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Gil Brandt Part II

What a great interview that Glenn linked to yesterday.

It may sound strange, self-promotional and selfish, but I am really glad Glenn is here at UltimateNYG.  Just getting that Gil Brandt article linked was great.  I simply don’t have the time to read everything about the Giants, let alone the other Giants blogs.  So I want to thank him for setting that piece up for us. 

In case you missed it or did not read all the way through, here were some of the nuggets:

1) “As far as war room stories, there’s a lot of war room stories.  I can remember Ron Marciniak, who Mike is familiar with, and actually getting up on my table in my room, had to plead his case for Jerry Rice because of the fact that Jerry Rice was not all that fast.  I think very few people realized that Jerry Rice could run as fast with a uniform on as he could without a uniform on or in shorts… As you know, we thought that we were going to be able to draft Jerry Rice because we didn’t think that you all knew as much about him or felt as strongly about Rice as we did because of Marciniak.”

The “we” in this case was the Dallas Cowboys, whom Brandt worked for for decades in charge of player personnel.  I went back and looked at the draft order in ’85, and there it was: SF picking 16th, Dallas picking 17th.  (SF actually traded up to that spot to get Rice.)  Hearing these war stories is incredible.  Kind of reminds me of the Falcons taking Brett Favre one pick before the Jets.  Missing and grabbing a Hall of Famer by one pick.  We all know our Hall of Famer story with LT, but these true to life tales of near misses are some of the many reasons why the draft is so interesting and why we spend so much time discussing the prospects/strategies.

2) “..you can’t make mistakes in the draft, and if you look at St. Louis and Detroit, who are 1 and 2 in the draft, and if you look and see what their draft history is from players that were four, five and six years that should be in the league playing for them now, I don’t think St. Louis or Detroit has anybody left.  Maybe Detroit has Sims left.  But other than that they don’t have anybody left.”

Some have opined with less than cordial and due respect that if we had all the answers, we’d see 32 GMs on this site picking our brains.  This is not our day jobs, but at least we have a clue about how the draft works, how you trade down when you are picking Darrius Heyward-Bey at 7 or Ted Ginn at 9, how you do not trade a #1 pick in 2010 for a #2 pick in 2009.  Brandt exposes the misery of St. Louis and Detroit with their early round misfires.  Well, here is an interesting historical post from Wonder, who back in 2008 opined about Kansas City’s draft:

“ALL 7 of their (first 7) picks will make the team. This is going to be one of the best drafts by a single team I have seen in years.”  Sure enough,


EIGHT MADE THE ROSTER in YEAR 2 (including 6 of those first 7 picks)


Sounds like Wonder would not have hurt the Lions or Rams.  Btw, while we are on the subject of the Chiefs, Wonder says that the Chiefs at 5 need to take Trent Williams (assuming Bradford, Suh, Okung and McCoy are likely gone) at LT and move Brandon Albert back to Guard, where Albert was originally drafted back in 2008.  Then you have those 2 guys protecting your QB and you can run behind both of them.  The Chiefs moved Albert to Tackle because their QB was getting killed, but with Williams they’ll be able to move him back.  RB Jamaal Charles (also from 2008’s class) does not get the media attention, but he is a terrific player who would be one step behind Chris Johnson if he had an OL.

3) “Now, let me tell you what everybody has now.  Everybody has developed this ten‑year chart.  As an example, on this ten‑year chart it tells you that over the past ten years that there’s been 13 guards drafted in the first round, and so if you’re trying to make a decision between Iupati, who’s a guard, and some other player, a different position, in all probability you’re better off going to the other position because you find out that there’s some very, very good guards and centers that will drafted in the second and third and fourth round.  Now, conversely if you’re thinking about defensive linemen you’d better take the defensive linemen and defensive tackles earlier because you’ll find that there’s a great run always on defensive players at that position or those two positions, and I think some people rely on that chart somewhat..”

When we began releasing Wonder’s draft board on April 1st, do you remember what the title was? We called it the “NON-LEMMING’S GUIDE TO THE 2010 NFL DRAFT.”  And do you know what our conclusion was about all of those Defensive Tackles being picked in Round 1 in the past 10 years?  It was that too many were being chosen.  So now we have Gil Brandt, aguably one of the most informed people in the draft, who is clearly stating that the HERD MENTALITY IS TO TAKE THESE DL PLAYERS EARLY… BECAUSE THEY GO EARLY!!!  Let’s be lemmings and draft the DL because he won’t be around in Round 2, 3 or 4?!!!  That is a recipe for disaster, and we have seen the results of that too.  It is called reaching.  They REACH for too too many DLs and the success rate DROPS.  Those are the facts.  All we have from Brandt is positive confirmation that this is the lemming thinking from these GMs.  There can be many DLs that succeed in the NFL this draft, but it does not mean that so many of them should be going in Round 1.

4) “Let me say this about Parcells:  I don’t think there’s anybody in football that has a better understanding of evaluating players for the draft than Bill does.  I mean, he looks at leg structure on a return guy, and he’s convinced that a return person with thin legs is going to have a hard time.  You know, he has a theory for every position, and he’s really researched it and done very well.  And I think if you look at him, he digs out the ..football player(s).. So I guess Bill wants to back up his investment, so to speak.  But I think he does a very good job, the best as far as I’m concerned.”

Wherever Parcells has gone he has drafted well.  He has never neglected LBer, despite the changing league.

A day later NFL.com posted Brandt’s Top 100 by tier.  His color is interesting.