It is my intention to be writing almost exclusively for the next few weeks about the recently concluded. So for those of you with attention deficit disorder adios real soon and I suggest you check back at this spot around June. IN the meantime for you hard cores who do NOT consider anything visible in your rear view mirror to be ancient history… welcome aboard.
Let’s start by comparing some numbers and as we say to pre-schoolers some “fun facts”. With some help from stats provided by Ourlads and some rummaging through results over the 3-days of the 2018 NFL Draft, here is a short chart that tells you how position depth and quality stacked up this year compared to a 10-year average and 2017.
2018 POS AVE 2017
13 QB 12 10
22 RB 23 29
33 WR 31 32
14 TE 15 14
18 OT 23 18
20 G/C 20 15
22 DT 18 20
20 DE 21 23
18 IB 10 12
23 OB 22 20
27 CB 33 32
19 S 18 24
7 ST 4 4
The two biggest anomalies that stuck out were almost double the number of Special Teamers (K,P,LS) that were taken this year, although it makes sense to me given a very talented group of Punters particularly. The highest ST player taken this year was P/MIKE DICKSON/Texas who went to the Sea Hawks at Pick 149. The most notable number fluctuation to me was the increase in IB from an average of 10 per year to 18 this year.
I think it must be mentioned that this chart has a bit of obsolescence built into it as certain positions change, especially on Defense. For example, I think the choice of where to stick edge-rushers for me has come down to size to a great extent. The bigger guys I tend to throw in with the DE group, while the smaller guys I roll in as OB.
Moving along here, I also wanted to throw just a word of caution your way regarding Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (URFA). You will see a lot of signing information this week about which leftover players are going to which teams. It is important stuff because some teams, like the Packers and Saints for example, really count on URFA to flush out their rosters each year. But remember that a player tweeting out the team he is signing with can be speculation, while his agent negotiates a better deal with another team. Plus most teams will invite a handful of players to their next Mini-Camp as tryout guys, without actually having signed them to an NFL contract yet. I’d hate for some of you to get really excited about an URFA signing by your favorite team only to find out it’s nothing more than rumor or false information. I suggest you go to team websites just before, or even safer, after they hold their Rookie mini-Camps in the next few weeks.
Also be prepared to hear of some veteran cuts from your favorite team in the next couple weeks. After teams know what needs they may have filled with Rookies there will be some serious roster cuts to clear out some Salary Cap space. This of course can also provide the chance for your favorite team to sign a vet or two who might help flush out certain positions on their roster that could not be solved through the Draft. Most teams drafted a whopping 7-8 players last weekend. That cannot possibly take care of all their needs or wants. Veteran Free Agency, Part 3 starts now!
The Drafting of the EDMUNDS brothers, Tremaine/BILLS and TERRELL/STEELERS were the first brothers ever to both be taken in Round 1. And I will tell you that among the Draftnik circle I run with, Terrell was quite the surprise that early. If you don’t think there are some really talented genes in that family, they have an older brother TREY, who is a back-up RB for the Saints. Dad FERRELL was a TE who played 7-seasons in the League back in the day. WOW!
Despite all the talk that the RB position has been devalued in the NFL over the past decade let me remind you that SAQUON BARKLEY at Pick 2, marked the third straight year that a RB went Top 5 in the Draft. A guy named REGGIE BUSH was the last RB to go that high back in 2006.
The NICK SABAN dynasty that resides down in Alabama has now had a First Round Draft selection in 10-straight seasons, which puts them alone in second place behind the Miami Hurricanes who had a streak of 14 seasons from 1995-2008. Can ‘Bama catch/pass them? I say yes if St. Nick stays with the program another 5 seasons.
Sticking with the Crimson Tide for another moment… Alabama had the most players drafted again this year with 11 selections. The SEC as a conference also led the pack with the most players selected by a wide margin. So don’t you dare call me an SEC homer when I do college rankings and evaluate their players in game action.
We will get into this a bit later, but before you all ask, I will tell you who my favorite 5 Drafts belonged to. For now in Alphabetical order: BUFFALO, CLEVELAND, DENVER, GREEN BAY, NEW YORK GIANTS! My only caveat in this group is the Browns. John Dorsey, GM, strayed a long way from putting together a Boy Scout Troop with this group of draftees. He now has to hope that it doesn’t contain too many permanently flawed characters and the locker room doesn’t get poisoned.
Cheers for today.