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Do mock drafts systematically undervalue 3-4 LBs?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Dec 2, 2007.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the Vernon Gholston/Nawrocki thread, Remix commented on how Gholston is climbing on draft value charts. Maybe somewhat, but I just checked a bunch of recent mocks (nfldraftcountdown.com, draftace.com, about.com, thehuddlereport.com, fftoolbox.com) that didn't place Gholston in the top 20. Yet all of us here can look at the guy and say that barring major red flags, he's a lock for the top half of round one. Odd, huh?

    Check ILB rankings on those same sites and you'll find that Beau Bell (at 6'2 245 with surprising speed and a knack for causing fumbles) is a 2nd-day guy, some ranking him out of the top 10 ILB prospects.

    Does any of this sound familiar? It seems that every year at this time players like Kamerion Wimbley, DeMarcus Ware, Manny Lawson and David Harris are vastly undervalued in early mocks...then make a sudden late surge. Even Patrick Willis, everybody's darling at ILB last year, wasn't considered anything like a top-10 pick in December. All of these players, of course, were drafted by 3-4 teams.

    I keep expecting the undervaluing to change as more and more teams move to a 3-4 defense and draft "experts" watch players like Ware--straight out of mighty Troy University--going in the top half of the 1st. But so far I'm not seeing the shift. (I should note that the big exception is nfldraftscout.com, which has Bell ranked as a round 1-2 guy and Gholston as their top DE for 2009.)

    So when we talk about "realistic" placements in mock drafts, I'd toss out the consensus rankings for any:

    - 6'4" 250lb DEs with top pass-rush speed and enough agility to play in space

    - 6'2 240lb ILBs who show good read-and-react ability and use their hands well
  2. JaredOfNazareth

    JaredOfNazareth Rookie

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    I agree. Most mock sites are based on the best players from top football factories. These top schools don't use the 3-4 so their players are projected at the same position they play in college. A 250lb DE is small yet ideal for 3-4 OLB. I would guess real NFL draft boards do a better job than these copy and paste for ad revenue mock draft websites.
  3. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I think it is difficult to project a college player into a different position in the pros. ILB is one of those positions where not a lot of teams are running a 3-4 in college so projecting college 4-3 MLB or DE to ILB or OLB in a 3-4 is a bit of a gamble.
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