Justifying my love of the NFL Draft

I struggle to explain my fascination with the NFL Draft, but I never miss it.

My dad and I used to pick the first round and compare when it was over. More often than not, I did better. When I was in college, my roommates were not big football fans, but they knew the TV was mine on draft day.

I’m not alone in my passion for the draft. If you tuned into the ESPN coverage on Thursday night, you saw all of those NFL fans packed in to hear names like Ezekial Ansah and Barkevious Mingo.

The big difference, though, is I’m not big NFL fan. I watch a game here or there and I usually watch the playoff games. But I can’t understand why any grown man or woman would give up their Sunday to tailgate for the NFL.

When it comes to Saturdays in places like Gainesville or Columbus and I totally get it. I prefer college football to the NFL.

The draft becomes this sort of oasis for me.

Getting to see players you loved watching in the “amateur” game move up to get paid it becomes this moment where I get to say goodbye and thank them for the memories.

It’s a drawn out, three-day farewell, but tons of fun. Once the draft is over, though, it’s likely I won’t see them play much more.

I’m sure I’ll catch a game one weekend and I’ll hear Chance Warmack’s name called for holding and it will hit me … yep, he won a national title for Nick Saban at Alabama.

Another bonus is all of the great college football highlights. Yes, I loved watching Tavon Austin shred Oklahoma’s defense again and Dee Milliner give Jets’ fans a reason to forget Darrelle Revis.

It can also be painful to watch West Virginia’s Geno Smith sit in New York and see the discomfort on his face every time the camera goes on and the pundits pick him apart. But it’s also that drama that makes this night fun.

The 2013 draft didn’t have the high-profile names like last year when we saw Andrew Luck and RGIII got 1-2. But this year’s draft is for the real football fan. Watching offensive linemen go in three of the first four picks reminds you that building a team takes more than finding the best skill players.

On Sunday, I won’t think about the NFL all that much. But for three days a year the draft is all I think about.

I just wish I could explain why.