Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NFL’s official draft account on Twitter clamors for a lottery

Mike Florio explains how the NFL could make a draft lottery work and how it would eliminate teams thinking about tanking.

Plenty of you don’t want an NFL draft lottery. I do.

Who know who else does? Whoever runs the NFL’s official, blue-checked NFL draft account on Twitter.

“Hey, NFL, we want a draft lottery, too,” the league’s draft account tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Gil Brandt of took things a step farther, producing a list of what the top 14 picks in the 2019 NFL draft would have been, if the NFL had a draft lottery like the 2019 NBA draft lottery -- and it it had played out the same way. (The Jaguars would have had the first pick, followed by the Bills and the Cardinals.)

The better approach, in my view (and in the view of not many others), would be to give all non-playoff teams the same shot at getting the first pick. That removes the temptation to try to lose games after a team is, as a practical matter, eliminated from postseason consideration. (That temptation is currently very real.)

And if the process is going to be weighted, the enhanced chances of winning the top pick should go to those non-playoff teams that win down the stretch, creating an ongoing incentive to pursue victory, long after the season is otherwise lost.

The league will never do a draft lottery, unless it can be done in a way that indeed removes the temptation to tank. Any other approach (like the one used by the NBA) acknowledges and legitimizes the idea that it’s good to be bad. Which won’t be good for business, especially as more and more of the league’s business hinges on the money legally wagered on teams who are presumed to at all times be doing whatever they have to do to win.