Monday, December 15, 2008

Draft Linkagery

All draft links. I'll have more to say about individual players, but here are some analyses of top prospects.

RealScouts: wideouts (Nov. 6) and offensive tackles (Dec. 11).

National Football Post: falling stock (Nov. 8), offensive linemen (Nov. 15), defensive linemen (Nov. 22), linebackers (Nov. 29), Texas Longhorns (Dec. 9), defensive backs (Dec. 6), and small school prospects (Dec. 13).

Better, Michael Lombardi has been spending a day writing about the draft history and apparent philosophy of one of the teams playing in the Thursday night game. Take a look, for instance, at the Broncos. Lombardi's comments about Walsh's talent evaluation skills being able to make up for the absence of a specific system of procurement ring very true to me. He's also done the Chargers-good piece, but one I have little to say about.

The most recent one was on the Saints, and it's pretty good. Lombardi starts off with a very damning description:
[W]hat is clear is that they do not have a concrete philosophy about how to build a team. They are a Battleship Drafting team, meaning they randomly pick based on need and hope they hit.

They made this clear with how they picked wideouts-they found Colston and Moore in the 7th round and among the undrafted heap, then picked Robert Meachem in the first round. I applauded this pick, but it does speak to picking players they like, not because they fit their foundation. As Lombardi writes, "They don’t use a size/speed chart and clearly pick players randomly. They don’t have an identity with their player procurement methods". This stands in sharp contrast to a team like the Chargers-remember what he said about Butler and now Smith picking players who fit the 3-4 they've run since the Smith/Talley era in Buffalo? What the Saints are doing is the antithesis of consistency. Around the interwebs (and off it), I criticize coaches for masterminding in terms of playcalling and game strategy, but the much more serious problems of masterminding come in the building a team phase and Sean Payton seems equally guilty here.

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