Draft Theory and the Big Board

The Big Board

This is the time of year for narrowing down your board.  Every team has a board and every one is different.  The biggest beef with most so-called draft experts is they do not give you a frame of reference for their draft board.  The offense a team uses, the personnel they have in place, the market and the climate all play a role in how you evaluate a draft class.  It does not take place in a vacuum.

Some teams use a vertical draft board that rates players in a best to worst order from the top down regardless of position. Other teams take a horizontal approach with each position labeled across the top. Each position catagory is then broken down from best to worst based on what round the player is expected to be selected in.

We have always used a few ground rules to govern the board:

Name your team and scheme – We are drafting for the Dolphins and it will skew your evaluation because certain players may be great in another scheme, but not a fit for the Dolphins.

Determine what positions are priorities – we always believe that you over draft for certain positions that are vital and are hard to find.

Make a stand on character and intangibles, or not – we call it in the IME; the Instant Millionaire Effect states that those who get in trouble or lack desire to work when they are broke will get in more trouble when they become an IM.  Wait till a later round and maybe being deprived of millions of dollars for being a knucklehead will wake them up.

Measurables do not measure football players – unless it exposes their one or two weaknesses in college.  Everyone is bigger, faster, and stronger in the NFL.  If you are a linebacker that struggles against fast teams and then run a 4.85 forty at the Combine (Manti), that matters only if you had trouble covering college players in the passing game. Conversely, if you took plays off and did not like to tackle in college, being a 4.5, 260 pound DE is not that big a deal… especially after you become an IM…

This is one of the better ones.  CBS Sports - NFL Draft Scout.

This your chance to help Dolphinshout create our own big board. In the comments section, give us your big board list from top to bottom with a round you expect the player to be selected in. If you only know a few players and they are all first rounders, that's okay just place them in the order you think they belong in the first round.

From your opinions, I will compile the list and then we'll match it up after the draft and see how we did. List as many players as you can. Don't worry if you only know a few, we will mainly concentrate on the first round. This is not a mock draft it is a player ranking. I look forward to your selections.