Peterson: NFL draft not all that important

There was a time not long ago when the National Football League college draft commanded a lot of attention.

But that was on a faraway planet … and a long time ago.

In the past couple of months, the NFL and just about every sport, has faded into the background.

When the matter of live and death enters into the equation, the mundane things in life don’t seem relevant anymore.

Sure, the NFL will hold its draft on this week. But there won’t be throngs of fans — acting like idiots as in years past — oh hand to hiss and boo.

Still, the teams will make their selections in faraway draft rooms and fans will take note of the of their favorites.

In the case of most fans up here, that means the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Though not necessarily in that order.

The Packers, who nearly lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a trip he took to Peru, will look to bolster their offense for this season.

Even a 13-3 record in 2019 couldn’t hide Green Bay’s weaknesses. It took a thumping by the 49ers in the postseason to clearly underline those problems.

If the Packers can come up with some receiving targets in the draft. Rodgers will be a dominating figure as usual.

But his age, 36 this fall, tell us he might be nearing the end of his career.

As for the Lions, this draft could be something they use to turn things around.

Quarterback Matt Stafford, if he’s healthy, needs a couple more reliable targets to bring the moribund Lions around.

He has the pieces on hand in wideout Kenny Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson. The latter will have to improve his play of a year ago to be a factor, however.

The Lions brass also appears to have upgraded the defense, although the loss of all-pro defensive back Darius Slay was a big one.

Jeff Okudah, certain to be drafted at No. 3, has the talent to replace Slay in the secondary.

For GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia, this is a make-or-break season.

Neither has impressed anyone and another repeat of last year’s disaster will almost certainly be the end of their stay in Motown.

Quinn thinks he can plug in former New England players and get results — a strategy that hasn’t worked so far.

Patricia has clearly shown he’s not ready for a head coaching position in the league. He’s indecisive and appears to not be connecting with his players.

However, there’s a big question whether the NFL will even be operating when the fall rolls around.

And that’s something that no one even wants to contemplate.


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