The NFL Draft for 2014 has made some people scratching their heads. Here are two of the most notable and surprising decisions made in the NFL Draft this year.
Miami Dolphins picked James No. 19, everyone knows that the Dolphins badly needed to improve their offensive line and everyone thought they would select Notre Dame’s Zack Martin or Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandijo who are both considered as strong offensive tackles. Instead, they chose Ja’Wuan James. Though many people would agree that he was a massive reach for the draft’s first round, there are questions about his skills and it is difficult to understand why the gigantic Miami wanted him badly. It could have been better if he was picked in the second round.
Titans drafted Lewan No. 11. Yes, Lewan is known as one of the best three offensive tackles for this year’s draft so he surely is a good pick. However, the Titans already have Michael Roos and Michael Oher for the tackle spots and Lewan appears to be the wrong guy who can easily do some kicking inside. So, picking him at No. 11 was a surprising move.
Again, the yearly NFL Draft has caused a buzz on whether some teams had made the right decisions--- selecting a player they did not need, picking a player on the early rounds when they could have been picked later in the draft and, of course, the surprising picks that even sports analysts couldn’t understand.
The National Football League has been around since 1920. It has gone though a few name changes (it began as the American Professional Football Conference) and merged with another league (the American Football League in 1970), but each major change has only made the league more dominant. Today, NFL tickets are arguably the most popular sports tickets in the country and national television networks truly appreciate a contract with the league, whether the station gets to show games played by the AFC or the NFC on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday, in the afternoon or in the evening.
That first season and the ones that followed were difficult. Football had yet to become extremely popular, and most of that fan devotion was attributed to the college game. This professional league sought to truly create a product worth watching and it succeeded.
The NFL steadily expanded its standings, though the only two remaining original franchises are the Decatur Staleys (the modern day Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (the modern day Arizona Cardinals).
Rivalries quickly took hold and the sport’s popularity boomed. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and New York Giants dominated the pre-Super Bowl era. Eventually the AFL emerged and was the first professional football league to offer a challenge to the NFL. The two began pitting their champions against each other in 1967, three years before the league’s officially merged.
In the Super Bowl era, the National Football League has expanded to 32 teams, eight divisions, and two conferences. A few wild cards have been added and a couple of rounds have made the NFL playoffs even more interesting. Also, the game itself has morphed into something unrecognizable to the earlier versions of football.
Passing has not taken over, but it is on equal footing with running the football. Defenses have become increasingly complex, making each contest a venerable chess game with 11 players on each side for two coaches. Professional football is now America’s game and each Sunday during the fall and winter hundreds of thousands of fans show up at stadiums, bars, and friends places across the country to enjoy.