Thursday showed why you shouldn't believe everything you read or hear about the NFL Draft


By Pat Harty

IOWA CITY, Iowa – At the expense of James Daniels and Josh Jackson, I was reminded of a valuable lesson about the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Don’t believe everything you read or hear about the draft because none of it comes from those who truly matter or from the people who actually pick the players.

For weeks leading into the NFL Draft, we get bombarded by mock drafts, player rankings and sound bites in which people who think they know a lot more about the draft than they probably do share their knowledge and expertise.

The seven-round NFL Draft has become almost a sport by itself. It’s a year-around obsession for some fans and for some in the media.

But almost all of the information that is shared or published in the days leading up to the draft comes from media members reporting on what other media members are reporting about the draft.

As connected as Mel Kiper Jr., is to the NFL Draft, he still has to mostly guess as to who will get selected because the NFL teams rarely say anything to tip their hat.

And why should they?

The NFL Draft is big business in which careers are greatly impacted, both good and bad.

I’ll admit it, I bought into the hype about Daniels and Jackson and assumed that at least one of them would be selected in the first round, when really I had nothing to base it on besides what I had read about the two juniors.

And I’m still sort of buying into the hype, considering I finished this column about one hour before the start of the second round of the draft on Friday assuming that Jackson and Daniels both would be taken in the second round.

Because again, I’m basing that only on what I’ve read, which includes Kiper ranking Jackson as the best prospect still available heading into the second round.

Those who cover the draft closely deserve credit for being somewhat accurate because what they do isn’t easy. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes as teams dissect the players looking for both strengths and weaknesses.

Iowa fans were upset that Daniels and Jackson didn’t get picked in the first round with some calling it a snub in both cases.

But snub means to rebuff, ignore or spurn disdainfully and that hardly describes what happened to Daniels and Jackson with regard to the first round.

They were just passed over in the first round because the 32 NFL teams apparently felt other players were more deserving from a business and performance standpoint.

And in fairness to the NFL scouts and executives, they weren't driving the hype train before the draft. They weren't calling Daniels and Jackson first-round locks. They weren't saying anything.

The hype heading into the NFL Draft is like a giant snowball gathering size and speed as it rolls down hill. It just keeps building and building until the day finally arrives.

It was easy to convince yourself that Jackson and Daniels both were likely first-round picks because the mock drafts and the hype had been saying it for weeks.

But those who do the picking never said a thing.