Good Article about overdrafting QBs

Discussion in 'Draft' started by SolidGoldBowles, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap30...-quarterbacks-plus-jpp-trade-fallout-and-more

    Excuse me for skipping ahead in this movie that's called the 2018 NFL Draft. I've seen how this story plays out, with teams disregarding their draft boards to grab quarterbacks who aren't worthy of being selected at the top. Sure, we can discuss the importance of the position and how it's a quarterback-driven league, but you'll never convince me that you should push signal-callers up the board just for the sake of landing someone who can take the snap from the center.

    Now, I know this opinion diverges from those of many prominent talking heads, but based on how I was brought up in the scouting business, I believe you grade players based on their talent and potential -- regardless of position -- and rank them accordingly on the board. This is how I was taught with the Seattle Seahawks as part of a front office that included Mike Holmgren, Ted Thompson, John Schneider and Scot McCloughan -- all of whom were mentored by Ron Wolf during their time with the Green Bay Packers. (I spent parts of three seasons playing for the Packers from 1995 to '97, where I personally witnessed the philosophy play out on the field.)

    Using a "BPA" (best player available) philosophy that's built on the premise of ranking and selecting the top football talents in the draft, teams shouldn't bypass good players to simply grab a prospect who fills a need. While some will take umbrage with that notion, I believe there are too many examples in previous drafts that validate my perspective.

    For instance, in 2011, we watched four teams grab quarterbacks within the first 12 picks of a draft that was absolutely loaded at other positions. Cam Newton (No. 1 overall), Jake Locker (No. 8), Blaine Gabbert (No. 10) and Christian Ponder (No. 12) all flew off the board with premium picks, allowing non-QB-obsessed teams to scoop up Pro Bowl-caliber playmakers like linebacker Von Miller (No. 2), defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (No. 3), receiver A.J. Green (No. 4), cornerback Patrick Peterson (No. 5), receiver Julio Jones (No. 6), linebacker Aldon Smith (No. 7), offensive tackle Tyron Smith (No. 9) and defensive lineman J.J. Watt (No. 11). That doesn't even include the likes of center Mike Pouncey (No. 15), defensive end Ryan Kerrigan (No. 16), offensive tackle Nate Solder (No. 17), defensive end Cameron Jordan (No. 24), running back Mark Ingram (No. 28), defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (No. 30) and defensive end Cameron Heyward (No. 31).

    Although Newton has claimed a league MVP award and did lead his franchise to a Super Bowl, the three other signal-callers failed to make their mark in the league as QB1s. This should be a cautionary tale to evaluators ignoring their grades to pick players who fill the team's biggest need. It's a recipe for disaster, and I'm afraid we could see a few teams fall into that trap this year.

    "You have to be careful to avoid team needs creeping into your grades," an NFC personnel director told me. "If you're a team that grades prospects strictly on how they would fit into your roster, you can overvalue a guy in a position of need. When you do that, you're prone to missing out on good players because you're trying to fix a hole instead of picking the best player."

    As the executive points out, you're more likely to overrate someone when you grade and rank prospects based on how they fit on your roster instead of evaluating their overall talent from a league-wide perspective. While some observers will suggest this is simply a case of semantics, I would tell you to grade the player based on how he's projected to play within the first few years of his career. For instance, a top-five player is expected to play at a Pro Bowl level within two to three years of entering the NFL. Sure, those are lofty expectations for any rookie, but top-five picks are supposed to be transcendent stars with skills that impact game outcomes and set the stage for the franchise going forward.

    That brings me back to the 2018 draft and why I'm having a hard time with the notion that four quarterbacks will come off the board within the first 10 selections. That thought is unbelievable, given the grades that accompany the quarterbacks -- particularly when you go back and look how they rated in the fall -- and it's unfathomable when so many scouts and observers have touted a handful of position players as premium talents in this draft class.


    How many times have we heard Penn State running back Saquon Barkley mentioned as the best player in the draft? Better yet, how many times have we discussed Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward as elite prospects?

    With that in mind, I continue to have a hard time believing quarterbacks could come off the board 1-2-3 on draft day, with so many talented players possessing top-10 grades. These guys are universally viewed as Pro Bowl-caliber talents, and bypassing them could spark regret down the road.

    "You can never have enough good players," the NFC personnel director said. "If you collect a bunch of good players, you always have the option of trading some of your surpluses away to get what you need. ... I understand why everyone wants to find a franchise guy, but you better make sure that his game matches the pick. If not, you not only have missed on him, but you've missed out on other guys who could've helped your squad."

    Reviewing my notes from the fall, I believe there are only two quarterbacks worthy of top-10 grades, and they don't rank within my top five overall prospects. Here's my top 10 right now:

    1) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
    2) Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
    3) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
    4) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
    5) Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
    6) Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
    7) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
    8) Sam Darnold, QB, USC
    9) Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
    10) Derwin James, S, Florida State

    I don't mean to slight the talent or potential of Rosen and Darnold as QB1s and possibly the top two picks of the draft, but they aren't the two best players in the class. They might play the most important position on the field, but there are other position players who check off the boxes as potential Pro Bowlers within the next few years.

    My beef isn't with the L.A. QBs, but rather with the notion that Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen are possible top-five or top-10 picks. Look, I understand the desire to grab a franchise quarterback, but a team vaulting up to the top of the board for a developmental prospect is bypassing the chance to nab an instant-impact player at another position. And that's no way to draft.
     
  2. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    After reading that, I'm more inclined to believe the draft will go
    1) Darnold
    2) Barkley
    3) Rosen (jets)
    4) Chubb
    5) Nelson
    6) Edmunds
    7) Ward

    and that Allen and mayfield fall out of the top 10

    I could see them going 11 and 12 to the fins and bills possibly even the bills jumping to 10 in front of the fins if they like one over the other. Sure would be ironic if 3 of the top 4 Qbs from this draft wind up in the same division. If the fins pass on a QB, allen or mayfield could fall to 15 to the cards
     
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  3. PennyandtheJets

    PennyandtheJets Well-Known Member

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    Nah. Too many QB hungry teams in top 10. I would be shocked if all 4-5 aren't gone by pick 12.
     
  4. Jay Bizniss

    Jay Bizniss Well-Known Member

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    4 QB's are going in the top 5. Put this in your signature and lock it in.
     
  5. playtowinthegame

    playtowinthegame Well-Known Member

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    I hope the Browns will be Browns and draft Josh Allen. Please let that happen.
     
  6. Martin&theJETS

    Martin&theJETS Well-Known Member

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    This article sucks and Bucky Brooks is a moron.

    His only evidence shouldn’t be the stacked class of 2011.
     
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  7. abc

    abc Active Member

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    My Preferred Scenario...

    1- Browns - Darnold

    2- Giants - Rosen

    3- Jets - Mayfield
     
  8. NoodleArm

    NoodleArm Well-Known Member

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    The article makes an argument based solely on absolute talent. It’s correct that absolute talent is important. Getting that right is the basis for any solid draft strategy. And the point about not over-relying upon team needs well-taken. However, the article’s analysis lacks persuasiveness because it doesn’t weigh talent according to important of the position.

    Extreme example: what if there’s a never-before-seen kicker out — think Sebastian Janikovski but better, can make 68 yard kicks, and can consistently directionally punt. Would the author really advise picking the kicker first overall? Likely not.

    Another critique: the analysis doesn’t consider relative talent levels. For example, it sounds like, if a team needs both a QB and a RB, the author would take the RB first if he’s more talented than the QB. However, absolute talent level isn’t as important in draft strategy as relative talent level. Is the drop off level between Barkley and Michel (and Guice, and Chubb) as big as the drop off from Darnold/Rosen to Mayfield/Allen/Jackson to Rudolph/White/etc.?

    I don’t think that the article’s changed what I hope the Jets will do with the pick. Hopefully, Rosen or Darnold is available at 3 and the FO makes the correct call.
     
  9. KurtTheJetsFan

    KurtTheJetsFan Well-Known Member

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    Not to get too OT but I’ve long had this debate w friends about a unicorn kicker.If a guy is dead from say 75 in..in essence changing the game & kicks the ball on a line to the 1 just enough air for coverage on kick offs does he go #1??? That’s a lot of perceived stalled drives ending in your own territory that would suddenly be points up on the board.Interesting discussion
     
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  10. NoodleArm

    NoodleArm Well-Known Member

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    That's hilarious! Used to have the same argument with my pals all the time. (That's why it came to mind. I think it was all the Madden we used to play.) About the unicorn kicker, if he could hit from 75yds AND coffin kick on punts and KOs, I still think a GM would need brass balls to take him #1.
     
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  11. legler82

    legler82 Well-Known Member

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    I hate when people use 2011 as the example of QBs getting over drafted. 2011 is such an outlier because some of those QBs were over drafted by rounds not a few spots.
     
    #11 legler82, Mar 28, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  12. stinkyB

    stinkyB 2009 Best Avatar Award Winner

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    "Jake Locker (No. 8), Blaine Gabbert (No. 10) and Christian Ponder (No. 12) all flew off the board with premium picks, allowing non-QB-obsessed teams to scoop up Pro Bowl-caliber playmakers like linebacker Von Miller (No. 2), defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (No. 3), receiver A.J. Green (No. 4), cornerback Patrick Peterson (No. 5), receiver Julio Jones (No. 6), linebacker Aldon Smith (No. 7)"

    So the QB Obsessed teams missed out on players chosen before their draft selections? :confused:
     
  13. statjeff22

    statjeff22 2008 Green Guy "Most Knowledgeable" Award Winner

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    Color me unimpressed. It's easy to use hindsight to point out players people missed out on, but that proves very little. There's a reason why in his own words his view diverges from many other people. Ignoring the potential impact of players because they are more likely to be very good at their position is ridiculous. His own examples prove the point. Put Nate Solder aside, as going to the Patriots is a special case. The other 8 players he mentions have had 56 opportunities to make the postseason (8 players, 7 years). They've made it a total of 16 times, or 28%, which is worse than you'd expect by random chance (38%). And what was their record in the 25 playoff games they played? 9-16, with 7 of the 9 wins coming with Romo, Brees, and Roethlisberger as the QBs. Meanwhile, the teams that drafted Locker, Gabbert, and Ponder have been to the playoffs 24% of the time since then, about the same rate as all of those great players have. In other words, all-pro linemen are nice, but they don't get you to the Super Bowl. And remember, players that went later in the draft probably went to better teams, so these numbers for those players are even less impressive than they look.

    Obviously now the Titans, Jaguars, and Vikings wish they had made different choices, but that doesn't mean taking a shot at the most important player on the team was wrong, or even necessarily hurt them all that much relatively speaking.
     
  14. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    yeah it was an odd thing to add, which is why I only bolded the resonable ones. locker or gabbert could have been JJ watt instead.

    Same could be said here. Nobody had mayfield or allen really with a 1st round grade prior to the offseason, both shot up draft drafts recently.
     
  15. legler82

    legler82 Well-Known Member

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    His stats this past year led to some to jump off the bandwagon but Allen was projected in the 1st round since last year. He even considered coming out in last year's draft. Mayfield is the only one of the top 4 who shot up to the 1st.
     
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  16. HomeoftheJets

    HomeoftheJets Well-Known Member

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    The problem isn't Brooks's argument per se, it's his grades. The whole point of grading is to rank players by how much value you expect them to provide for your team, not how many Pro Bowls they make or some other irrelevant criteria. And since QBs provide the most value, they should get the highest grades. Which means Darnold, Rosen, Mayfield, and Allen should all get higher grades than Brooks is giving them.
     
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  17. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    fair enough.
     
  18. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    not really, the idea of grades is to assign a number for their talent. When a GM makes a board it's based on those grades. Doens't mean they have to follow it by any means, but in a true BPA draft, they would follow it. Sometimes teams will take a lower graded player because it fits their need or scheme better then a higher graded one, which is fine. But BPA is probably the one thing that has been proven to work more then any. You do it enough, and you wind up with a ton of talent on the cheap and can fill other holes with FA or trades.
     
  19. HomeoftheJets

    HomeoftheJets Well-Known Member

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    The problem with BPA is figuring out who the BPA is. Mac says he has a BPA philosophy and seems to stick to it in the sense that he's taken the players highest on his board and hasn't reached for needs. But it turns out that Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, and Jamal Adams weren't really the best players available. And Mac isn't uniquely bad, all GMs (even Belichick) have a hard time telling who's going to be good, especially with QBs. So if there's a potential franchise QB on the board and you need one, IMO it makes sense to go for it.
     
  20. SolidGoldBowles

    SolidGoldBowles Well-Known Member

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    BPA can differ slightly based on the teams scouts, but on an overall basis should be pretty similar across the NFL.

    in 2016, when we drafted lee the only higher rated players was a DT which we didn't need (and only .1 higher) and jack who only fell due to his injury and knowing that he wans't going to play a snap in his rookie season while he healed, or he would have been a top 10 pick if not top 5. he's currently playing like a beast in JAX when they got him in the 2nd round. so I can understand not wanting to draft an injured player. Mac could have had lee rated higher as well. If you lok at the rest of the players taken in the 1st after lee, he's easily been the best so far so i have to give props to mac on this.

    in 2015 Williams was rated as the best player in the draft so he easily was BPA when we took him at 6. he fell due to teams not needing his position. there were 2 QBs, an OG, OLB, and WR taken before him

    in 2017 NFL had adams rated tied for 6th best. 3 players rated above him already had been drafted. leaving the BPAs as DE Allen, S hooker, and S adams. We weren't going to go DE most likely. we had wilk, richardson, and williams. So i can understand forgoing BPA in that position. the higher rated player fell to 17 so maybe the NFL didn't see him rated as high as the analysts scouts did. That leaves hooker and adams as the BPA and maybe mac had adams rated a little higher? hooker also fell to 15.
     

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