Scott Studwell thinks 3-day draft is 'a waste of time'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Count Scott Studwell among the opponents of the NFL's new draft format.
The Minnesota Vikings' director of college scouting today said he's "not really crazy" about expanding the draft from two days to three, with the first round on Thursday, Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday and the rest on Saturday.
"This is our game day, and it's something that you prepare for 11 months out of the year," Studewell said, "and to spread it out over three days and all the dead time in between -- as far as I'm concerned, they're turning it into a little bit of a three-ring circus, to be honest with you.
"But I think that what you have to guard against more than anything else is talking yourself out of somebody. But our board's set. It's not going to change after Thursday, it's not going to change after Friday, and we're going to take them the way we see them. But I don't like all the dead time in between where you start picking players. I think it's a waste of time."
Asked how much time the Vikings spent discussing their board Saturday night and Sunday morning under the old format, Studwell said, "Not much, to be honest with you. Because there's really nothing you can do until you come around the next day. You can talk about situations until you're blue in the face, but until players start flying off the board, you don't know where people are going to go. So, that's why I'm not crazy about all this dead time.
"We've talked enough about these players for the last four, five months that we're just -- like I said before, we're kind of talked out. We're going to have options, but ... if we have four or five players available at every pick that we like, then that would be an ideal situation for us, but I don't know if that's going to happen."
Rick Spielman, the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, had a more measured response, although he admitted he "always liked the fast-paced part of it" in the past.
"I know a lot of things that people have said was that the scouting department and their general managers and their head coaches -- everybody could regroup, because you've got all day Friday to regroup and go through your board again, where you didn't have that time in the past," Spielman said. "There may be more trades and more talking on the phone, because now there's the whole extra day before you start picking again on Friday night. So, the scenarios may be different. It'll be exciting to see how much it is from what it's been in the past."
'A PRETTY GOOD CLASS'
On the plus side, Studwell called this year's draft-eligible group "a pretty good class" and pointed to defensive line, defensive backfield and tight end as three strong spots.
But he also acknowledged it might be "a pipe dream" to expect the Vikings' picks this year to have the same impact as the 2009 class, given the team picks 30th in the first round and not again until No. 62.
"We're at the mercy of 29 other teams," Studwell said. "So, we've got 30 players stacked on our board right now that we really like for our football team and would take any one of them. So, what happens, happens, and it's going to be hard to sit there and watch them all come off the board, but I'd rather be picking where we're picking than up at the top anytime."