Originally posted by Oscar:Thoughtful, measured, analysis with intelligent responses in in Niner Talk?! I'm shocked and impressed
In all seriousness, though, I think this is a wonderful post. I'd like to introduce something to this theory that other posters mentioned, but that I think is a key part of the drafting strategy: scheme.
We can glean a lot from the Harbaugh/Roman offense from the evaluation of Andrew Luck. Greg Cosell watched a ton of film, and is very respected in the field of football and player analysis. Here's what he had to say about Luck:
Quote: Greg Cosell
The deeper throws were what we call shot plays, primarily with play action, specifically designed to attack an anticipated coverage based on field position, down and distance, personnel and formation. On those plays, the receiver was wide open. They were not difficult passes. Overall, Luck was not asked to make many tough throws at the intermediate and deeper levels. I did not see those.
Why is that important? Because that is exactly the kind of offense we run here. Short and intermediate throws, with calculated shots down the field. We have our short and intermediate receivers: Manningham and Crabtree. What we need is that player to stretch the field and catch the ball (ahem, Stephen Hill) when we take those shots.
Schematically we value certain attributes. Wide receiver is a great example of how not every player is created equal at this position. Wes Welker and Mike Wallace are both amazing wide receivers, but each brings something different to their team. We're not looking for the best "player at the position," we're identifying particular traits at positions of need.
This is a minor distinction, but an important one. I agree with OnTheClock that value is paramount when drafting. And you can ensure value by tapping undervalued resources. For example, a tweener DE in college used to go un-drafted in the NFL. The rise of the 3-4 defense meant that a player no one valued, when placed in a different scheme, produced excellent results. Closer to home, Bob McKittrick always coached up smaller more agile offensive lineman. He took another teams trash and turned them into some of the best offensive lines the NFL has seen.
If everyone is going after the same traits, then everyone goes after the same players. When you know your team identity (another word for your scheme) you can search within a draft for players who have the traits you need. And I think THIS is how the best teams draft. And I also think that, thanks to Baalke and Harbaugh, we are one of those "best teams."
I think you just about EXACTLY summarized and put into other words what I am getting at here. Bravo. That is excellent.
Instead of elements, you use the word "traits" and I think that's a great synonym for what I'm referring to in this discussion. Our drafts look very, very different from the rest of the NFL because we implement this trait-specific board stacking technique. That is not traditional BPA and isn't really even similar to it. Traditional BPA weighs overall positional needs and takes the best player of the entire pool, as long as the value of a non-need player does not exceed the weighted value of a player at a needed position, since the player at a needed position would get at least a slight boost in "attributed value" because of the fact that they are a position of need.
Our strategy is much more complex than traditional BPA. We know our positional needs, but we target specific players with specific traits in those positions, which decreases the player pool, and that is exemplified in Dshearn's post below.
Originally posted by Dshearn:I recall in one of his books saying that they really liked "player A" but he had so few positive plays his sr season with in 5 yards of the line of scrimmage they took him off thier board altogether
So yea they went from love to don't touch even though the guy has awesome mesurables and fantastic college production
The draft strategy we employ typically will have inconsistent yields across entire drafts in terms of player success. More often then not, almost all players contribute, or almost none do from a given draft. But while riskier, however, it has the potential to create a lasting dominant roster -- a dynasty, if you will -- if done correctly .
While traditional BPA can be that way too once in a while, it typically is a smoother curve or line of success. Teams like the Colts will experience long-term moderate success, and may even win a Super Bowl, but their overall team will mostly be in that "almost dominant but not quite" category.
Now that I see what Trent is doing, I don't mind his strategy so much. However, he's going to have to establish that he can get the players right more often than not, because this strategy has greater risk of creating brief stretches of sub-par to very bad drafts.
As long as we can mold the players into what we expect to be able to make them into, we should experience long term success
[ Edited by OnTheClock on May 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM ]