There have been a number of myths out there about the draft that have bothered me for a long time. Some about the draft and how NFL teams approach it, and some specifically as it goes with how the Packers front office approaches the draft.
Draft Myths and Facts
- “Player X is moving up draft boards” or “Player X has been moving up teams draft boards recently”
When you hear something like this in the media anything after the Combine, it is generally not true. It is wording media uses to drive views, and clicks. The fact is most teams draft boards are pretty much set by early February post combine, and a lot of the movement you see post combine is guys going down. Usually because of some sort of medical issue or they bombed in the interview process. Even when you see a guy come out of no where and run a 4.3. The truth is NFL teams already know that player is fast. The 40 time just confirms it. Occasionally you see a guy run a fast 40 that makes teams go back and re-watch his film to see if there was something they missed he didn’t seem to play that fast, or you will see the opposite. A guy runs slower than they expected. Teams know about theses guys years before the media catches on to them. So when you see on ESPN or really any media around this time talking about a player ‘shooting up’ draft boards. Its not true. The player may be going up in their(the media’s) draft boards, but not NFL teams. NFL teams start scouting players as early as their Sophomore years. It is people in the media catching up to the NFL.
2. Big boards
NFL teams do not have big boards. Not at least like the ones you see online. NFL teams do not rank players in the draft from 1-250, or 1-200 or even 1-150. From what I have been told from a number of people is NFL teams only rank players given a 1st round grade. All other player are put in tiers. 2nd round, 3rd round, 4th round, Priority free agent etc… with some small variances here or there usually tiers like early 2nd round, late 2nd round, early 3rd round, late 3rd round, etc…
3. First round picks
No NFL team in the modern era has ever had 32 players rated as 1st round picks in any draft. The amount of players rated as 1st round picks can vary from team to team and from year to year. Generally depending on how strong the 1st round is teams will have anywhere from 15(a bad year) to 25(a good year) players rated with a 1st round grade.
Packers Myths and Facts
- The Packers draft pure Best Player Available(BPA)
This is not true. No matter what Ted Thompson or Brian Gutekunst have said in the media, rarely does an NFL team draft pure BPA. In the later rounds, sure, since those 6th and 7th round picks are just basically a stab in the dark. What the Packers do is they draft the Best Player Available at a position of need. Now people miss understand this. It is not positions of need that the media says they have or fans. Its needs the front office has established they have. A lot of times they do not line up with what everyone else thinks. The Packers are also thinking two to three years ahead. So there may be a position that isn’t a need this year; but it will be one next year. For example, the AJ Dillon pick. Fans and media didn’t understand the pick because the Packers already had Jones and Williams, but what they failed to factor in is that both of them were going to be free agents. So they drafted Dillon for two reasons. To hedge their bets in case both left in free agency, and also knowing they probably were not going to be able to keep both. LaFleur needs at least two backs for his system to work, the last two seasons were perfect examples of that.
2. Positional value
This is also another thing some in the media but mostly fans do not understand. There is a value placed on positions by every NFL team. Every team will value different positions differently. Also those values can change from year to year if there is a change in offensive or defensive philosophy’s. The value chart gets factored into every pick that is made. For example if the Packers pick comes up and they have two guys on their board that are rated similar and they are the highest players on the board. If one is say a quarterback and the other is a cornerback. The Packers would more than likely take the cornerback, because although quarterback is at the top of their overall value chart, they already have Rodgers and Love but need help at cornerback. Now if the quarterback is far and away the best player left on the board they may take him, or they may trade down.
3. Positional Value Part 2
Now with all that being said, the Packers do have positional value chart that they adhere to when it comes to the 1st round. There are certain positions the Packers always pick from in the 1st because they are highly impactful positions. They value: Quarterback, Left Tackle, Pass rushers, Defensive backs, and more recently Right Tackle. Now we do have to quantify two of those positions so people understand. Pass Rushers includes interior defensive linemen, BUT only those that can effect the passing game. So no Snacks Harrison type players in the first round. Now with Defensive Backs its kind of the same thing. Only guys that effect the passing game, IE guys that can cover. So you wont see them take a guy like a Kam Chancellor in the 1st round. After the 1st it kind of opens up but still the Packers do value those positions more in the earlier rounds than the other positions. Jenkins was the fist interior offensive lineman that the Packers have taken in the 1st three rounds since Jason Spitz in ’06 and he was taken in the 3rd.
Thanks for reading and I hope you guys got something out of this.
Go Pack Go!