How Contending Teams Have Success in the NFL Draft

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How Contending Teams Have Success in the NFL Draft
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It's a pretty simple philosophy on the surface. Build through the draft, gain key components each April, and add a couple of under-the-radar veterans to the mix in free agency. 

This front office model has been utilized by nine of the last 10 Super Bowl winners. 

As simple of a philosophy as it might be, in order for it work, a front office needs to ace the draft. It needs to do multiple things in preparation for the annual event and then navigate the board like Richard Gere in "Chicago"; in essence, play the Geppetto to other team's Pinocchio. 

The best organizations over the last few years have done just this, and April's draft was a prime example. The Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers navigated the three days of the draft about as well as their fans could have hoped for. 

In the process, teams like the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and even the New York Jets may have caught on. Meanwhile, up-and-comers such as the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams proved that their copycat philosophy is working to a T. 

Lets take a look at the key components of success prior to the draft, during it and immediately following the event. The "insider" view, if you will. 

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