The NFL Draft, also known as the “Christmas of Football”, took place last week. The draft highlights the best college athletes hoping to enter the exciting (and wealthy) realm of the pros, but it’s important to concentrate on the central purpose of drafting new players. These new up-and-comers in the football world are being chosen by respective franchises to develop successful teams. Sure a team who has the first overall pick maintains the ability to draft the finest player out there, however, coaches and players alike know that a team won’t automatically reach levels of great prominence with the addition of one star. Rather, bringing on a talented individual who has demonstrated supreme capabilities throughout his collegiate career will help bolster a cohesive and productive team.
Let’s analyze this thought a bit further by discussing the one, the only, the Redskins. The Redskins, as everyone and their mothers’ know, have not had the best team in the NFL since, well, 1991. Beginning in the mid 90s, the franchise has been experiencing a bit of a slump in terms of consistency and winning records. Yes, we will consider two dozen years, give or take, to be only a “bit” of a slump. Although the Redskins have experienced some tough losses and lack luster seasons, they have been determined to build a strong team with different strategies.
In 2012, they “mortgaged” their future and picked up Robert Griffin III. RG 3 was the winner of the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the best college football player. This year they picked up a group of players that can surround him and develop a tough and consistent offense. The process may be slow—the Redskins rebuilding is taking many years as we all know—however, the draft creates the perfect opportunity for one stellar athlete to help to establish one powerful team. The Redskins have tried to put band aids on a weak defense by infamously signing Deion Sander, Albert Haynesworth, and Bruce Smith. Two players are now in the Hall of Fame, and all three never produced for the Redskins.
Some eyebrows were raised when the Skins decided to pick up Brandon Schreff with their first-round pick, and those eyebrows can stay as raised as they want because it is necessary to understand that while there are players who are considered to be the best, they might be the best fit on a team. As Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs once said, “It doesn’t matter what other people think of your draft as long as you pick the right players for your team.”
Whether you are believed to be the #1 pick or the #256 pick, each player is chosen based on their ability to shine during hard times and create success among a team, not just for themselves. The coaches’ decisions during the NFL Draft might be surprising or, even at times, somewhat uneventful, but they know what they’re doing. A prosperous team cannot stand on one player alone, it needs the proper foundation of many players in order to become great.
What’s the impact for Koa:
1) One standout “free agent” isn’t going to change your child’s future in athletics. A strong support system is needed to raise a well-rounded child. For example, hiring the best hitting coach in the DMV will not necessarily result in your athlete turning into Bryce Harper.
2) The first day on a new professional team is exciting! The media will be in front of your locker, and the incumbent players will want to meet you. When your son or daughter is in a new situation see how they react to their surroundings. Will they be shy and blend in, or will they be boisterous and bring lots of energy to the team? It’s fun to observe these situations, don’t try to micromanage them.
3) The star on draft night could be the next Ryan Leaf. Conversely, Tom Brady did not get picked until the 6th round. Bottom line, never let one day affect your entire career.