The Meat Market: The Inside Story of the NFL Draft

Richard Whittingham, Author
Richard Whittingham, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $20 (214p) ISBN 978-0-02-627662-7
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992
Release date: 08/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-0-00-262766-5
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Only the most diehard pro football fans will want to read this analysis by sportswriter Whittingham ( What a Game They Played ) of the NFL's draft system, in which the team with the previous year's worst record gets to pick the best player from the college game and so on through the league, with the current league champions picking last. The goal is to ensure that all teams are competitive. One of the teams most successful at selecting college gridders has been the Chicago Bears, and Whittingham concentrates on them, showing how the team's coaches and management make use of BLESTO, a kind of clearinghouse of information about undergraduate players; their own scouts; the NFL scouting camp, where potential draftees are put through their paces; and Plan B, in which a team can pick up players not ``protected'' by another squad (usually overage or overpaid athletes). Finally come ``D-Days,'' when the 28 NFL teams pick the 336 footballers they want, each one a gamble despite all the advance planning. (Sept.)
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