The NFL Draft: The Poor Get More Poor

Craig BrownCorrespondent IMay 17, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 07:  Tyson Jackson #93 of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates during the AllState BCS National Championship against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 7, 2008 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

In case the NFL needs any more firepower against the player's union regarding a rookie salary cap, the 2009 NFL draft proves that no one, except maybe the J-E-T-S, truly wanted to be in the top 10. 

That includes our beloved Chiefs.

Trading down is what nearly every team hoped to do, but trying to find a partner to dance with was another story.

The lesser teams who finished with the worst records should have had the highest picks, right?  That makes sense to me.

These teams had their picks of the best players in the draft, right?  That makes sense to me.

So why in Sam Hill did everyone avoid the top 10 like it was the plague?

Simple, it is was matter of money.

The guaranteed money going to players with no guarantee they will be worth anything on the field are pillaging franchises who are unfortunate enough to be in a high draft position.

I want someone from the NFL Player's Union (NFLPA, hereafter) to explain to me how un-tested rookies, who have never played a down in the league, deserve to be paid more than proven, all-pro caliber players who have already earned their keep in the NFL.

Better yet, I want them to explain to me how strapping a team down with guaranteed money to these wild-card picks will help that team turn things around.

There is a reason the teams near the top part of the draft will be similar faces again next year, and potentially the year after.  Five of last year's top ten draft picks were from teams who again drafted in the top ten this year.

And it is probably not because they have made bad decisions in their choices, though there are no doubt examples of that. Reviewing the 2008 draft, probably only Miami's Jake Long, Atlanta's selection of Matt Ryan and New England's pick of Jarrod Mayo truly performed worthy of a top 10 draftee contract.

With more money being spent on higher draft picks, it limits the potential money the lesser teams could spend on established players in the free agent market.

Conversely, teams picking later in round one spend less money on the players they draft, allowing them more money to spend on quality veterans.

Something is terribly wrong here.  And unfortunately, this scenario is hindering the Chiefs and their goal of returning to glory.

Now don't get me wrong, the Chiefs draft classes of 2005-2007 yielded capable players worthy of their selections in Derrick Johnson (15th overall, 2005), Tamba Hali (20th overall, 2006) and Dwayne Bowe (23rd overall, 2007).

But in 2008, the Chiefs found themselves in the top-five, selecting Glenn Dorsey.  Obviously, time will tell if Dorsey resembles a selection worthy of his draft position. But unfortunately, that's not the point.

Tyson Jackson was drafted third overall in the 2009 NFL draft and may turn in to the Richard Seymour type player that everyone hopes he can be.  But again, that's not the point.

What is the point is that the Kansas City Chiefs have invested a tremendous amount of money in to two players based solely upon their draft position, when it is painfully obvious they need help from so many others.

The NFL absolutely needs a rookie salary cap. Teams of the NFL absolutely need to spend every last nickel that had been invested in rookies on deserving veterans of the league.

I'm not asking that players of the NFL get less money, it just needs to be distributed differently and to the players who have earned it.

Most of all, the NFL absolutely needs a miracle to strike a deal with the NFLPA to accomplish this task.

NFLPA - shame on you. Protecting draftees before protecting your own.