Master of Science in Sport Management Online

What You Need to Know About the 2015 NFL Draft

The annual NFL draft sparks endless debate and conversation in the sports world. Fans, players, and teams alike pay close attention as talent steps from the college scene into the demanding and opportunity-rich world of the National Football League (NFL).

What do you need to know about how the draft works? What happened during the 2015 draft, and how can you start preparing for next year’s draft?

Digging Into the Draft Details

Trying to keep up with draft developments year to year isn’t uncommon. The rules of the draft change from year to year due to intense competition among teams and shifting league concerns. However, the event retains the same basic framework.

  • The draft involves 32 football clubs, and each one is given one pick for each of the seven draft rounds. In past years, however, one draft could include up to 30 rounds.
  • Generally, the team that finished with the worst record during the previous season receives the first draft pick. The Super Bowl champions receive the last pick. During 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got the first pick and chose Florida State’s quarterback Jameis Winston to join their ranks.
  • Teams may trade draft picks. These trades can improve their prospects for a future draft or increase their chances of getting a particular player during the current draft.
  • Some teams receive compensatory free-agent picks during the third to seventh rounds to help them replace free agents that they lost to other clubs.

The 2015 Draft Highlights

Image via Flickr by EDrost88

According to the Bleacher Report, the 2015 draft went well for a lot of teams looking to strengthen themselves for the upcoming season.

Even teams with relatively inexperienced management made good choices. For example, Mike Maccagnan of the New York Jets, acting for the first time as general manager, helped his team by bringing Leonard Williams on board. The Bleacher Report notes that Williams may very well have been the best player in the draft. Williams is a juggernaut who can play several positions on the defensive line.

The new general manager for the Chicago Bears, Ryan Pace, also shined. Pace used the draft as an opportunity to give extra strength to the team’s defensive line.

The Cleveland Browns made their presence known by making 12 strong picks. Although the Browns’ general manager, Ray Farmer, made some conservative choices, he still brought in players that have the potential to make for an interesting and exciting season.

Prepare for the 2015-2016 NFL Season

The NFL draft is a game of strategy and bartering, reasons enough for sport managers and students of sport management to prepare for the draft well ahead of time. This preparation involves paying careful attention to how college players perform on the field and being able to envision how those players would fit into a professional team. Managers have to consider factors such as players’ personalities as well as their strengths and weaknesses when the pressure is on.

The choices a team makes during the NFL draft can impact its success for years to come. Every pick is a gamble, but by crunching the numbers and studying the game’s current conditions, teams can use the draft to set themselves up for improved gameplay.