It probably speaks to the tremendous power of the NFL that it's the middle of June and folks are having heated discussions about the 2015 NFL Draft.
Much of that talk stems from the draft being on the move after several years at Radio City Music Hall. New York City is still in the mix to host and Los Angeles is considered a top contender, but NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt believes Chicago should be considered the favorite to host the event.
The draft will also become a more wide-ranging event than it has been in recent years, Brandt told SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend.
"If I were an oddsmaker, I would say Chicago is where it'll be next year," Brandt told SiriusXM. "... The draft is going be a grand event, as we know it. It's going be, not only the players being selected, but we're going to have events outside of the draft area in which they will have a 40-yard dash race for people that want to run the 40 like players do. It'll be just like the event they have at the Super Bowl, the NFL Experience."
That certainly lines up with information that has surfaced about the bid process for the 2015 NFL Draft. Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the NFL is requiring any potential venue to have the ability to host a fan festival in an adjacent indoor or outdoor space.
The McCormick Place convention center has been frequently mentioned as a likely site in the Windy City and would provide a flexible and large space to hold the draft and adjoining fan festival. The Chicago Theatre and Soldier Field might also be under consideration. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been quite vocal about bringing the event to his city and there should be no shortage of options for venues.
No matter where the draft is held, the process should at least move quickly enough to have some information on where it will be held by the end of the summer.
"Next week, there will be a group of people that are going to be associated with making recommendations to the commissioner," Brandt added. "On just where this next draft or supplementary draft should go, and that group will meet next week."
If anything, Chicago will also have history on its side as the last city outside of the Big Apple to host the event, doing so way back in 1964.