Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

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Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:25 am

I know that someone mocked Jeremy McNichols at one point, and lots of guys had OJ in their mocks. So I think that's pretty decent. But for all the work I did, I missed on most of our picks. I had no solid data on anyone we took outside of Howard (and that was pretty thin because I wrote him off) and I need to refine my process. To start, I'll go over what I think worked for us as a group.

I think we did a pretty good job during the college football season spotting prospects and sharing information in the "guys we should be watching" thread. I absolutely plan on creating a 2017 version of that thread before the season starts.

Draft Breakdown's youtube tape is a pretty nice resource that was new to me this year, if you aren't using them to watch tape, I recommend it. Kendall Beckwith has six videos there for example. Justin Evans has 5, so does McNichols.

We had a pretty steady diet of mock drafts which is another great way of sharing players we like and why. I committed to doing one a month, but there's one aspect I want to improve on.


My shortcomings. (I won't presume to tell anyone where they are coming up short)

I have a bad habit of what I call target fixation on certain players. I was hung up on Budda Baker, Josh Reynolds, Samaje Perine and a few others and mocked them repeatedly. Because of Baker, I did not check out Justin Evans. Because of Reynolds, I did not check out Chris Godwin. Because of Cook, I did not check out McNichols. I had no idea who Zay Jones was until the Senior Bowl. Not good.

I also fixated on positions of need. This is conflating my wannabe scout and my wannabe GM. GM's can focus on need, scouts don't have that luxury. Scouts collect and analyze data. GM's make the decisions. Once I realized that I had no clue what Licht was going to do, the wind was out of my sails.

I did not create my own big board. I know some of you guys do, but my thought process was to not confuse how I felt about a guy with where I think he will get drafted, once again conflating my wannabe GM with my wannabe scout.


My plans for next season (we have 4 months before the kickoff classic)

I need data to crunch. I need an excel spreadsheet of at least the top 300 preseason prospects by name, position and school. I really, really do not want to do this manually. My plan is to use a pivot table in excel to spot which games have the most prospects, and use that to guide the games I watch. Normally, I would skip Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky, but I might be able to identify that the two teams combined have 4-5 prospects and can at least commit to watching a quarter of that game. Obviously, I can't watch every game and this model omits the small school talent quite a bit. But I can maximize how effectively I use my Saturdays. If anybody has any ideas on where I can get this data set, let me know.

I need to do much better note taking during games. I can scrub those notes against the tape when I watch again later, but I at the very least want to get something written down on guys while I'm watching the games. Consolidating those notes can help me put together my big board later. I can also begin building positional rankings throughout the season. My thought there is to build positionals during the season of at least ten players at every position before I build my big board. I don't have a ton of faith that I can scout 200 players during a college football season, but I should be able to have notes on quite few guys during the 12 week regular season.

I need to challenge my mocks a bit. Since I got fixated on safteys, backs, centers, and wide receivers a top needs, I kept thinking of addressing those early and they tended to dictate my mocks. Since Licht is so good at filling holes in free agency and the fact that our starting 22 is pretty good, I need to consider more possibilities. This will lead me to fill the gaps in my notes and scout more players between January and April. We're finally to the point of drafting for the purpose of reloading and developing players so this is a good habit to get into right now. I'm going to try not to mock a guy to us more than once.


Anyway, that's just some ideas on how I want to develop this hobby. I see no reason to not share info and ideas.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby PrimeMinister » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:02 am

I'm no draft geek and mainly just watch you guys go back & forth in here, but thanks for sharing this. It's nice to see how your process comes together and where you see room to improve. Looking forward to this forum come next year.

Btw OJ Howard was my #1 option for round 1 (he checked to box for too many things to pass over), but I didn't pick ANY of the other guys we chose.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby real bucs fan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 am

Evans and Beckwith I'm a bit meh about, but love the other picks. Wish we had gotten ourselves a RB who could push for PT on 1st and 2nd down though, which I'm not sure McNichols will do. Wish we had traded up for Cook/Mixon, or had taken Foreman or Perine when we had the chance.

I truly believed we had ZERO shot at OJ Howard so can't be happier about that. Never in my years as a Bucs fan has a player I've liked that much earlier than where we were picking, fallen to our pick in the first round.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:18 pm

PrimeMinister wrote:I'm no draft geek and mainly just watch you guys go back & forth in here, but thanks for sharing this. It's nice to see how your process comes together and where you see room to improve. Looking forward to this forum come next year.

Btw OJ Howard was my #1 option for round 1 (he checked to box for too many things to pass over), but I didn't pick ANY of the other guys we chose.

To be perfectly honest, this is my first real attempt to look at my methodology and try to codify it into a system that will let me maximize the number of prospects I can look at and have an informed opinion on.

Getting a spreadsheet to start with will take me a long way, but I might be able to get one of those college football season guides that is the size of a small phone book and spend Saturday mornings scrubbing that against the games being shown in my area and build the positional rankings that way.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Doctor » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:03 pm

Not surprised McNick or Evans snuck up on us. Most of us were familiar with the top and second tier ground. After that we knew our own person favorite Day 3 guys as well and the ones OBP met with. To also scout a guy we personally aren't fans of or that OBP hasn't shown any interests in is asking a lot. I'm fairly certain we would have gone Cooks if Howard wasn't there. Really am. Also think we ould have taken Mixon in the second if the Bengals didn't jump us. Or we would have drafted Curtis Samuel, who I had pegged as a Licht crush. DK seem to hint these during his PC.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby threadkiller » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:59 pm

Doctor wrote:Not surprised McNick or Evans snuck up on us. Most of us were familiar with the top and second tier ground. After that we knew our own person favorite Day 3 guys as well and the ones OBP met with. To also scout a guy we personally aren't fans of or that OBP hasn't shown any interests in is asking a lot. I'm fairly certain we would have gone Cooks if Howard wasn't there. Really am. Also think we ould have taken Mixon in the second if the Bengals didn't jump us. Or we would have drafted Curtis Samuel, who I had pegged as a Licht crush. DK seem to hint these during his PC.


Very much disagree. Had Licht been planning on Dalvin @ 19, he certainly would have moved back up for him. My gut feeling is Peppers would have been our choice. Based on the report Howard being there upset our plans and the positions we pretty clearly targeted. Maybe Baker, but again, if Licht thought he was a top 20 player he would have moved to get him when Baker was available in the mid 30's.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Sammich » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:27 pm

Licht flat out said that if OJ hadn't fallen they would have traded down. That tells me they didn't love anybody and they had a lot of guys with similar grades.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby threadkiller » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:45 pm

Possible, but we were never going to take Dalvin @ 19 and I don't think he would have been picked after a theoretical trade down. Who ever Jason's favorites were for his first 2017 selection, Dalvin was down the list. Knowing how Jason targets players, had Cook been one of his he would have moved for him. It's possible Jason had another of his patented trade down to trade up combos planned, I guess. Move down from 19 for "A" to move up from 50 for Cook. Cook wasn't enough priority to sacrifice the chance at Beckwith later once he didn't have the extra 3/4 to play with.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:20 pm

Guys...

This thread isn't about the could would shouldas of this draft.

The idea here is to improve upon the methods we use here to understand what OBP ultimately does on draft day. Not to second guess it.

If you're a scout, you gather data and interpret it so the GM makes an informed pick.

For those of us who like to play amateur scout, it's about getting better at that. How to collect and interpret the data. Then we can play GM and make our mocks.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby real bucs fan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:54 pm

For myself, I usually try and identify positions that I think the Bucs will target early, and then go through the tape and watch games of pretty much all the projected Day 1 and Day 2 guys at those positions pre combine. For this year, I identified RB, WR, TE and DB as positions we'd for sure target and I watched tape of pretty much everyone at those positions who appeared draftable in the first 3 rounds at those positions. I identified QB, OL, DL, and LB as positions we would not target early, and didn't really watch much of any of those guys beyond the first round suspects as you never know and I'm a big believer of going BPA round 1 anyway. This process usually cuts it down significantly, and I'm usually pretty good at identifying which positions we'll target early (though it's mostly pretty obvious when you break down the roster pre/post free agency). Then post combine, I go through the numbers and if anyone sticks out, I'll watch or rewatch their tape. I'll also go through the tape of anyone that the Bucs have appeared to show interest in via interviews etc. I really only try and scout from a Bucs perspective and am not interested in positions that we will not be looking at.

As it relates to this draft, it allowed me to have a good book on Howard (who I loved), Evans, and McNichols (who I didn't), and then post combine I identified Godwin after his numbers stuck out to me and looked at his tape (he wasn't on my radar until after the combine, but post combine he became one of my guys).

The only real pick that caught me off guard this year was the LB from LSU who I admittedly hadn't watched at all. As well, late rounders I usually don't have a read on at all unless they happened to catch my eye just watching games.

In terms of what I'm looking for in prospects, I'm looking for traits in terms of physicality and skill that translate to the NFL.

If they have character red flags, or if I really love the guys tape I'll then also try and find interviews with them to try and gauge if they are good guys to add to the team.

That's pretty much what I do, and I find it fun and it really is my biggest hobby during any down time I have.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon May 01, 2017 9:50 am

CBS just did me a solid and released a top five prospect list by position for 2018.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news ... -position/


They were even nice enough to name some honorable mentions. At least 120 names here. I could enter all of this manually into a spreadsheet to get me started...but I hate data entry.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Doctor » Mon May 01, 2017 10:21 am

These never really mean much. Wasn't JuJu like the top WR last year? So much for that. But I guess it's nice starting point.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon May 01, 2017 11:34 am

Doctor wrote:These never really mean much. Wasn't JuJu like the top WR last year? So much for that. But I guess it's nice starting point.


I don't care what they are ranked right now.

Since I don't have anything better to do, I went ahead and manually typed all 138 names into a spreadsheet by school, conference, position, and ht/wt if it was available.

Then I created a pivot table and so far it's the usual suspencts as far as school. 11 for Alabama, 10 for Ohio State, 9 for LSU, etc.

what I am going to do as I continue to build this list is determine what games I should watch and whom to watch for. Ohio State/Wisconsin will have 14 prospects playing in it. Auburn/Arkansas is a game few outside of those fanbases will watch, but it'll have 4 prospects playing in it and that's just based on what I have now.

see what I'm doing?
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Cheb » Mon May 01, 2017 8:03 pm

That's alot of work.

There are over 300 guys invited to the combine every year. Another 100 or so that get snubbed but have a decent chance of getting drafted. Watching tape on 400 guys and having a firm opinion on all of them is a tall order unless it is your profession. Let's say each player takes you an hour, that's 10 weeks of work, assuming a 40 hour work week.

My draft prep is pretty simple. I enjoy watching college football, so I typically see and hear about the top guys who are going to be drafted. There's alot of overlap between that group of guys and those who are nominated or win positional awards (Rimington, Thorpe, Maxwell, etc). I also take a look at All-American and all-conference lists. Over time, you will see alot of names repeated.

I like to take a closer look at those who are consensus first rounders. Not because they will be good for the Bucs or even have a chance to get drafted by us, but because those players have the greatest chance of being franchise guys, and they will shape the NFL in their time. It just makes you a more well rounded fan/scout, imo.

I most intensely scout for team-specific need. For instance I didn't spend any time looking at early round QBs this year. Alot of time on safeties.

For example, if we need a running back, as we did this year, I'll watch at least one game of all the draft eligible guys, usually three games. YouTube cutups are fine, highlights are not. This will at least get you a gut impression of a guy, if not some firm opinions. I usually have tape running in one window as I type in the next, just do some stream of consciousness. Or I will write a basic summation of what I saw after.

More power to you in your quest. It just seems like a large bite to chew.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon May 01, 2017 8:17 pm

Thanks for the input as always, Cheb.

The reality is that anyone I don't actually watch during a game is going to be reduced to film I can see. When I go to film, the best I can probably get is 20 minutes of plays. Which is only enough to get an impression and at least an informed opinion.

I'm in the embryo stage of this thing, planning is the order of the day.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Mon May 01, 2017 8:23 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:Thanks for the input as always, Cheb.

The reality is that anyone I don't actually watch during a game is going to be reduced to film I can see. When I go to film, the best I can probably get is 20 minutes of plays. Which is only enough to get an impression and at least an informed opinion.

I'm in the embryo stage of this thing, planning is the order of the day.



Maybe this next round we can start a thread/s where we can share YouTube links to game film of prospects. Maybe a thread for each position? Then we can post game film from the players each of us are interested in that way we can all easily find the film and maybe be turned on to new players that wouldn't have been on our radar?
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon May 01, 2017 8:29 pm

Teitan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:Thanks for the input as always, Cheb.

The reality is that anyone I don't actually watch during a game is going to be reduced to film I can see. When I go to film, the best I can probably get is 20 minutes of plays. Which is only enough to get an impression and at least an informed opinion.

I'm in the embryo stage of this thing, planning is the order of the day.



Maybe this next round we can start a thread/s where we can share YouTube links to game film of prospects. Maybe a thread for each position? Then we can post game film from the players each of us are interested in that way we can all easily find the film and maybe be turned on to new players that wouldn't have been on our radar?

Not a bad idea at all.

There's going to be a lag between the games and when those videos get made though. My hope is to get 2-3 games in a week with as many prospects as possible and let that be the crux of the work.

But it's a great idea from January to Draft day.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Mon May 01, 2017 8:34 pm

Yeah it would definitely be more of an offseason thing. But could lead to us being able to see players that we missed during the season.

I too would like to improve my scouting/mock drafting. I just find the draft process fun. My favorite part of fantasy sports is the drafting too.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon May 01, 2017 8:45 pm

Teitan wrote:Yeah it would definitely be more of an offseason thing. But could lead to us being able to see players that we missed during the season.

I too would like to improve my scouting/mock drafting. I just find the draft process fun. My favorite part of fantasy sports is the drafting too.

Like I said in the OP, I mixed up my wannabe scout and my wannabe GM and that had me locking in on guys.

I don't want to make that mistake again so I am focusing on getting info on players and not letting bias get in the way until shortly before the draft.

Watching games and getting good notes is what is going to accomplish the most for me, but I'm far from being an expert so if you guys have ideas for your methods, I'd love to hear it.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Mon May 01, 2017 8:53 pm

I definitely agree with Cheb as far as first targeting positions of need. That's going to give you a good starting point.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue May 02, 2017 6:42 am

Teitan wrote:I definitely agree with Cheb as far as first targeting positions of need. That's going to give you a good starting point.

Too early to say, but I'd guess O-line and defense.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Tue May 02, 2017 8:31 am

Yeah I think no matter what, O line. We could stand to upgrade Dotson and Pamphile. Maybe need to move on from Sweezy if he doesn't stay healthy. Center if they don't like Marpet there.

My list of needs would be this at this moment. Can all change of course.

G, C, OT, CB, S, DE, DT

Maybe RB depending on Doug/McNic

I feel next year will be a heavy trench Draft.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby sonofg » Tue May 02, 2017 12:37 pm

Teitan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:Thanks for the input as always, Cheb.

The reality is that anyone I don't actually watch during a game is going to be reduced to film I can see. When I go to film, the best I can probably get is 20 minutes of plays. Which is only enough to get an impression and at least an informed opinion.

I'm in the embryo stage of this thing, planning is the order of the day.



Maybe this next round we can start a thread/s where we can share YouTube links to game film of prospects. Maybe a thread for each position? Then we can post game film from the players each of us are interested in that way we can all easily find the film and maybe be turned on to new players that wouldn't have been on our radar?


This would be great, especially for those of us not in the US, who don't get college football. It should be restricted to cutups and the like, though (like you say, "game film"), not highlights. After the season, most of us can probably agree on the main positions that deserve the extra focus.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue May 02, 2017 8:01 pm

sonofg wrote:
Teitan wrote:

Maybe this next round we can start a thread/s where we can share YouTube links to game film of prospects. Maybe a thread for each position? Then we can post game film from the players each of us are interested in that way we can all easily find the film and maybe be turned on to new players that wouldn't have been on our radar?


This would be great, especially for those of us not in the US, who don't get college football. It should be restricted to cutups and the like, though (like you say, "game film"), not highlights. After the season, most of us can probably agree on the main positions that deserve the extra focus.

I think this is something that can be done.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Alpha » Tue May 02, 2017 10:38 pm

I don't do mock drafts, per se.

I look at the team, see where (I believe) we're weakest, thinnest or could use the most help...and predict our drafting by positional needs. The actual PLAYER is more difficult.

Cheb brought up something interesting regarding how we choose players based on who we meet with (or something of that nature).

This year, for example...it was no secret that the Bucs had met with and had shown interest in Godwin. If you look at the roster (WR), you see Evans, Humphries...and an aging D-Jax (brought in on a short-term deal) and...who? Martino? It was pretty clear that we would attempt to draft a WR. Thus, it wasn't a shock when we took a guy we had shown interest in. Cheb called it (2nd round, I believe) and I agreed. The round isn't really important...

Same at LB. We are CLEARLY thin at the position. A 2nd year, mid-round pick is slated as a starter. We had a guy we felt had real value based on where he fell. This is what kills me with the yahoos shouting about taking the "best player available" craziness...it's "BPA" where that meets need. OJ not withstanding...that was a no-brainer...and if someone like him had fallen to us REGARDLESS of perceived "need", we would've taken him. Teams rarely take "BPA" in a vacuum. They choose based on need as well.

Safety. You could look at our roster and see that we were gonna take a safety. It was OBVIOUS based on the sheer number we had on the roster AND the quality of what we had. I thought it would've been Peppers...and it would be interesting to see who we had targeted at 19 IF OJ hadn't fallen to us. 1st round or no...we were taking a safety this year.



The one area where my thinking didn't hold was interior O-line. I felt we were weak there (with Ali moving to C) and really thought we'd go there at some point. Obviously, the staff feels differently.

Overall...I'm not shocked by who we took and the positions that were drafted. I am slightly surprised...as I felt (and still feel) that our greatest lack of talent falls on the defensive side of the ball...especially in the secondary. I really felt we'd place more emphasis on that. Maybe another safety or a CB. Our FO/coaches must feel really good about who we have at CB...

I trust Mike Smith. He has a proven track record of getting production out of his defense...so until proven otherwise...I'm going with what we've got and I'll be happy with it.

I'm pretty psyched about the make-up of this team. It's different than what we're used to...going back to the "good old days" of "defense first" football. But it's damn difficult to look at this offense and not think that it's going to put up a shit-ton of points.



NE at home. Week 5 or so.

We're gonna find out real quick what this team is gonna be next year.

EDIT:

Other teams, I really don't give half a **** about...other than a fleeting interest. I focus on my team. That's difficult enough.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Tue May 02, 2017 10:46 pm

Yeah the BPA line gets drawn way to hard in the sand around here. Need has to factor into it. Of course, in the rare case that an amazing talent falls that we don't need, take that "BPA". Otherwise it's the "best player available" that fits your team needs. If the best player was a QB in round 1, we aren't taking him.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Doctor » Wed May 03, 2017 9:52 am

Teitan wrote:Yeah the BPA line gets drawn way to hard in the sand around here. Need has to factor into it. Of course, in the rare case that an amazing talent falls that we don't need, take that "BPA". Otherwise it's the "best player available" that fits your team needs. If the best player was a QB in round 1, we aren't taking him.

BPA is totally drawn in the sand, not in stone. If Njuko was there at #50 he would likely have been seen as BPA, but no one- not even Licht- would draft him after drafting Howard. The idea of BPA is not letting need direct your draft. At the end of the day, yes, it's a balancing act. Need people think need should drive. We suck at safety, take the best safety. BPA people think the players on the board should drive, so and so is the best on the board, better than who we currently have, take them.

Tight end was by no means a need. Brate is a good TE, he has great chemistry with Winston, and led the league in TDs from the position. However when it fell, Howard was a stud and Howard was better. So we was taken. It didn't matter what he we had at LG or Safety or other positions some consider to be far "weaker". It's who is on the board.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Teitan » Wed May 03, 2017 9:57 am

That's where I completely disagree with you. Tight end was ABSOLUTELY a need. Like you said, we had Brate. That's all. And he ended the season injured. What if we lost him at the beginning for the whole season? That's 8 TDs.


We had no valuable receiving tight end behind Brate. Now we have some depth as well as a more physically gifted player at the position.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby DreadNaught » Wed May 03, 2017 10:26 am

Doctor wrote:Tight end was by no means a need. Brate is a good TE, he has great chemistry with Winston, and led the league in TDs from the position. However when it fell, Howard was a stud and Howard was better. So we was taken. It didn't matter what he we had at LG or Safety or other positions some consider to be far "weaker". It's who is on the board.

I think your post misses the fact we run two-TE's as our base offense and Koetter wants to dictate from that formation. Thus OJ Howard is not replacing Brate, he's replacing Stocker and filling the role ASJ was supposed to have. Brate is the F/Move TE in out two-TE sets. We may have forced Brate into the Y when we went with 3WR sets, but in our base 12/two-TE offense Brate is not the Y/inline TE on the strong side of the formation.

If the two-TE set is out base offense, I'd say having Luke Stocker start constitutes an 'need' at TE. Couple that w/ Howard being the clear BPA and one of the cleanest prospects of the entire draft and it was a no-brainer in terms of value (need + BPA).

Brate may be a good TE in the right role, but he limited/poor blocking inline. So he's not a good 'Y' TE and thus we had significant need there since Koetter wants a dynamic player at that position who can also help block in the run game and Brate was never going be that.

We are a better offense when Brate is his role as the F/Move TE and we have a guy like like Howard blocking inline in the run game and threatening in the passing attack w/ Brate.
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Re: Okay, Draft Geeks. Let's Review.

Postby Alpha » Thu May 04, 2017 1:07 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:I know that someone mocked Jeremy McNichols at one point, and lots of guys had OJ in their mocks. So I think that's pretty decent. But for all the work I did, I missed on most of our picks. I had no solid data on anyone we took outside of Howard (and that was pretty thin because I wrote him off) and I need to refine my process. To start, I'll go over what I think worked for us as a group.

I think we did a pretty good job during the college football season spotting prospects and sharing information in the "guys we should be watching" thread. I absolutely plan on creating a 2017 version of that thread before the season starts.

Draft Breakdown's youtube tape is a pretty nice resource that was new to me this year, if you aren't using them to watch tape, I recommend it. Kendall Beckwith has six videos there for example. Justin Evans has 5, so does McNichols.

We had a pretty steady diet of mock drafts which is another great way of sharing players we like and why. I committed to doing one a month, but there's one aspect I want to improve on.


My shortcomings. (I won't presume to tell anyone where they are coming up short)

I have a bad habit of what I call target fixation on certain players. I was hung up on Budda Baker, Josh Reynolds, Samaje Perine and a few others and mocked them repeatedly. Because of Baker, I did not check out Justin Evans. Because of Reynolds, I did not check out Chris Godwin. Because of Cook, I did not check out McNichols. I had no idea who Zay Jones was until the Senior Bowl. Not good.

I also fixated on positions of need. This is conflating my wannabe scout and my wannabe GM. GM's can focus on need, scouts don't have that luxury. Scouts collect and analyze data. GM's make the decisions. Once I realized that I had no clue what Licht was going to do, the wind was out of my sails.

I did not create my own big board. I know some of you guys do, but my thought process was to not confuse how I felt about a guy with where I think he will get drafted, once again conflating my wannabe GM with my wannabe scout.


My plans for next season (we have 4 months before the kickoff classic)

I need data to crunch. I need an excel spreadsheet of at least the top 300 preseason prospects by name, position and school. I really, really do not want to do this manually. My plan is to use a pivot table in excel to spot which games have the most prospects, and use that to guide the games I watch. Normally, I would skip Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky, but I might be able to identify that the two teams combined have 4-5 prospects and can at least commit to watching a quarter of that game. Obviously, I can't watch every game and this model omits the small school talent quite a bit. But I can maximize how effectively I use my Saturdays. If anybody has any ideas on where I can get this data set, let me know.

I need to do much better note taking during games. I can scrub those notes against the tape when I watch again later, but I at the very least want to get something written down on guys while I'm watching the games. Consolidating those notes can help me put together my big board later. I can also begin building positional rankings throughout the season. My thought there is to build positionals during the season of at least ten players at every position before I build my big board. I don't have a ton of faith that I can scout 200 players during a college football season, but I should be able to have notes on quite few guys during the 12 week regular season.

I need to challenge my mocks a bit. Since I got fixated on safteys, backs, centers, and wide receivers a top needs, I kept thinking of addressing those early and they tended to dictate my mocks. Since Licht is so good at filling holes in free agency and the fact that our starting 22 is pretty good, I need to consider more possibilities. This will lead me to fill the gaps in my notes and scout more players between January and April. We're finally to the point of drafting for the purpose of reloading and developing players so this is a good habit to get into right now. I'm going to try not to mock a guy to us more than once.


Anyway, that's just some ideas on how I want to develop this hobby. I see no reason to not share info and ideas.



Choosing a specific player is absurd. Don't even bother. Identify the positions of need. And in that aspect you weren't as far off as any of us. Except for Bootz who never misses and is always right.

A lot of this is also biased based on where you live. In FLA, we see mainly ACC/SEC games. Most of us (in the south) root for teams from here. We pay the most attention (and thus, weight them differently) to players we see every weekend. We see PAC-12/BIG 12/Others mainly in bowl games (Taco for me, this year)...and let those biases influence us. Positively and negatively.
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