Sunday, April 26, 2015
Blog Page 132

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The draft is just days away and the media would have you believe that front offices are leaking like the Titanic. Over the past few days, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive, and the number and nature of the rumors seems like… well any other draft year, really.

The unfortunate truth is that we can guarantee some rumors to be true, we just don’t know which ones. In the past few days alone, I’ve catalogued something like 60 rumors, many from sources around the web (like Tony Pauline, Walter Football, ESPN, NFLTradeRumors, etc.) and some from speaking to colleagues with “sources,” whom they trust as much as you can this time of year (not much). Let’s go down the list in generic draft order (that means Washington 2nd, Cleveland 4th, St. Louis 13th, Indianapolis 26th) and see what we can find.

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It’s a good a time as any to try my own hand at mock drafts, and this will be my first 32-team mock draft of the year (and hopefully last). Instead of publishing a compilation of mock drafts and various ways to combine them, it’d be nice to add something new to the discussion.

In this draft, prominent players that I don’t think will fall do end up falling because that’s how life works. More importantly, I ended up mocking seven trades in the first round (and only two in the second, as I didn’t have the energy).

In comparison, the 2013 draft had eight trades (or six, if you don’t include players) in the first round and only two in the second (not including those in the first). In 2012, there were something like eleven first-round trades and eight second-round trades (both numbers include player-for-pick trades) and in 2011, there were five first-round trades and nine second-round trades.

I don’t think I necessarily went overboard with the trades, it just feels like I did, especially with so many in the top ten.

I constructed this mock assuming that most of the rumors published yesterday had truth to them, which means it’s not only guaranteed to be wrong, but will have some unusual drops, rises and omissions along the way.

Whatever, let’s roll.  

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Bob McGinn, one of the most trusted names in sportswriting, has talked to a number of NFL officials that have indicated that they may move the draft back even further than they did this year.

As we all knew, the “scheduling conflict” farce was exactly that, but it’s kind of weird to see the NFL basically admit as much.

People have already been tuning out of the draft with the additional two weeks, and another set of weeks to wait might be too much. Even if the NFL found its media holdings increase their revenue as a result (namely the NFL Network and, I doubt this maximizes the long-term revenue prospects for the league. The draft is a spectacle that itself creates millions of dollars. The idea that there may be no turning point on that is ridiculous, and the NFL is doing itself wrong.

Naturally, general managers and coaches—who have already complained about the changed schedule—will be in even more of an uproar as their vacation time disappears and rookies get the playbook even later.

Assuming this all happens.

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Nothing new to add on the day of the draft, I’m simply uploading a number of passing charts for later reference that I didn’t add earlier.

First, quarterback box scores adjusted for drops and distance of throw, with a key on top:

QB Box Scores - Key


Then the box scores of all those quarterbacks:

QB Box Scores

Then the three passing charts—Raw, “Pro-Style” and “Coryell” when adjusted for distance:


QB Passing Charts - Raw


QB Passing Charts - Pro Style


QB Passing Charts - Coryell

I was hoping to get Tajh Boyd and Keith Wenning done, but alas that wasn’t the case.


General Manager Rick Spielman said at the 19th Annual Arctic Blast in February, “I really, really think we’re going to do a lot of movement in the draft.”

Well, with the draft just hours away, not much has really changed. The idea that the 8th pick is flexible and the thought of Spielman trading back to aggressively peruse more picks is still very much on the table. The Vikings have eight picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Spielman has gone on record saying the goal is to compile 10 selections annually.

 Eight of Rick Spielman’s 61 draft picks since 2006 have earned Pro Bowl honors. A 13 percent Pro Bowl success rate for a team committed to building through the draft is a strong number. As good as Spielman is at directing a war room and doing his due diligence, he unfortunately has never successfully struck gold at the quarterback position. Viking fans are hopeful that 2014 will be the draft that Spielman strikes it rich at the most important position in professional football.

 How much influence will new Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner have in Spielman draft strategy? And will Zimmer encourage Spielman to continue his recent tradition of drafting two players from the same school?

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