Friday, January 11, 2013

It's time for football's silly season

A nice side effect of the Browns' coaching  and general manager search is the delayed start to the 4-1/2 month slog of unnecessary hype leading up to the NFL draft.

Or so I thought.

I turned on my TV on Thursday, and there he was -- Mel Kiper Jr., his hair as immaculate as ever.

Kiper was breaking down the draft-stock changes for Alabama and Notre Dame players based on their performances in the BCS national championship game.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o didn't have a good showing to the point that he might get passed on Kiper's Big Board by Georgia's Alec Ogletree. On the other end, several Alabama players apparently improved their stock, in Kiper's opinion.

Never mind that overall player rankings do not necessarily coincide with how teams are going to draft. Also never mind that moving players up and down said rankings based on one game is stupid.

I'm hoping Rob Chudzinski and the gang in Berea get the Browns turned around in the playoffs, so we can turn our attention to on-field competition, not four extra weeks of offseason nonsense.

The pro football playoffs coincide with the beginning of football's silly season. The first big date is Feb. 6, national signing day. Then comes the NFL scouting combine from Feb. 23-26, in which scouts try to project how prospects will play full-contact, tackle football by having them run drills in T-shirts and shorts.

Both come with a full complement of pundits projecting players' futures. For such a cold month, February has a lot of hot air.

Then comes seven weeks of so-called NFL draft experts pontificating about which player each team should draft, as if they knew more than the scouts who actually work for teams.

I think next time Kiper comes on the air, I'm just going to change the channel, even if it means not finding out how Te'o's stock is looking compared to last week.

- Howard Primer


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