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Draft Round Value Heuristics

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by fester, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. fester

    fester Rookie

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    How should we categorize how the Patriots look at what types of players are considered a "3rd round value" or a "7th round value" or a "high 1st rounder". We know that the Patriots definately grade against both the current year relative scale and against an absolute scale. There was a comment that Kareem Brown (4th Round 2007 draft) had a lower grade than the two offensive lineman drafted at the 190s or 210s during the 2009 draft.

    How should we categorize with a soft qualitative prism for the various rounds. I propose the following schema based on observations of all the Belicheck era Patriots' drafts:

    Top half of 1st round --- PROTOTYPE players, these are guys where there are no questions about their size, speed, strength, experience, football smarts, and dedication. Projection is needed as there is a big jump from the NCAA to NFL, but it is minimized. Best examples are Seymour and Wilfork on the D-line. Potential exception(s) are Mayo (a little short but this has worked out) and Meriweather (attitude/coachability). Chandler Jones is a Prototype size player with a minor question on college projection.

    late 1st to late 2nd Round --- [strike]Boom or Bust players[/strike] Tarnished Prototypes --- These are almost prototype players with a major question mark. If a prototype player falls, the Patriots will do the happy dance when grabbing him. Gronkowsi is a success story while Ron Brace and Darius Butler are failures. Gronk had injury history issues despite prototypical size, while Brace had production questions despite prototypical size/strength.

    Late 2nd to end of the 3rd round --- Core niche players --- these players should be very good at one aspect of the Patriots and can fill one role well. They may have the potential to develop into something more, but by now the chances of Pro-Bowl success are low. Vereen was drafted to be Faulk's replacement, Ridley was drafted to be a 2 down back, Mallet was drafted to be a #2 quarterback with upside. Price and Tate were drafted to be legit outside receivers (neither were) etc.

    4th-5th round --- Either Blue Light specials for dinged goods (Hernandez/Cannon) or intriguing physical prospects with major question marks (ie Asante Samuels was seen as a pure zone corner with size issues as a success story, or Klecko who had great production/intangibles in a less than ideal tangible package for a mild failure) or Super Core special teamers.

    6th/7th rounds --- Do 1 thing well or even more value shopping for troubled talent (Dennard)
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Rookie

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    I like your categorisations although I'd take issue with your 2nd round theme. There, rather than boom or bust, I think it's first round talent that falls for some reason, particularly at the higher end of the 2nd round. Think Gronk (injury) and Spikes (speed) in particular. Shane Vereen possibly qualifies under tha classification too; first round wiggle, later round strength.
  3. kennyb

    kennyb Rookie

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    Players with boom/bust are spread throughout the draft. Lots of top of 1st round players bust and lots of 3rd rounders are great players. Some 1st rounders are high floor/low ceiling types etc.

    Logically you'd expect more success in the 1st than the 3rd, etc. and that's probably how it shakes out but I don't think your heuristic works very well.
  4. fester

    fester Rookie

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    Completely agree that there are different sized "rooms" all over the draft. I've modified the late 1st to mid 2nd round categorization to "Tarnished Prototypes" as the Patriots draftee's in this category are near prototypical in most aspects but have one or more major flags (Health --- Gronk, Dowling, Vollmer... Speed (Spikes) Strength (Vereen) etc).

    I'm trying to develop a rough 10 second guide to how the Patriots seem to draft. And yes, a good deal of it is an availability heuristic (prototype players with no question marks don't make it to the 6th round).
  5. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I think BB has a very rigid system when it comes to grading prospects. And while he is very restrictive on 3-4 OLB types, it is a lot looser when it comes to rehabbing players.

    First Round - Solid all around players from major schools, proven against top conpetition with minimal warts
    Second Round - High risk-high reward types.
    Third Round - No idea what he is looking for, but it never seems to work. Time for BB to scrap the third round plan and continue to trade this round's picks away every year.
    Fourth - Sixth round - Depth. Players with limitations, but can also contribute of ST.
    Seventh round - Takes a chance on gems in the rough. Major warts/position change but grade out well enough and can play ST.
  6. kennyb

    kennyb Rookie

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    So for players in the 3rd round, do they pick "steady, solid players with unspectacular athletic ability but good fundamentals, etc. etc., ie low floor/low ceiling?" or "players with great athletic ability who were injured or on a bad team with poor coaching and have a high ceiling"?

    I don't think there is any specific heuristic at all.

    late round players might be 'boom/bust, let's take a shot', or they might be 'solid player who just didn't get a lot of attention, whatever'.

    Obviously players in the 1st round are going to be less 'flawed' otherwise they wouldn't be in the first round. But those have been boom/bust too, at least for most teams.
  7. fester

    fester Rookie

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    Let's look at the past couple of years to make that determination:

    2008 --- 3A (78) LB Crable --- projection player with high ability but major position change
    3b) (94) QB O'Connell --- high potential physical skill set who never got the mental aspects of the game

    2009 --- 3A (83) WR Tate --- high potential skill set, recovering from injury
    3B (97) LB McKenzie --- seemed like a solid all-around player with a transfer wart who got hit by really bad injury luck.

    2010 --- (90)WR Price --- high potential skill set, played in a run-first offense in college, almost no experience with a professional route tree.

    2011 --- 3A (73)RB Ridley --- decent physical skill set, nothing amazing, part of a RBBC at LSU
    3b (74) QB Mallett ---excellent physical skill set, questions about maturity/off field issues.

    2012 -- (90) DE Bequette --- good physical skill set, needed strengthening and coaching.

    So over the past five drafts, the players selected in the third round tend to be high physical potential guys that could boom or bust (2008-2010)


  8. DH523

    DH523 Rookie

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    May not be as "pure" for the Patriots but kind of bouncing off the OP's initial idea...

    1st Round: Guys who have a total package of size/speed, displayed versatility in college, impressed in interviews. Richard Seymour, Jerod Mayo, etc.
    2nd Round: Guys who are 1st round talent who have fallen either due to size (see WR Deion Branch), speed, or versatility concerns (see Sebastian Vollmer).
    3rd Round-4th Round: Guys who are productive but are flawed whether it be size, speed, or college scheme (see LB Tedy Bruschi). May also be players who flash athleticism but lack a pure position (see Garrett Mills or Dan Klecko).
    5th-7th Round: Project players who flash some athletic ability to play a few positions but were restricted by speed, size, scheme, or simply not playing football. Examples include Nate Ebner (who played Rugby), Julian Edelman (who played QB) or Matt Slater (who played WR and FS).
    UDFAs: Can be guys in that 6th-7th Round window who did not get drafted. Can also be players who flashed for coaches Belichick is close to (see LB Gary Guyton under Al Groh at Georgia Tech or CB Randall Gay under Nick Saban at LSU).

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