Caradoc wrote:First off, let's level-set here - I was not an advocate of drafting Aguayo (at least earlier than the 5th or 6th). When we traded up I felt certain, like many others, that we would draft Vonn Bell, and thought that was the smart move there.
Watching you numbskulls arguing this over and over and repeatedly missing the point is depressing. Doctor is making a very simple point, which you are missing so completely that it almost seems like some form of "community Bootzing."
The first mistake you are making is you need to work on your English skills. Specifically the fact that there is a significant difference between the word "CAN", and the word "WILL". Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you will. Just because something is POSSIBLE does not mean it is GUARANTEED. But you all say "you can get a good kicker in FA", but what you are really insisting is that you WILL get one in FA. If that was the case, every team would have a good kicker because "you can get them in FA". You all seem to refuse to acknowledge that you also CAN get a really crappy kicker in FA. This is an extremely important point that you totally dismiss as irrelevant, or a minor concern at best. Also note that the only position that you generally CAN'T get a good player in FA is at QB, so saying "you can get a kicker in FA" as some kind of unique positional trait is bunk You can get a good DE in FA, you can get a good WR, etc..
Second thing is, you are vastly over simplifying the draft. It is not as simple as "you have to draft here to get a good safety/LB/CB." Or "This position is the best bet in Round X". While when we talk about the draft we tend to make those oversimplifications, but once you get past the very beginning of the draft, those generalizations become less and less accurate very very quickly. You draft people not just on the positional value, but also on what you think their ceiling is, and the probability they will reach that ceiling. (To be sure there are many other things, but these are the big ones for this particular discussion).
So, how to explain? Well, since there are so many fans of PFFs "magical math" here I'll use some arbitrary math here (but I won't pretend the numbers are accurate or have any real meaning other than to illustrate a point).
Lets look at 1) Vonn Bell, who I think everyone would have been OK with had we moved up there and was expecting us to, and 2) Aguayo, who we did draft. When you are looking at building your team, you have a certain valuation at different positions. You may have a number or just a general sense, but you value positions differently. So lets say that Licht values an "average" player at the safety position as an 6, and at the kicking position as a 4. Nothing unusual. But then he looks at the players available and grades what they think their ceiling might be, and he grades out Bell as having a ceiling of being "good to very good" and that gives him a new value of 8. He grades Aguayo's ceiling as "perennial All-pro to HOF" Which shoots him up to 8 as well. Now they are both looking about equal value to him as far as the future success of the team. Then he looks at whether he thinks someone will actually hit that ceiling. We all know he loved Aguayo's personality ho he gives him a close to 100% chance there, keeping him at 8. Bell he likes, but doesn't have that all-in confidence so he says 75%, and now Bell is a 6. (this scenario would theoretically play out with every other player on the board at the time with Aguayo 'winning' every time, draft choices are not solid numbers on a chart, they are relative to all the other options available at that moment.) So he chooses to go with what he thought was a "Sure thing, great player" at a lesser positional value, rather than "possibly very good but possibly not so good" player elsewhere.
Now obviously these numbers are not real or used they just serve to illustrate the weighing of different factors, (I'm sure there is no "Percent likeliehood of hitting ceiling conversion table"), and this is still an oversimplification , but this is generally along the lines of what has to be considered. When Licht picked, he felt he had among the highest ceilings and highest likelihood of hitting it. We are talking late second round here, so this is beyond a crapshoot. Having a great kicker is a huge boon to a team. Yes, so is having a great safety. But it's clear he was confronted with choices that he didn't feel super confident would excel, but he absolutely believed Aguayo was a lock to be special. So rather than **** around with various kickers until he got the right one, he wanted to lock that in. And theoretically then, the drafting was sound. What sucked was the execution, as Aguayo had already shown he was regressing. Had Aguayo been 100% inside 40 for us this season, and average beyond that, we would have been in the playoffs and would never be worrying about kicker again, which would be absolutely worth it.
[TL;DR]Licht thought he saw something special, and took a guy at an arguably "less value" (though I'd argue that) position because he thought he had an incredibly high ceiling, and was a guarantee to hit it and not bust over guys he thought had lower ceilings with lower chances to hit them. That's the point you are missing. A guaranteed stud at one spot, vs a maybe, possibly, above average guy elsewhere.
This is a good write-up, but there are two key points that invalidate it.
One, when you consider all the factors you're using to defend the decision (theoretically), and then remember how often "special" kickers turn into fool's gold in the NFL, it makes it harder to operate from the "he saw something special" defense. Evaluating kickers SHOULD be straight-forward, but any study of the position yields it's even harder than position players.
Two, even if everything else you're saying is true, the margin between "a great kicker" and "a good kicker" is nominal. Depending on how you want to define these terms, I'd argue you're talking about changing the outcome of a few snaps a year out of thousands. And that's again, keeping in mind point #1 - Licht should have been LESS sure he was getting a "special" talent at kicker than he could reasonably be at any other position.
On the other hand, the difference between an "above average" safety and an "average" safety is going to subtly and directly influence every single defensive snap if you think about it. It's going to change what an offense is comfortable running against us, and what we're comfortable calling against them.
So...stupid pick...for so many reasons. My hope is that Jason Licht talked it over with Wilma and Barney and agreed not to let Gazoo make any more decisions for the franchise.