2012 NFL Draft: Why It Needs to Be More Like the NBA Draft

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIOctober 14, 2011

STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal shakes hands with players from the Colorado Buffaloes after their game at Stanford Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Andrew Luck.

Say those two words to an NFL scout and they are guaranteed to be instantly salivating at the mouth. In fact, some might even say that Luck is the most polished NFL quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning.

He is a 99.99 percent guarantee to be the top overall draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. That fact alone is why the NFL Draft needs to become more like the NBA Draft.

Currently, the NBA uses a lottery style draft. The team with the worst record gets the most lottery balls and the highest percentage of opportunity to land the top overall pick.

They aren't guaranteed to land the top spot. Heck, they aren't even guaranteed a pick in the top 10, but for having the worst record, they are at least given the best shot to land the best pick.

In one sense, they are rewarded for losing, but it is a risky reward. A team can tank a season in order to draft the top prospect out of college, but if they lose out on lottery night, their purposeful losing is all for naught.

With two teams, the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins, as the current front runners to win the "Luck Sweepstakes", one must wonder if a team desperate enough for a franchise quarterback, like the Colts and Dolphins, will tank the rest of the season for a chance to draft him.

This doesn't seem right to me. Why should a team be rewarded for giving up? Honestly, is the NFL trying to promote losing?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

If the NFL switched their draft to a lottery style draft, like the NBA, where the team with the worst record got a 25 percent chance to get the top pick, it would deter teams from losing on purpose.

Sure, they have the best chance at the No. 1 pick, but it isn't guaranteed. 

As an example, let's look at the 2011 NFL Draft. Now that we are five weeks into the season, it is pretty safe to say that Cam Newton was absolutely worth the top draft pick. Had teams known how good Newton was going to become, they might have been willing to lose a couple more games for the chance to draft him.

However, what if they lost on purpose to draft Newton and ended up with the seventh pick or the 12th pick? Wouldn't that teach them a lesson for giving up on the season? Don't you think that next time they were in that position they might think twice about tanking for a draft pick?

You might argue that no professional sports team is purposefully going to lose, but I guarantee that in six weeks when the Colts and Dolphins are still cellar dwellers, losing for Luck is going to look better and better.

And since we know how important a true franchise quarterback can be, it makes losing all the more appealing for a team in need of one. If I were Miami or Indianapolis, I would walk on the field and give a half-assed performance for 60 minutes, all the while circling the month of April on my calender.

That's just not right and it's time for a change. The 2012 NFL Draft should be a NBA-style lottery draft.

Not only would the lottery be exciting, but the NFL could take advantage of another prime-time TV draft night. We all know how much the NFL loves their money. Adding another night of legitimate draft coverage would bring in money by the armored carload.

Imagine Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr. discussing who each of the 14 teams in the lottery would pick if they were to get the first pick of the draft. It would be compelling content and to be honest, the majority of football fans would be on the edge of their seats waiting to see if their team, with only a one percent chance to win the top pick, actually won it.

This lottery style draft doesn't necessarily need to be done every year, although it would probably be very successful if it was, but this year, with Andrew Luck as a sure-fire No. 1 pick, it makes sense.

So, let's change the 2012 NFL Draft to be more like the NBA Draft and sit back in excitement as we wait to see who is Luck-y enough to get the first overall draft pick.