NFL Draft 2017: Thursday night’s spectacle injected fun back into league

It wasn’t just teams who helped themselves Thursday night in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The league itself received a much-needed boost, too.

Blame who or what you want for last season’s eight-percent decline in television ratings. Colin Kaepernick, the presidential elections, millennials with shorter attention spans, concussion-scandal fallout, choppy sequencing of commercials, product oversaturation — it all played a part.

But the underlying reality is that the NFL itself was missing core elements that had helped it become America’s top sport. Quite frankly, the league wasn’t as fun to watch as in previous years.

Raw emotion from players was being sanitized through measures like crackdowns on end-zone celebrations. The NFL’s ability to connect with its fans organically also began to wane. All the money spent on hype and commercialization failed to create a product that seemed fresh and hip.

If one theme was pounded home in the run-up to this draft, it was that this quarterback class was nothing special. This was not the year to give in to the usual quarterback panic — the fear that you’ll miss one if you don’t grab one right now, no matter who he is and how much you had to talk yourself into liking him.

The last thing the Jets needed to do was to repeat what they’d done Cheap Authentic Jerseys each of the previous four years (and five of the previous six): draft a quarterback without a clear-cut plan for him. Drafting them high, drafting them low and drafting them to add to the ones already on the roster, including the ones they signed as free agents.

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