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Zero
I don't have any sources, but I remember reading that DT/NT in this draft is a position where solid players can be taken in later rounds and coached. I'm taking that to mean if the player has size, some athleticism and attitude he can be effective. I also remember that a big guy who anchored the RT spot on the Eagles for years was taken in the fourth round: Jon Runyan. Good RBs have been taken later, LBs have been taken later, S later, DE later on, TEs.

I don't remember too many LTs, CBs, QBs or WRs who were taken in mid to late rounds who turned out to be players suitable to help take a team to a championship win. Sure, Brady and the new multi-millionaire Romo ( laugh.gif ) are QB examples and Samuel was a fourth rounder but couldn't tackle.

I guess the point is, if the Eagles stay at #4 is it the BPA or the BPA at a position of need/value? How do teams set their boards? If Warmack is the BP in the draft is he at the top of most team's boards? If history and odds tells us that a QB or LT needs to be taken early in the draft to be successful does that affect where they land on a team's draft board?

The Geno Smith argument is the classic example of my question but players like Joekel, Fisher and Milliner come in to play here too. Maybe Warmack or Jones rate higher as players but do the QB and LT positions trump that?
mcnabbulous
It goes without saying what my opinion is on this subject, but not to belabor my point...the myth that "LT needs to be taken early in the draft to be successful..." is just that. Our very own Jason Peters was an undrafted free agent. And he may have been the best in football pre-injury. I do recognize that he's a freak, but nonetheless.

To put it in perspective, here is how the last 5 SB winners acquired their LT.

Ravens - McKinnie - URFA
Giants - Diehl - 5th round (260 overall)
Packers - Clifton - 2nd round (44th overall)
Saints - Bushrod - 4th round (125th overall)
Steelers - Starks - 3rd round (75th overall)

Out of those teams, the only one that didn't draft their QB in the first round was the Saints.

The only position that has consistently proven must be filled with a top draft choice is QB. You can find any other position anywhere else in the draft. It almost makes taking a shot on a top-QB every year in the first round worthwhile in my opinion. Until you find that guy. I'd actually be interested in hearing a mathematicians take on that.
nephillymike
I've heard it said before that NFL teams use a two board system. They then adjust their draft board for scheme( ie, no sense for the Eagles to draft a 4-3 OLB), personal or position preferences.

Here's a detailed writeup of how it works from the Huddle Report.

http://www.thehuddlereport.com/articles/approach.shtml

The value board will take the talent ratings and adjust for things like team needs, position premiums or discounts (QB premiums, OG are discounted etc) and predict where a player will be selected.

I think the teams use all of the above to draft the player they need. for example, the colts should not have Smith or any other top QB on their draft board. I think that the teams use a broad definition of "position of need" and only eliminate very few positions from their boards. One reason for this, is that NFL careers are so short, and that initial contract lengths are short also, so although you may have a stud TE in his third year today, there is no guarantee he will stay here after he hits FA and he will not suffer the quiick injury or rapid decline that shortens many NFL careers.

In general, I don't agree with the " you need to pick a "position X" player in this draft range for him to be good. If a player is rated with first round talent is available and you need a QB near the slot where his talent is rated, then draft him. QB is a mild exception, in that many years, there is a 1/2 round premium to get the QB's. Also, something I haven't heard mentioned is that because of QB's being protected, the careers of the good ones is significantly longer than the other position players, who are injured more frequently, so you can think of it of getting 12 years from a QB pick at the top as opposed to six years at one of the other more injured spots. So that is another reason to put a premium on QB's.

If you can suffer thru the details of prospects I posted in another thread, you can see those positions that I think are on the Eagles draft board and the prospects that I see being available in each of the first five rounds.

For me, I concentrate on the talent board and where numerous sources have them rated there. Also, more importantly, I look at the ratings of how good people say they are going to be. Is the pick a HOFer? Is he a multiple PB player, a solid starter, a lower end starter, or a contributing reserve? Each draft is different and within these ranges, if you have ten prospects in various positions of need all rated equally, it makes sense to trade down and get another ticket and still being able to pick a player you have rated the same as the one your trading partner selected in your old spot.
Eyrie
QUOTE (mcnabbulous @ Mar 30 2013, 02:06 PM) *
It goes without saying what my opinion is on this subject, but not to belabor my point...the myth that "LT needs to be taken early in the draft to be successful..." is just that. Our very own Jason Peters was an undrafted free agent. And he may have been the best in football pre-injury. I do recognize that he's a freak, but nonetheless.

To put it in perspective, here is how the last 5 SB winners acquired their LT.

Ravens - McKinnie - URFA
Giants - Diehl - 5th round (260 overall)
Packers - Clifton - 2nd round (44th overall)
Saints - Bushrod - 4th round (125th overall)
Steelers - Starks - 3rd round (75th overall)

Out of those teams, the only one that didn't draft their QB in the first round was the Saints.

The only position that has consistently proven must be filled with a top draft choice is QB. You can find any other position anywhere else in the draft. It almost makes taking a shot on a top-QB every year in the first round worthwhile in my opinion. Until you find that guy. I'd actually be interested in hearing a mathematicians take on that.

I don't think that anyone disputes the importance of taking a QB, or the fact that a high draft pick at that position is far more likely to work out than a mid-round project compared to any other position (including LT).

But a player still has to be worth where he is picked. You don't reach for a need, and to be honest we have enough needs that we don't need to anyway. Off the top of my head - RT, DE, OLB, S and CB are all big question marks.
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