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  • Posts

    • It’s not an excuse GMs draft the types of players coaches want.  That’s true of all GMs not just Ballard.
    • Just the writer of the article. And I'm not saying that in a way that says his opinion is any more important or valid, than anyone else's. He just literally wrote the article.   No one is saying this is the Colts actual list, just their prediction's for the big board. Based off whatever info they used, to put it together.     Just something to look at, nothing more nothing less.   
    • I really don't want us to keep giving Ballard that excuse. This has become one of my pet peeves. We shouldn't give him a pass for every offensive player that failed just because Reich wanted him. He's the GM. It's his job to make the final call. And this is coming from someone who loved Campbell as a prospect... I thought this pick was awesome at the time. And I was wrong... and so was Ballard. 
    • It's draft week!  And instead of publishing my "final mock draft" or whatever, I'm going to publish the drafting principles I've learned by watching different GM's and coaches conduct their drafts.  From our own mocks, I know some people like @Yoshinator see a draft board in much the same way I do.  Or, at least looks for similar traits.  So, here are my top five drafting principles that I go by:   #1 - Easy Rule Of Thumb -- Look for impact players from big time programs This is something that Mike Ditka said once in an interview.  It was his main simplified rule of thumb.  In order to even be recruited by a big-time program (like Alabama or Michigan), you have to be such an accomplished player in high school that they even look at you.  Once you get to the program, you've got to be a great player to become a starter amongst all of their other high ability players.  And big-time programs play other big-time programs.  If you excel against their big-time opposition, then you truly are a GREAT PLAYER.  Thus, the rule of thumb:  Look for impact players from big time programs.  (I know, Chris Ballard often uses the opposite of this rule.  And looks under every rock and tree branch to find a diamond in the rough from South Carolina State or Utah or Temple or Towson State.)   #2 - How Long Have You Been Playing This Position One of the frequent things we see in the NFL is a player who played one position in college, but gets assigned to play a different position in the pros.  Sometimes it works.  See: Brian Urlacher, who played Safety at New Mexico before playing Linebacker for the Bears.  Often it doesn't.  Remember Matt Jones?  He played Quarterback at Arkansas, but knew he would never make it in the NFL at that position.  But he was outrageously athletic.  So, he entered the NFL as a WR, and was taken in the first round by the Jags.  Bleah.  Colts did this kind of thing, too.  Bjorn Werner was a 4-3 defensive end at Florida State.  Colts brought him in, and tried to make him a 3-4 outside linebacker.  A position he'd never played.  It's my opinion that we don't want to have to spend any time teaching a player simply how to play the position.  We'd rather spend our time helping a player refine his skills in a position he already knows.   #3 - That One Thing The biggest thing I learned from watching Bill Polian draft is what to do when you're already good.   When you're a good team, you're going to draft at the bottom of the first round over and and over.  The players that can do Everything well are all at the top of the draft.  And when it finally gets to your pick, you have a choice:  do I pick a guy who can do everything Pretty Good, or do I pick a guy who does only one thing Off The Charts?  Polian's choice?  Get the guy who does the One Thing.  If they're exceptional in that One Thing, we can put him in immediately, and maximize that One Thing.  And we can teach him the rest of the game later.  Prime example:  Dwight Freeney.  Undersized.  Not that stout against the run.  But, jeez, he had receiver speed from the defensive end position.  He was a thunderbolt in the pass rush.  Later, he learned a spin move.  And to play run defense (although still never that great at it).  And Polian did this over and over.  It's how we got Bob Sanders.  And Dallas Clark.  Over and over.  That One Thing.   #4 - RAS Scores Matter This is the thing I learned from Chris Ballard.  The player may have worked hard and worked hard and worked hard, and has maximized his game as much as he possibly can.  But some people are just born with more athleticism than others.  The gods reached down and turned your legs into lightning bolts.  It's something you have that nobody else does.  And when the best players line up against the best players, it's the guy with that extra kiss from the gods that will win.  I used to discount this.  I put a lot of stock into the example of Pat Fischer.  He was an extremely undersized cornerback who played for the Redskins in the 70's.  But he had mined the ore of his talent so completely, he could line up across from the 6'8" Harold Carmichael, and play him to a standstill.  I believed in it.  But Ballard's example has shown me that Pat Fischer is the exception, not the rule.   #5 - Look for the Leaders My final rule is to look for players that were team captains in college.  They may have relatively average athleticism, but they know everybody else's position, not just their own.  And they know how it all fits together.  And they know how to lead other men in accomplishing the goal.  In the novel, Ender's Game, the small, young student soldier, Bean, asks Ender Wiggin to lead a toon.  And Ender gives him his qualifications for leading a toon:  First, show me that you know what you're doing as a soldier.  Next, show me that you know how to lead other soldiers in battle.  Third, prove to me that other soldiers are willing to follow you.  Then, you'll get your toon.  I look for players who are also leaders.  Example?  Julian Love.  Played safety at Notre Dame.  Wasn't all that athletic.  Didn't have the best size/speed.  But he understood the game, and was a leader on the field.  Giants picked him up in the 4th round, and he became the leader on their field.  It's one of the reasons I like JD Bertrand so much in this draft.  3-year starter, 2-year team captain.  Leaders in college become leaders in the pros.  On the field, in the locker room, and in the community.   Well, those are my drafting principles.  What do you think?  And what are yours?
    • Another example  is odunze,Brian Thomas  jr, and Mitchell  the cb if any of them are there at 15 and Ballard  passes on them and they become  a super star you will never hear the end of it. I think Brian thomas  will be better  than worthy so when we pass on thomas you won't  be able to call it hindsight. 
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