The NFL Entry Draft for 2013 begins on April 25, and is considered the most practical source of player recruitment and team rebuilding. Over the last few drafts, analysts were able to realistically predict which teams would select the eligible players in the draft. But sports bettors predict the 2013 draft is anyone’s bet.
Historically the tone of the entry draft is determined by the outcome of the NFL Free Trade Agency, which occurs approximately six weeks after the Superbowl. In years past, teams were particularly focused on negotiating trades for offensive talent such as a new quarterback or running back. But this year’s free trade agency witnessed most teams negotiating for defensive players and offensive linesmen, who will protect and support the quarterbacks.
As a result, many teams are in the market for an offensive tackle in the entry draft. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs – who finished with the worst record in 2012, and subsequently make the first overall draft pick – want a new offensive tackle to replace Branden Albert, whose contract expires in the summer. Albert remains indecisive about whether he will resign with the team, or if he will explore his options as a summer free agent.
The Chiefs are preparing for either scenario, and with offensive tackle Luke Joeckel as the number one draft pick, the team could use their first choice to recruit the Texas A & M alumni. However, Eric Fisher is another offensive tackle who proved himself late in his final season as one of the elite tackles in the game. The Chiefs believe Fisher would complement Albert’s playing style if the free agent agrees to resign with the team. As a result, the next 24 hours could change the entire tempo of the NFL entry draft as the Chiefs continue to negotiate with Albert.
Any entry draft includes more backroom negotiations than most people recognize, which makes betting on the likely picks very difficult. Sportsbetting sites and bookmakers have odds on the draft, but in the end the outcome is anyone’s bet.