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Weekly NFL Draft Round-Up

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Weekly NFL Draft Round-Up

You have to figure your day is going to go well when you come into work to find the office radio playing the theme from 'Shaft'.

In fact I'd say any day which begins with that probably will turn out pretty damned good. (sidenote: Dear John Singleton - how do you screw up a Shaft remake with Samuel FREAKING Jackson? Sincerely, everyone)

We're less than a week away from the NFL Draft and as explained the other day, I'm ready. The lack of a CBA has meant a lack of free agency signings which, in a domino effect, means more free time than usual to speculate on ever piece of Draft news no matter how trivial.

There's more smoke this year than I can ever recall in the past - some of it sublimely silly. (Andy Dalton's red hair anyone?)

So I think we're all more than ready to get the Draft going, maybe more than ever before.

One thing that is very interesting about this year is that the very lack of free agency could make the Draft even more intriguing. Teams couldn't patch line-ups and rosters the way they usually do.

So does a team who is looking for a quarterback (aka half the first round) who normally go after Bulger/McNabb/Kolb draft for other positions and pray they can make something happen after the fact or do they draft to fill that quarterback need?

It should be interesting and it's the one 'good' thing about this labor brouhaha.

Mockety Mock Mock Mock

I've had a few people ask me if I will be following up the CHTV Draft Guide Mock with another mock.

Indeed I will. I'm working on it as a video right now, but if all else fails, it will appear in written form early next week.

Now, a word about my mocks (and my opinion on mocks in general). I like mocking the Draft - the chess-game like strategy of what a team should do vs might do is fun and a great exercise.

It's also, ultimately, pretty fruitless. Some people beat their chest about how accurate they are and I'll admit, it can be impressive. But it's such a crap-shoot and the truth is that a lot of it can be luck.

To me, the insight as to WHY someone mocks a player in a position means more to me than them getting it dead-on accurate (although it's a plus I guess).

If someone's logic is sound as to why a position should be filled, I can forgive them picking the wrong tackle. If they get the logic behind why a DE will fit a scheme, I'm fine if they're wrong on a guy. It's better than an analyst who gets the right guy but whose logic is completely wrong.

Some mocks are about getting what the team will do correct and some are about what they should do.

I try and split the difference, though I usually lean towards what I think they should do (in my opinion of course) if I'm torn on a pick. Of course, sometimes I'm being a contrary bastard as well, but that's fine as well.

Also, I never do trades. It's IMPOSSIBLE to mock trades and nobody ever gets the value right, even though you can find the NFL value chart easily on the web. You can talk about them and speculate but to be honest, you can also roll dice and have as good a shot.

Anyway, here's a few Packers picks from around the interwebs.  I'll probably do one more round-up in the middle of next week, just to give you an idea of what the lay of the land is.

By now you probably know I really like the guys over at NFLDraftscout/CBS and think they're really solid. This week their picks have shifted from defense to offense. Rang has gone the route I did in the first mock, offensive line - in this case OT Derek Sherrod. In fact, it's a pick that right now is the exact same one I have in my mock-in-progress.

Reuter also goes offense but a somewhat unexpected - though not insane - direction. Mikel LeShoure is a back who I've said can very easily fit into the Packers offense. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to plug him in as their first round pick but I don't think his logic is off base - I just think a guy like Sherrod (who is available in Chad's mock at that spot) is a better pick.(edited because I'm a moron who said reach when I meant it wasn't a reach... I need caffeine....)

Russ Lande is a guy I've gotten to know a bit over the last few years and he definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer. I know he does the work though, so his mocks always make me take a second look at the landscape.

Russ' current mock (up at Sporting News) definitely has some non-pack mentality picks (Fairley to Denver I vehemently disagree with) but there is a lot that matches up with what I'm hearing and thinking.

For the Pack, Lande chose Arizona OLB Brooks Reed. It's a little higher than I've seen Reed going in most Mocks, and personally I think while he would fit for the Packers, he's a bit of a reach here.

I wish the Sporting News mock had more detail as to why a player is where he is in it. I can recall it being more thorough last year, but maybe once it gets to be a full mock (Lande's goes a full 7 rounds), that's too much.

The final mock this week is at a site called Drafttek. Their process is an interesting - and different - one. Here's their explanation:

The DRAFTSIM computer model selects the best available player for each team based upon the input provided by the team analyst. After the initial player selection, the model is run again with the original selectee locked out. The model then identifies the 2nd best player fitting the teams needs. Repeating the process again, a 2nd alternate is determined.

So you get three picks in one, based on analysis from their writers and then run via simulation.

The recent mock has the Packers taking Pitt's OT Jason Pinkston. I haven't seen anyone who has Pinkston in the top 50 (Drafttek has him at 37) so as far as I'm concerned this is a reach and a pretty big one.

What this does allow me to do is remind you that it only takes one team to fall in love with a player and take him far earlier than any of us expect. He may bust out, but it doesn't mean it can't happen.

So expect the unexpected.

Q & A with Small School Prospect RB Chad Spann

Matt Waldman is a colleague of mine at who often writes articles for the NY Times Fifth Down Blog. He also puts together one of the most thorough guides on offensive skill players I've ever seen, the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. It's one of the best $10 you'll ever spent whether you use it for Fantasy Football or not.

(update: Here's a good interview of Matt and how he does what he does - check it out)

This past week, Matt interviewed a small school running back from Northern Illinois named Chad Spann. It's worth a read - Spann comes across as very sharp and I'm looking forward to a promised film breakdown series Matt is talking about doing with him.

Round Up

Here are a few odds and ends of Draft news from around the web.

Everyone seems to like the Packers taking an OLB - but do they need to?

Second round picks will be announced by retired players.

Ex-Wisconsin Badger hopes his name will be called next week, but won't be watching.

There's some great value with mid-late round wide receivers.

Fantastic breakdown of a Virgina Tech CB's technique with video.

And that's it for this week. Have a great one and we'll see you next week with a mock and some last minute news.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Oppy's picture

There's an NFL Network clip with Baldinger and Davis that had Mikel LeShoure falling to the Packers at 32.. .

Gotta say, after watching a bunch of LeShoure highlights, he certainly fits the mold that the Packers seem to favor for this run offense.

Mikel is big bodied at 6'-6'1" 230lbs-ish. He definitely a run between the tackles guy. Watch his feet when you watch him inbetween the tackles. He sticks his foot in the dirt hard and makes very decisive cuts, then gets North and South IN A HURRY. At the next level, he makes sudden quick adjustments in space to maximize yardage. Plus, he has the ability to break it outside.

Some character red flags from his earlier years that may help him drop. I wouldn't have thought he'd make sense for the packers, but you know what? this is the kind of value pick that no one would expect that TT and his staff love to pull off.

I know the Packers love Jackson, but he's no guarantee to stay and play a supporting role.. And let's face it: Grant, Starks, LeShoure sure has a ring to it- a ring that sounds like "One of the deepest RB corps in the NFL".

andrewgarda's picture

I agree on LeShoure. My only hesitation is I'm not sure if the Packers would take a back 1st round in a class that is actually pretty thick with talent.

But this is the good thing about being the Packers right now - their needs are few and they really can pick just about whatever they want. I said it before but both LeShoure and Ingram would be good value at 32.

Oppy's picture

Yeah, I hear you.

There's also this belief (perceived or real) that TT would never take a RB in the first round because of the limited mileage (perceived or real) you get out of a RB..

I guess if you look at it that way, why would you pay out a first round contract for a player that would only pay dividends for a limited amount of time?

Of course, I don't buy into all that, there's examples of long term RB careers all over the place. The reality, to me at any rate, is that Most NFL careers are short term, and at every position there are flash-in-the-pan successes more so than long term success. So it's really a crap shoot regardless of the position, IMO.

Andrew Garda's picture

Well and also, keep in mind the 32nd pick gets a lot less than a 1-10. But yeah RBs may have shorter careers (or some - depends on running style and other factors)but the use you can get from them can still be worth the investment.

WoodyG's picture

So let me get this straight .....You can get all your picks wrong (getting it dead-on accurate) but you'll still have a 'good mock' if your logic is correct ?? ......

Isn't that kinda like going for it on 4th & goal (down by 6) late in the game & falling short ..... Good intentions with lousy (losing) results .....

Rounds 1-3 ..... DL, OL & OLB. (in any order)
Round 4 ..... ILB & WR.
Rounds 5-7 ..... Anyone's guess ..... Note: TT will trade down to accumulate more late round picks ..... How else will he get first choice at undrafted free-agents but to actually draft them? .....

My work's done ..... This turns out to be easier than I thought it would be ..... Thanks ..... LOL.

Andrew Garda's picture

Nobody gets all the picks right. Nobody. So by your sarcasm, nobody is worth a damn.

Now what I'm saying is, a writer might not get the pick right but their understanding of the needs of a team, the approach they take in a draft and other factors can be very useful.

I'm not going to knock someone for picking one OLB instead of the OLB that got drafted if they explain to me WHY an OLB is a good pick there.

I'm saying learning something from a mock doesn't end by guessing the pick right - which is all mocking is anyway if you just name picks.

WoodyG's picture

Actually, I was being only a little sarcastic ..... I think most who 'seriously mock' always determine team needs ..... But just as fans, pundits & writers guess at 'specific names', they also guess at team needs .... Everyone pointed out GB's need for an OLB to play opposite CM3 in the 2010 draft or a CB to eventually replace a soon-to-be retiring C. Woodson but obviously TT felt otherwise .....

My point is that w/out 'inside info', team needs along with specific names are mostly guesswork in a mock regardless of one's explanation ..... But I do know some who do real well at mock drafts ...... Not me, but I have a tendency to want more players than allowed.

PackersRS's picture

Draftek's system would be great, if every team drafted for need.

It's completely flawed for an almost strickly BPA team like the Packers.

One can argue if the Packers indeed choose simply BPA, which is not the case IMHO. But what they absolutely never do is reach for a player, and that's exactly what they're projecting us to do.

WoodyG's picture

Not everyone agrees but when a team's pick is on the board, that team may have several BPAs at that point in time ..... As a result, that team picks the BPA in an area of need .....

I doubt Bulaga was the only BPA in 2010 (on GB's board) but OL was a pressing need ..... BPA based on need .....

Andrew Garda's picture

Plus what we think BPA or need is might not be what they think.

PackersRS's picture

Teams grade players, they atribute values, 6.8, 7.0, to players. NFP does a similar evaluation, if not identical.
They also grade by round. Not 32 for each round, I take it's something like 25 players per round, in a good year.

So, it can happen, for two 6.8 players being available. But I don't think teams put players in the same level. One is always ahead of another, even if by perceived need.

Regarding Bulaga, I really think he was. I think they graded him as an early top 15 the latest, and when he fell to them, he was clearly the top prospect available. He just happened to fill a need.

Andrew Garda's picture

Well, and it seems like it gets stuck on need too much - all three choices for the Packers are tackles - at some point another position of need would mix in, IMO.

But it's an interesting approach.

cow42's picture

mock drafts are just like fantasy football - stupid.

i love reading about prospects.
strengths/ weaknesses, etc.

i even enjoy debating team needs.

but trying to predict an entire 1st round (or an entire draft) is ridiculous.

that's impossible.

it's like trying to pick the entire NCAA tournament.

you're chances are like 1 in a billion.


sammer's picture

You know what's not a waste of time? Going on the internet and commenting on a post about a thing you consider a waste of time. That simply demonstrates that you are smarter/better than the person who wrote the article, not to mention the people who read it.

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