"The Draft is a Crap Shoot" - Anonymous
I was watching Shariff Floyd dropping down the draft board last night, hoping that this seemingly consensus top-5 pick would be available somehow at pick #18, when my beloved Cowboys came on the clock. Much to my dismay, even though Floyd was available, saw on the NFL.com draft ticker that the 49'ers now owned the 18 spot. I had hoped that we would receive a bounty from them equal to the bounty that KD pulled in the most recent mock draft contest. Needless to say, I was disappointed to learn that we only received picks 31 and 72.
Not being an overly critical person by nature, I tend to try and understand what the thought process could have been that led to the decision. Then, while I may not agree with the decision, if I can at least understand what they were thinking when they did it, it becomes easier to stomach. So, taking some bits and pieces from what I've read and heard in the past two weeks and 24 hours, that's what we're going to try and do here.
First of all, we'll start with the general consensus that there were 16-18 first round graded players in this year's draft. Who, exactly all 18 of them were at this point, we will never know. But from the Frederick pick, we can rightly assume that two of them were Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack, the two highest rated guards in this class. Of course, the top tackles were in there too, maybe even DJ Fluker. Beyond them, I'm supposing that the list included the likes of Dion Jordan, Tavon Austin, Ziggy Ansah, and Kenny Vacarro. Based on how the first round shook out, its likely that the only 1st round graded players available by the time #18 rolled around were Tyler Eifert, Coradelle Patterson, and maybe Floyd.
It seems that if the team had Floyd as a 1st round grade, he was likely one of the two questionables that Mike Fisher spoke of on Wednesday. We can't know that for sure, but judging by the fact that the brain trust wasn't excited about picking him, I think we can safely say that if he had a 1st round grade, it was about as low as can be.
To understand the trade and know what promoted the team to give up 80 points in the deal, we have to know what their whole draft board looks like. Of course, we don't know that, but speculating is all the fun. We know that there were 19 first rounders on the board. How many 2nd round rated players are on the board? Depending on where you look, and which draftnik you trust the most, there may be as many as 40-50 players. So, the odds off getting a 2nd round rated player at #47 are just about 100%. But what about the odds of getting a 2nd round rated player at #72? I'd say those odds are decent to good, given the great discrepancy in how teams value and evaluate players. Add to it that if someone with a high 2nd grade drops into the latter part of the round, the team can package #72 with a later pick (say a 5th) and get back into the 2nd round without forfeiting their other third round pick.
So, in essence, what the trade allows the team to do is draft four players in their top 80 instead of just three. There's not an unheard of chance that they would walk away from today's picks with three 2nd round rated players. For a team that has more holes than swiss cheese, this is a good step toward building the overall talent level.
What did the trade accomplish? We got a player who was #21 on our board at #31, plus an additional high-value spin on the draft roulette wheel.
I can't wait to see what draft roulette brings us tonight!
No matter what, it's going to be fun!