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NFL Draft: The Good, The Bad And The Packers

The NFL’s first virtual draft went off looking pretty effortless (unless you happen to be Roger Goodell’s armchair) and with some interesting surprises. We start our breakdown of the draft by talking about the Green Bay Packers’ selection of Utah State QB Jordan Love. On the surface, it makes sense to grab a backup for Aaron Rodgers, who certainly isn’t getting any younger. But it’s not at all clear that Love was worth trading up for, or if Green Bay is missing the trees for the forest here. It might have made more sense for the Packers — who went to the NFC title game just last season — to have adopted a draft strategy that would help them win right now. Still, we think this might have been the most fun draft in years — the heartwarming interactions between players and their families were better than any number of bow ties.

Next, we bring back an old segment, “Get Off My Court,” to talk about the fracas that erupted on Twitter last week when ESPN’s Adam Schefter implied that the NFL draft was the first live sporting event since the coronavirus lockdown in the U.S. His own network had aired the WNBA draft just six days earlier, as no small number of folks online were quick to remind him. This specific take may not matter in the grand scheme of things, but we are interested in the larger attitudes toward women’s sports and the need people feel to insert themselves into dialogues around sports they profess not to care about or find “legitimate.” We’re not quite sure where the impulse to police which sports leagues actually count comes from, and acceptance of professional female athletes still varies quite a bit from sport to sport. We’re just glad that, ever so slowly, more people are starting to chip away at the inherent hypocrisy in these attitudes — and that Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics will call out Twitter trolls (NSFW) at the drop of a hat.

Finally, in the Rabbit Hole, Neil walks us through how he and fellow FiveThirtyEight contributor Ryan Best put together an interactive of classic NBA games — and how to quantify what makes an old game exciting to watch again.

What we’re looking at this week:

Sarah Shachat is Hot Takedown’s producer.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.