61 thoughts on “2020-2021 NFL Draft

  1. Most mock drafts have the Cowboys going edge rusher Chaisson out of LSU. That is a definite need and would be a good pick. However, the intriguing pick would be Michigan center Cesar Ruiz, who I’ve heard one guy say could be the best lineman in the draft. Dallas could probably trade down a few picks and still get him, although trading down is not Dallas’ MO.

    A lot of guys have the Seahawks getting an edge rusher as well. But of course a lot of guys are just having the Hawks trade out of the first round as they are inclined to do.

    Just about everyone have the Raiders going receiver with their first pick. Based on what I’ve heard of the three receivers, Lamb, Ruggs, and Jeudy, I like Ruggs’ upside the most with Lamb probably being the safest pick. Then a lot of guys have the Raiders going CB with the kid from Clemson. Although a couple guys have the Raiders going QB with Jordan Love.

    It will be interesting to see what Belichick thinks of Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts. He might have to move up to get Love though.

  2. I keep hearing prior to this draft and even last year, that Washington’s defensive front seven was their strength. I’ve seen glimpses of it last year, but didn’t think they were special. However, with Young, NFL pundits are touting them as being potentially great.

  3. Seahawks: Jordan Brooks, LB
    LB? What the…? Not even trading back. Maybe the draft conditions make it too difficult to do? I never heard of him–never heard any Seahawk fans talk about him (although I wasn’t really following draft talk closely).

    Raiders:
    I liked the comments I heard about Ruggs–speed, good hands, and tough. If he is of a similar in quality to a Will Fuller that should help the offense a lot.

    Mike Tannenbaum said their CB pick was a reach. I hope that’s wrong. They do need help at CB–LB and the DL, too, in my opinion.

    Don,

    I know you wanted the center from Michigan, but are you happy with the Cowboys getting Lamb?

  4. I’m guessing Lamb was a guy they couldn’t pass up. I’m also going to guess if the CB from Clemson wasn’t picked right before, Dallas would have gone with him, as he was touted to go to the Raiders with their second first round pick.

    In terms of trading down, the Pats did, so yeah I’m thinking someone would have wanted to with the Hawks as well. And yeah, I didn’t see anything about Brooks in the first round mocks, so they could have gotten him later. Maybe they weren’t offered enough to trade down and really wanted Brooks.

    Miami also went with a CB from Auburn with their last pick of the first round and most thought he was a second round guy. They also could have traded back or maybe get them with their second round pick. I cannot remember who their running back is, but that Georgia RB’s highlights make him look pretty special. Miami with two high paid corners may be pretty good next year.

    1. My first thought when the Cowboys got Lamb: They’re shifting more to a pass-oriented, offensive team–like the teams prior to 2014. But maybe he was just too good to pass up, like you said,

      As for the Seahawks, I don’t know anything about Brooks, but if you told me they wouldn’t trade back, and would end up picking a LB, I would have disagreed. They picked two LBs last year. The pick would make more sense if they cut Wright and Kendricks doesn’t play..and actually, even both play, they’re not spring chickens, especially the former.

      Still, they have huge needs on the DL. The vibe I’m getting is that they’re essentially moving on from Clowney. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance they will have one of the worst DLs in the league–maybe worse than last year. Older players will have to play a fairly surprising level or younger players are going to have to elevate their games. Not impossible, but as I fan I don’t feel good relying on either.

      Miami with two high paid corners may be pretty good next year.

      They made some other moves on defense, prior to the draft, too, if I’m not mistaken. My sense is they’ve taken significant steps to upgrade the team. I just hope the OL can block for Tagavailoa. If the comp is Brees, Brees has excelled with a great OL. Maybe they’re going to redshirt him and try to improve the OL next year? I’d be down with that.

      1. Miami paid Fitz a pretty good sum I recall, so I’m going to guess that he’s going to start most of the season.

        Oh I forgot to mention Mitchell’s comment about Love. I was shocked the Packers moved up to get him. Rodgers has a few years left before he retires. They must really like him, but they could have used the pick for a pass rusher too.

    2. I didn’t realize Miami paid Fitz a decent amount. I think that’s a little curious, given some of the other QBs available. But I think that’s pretty good news for Tua.

      The Packers getting Love makes sense if they feel Love is more of a project. Maybe it’ll be a repeat of what happened with Rodgers and Favre?

      As for pass-rushers, don’t you get the sense that none of the teams really like the pass-rushers–outside of Chase Young? Oh and that guy from LSU.

  5. Yeah I checked and Fitz is on his second year of his two year contract. For some reason I thought Miami signed him up for another one year contract for the up coming year.

    Yeah maybe Rodgers may play only like a couple more years.

    There are a couple edge rushers that were first round mock guys. There is a guy from Penn St and a guy from Alabama I think. Maybe they already got picked. I didn’t look good.

    I forgot to mention the Bucs o-linemen pick. Most had that guy going to the Giants at 5 and the Bucs got him. I’m pretty sure most had him as the highest ranked o-linemen if not second. I heard a lot of the o-linemen were raw talents and all had a lot to learn. This could be due to all the spread offenses in college. That’s why the Michigan center was getting higher marks, because some thought, although his upside may not be like some of the athletic o-linemen in the first round, he might be the most ready to play. I think this draft is decent though in terms of o-linemen, overall.

    1. No, I feel like the Miami did something with Fitz’s contract. Actually, they could have decided to not cut him and keep him for another year–that might be why you thought they resigned him.

      Even if Rodgers plays more than three years. If Love really blossoms into a good QB, that’s a pretty good position to be in. Yes, it can get messy, but you either trade Love for a good pick or you move on from Rodgers and then have a good QB for the next ten years or so.

      The edge-rusher from PSU is Yetur Gross-Matos (sp?). I know a lot of Seahawks fans were pining for him. I think there’s another guy, not sure if it’s the same one you’re thinking of, though. But the Seahawk fans that analyzed draft picks didn’t think Gross-Matos would be available. I don’t think he was picked yet, nor the any others besides Young and the LSU guy.

      I don’t know much about the tackle the Bucs got, but that’s a solid move for them. Their OL actually was pretty good, but with Brady you’d want to upgrade the OL. I wish the Seahawks would do that–I wish they valued and built the OL they way the Saints do.

      1. I think a lot of mocks had Seattle going with Espena (?) from Iowa. He is an edge rusher than wasn’t picked, I believe.

        Now that I think about it, I’m not sure when was the last time Dallas picked a pass-rusher on the outside with an early round pick. They picked Taco a couple drafts ago, but he wasn’t picked so much to rush the passer, I think. He was more of a set the edge type of guy.

        That also reminds me that the Dallas reports or pundits said Robert Quinn was horrible against the run. I thought he was Dallas’ best linemen, but I guess only as a pass rusher.

    2. Yeah, Epenesa from Iowa–that’s the other guy that I heard mentioned. I think he’s still on the board.

      As for the Cowboys, wasn’t D-Law kinda of a high draft pick?

      1. Yeah D-law might have been like a second round pick. But that was like 5 or 6 drafts ago. And yes at the time, he was probably drafted as pass rusher, not a four-down guy.

  6. On a side note, you guys have hear, over the years, how important DL play is for the LBs, right? Especially interior DL play. If you think of all the great LBs, especially MLB, can you think of one where they didn’t have a good DTs in front of them? Urlacher, maybe? I can’t remember who the Bears DTs were at that time.

    One of the reasons I asked and thought of this is because the LBs the Seahawks drafted may be better than they’ve looked so far. That is, they may not have looked as good because the DL was so weak. Even Wagner and Wright didn’t look as good as they normally do in my opinion. (Part of this may also be due to mediocre and/or inconsistent secondary play as well.) I feel like DT play is really significant for the LBs. I almost feel like you can waste really good LBs if your DTs are not very good.

  7. Did you guys see the highlight reel of Isaiah Wilson, the OL Tennessee picked up from Georgia? The guy lists at 6’7″ 340 but I’m seeing him as 6’9″ in a couple of places. He’s a monster.

    Also, did you see the profile they showed of Kenneth Murray, the Oklahoma LB taken by the Chargers? When he was a kid, his parents adopted three special-needs kids, two of whom cannot speak. His brothers and sister. Man, I got teary watching that, and I’m getting teary now just writing about it. Now I’m really rooting for Cam to go to the Chargers, although I guess that’s really unlikely now. I hope LA has a strong second-place finish in the AFC West now.

    1. Yeah Wilson was huge. I’m sure some of the highlights were not against SEC teams, but there were times he looked twice the size of the guy he was blocking.

    2. I haven’t seen Wilson.

      I don’t know anything about Murray, either, but if he turns out to be good, the Chargers will have strong roster, again. The only question is at QB. A part of me thinks they should still go for Newton, assuming Newton is not too beat up and not too expensive.

      If Newton doesn’t go to the Chargers, where are some good landing spots for him?

      1. Herbert’s negatives may not really be negatives. Many think he has more talent than Burrow and Tua especially in terms of arm strength. His negative, that I’ve heard, is he is too cerebral and maybe doesn’t have the fire. That sounds a lot like Andrew Luck. But based on what I’ve heard, he may have the highest upside (maybe not the upside of Jordan), but between Tua, Burrow and Herbert. His comp was Carson Wentz in terms of size, arm ability, and running ability. That’s great company in terms of measurables.

    3. His comp was Carson Wentz in terms of size, arm ability, and running ability. That’s great company in terms of measurables.

      This fits with my impression, based on the talk I’ve heard. He has all the tools, but there are significant question marks. For me, I really don’t like picking a QB like this, unless you already have a good QB.

      1. Yeah but the question marks seem to be trivial or at least the ones I’ve heard. Some of the stuff I’ve heard, reminded me of the criticisms of Josh Rosen, which was he doesn’t need football (because he was rich). So he won’t have the drive. Herbert is supposed to be a 4.0 student majoring in biology, I think, that’s why I compared him to Luck.

        Burrow’s question mark, that I’ve heard a couple guys say, was he wasn’t great throwing to the outsides. He had trouble with that at Ohio State, and I’ve heard LSU strip that part out of their offense. To me that’s a bigger red flag than the Herbert thing. That being said, no one has said Burrow’s arm is just horrible and that’s why he cannot make the throws to the sidelines, so it could be fixable.

    4. To me that’s a bigger red flag than the Herbert thing. That being said, no one has said Burrow’s arm is just horrible and that’s why he cannot make the throws to the sidelines, so it could be fixable.

      I would be a little nervous about Burrow to. Did he have more than one just really good year? Plus, I assume he had a really good supporting cast. (You could say the same for Tagavailoa, too, but he had more years under his belt.)

      1. Burrow only had one good year. Tua really only had one as well. He shared time with Hurts two years ago, and was hurt for half the year last year. Of course he had a good half in the Championship game a couple years ago.

      2. I believe one of Parcells’s criteria involves playing (starting?) for 3-4 years. I tend to agree with him, so when a QB hasn’t played/started for very long, I would concerned.

      1. Has there been talk that they would? If they do that, it would further suggest that they’re going to be more offensive-oriented.

    1. Well, I was just talking about their roster.

      On another note, I still think they should have hired Jim Caldwell. I think what he did in Detroit is underappreciated and underrated.

  8. Seahawks take Darrell Taylor, an edge rusher.

    He seems like a gamble. From what I hear, he was good last year, but got injured. If he has elite talent, but the injury, lowered his value, this might be a good place to roll the dice. Man, I’m so desperate for pass rush help, I’m feeling optimistic about this (but not necessarily for this year).

  9. Don,

    You can rest easy, the Cowboys pass on Hurts, and get a CB. Instead, Philly takes Hurts. I wonder if they will use him like Taysom Hill? I admit, it would be kinda funny if Hurts brings pain to the Cowboys this year.

    1. The Alabama CB is supposed to be a very good raw talent. Most mocks had him in round 1, which is a great sign.

      Epenesa falls to the Bills late in round 2 after being mocked to go to Seattle in round 1. He didn’t have a good combine, which probably hurt him, but Yahoo says this guy is a huge steal this far in the draft. Hopefully Seattle (and anybody else looking for pass rushing help) doesn’t regret it passing on him twice.

    2. I like Hurts to the Eagles. Wentz has yet to play 16 games in a season and Nick Foles isn’t walking through that door.

    3. Hopefully Seattle (and anybody else looking for pass rushing help) doesn’t regret it passing on him twice.

      I hope not, too!

  10. Raiders: I don’t know how Mitchell feels, but I don’t feel that great about drafting three WRs. Ruggs makes sense, but drafting two more after that? It would make more sense if they’re planning to cut Tyrell Williams or if Williams is hurt. With Ruggs, Williams, Renfow (at the slot) and Darren Waller–that’s a really good passing catching group–or good enough where you should focus on other areas of need. And the Raiders do have other areas.

    On the other hand, did the Patriots draft any WRs? I don’t think they did, and that would be weird to me. Maybe they’re really high on N’Keal Butler? Belichick is a coaching wizard, but there are limits.

    1. Yeah what the heck. They drafted a receiver back to back adding to a receiver they already drafted. Hopefully after Carr gets benched that will be good for Mariota.

    2. I mean, if the Patriots or Eagles drafted WRs back to back that would make more sense to me. What the Raiders are doing kinda feels like an offensive-minded HC not reining himself. I really hope his strategy isn’t to outscore opponents.

    3. I definitely perked up when I saw this, but you know. I can’t even pretend I know what any team is thinking, and I don’t even know who these guys are or what the teams’ plans are.

      As you know, I think the draft is a dice roll. I’m interested in it and I’m entertained by it, but I have nothing personally invested. I’m pretty detached beyond general football interest

      Probably what’s happening is the Raiders are building for 2021 since they don’t think there will be any football this year. By then, they’ll have dealt Carr, and their 6th round pick Cole McDonald will need as many guys to sling the ball to (ala Kansac City) as they can get.

    4. I really don’t nothing about the quality of the players, but I have a general idea of the Raiders needs. Unless I don’t know something, the WR position doesn’t seem like a big area of need–not relatively to other positions. So taking three seems excessive.

      The same sort of thing applies to the Seahawks picking a LB with their first pick. Or even a guard with their 3rd round(?) pick. I think they have close to 15 guards on the team right now. That’s probably high, but not by a lot.

      You don’t have to know much about the players or how good they’ll be to be puzzled or even disappointed by these moves.

      On a side note, the Patriots took two TEs, so that at least makes their previous picks a little more understandable.

      1. Puzzled makes sense to me. Disappointed would make sense too if I went into the event with some desired outcome. I guess I just avoid that, because at the end of the draft, I insist none of us really knows whether any team is better or worse.

        This year, I listened to a lot of pre-draft conversation with acknowledged experts, so I did come into Thursday with a few little hopes, but they were more player-related than team-related. I hoped Jerry Jeudy didn’t go to a team I disliked (he did). I kinda hoped Jordan Love went to the Raiders, or at least a team I didn’t hate (he didn’t, and he did). And I hoped Cole McDonald would be drafted somewhere he might play (he did).

        Although I think the Raiders need a tight end, some linebackers, a stable of competent running backs, and a top-tier offensive lineman (because I always think a team needs this), I don’t actually know. I mean, who’s the Raiders’ second-string TE? I don’t know. The experts supposedly know, but they don’t agree on all of it. And have the experts spoken with the coaches and gotten their thoughts about what they have and what they need?

        I’m not saying anyone else shouldn’t have hopes or expectations. I’m just saying it’s a little weird because we’re going to see a bunch of draft report cards in a little bit, and even if there’s consensus (which there seldom is), there’s so much error year by year that while it’s fun to talk about, listen to, and read, it doesn’t actually mean much during the season. If we have a season. 🙂

    5. I’m just saying it’s a little weird because… it doesn’t actually mean much during the season.

      If you prefer an offensive-oriented team built on a spread attack, then it wouldn’t be weird if your team drafted a bunch of WRs. But if you felt your team needed defensive help, it wouldn’t be weird if you were disappointed. One’s reaction to the draft isn’t only based on whether the players will pan out or not.

      By the way, I believe Mike Mayock said that they plan to use the Kentucky WR they drafted as a RB, so I guess that makes more sense.

  11. I have a vague feeling I talked about this in the past, but I wanted to examine the way you guys look at what differentiates picks in the various rounds. For example, I’m wondering if we should consider two main factors: the actual productivity of the player and the probability of a player’s productivity. In short, the quality of a the player and the likelihood the player will actually meet a certain level of quality. Both domains have to be factor in.

    Let’s look at specific situation to illustrate what I mean. Let’s say you have three players–Players A, B, and C.

    Player A has 70% great player, maybe Hall of Fame. 90% chance of being a solid starter.

    Player B has 70% chance of being a good player; 30% chance of being a top 5 player at their position

    Player C has 60% of being a good player; 10% of being great; 30% being average or less.

    Player D has 50% of being great player top 5 player at their position, but also 50% of being less than average, maybe washing out.

    I’m using percentages here not in any mathematical way, but I’m trying to give a crude sense of the odds. The actual quality I’m listing is also pretty crude–we could make them more precise. But let’s just go with that. Here’s how I would slot them in rounds of the draft:

    Player A would be top 15 type of player.
    Player B would be a pick anywhere between #16-45.
    Player C would seem like 3rd to 4th round
    Player D would seem good in the mid-4th to the 5th.

    Basically, where you choose a player depends on some calibration between how good they’ll be and how likely they’ll be great, good, average, or worse.

    Do you guys agree with this?

    By the way, I thought of this because I’ve been hearing a lot of Seahawks fans complaining about the late first round and second round picks. Let’s say you have a choice between a player B or a player C or D. And the team chooses player B, who turns out to no more than a solid starter, but player D turns out to be a top 5 player? Would you say the team “whiffed?” That they made a bad decision? I don’t think so.

    If players that are higher risk get picked in later rounds and turn out to be great, I’m not sure teams should feel bad going for passing on them. I’ll take Russell Wilson for example. The height concerns are legitimate. That he was drafted in the 3rd doesn’t make NFL teams dumb in my view.

    1. I don’t really get what you are saying. You said to consider the “actual productivity” and the “probable productivity”. Maybe the labels are just wrong, but since the player didn’t play yet, we cannot have an actual productivity. Are you saying probability of the players ceiling and floor?

    2. Man, I really messed that up. I think “talent” or “potential” might be simpler. Floor and ceiling get close to what I mean, too. For example, scouts may have determined that D.K. Metcalf had top five talent, but they have given him a less than 50% chance of realizing that talent, and greater than 50% chance that he be either a bust or just an OK player.

      1. Okay… So now how does that relate to the criticisms that Seattle got for their first and second round picks? Based on your chart, Seattle selected two B type players in the first and second round. Why did you mention D type players?

        My guess is Seattle could have gone with another player and grabbed Brooks in the second. I do not know that for sure, and I don’t know how high Seattle had him ranked versus other players. But I just feel teams have to have a board or maybe even some AI-type program, on what other teams might do. And make their picks on that. Nothing can predict with certainty what other teams will do, but “play the odds”. I don’t really have issues if teams pick guys other pundits don’t know or think highly of, but they have to be willing to take the chance of losing those types of players and maybe not pick them so high. That’s why to me teams should rank players in tiers with like 15-20 guys in the tier. That way they don’t “sell out” to get that one player, because they should have like 10-15 others in the same tier. And there is a good chance that Seattle does have a tier system because they are the ones willing to trade down most times. But I can see why fans would have issues with the pick or more so when it was picked rather than the player and/or position themselves.

    3. Okay… So now how does that relate to the criticisms that Seattle got for their first and second round picks? Based on your chart, Seattle selected two B type players in the first and second round. Why did you mention D type players?

      What I’m trying to do is provide a framework for evaluating picks. Specifically, I wanted to provide an alternative to evaluating picks based on how good the players turned out to be. If a player that Seattle (or any team) passed on turns out to be much better than the player they actually picked, that doesn’t mean Seattle made a bad decision. I’m trying to explain how that can occur.

      I mentioned D type players just to give another category of player in the framework I’m proposing.

      But I can see why fans would have issues with the pick or more so when it was picked rather than the player and/or position themselves.

      But in order for fans to have a rock solid gripe, they’d have to know how the other teams felt about the players. That is, what was the probability that they could get that player at a later round.

      By the way, to your point about evaluating how other teams will pick, I think I heard John Schneider, Seattle’s GM, mention that he has his staff evaluate each team and then try to determine who they would pick. I would guess they have some sort of algorithm or AI-like program to assess this as well.

      That’s why to me teams should rank players in tiers with like 15-20 guys in the tier. That way they don’t “sell out” to get that one player, because they should have like 10-15 others in the same tier.

      I’m guessing all teams have something like this. My sense is that the bigger issue is that big holes on a roster cause teams to make mistakes. The strategy that Seattle employs (and I’d guess many other teams try to do this as well) is to build up their roster, prior to the draft, so that there isn’t any glaring needs. That is, they want to be at least OK at every position, at least as much as possible. In this way, they have a better chance of choosing the best player available.

      1. I mentioned D type players just to give another category of player in the framework I’m proposing.

        I get that part. But by saying that Seattle fans was complaining mostly about first and second round picks, and then mentioning getting a D player (see excerpt below), you make it sound like Seattle tried to pick a D type player in the first round.

        By the way, I thought of this because I’ve been hearing a lot of Seahawks fans complaining about the late first round and second round picks. Let’s say you have a choice between a player B or a player C or D. And the team chooses player B, who turns out to no more than a solid starter, but player D turns out to be a top 5 player?

        But in order for fans to have a rock solid gripe, they’d have to know how the other teams felt about the players.

        You are right. And although we never know how the draft will play out nor do we know how the players will be, I feel there are much consensus between pundits and GMs. I also feel that for the most part the pundits and GMs get it right. Yes there are some lower round guys that are future HOFers like Wilson and Brady, but for the most part HOFer’s are picked in the first and second rounds. So based on that fans should have enough knowledge to question or complain about their team’s picks. I’ll also add, that part of my post was being willing to lose that player by not ranking players 1-100, but instead use a tier system. For example, if Seattle had Brooks and 15 other available guys in their tier 2 at the time they were going to pick in the first round. To me they should think there is a decent chance that I get two players from my tier 2 if I think other teams don’t have Brooks in their tier 2. Yes there could be one team that has him up there and they could lose Brooks to them, but then my thoughts would be I still got my tier 2 guy. So in that scenario I would only pick Brooks if I had him in tier 1 and all the other tier 2 guys was picked. That could be true, so I’m not saying things in absolute, but I just my side on how drafts should be handled by GMs.

    4. But by saying that Seattle fans was complaining mostly about first and second round picks, and then mentioning getting a D player (see excerpt below), you make it sound like Seattle tried to pick a D type player in the first round.

      Oops, no that’s not what I meant.

      You are right. And although we never know how the draft will play out nor do we know how the players will be, I feel there are much consensus between pundits and GMs.

      Consensus about the most talented the players that have the best chance for success? I do think there are a handful of players like that. But don’t you think once you get into the back of the first round, the consensus isn’t so strong? Now, you’re getting some players with hall of fame potential, but maybe there is more uncertainty, e.g., they’re raw or maybe have minor red flags. In this range, I think you may have players with high floors, but the ceiling may be lower. Which type is better to pick at the end of the 1st round or early 2nd round? I don’t think the answer is as clear as some fans think. And I don’t think you can judge this decision by the careers of players a team chose and a team passed on.

      Additionally, there’s another variable in all this–namely, the system fit of the player. I just heard Jimmy Johnson talk about determining the handful of players he wants to coach, when he approaches the draft, and that part of this has to do with how the player fits into their system. He specifically mentioned that some of these guys may be great in his system, but not so good in another. Similarly, he said that some players are great in other systems, but they wouldn’t be a good fit in his, so he wouldn’t want them. I’ve heard Bill Parcells say this as well. How many football fans really understand the offense, defense, ST, and team culture well enough to know which players would and wouldn’t fit into these systems? And they would also have to know the players well enough, too. I bet the number of fans that know this is super small.

      To me they should think there is a decent chance that I get two players from my tier 2 if I think other teams don’t have Brooks in their tier 2.

      By “get two players,” are you referring to trading back–getting an extra pick in the process? If you have a handful of players that are relatively equal (e.g., in tier 2 of your example), then this makes sense. By the way, the ‘Hawks was close to trading back, but the team they were working with on this deal (GB) pulled out at the last minute.

      But let’s go back to your example. I would be a little surprised if the group of players in a tier are all equal in value–especially if the number of players was something like 10-15. Among that group, there must be preferences, especially if you factor in the team’s needs. In other words, among the 10-15, the top five in this group will probably more desirable than the bottom five. When you have 10-15 players of equal value that seems more like mid to late round picks.

      So in that scenario I would only pick Brooks if I had him in tier 1 and all the other tier 2 guys was picked.

      But what if you feel like more teams want Brooks, and you believe the next couple of players you’d want, you can wait a little later? Carroll and Schneider said they considered drafting Darrell Taylor, the edge rusher from Tennessee, in the first round. (They eventually traded up in the second to get him, and it sounded like they were scrambling to do so.) It really sounded like they determined they could wait to get him–i.e., they took a gamble. Then again, maybe Brooks was much higher on their board (in higher tier). But if they were equal or close in value, it sounds like the Seahawks made some assessment about who would go first–and I’m guessing that would be based on their assessment of what the other teams want and who was already taken and who is available, and who is picking at what position relative to the Seahawks.

      1. Consensus about the most talented the players that have the best chance for success?

        No I meant consensus on which players will and should get picked in the first round versus the second round and so on. Of course the scale is moving, meaning a early first round guy could drop to middle to late first round and the vice-a-versa a middle guy could get picked early first round. Then as you move down to the late first round, the consensus would be that the guy would get picked late first round to early second round.

        Additionally, there’s another variable in all this–namely, the system fit of the player.

        Yeah but in my tier system you would just build that into your own team’s tier system.

        By “get two players,” are you referring to trading back–getting an extra pick in the process?

        I actually meant if you think Brooks was a tier 2 guy, but you think the consensus is most other teams do not, you could wait to pick him with you second round pick and pick someone else in tier 2 hoping Brooks will be there with your second round pick.

        But let’s go back to your example. I would be a little surprised if the group of players in a tier are all equal in value–especially if the number of players was something like 10-15.

        I thought there was a consensus among us that it’s super hard to determine how good a player will actually be. So a tier system would make the most sense. I guess another huge part of my drafting theory is you cannot worry about FOMO or the fear of missing out. Because FOMO will make a team reach for a player and put too much eggs in one basket. As you long as you get a guy in your tier, you should just hope you will get another guy you categorize in that tier when your next pick comes up. The tier system will also help to determine whether you should try to trade up or down. IF there are 10 more guys in tier 2 and only 9 teams picking in front of you, just sit tight or conversely there are only 3 guys in a certain tier and 6 more guys teams picking, maybe move up.

  12. No I meant consensus on which players will and should get picked in the first round versus the second round and so on. Of course the scale is moving, meaning a early first round guy could drop to middle to late first round and the vice-a-versa a middle guy could get picked early first round. Then as you move down to the late first round, the consensus would be that the guy would get picked late first round to early second round.

    In the context of evaluating a team’s picks, how meaningful is this consensus? I mean, if the consensus is that a player is a second rounder, and your team picked the player in the first, you think it’s fair to say that’s a bad pick?

    What about system fit? Also, every team will have different tolerance for injury risks, and off field issues. Some teams may prefer a player with a high floor versus low floor, but potentially high ceiling. I feel like there’s all sorts of combinations of these variables that make evaluating a pick way more difficult than just looking at the consensus of pundits. You don’t agree with that?

    Yeah but in my tier system you would just build that into your own team’s tier system.

    OK, but fans won’t really understand this, right?

    I actually meant if you think Brooks was a tier 2 guy, but you think the consensus is most other teams do not, you could wait to pick him with you second round pick and pick someone else in tier 2 hoping Brooks will be there with your second round pick.

    But if Seattle thought Brooks was a tier 2 guy, why would they pick him in the first round? If all their tier 1 guys were taken by this pick, then I would assume either Brooks was the next best player available and/or they determined that he would not be available when they would pick next.

    I thought there was a consensus among us that it’s super hard to determine how good a player will actually be. So a tier system would make the most sense.

    Maybe you should describe your tier system in more detail. Here was my general understanding of it. You break up the players into different tiers–tier 1 being the players you most want. Each subsequent tier are players you rate a bit lower, based on a variety of criteria–one of which is talent. And you seem to be saying there would approximately be 10-15 players in each tier. Now, are the players in each tier rated basically the same. That is, all 10-15 players in tier 1 are rated or valued in the same way. You wouldn’t rank them from 1-15 because you could take anyone and be equally satisfied. Is this more or less what you mean, or do you mean something else?

    I guess another huge part of my drafting theory is you cannot worry about FOMO or the fear of missing out. Because FOMO will make a team reach for a player and put too much eggs in one basket.

    Do you think teams fear missing out on a good player or missing out on filling a need? These two things aren’t mutually exclusive, but I feel like teams approach the draft based on filling holes in their roster…Well, that’s the way I look at the roster. If I get excited about player, it’s because they fill a need.

    The tier system will also help to determine whether you should try to trade up or down. IF there are 10 more guys in tier 2 and only 9 teams picking in front of you, just sit tight or conversely there are only 3 guys in a certain tier and 6 more guys teams picking, maybe move up.

    This makes sense, but isn’t it more complex than this. For example, last year, Seattle had four or five picks going into the draft. They were picking in the 20s. After the first round, Schneider and Carroll looked utterly shellshocked as they explained how they were surprised that so many pass-rushers went so quickly. It seems like all the guys they coveted and/or thought would be available later, were gone. Let’s say by pick 15 there’s only one or two more guys in tier 1. They don’t have a lot of picks to trade to move up. Should they trade picks from the following year? I don’t think there’s a clear answer. Sometimes the better option might be just to sit back and pick the next best player available or trade back and accumulate more picks.

    1. Yeah I thought my response was confusing two concepts, but was rushing since I had to do stuff for/with my son.

      The consensus of pundits and GMs are not used to determine how good a pick is, but used to determine how the draft will play out. So if I took every single credible mock draft, and rankings, I could develop an AI type program to determine where I think guys will get drafted. In the Brooks case, the AI may say he would have gone late second or early third at best. It’s not fool proof but it “could” tell me wait on him and possibly pick another player in the first hoping he will be there when I get to my second round pick.

      So the tier system has to be something like this. Tier 1 would probably have 3-5 guys. Tier 2 would probably be like 5-10 guys. Tier 3 would be like 15-20 guys. Tier 4 would be like 20-40 guys and so on. Within those tiers I would not rank my players, which would sort of defeat what I’m trying to do. So when I do rank guys I would just say this guy is a tier 1 guy or this guy is a tier 4 guy. These tiers will be based on talent, need, off-field, etc, just like any type of ranking would. What is the benefit? It should reduce feelings like FOMO because a team should always have a pool of guys to choose from within a tier or not because that tier is empty, but in either case their decisions should be easier.

      After the first round, Schneider and Carroll looked utterly shellshocked as they explained how they were surprised that so many pass-rushers went so quickly.

      So let’s say Seattle in this example, conceded to pick a tier 3 guy because all of the tier 1 and 2 guys will be gone. If they really want a pass-rusher, tier 3 would be pass rush heavy with players. And if Dallas was picking right after Seattle but needed a safety their tier 3 would be safety heavy. So Seattle may have 6 pass-rushers out of 15 players total in their tier 3.

      I’m not saying Seattle doesn’t already do this. Maybe Brooks was one of few guys left in their tier 2 and jumped to grab him. I have no idea. I just know if Seattle did the two things above: create an AI type program to guess how the draft would play out and had a tier system, and they were now picking from tier 3 players in the first round, they would have picked another guy in their tier 3 and tried to get Brooks with their second round pick. On a side note, I heard Green Bay made an effort to move up into Seattle’s spot to grab Jordan Love. If it’s true then Seattle probably made a mistake if they couldn’t close that deal, but Brooks had to be available at the end of the first round is my best guess. But I don’t know the details of what Green Bay was offering or whether they had a better deal with the Dolphins.

    2. The consensus of pundits and GMs are not used to determine how good a pick is, but used to determine how the draft will play out. So if I took every single credible mock draft, and rankings,…

      So you’re talking about a mock draft. To me, this not a good way for fans to evaluate their team’s picks.

      Now if you’re having some AI analyze all the mocks to help give a sense of where each player will be drafted and which team will draft them, I see value in that. But the value is in helping the team during the draft, not for fans to determine whether or not a team made good choices.

      So the tier system has to be something like this. Tier 1 would probably have 3-5 guys. Tier 2 would probably be like 5-10 guys. Tier 3 would be like 15-20 guys. Tier 4 would be like 20-40 guys and so on. Within those tiers I would not rank my players, which would sort of defeat what I’m trying to do.

      OK I understand what you’re trying to do, but, in reality, what you’re doing is artificial, right? I get why you’re trying to construct the system this way, but if the players within a tier are not basically of the same, then you’re not maximizing the draft.

      Now, if the differences between the players, within a tier, were fairly negligible or small enough that the benefits outweigh possible drawbacks, then the approach would make sense.

      What is the benefit? It should reduce feelings like FOMO because a team should always have a pool of guys to choose from within a tier or not because that tier is empty,…

      What do you mean by “…or not because the tier is empty…?” If all your first tier guys are taken before your first pick, won’t you feel like you’re missing out?

      So let’s say Seattle in this example, conceded to pick a tier 3 guy because all of the tier 1 and 2 guys will be gone. If they really want a pass-rusher, tier 3 would be pass rush heavy with players.

      Yeah, but the prospects of the tier 3 pass rushers are going to be much less favorable then the tier 1 and 2 pass rushers. The pass rushers in tier 3 will either not have as good talent, will be riskier in some ways, or maybe require more time, etc. I don’t see how having 6 pass rushers in tier 3 will lessen a FOMO. As a fan, if I thought all the team’s 1st and 2nd tier pass rushers were taken, the tier 3 pass rushers wouldn’t console me very much.

      I just know if Seattle did the two things above: create an AI type program to guess how the draft would play out and had a tier system, and they were now picking from tier 3 players in the first round, they would have picked another guy in their tier 3 and tried to get Brooks with their second round pick.

      How do you know this, though? Are you basing this on the mock drafts and what pundits said? My sense is that there is a difference from the consensus of pundits and what actual GMs think.

      On a side note, I heard Green Bay made an effort to move up into Seattle’s spot to grab Jordan Love. If it’s true then Seattle probably made a mistake if they couldn’t close that deal, but Brooks had to be available at the end of the first round is my best guess.

      Not sure what you mean by “Brooks had to be available at the end of the first round,” but I believe Schneider said that the Packers had a better offer (I assume with Miami) and pulled out at the last minute. This suggests that Seattle either believed that a) they believed they could get Brooks later or b) he had relatively equal value to one or more players.

      1. what you’re doing is artificial, right?

        I don’t see why ranking players 1-100 would be less “artificial” especially when dealing with so many unknowns. If teams can be close to 100% correct when drafting then you are correct, a ranking system would be better. Because there would be a significant difference between a player ranked 30th and a player ranked 43rd. But because teams cannot get close to 100% correct, the difference between a 30th ranked player and 43rd shouldn’t be negligible. For example, I’ve heard that since 2013 New England has drafted one pro bowl player, Jaime Collins. That’s far from an exact science.

        If all your first tier guys are taken before your first pick, won’t you feel like you’re missing out?

        FOMO has a negative connotation of paying for a want more than a need and following your heart more than your head. In the scenario where a team picks 23rd and tier 1 has 4 guys and tier 2 has 10 guys, you wouldn’t have FOMO. Your choice would then be, I “should be” picking from my tier 3 group or trying to move up the draft.

        How do you know this, though? Are you basing this on the mock drafts and what pundits said? My sense is that there is a difference from the consensus of pundits and what actual GMs think.

        Yeah I don’t know this. I wasn’t trying to state this as a fact. I was trying to use Seattle’s draft as an example on how my drafting concepts could have worked for them.

    3. But because teams cannot get close to 100% correct, the difference between a 30th ranked player and 43rd shouldn’t be negligible.

      I’m guessing you mean “should be” negligible. If so, I tend to agree. Specifically, the difference between the players in the later tiers are more negligible. So I would expect the later tiers to have a larger group, and the later the round, I think the more negligible the differences are between the players.

      But earlier tiers seem different to me. Let’s say tiers 1-3 have 50 players. When you divide up those players into the tiers, I feel like you prioritize the players within each tier. To not do so is the part that seems artificial to me–as if you’re ignoring meaningful criteria that would allow you to prioritize the players differently. For example, positional need and your sense of where a player would be picked should allow you to prioritize players within a tier. For example, let’s say you have a strong feeling that five players in tier 2 will likely be available in a later round. Those five players would have a lower priority.

      The fact that teams can’t assess the players with 100% accuracy doesn’t mean you can’t prioritize them. Creating tiers is a way of prioritizing players–but it’s just broader, right? I feel like you can use both tiers and rankings together, and I would guess most teams do this when creating their boards. (Again, when you get to the later tiers, I would say the prioritizing or ranking players become less meaningful.)

      For example, I’ve heard that since 2013 New England has drafted one pro bowl player, Jaime Collins. That’s far from an exact science.

      And Collins doesn’t seem that great. Didn’t they draft Chandler Jones? In any event, I’m not sure if this is a good example, as I think I could argue that New England is not great at drafting players. But to be fair, they’re consistently picking at the back end of the rounds, and I think it’s tough to consistently find great players at that spot.

      FOMO has a negative connotation of paying for a want more than a need and following your heart more than your head.

      You don’t think “following your heart” comes more from desperately wanting to fill a need more than getting a want?

      1. But earlier tiers seem different to me. Let’s say tiers 1-3 have 50 players.

        Yeah I would say teams could set up the tiers as big and small as they want. I don’t see a problem if a team’s first 3 tiers only have 20 players in hurting my drafting strategy. The first two tiers should be small. I’m not sure how small the third tier should really be. Definitely less than 20, but how close to 10, I’m not sure. The more interesting question would be if the Giants, Lions, and Redskins would have created such a tier system. Where would Burrow, Tua, and Herbert be? Third tier guys? Because they didn’t seem interesting in those QBs.

        And Collins doesn’t seem that great. Didn’t they draft Chandler Jones?

        That’s the same guy Dan Patrick brought up, but he was drafted the year before Collins. I looked it up and Jones only had one pro bowl with the Patriots, if I looked correctly.

        You don’t think “following your heart” comes more from desperately wanting to fill a need more than getting a want?

        Really? My son had a need versus want assignment. He put his needs as food, water, and housing, and but his wants as video games and toys. The first list seems like following his head as knowing what he needs, but really he would rather spend his money on what he wants or following his heart.

  13. The more interesting question would be if the Giants, Lions, and Redskins would have created such a tier system. Where would Burrow, Tua, and Herbert be? Third tier guys? Because they didn’t seem interesting in those QBs.

    It would depend on why they’re not interested. Do they believe those guys are franchise QBs, but theyr’e just happy with their current QBs and/or have much higher priorities at other positions? Or are they just not that high on those QBs? If it was the latter, those guys might be in the 4th tier.

    By the way, I tend to think the draft board for most NFL teams are a combination of tiers and rankings. What is you sense of how they do it? Do you think they just rank the players?

    That’s the same guy Dan Patrick brought up, but he was drafted the year before Collins. I looked it up and Jones only had one pro bowl with the Patriots, if I looked correctly.

    Maybe it’s not entirely appropriate, because of scheme fit and coaching, but if a player does really well when he goes to another team, then I would credit the original team for drafting them. Conversely, if they don’t do so well, I think that should be a knock on the original team. (My sense is that, with Belichick, there are lot more of those type of players than the former.)

    Really? My son had a need versus want assignment. He put his needs as food, water, and housing, and but his wants as video games and toys. The first list seems like following his head as knowing what he needs, but really he would rather spend his money on what he wants or following his heart.

    I feel like the needs and wants, in the NFL draft, is a bit different, though. In that context, need and wants conflate. Don’t you think a team often wants a specific player because that player fills a need? You think FOMO would be in effect for great players that don’t fill a big need on the team?

    I heard someone say that when a team has big positional needs, they tend to reach. They may overlook or rationalize away limitations; they may convince themselves a player is really good, out of desperation to fill a need. To prevent this, a team would try to bolster all their positions before the draft. As I a fan I can relate to this. The Seahawks desperately to upgrade their DL, especially the pass rush. I can feel myself being latching onto to any optimistic assessments of the two pass rushers they drafted. But realistically, they’re not likely to contribute in significant ways. If they get like 5 sacks a piece that would be a decent accomplishment, and they may not even get that.

    Or maybe you’re defining need and wants in the draft context differently from me. I assumed, by “want,” you just meant a player that a team thinks really highly of, independently of whether that player really fills a need or not. “Need,” on the other hand, is player that will fill a hole at a specific position.

    1. I was thinking of “want” like how Jerry allegedly wanted Manziel versus the need of getting Martin. You seem to be separating wants and needs into the same context of how teams may pick “their highest ranked player” versus “the player at the position they need the most” or vice-a-versa.

    2. I was thinking of “want” like how Jerry allegedly wanted Manziel versus the need of getting Martin.

      In this context, I almost get the sense that Jones wanted Manziel for narrative and marketing, as much as his belief that’d he’d be a great player. And maybe he liked Manziel’s flair, too. I would be surprised if this consistently overrides big positional needs for a player.

      You seem to be separating wants and needs into the same context of how teams may pick “their highest ranked player” versus “the player at the position they need the most” or vice-a-versa.

      I think so…although I’m not sure if I thinking of what you said in the same way. Here’s a situation where “wants” could create a temptation over “needs.” Team A can either pick a really good pass rusher or a really good OT. The team needs more help on the OL, specifically at tackle. The DL is set, including having a really good pass rusher. But Team A is tantalized by the possibility of having two dominant pass rushers. This would be a “want.” The OT would fill a need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *