Recently I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about how the NFL draft is a complete crap shoot and how it is virtually impossible to be consistently successful during that famed weekend.
I disagree. I believe that the right strategy on said weekend gives you the ability to maintain good depth on the roster and supply the team with playmakers on both sides of the ball, all the while building for the future.
Of course, if you listen to this so called "experts" on the subject like Mel Kiper Jr. or Todd McShay, they will have you convinced that the best strategy is to draft the best available athlete despite of position.
Not only do they throw worthless numbers at you like 40 time and vertical leaps, but they celebrate teams that follow that mantra.
I say its all bull; however, the one thing that they have been right about is that, you never, ever draft for need. That's how you end up reaching and overpaying for a guy who may just end up as a back up.
The teams that have been constantly successful during this past decade have been the teams that follow a different motto on draft day. I am speaking of teams like the Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Giants, and Eagles, among others.
These teams have rarely followed the hollow rule of drafting the best available athlete, and yet they have all been successful. So, what gives?
Is it that some teams have more information on prospects than others? Or maybe some teams have more luck than others?
Well the answer to those questions is a resounding no. You see, the best strategy is to draft the best available FOOTBALL player who best suits your specific scheme.
Take, for instance, the San Diego Chargers. They have followed the advice of drafting the best available athlete for some time and the reality is that their draft picks of recent years have been less than desirable and team depth is an issue at key positions.
Just look at the NT position, Jamal Williams is 34 years old, that means he's about 50+ in football years specially for a guy in the trenches, and yet AJ Smith has not addressed this issue.
Instead, Smith went with picks like Larry English, who was not only a reach but the Chargers also exposed the fact that they either don't believe in Merriman or they do not plan to keep him.
Also, the safety position has been in shambles for the Chargers since Harrison was let go.
Also there are the Raiders. They have have continuously drafted the fastest player available and that hasn't really worked out well for them.
Now, I understand that being the fastest does not mean your the best athlete; it is, however, a big part of how we define a great athlete, at least in the NFL.
I am glad to see that McDaniels is not of this school of thought and instead drafted the best available football players who best fit his needs, guys like McBath, Smith, and Moreno.
McDaniels was alsosmart enough to lure Baker, a guy who before his little mishap and during his last year at Penn State was being graded as a can't-miss prospect, along with bringing in veterans to tutor the children and get them ready for the future.
I admire McDaniels for sticking to his guns on draft day and finding the best player to fit the team and knowing when to take them.
After all, desperation on draft day cost Shanahan his job, but today I feel that would not be a problem when building the future of my Beloved Broncos.