Cleveland (WOIO) - No league feels a Draft quite like the NFL. Actually, let me rephrase that. No other league is even in the NFL's galaxy when it comes to holding a draft. I'm stating the obvious, of course, but this fact really struck me again this week when I sat down with Lynn Swann, the Hall of Fame wide receiver who was part of the greatest draft, for any team in any sport, when the Steelers took him in 1974.
Along with Swann came Jack Lambert (Kent State), John Stallworth and Mike Webster. The Steelers landed four future Hall of Famers in one day, and the future of the franchise changed forever.
But more interesting to me was that the NFL Draft wasn't even televised back then. Now it's a three-night, primetime extravanganza. I joked to Swann that he was denied his chance to walk up on stage making the 'Manziel money' sign. He laughed and said he wouldn't have done that anyway.
This year's NFL Draft was a month ago, and here in Cleveland we're still talking about it, mostly because of Manziel. In fact, as I write this, more sports fans are talking about the NFL draft than the MLB draft, and the MLB draft is going on as I type. (The Indians took outfielder Bradley Zimmer with the 21st overall pick).
Nothing can touch the NFL Draft when it comes to build-up, suspense, excitement, and analysis, but that makes sense. College Football is second only to Pro Football in America, so we know the prospects, and we also know some of them will make an immediate impact in the NFL, if not completely change a team's fortunes.
The NBA Draft is similar to the NFL Draft in that sense. We know the big names, and usually, a high lottery pick will make an immediate impact (sorry, Anthony Bennett). But the MLB Draft is different. First, it has what, 40 rounds? Second, we won't see these guys at the major league level for a few years.
Not to worry, the NHL Draft is coming up, later this month. Quick, name the top five prospects!
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