Putting Draft Picks On The Line Would Make Pro Bowl More Meaningful

Feb 1, 2023, 2:48 PM
quarterback signs autographs at NFL Pro Bowl...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: Denzel Perryman #52 of the Las Vegas Raiders and AFC signs autographs for fans after the AFC defeated the NFC 41-35 in the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The NFL calendar hits a lull during the week between conference championships and the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl now occupies that space and the game itself has become a joke of an event, the guys from Unrivaled think.

No one tackles and players just opt out to do other things. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is electing to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament over the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.

The league finally decided to ditch the actual football game in favor of a bunch of fun events, including a flag football competition

There are things like best catch which is akin to the NBA’s slam dunk competition, a kicking competition, dodgeball, and more.

While these things will make for fun background noise with the week off before the Super Bowl, overall it’s not a great product.

Unrivaled’s Scott Mitchell, who played 12 years in the NFL, laments about the Pro Bowl and what it used to be before getting into his grand idea for improving the weekend.

“The Pro Bowl used to really mean something,” Mitchell said.” I don’t know if it is because guys got more money or there was some prestige to it. No one cares now. Everyone is way over the Pro Bowl. If you had a lot of veteran guys in the game it would be low tempo; if you had a lot of young guys in the game it would be pretty high [energy]. This is fun but they need to do something completely different and this feels more like American Gladiators, or whatever.”

The big idea Mitchell presents is to make the Pro Bowl more meaningful by putting something on the line – like draft picks.

Currently, the NFL does worst to best record for draft picks. That can cause some teams to tank to get better draft positions. Mitchell’s idea is to have the four worst teams battle it out for the top draft pick on Pro Bowl weekend.

“It is for pecking order in the first four picks of the NFL Draft,” he said. “You get the worst teams and they play a half. So, you have two teams play a half and you have the winners play another half. Then there is a pecking order and the team that wins gets the top draft.”

Listen To Unrivaled talk NFL Pro Bowl

This is an option to reduce tanking and it would put something meaningful on the line during the Pro Bowl Weekend festivities. It would also give fans a real football game to watch.

Too bad this idea is a pie-in-the-sky scenario due to a lot of logistical reasons with these teams not practicing for the past month and potential free agents. Something would need to incentivize the players.

However, if this game were to happen with the No. 1 draft pick on the line, it could mean a ratings hit for the NFL.

At least this is a better idea than the NFL floating the idea of placing conference title games at neutral sites.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Putting Draft Picks On The Line Would Make Pro Bowl More Meaningful