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Draft Theories

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This is pretty interesting I thought. It gave me some insight into the draft and why certain players show up where they do. In fact, I have a theory on our #2 this year now. I'll ya'll draw your own ...

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Old 04-25-2005, 03:13 AM   #1
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Draft Theories

This is pretty interesting I thought. It gave me some insight into the draft and why certain players show up where they do. In fact, I have a theory on our #2 this year now. I'll ya'll draw your own conclusions though.

From: http://www.gbnreport.com/drafttheories.htm

The following are several drafting theories some actually subscribed to by teams, others sometimes in name only:
Draft the best athlete: The most tried and true draft theory, though, it drives a lot of fans, particularly those who are more likely to be looking for a quick fix to distraction. It is also something of a misnomer; best athlete implies you are primarily taking a guy for his athletic ability - speed, vertical leap, weight-room strength etc. - when done correctly it really should read "best player available". Drafting the best player is also based on the notion that drafts are not primarily about fixing a weakness on the team for next year, but rather are part of a longer term building process.

Here's how BPA works, at least in theory. First, we give each veteran on a particular team a numerical grade which we will call their hypothetical player value (HPV) on a scale of ten. Then a team with a WR with HPV of 8 and an OG with a HPV of 6 and arrives at the draft and has a choice of two players: a WR with an HPV of 9 and an OG with an HPV of 8. Obviously by taking the OG the team would increase its value at that position by 2 points whereas by taking the WR their total HPV would rise only 1 point. In the short ternm the team would increase its total HPV by taking the OG. However, if a team did the same thing over a period of years, that is, took the player with a HPV of 8 at a position of need, but passed on a 9 at another position, at the end of a 5-year period, for example, that team would have a total HPV of 40 from the 5 picks, whereas the higher graded players would have added a total of 45, and everything else being equal a much better team. Given the incredible vagaries of pro football careers - injuries, FA defections, and the fact that all players develop differently and at different paces - this year's crisis at OG, for example, may have been solved by an undrafted FA no one counted on, while one at another position suffers a career ending knee injury - drafting the best player available simply maximizes your odds of having the best possible team over the long haul.

Of course, when a team makes its pick there is often not such a clear difference between players; in fact there may be several players with a similar ranking and that's when that team can focus on which of those players/positions will help that particular team the most.

The problem with BPA, however, is that, almost by definition, it does not do a good job of addressing problem areas. This can be be a major concern, particularly at positions like QB, left offensive tackle, RDE and CB where it is critical that a team have at least a competent player if they hope to be a serious contender. This is where free agency can, and should, come into play.

Shopping lists versus a truly positional draft: Most teams when drafting appear to take a kind of shopping list approach: a WR in the first round, LB in the second, OG in the third, DT in the fourth and so on. I am not sure, however, that this is necessarily very effective when a team is trying to upgrade a really weak position. In fact there is nothing that annoys me more on draft day when an announcer starts rambling on that "the Catfish have really upgraded their receiver core by taking WR Billy Bob Bumpkin from State U". I have always wondered how he knows; it could turn out the guy never signs, gets hurt on the first day of practise or actually couldn't catch a cold. The problem with just taking one player is that it is still all about probabilities, and probabilities far lower than we all realize. If that one player doesn't work out for whatever reason that team is ultimately no farther ahead. We believe that if a team really wants to work on a position they actually should consider using a good part of a draft to do it, again because of the generally low probabilities involved.

Team building rather than team fixing: Again, most fans - and indeed, most people in the media, not to mentiuon the myriad of mock drafters out there - when they look ahead to a draft, start with an assessment of the team's weaknesses and go from there. As such, they then tend to identify a top player at the weakest position as the 'player they would pick.' Most NFL coaches/management, particularly the good ones, however, often look more to proactively build something or a system rather than just look to fill shorter term holes. It may be to install a more diversified offense or develop an aggressive, attack oriented-defense or simply to get faster across the board; in order to do that, though, they often end up drafting players at positions which seem to be solid. And this phenomenon may be the biggest reason why predicting any draft is so difficult, because if often means having to get 'inside the head' of the respective coaches and GMs around the league.

Building from strength: We almost always talk about using the draft to fix weaknesses; this may not always be necessarily the most efficient way to build a team however. In a nutshell, the problem with this approach is that if a team brings a strong player into a weak unit, opponents can quickly neutralize the impact of that player by double-teaming or playing away from them. If on the other hand a team drafts to its strength, it is possible to create a super unit that make all other units on the team better simply because opponents have to invest so much in stopping the good unit that the weaker ones are allowed considerable liberties.
Food for thought anyway.
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Old 04-25-2005, 04:50 PM   #2
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Draft Theories

Bump.

For Kelley.

Let me know what you think, buddy.

Apologies to those who already saw this.
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Old 04-25-2005, 05:10 PM   #3
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hey jk, i saw the matrix too you know...................smitty
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Old 04-25-2005, 05:50 PM   #4
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Draft Theories

some thought fo sho. gbn generally has some good stuff.

i still have problems with the f.o. office though about this draft cuz all i can see consistent with those theories would be shopping list. like, we are gonna take an OT in the 1st, a safety in the 2nd, a LB in the 3rd, etc. but as they point out- \"We believe that if a team really wants to work on a position they actually should consider using a good part of a draft to do it, again because of the generally low probabilities involved.\"

In the first DJ was both the BPA and biggest need. of course that is just my opinion. i think ya could find a lot of support for that view though far beyond out board here though. some projected him as high as the 3rd overall this week. brown apparently slipped above barron just this past week. many on this board had him pegged available at #16. if he moved ahead of barron then barron would be available.

okay, i\'ll go along and say a road grader is needed more than a LB in the first. 2nd round, as you said, wtf?!? kevin burnett the number 2 LB if not the BPA is there. if ya wanted a DB i counted other corners as better pa than bullock. so not need, not bpa. building from strength?? not the approach when you are 32nd imo. parcells wanted to upgrade the dallas d. it is very clear the quality of who he got and how they will fit it. bullock may be fine but it is an IF scenario. not my plan but from those ideas we could have drafted the top 3 LBs if we had taken the #31 from philly- dj, ruud, and burnett. i gotta bet that at least one, probably 2 of them will be an immediate impact guy, vilma-d.j. williams-like at least. then we have the others. as said, not my design but that would have been a big statement- we are tired of LB weakness!

the uconn boy is just fine for a #3. but he is just that a tier down choice. limited abilities or upside. he looks like a player and may end up good but again it is with a lot of IF attached. if a LB had been addressed in 1-2 then the third rd could be looking at antonio perkins or travis daniels db\'s.

as much potential as lyman has no one can argue that he is a capital IF concerning injuries. with the previous picks i did not think the pointed defensive needs had been addressed sufficiently. donte nicholson a true ss was available here, dt ronald fields, or lb\'s mccune or boley (who were on my wish list for the 4th rd). if lyman was the bpa on their board then i feel even worse. shopping list is all i can imagine. 4th rd we are gonna get a wr.

mcpherson i loved. i was scared they were gonna take him at #82. i wouldnt have liked that. but in the 5th rd he becomes a great risk/reward investment imo. i do not have one quibble about this pick. but did they say we are going lb in the 5th. mcpherson or derek anderson guys? (i predicted they would take him in the 6th)

i don\'t put a lot into the 6th-7th. if ya get someone useable great. if not, oh well. i do think those are the rounds to go for the high risk/high return types. i\'m no hawthorne fan but he was projected as high as the 1st rd at one time. highness was his problem tho. rotsa ruck on the guys there.

didnt mean to draft capsule but i was trying to see if i could work some of those theories into the picks made. those theories lead me to only think there might be less plan and professionalism in the fo than i imagined.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:22 PM   #5
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Draft Theories

I thought this was the interesting point Kelley:

Building from strength: We almost always talk about using the draft to fix weaknesses; this may not always be necessarily the most efficient way to build a team however. In a nutshell, the problem with this approach is that if a team brings a strong player into a weak unit, opponents can quickly neutralize the impact of that player by double-teaming or playing away from them. If on the other hand a team drafts to its strength, it is possible to create a super unit that make all other units on the team better simply because opponents have to invest so much in stopping the good unit that the weaker ones are allowed considerable liberties.
Bold mine.
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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Draft Theories

My problem with this draft is this. A team\'s offseason is part of the draft. If the Fish had gotten Ricky back they would not have gone RB with the number two. They had other holes to fill. Might have traded down. The point being not getting a player in the offseason forced their hand.

Our two biggest offseason move. A RT and a FS. First pick RT second FS. ??????

I agree with everyone else that has said DJ was the best value and also the biggest need. I like the first three picks and love our pick in the 5th. at FSU he showed he can play. He will start for us soon.
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:29 PM   #7
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Draft Theories

Pretty interesting read...

I\'m not gonna go into lengthy analysis, but in regards to picking Jammal Brown in the first, I think several of the theories apply.

Several teams are rumored to have ranked Brown their #1 OT in the draft, so by that rationale we may have taken our personal BPA per the aforementioned ranking system. In addition to that, the Saints expressed no real interest in resigning Victor Riley at RT. I guess this would be \"team fixing,\" but it\'s hard to deny RT was a glaring need on draft day. Brown is a natural RT, so if he happened to meet multiple theories, all the better for us I suppose.

Still baffled by much of the rest of the draft, but Loomis did say today on the Gerry V show that he believes Bullocks will be learning from Bellamy. Perhaps they plan on the right/left safety strategy after all. Hope that run support shows up...
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:17 AM   #8
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Draft Theories

Ok, I\'ll just out and say it.

I think that the Bullocks pick is a Building from Strength strategy. Our defensive backfield may be the best unit on our defense (with our weak LBs and DTs). This will at least make the other team one dimensional - they won\'t really be able to pass so easily. This will allow us to play call and game plan against the run, which should help our beleagared run defense.

With a true Right-Left safety system and speed at our WLB and MLB (Colby and Watson) we can run blitz more, mix coverages, and utilize deception a bit more. Also, with ballhawks in the middle of the secondary (not to mention our stud McKenzie), we can funnel oppenents offenses a LOT more.

Also, again, building from strength, we took Brown. This builds to Duece, Karney, and our massively improved line - this also, derivatively, helps a good passing game.

BPA isn\'t the only good way to build a team.

I also thought this was interesting: drafting for need can get you in trouble, since the rookie may well be the best player in the unit. It is easier to isolate, game plan, and neutralize single quality players than an attack that isn\'t as obviously focused around one player. In a sense, not picking DJ made it harder for teams to game plan against our LBs, since the strike could come from any of the three (rather than designed to set up a single player).

The Lymon pick may never make sense to me, but I\'m starting to feel pretty good about our first three.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:36 AM   #9
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Draft Theories

papz and lifer have seen Lyman play, and say when healthy is a very good player...

Danno got me thinking in another tread stating that Lyman could be a player for next year or the year after.

While I am still very weary about taking him with the #4 pick when he surely would\'ve been there later on in the draft... maybe not other teams might have been willing to gamble on him just the same.

Bottom line is...given a year to train in a NFL system and fully recoup from nagging injuries could lead to a solid contributor in the future. I think Danno\'s post in conjunction with papz and lifers comments opened a new light on the selection.

Is it possible the Lyman wasn\'t brought in for special teams, but instead to shape for 06-07? Might turn out to be a better pick than most are giving credit for. I personally am not ready to jump on the bandwagon and say it was a great pickup...it still baffles the heck out of me. However, I realize that someone saw something special in this kid to draft him despite his injuries.

Here\'s to hoping all of us \"professional scout posters\" could be wrong.

BB&G
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #10
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Don\'t get me wrong, I don\'t mind having Lymon on the team (if he makes the team). I just don\'t really understand the strategy there - that is what I don\'t get.
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