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 Post subject: Draftegy: Maximization
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:12 am 
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This is my own draft strategy that I'm sort of developing. I'm sure it's one that quite a few GMs believe in, but I'm just now spelling it out.

I call it maximization because it refers to maximizing the amount of early picks you have in a given draft. And by early picks, I mean ones in the first 4 rounds or first 120 or so picks.

Because those picks IMO are the ones most likely to develop into starters. Now that's not to imply that players picked after #120 won't be starters or are totally useless, but I think statistics probably prove that you have a significantly better chance of making it in this league if you are picked in the Top 120. We can think of many examples of top players that went in Rounds 5 or later, but it's my opinion that if you walk away from a draft thinking that your 5th or 6th rounder is going to be a future starter, you're more than likely kidding yourself.

And this draft strategy doesn't mean you should trade away all your 5th, 6th, and/or 7th round picks just to move up in the draft, but I think it should be considered that those picks are of less value and should not be seen as vital to draft success.

An example would be if a team was lacking draft picks, and say had just a 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th. Instead of just sitting idle after Round 3, they should probably use the second day picks (and probably a future middle round pick) as part of a package to move up into Round 4 or so. It means that a team should worry more about quality than quantity.

Every year there are quality players that I think have starting-caliber ability that fall to the late rounds. An example of last year was Bobby McCray, who I felt was a 2nd round talent but fell to Round 7. Another example would be Colin Cole in 2003, who I also felt was a 2nd round talent, but he went undrafted. Basically my point is that if a player slips 3 or more rounds, there is usually a good reason for it, so you should not be so quick to pull the trigger. Two more local examples would be Kahlil Hill and Etric Pruitt. Both were players I liked, but both slipped several rounds in the draft from where I thought they should have went. And although I saw both still having starting potential, the fact that they slipped should have raised a red flag in my head that it was unlikely either would succeed. And it would seem that is the case. Pruitt didn't impress too much as a rookie, and neither has Hill, and thus he's become a on/off practice squad player in Buffalo. Pruitt will likely fall by the wayside in the near future as well.

Most likely, I figure most players selected in the final 3 rounds end up being out of the league by their 3rd season or end up just being special teams/role players. Of course these are essential pieces of your roster, but considering the sheer # of these caliber players entering the league, it doesn't take savvy drafting or scouting to find these guys.

Basically to summarize, I think McKay should be looking at our potential draft and telling himself that most likely he'll only be able to walk away from this one with 4 future starters, and that if he wants to add more then he's likely going to have to trade away our final 4 picks.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:34 pm 
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I agree for the most part with your analysis, Pudge. I think we might have gotten lucky last draft in that Lavalais fell to the 5th round. I think he was a solid 3rd round talent in terms of his performance in college, but he fell because of size issues. These are the types of guys that would be worth taking should they fall to day 2 because they have potential to be solid contributors as backups at the least. Every draft has players like this, and good GMs will realize that they have potential beyond there measureables that cause them to lose favor. I sense this happening to a lot of tweeners out there who are hard to find a natural position for. Pollack is an example this year because he's not quite fast or big enough to be a DE and doesn't have the skills to play a 3-4 OLB. But his ability to contribute is outstanding!

On another note, has it been determined what sort of compensation the Falcons will receive from Denver for Ellis Johnson? I heard at one point it is going to be a 4th rounder. According to your theory, this would give us another chance at a potential starter for the future. If we could manage to get two guys of D Williams' quality this draft, we would be in very good shape! It will come in handy having another quality pick as well, seeing that we only have 3 LBs under contract at this point. Not to mention, we have at least 3 DBs as FAs as well. The left side of the OL is also up in the air as Shaffer, Moore, Bibla, and Garza are all FAs as well. Some could be inexpensive resignees that could still do an adequate job. However, it's going to be tough to replace everyone with so little to work with for cap space. As much as you guys dislike restructuring contracts, McKay and company might be very busy with paperwork this offseason.


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 Post subject: Still comes down to player evaluations
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:54 am 
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Pudge,that is an interesting philosphy you have developed in drafting players.What it comes down to is the good GM's know which players to trade up and get and the good GM's know when to stay and hold and let the player come to them when it is time to pick.I have no problem trading picks away especially the 5th 6th and 7th rounders.According to the draft pick chart you would have to trade most of the picks just to move up and get one player since drafting so late(27th) most if not all rounds to get a player you wanted.

If Mckay saw Vince Carter still not picked in early 5th round I would trade all the picks for him since while he has been downgraded still has potential to show the critics wrong.I guess the other thing about trading draft picks you better be sure that it is worth it since players could become available in the 5th 6th 7th rounds you didn't expect.The law of averages though say most won't cut it in the NFL as starters.

Remember when we had reeve's picking and there was always a Kent State player drafted and the fans were scratching there heads what,who is that? Mckay can not blow draft choices like Reeve's did.Maximize your selections is essential to remain or get to the top in the NFL.Phildelphia has a ton of picks,is the NFC Champion,and alot of cap space even though they must resign a number of there players.The Falcon's should aim to run there organization like them but Mckay's history shows that defense is no1,offense no2 and I just don't get that impression since Blank is owner.We have Vick,Brooking,Dunn,Price as huge contracts,Philly has Mcnabb,TO.Blank doesn't mind spending money but if it is on the wrong player who doesn't perform up to the level you expect it can set your franchise back.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:51 am 
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Jag, from what I hear at the official site, we will be receiving a 5th round pick from Denver. Currently the #151 overall. It gives us the #151 and #154 (thus far). Of course those picks will most likely come even later once compensatory picks are calculated. Just based on recent years, there will be probably be a combined 5 or 6 compensatory picks awarded in the 3rd and 4th rounds. So I'm just guessing, but he's probably what our draft will look like:

Round / Pick / Overall

1/27/27
2/27/59
3/26/90
4/27/123
5/24/155
5/27/158
6/27/190
7/27/224

You can bet those guesses (after Round 3) will probably be accurate within 1-3 selections.

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