Draft is fun, but why have one? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With the NFL draft set to kick off in just a few hours, now's as good a time as any to ponder one of the most basic of questions regarding the event:

Why should we even have one?

Defenders of the draft always point to the need to maintain competitive balance in the league, but as Patrick Hruby reminds us, the teams that routinely pick at the top of the draft don't seem to benefit as much as this theory would suggest.

The whole point of the draft, also noted by Hruby - both in its inception and its current state (hello, CBA) - was and is to keep player salaries down.

There aren't many better examples out there than Denver's own Von Miller, who is one of the league's very best talents, yet will be paid in 2013 a tiny fraction ($2.28M in salary) of what he'd likely command worth on the open market ($15M-20M).

Yes, he's still making a lot of money, but if you would be willing to be paid one-eighth of your market value, without having any choice of where you live, or who you work for, well, there's a word for you.

That Von never had the leverage John Elway (Yankees) and Jim Kelly (USFL) did thirty years ago meant he was stuck as a Bronco - he couldn't hold out or force a trade, and he was locked into a salary structure that completely ignores how good he is at his job.

As Broncos fans, we should of course be happy that Von is a Bronco, and that he didn't get to choose his employer two years ago.

We should likewise be happy that at his current production level, Denver will have under-market control over Von through the 2017 season.

These are undoubtedly good things for the Broncos, and for our chances of seeing them hoist another Lombardi Trophy or two.

But if one is all about the American way of free markets and will, how can one possibly support the concept of a draft?

Broncos

Mark Kiszla thinks the Broncos would be best served by taking an eventual replacement for Champ Bailey at #28, but says they'd be hard pressed to pass up on Texas S Kenny Vaccaro or Georgia LB Alec Ogletree there.

Jeff Legwold says the Broncos have to be rooting for a run on quarterbacks prior to their pick at #28, but even better would be for them to be able to parlay QB demand into a nice trade back from that spot.

If they stay there, Mike Klis is again adding to his list of positions the team will consider there - corner, defensive line, running back, linebacker, and safety.

Andrew Mason doesn't see the Broncos keeping more than four running backs on the 53-man roster this season, and he discusses draft prospects at the position.

Legwold again suggests the Broncos are expecting Philip Blake to make a run at unseating J.D. Walton as the starting center.

Orlando Franklin's vision is so bad that he's ineligible for LASIK, so he instead had his contact lenses surgically implanted in his eyes.

News

Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher now says he has no plans to return to coaching.

Seattle signed QB Jerrod Johnson.

As told in an SI story by Jim Trotter, the state of the Raiders organization under Al Davis in his later years may actually have been worse than we all knew/thought/joked.

Barry Sanders will grace the cover of the next edition of EA's Madden game.

Analysis

Thanks to the selections of Alphonso Smith, Richard Quinn, Darcel McBath, Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, and Tim Tebow, PFF ranks Denver 31st out of 32 teams relative to the 2008-10 drafts.

Ben Stockwell revisits the big draft-day trades from the 20082009, and 2010 Drafts, including Denver's winning moves to get Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

Andy Benoit studies the Green Bay roster.

FTW breaks down draft night hug techniques and considers the possibility that Mel Kiper is a vampire.

Jason Whitlock says the biggest problem with Nolan Nawrocki's takedown of Geno Smith isn't what he wrote, or how it comes off being loaded with racist code words, but that Nawrocki is completely unwilling to stand up for and explain himself.

Awful Announcing lists the ten worst reality shows to have featured professional athletes. Will Eric and Jessie make the list?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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