After a couple of communications with fellow GBN Staffer, Larry Parker it dawned on me that it would perhaps be helpful if I provided a brief, but detailed explanation on exactly how I come up with my Team Mocks. It might clear up a few somewhat puzzling aspects of the effort. After all, if you read them, then I should explain what you are seeing in print here.
The basis of the process starts with my Prospects Rankings list which you won’t really see until the week of the Draft. But I do have a list ranking prospects from 1 to 300, in a mason jar out on my lanai. (OK back up here! If I start throwing out corny lines like that I am not likely to clarify much.) Then I have another 50 prospects listed alphabetically, but without a rank number assigned to them.
Then I print up the “Picks by Team” chart that Colin keeps updated at the gbnreport.com website.
While I am updating my prospect list with data from the Combine and Pro Days, I am also keeping another eye on NFL roster changes as Veteran Free Agency works its magic around the League. If you don’t believe that teams draft for positional needs then you are a naive, silly goose.
Once I have selected a team to construct a Mock Draft for, I try to identify team needs. Although I believe in the tried and true concepts of “stick to your Board”, and draft the “best available, not for needs” concepts, I also think that more than ever many (if not all) teams draft for need. 5-year rebuilding plans don’t exist in today’s “now” world concept. Drafting your QB this year, to replace your current starter 4 years down the road, is pretty much a thing of the past within most team front offices. If I am looking for best fits: most talent, at positions of need, if at all possible, is my formula.
Even though I may have team trades of picks in mind for certain franchises, other than maybe mentioning them to you in my Mock narratives, I do NOT allow myself to trade players or Picks as part of my Mocks.
With each pick, you will see name, position (NFL projection), school, height, weight and then a number preceded by “PP#”. That is to tell you where I have the player actually ranked on my prospect list. That lets you compare where I see them overall, compared to where your team might select them.
In Round One the team’s projected Pick must come from my ranking of the player. The player taken at Pick 12, must come from players ranked #12 or below, say #15. I am assuming that players I have ranked higher than the Pick location have already been drafted. In Round 2/3 (Day 2) the drafting team may select a player 3 spots below my rank or further down. So if the Mock team has Pick 40, prospects starting at 37 are eligible to be taken. By Day 3, I am allowing Picks to be made from as low as 6 below the actual slot. So at Pick 130, any player ranked as high as 124 may be taken. By Rounds 6 and 7, the number starts at 10 below their actual ranking. This is meant to give the feel of how frustrating it can be for teams targeting a specific player, when another team beats them to the prospect. That is why at times you see teams get into a Pick trading frenzy. That is all about “getting their guy”, as dictated by their Big Board.
I am doing each Team Mock as a stand alone entity. That is why you may notice that Player A, could end up on multiple drafting teams as I add more Team Mocks. Some team mocks are made up of players selected when the author just drafts straight thru from Pick 1 up to Pick 254, then breaks it out on a team basis. I just like the freedom to pick as the specific team when their Pick comes up each time. Just my preference. I tend to nod off when selecting over 200 Picks consecutively.
I will give a plug here, for those of you who wish to do your own team mock online. Fellow Draftnik and GBN Report friend, Steve Shoup has an On The Clock draft simulator, that you can try, over at his website “fanspeak.com” .
Hope the above explains what you are reading here over the next month, as I publish Team Mocks. I also hope you are all enjoying NFL Draft Season!