NFL Draft Lottery
NFL Draft

Would the NFL ever consider a draft lottery? Speculation is that this is one of the few ways to improve the NFL Draft. How would this help the NFL? We examine a couple possibilities that implementing a lottery could prevent in the NFL.


There has been some speculation in recent years that teams have tanked their seasons in order to get higher draft picks. Especially, once a team officially eliminates themselves from playoff contention. There have been recent rumors that teams have intentionally thrown games late in the season in order to assure themselves of the player they wanted in the next draft.

There is even a rumor heading into the 2017 season that the New York Jets want to “Suck for Sam!” Referencing the UCLA QB Sam Rosen. We all know the New York Jets QB situation as the worst in the NFL. Yes, even worse the than Cleveland Browns. So tanking for a QB who has high grades entering 2017 seems reasonable.

However, a draft lottery would cease tanking. Especially if the NFL gave all non-playoff teams an equal chance at the number one pick. Unlike the NBA, where the worst team gets the most ping-pong balls. The NFL would equally represent twenty teams in the NFL Lottery.

Would a draft lottery prevent tanking?

Competitive Balance

The NFL is all about putting on a competitive show. The league does not like to see blowouts. They want the best product on the field at all times. A draft lottery may prevent his. How?

Take for instance the Cleveland Browns of 2016. They went 1-15 and thus securing the number one overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Had there been a draft lottery they may not have gotten the number one pick. They may have received pick 15.

Many feel that with the success of the Browns 2017 Draft, they can be competitive this season. However, with a lottery would that have been the case?

The competitive balance that the NFL receives is due to the structure of free agency and the NFL Draft. Changing this would place a negative effect on that balance and begin to skew the scales in a way that the rich stay rich.

It may also put an unnecessary emphasis on free agency as well. Teams would try to spend more money at a position of need rather than trying to fill that void in the draft.

I do not like the idea of an NFL Draft Lottery. While I see that, it may indeed prevent teams from tanking seasons or games, I do not see it as a competitive entity. The NFL has a great product. Minor enhancements increase value. A major one can eventually cause a decrease.

How do you feel about an NFL Draft Lottery? Please leave your comments below.

You can follow Sean on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @NFLINSC.

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