“With the first pick in the 2017 NFL draft….”
The Cleveland Browns are scheduled to be on the clock first on Thursday, April 27 when the NFL Draft begins. However, in the sports management class taught by Don MacLeod, students were drafting choices for the 32 NFL teams on Wednesday, April 26.
“The NFL experience is about a third of the semester,” MacLeod explained. “Students start the year with a NFL team assigned to them, and they have to do research on the team, including the history of the franchise, traditions, ownership, general manager, coaching and how well they did on the field last season. Barring a large enough class, no one gets to pick a team that made the playoffs in the 2016 season. They then do work on how to improve the team, including filling team needs through free agency, trades and the draft. This mirrors the software we have where the students get various parts of running a team and stadium.
“The draft is a fun way to conclude their semester long research on the team, and the students who get really into it, do watch the draft to see if they picked it correctly or not,” MacLeod continued.
Mike Poteet ‘17 represented the Browns during the mock draft.
“I chose the Browns because I'm a Dawg Pound fan till I die,” Poteet shared. “I'm loyal. All my favorite pro sports teams are Cleveland-based. I bleed Brown and Orange, and so will my future children.”
Representing the Cincinnati Bengals was Jake Kinnear ‘17.
“I chose the Bengals because they have been my favorite team since I was little,” Kinnear said.
“My favorite part of the mock draft is when the kids who are enthused about it start making comments about the players being drafted, which shows that they are paying attention, and prepared for the assignment,” MacLeod reflected. “Different years have had different amounts of levels of vocal participation.”
Both Kinnear and Poteet said they did research prior to the mock draft.
“I looked up the team needs and then I looked at the top players for that position,” Kinnear noted. “I then looked up what draft analysts had my team drafting.”
Poteet agreed, “I chose the players I want my team to draft. It’s very crucial we pick players who are going to make an immediate impact.”
During the mock draft, MacLeod shared real-life, not necessarily sports-related scenarios that students could take away from the experience. For example, when a player isn’t chosen during the first round, while they may feel disappointed, they still need to have a good game-face for the TV cameras and other potential employers.
MacLeod added, “I hope the students also take away how to do some research of a prospective employer. They wouldn't be able to walk into the Indianapolis Colts, not knowing anything about the team, and expect to be taken seriously as a potential employee. This does translate into the business world as well, as most potential employers want to know the candidate they are interviewing has taken the time to learn something of the company they are applying to.
“What I try to teach is a business environment, using sports as the catch to keep everyone involved in the lessons," MacLeod continued. “We talk a lot about sports, but I try to stay away from, ‘How did this team do last night’ and push, 'How does this organization sell this product’ or, ‘How does this organization address an employee who acts badly in public?’ We have lots of situations that come with a sports flair, that have real business implications to them, and that's what I try to focus on.”
Posted April 26, 2017