The 2017 NFL Draft begins this week. Every fan craves to know what their team will do.
Don’t listen to the touts. (Looking at you, Mel Kiper.) Everything they do is to feed your need to know. Everything they write is bogus. Here’s why.
No. 5, NFL executives do not participate in Mock Drafts. The Mel Kipers and Mike Mayocks of the world have never run NFL front offices. Your guess is as good as theirs.
No. 4, NFL Executives lie to you. The Draft touts hint that they talk to a lot of NFL teams to arrive at their predictions. It’s not in any team’s interest to give the straight story. Rivals are listening. If teams are talking, they are misdirecting. This isn’t a character issue. Misleading fans is a sad, but necessary, by-product of all this.
Consider every team executive a lying liar who lies. How do you know they are lying?
Lips are moving.
No. 3, Every Draft takes a life of its own. The No. 1 pick is predictable. After that, every selection is more of a crap shoot as the Draft goes on. That’s when the real talent gurus working for real teams exert themselves on real picks. Every player picked changes the decision of teams down the line. The Redskins could go in any direction based on what happened before their turn at the 17th pick.
But, scouting reports have value and aggregate Mock Drafts do represent the wisdom of the crowd. In science, that’s known as the “50 million monkeys can’t be wrong” theory. If you must check out Mock Drafts, glance at the Original Mock Draft Database run by our friends at Lets Go Redskins (was The DC Pro Sports Report).
No. 2, Real Teams select Best Available Talent on their Draft board when they are on the clock. Fans don’t like it. Touts invariably project picks based on team needs. Yet, the few pro executives who comment say they pick talent over need. Go with the pros on this.
We love that approach. Hog Heaven has been deliberately silent on Draft projections for that reason. Drafting to need may fill a hole with a young player who might help you by his third season. A first-round pick should be a starter by his second season. After that, young players need experience from 36 games before GMs can tell what they really have. Drafting to need averages team talent to the middle.
No. 1, Drafting best available talent builds strength on strength.
“Sherman, set the WABAC Machine” to 2004! The Redskins had many team needs that year, none more critical than a competent pass rush after Steve Spurrier’s neglect of the defense. Joe Gibbs picked the best talent on his board, Sean Taylor at safety.
Thirteen years later, and 10 years after we lost him, we still talk about Taylor.
That’s the best damned argument Hog Heaven can make for the Redskins to draft the best talent they see regardless of position.
And let’s hope the spirit of Scot McCloughan makes that pick.