Originally posted by candlestick49er:
MadDog, thanks for your draft analysis. I happen to find your posts very entertaining because I tend to strongly (but respectfully) disagree with your views. I know my timing in this thread isn't the greatest but I've been meaning to respond to it. I'm not a draft expert by any means. My knowledge of the rookies are based mainly on scouting reports I've come across. Therefore, I'm not here to debate or argue with your player evaluations. I'm more focused on your reasoning behind the grades.
I think it's unfair to grade Jenkins an F because you believe we "could've/should've" drafted DeCastro. Unless you were in the war room during the draft, you don't know if a trade up was even a possibility. Its unreasonable to give an F grade based on an assumption. If you believe that Jenkins at 30th overall deserves a C+ then it makes sense to just go with that grade since its based on what actually happened.
Based on your reasoning, I'm confused why you think this pick deserves a D. I'm not sure what you expect from a 5th round pick but I think selecting a "Good football player that is athletic, quick, and productive" in this round is great. I understand you believe we had greater needs/better players on the board, but why is picking a good football player in the 5th round (or any late round) worthy of a below average grade?
You chose to put more emphasis on the first few picks and less on the later selections, but don't you think ALL the picks are equally as important when analyzing a draft class? The most successful draft classes include gems that were found in the mid-late rounds. Consider the greatness of Walsh's 1986 draft class (which didn't have a 1st rounder but instead had many mid-late round picks). The point I'm trying to get across is that the draft is about getting good football players throughout the process, not just the first few picks. The mid-late rounds are pretty important too. With that said, lets take a look at your draft analysis (with equal emphasis across the entire class):
1. Jenkins (C+) "good player, solid #2 WR"
2. James (D) "rotational back"
3. Trade (A) "good negotiation"
4. Trade (A) "great value"
4. Trade (A) "great value"
4. Looney (B-) "smart, savvy, technically sound"
5. Fleming (D) "athletic, quick, productive"
6. Robinson (A) "steal, one of the best FS prospects, outstanding pick"
6. Slowey (A) "terrific pick, brilliant play for a 6th rounder"
7. Johnson (A) "2nd-3rd round value, could be starting material"
According to your analysis, the positives include: 4 potential starters (Jenkins, Looney, Robinson, Johnson), 3 great/good trades, and a versatile backup with excellent upside (Slowey). The negatives include: a rotational back who wont be getting significant snaps and a backup LB who's out of place. It appears your pros far outweigh your cons regarding this draft. Take away your disappointment in not "trading up" for DeCastro and it no longer looks like a "C" draft anymore.
Thanks for your post and kind thoughts.
In regards to the first rounder, most teams in a pre-draft sample were actively attempting to move down the board in the first round. While it is possible that a whole run of teams were not willing to move down, it is highly unlikely. At 21, the Bengals did move down from 21 to 27. I don't think they would have mind selecting at 30 instead. At 22, the Browns lost out on the player they wanted, Kendall Wright, to the Titans at 20. At 23, the Lions may have been willing to trade down. Not sure on them. I just think that if you really valued the player, you would have sealed the deal. The team didn't, for whatever reason. I understand you questioning the downgrade for not making the deal, but if this was a franchise QB, and the team didn't make the move to ensure the pick, I think more people would tend to feel the same way I do in this downgrade.
As for Fleming, the grade was really about finding good value at a position of need. The team is set at OLB and ILB for 2012 and 2013 with solid players across the board. So, while a 7th round selection for a backup at the position makes sense, as they did with Johnson, using a 5th rounder is simply not good value. So, while the player is athletic, and was a good player at ND, to me, he is a tough fit in our scheme, and there were better players on the board in more needy areas. Hence, the head scratcher comment.
Draft grades are almost top heavy in their evaluation since late rounders are generally thought of as bench/role players, not difference makers. I don't see Jenkins or James to make the same impact as other guys that were on the board.
We'll see how it all plays out.