If I were to ask the casual NFL fan for an over/under for the number of mock drafts penned regarding the 2023 iteration starting Thursday, I don’t think anyone comes within 10,000 of the actual number. Maybe a staunch cynic gleans what the question is implying and throws out an obscene number, but that’s about it because the answer is about 35,800.
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That’s right. When you search “2023 NFL mock draft” on Google News, you get 35,800 hits. If you just straight Google it, that number kicks up to 18.6 million. And that’s simply mock drafts. The returns for “2023 NFL draft” are 269,000 on Google News, and 126 million on Google.
If you’re confused about the distinction between Google and Google News, the latter is Google’s aggregator algorithm designed to populate content from verified news sources.
For those of us who feed off the devolving news habits of the masses to make ourselves feel better, the results for “2023 Sudan conflict” — the ongoing violent clashes threatening to plummet the African country into civil war — are 105 million for Google and 66,9000 for Google News.
Hey, at least it outranks mock drafts, right? However, I’m not here to belittle what you find newsworthy. You’re on a sports blog that’s contributed at least a couple hundred to the 35K currently floating out there in the ether.
What I’m trying to say is it’s a wonder that these front offices can make any selection within the confines of the “clock.” To call it information overload would be an understatement. Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have done so many mockups that I guarantee they have stress dreams about it. This is America, so if you’re not having stress dreams about work, you’re not working hard enough, but holy shit, can you imagine waking up at 3 a.m. and running to your big board to make sure you still have Anthony Richardson going fourth to the Colts?
No one has the time to read every mock draft
Have you ever looked at a word that you know is spelled correctly, yet you start to question it because you’ve written it 38,500 times in a row? Me neither. That sensation usually kicks in after the 200th “Aaron Rodgers,” so the mindfuck currently crippling front offices — and NFL fans — has to be overwhelming.
I imagine it’s akin to over-prepping for a test, which is why my approach to studying was always under-prepare, over-bullshit, but I digress. There is no reasonable explanation for the internet to serve up that much draft prep. Who’s reading these? There aren’t enough hours in a year (about 8,700) to consume every version or even half of them.
Some die-hard Steelers fan is on his 86th Red Bull, and 4,832nd mock draft, trying to figure out who they’re taking at 17, and I couldn’t pity him more. That person is definitely a guy, and is single-handedly the reason Fanatics produces “Team Pride Dome Paper Weights.” Who still uses paper, let alone enough loose paper to necessitate a paperweight?
The only thing more useless than a brick designed to keep your TPS reports in place in a windless office is a mock draft let alone 38,500 of them. Thank fucking god we’ve all gone paperless because the Amazon would be gone by 2026 if these mocks weren’t disseminated digitally. Hallelujah! HO-LY SHIT! Where’s the Tylenol?