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  1. #1
    chiguy's Avatar
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    Should position really matter?

    Should the position a player fills on the roster *really* matter in the draft most of the time?

    I was thinking about this today when looking at the Carriker draft, with Revis right behind him. While hindsight is 20-20 in terms of who will actually get it done in the pros, a big part of why we drafted Carriker was position. If we actually thought that Revis would be a better pro, but were counting on Hill and Bartell was it the right thing to pass on him? Again in hindsight, probably not. Another situation of this ilk that's touched the Rams was the year Polomau was drafted and the front office reportedly liked him but didn't want to pay a safety that much.

    The reason I bring this up is not so much do criticize particular choices in the past (who knows, maybe they had Adam ranked higher...that's a different thread), but to ask the question -- should we really pay that much attention to position in the draft? Should we just get the most talent on the roster possible, with some exceptions, and figure the rest out later?

    And, if you think that's the case, who should we draft this year?

    Just wondering, I don't have an answer per se.


  2. #2
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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Yes position matters. You are building a team and it takes a team to win. To do that you must pay reasonable prices for players that you can't replace at cheaper prices. The reality of the situation is that it isn't out of the ordinary (this year the exception) to find high quality free agents to fill holes at certain positions. Whereas other positions it is exceptionally rare.

    If you look back through history, QB, RB, OT and DE are of the highest priority in the first round. Why? Great ones rarely hit free agency. Other positions like DT, OG, C, LB and CB are easier to fill via free agency if you are in a pinch.

    Lastly, money is always an issue. Certain positions (the one's drafted highly) get paid more because of supply / demand. If you draft a DT and pay him $10 million per year, you are behind the eight ball. Most years you could get a very solid DT for less than that via free agency.

  3. #3
    chiguy's Avatar
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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Certain positions (the one's drafted highly) get paid more because of supply / demand. If you draft a DT and pay him $10 million per year, you are behind the eight ball. Most years you could get a very solid DT for less than that via free agency.
    Fair enough point and, like I said, I don't necessarily disagree. That said, would you rather overpay for Revis or draft Carriker (assuming you actually liked Revis better than Carriker ahead of time)?

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Think about it this way, what if the 1st round pick comes up and the BPA is a RB, then in the 2nd it's again a RB, then again in the third. How much do you keep drafting the most talented player when it isn't a position of need?

    Obviously an extreme example, but sometimes the BPA needs to take a seat when the position they play is already deep on the team.

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Right now the NFL is in passing mode, and any player that directly impacts that part of the game is probably going to get the nod over someone who does not. So the QB, LT, WR on offense, and the DE and CB on defense. You see these guys go very high every year, sometimes questionably high.

    However, I think it's been said by Devaney multiple times that it's the best player available that gets drafted for us. It's when the players are very close in value that it becomes position over talent.

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    I think the position matters when you value the players in the first place. Certain positions correctly have a higher value. QB is obviously the most important, but it's one position where I would use a cut off. It's either a very high grade or don't bother - my only exception would be taking a project with a high ceiling for #3QB.

    When it comes time to pick, I pick the player I give the highest grade, but my grading system includes grading LT higher than RT and guard, cover CB over S. I'd consider need too, but only if the grades are close.

  7. #7
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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Position can't be entirely ignored. Suppose that every round the guy who happened to be the highest on your board when you picked was a tight end. Unless you're Scott Linehan, you're not going to take 7 tight ends. You don't really want to draft somebody who isn't going to have much of a shot of working his way into the lineup. You have to look at how a guy will augment the roster to some degree.

    What you don't want to do is pick the position first and then fill in a name later. The Carriker situation always looked like a bit of a reach. Even if AC was the best DT candidate--it's not like Justin Harrell or Alan Branch are household names--at the time, there were still questions about whether we were getting the best value.

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    The funny thing is that the Jets were supposed to be hot for Carriker. Now we know they wanted Revis, but when they traded up many people thought it was odd considering Carriker was off the board. He seems to be a prototypical 3-4 DE and we'll see how he does in Washington.

  9. #9
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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Think about it this way, what if the 1st round pick comes up and the BPA is a RB, then in the 2nd it's again a RB, then again in the third. How much do you keep drafting the most talented player when it isn't a position of need?

    Obviously an extreme example, but sometimes the BPA needs to take a seat when the position they play is already deep on the team.
    As an example, I think this does show the problem with ignoring position. But I also think it assumes that the grades on players are dramatically different, something that is probably *not* true the farther you move down in the draft. So, its more likely that the "clearly best" player on your board in the first round is in a position that happens to be RB, but when you get to the second round is the RB going to clearly be the best candidate or just kind of the best candidate? Maybe what that suggests is that position ought to matter more the deeper you get in the draft, with talent mattering more in the earlier rounds.

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ventesette View Post
    I think the position matters when you value the players in the first place. Certain positions correctly have a higher value. QB is obviously the most important, but it's one position where I would use a cut off. It's either a very high grade or don't bother - my only exception would be taking a project with a high ceiling for #3QB.

    When it comes time to pick, I pick the player I give the highest grade, but my grading system includes grading LT higher than RT and guard, cover CB over S. I'd consider need too, but only if the grades are close.
    This strikes me as a reasonable way to look at it, but I think that you have to be very careful in how much you weight position or else you end up with the good LT rather than the great RT. I think I'd prefer the great RT myself. So, maybe position is the "tie breaker" between similarly talented players?

    I don't honestly know, I've just been pondering it a bit.

  11. #11
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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    Fair enough point and, like I said, I don't necessarily disagree. That said, would you rather overpay for Revis or draft Carriker (assuming you actually liked Revis better than Carriker ahead of time)?
    If the players were rated equally, I'd take Revis over Carriker because IMO CB is more of a high priority position than DT. I didn't like the drafting of Carriker to begin with but that's easy to say now.

    Looking at this years draft, I'll probably be completely wrong but Gerald McCoy is IMO that over rated DT that shows up routinely. He's a balanced guy with nothing horrible about him (except his strength needs to improve dramatically) but there is nothing premier about him. If I'm taking a player with the top 5 pick, I want to see something premier in him. I think Terrance Cody will be a better DT in the NFL because he's premier at one thing - run stuffing.

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    Re: Should position really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    Should we just get the most talent on the roster possible, with some exceptions, and figure the rest out later?

    And, if you think that's the case, who should we draft this year?
    Suuuuhhhh !! Then McCoy ... if he's there .. If not grab the best wr, rb, lb, or O-line available.

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