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The "This GM is a good/bad drafter" fallacy, and why Quantity > Quality

Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Of course it would be far more interesting if you cherry-picked the best players in the general area of those lower picks.
I'll bite. I picked players selected within 3 (ocassionally 4) spots of where we will pick in this years draft. I rated players as either Elite, Star, Key Starter or Solid Contributor. Sometimes I included 2 players when I couldn't decide.

2012

Matt Kalil OT #4- Elite
-------
Harrison Smith S #29- Star

Derek Wolfe DT #36- Key Starter

Casey Hayward CB #62/Dwayne Allen TE #64- Key Starter

Russell Wilson QB #75- Star

Ty Hilton WR #92- Key Starter (Could be star if keeps developing)


2011 (Holy s**t what a great top 11 that was)

AJ Green #4/Julio Jones #6- Elite
-----
Muhammad Wilkerson #30- Star

Colin Kaepernick #36- Star

Randall Cobb #64/Torrey Smith #58- Star

Steven Ridley RB #73- Key Starter

Chris Conte S #93- Solid Contributor


2010 (Excellent 1st round with 14 Pro-Bowlers already. Meh 2nd day)

Gerald McCoy DT #3- Elite
----
Devin McCourty CB #27- Star

TJ Ward S #38- Star

Ben Tate RB #58- Solid Contributor

Major Wright S #75- Key Starter

Navorro Bowman LB #91/Jimmy Graham TE #95- Elite


2009 (Yuck! What a hideous top 10!)

Andre Smith OT #6- Key Starter
----
Hakeem Nicks WR #29- Key Starter

Louis Delmas S #33- Key Starter

Sebastian Vollmer OT #58/William Beatty OT #60- Star

Terrance Knighton DT #72- Solid Contributor

Keenan Lewis CB #96- Key Starter


2008

Chris Long DE #2- Elite
------
Kenny Phillips S #31- Key Starter

Brandon Flowers CB #45- Star

Martellus Bennett TE #61- Solid Contributor

Jamaal Charles RB #73- Star

Cliff Avril DE #92- Key Starter

Analysis: In 4 of the 5 drafts the player selected was an elite player, while only 1 elite player was drafted in the 20 other picks, but many stars and key starters were drafted. If you want an elite player, the top of the draft is still the place to be in most drafts but you better select wisely because if you miss you're missing out on potentially grabbing one or two stars or key contributors.

In this draft which is considered to be very weak at the top with few if any elite prospects but very very deep it doesn't seem like a very smart move to trade a bunch of picks for a top 5 pick. It might be worth it if there was a guy you considered a "once in a decade player" available and you didn't have a lot of holes to fill but otherwise it would be a pretty ballsy gamble. Our best move is to keep our picks in the first 3 rounds and either trade up with later picks back into the 3rd or use those 4th-7th rounders to continue to stockpile picks for the future.

Love it. Thanks for putting in the work.
The patriots are a good model to use the pros and cons. For years they had a solid team that was always in contention for the SB. They also had many high picks, rarely trading up, instead, stock piling by trading away picks for another teams pick that was higher the next year or banking that a team with a bad history will still do as bad the next year thus get a pick in the top 15-20 range. They have used this to build a solid TEAM.

However, recently they had had many a miss too.

So no matter what your draft situation, you must look at what you need to do for the future. Also, depends on your ability to pick players. If you can get a megatron, Fritz or Jerry Rice, and you are set like the patriots, or niners were last year and in the past, you pull the the trigger. However, if you need to get talent and get cheaper because of cap and FA (like the niners will be for the next two years), then you will need many picks to stockpile for the future to keep the team competative.

So in the end, it means more that you have a good GM and scouting/personell people you remain fluid to your situation. Also, what gets overlooked is coaching and schemes, getting people that will fit your team. You can get good players but not coach them right to make the most of their talent. JH is a good example, they made use of pretty much the same people Singletary had, but succeeded. Also coaches need to butt out, cause sometimes they get to in love with a players and are inflexible. Remember when Ditka traded his entire draft for a running back cause he was also the GM.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,471
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Interesting article: http://www.footballperspective.com/are-certain-teams-better-at-drafting-than-others/

The article you cite is not without flaws.

First, the most blatant flaw is its characterization of Wyatt Earp. The author states, "You've undoubtedly heard of Wyatt Earp, who is famous precisely because he survived a large number of duels." First, This is flat-out historically false. The stated quantaty, a large number of duels is so imprecise that it has almost no meaning.

Second, the author asserts that "Polian's combination of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky predictably failed, Polian was fired. He went from scouting genius to draft failure overnight."

Implicit in this statement is the "fact" that predictable failure of Polian's draft picks to adequately replace Peyton Manning transformed Polian from a scouting genius to a draft failure.

This implied assertion is no more correct than the author's characterization of Wyatt Earp.

Of that combination of quarterbacks that failed only one, Curtis Painter was drafted by the Colts. Polian did not draft either Orlovsky or Collins.

Dan Orlovsky was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2005 draft.
Kerry Collins was drafted by Carolina Panthers in the firth round of the 1995 draft.

While, the predictable failure of Collins and Orlovsky might have contributed to the firing of Polian, their failure can not logically be directly attributed to Polian's drafting.

Given the author's seeming willingness to use evidence that is clearly inaccurate to bolster his claims, I find it difficult to accept his reasoning.
[ Edited by buck on Apr 23, 2013 at 7:47 AM ]
Without risk--no Jerry Rice. I understand the point of the article but disagree in that certain teams can use players that others can't and it is much more complicated than just a simple risk assessment on draft day. The niners are in a position to take some risks that will not kill the team.
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Originally posted by AllTimeGreat:
Originally posted by LieutKaffee:
Of course it would be far more interesting if you cherry-picked the best players in the general area of those lower picks.
I'll bite. I picked players selected within 3 (ocassionally 4) spots of where we will pick in this years draft. I rated players as either Elite, Star, Key Starter or Solid Contributor. Sometimes I included 2 players when I couldn't decide.

2012

Matt Kalil OT #4- Elite
-------
Harrison Smith S #29- Star

Derek Wolfe DT #36- Key Starter

Casey Hayward CB #62/Dwayne Allen TE #64- Key Starter

Russell Wilson QB #75- Star

Ty Hilton WR #92- Key Starter (Could be star if keeps developing)


2011 (Holy s**t what a great top 11 that was)

AJ Green #4/Julio Jones #6- Elite
-----
Muhammad Wilkerson #30- Star

Colin Kaepernick #36- Star

Randall Cobb #64/Torrey Smith #58- Star

Steven Ridley RB #73- Key Starter

Chris Conte S #93- Solid Contributor


2010 (Excellent 1st round with 14 Pro-Bowlers already. Meh 2nd day)

Gerald McCoy DT #3- Elite
----
Devin McCourty CB #27- Star

TJ Ward S #38- Star

Ben Tate RB #58- Solid Contributor

Major Wright S #75- Key Starter

Navorro Bowman LB #91/Jimmy Graham TE #95- Elite


2009 (Yuck! What a hideous top 10!)

Andre Smith OT #6- Key Starter
----
Hakeem Nicks WR #29- Key Starter

Louis Delmas S #33- Key Starter

Sebastian Vollmer OT #58/William Beatty OT #60- Star

Terrance Knighton DT #72- Solid Contributor

Keenan Lewis CB #96- Key Starter


2008

Chris Long DE #2- Elite
------
Kenny Phillips S #31- Key Starter

Brandon Flowers CB #45- Star

Martellus Bennett TE #61- Solid Contributor

Jamaal Charles RB #73- Star

Cliff Avril DE #92- Key Starter

Analysis: In 4 of the 5 drafts the player selected was an elite player, while only 1 elite player was drafted in the 20 other picks, but many stars and key starters were drafted. If you want an elite player, the top of the draft is still the place to be in most drafts but you better select wisely because if you miss you're missing out on potentially grabbing one or two stars or key contributors.

In this draft which is considered to be very weak at the top with few if any elite prospects but very very deep it doesn't seem like a very smart move to trade a bunch of picks for a top 5 pick. It might be worth it if there was a guy you considered a "once in a decade player" available and you didn't have a lot of holes to fill but otherwise it would be a pretty ballsy gamble. Our best move is to keep our picks in the first 3 rounds and either trade up with later picks back into the 3rd or use those 4th-7th rounders to continue to stockpile picks for the future.

Love it. Thanks for putting in the work.

Spot on...100% agree. Nice work!
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