It has been rumored for some time, but the NFL has gone and done it. The League officially announced that it has moved the NFL Draft to the weekend of May 8-10 for the 2014 calendar year. Let's get something official, shall we?
2014 NFL Draft to be held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in NY bit.ly/11v68mS— NFL345 (@NFL345) May 28, 2013
The League purports that this was done because Radio City Music Hall, traditional site of the NFL Draft, was booked in April
which I call shenanigans since the Music Hall knows the NFL Draft is every April and no one crosses the NFL.
It doesn't take a genius to figure this move out. It only takes someone who is familiar with television and marketing. Sweeps are a big deal to the television community. It's usually when they put their best/newest product out to attract viewers. The NFL Draft has usually been before the sweeps period, but now they're right smack dab in the middle of it. As usual, the NFL's decision is not about tradition or competition. It's about making more money for the League. It's a business, that's what they do, but the NFL could at least own up to that instead of hiding behind flimsy excuses.
The League has stated, in their official press release, that there is no change to the offseason schedule or practices or team activities. The only real difference is that the League is simply holding the draft two weeks later than usual.
It's only two more weeks, some would argue, but it's two more weeks in the longest wait of the entire offseason. Most people are oversaturated with Draft talk in mid-March, post Combine. Now the draftniks get two more weeks to discuss...what exactly? There's typically no new, board-changing information in April, since everyone's convinced that it's all a smokescreen. If this were any other league, the talk would be focused on waiting causing burnout which leads to a lesser audience. This, however, is the NFL, so some complain the League won't change because the ratings will be there, as always.
The League has stated that nothing is finalized for 2015, but that's just code for 'If this works, we'll keep doing this." Thoughts, BRBers? Excited for two more weeks of mock drafts and prospect analysis? Agitated that the League jumps for yet another dollar in a multi-billion dollar industry? Planning on boycotting the NFL Draft in 2014?