We must be in one of those lulls in the NFL draft speculation calendar — between mock drafts 42 and 43 — so ESPN’s Mel Kiper has a feature on ESPN.com in which he redoes the 2009 draft based on the order players would be selected if we knew then what we know now.
We clicked on the link because we thought, “Oh, 2009. Percy Harvin. The Vikings got a steal with Harvin. He must be higher than the actual draft slot where they picked him at No. 22.”
Wrong. And yes, it’s just Kiper’s opinion. But he has Harvin as the No. 25 pick in the draft, after the Vikings picked. For Minnesota, he picks safety Glover Quinn — who he deems the 22nd-best player/value from that draft now.
Of Harvin, he writes: “Harvin’s name seems to inspire a lot of buzz, which isn’t unfair if you saw him in his prime with the ball in his hands. But the reality is he hasn’t been a big part of an NFL offense since the 2012 season, and he played in only nine games that year. He’s still only 26 years old, but he’ll be with his fourth franchise in 2015. Harvin does have an All-Pro season on his résumé — as a return man in 2009.”
Those of us who watched Harvin when he was engaged and healthy in those four seasons with the Vikings can’t fathom him not being a top-10 player from that draft, but Kiper makes a good point. If anything, it’s a reminder of just how far Harvin’s stock has fallen.
Two pieces of news from this week can only lead to one conclusion: The NFL very well might have lost its mind.
Let’s start with the light-hearted: League owners are going to discuss a whole bunch of rule changes when they meet next week. A lot of the rules are worthwhile considerations, such as amendments to how replay works. In all, the league’s competition committee will present 23 proposed changes for discussion.
One of them, though, is so ridiculous that it seems like satire. Per ESPN.com:
The Indianapolis Colts proposed a scenario that gives teams that successfully convert a 2-point conversion the chance to immediately add another point with a “bonus field goal.” Under the Colts’ proposal, if a team converts a 2-point conversion it would then line up from the 32-yard line to attempt a 50-yard field goal. If the kick is good, the team would receive a total of nine points on that possession — six for the touchdown, two for the 2-point try and a point for the extra field goal.
What? So a nine-point possession would be possible? This is wacky beyond words. The Colts GM is apparently NOT optimistic it will pass. We aren’t optimistic the rest of the owners will make it through the proposal with a straight face.
And now the serious: A neurosurgeon who works for the NFL’s Steelers gave a short interview about brain injuries in the league that, again, feels like satire.
Dr. Joseph Maroon downplayed the safety issues in both youth football and the NFL and said, among other things, that riding a bike or a skateboard is more dangerous than playing youth football.
This is classic NFL, doubling down on its own rhetoric in the face of transition (in this case the Chris Borland retirement) instead of attempting to engage in rational discussion.
This type of defiance and arrogance has served the league well in growing to insane levels of popularity, but this week feels like another drop of poison that will ultimately kill the goose laying the golden eggs.