The sports world is abuzz after Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery, and we started to wonder why the NFL doesn’t have a similar process? On this week’s The MMQB NFL Podcast, Albert Breer, Jenny Vrentas and Conor Orr conduct their own NFL draft lottery and re-pick the first six picks of the NFL draft. Which team moves up significantly and which team is on the losing end?
(Listen to the latest The MMQB NFL Podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Breer: We're in the middle of the dead period of the NFL calendar, but this is actually a big news day from a sports perspective. By the time you guys listen to this you're going to know whether or not Zion Williamson is going to the Knicks, to the Cavs, the Suns, the Bulls, the Hawks—unless he's part of a [trade] package for Anthony Davis. [Editor’s note: the Pelicans won the draft lottery and the rights to draft Zion Williamson] I figured this was the right time for me to drop what's been a take of mine for a while, but maybe I haven't made public yet.
I think the NFL should have a draft lottery.
I don't understand why the NFL doesn't have a draft lottery. ... A draft lottery is a good way to try to prevent tanking, because then whoever has the worst record isn't assured of getting the first pick. On top of that we know that the NFL loves to create something of nothing. They make the schedule show, they make the schedule release a big deal, they make the combine a big deal ,they make the draft a big deal, they turn pro days into television shows. So what's more NFL than just creating something out of nothing? [A draft lottery] would create an enormous amount of buzz and hype, and everyone would be locked in—who wouldn't be watching the NFL draft lottery?
And so we’re going to do a little exercise. First I want to bring Connor and Jenny in. Are you guys with me?
Vrentas: There would be an lottery for who would host the draft lottery. Like there would be like a lottery for the city. You know they would create like a multipart event.
Breer: Here's what they would do. It would be two nights. The first night, they would go through all of the teams that didn't [make the playoffs]. ... They would announce picks 20 to four, and then the drama would hang for 24 hours before they announced the order of the first three picks.
Orr: See I don't think they would ever do it because then that wouldn't allow the Manning family to control the draft.
Vrentas: Another conspiracy theory!
Breer: There would still be time though, there wwould still be time.
Orr: I guess they could bend one of the envelopes or dent one of the ping pong balls.
Breer: We're what, six weeks out from the NBA draft? There be plenty of time if you had the same sort of lag time. There'd be plenty time.
Orr: That's true. But it would take an element of control out of their hands which they've had since the late '60s.
Breer: Who loses in this scenario? Seriously.
Vrentas: The remarkable thing is that doesn't already exist.
Orr: Yeah, I think it makes too much sense. Which is why you have to consider the forces behind it why it's not.
Vrentas: OK the Illuminati is conspiring so that this doesn't happen.
Orr: Archie Manning. I mean, it all comes back to that.
Breer: So here's what we're going to do. Just to show how much fun this is, we're going to conduct an NFL draft lottery right here live on the podcast.
Vrentas: This is such a great idea.
Orr: This is a great idea.
Vrentas: This is fueled by your morning fruit cup that cost seven dollars and 46 cents. This is why you invest in breakfast.
Orr: That's right!
Breer: I don't know if this is going to work. The one thing that was hard about it is the NBA’s formula is so kind of convoluted now. So how do we recreate the NBA formula? It's sort of hard to do. It used to be easier with the ping pong balls, we probably could have done that. But Mitch Goldich is one of our editors actually pointed me to the tank a thon Web site, and there is, in fact, a lottery simulator in there. Now the one flaw with this is that we can't put every non-playoff team in, so we can't put all 20 in because there are only 14 teams in the NBA that don't make the playoffs—there are 20 in the NFL. So our apologies in advance to the Panthers, to the Redskins, to the teams that didn't make the playoffs and that are edged out of our little exercise here. We're going to include 14 teams in and we're going to assign NBA teams to NFL teams.
Vrentas: Now this is really fun.
Breer: The Knicks, they are the Arizona Cardinals. The Cavs are the Niners. The Suns are the Jets. The Bulls are the Raiders. The Hawks are the Bucs. The Wizards are the Giants. The Pelicans are the Jaguars. The Grizzlies are the Lions. The Mavericks are the Bills. The Wolves are the Broncos. The Lakers are the Bengals. The Hornets are the Packers. The Heat are the Dolphins—Oh there's one that actually plays. And then the Kings are the Falcons. So I'm going to hit the simulate lottery button here just so it's above board so everybody can see it I'm going to do it from here. All right and we'll see who wins the lottery.
There we go. O.K., the Jets! The New York Jets have won the lottery. OK so the New York Jets will be picking first. The Oakland Raiders have the second pick. With the third pick, third pick is going to be... Oh wow, this is a big one. The Bengals all the way up from the 11th slot. So the Bengals go all the way up and then the order resets of course then so then you have... You take out the Jets, Cardinals really got screwed here...
So what we're gonna do now is we're actually going to redraft the NFL draft. So now we've got the Jets with the first pick, the Raiders with the second pick, the Bengals with the third pick, the Cardinals with the fourth pick, the Niners with the fifth pick, the Bucs with the six pick. We've decided Conor is gonna be the first pick—this was regardless of who the team was. So Conor will pick for the Jets, Jenny you have the Raiders pick, I have the Bengals pick at number three. Then we'll do it one more time. We're not going to go through the top 14 but we'll redraft.
So at the first pick and the way it should be 2019 NFL draft Conor Orr, the New York Jets select.
Breer: Do you stand pat with what you had?
Orr: Yeah, I probably should probably take Quinnen Williams No. 1.
Breer: This would actually be a spot where there might be a trade actually, based on the way that it played out. So we can't allow trades here, so it's unfortunate that we didn't have a team with a quarterback need there at the top. OK so Quinnen Williams the Jets at No. 1, Jenny number two the Raiders?
Vrentas: I'm going to spice things up and go with Kyler Murray.
Breer: Oh, there it is, there it is! So Derek Carr is now on the block.
Vrentas: Derek Carr is now on the trading block. That's correct.
Orr: No. 3 I think this becomes simple for the Bengals, and I'm not doing this because of where he went to school. Nick Bosa, No. 3 to the Bengals. All right.
Vrentas: Bosa stays in Ohio.
Breer: There it is, easy storyline. At No. 4 the Cardinals select... Is Rosen going to stay on the team now?
Orr: Yeah, I mean we saw kind of how scattershot their draft room was on their team Web site, so you know imagine if we threw this into the loop. I mean, at this point anything's possible, and so I'm going to go with T.J. Hockinson from Iowa! Help out your boy Rosen. It's all about production. The Hock at No. 4. All right.
Breer: With the fifth pick, the 49ers select...
Vrentas: The fifth pick, The 49ers select...
Orr: I've clearly upset the board.
Breer: The board is upside down right now.
Vrentas: Josh Allen.
Breer: Same position, that makes sense.
Vrentas: Thank you.
Breer: And you know what. We started with with chalk, we'll stick with chalk. Here at No. 6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Devin White, who they had their eyes on all along.
Breer: I like that, guys!
Vrentas: That was a lot of fun.
Breer: How much fun would that be if we actually had an NFL draft lottery? Make it happen!
Orr: I would love it. I think it's a great idea.
Breer: The ratings for that would be insane.
Vrentas: When would they hold it?
Orr: You want to spread it out a little bit, so maybe they would move the combine to accommodate it or maybe you would do it like the week after the Super Bowl, because that's kind of a dead time, so it's right before the combine. And then they would spend like an inordinate amount of both television shows promoting the combine.
Vrentas: They could host it in Vegas. I mean how good is this?
Breer: Is this a podcast or a board meeting at 345 Park?
Orr: We're just doing Roger Goodell's job for him.
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