2011 NFL Draft: An (In)exact Process

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2011 NFL Draft: An (In)exact Process
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The NFL Draft is as unpredictable as it gets.

2+2 = 4

Always has and always will be. It is a simple equation with a definite answer.

In other words, it is the total opposite of the way the NFL Draft works. Everyone loves to predict what their favorite team will do. Who will go first overall? Who will be the diamond in the rough? Or the next JaMarcus Russell? I'm just as guilty. Draft season is the home to endless speculation and rumors.

But that all goes out the window beginning on April 28th.

That is what makes an event like the draft different from a math equation. It is not predictable, nor is it constant. A change in what is expected creates a domino effect. A team reaches for a player, passes on a top prospect, or makes a trade, and the rest of the draft changes.

There are unknowns that fans simply can't recognize.

An injury that showed up at the Combine. A player that interviewed poorly. Someone who doesn't like the weight room or hits the nightclubs instead of film study. These are issues that fans and analysts who don't have the connections simply aren't able to see.

A lot of information can be gained on tape, but considering the year-round nature of the job, the makeup of a player off the gridiron has significant importance.

Just like high school, there are rumors.

Mel Kiper might not write about them in his diary; on the other hand, Todd McShay might, but this is the season of misinformation. Teams try to knock prospects they love and gush about the ones that are off their draft board.

Fans see and consume it all, but are left with the task of trying to weed through the facts and lies. An impossible thing to do, of course.

We try to quantify what can't be quantified. To break it down into numbers: if "X," then "Y."

But that isn't how the draft operates. That isn't how people operate. It's an art, not a science.

During the last three days in April, 2+2 may equal five. Or 55. Or whatever gives you the fastest forty time.

If you're Al Davis.

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