It’s draft week, and as we march gleefully toward the first round on Thursday evening, most of us have an opinion on what the Vikings should do with pick number 23. As I’ve been compiling mock draft roundups and reading a wide spectrum of theories and viewpoints, certain “conventional draft wisdoms” keep popping up. Some of them valid—Mike Zimmer likes lanky, fast defensive players, for example—some of them less so. And these less valid conventional wisdoms can often morph into draft myths, repeated year after year and anointed as NFL Draft gospel, despite their questionable legitimacy. Here are three of those myths, and the truth for each one:
Myth 1: Best player available.
The Truth: This is far and away the greatest NFL Draft myth: a good GM will select the best player available when his team picks in the first round, regardless of position or other considerations. It is repeated far and wide by anyone and everyone in NFL front offices, sprayed in the direction of reporters at draft-related press conferences, and leaned on as a crutch when team officials (understandably) try to avoid giving any real information on what the team might do on draft day. “Best player available,” they say with a shrug, because why would a competent personnel director do anything other than get the best possible talent for his team?