The internet exists to amuse and inform us, but just how it does so has obviously evolved in the 20 or so years that Al Gore's pet invention has been a major part of our lives.
We turn to the internet in times of trouble to read news stories about our hometowns. Or we turn to the internet to tell us what is happening in other parts of the world. But mostly we turn to the internet because we fucking want to know who the Arizona Cardinals are going to take in the fifth round of the NFL draft. This stuff is important.
Perhaps no other sporting event has benefitted from the absolute glut of information available online than the NFL Draft. ESPN began airing the draft in 1980, but it wasn't until the internet era—when all the information about the players and the teams was available for all of us with one easy click—that the event truly took off. Now it's a four-day extravaganza and the draft coverage online is overwhelming. Every asshole has a mock draft predicting where players will end up in the first round. Every special kind of asshole has a mock draft that predicts all seven rounds.
It wasn't always this way, of course. So please join VICE Sports in taking a trip down memory mock lane with screenshots of various mock drafts from 15 years ago. It's a reminder of a simpler, more innocent time when we didn't have access to 40-yard-dash times or vertical jump heights to help us tune out Chris Berman's meandering yammerings on the broadcast. We actually had to watch Chris Berman the entire time. Life was not easy then.
We are thankful for the innovations that our scientists and engineers have brought us.
When the aliens that come to take over the world—and believe me they are coming, just you wait, and I, for one, will welcome our new alien overlords, are you listening?—begin to parse through our nation's historical records they will no doubt spend significant time looking at our NFL mock drafts—the best possible measure by which to judge our society, in my honest opinion. Perhaps they will wonder why the visually pleasing CNN and SI partnership didn't take over the internet world. Or why ESPN was not undone by their stunning lack of creativity.
"What ever became of that Mel Kiper chap?" they'll wonder (I assume the aliens will speak with a British accent). "Because surely, judging by the looks of his 2000 mocker [we will call mock drafts 'mockers' in the more efficient future to spare us the extra millionth of a second it takes to say draft] he doesn't have a future in this NFL stuff."
Mostly though, I suppose the aliens will wonder how Peter Warrick was such a goddamn bust when pretty much everyone had him as a consensus top five pick.
Sportingnews.com: Informative, yet concise. Accessible links to other draft coverage. Visually neutral, although not bothersome. Overall, not a bad effort.
CBSSportsline.com: Detailed analysis. Easy to use links on the left side. Links for descriptions of each player. Easy access for info on each round of the draft. This mock draft would definitely make it into my first round of mock draft designs.
CNNSI.com: Colorful. Visually stunning. Informative in a way that isn't cumbersome. A website truly ahead of its time.
ESPN.com: Spare. Elegant. Kiper.