The NFL draft, like life, is about retaining a balanced perspective. What we think we know today will look much different in three years.
For some players likely to hear their name called Thursday night, keeping that balance comes in juggling a desire to be picked as high as possible -- better money, more prestige, etc. -- with landing in the best spot to maximize your entire career.
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock told Don Banks, writing for the New England Patriots official team website, he'd prefer an ideal landing spot rather than going high. If that meant playing caddie for an established star, that's perfectly fine with this rookie.
"I'd 100 percent rather go 32nd to the right team than No. 1 to a bad team," Lock said. "If that happened (being drafted by the Patriots), I'd be honored for sure. Tom (Brady) is obviously there for a couple more years, but to be able to sit behind a guy like that and learn from one of the best quarterbacks of all time -- if not the best -- I think that's an ideal situation for any quarterback."
Quarterbacks, given their possible longer careers, could afford to slide and still make up the money in the long run if they pan out. Landing in the ideal location has proven to be a springboard to success. Jimmy Garoppolo got paid after barely playing in New England. Aaron Rodgers sitting for a couple of years behind Brett Favre didn't stop him from making oodles of money.
Lock has been consistently discussed as a first-round pick. In his final mock draft NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah writes he "could see (Lock) going with the sixth pick or falling to the bottom of the first round...I don't see Lock getting out of Round 1."
It's possible a team with an aging vet could use a late-round pick on a QB like the Missouri product. Given Brady's age, it wouldn't be a shock if Bill Belichick invested the No. 32 pick in a signal-caller -- that fifth-year on first-round contracts could make a big difference in the long run. Or a team could trade back into the first round to get a quarterback, like the Baltimore Ravens did to get Lamar Jackson last season.
Regardless of where he lands, expect Lock to be one of several QBs to hear their names called tonight during the 2019 NFL Draft, airing on NFL Network.