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What if there was no draft?

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That seems like a weird question, right? But it could certainly be the reality of the NFL if the NFLPA wins in court. If the NFL is deemed to have violated anti-trust laws, the draft is likely to fall as well. It's unlikely to come to that, but if that does happen it'll change the way football is run, and perhaps how any sport is run in the USA. Drafts are a typically American phenomenon, in part because college sports aren't nearly as big in any other part of the world. And while I think American sports are generally a lot more professional than any European sport, I think soccer is a lot more professional when it comes to youth development. 

If a young kid has the talent to be a professional football player he'll be playing for amateur organizations until he's out of high school for 3 years. While the coaching such a player receives is still professional, the first objective of any of those coaches is to win games, not to teach players how to play in the big leagues. In European soccer this is very different. Players are scouted as young as 6 years old and most professional players spent large parts of their youth with professional teams. This doesn't mean their education is neglected mind you, as every youth player will still attend any classes a normal kid his age would. But what it does mean is that players spend time in a professional sports environment from a young age, and are taught to play how they would at the professional level. Because the first objective of these youth teams isn't to win games, it's to get these kids ready to play at the highest level. For football this would mean no more quarterbacks who have never taken a snap under center in their lives, no more wide receivers who don't know how to run the full route tree, no more running backs who can't pass protect. Every player coming into the NFL would in effect be more NFL ready. 

So would this sort of thing happen without a draft in the NFL? I'm convinced it would. If there is no draft, teams will start to recruit at a younger and younger age. You'll see them create football schools and recruit at a younger and younger age. Of course, this could have some pretty disastrous effects on college football, removing the top players from that competition. And recruiting players at such a young age isn't necessarily a good thing either. And, of course, the lack of a draft would have some effect on the parity in the league, as bad teams won't be able to force good players to play for them through the draft anymore. But I think a strict salary cap and salary floor are more important for parity than the NFL draft. 

None of this is likely to become a reality though, but it's interesting to see what would happen if it does.