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Drafting is an art, not a science

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by 40yrpatsfan, May 3, 2008.

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  1. 40yrpatsfan

    40yrpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With so many posts about reaching, need vs value, and the like, here's my .02. The selection of Jerrod Mayo is a great example of how nuanced it all is.

    - there are some guidelines & principles to the process, but it's the opposite of a cookie-cutter process. It's influenced in no particular order by need, value, rare qualities in a prospect, gut feel, gambling mentality, long term team strategy, and probably other factors.

    - I think that most of the art of drafting is knowing when to trade down: when it's OK to trade down, and how far to trade down. At this, the Patriots excel. It's easy to trade up, because you're dealing for a definite result. Trading down is dealing for an indefinite result, so there is risk involved. You have to know what you're doing when you trade down - it's like getting into puts and calls in the stock market, as there's a lot of predicting going on.

    - We now know how much Belichick loved Mayo - he said after the draft that he hasn't seen a LB like him in a very long time. So here he sees a very rare prospect in Mayo, who plays the position of highest (very urgent) need, and we're drafting in a slot that he'll probably never see again. Yet he trades down! If that doesn't illustrate how important Value is to the equation, then nothing will.

    - Trading down gets to the heart of the Need vs Value issue. NE at #7 was evaluating: a) were there any amazing values at this spot even outside our needs? e.g., a Dorsey unexpectedly slipping that far (NO); b) was Mayo, and the ILB position in general, worth the #7 pick, even though we love the guy and need the guy? (NO); and c) will Mayo still be there at #10 based on all our projections, and are we going to trust those projections? (YES - which took balls).

    - Note that decision-making is different from round to round, because the risk associated with a bad choice decreases. In round 1, there is great risk associated with losing a premier prospect by trading down, because he is less replaceable - the talent curve is steeper. By round 3 or 4, if you miss a guy, there's usually another guy of similar value to fall back on.

    - Picking at #10, certainly there were offers coming in to trade down again. They could do the same analysis and determine again that #10 was too high, etc., but this is where the "art" and risk assessment come into play. They had already picked up a mid 3rd rounder and now owned three 3rd's - they already had plenty of picks for the day. They felt that with any move into the teens, the risk of having someone grab Mayo went up exponentionally. So they made the gut feel decision to take their man right there at 10. At that point, they didn't care where he was ranked by anyone else, he was their man.

    - Another point on Need vs Value. For the better teams especially, "Need" certainly influences how a draft is approached (for a bad team, they need almost everything, so it's not a criteria). But every team has at least 2 areas of need, so Need alone should never drive a bad decision. For example, if you need both a LB and a CB in that order, a good drafting team like the Patriots will take the CB if he's the better player at that drafting point, and not take a lesser LB because they need a LB a little more.
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  2. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    It is part art, part science and but mostly crap shoot.
  3. 40yrpatsfan

    40yrpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, that too. Pats have done OK for the most part. In rounds 1-3 since 2000, they've whiffed on a few:

    - Brock Williams & Gus Scott (both 3rd's) never contributed due to injuries

    - Bethel Johnson, Adrian Klemm (both 2nd's), and JR Redmond (3rd) made some contributions, but were disppointing overall

    - Marquise Hill (2nd) was a work in process, but did very little in 2 seasons

    - Chad Jackson (2nd) and Dave Thomas (3rd) are going to be very good imo
  4. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    If history is any guide, we see that Belioli are brilliant in the first round, but mediocre in the second. That's great news regarding Mayo, but not so great for the cornerback position. Belioli seem able to navigate the first round better than any front office in the NFL. In the second round, however, it's been a different story.

    Whether it's because they've made bad talent assessments and focused on the wrong players, or because they haven't been able to work the draft particularly well when it comes to round 2, I don't think too many people would disagree with the notion that Belioli could improve their round 2 success rate.

    Of course, given the audience, maybe they would....
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  5. MosiT

    MosiT Banned

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    You took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to post that and then saw your comment.

    The jump from college to the NFL game is perhaps the biggest of all the challenges for a player making the change from college to professional.

    While other sports represent a major change in play, not as great as in the NFL, IMO.

    In fact, in Basketball a kid just out of the schoolyards or high school can become an instant superstar, as we have seen many times.

    In Hockey,players come out of the junior ranks in Canada or the NCAA Division I schools and can be an instant star.

    Same in baseball, although a year or two in the minor leagues is helpful.

    But in football, the change is unlike anything they will ever experience.

    Sure the basics are the same but that is where it ends.

    That jump from the college ranks to the NFL is about as drastic a change as there is.
  6. MosiT

    MosiT Banned

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    Calling them "mediocre" in round 2 is giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    It is very amazing how for whatever reason they suck inthe 2nd round.

    Are they all out on a pee break after sitting theer for a long time in round 1? :D
  7. jbb9s

    jbb9s Rookie

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    JR REDMOND! JR REDMOND!

    Look up "the drive" on youtube.

    Watch yourself. After those screen receptions, in particular the one where he jukes outside where everyone though he was going to get OB, then cuts inside gets about another 10 yards then dives and still gets OB is amazing and even if he didn'r catch or rush for another yard before or after that drive he still won that superbowl for the Patriots.
  8. BelizePats

    BelizePats Rookie

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    With all the garbage that's been posted here lately (Cassell worth two firsts, Brady at the Derby) it's nice to read a post that has some perspective. Without question, luck plays a big part in the overall success a team experiences with a draft class. Did anyone read Peter Kings analysis of the 1998 draft in SI a couple of weeks ago? In spite of how much I'd like to kick the fat slob in the nuts, he did a really good job of breaking down just how hard it is for a front office to be successful in evaluating talent. I'm glad ours is better than most, in spite of the round two "issues" we seem to have had over the years.
  9. MosiT

    MosiT Banned

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    Bingo!!! If not for J R Redmond, all that happened after that including all the Super Bowl appearances land wins might not have happened.

    J R Redmond deserves a spot in Patriot's History for what he did on that final drive, in particular the play where he saw the first down marker and then had the foresight to get out of bounds.

    If he didn't do that, in all probability the game would have gone into overtime and it is quite possible that all of the future success may not have occurred.

    Whatever happened to J R?

    Oh wait, I forgot, he was shot in Dallas? :D

    http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id288.htm
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  10. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #17 Jersey

    Deion Branch, Matt Light were pretty darn good #2's...I would not say we are a disaster in that round by any means.

    Jury still out on Chad Jackson, Bethel a failure and Marquise Hill did not have a position on a team totally loaded on the D line.

    I think this year the #2 spot will pay huge dividends...I love wheatley.
  11. MosiT

    MosiT Banned

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    When is the wedding? :D
  12. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A leopard can truly never change it's spots, can it NEM...

    Light, Branch,Welker..they seem to do OK for a team more often than not picking at the tail end of rounds, and have particularly good success when they used the pick to acquire an undersized player. Bodes well for this years diminutive pick.

    When a team wins 7 Division Championships and 4 Conference Championships and 3 Superbowl Championships in 8 years, they don't suck at anything except perhaps better educating an arrogant and ignorant fan base.
  13. jct

    jct Rookie

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    Nice original post by the threadtstarter...
  14. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    To be more accurate, during the BB era, they've almost NEVER missed on 1st round picks. 2nd and 3rd round picks are a dicier proposition.
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
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