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Draft Strategy - Why It Doesn't Matter If Your Pick Is Considered 'A Reach'

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by maverick4, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Let's say that a team does an accurate job of assessing the top 200 players in a draft, and that out of those top 200, through extensive analysis finds that only 25 are actually strong possible fits for your scheme or your selection criteria. The other 175 on the board, if on your team, wouldn't be good fits or would be sub-optimal, so you basically ignore or de-value them.

    If you are sitting at #10 and you estimate that your next highest-ranked 'fit' player will be picked within the next 5, 10, or even 25 picks, it doesn't matter if other people think you are reaching. You are picking the best player on your board, for your team. What good does it do to pick the best talent regardless of fit, when you are trying to build a team that excels in your specific scheme or organizational mission/philosophy?

    A team that truly believes in its own values, system, and organization will not hesitate to pass over who 3rd party observers consider to be superior talent. The entire debate of who was a reach, does not matter. It does not matter if people think picking Seymour, Warren, Watson, Mankins, Mayo came out of nowhere, if the Pats thought those highest ranked fit players would not last to the next round.

    The only analogy I can give as additional explanation is think of a fantasy baseball draft. If pre-draft I know that I want to build a team with excellent pitching, on base percentage, and steals, I will value those players higher than other teams do. If I highly value Chone Figgins for his potential contributions under my team strategy, and I know he won't last through the next round, it doesn't matter if I pick him much higher than is expected. Even if people think I am 'reaching' on picks, I am building my team under my vision, and picking players I know will not last if I do not pick them in those specific rounds.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  2. RPCity

    RPCity Rookie

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    I think this is a great post Maverick, and goes to show the real mindset a lot of teams have.

    The only difficult thing is, if you're talking about what is or is not a reach.....you might want to trade down and get extra assets. But that's not always a guarantee. I still think your overall point is excellent.
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice post Mav, at best all of this is a crap shoot, as the caliber of play, coaching and learning curve is light years ahead of college. To just judge a player by video will beg the question, it gives insight, but as important speaking to others, speaking to the player, knowing his background are all important factors... personally can never figure out who the winners and loosers are on the day after a draft, this should be discussed 2 years from now, but in this media frenzied world that is driven by subscriptions and money it will never change.

    At least let the guys suit up and play before you know if it was a good strategy or not. Lots of paper and bandwith is wasted on much to do about nothing.
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Were I covering the draft for the media, and had ultimate say-so with no pressure to judge everything immediately in my commentary, etc., I'd probably make a point like this one every time New England, Indy, SD, Pittsburgh, or another blue-chip draft team "reached":

    Of course, teams try to trade down to get their man at the best safe spot on the board, if they value him more to the organization than their spot suggests, and they're sticking to their draft boards come hell or high water -- that's how these same teams always end up at the top...

    Sort of a benefit of the doubt clause for the perenniel contenders/draft "winners."

    If the Jest reach for somebody, it's just a reach LOL. It comes down to how often they hit and how often they miss... and sometimes it comes down to whether "they understand the draft" as ESPN said one year about NY.

    PFnV
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    The definition of a "reach" is a player taken before the so-called media experts think he should have been.

    All that matters is that the team that wanted him, and knows their system, took him before someone else did.

    And if the media experts were truly experts, THEY'D be GMs.
  6. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot Rookie

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    It's a load of balls and watching this draft the term reach was used mainly by people creaming their panties over Long and Gholston and not thinking about the bigger picture, which was summed up perfectly by Maverick and thats different teams have different needs and systems and draft to their way of thinking.
  7. Poker

    Poker Rookie

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    Nice post Maverick.

    I would go ever farther--not only doesn't it matter if a team's pick is called a reach, I think (as someone else said) if you are one of the top franchises, it should absolutely be taken as a compliment and a predictor of success, though no pundits will likely describe it as such in the moment.

    I look at it this way--every year about 27-28 teams out of 32 are sheep, following the safe crowds, and the "reachers" are the ones who found value via market anomalies. And, since there's a hard salary cap in football, you can argue it's even more important to behave in this moneyball fashion than in baseball or basketball.
  8. MooMooCow

    MooMooCow Rookie

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    The OP is completely false. It's much better to draft 7 or 8 guys who won't fit your system, what matters is what the TV people think.
  9. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    Every college player could be labeled "a reach".
  10. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    Also if we were to take the 32nd least prepared FO in terms of draft scouting and compare it to the best TV analyst's draft scouting we would find even the worst team has done considerably more in terms of homework for the draft than the "experts" that call picks "a steal" or "a reach".
  11. ForThoseAboutToRock

    ForThoseAboutToRock Rookie

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    Great post, OP. The way some of the people following the draft have reacted really annoys me. Take this guy who wrote into Reiss's mailbag:

    How could they have picked Mayo that high? He would have been available at 20, never mind 10. For a team that says they NEVER draft on need, this pick made me sick. He may end up helping them out, and I'm not sure who I would have picked otherwise, but Mayo was so far down my list it shocked me. I think, when they traded back, they wanted Harvey, and Jacksonville blew up that plan. I just don't see Mayo worth the No. 10 pick. What do you think?
    Jan


    There's just so much badness and wrongness in there that it nearly made me lose my mind. Who is this guy to say what Mayo is or isn't worth? Who in the world gives a crap where Mayo was on his list? He thinks Mayo may end up helping the Patriots out, and yet still wanted them to pick someone else... that's not a logical statement. If he felt that a different player on the board would've helped the team more, then he should've made that argument based on some semblance of evidence other than "draft value" which we all know is code for some media slob's opinon.

    Also, since when have the Patriots not picked based on need? I remember them picking Wilfork when they needed a NT. I remember them picking Meriweather when they needed a DB. Maroney? What the hell was this statement based on?

    Thanks for giving me a place to post a reaction to this utter trash. Crappy draft reaction is hurt my hed. i go laye down.
  12. jct

    jct Rookie

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    I strongly agree with almost all of the sentiments here.
    Just adding to the concurrence...
    I believe Media reported strong interest at both possibly 13th and the 15th pick of drafting Mayo.
    I know its apples and oranges but in his last year at Ohio State,
    Mayo had 140 Tackles or so and quite a few extras (Sacks,TFL,Ints,PB,FF FR)
    plus Smarts and Speed which ought to translate to the NFL
    plus he has yet to reach his Maximum Strength or ideal playing weight (IMO)
    so I predict that he may well be an instant contributor on perhaps the strongest team ever assembled. At least 70 tackles but a strong argument could be made that he ought to be better than Hobson,Seau or Bruschi.

    Another thing is a significant % of the Media, indicate the 3 year draft evaluation and or give the NE front office credit for drafting excellence.
  13. jct

    jct Rookie

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    Ignore this oops PLZ.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  14. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    I find it funny how some in here agree to the OP which was a good post but again next year when someone makes a mock draft in this forum he gets bashed by the same guys who think he is crazy to put that guy as a pick on this team.

    The draft is unpredictable and ANYTHING can happen,So people need to just STFU and give a little respect to those who do put together a mock,its not easy and many don't even bother or are too lazy to do research to post one.
  15. ForThoseAboutToRock

    ForThoseAboutToRock Rookie

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    I like mocks, I think they're fun and I admire people who can really nail down a bunch of picks using their creativity. What I don't like are people thinking that their mock draft holds a lot of weight and that a team screwed up or reached by not following their personal rankings. To me, mocks are roughly equivalent to filling out an NCAA tournament bracket with respect to the unpredictability of the whole thing.
  16. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Disagree. It is more important what the ESPN draft guide says. THEN the TV talking heads.
  17. LA Pats Fan

    LA Pats Fan Rookie

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    Pats picks - ALWAYS a reach

    Joesixpat

    Has it right.
    Some teams have a list of players at a position that they rank 1,2 .....
    and have a feel for were they will go and are willing to get the 3,4 or so guy.
    They will typically wait until the 1st or second guy in that postion is picked and then try to position themselves to get the next guy.

    The Patriots unlike any other identify 2 or 3 specific people they want to draft at the position. They have to guess where another team act on the same guy and position themselves to get that guy.; Therefore he will will aways be a reach.

    Mayo may have been the 3rd or 4th rated LB on other teams boards but the patriots had him #1 for their scheme.

    I here Detroit and Philly were interested in Mayo
  18. NEPatriot

    NEPatriot Banned

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    Re: Pats picks - ALWAYS a reach

    if it helps us win another SB game in 08, it's a good draft. I don't care what media has to say about our draft.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  19. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Rookie

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    I want to echo the previous posts on this thread - well expressed. How I personally look at the draft (in my own very simplistic way) is as follows:

    It was a fairly strong consensus of the Pats need areas for 2008: ILB, OLB, DB's and maybe OL depth / upgrade.

    We drafted at all of those positions except OL.
    BB and Pioli would NOT draft a player at those need positions UNLESS they were confident of the value of the pick and also of the talent & character of the player.

    Since they DID draft at those positions, Pats got what they were looking for and so they must be happy, as am I.

    (and did you notice Bill in the NFL network interview just after the Mayo pick actually seemed to have a little grin. Not the dowry sullen face that we usually see - like one who is about to sit in the dentists chair. That expression said to me that he got the player he wanted AND was happy with the value (by trading down with the Saints).
  20. State

    State Rookie

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    Talking heads just talk

    But Logan Mankins, considered a reach for the first round, has done all right, don't you think?

    It's production on the field, not what the nattering-nababs have to say about you. I remember Detroit drafting the can't-miss bigtime receiver Mike Williams in 2005. Guess where he is now?

    I saw him in San Antonio manning a Dunkin Donuts counter.
  21. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    It's not just Mayo, but even both corners, the ST phenom, and also the QB we picked up. Basically, this entire draft is a good example of the Pats taking THEIR players, in every round, regardless of how much others think we 'reached'. It shows how much confidence they have in their own analysis.
  22. ivesaidway2much

    ivesaidway2much Rookie

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    I don't know. I'm pretty sure I would take Mike Mayock over Matt Millen any day of the week. Heck, I'd consider a monkey throwing its own poop at names on a draft board over Matt Millen.
  23. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey
    Good post Maverick ... I don't want to steal your idea here.
    So may I suggest you make a thread:

    Patriots Draft Reach Success and Failures ...

    Deion Branch was considered a reach ... success.
    Dan Graham was considered a reach ... success.
    Logan Mankins was considered a reach ... success.

    Chad Jackson was considered a reach ... so far failure, could change.
  24. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    very good stuff MAv, I would also add that in the context of building a roster the draft is only 1 component, there is the process of deciding which players to resign, which Fa's to go after and how to allocate the cap space to produce the strongest team.

    I am not a draftnick who reads all the junk and tries to reach conclusions about players I haven't seen in person or studied extensivly on tape. What I do enjoy about the draft is looking at the decision making process of the FO to try to understand what BB consders important in building the roster this year and the years beyond.
  25. Disco Volante

    Disco Volante Rookie

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    Well the contracts get lower as the picks do so that kind of matters.

    If you could choose between

    A: Selecting Mayo @ #10 for more money
    B: Selecting Mayo @ #14 for less money

    You always choose B of course.

    That wasn't an option for us seeing as no team with a lower pick than the Saints wanted to swap with us so it doesn't matter anyways and all is fine.
  26. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I elaborated on your post slightly for you. :)
  27. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FWIW, I remember an analogy (related to college admissions) that seems particularly appropriate here, especially in terms of deciding between positions:

    If that isn't a fair assessment of what BB and SP are doing each year, I don't know what is. :)
  28. FirstAndGoal

    FirstAndGoal Rookie

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    It doesn't matter. If you need a linebacker and he's projected to be at 15 but you pick him at 10, you got what you needed. It's dumb logic not to pick someone you like because he was projected at a certain spot if you think he won't be there when you pick next.
  29. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    That is the key point. Doesn't matter if other 3rd party people think you took someone 5, 10, even 30 picks too early, as long as you project that your highest rated fit won't be around the next pick.

    Also, to F.B.N: No problem, I don't care at all if you go and make that thread about historical reaches by the Pats who turned out great.
  30. MosiT

    MosiT Banned

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    Very good post and very well written.

    While we as fans and the so called experts are always quick to judge how a particular team's draft was handled, it really is proven out come training camp and pre season.

    There are those that will agree with the selections and those that will disagree with the selections but in the end, it is the players themselves, by virtue of their performance, that will make the final determination as to whether the selections were a reach a bust or well done.

    Fans will always have differing opinions because it is human nature to do so.

    But as I said in the end the validity or non validity of the player selections will come forth.

    What may be a reach for one team with a particular player at a certain slot in the draft, may not be a reach for another team in the same slot.

    I, for one, think the Mayo pick was a good one while the Wheatley pick was not, a reach so to speak.

    But that will be found out in camp. Hopefully Wheatly will do what the team wants from him.
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
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