Just as I don’t believe in doing exact season-record predictions or final score results, I don’t believe in grading drafts. Sure, you can get a general idea of whether teams filled certain needs of theirs, but there is no way to know how these players are going to pan out in the hours after they’ve been selected, so grading seems pointless to me. Tom Brady, as pretty much everyone knows by now, was selected 199th overall, while Ryan Leaf went 2nd (not in the same year, of course) and I can almost guarantee you that the Chargers’ draft was graded higher than the Patriots. Now tell me which guy has multiple Super Bowl rings and which guy has multiple arrest warrants…
So I am not going to do a rundown of every pick (though, as promised, I will compare my mock draft to the final results. Find that at the end of this post.) But that doesn’t mean I can’t discuss a few particular items that stood out in yesterday’s first round. And not to toot my own horn, but the biggest item is one I mentioned in my earlier post on the pointlessness of mock drafts:
Trying to pick the exact order is futility, because most teams could use any one of those guys, and once one is off the board, that changes everything for everyone who follows. Plus, we haven’t even mentioned the biggest wildcard – draft day trades. Whether it’s draft positions, players, or a combination of the two, once a trade has gone down, all these mock drafts go right out the window.
Well, the first round featured 8 different trades (not counting Washington’s earlier trade to move up to the number 2 spot), which means instantly a quarter of yesterday’s picks could not be predicted since there was a different team in that position than there had been before the draft started (and yeah, I know that technically the Browns/Vikings trade took place a few minutes before the draft commenced. It’s close enough to count.)
Three of these trades need to be pointed out though. The first thing that needs to be singled out is how badly Tampa Bay screwed up. The Bucs sent their #5 pick to Jacksonville, in exchange for the Jags’ #7, and what compensation did they get? The Jags’ 4th round pick (#101). Not bad you say, grabbing an extra pick and only dropping two spots. You’d be inclined to think so, until you saw the next trade, where Dallas moved up from #14 to #6. St. Louis got that #14 pick as well as Dallas’ 2nd round pick (#45). In other words, Jacksonville only had to give up a 4th round pick to move up to 5, while Dallas had to give up a 2nd round pick to get to 6. Tampa Bay missed a golden opportunity with Dallas, and for that they get the award for worst trade of the day.
The other trade that stands out is Seattle’s. Not really for the trade itself though – the actual trade is pretty smart, since they gained a couple of late picks from the Eagles by moving down from #12 to #15. What’s curious is their pick. Bruce Irvin? I don’t know anyone who had him valued anywhere in the first round, and Seattle could likely have easily gotten him in a later round. But if they really had their heart set on Irvin that much, well that is what makes their trade so smart. Because if you are going to burn a pick at #12 on him, at least that trade down to #15 gave them a couple of extra picks later on, so it’s not a complete disaster. You knew he’d still be there at #15 . Picking him that high still doesn’t make sense to me, but at least the trade helps mitigate that.
So how did I do with my mock draft and bets? Well, there were 4 QBs picked in the first round, so that’s a win for me. Richardson went before Blackmon, so I lost that one (but it was because of a trade, so I cut myself a little slack). And neither my brother or I managed to pick eight or more exactly right, so that’s a push. He got four right while I got six (seven if you count Morris Claiborne, who went at #6, but to Dallas instead of the Rams, so I wasn’t 100% correct). You can see the final results below – the first two columns are the original draft order and my picks. The third is the differential between where I picked them and when they actually went (negatives meaning they went lower than I expected, positives higher). The final column is the actual results.