The first round of the BBV FanPost Mock Draft is in the books! I’ve created this thread for discussion and would like to share a handful of scattered thoughts that have occurred to me. Round 2 of the BBV FMD kicks off Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. On the clock are Kev86 (8 a.m.), Hoghunter (Noon), BavaroBoy89 (4 p.m.) and The Evil Zild (8 p.m.).
1. 1. Edumacation. While there was not a lot of interaction in the comments regarding specific picks, I am very much OK with that. The primary reason that I wanted to do this was for my own knowledge. I feel like now I have a great sense of a top-50 big board, a great sense of the Cowboys’ roster, as well as having done brief scans for ideal matches for more than a dozen teams. Now, when I get together with friends to watch the draft, I’m going to be in the "knows his stuff" camp.
2. 2. Talent Tiers. I see this group as having a clear top-10, then another 5 (Gilbert, Dennard, Lewan, Dix, ODB or Z. Martin.) Then… to me there’s a dead spot. I don’t see any players 16-20 that don’t feel like they could/should be had later back. That’s in part because they all seem to have alternatives without losing much later on.
3. 3. Twinsies! I noticed that in this draft, there are pairings that will get some long looks. I think it brings analysis to another level to go in and see what distinguishes 2 guys at a position from each other when they are projected very similarly for value. Some examples of twinsies: Watkins/Evans; Robinson/Matthews/Lewan; Gilbert/Dennard; Clinton-Dix/Pryor ; Beckham/Lee; Nix/Hageman/Jernigan; Cooks/Benjamin; and Su’a-Filo/Yankey. It’s fascinating to see what elements are common and different and how these things may apply to a team’s predilection or scheme.
4. 4. Favorite or Best/Worst. I asked a smart guy to tell me what his nominees for top picks were, and have attached the poll below. We won’t pick on what we see as "worst picks" because really, who knows? Guys we see as "worst picks" may, in fact, just be examples of GMs who can think independently of all the hype and grab what they see as hidden value. Personally, my favorite picks were Clinton-Dix to the Ravens, Manziel to the Bucs, and grudgingly, Ealy to the Pats. (Ed. note: I had these three selected before I received the poll choices and all three were on the list).
5. 5. QBs. I strongly believe QBs will go earlier and more often in the real draft. I think there was a group-think going on here and the concern about being picked on scared people off the QBs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 1st-round QBs taken by Cleveland, Minnesota, even Oakland, or St. Louis once the value-over-need reaches a tipping point.
6. 6. BPA and need. What I’m realizing is that it’s an abstract math problem: How much better is player A than player B? Take that value and then the multiplier is "How much more important is position X than Y to my roster right now?" Ultimately, some teams will fall into a "sweet spot" where the objectively best player on the board at their turn happens to be in a position of need. This happened to several teams for us, while others were forced to either take a valued player who will be depth, or fill a need by reaching. Ultimately I think BPA is the better end of the spectrum. It’s good for player development to have some learning time and besides, you know how injuries can change a roster over a year.
7. 7. Panic. As my ideal board slipped away, I felt more and more anxious to "get my guy," even looking at making bad decisions to get him. I can’t help but think that this feeling must be a factor in team war rooms, although they probably have both experience and protocol to overcome it. Still, if your strongest voice gets pulled by this emotionally rather than rationally/objectively, I can see this happening at the NFL level.
8. 8. Trading. Teams that are looking for "the missing piece" are the only teams that should trade up. It’s important to really determine whether one star or three starters is the best thing for your team at this time. Having this draft open to trades made me a much bigger fan of the following M.O. – Round 1, determine a few select players who you feel will be an ideal marriage of need and value at your position. If they are there, take them. If not, trade back to an ideal spot where your chance of better luck with the exercise exists. This happened to me with the Cowpokes, although Dix WAS on my "select 3" board. Still, the defense is so devoid right now I determined that the trio of DTs (Nix, Hageman, Jernigan) and DE Ealy would be available in the mid-20s, so I moved back for an extra pick. I wanted to move to 25 to have my pick of the litter, and I would have gotten Ealy. At 30 Ealy and Nix were gone, and I was happy with Hageman – value/need marriage. There were three first-round trades in our Mock and I think they are all very justifiable in principle.
9. 9. Round 2. The overwhelming winner in our poll was for IXI and I to continue making spot picks as needed. I cannot continue to dedicate the time necessary to make intelligent picks, and I don’t want to keep bothering ‘Vic, so in round 2 we will simply insert the highest-rated player available on the BBV final Big Board for missed picks. Let’s keep the rate of 4 picks per day. Regarding trades, I am going to apply a more stringent standard in round 2. What I will be looking out for is GMs who want to mortgage the future simply to get an extra pick in this exercise. Therefore picks will continue to have to meet the point-equity but also need to have a strong justification by both teams.
10. 10. Top remaining players on the BBV aggregated Big Board are Jace Amaro (22); Jason Verrett (26); Kyle Van Noy (28); Stephen Tuitt (30) David Yankey (31) Allen Robinson (32).