We have a theory that fans -- at least a sizable subset of them -- love everything about the sports they follow ... except for the games themselves. They live for free agent and draft speculation, angry venting on talk radio (or online comments sections) and relentless statistical analysis, but they either don't care about or don't particularly enjoy the games.
We would now like to expand that idea: A subset within this subset loves the run-up to the draft -- months of speculation, smokescreens, Wonderlic leaks and 40 times. But by the time the actual event rolls around (7 p.m. Thursday begins our three-day odyssey) they are already bored by it.
Yes, there are those who already have moved well beyond the endless chatter and burning questions of the moment, such as will the Vikings take Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne or orchestrate some sort of trade ... or will the Jets make a bold move up the draft board ... or where will Ryan Tannehill wind up?
Those questions are already in the rearview mirror for the special group of people already fixated upon the 2013, 2014 and, yes, even 2015 drafts.
The Internet is no longer a dark, scary and mysterious place to most of us. It is a way of life, a means by which so many things function that we now take for granted. But these future mock drafts do make us scurry for a safe place.
We won't point you to the exact websites that have them posted -- consider it a public service -- but do know that USC quarterback Matt Barkley is considered by many to be a good bet as the No. 1 overall pick. But that's not all: Some sites will even predict which teams will be selecting in which spots in 2013, which assumes knowledge about the entire 2012 season (which starts in September).
We'll skip over 2014 and head right to 2015, where a couple of sites can't seem to agree where quarterback prospect Jameis Winston will go -- No. 1 or No. 2 overall. Hard to say, particularly since he is currently a senior in high school who just signed a letter of intent two months ago to begin his college career in the fall at Florida State.
Call us old-fashioned, but we'll just be content to keep an eye on this year's draft, now that it's finally here. Maybe we'll even watch some of the games once the season starts.