It’s that time of year of where the number one play in professional football is to try and predict the number one pick in the annual NFL Draft (and 31 after that). Just about everyone has their own version of the mock draft rundown and with each example is a different version based on an individual perspective.
What’s fascinating is the fervor with which these prognostications are attacked by fans and other media, and so fervently defended by those that post them. Some of the analysis is spot on and meticulously constructed using all the various evaluative factors available at the moment. Many are nothing more than plagiarized duplications passed around from mock to mock.
Many angles of perspective
In a way these mock drafts are indicative of the various perspectives presented to a General Manager in the overall NFL draft preparation at the club level. Each is generated from an individual viewpoint, no more right or wrong than any other, but all important in painting the big picture potential of the player for the club. Former players, coaches, scouts, personnel directors and “none of the aboves” will take their turn over the next couple weeks.
They’re all meant to generate debate and discussion, and to a certain degree can set the market on the incoming player pool. But NFL clubs, the really good ones at drafting young talent, don’t center on any one particular perspective. The successful general managers in NFL draft preparations cut through the chaff to put ALL the pieces together from the various viewpoints of evaluation.
That can be a truly difficult process. There are many varying degrees of presentation (mock draft or individual reports) that an NFL GM will have to sort through.
- The “territorialist” – Those scouts or coaches that feel football isn’t played anywhere else but in the region which they cover.
- The “bang the table” – Those scouts or coaches that lobby the loudest for their prospects in hopes they’ll be heard over the rest.
- The “expert guru” – Those scouts or coaches that try to convince you they know it all because…well because they know it all.
- The “consensus builder” – Those scouts or coaches that quietly canvass the War Room in support of their preferred players. Also known as the “negotiators”.
The importance of crosschecks
The key to a good draft preparation is to remind everyone that their opinion matters in the role with which it’s presented, not necessarily in the order or manner in which they present it. It’s just one valuable piece of the puzzle and provides a viewpoint from any of the 360 degrees of observation. NFL decision makers would be wise to keep this in mind.
It’s a combination of opinions and perspectives that builds an ownership in the player throughout the organization. When everyone feels a part of the process, then everyone is vested in the outcome of the success of the selection.
Outsmart them all
NFL fans would be even wiser to keep this same point of view when filtering through the many presumptions currently being thrown out regarding who their favorite NFL teams will select and exactly where those selections will fall. That includes any and all that might be attributed to The Football Educator. The majority of the mock drafts you’ll see don’t take into account the broad presentation of opinions, nor the detailed nuances associated with an individual club’s requirements or needs of a specific position on the football field. Bottom line, it’s just now how things are done.
Be wise, cut through the chaff, and beware of the consensus building territorialistic guru banging on the table for HIS number one pick.