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Tanks, But No Tanks

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

Are some NFL teams purposely tanking their seasons for better draft positions? I think they are. I’m not referring to the coaches and players, but to the owners and upper management bean counters who think losing in the short term will mean winning (and more profits) in the long term.

This is a problem.

Even if teams aren’t tanking, the very perception of it is damaging to the league and to the integrity of the game.

A few NFL writers have come up with an interesting fix: Instead of having the Pro Bowl, the two teams with the league’s worst records should play for the right to have the No.1 pick in the NFL Draft. That idea, of course, is a non-starter. The NFL Players Association will never agree to that. So let’s go with a tried and true solution.

The NBA has been using a draft lottery system since 1985. They’ve tweaked and tinkered with it over the years, but the system has worked. So why not bring the draft lottery to the NFL?

Instead of rewarding teams for losing, why not throw the names of every non-playoff team and let the ping pong balls fly? Yes, the lottery might not be conducive to the competitive parity that the league strives for, but it’s certainly better than what we have now.

As it stands now, here are the first 10 spots in this year’s NFL Draft:

  1. Jacksonville
  2. Detroit
  3. Houston
  4. N.Y. Jets
  5. N.Y. Giants
  6. Carolina
  7. N.Y. Giants (via Chicago)
  8. Atlanta
  9. Denver
  10. N.Y. Jets (via Seattle)

Just for fun, we did our own straight-up draft lottery (no weighted system), and this is the new Top 10 we came up with:

  1. Philadelphia (via Miami)
  2. N.Y. Giants
  3. Washington
  4. L.A. Chargers
  5. Philadelphia (via Indianapolis)
  6. N.Y. Jets
  7. Atlanta
  8. N.Y. Giants (via Chicago)
  9. Houston Texans
  10. Baltimore Ravens

Yeah, we know. Jaguars and Lions fans would be up in arms over this result. Our responses? Too bad, so sad. Next time, don’t suck.

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