
And that brings me to the point of this non-mocking post.
For as much as I mock the many mock drafts, I must admit they have become quite the valuable tool in recent years for Yours truly, as I've found the daily updates and analysis provide a fairly accurate barometer for what might happen during the actual draft.
Back before the world wide web, when I was just a teenager, I had to rely on the local newspapers to fill me in on potential NFL prospects, but they usually weren't in the form of mock drafts.
For example, Aaron Jones may have been the second rated defensive end listed in the sports section of the Pittsburgh newspaper I was poring over on the morning of the 1988 NFL Draft, but I sure didn't have any clue the Steelers were interested in him. And when he became their choice, I was more than stunned.
Had I been living in a time with daily mock drafts, and even the now familiar analysis of said mocks, I might have been more prepared for yet another attempt by Chuck Noll to recreate his Steel Curtain of the previous decade.
I've said all along I like cornerback Darqueze Dennard, and hope that he's Pittsburgh's choice at 15. However, thanks to BTSC's breakdown of Kyle Fuller's formidable attributes (and my knowledge of his rising draft stock), I certainly wouldn't be emotionally wounded if the Steelers jotted his name on their draft card (I'd actually be quite excited).
And if I hear any one of these other names called by Mr. Goodell--Justin Gilbert, Odell Beckham, the aforementioned Ebron (talk about emotional wounds "He can't block!"), Taylor Lewan or even Zack Martin--I would be prepared for it..
Heck, thanks to Rebecca Rollett's "Best Looking" mock draft, I know that if Mike Evans is the unlikely name the commissioner announces on behalf of the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger will not only be getting the tall receiver he's always wanted, the ladies of Pittsburgh will be getting one handsome fellow to swoon over.
So, does this all mean I will be conducting my own mock drafts in subsequent seasons? No.
Does this mean I'm still annoyed with the plethora of mock drafts I come into visual contact with each and every spring? Still a little, yes.
However, I'm also annoyed with the bees I come into visual contact with every spring. But much like mock drafts, I understand bees provide an indirect service to me, and my life is much richer because of their existence.
Therefore, continue on with your many mock drafts, but please, don't start into the 2015 drafts just yet.....whoops, too late.