Does the NFL Draft Lose Its Sizzle If the #1 Pick Is Pre-Determined?

05/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reports have been circulating that the Detroit Lions are in negotiations with Matthew Stafford to become the first pick in Saturday's NFL Draft.

The Lions were quick to say that he wasn't the only one under consideration. That might just be a ruse or a back-up plan to remedy a piggish money grab by Stafford's agent. Hard to believe the Lions are still debating the merits of taking the former Georgia QB.

Let's say they sign him and make an announcement, does the draft lose some excitement? The #1 pick is the glamor moment since discussion of draft order has run rampant for more than a month. But do you care if it's a surprise or not?

Hypothetically, the Lions could sew up their pick and try to cloak it in secrecy until Saturday but you and I know that leaks and sources will torpedo that. If that happens, the number two draft pick slides into the slot of the first unknown choice. Is that enough to soak up the guessing game?

We have some recent history on our side since the Dolphins signed Jake Long and the Texans sewed up Mario Williams in 2008 and 2006 respectively. The Williams pick didn't hurt our guessing games because of the talent pool that contained Vince Young and Reggie Bush.

Last year might not have been as white-hot as the 2006 draft but I don't recall it losing any steam when Miami made its announcement.

With the memory of the months' long duel between the Oakland Raiders and the agent for the 2007 pick, JaMarcus Russell still fresh it just makes more sense for a contract negotiation involving tens of millions of dollars to be done before draft day.

And I doubt it will hurt ESPN's ratings for the big event. If you are geeky enough to get amped-up and watch a process that is only slightly more exciting than watching paint dry, a predetermined #1 shouldn't bother you. By the way, I'm one of those people