In a move designed to maximize the league's television exposure and see if some NFL personnel people might actually die if forced to stay awake for 72 straight hours, the NFL is moving its annual draft to Thursday night, and stretching it out to a three-day event.
The first round is going to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, the second and third rounds will start at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, and rounds four through seven get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Let's take a lot at some pros and cons that pop immediately to mind:
• Three days of NFL draft! If your team has one selection in every round, you'll get one player on Thursday night, and then have a full day to talk about him. Two more players on Friday night, and then about 12 hours to talk about them. Four more players on Saturday, and then the rest of the weekend to talk about the entire draft. For hardcore fans who enjoy that sort of thing, it might be fun.
• The extra time allows for more research, better informed fans, and more drama. For most fans, the end of the first round means the end of players they've actually heard of. Now, when things end on Thursday night, you'll have a full day to learn about and know the guys who are still available for the second and third rounds.
• Do we really need three days for an NFL draft? It just feels excessive and gluttonous. No one loves the football more than me, but even I'll feel weird about sacrificing three whole days in April to something marginally related to watching football.
• The NFL draft is pretty good television, but I don't know if it can compete with "30 Rock" and "The Office." Decisions will have to be made.
• The NFL draft at noon on Saturday is a pretty solid tradition. The timing lends itself well to get-togethers with friends, all-day draft parties, etc., and I think that's way more difficult on a Thursday night. And then again on a Friday night. It's going to feel very very different, at the very least. A solid weekend off-season activity has been eliminated.
I'd love to hear your own well-considered thoughts on whether or not you'll enjoy the Thursday night drafts. That's what the comments are for.