Jump to content
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts Fan Forum

Colts draft: All the way too early grades


Recommended Posts

32 minutes ago, csmopar said:

I'm not sure I agree with that notion. One can sustain over use injuries. Happens a TON in the Army. I'm not saying our conditioning program is anywhere near an NFL or D1 level of conditioning but knee injuries from overuse happen a lot. I used a civilian doctor, same that did Carson Palmer's ACL when i tore mine, i was told my injury was from wear and tear of overuse. Same story with  my patella tendon tear and LCL tear. Now, my family has weak tendons in the knee and I know everyone is different, I just know from personal experience and having witnessed non contact, non impact knee injuries that wear and tear does cause injuries. Its also why the older a player gets, the more likely they are to sustain those injuries as well. 

 

The bolded assumes that once you reach a certain amount of use on a ligament, it will necessarily suffer a significant tear. And I think we all know that's not true. I also think the use of the word "overuse" should be explained. 

 

And again, this is anecdotal, and does not, by itself, establish a correlation.

 

It's true that there's a correlation between age and likelihood of injury, because the older we get the more we lose tissue and muscle. But that won't start happening for Taylor for another 8-12 years or so (assuming he's like average male humans, but it's possible that his physiological makeup is above average). 

 

I also think the importance of the number of carries a player has -- assuming no previous injury history -- is overstated. Playing a football game at RB is physically punishing, but practice can be physically punishing. Offseason training can be physically punishing, especially if you account for different conditions (heat, surface, equipment, fatigue, etc.) How a person approaches recovery is relevant. Alcohol consumption, hydration, quality of sleep, etc., all relevant. But we don't track any of that stuff. We just say 'if a player has X number of carries, he has less tread on his tires.' I think that's a limited and highly inconclusive approach. And I think it's possible that a player with more in game carries, but a higher quality approach to practice, training, recovery and conditioning could be less likely to suffer future injury than a person with fewer in game carries, but a lower quality approach to the other areas.

 

What I'm saying is that I don't think the data shows a clear positive correlation between number of carries and likelihood of future injury, especially once you account for other relevant variables (injury history, etc.), and exclude catastrophic circumstantial injury. So until/unless that correlation is shown in data, it seems inappropriate to state that it definitely exists.

 

That said, if we could erase 40% of Taylor's college carries, I wouldn't complain.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Superman said:

 

The bolded assumes that once you reach a certain amount of use on a ligament, it will necessarily suffer a significant tear. And I think we all know that's not true. I also think the use of the word "overuse" should be explained. 

 

And again, this is anecdotal, and does not, by itself, establish a correlation.

 

It's true that there's a correlation between age and likelihood of injury, because the older we get the more we lose tissue and muscle. But that won't start happening for Taylor for another 8-12 years or so (assuming he's like average male humans, but it's possible that his physiological makeup is above average). 

 

I also think the importance of the number of carries a player has -- assuming no previous injury history -- is overstated. Playing a football game at RB is physically punishing, but practice can be physically punishing. Offseason training can be physically punishing, especially if you account for different conditions (heat, surface, equipment, fatigue, etc.) How a person approaches recovery is relevant. Alcohol consumption, hydration, quality of sleep, etc., all relevant. But we don't track any of that stuff. We just say 'if a player has X number of carries, he has less tread on his tires.' I think that's a limited and highly inconclusive approach. And I think it's possible that a player with more in game carries, but a higher quality approach to practice, training, recovery and conditioning could be less likely to suffer future injury than a person with fewer in game carries, but a lower quality approach to the other areas.

 

What I'm saying is that I don't think the data shows a clear positive correlation between number of carries and likelihood of future injury, especially once you account for other relevant variables (injury history, etc.), and exclude catastrophic circumstantial injury. So until/unless that correlation is shown in data, it seems inappropriate to state that it definitely exists.

 

That said, if we could erase 40% of Taylor's college carries, I wouldn't complain.

that i can agree with. I'm not overly concerned with the number of carries, but it does give me pause. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, stitches said:

This is coming from someone who absolutely believes positional value is a real thing and is interested in ways of quantifying that and that you need to take it into account when alocating resources.

 

What are you waiting for?

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

What are you waiting for?

I'm not smart enough for that and football advanced analytics is kind of hard because there are so many pieces that impact every single play, and not only do they impact it but they are interdependent. 

 

For example, you have OL blocking for the QB, RB taking on blitzers, WRs working getting open, other WRs blocking for the catcher after the catch, the QB throwing the ball... How do you allocate the credit to all of those on a single play? Let alone doing it for positions on a team or in the whole league?

 

I don't know, @EastStreet and @OffensivelyPC have shared some online sites with me about analytics but I'm not sure there is a great and definitive answer to that question. I know PFF has their analytics team and they have done some research on positional value but I'm not sure they've shared it publicly. They say stuff like "CB(Fulton)/WR(Lamb) is likely to give you 4 times the value Kinlaw would at that position", but I'm not sure if this is specific to those players or to the position they play. Is it individual evaluation or group(position) evaluation? I'm not sure.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, stitches said:

IMO, Ballard will never outright win a draft pre-play time because in a lot of cases he drafts niche players that work especially well for our system(especially defensively) but might not be valued as highly by the analysts that evaluate players in general for all teams. Ballard also takes some wild shots on athletic players(again part of it is because of the nature of this defense). Another part about this specific draft is the trade for Taylor. A lot of analysts nowadays seem to be falling in line with the thought that a RB even if a great player doesn't provide enough value to be drafted high. I listened to PFFs grades podcast and they pretty much said "I don't we can give a grade above B for a team that drafts RB earlier than round 3". This was following directly the grade for the Colts. Not all analysts will think that but enough of them will that the commulative grade will drop a bit.

 

(BTW with PFF I'm noticing moving the goalposts a bit about the value of the RB position... at first it was first rounders that didn't give the value required to be a good pick, now they've moved on to say that even second round RBs are not good value, I wonder if next year they would include the 3d round too. Where will be the ultimate limit? This is coming from someone who to some degree agrees with them - RB is not high value position and shouldn't be prioritized early in the draft. Now the question is how early is too early and how good a RB needs to be to justify being drafted in the respective round)

 

See...I don't really get this whole devaluing of RB...and empirical evidence certainly doesn't point to the ability of teams easily or often getting great RBs later than Day Two.

 

Setting aside the old RBs (AP, Hyde and Ingram)...12-14 of the top 20 (across different metrics like rushing yards, DVOA and DYAR) were picked before the end of Day Two. And I believe all of them (except one) were picked in 2015 or later (so between 2015-2019). During that time, there have been 27 RBs drafted in rounds 1-3...so you are talking about having a 45-50% chance of that player being a top 20 RB if you drafted one.

 

That leaves 6-8 RBs that weren't picked in rounds 1-3. And during this time, there have been 72 RBs drafted between rounds 4-7. So you had an 8-11% chance of getting a top 20 RB if you drafted one (kudos to Ballard). And that doesn't include UDFAs...which would skew that percentage even lower.

 

Obviously, teams that draft RBs early use them...but needless to say...the RB position isn't being dominated by Day 3 picks and UDFAs...so I find the devaluing of the position strange.

 

Drafting one early in the 1st round...sure that's probably not for me...but Day Two...even late 1st round should be perfectly acceptable...if he is a 3-down RB.

 

From a talent standpoint...a RB is going to be on par with (or likely even better than) players at other positions...otherwise he's not on your board at that point (given the positional value). So from the talent perspective...you aren't reaching.

 

From a value standpoint...yes...RB have careers and peaks that are earlier/shorter...but you are likely getting part/most of that peak production on a cheap rookie deal...and they can make an immediate impact. As opposed to another position that might have to develop 2 years and starts to produce just in time for his 2nd contract.

 

Once the rookie deal is up for a RB...they are like any other pick...where now you have to choose to invest at a market rate (or above)...or perhaps trade him...and positional value from the draft isn't really important anymore. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stitches said:

I think they are a bit more nuanced than this, but I absolutely can see your point. They are indeed going overboard with positional value at times. At some point it is better to get a good player at low value position than bad player at high value position. This is coming from someone who absolutely believes positional value is a real thing and is interested in ways of quantifying that and that you need to take it into account when alocating resources.

 

One of PFF's analysts said they just hired a new analyst who was a QB.   CFL, maybe?  I don't know.  The numbers and advanced metrics are useful of course, but I think Collinsworth realizes if you are going to do daily podcasts and live streams, you need some real football people, analysts who can present a real world, football translation of the numbers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

See...I don't really get this whole devaluing of RB...and empirical evidence certainly doesn't point to the ability of teams easily or often getting great RBs later than Day Two.

This is not the reason for the devaluing. Every position gets you better talent the earlier you draft in general. With some positions the difference is more pronounced than with other positions(I have to look it up about where RB ranks here). The reasons for devaluing the RB position though are

1. Running the ball well doesn't correlate to winning or if it does, it does very weakly(depending on the study you use). (BTW same goes for defending the opponent's run game)

2. Running the ball well is dependent more on both the quality of the OLine blocking and on the ... quality of the passing game than on the quality of the running back

3. Like you pointed out in your post - there is a TON of turnover at RB because of the punishment those guys take and the careers on average are the shortest at the RB position.

 

When you take all of those together it turns out that even though you are likely to get better RB earlier in the draft, the difference in quality of RB doesn't result in big difference in quality of the run game as a whole and in your team winning. In essence, the difference between elite RB and a mediocre one when it comes to their impact is very small.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, #12. said:

 

One of PFF's analysts said they just hired a new analyst who was a QB.   CFL, maybe?  I don't know.  The numbers and advanced metrics are useful of course, but I think Collinsworth realizes if you are going to do daily podcasts and live streams, you need some real football people, analysts who can present a real world, football translation of the numbers.

There already are people who have played the game on their team. They have ex-members who are on NFL teams. I think people underestimate PFF when it comes to their knowledge of the game. They use NFL coaches, NFL execs and scouts when developing their methodology about grading, etc. They are not just some nerds that know nothing but spreadsheets and numbers, although they probably have some of those too.. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Superman said:

So for me, I'm only looking at the actual draft class -- the rookie players added using 2020 picks, because I want to have a feel for the quality of the players that were drafted in 2020. And I think that approach sufficiently accounts for value added/lost in pick trades. I think veteran players added are accounted for in a different evaluation.

Cutting out the rest for space, but I read it all and appreciate every word.  I don't even really disagree with anything you said.  

 

But I think the bottom line is, there's a time and/or place for these evaluations.  I think that probably teams engage in some sort of similar, more official sort of analysis when evaluating in house, at least from the GM down.  I know that is outside the scope of what we are discussing, but still, I don't think it's wholly irrelevant.  The analysis probably takes into account what individual scouts saw, projected, and what else have you, and how the coaches coached him up, and then assessed the "final" product.  Not final as in his career is over, what did he achieve?  But final as in, by year two, he should be at X, at year three, he should be at Y.  How accurate  was the scouts assessment, and then look over that over the body of that scouts work.

 

The curious thing is, how does a GM know that it's a coaches failure or a scouts misjudgment?  I dunno, and we probably can't know until we see guys getting pink slips, whether it's a coach, scout or GM.

 

That all fits into the broader scope of how does Ballard identify talent and get the most out of his draft picks, which is what you are concerned with.  But I think your method of analyzing and "grading" Ballard's work in your way helps isolate a certain part of a GMs job, adding talent through the draft.  So going back to the bottom line, there is a place for all different sorts of methods of evaluating offseason work, whether that's trading for existing players, future picks, FA signings, and drafting players.  It's all relevant provided the analysis is an accurate portrayal that's as objective as a subjective person could possibly make it.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what is said here, but one thing I have seen is....when a RB has had a long college and pro career....and then has to carry the ball 400+ times, the result almost always is a quickening to the end of their career...usually evident the next season. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, stitches said:

This is not the reason for the devaluing. Every position gets you better talent the earlier you draft in general. With some positions the difference is more pronounced than with other positions(I have to look it up about where RB ranks here). The reasons for devaluing the RB position though are

1. Running the ball well doesn't correlate to winning or if it does, it does very weakly(depending on the study you use). (BTW same goes for defending the opponent's run game)

2. Running the ball well is dependent more on both the quality of the OLine blocking and on the ... quality of the passing game than on the quality of the running back

3. Like you pointed out in your post - there is a TON of turnover at RB because of the punishment those guys take and the careers on average are the shortest at the RB position.

 

When you take all of those together it turns out that even though you are likely to get better RB earlier in the draft, the difference in quality of RB doesn't result in big difference in quality of the run game as a whole and in your team winning. In essence, the difference between elite RB and a mediocre one when it comes to their impact is very small.

 

 

 

But other than a willingness to turn over RBs...teams aren't really devaluing the position...unless we are comparing different eras...which is why I don't understand why pundits do it. Most of the best RBs in the NFL are still coming from that Day 1-2 range...and teams understand this...otherwise they wouldn't draft them. The Super Bowl champs with the best offense in the NFL just drafted a RB in the 1st.

 

You know where I stand on the QB position and passing offense...IMO it's paramount...especially for a team that plays in a dome. So I would agree that a good run offense might not correlate as strongly to winning. But I am more concerned with explosive/chunk run plays...which contribute to an overall explosive play rate...which does seem to be a hallmark of good teams. 

 

Last season, 5/8 teams on Divisional Weekend were in the top 10 in explosive run plays...and those same teams were top 10 in explosive play rate overall. 

 

KC (who just drafted a RB)...was #24 in explosive run rate...and #13 in overall explosive play rate...which is a scary thought because they just won the Super Bowl and added CEH. But they also have the best QB in the NFL.

 

My point is chunk yardage plays in the run game are huge...and similarly...a RB that can turn a 5-yard dumpoff into 20-30+ yards is very valuable...which obviously helps the passing offense.

 

So for me...a 3-down RB like that is just not another weapon for the offense. And if you can find a RB that can contribute in those ways...it just adds a different element to the offense. And I think it's just much easier to find that type of player early on.

 

Obviously, OL play and scheme are going to be catalysts for how good a RB can be...but I think the better talent you have...the more efficiently/effectively you can take advantage of your OL and scheming.

 

Similarly, this is why I never understand why people want a game manager at QB...it's a waste of potential when you have invested in the OL and have a coach like Reich. Though QB is an entirely different topic.

 

The fact that RBs peak and produce early is actually a good thing...depending on where the team is at in any given contention window. And while they typically have shorter careers...I don't think that's necessarily a huge downside. I think people tend to overestimate contention windows for teams. In the NFL...a LOT can happen in a span of 3-4 years (the length of a rookie deal)...as Colts fans are aware. IF I can get 2-3 years of Kamara or Dalvin Cook type production for cheap...in a contention window...sign me up.

 

And like I said...once a rookie RB's contract is up...he's like any other pick you made. At that point...you have to either re-invest in that player you drafted (with a huge contract) OR find a better or cheaper replacement. The only downside is the residual value.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stitches said:

I'm not smart enough for that and football advanced analytics is kind of hard because there are so many pieces that impact every single play, and not only do they impact it but they are interdependent. 

 

For example, you have OL blocking for the QB, RB taking on blitzers, WRs working getting open, other WRs blocking for the catcher after the catch, the QB throwing the ball... How do you allocate the credit to all of those on a single play? Let alone doing it for positions on a team or in the whole league?

 

I don't know, @EastStreet and @OffensivelyPC have shared some online sites with me about analytics but I'm not sure there is a great and definitive answer to that question. I know PFF has their analytics team and they have done some research on positional value but I'm not sure they've shared it publicly. They say stuff like "CB(Fulton)/WR(Lamb) is likely to give you 4 times the value Kinlaw would at that position", but I'm not sure if this is specific to those players or to the position they play. Is it individual evaluation or group(position) evaluation? I'm not sure.

 

Re the "4 times the value Kinlaw would" - that is nonsense in IMO.  Weird that they'd say that, even if exaggerated.  I think it diminishes the value of a strong DT.  You think most teams would choose [name your favorite CB in the league] over Aaron Donald?  I'd be curious to see league wide vote on that from 32 GMs. 

 

But on the positional value question is so scheme dependent.  But I've seen things like multipliers on player grades(i.e. 1.12 x [Player Grade]) .  But that requires you to have a uniform scouting grade - that can spit out a grade based on your evaluation and that number has equal weight across the board.  That takes time (a lifetime maybe?) in and of itself.  Then you've got to know your system inside and out.  

 

I've also seen multipliers for team needs.  I don't know that I'd ever bump a player grade based on team need.  But I would not be surprised if teams do that.  If I were GM, I'd just always keep need in the back of my mind that, if ever I'm staring at a group of 10 players are all within a small margin of each other, I'd pull the trigger on (or trade down to get) a lower graded player.

 

That's why, back to the Kinlaw statement, PFF's grading system has inherent flaws.  Like you said, it just stops at the player grade part.  Their positional value is based on their analytics of what they think the players that offer the most positional value is.  They land on CB quite a bit, even over a dominant pass rushing DE/DT, which is why I'd be curious what the vote on NFL GMs would be on Donald vs. best shutdown corner.  Me personally, I see dominant defensive linemen, specifically edge rushers, take over games far more often than I do shut down CBs.  I know they can cite guys like Richard Sherman who take away a 1/3 of the field, but those guys are rare and play like that for a very short period of time.  But a guy like Aaron Donald or even younger guys like Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett walked into the league playing at a high level.  Those guys I think will do it for longer.  I think that's worth more and I really honestly think most teams think the same.  Yet PFF I've heard time and again state the CB positional value is more than other defensive players.  

 

lol I know I didn't get you anywhere closer to an answer.  If anything, I just gave you my confirmation that it's practically impossible for someone outside the organization to assess positional value.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, OffensivelyPC said:

Re the "4 times the value Kinlaw would" - that is nonsense in IMO.  Weird that they'd say that, even if exaggerated.  I think it diminishes the value of a strong DT.  You think most teams would choose [name your favorite CB in the league] over Aaron Donald?  I'd be curious to see league wide vote on that from 32 GMs. 

 

But on the positional value question is so scheme dependent.  But I've seen things like multipliers on player grades(i.e. 1.12 x [Player Grade]) .  But that requires you to have a uniform scouting grade - that can spit out a grade based on your evaluation and that number has equal weight across the board.  That takes time (a lifetime maybe?) in and of itself.  Then you've got to know your system inside and out.  

 

I've also seen multipliers for team needs.  I don't know that I'd ever bump a player grade based on team need.  But I would not be surprised if teams do that.  If I were GM, I'd just always keep need in the back of my mind that, if ever I'm staring at a group of 10 players are all within a small margin of each other, I'd pull the trigger on (or trade down to get) a lower graded player.

 

That's why, back to the Kinlaw statement, PFF's grading system has inherent flaws.  Like you said, it just stops at the player grade part.  Their positional value is based on their analytics of what they think the players that offer the most positional value is.  They land on CB quite a bit, even over a dominant pass rushing DE/DT, which is why I'd be curious what the vote on NFL GMs would be on Donald vs. best shutdown corner.  Me personally, I see dominant defensive linemen, specifically edge rushers, take over games far more often than I do shut down CBs.  I know they can cite guys like Richard Sherman who take away a 1/3 of the field, but those guys are rare and play like that for a very short period of time.  But a guy like Aaron Donald or even younger guys like Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett walked into the league playing at a high level.  Those guys I think will do it for longer.  I think that's worth more and I really honestly think most teams think the same.  Yet PFF I've heard time and again state the CB positional value is more than other defensive players.  

 

lol I know I didn't get you anywhere closer to an answer.  If anything, I just gave you my confirmation that it's practically impossible for someone outside the organization to assess positional value.  

I think the way they do it is - they do their grades of players... and then they take those grades and do some regression analysis on those grades and team wins based on positions to see what positions impact the outcomes of games the most. For example, maybe their data shows that highly ranked RBs or DTs don't correlate to wins as much as highly ranked CBs, etc. 

 

I'm not trained in statistics so this is just a very surface level understanding on my part, so don't quote me on it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I give this draft a ( B ). There is enough things on each and everyone to pick apart. But I like this draft. One thing I can say about this team is they are trending up. 
The Jonathan Taylor pick will actually improve Marlon Mack. Case in point a lot of games last year Marlon is having his typical 40 to 50 yard first half.

Then the Colts replace him with Jordan W. And he breaks a run for 50 to 60 yard run- only to be caught from behind. There won’t happen with Taylor this year.

Also picture this 8 minutes to go in the 4th. Colts up by 8 points. Big Q is pulling, followed by lead blocker J Nix and Jonathan Taylor carrying the ball. Game Over.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

But other than a willingness to turn over RBs...teams aren't really devaluing the position...unless we are comparing different eras...which is why I don't understand why pundits do it. Most of the best RBs in the NFL are still coming from that Day 1-2 range...and teams understand this...otherwise they wouldn't draft them. The Super Bowl champs with the best offense in the NFL just drafted a RB in the 1st.

 

You know where I stand on the QB position and passing offense...IMO it's paramount...especially for a team that plays in a dome. So I would agree that a good run offense might not correlate as strongly to winning. But I am more concerned with explosive/chunk run plays...which contribute to an overall explosive play rate...which does seem to be a hallmark of good teams. 

 

Last season, 5/8 teams on Divisional Weekend were in the top 10 in explosive run plays...and those same teams were top 10 in explosive play rate overall. 

 

KC (who just drafted a RB)...was #24 in explosive run rate...and #13 in overall explosive play rate...which is a scary thought because they just won the Super Bowl and added CEH. But they also have the best QB in the NFL.

 

My point is chunk yardage plays in the run game are huge...and similarly...a RB that can turn a 5-yard dumpoff into 20-30+ yards is very valuable...which obviously helps the passing offense.

 

So for me...a 3-down RB like that is just not another weapon for the offense. And if you can find a RB that can contribute in those ways...it just adds a different element to the offense. And I think it's just much easier to find that type of player early on.

 

Obviously, OL play and scheme are going to be catalysts for how good a RB can be...but I think the better talent you have...the more efficiently/effectively you can take advantage of your OL and scheming.

 

Similarly, this is why I never understand why people want a game manager at QB...it's a waste of potential when you have invested in the OL and have a coach like Reich. Though QB is an entirely different topic.

 

The fact that RBs peak and produce early is actually a good thing...depending on where the team is at in any given contention window. And while they typically have shorter careers...I don't think that's necessarily a huge downside. I think people tend to overestimate contention windows for teams. In the NFL...a LOT can happen in a span of 3-4 years (the length of a rookie deal)...as Colts fans are aware. IF I can get 2-3 years of Kamara or Dalvin Cook type production for cheap...in a contention window...sign me up.

 

And like I said...once a rookie RB's contract is up...he's like any other pick you made. At that point...you have to either re-invest in that player you drafted (with a huge contract) OR find a better or cheaper replacement. The only downside is the residual value.

I think pundits and more importantly advanced analytics folks do it because that's what the numbers show. And teams(even Superbowl ones) don't follow it because they are behind the curve. I think I agree with this. I think the league is with RBs where NBA was with 3p shot vs midrangers 10-15 years ago. There was analytics work done that showed how valuable 3p shooting is back then(especially compared to midrangers), but for ages even the best teams in the league continued to shoot mid-rangers and run post ups(pretty much the worst efficiency shots in the game) simply because that was the way it was always done and noone wanted to break the mold and just trust the numbers. I still remember coaches scolding players for shooting a wide open 3 instead of taking a few steps into the line and shooting the long 2. It took the GSW completely wrecking the league for the NBA to get the message. With the NFL it won't be this easy, because it generally is more conservative league than the NBA and in addition the nature of the game is such that there are many more moving parts that determine the success of teams than just whether you take a RB in the 1st round once in 4-5 years. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, stitches said:

I think the way they do it is - they do their grades of players... and then they take those grades and do some regression analysis on those grades and team wins based on positions to see what positions impact the outcomes of games the most. For example, maybe their data shows that highly ranked RBs or DTs don't correlate to wins as much as highly ranked CBs, etc. 

 

I'm not trained in statistics so this is just a very surface level understanding on my part.

Oh I'm not either.  They get there somehow.  I just don't think I agree with it wholesale.  CBs are important and they are up there in terms of positional value.  I just don't think you get there by analytics alone.  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, OffensivelyPC said:

Cutting out the rest for space, but I read it all and appreciate every word.  I don't even really disagree with anything you said.  

 

But I think the bottom line is, there's a time and/or place for these evaluations.  I think that probably teams engage in some sort of similar, more official sort of analysis when evaluating in house, at least from the GM down.  I know that is outside the scope of what we are discussing, but still, I don't think it's wholly irrelevant.  The analysis probably takes into account what individual scouts saw, projected, and what else have you, and how the coaches coached him up, and then assessed the "final" product.  Not final as in his career is over, what did he achieve?  But final as in, by year two, he should be at X, at year three, he should be at Y.  How accurate  was the scouts assessment, and then look over that over the body of that scouts work.

 

The curious thing is, how does a GM know that it's a coaches failure or a scouts misjudgment?  I dunno, and we probably can't know until we see guys getting pink slips, whether it's a coach, scout or GM.

 

That all fits into the broader scope of how does Ballard identify talent and get the most out of his draft picks, which is what you are concerned with.  But I think your method of analyzing and "grading" Ballard's work in your way helps isolate a certain part of a GMs job, adding talent through the draft.  So going back to the bottom line, there is a place for all different sorts of methods of evaluating offseason work, whether that's trading for existing players, future picks, FA signings, and drafting players.  It's all relevant provided the analysis is an accurate portrayal that's as objective as a subjective person could possibly make it.  

 

Agreed, for sure. I think there's value in evaluating the entire offseason. I just do so independently of "draft" grades.

 

As for your thoughts on the GM/coaches and how they evaluate and grade their players, that's all the biggest part of building a roster, IMO. That's why I appreciate when Ballard says he includes the coaches in player acquisition -- FAs and draft picks -- because he wants the staff to have a plan for the player. He also said in his first year that his evaluation of Pagano and his staff would include player development; it seems safe to assume that it's a major part of his continued evaluation of his coaching staff.

 

So in a year, or two years, when they go back over how players have developed, a major touchstone should be 'you said this player fit your scheme, and would be used this way; what happened?' So if they're using him exactly how they said they were, and he's not working out, maybe that's more on the scout's projection. Or if they're not using him like they said -- like if you take a boundary corner and move him to nickel -- then the coaches have to answer for that.

 

And it's never black and white, probably. Quincy Wilson, they probably knew he wouldn't be great on special teams, but the scouting staff might have said 'it won't matter, he's going to lock down CB1/2 in a year anyway.' And then the coaching staff said 'he's not ready to start, and we want him to earn it on teams.' Now you have a player being used in a way that doesn't match the original plan. Kind of 50/50 blame in that situation.

 

Add in injuries, staff/scheme/position changes, etc., and you probably can never nail this down with absolute certainty. But I do think a team should be using a lot of self-evaluation, documenting what their intentions are, and cross-checking it with what actually happens, and seeing where some issues can be tightened up. That's why I think it matters when the coaching staff and the scouting staff appear to be properly aligned with one another, speaking the same language, because then they can hold everyone accountable and keep getting better.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Agreed, for sure. I think there's value in evaluating the entire offseason. I just do so independently of "draft" grades.

 

As for your thoughts on the GM/coaches and how they evaluate and grade their players, that's all the biggest part of building a roster, IMO. That's why I appreciate when Ballard says he includes the coaches in player acquisition -- FAs and draft picks -- because he wants the staff to have a plan for the player. He also said in his first year that his evaluation of Pagano and his staff would include player development; it seems safe to assume that it's a major part of his continued evaluation of his coaching staff.

 

So in a year, or two years, when they go back over how players have developed, a major touchstone should be 'you said this player fit your scheme, and would be used this way; what happened?' So if they're using him exactly how they said they were, and he's not working out, maybe that's more on the scout's projection. Or if they're not using him like they said -- like if you take a boundary corner and move him to nickel -- then the coaches have to answer for that.

 

And it's never black and white, probably. Quincy Wilson, they probably knew he wouldn't be great on special teams, but the scouting staff might have said 'it won't matter, he's going to lock down CB1/2 in a year anyway.' And then the coaching staff said 'he's not ready to start, and we want him to earn it on teams.' Now you have a player being used in a way that doesn't match the original plan. Kind of 50/50 blame in that situation.

 

Add in injuries, staff/scheme/position changes, etc., and you probably can never nail this down with absolute certainty. But I do think a team should be using a lot of self-evaluation, documenting what their intentions are, and cross-checking it with what actually happens, and seeing where some issues can be tightened up. That's why I think it matters when the coaching staff and the scouting staff appear to be properly aligned with one another, speaking the same language, because then they can hold everyone accountable and keep getting better.

And what's great about Ballard and Reich is, for us fans, they are pretty transparent.  More so than other coaches/GMs that I can personally remember.  Maybe I'm just looking back at past Colts combos since we knew them better than most other GM/coach combos for other teams.  But when they say they want to do something, they do that thing.  It's the same with player deveopment.  Really liked what Ballard and Reich both had to say about the 10 or so questions on Eason - look, he's a 4th rounder and needs to get better as a field general . . . we'll talk about him as a starter when he starts improving in those areas.  

 

Like you said, they're on the same page, and it shows.  From there, its' getting the right coaching plan and the players working like today might be their last day on the job.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, shastamasta said:


Yeah...the contract is a huge part of this. Buckner is the third-highest paid defensive player in the NFL I think...so surplus value is likely not going to be had. But he’s also a proven talent...which you really can’t compare to a draft pick.
 

So I just prefer to evaluate the draft and the Buckner trade on their own merits. I think we can look at the draft picks Ballard had this past weekend...and how he used them...and evaluate that way. Otherwise...how do you compare teams with different picks?

 

With that said, I think it’s a B to B+...with the chance that Eason alone can make it an A. Every year I want Ballard to grab skill position talent on Day Two...every year. It’s for the very reason many pundits are now praising those picks...because it’s not unheard of to get 1st round talent at these positions on Day Two...especially RB. Plus they are safer (and typically more talented) than project defensive players.

 

And this year particularly...I wanted an offense-heavy approach early...so I was stoked to see Pittman and Taylor taken...as well as Eason in the 4th (really wanted to draft a QB at some point).
 

And I can dream on Eason...even if I was a big Love fan...especially at the value price of a 4th rounder.

 

The picks that kept it from being an A for me was Blackmon and Pinter. Both are projects with considerable risk (either via injury or being raw or both)...and are recent or soon-to-be position changes. The laundry list of preferred players that went around those two picks is very long. Assuming all of these players develop...it is hard to imagine Blackmon being better than Cush, Zuniga, Lewis, Gallimore...or

Pinter being better than Lemieux,

Bryce Hall, Tyler Johnson, Curtis Weaver, Muti, Anae, etc. And I think the chances they do develop or acclimate to the NFL is less than those players as well.

 

The 6th rounders are solid dice rolls though...and should really help bolster the PS and STs for now. (Wouldn’t have minded taking a stab at Hunter Bryant though). 

 

But it’s all JMO. You add a couple of players in place of the Blackmon and Pinter picks...and it’s probably an A for me.

I agree on evaluating (draft and trade) independently.

I disagree on some of the folks, and agree on others.

Here's my quick thoughts on all....

 

Pittman

Need - X WR was arguably our biggest need

Value - He's an absolute value in the 2nd given he'd normally be a 1st

Overall - Love it

 

Taylor 

Need - We were top 10 in rushing last year, so not really a need. 

Value - I hate early round RBs, but he's a good one

Overall - Luxury pick I'm warming up to. Would still have preferred TE or OT

 

Blackmon

Need - Can't say we filled a need given his medical outlook

Value - I think he would have been there in the 4th. 

Overall - Project. I'm warming up to it, but would have preferred TE or OT here

 

Eason

Need - The need is long term, and he needs some time

Value - Good value in the 4th, but he's a project.

Overall - Won't know how I feel for 3 years lol

 

Pinter

Need - The need at OG is absolutely there, but not as big as OT

Value - Pretty decent value if he can transition from T to G or C.

Overall - Like the pick, but would have taken Wanogho who I think is a true T

 

Windsor

Need - DT need isn't going to be met by a 6th round undersized guy

Value - Mediocre value, but would likely have been there as a UDFA

Overall - Probably my least favorite pick

 

Rodgers

Need - CB need is debatable with FA signings. KR is debatable

Value - He's the kind of raw and small school project I like late

Overall - He needs to gain some weight for CB, but he's ready now at KR

 

Patmon 

Need - Need is a little less after Pittman

Value - Given his rare size/speed combo, and production the last 2 years, like it.

Overall - He's the kind of kid that can come out of no where with a good off season of coaching

 

Glasgow

Need - Special teams does need to improve

Value - He would have been available as a UDFA

Overall - Felt like a Ballard vanity pick lol... Perhaps he wants to lure one of his bros. Good kid, just not sure I'd spend a 6 on a guy that's likely a pure STs guy. We already have a few of those.

 

 

I'm happy overall, not to disappointed with any one pick, but just thought they could have still covered TE and OL. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, stitches said:

I'm not smart enough for that and football advanced analytics is kind of hard because there are so many pieces that impact every single play, and not only do they impact it but they are interdependent. 

 

For example, you have OL blocking for the QB, RB taking on blitzers, WRs working getting open, other WRs blocking for the catcher after the catch, the QB throwing the ball... How do you allocate the credit to all of those on a single play? Let alone doing it for positions on a team or in the whole league?

 

I don't know, @EastStreet and @OffensivelyPC have shared some online sites with me about analytics but I'm not sure there is a great and definitive answer to that question. I know PFF has their analytics team and they have done some research on positional value but I'm not sure they've shared it publicly. They say stuff like "CB(Fulton)/WR(Lamb) is likely to give you 4 times the value Kinlaw would at that position", but I'm not sure if this is specific to those players or to the position they play. Is it individual evaluation or group(position) evaluation? I'm not sure.

 

To your last paragraph, I think they're just talking overall value in the purest sense, not taking into account team needs, team scheme (player fit), etc.. 

 

I agree with you that need factors in. Directly, and indirectly. I'll use the Colts for instance. Let's talk OT vs RB with the Colts in mind. We were top 10 rushing last year, and had a top 10 OL. Both good. Mack's contract is up after this year, AC's in two. Mack's contract would likely be 1/2 the cost per year of AC's. A good OL can make it easy on a RB.

 

So.... value.... Who has higher value to us this year. OT or RB. If AC or Smith get injured, we're in huge trouble both from a passing and a rushing perspective. If Mack went down (without Taylor on the roster), Rivers still has a good OL, and our RBs did pretty well last year when Mack was out. We may not be top 10 in rushing, but we'd likely still be top 16. If we lose a starting T, we're likely not top 10 with Mack healthy, and we're likely going to drop big time in passing too.

 

I think the short and long term value of an OT is much higher than RB this year, and in 5 years. I think the need at OT this year was much higher than RB as well. 

 

Hope the health gods are good again this year to our OL. If not, our highest paid QB room in the league is going to look bad, and our big bad RB room isn't going to do much. Cleveland at 58, Josh Jones at 72, Niang at 96, Charles at 108, and Wanogho at 210 (many had him in the 2nd) would have been at minimum competent back ups.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, EastStreet said:

I agree on evaluating (draft and trade) independently.

I disagree on some of the folks, and agree on others.

Here's my quick thoughts on all....

 

Pittman

Need - X WR was arguably our biggest need

Value - He's an absolute value in the 2nd given he'd normally be a 1st

Overall - Love it

 

Taylor 

Need - We were top 10 in rushing last year, so not really a need. 

Value - I hate early round RBs, but he's a good one

Overall - Luxury pick I'm warming up to. Would still have preferred TE or OT

 

Blackmon

Need - Can't say we filled a need given his medical outlook

Value - I think he would have been there in the 4th. 

Overall - Project. I'm warming up to it, but would have preferred TE or OT here

 

Eason

Need - The need is long term, and he needs some time

Value - Good value in the 4th, but he's a project.

Overall - Won't know how I feel for 3 years lol

 

Pinter

Need - The need at OG is absolutely there, but not as big as OT

Value - Pretty decent value if he can transition from T to G or C.

Overall - Like the pick, but would have taken Wanogho who I think is a true T

 

Windsor

Need - DT need isn't going to be met by a 6th round undersized guy

Value - Mediocre value, but would likely have been there as a UDFA

Overall - Probably my least favorite pick

 

Rodgers

Need - CB need is debatable with FA signings. KR is debatable

Value - He's the kind of raw and small school project I like late

Overall - He needs to gain some weight for CB, but he's ready now at KR

 

Patmon 

Need - Need is a little less after Pittman

Value - Given his rare size/speed combo, and production the last 2 years, like it.

Overall - He's the kind of kid that can come out of no where with a good off season of coaching

 

Glasgow

Need - Special teams does need to improve

Value - He would have been available as a UDFA

Overall - Felt like a Ballard vanity pick lol... Perhaps he wants to lure one of his bros. Good kid, just not sure I'd spend a 6 on a guy that's likely a pure STs guy. We already have a few of those.

 

 

I'm happy overall, not to disappointed with any one pick, but just thought they could have still covered TE and OL. 


I would have liked a TE at some point as well. I am probably more pessimistic on Burton. He was near (or right at) the worst rated TE in the NFL last year...according to DVOA...and he was hurt...and just had surgery. I am not expecting much.

 

I would love if Ballard could steal Howard from TB. That is the type of move that would fit in perfectly for a team trying to win now.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, shastamasta said:


I would have liked a TE at some point as well. I am probably more pessimistic on Burton. He was near (or right at) the worst rated TE in the NFL last year...according to DVOA...and he was hurt...and just had surgery. I am not expecting much.

 

I would love if Ballard could steal Howard from TB. That is the type of move that would fit in perfectly for a team trying to win now.

I'm not all that high on Burton to be honest. I really don't see him as a true TE. He's more HB or big slot. If used the correct way, I think he could produce. He had a decent 2018 even with Trubisky passing it to him. Reich knows him, so I'm putting it on him if he doesn't work out lol. 

 

On TE in general. I think we're going to see less 2 TE sets this year. With the addition of Pittman, we'll have functional size on the field x2 a lot more than we did last year. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, stitches said:

I think pundits and more importantly advanced analytics folks do it because that's what the numbers show. And teams(even Superbowl ones) don't follow it because they are behind the curve. I think I agree with this. I think the league is with RBs where NBA was with 3p shot vs midrangers 10-15 years ago. There was analytics work done that showed how valuable 3p shooting is back then(especially compared to midrangers), but for ages even the best teams in the league continued to shoot mid-rangers and run post ups(pretty much the worst efficiency shots in the game) simply because that was the way it was always done and noone wanted to break the mold and just trust the numbers. I still remember coaches scolding players for shooting a wide open 3 instead of taking a few steps into the line and shooting the long 2. It took the GSW completely wrecking the league for the NBA to get the message. With the NFL it won't be this easy, because it generally is more conservative league than the NBA and in addition the nature of the game is such that there are many more moving parts that determine the success of teams than just whether you take a RB in the 1st round once in 4-5 years. 


Of course there are several factors that help a team have a successful offense...drafting a good RB early is just one component and one part of a larger approach. I just don’t see how it has become this taboo thing.

 

I guess I would have to see these analytics that show this stronger correlation for other positions...at least as it pertains to late 1st rounders and Day Two picks. Because good teams...many of which (probably even all) also utilize advanced stats and metrics...just aren’t thinking this way. NE, KC, NO, MIN, GB, SEA, LAR, PHI...all have taken RBs in the first two rounds recently I think. Thats not the main reason they are good...but it must not be putting them at a disadvantage either...as the pundits seem to suggest.

 

On that note...3-point shooting gave GSW an edge...but what’s the edge to be gained by eschewing RBs early...freeing up a random pick or two for another position that might correlate better to winning? A team still has to hit on that pick. 

 

But like you said...building a winning team is much more complex than a single position...so it’s hard to imagine that the data is statistically significant...but I also haven’t seen it.
 

If anything...explosive plays seem like a

decent comparison to the NBA and 3-point shooting. And getting those plays from a RB (in addition to the passing game) would certainly provide an edge. I think it stands to reason that the more explosive and talented RBs are

getting taken early....which hurts another team’s chances of finding a player like that later in he draft.
 

And while this is a discussion about allocating picks and roster construction...drafting RBs early has other benefits. They are marketable...and drive popularity with fans...especially with the prevalence of FF...which has the ability to get even casual fans (not just a team’s fans) to tune into that team’s game. As long as this is the case...I can’t see the position being devalued very much. But that’s not the only reason.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EastStreet said:

I'm not all that high on Burton to be honest. I really don't see him as a true TE. He's more HB or big slot. If used the correct way, I think he could produce. He had a decent 2018 even with Trubisky passing it to him. Reich knows him, so I'm putting it on him if he doesn't work out lol. 

 

On TE in general. I think we're going to see less 2 TE sets this year. With the addition of Pittman, we'll have functional size on the field x2 a lot more than we did last year. 


I agree...with a legit QB...1– 3-WR sets seems to be his preference. If he was passing out of those nearly 75% of the time with Luck and the group of WRs on that 2018 team...imagine what he will want to do with both Campbell and Pittman...two 2nd round picks...on the field.

 

I think people assume Reich loves 2-TE sets because of his time in PHI and Ebron’s production. But in PHI...he was running Pederson’s offense...which is obviously predicated on 2-TE sets...and in Indy...Ebron was actually being used as a big slot WR. Last year, he used them more because of JB’s limitations and because they were focused more on running the ball.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, shastamasta said:


Of course there are several factors that help a team have a successful offense...drafting a good RB early is just one component and one part of a larger approach. I just don’t see how it has become this taboo thing.

 

I guess I would have to see these analytics that show this stronger correlation for other positions...at least as it pertains to late 1st rounders and Day Two picks. Because good teams...many of which (probably even all) also utilize advanced stats and metrics...just aren’t thinking this way. NE, KC, NO, MIN, GB, SEA, LAR, PHI...all have taken RBs in the first two rounds recently I think. Thats not the main reason they are good...but it must not be putting them at a disadvantage either...as the pundits seem to suggest.

It doesn't put them in a hole because it's not just the good teams that do it. It's everyone, so the good ones keep their advantage from other areas. If anything the bad teams still drafting RBs high means they are using early and mid 1st picks on RBs while the consistently good teams use late 1sts for RBs when they use one for a RB.

 

There also is a bit of a selection bias - the teams that are already good presumably have relatively complete rosters so they are probably teams that can afford to take a RB late in the first if it addresses one of very few needs.

Quote

 

On that note...3-point shooting gave GSW an edge...but what’s the edge to be gained by eschewing RBs early...freeing up a random pick or two for another position that might correlate better to winning? A team still has to hit on that pick. 

 

Yep that's the idea - other positions are more valuable to winning than RB and at other positions the difference between elite and mediocre talent is felt much more on winning than at RB. And yes, you still have to hit on that pick but keep in mind that the hit rate at almost all positions is similar in the long run.

Quote

But like you said...building a winning team is much more complex than a single position...so it’s hard to imagine that the data is statistically significant...but I also haven’t seen it.
 

One single thing probably cannot singlehandedly give you this huge of an edge but with the best of the best the you get little edge here and little edge there and it ultimately accumulates into a visible difference on the field. There also might be different levels to it - for example - maybe taking a RB in the 1st once every 4 years won't be this much of a detriment, but focusing your game around "establishing the run"(in a similar way to what we did last year) instead of focusing on passing is MUCH more detrimental to your chance of success. In other words, over the long run good passing game correlates to winning much more than good running game. That's not to say you completely ignore the run game because it still has its benefits and role in specific situations, but overall you put less of a priority on it.

Quote

If anything...explosive plays seem like a

decent comparison to the NBA and 3-point shooting. And getting those plays from a RB (in addition to the passing game) would certainly provide an edge. I think it stands to reason that the more explosive and talented RBs are

getting taken early....which hurts another team’s chances of finding a player like that later in he draft.
 

You have mentioned explosive plays a couple of times here but keep in mind that explosive plays in the run game are different than explosive plays in the pass game. In the league there is rarely a 50 yard run, while 50 yard pass plays happen all the time. Explosive run plays are both rarer and usually shorter than explosive pass plays. It's not a coincidence that the yards per attempt for pass play are almost double the yards per rush. Just no matter how explosive your run game is, it will never catch-up with the pass game when it comes to potential for explosiveness. That's also part of the reason why good passing game is more valuable than good rush game.

Quote

And while this is a discussion about allocating picks and roster construction...drafting RBs early has other benefits. They are marketable...and drive popularity with fans...especially with the prevalence of FF...which has the ability to get even casual fans (not just a team’s fans) to tune into that team’s game. As long as this is the case...I can’t see the position being devalued very much. But that’s not the only reason.

 

Oh absolutely agree here. RBs are some of the most fun and exciting athletes in any sport. You might have read that I was one of the people here who wasn't in love with the value of the Taylor pick. Still, I think he's probably the best player we drafted in this draft and probably the most exciting one. I'm actually considering putting him rather than Pittman as my avatar for the year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, shastamasta said:

NE, KC, NO, MIN, GB, SEA, LAR, PHI...all have taken RBs in the first two rounds recently I think.

Correct, in fact 14 different teams have taken a RB (Det twice) in the first 2 rounds over the past 3 drafts alone. It's not a taboo thing at all.

 

Pundits will pundit...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/27/2020 at 10:58 PM, dw49 said:

 

Yep I agree with that. The good GM's all say they only draft for need when that player is equal to the others players available in that spot. I would guess in reality , it's more like "close" instead of "equal." I think the real mistakes are made when a team really needs say a LT and they are just hell bent to draft one with their first pick.


As to the GB pick , IMO it was really bad. If they looked the draft through the first 25 picks , it was pretty obvious Love would fall to them at 30.

Since the Packers traded up to get him I think it's pretty obvious he was not going to fall to them at 30.  Did you not see the article someone posted on here about Veatch and Mahomes?  The article is a very good look at the inner workings of player selection.  But one thing that stood out to me, was Veatch convinved Mahomes agent that KC was the best place for Mahomes to play and the agent agreed and agreed to keep the Chiefs updated on on who was showing interest.  Chiefs got word that the Saints were showing a lot of interest in Mahomes, so they traded up to get him before the Saints could... and the Saints confirmed that after the draft, telling Reid they would have drafted Mahomes.  I'm sure something similar happened with the Packers.  We as fans think that teams follow the draft like we do, that they are looking at trends and if there is a run a certain position, etc.  But think about it for a minute, the draft is something that makes and breaks careers, there is literally millions of dollars at stake for individual teams, they don't sit their in the war room with fingers crossed that a player will fall to them, especially in the 1st couple of rounds.

 

Not saying they always do the correct thing because there is still a human factor, but intelligence gathering is a huge part of the draft and it's not limited to scouting players.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Coffeedrinker said:

Since the Packers traded up to get him I think it's pretty obvious he was not going to fall to them at 30.  Did you not see the article someone posted on here about Veatch and Mahomes?  The article is a very good look at the inner workings of player selection.  But one thing that stood out to me, was Veatch convinved Mahomes agent that KC was the best place for Mahomes to play and the agent agreed and agreed to keep the Chiefs updated on on who was showing interest.  Chiefs got word that the Saints were showing a lot of interest in Mahomes, so they traded up to get him before the Saints could... and the Saints confirmed that after the draft, telling Reid they would have drafted Mahomes.  I'm sure something similar happened with the Packers.  We as fans think that teams follow the draft like we do, that they are looking at trends and if there is a run a certain position, etc.  But think about it for a minute, the draft is something that makes and breaks careers, there is literally millions of dollars at stake for individual teams, they don't sit their in the war room with fingers crossed that a player will fall to them, especially in the 1st couple of rounds.

 

Not saying they always do the correct thing because there is still a human factor, but intelligence gathering is a huge part of the draft and it's not limited to scouting players.

 

 

I don't agree that it was obvious  he would not have been there at 30. I agree that "they thought it was obvious." It was rumored a lot that the Colts were looking to move up a few spots and I think they bit on that one. When NO and NE passed on him at  25 and 25 and the Colts didn't move ahead of them at Minnesota's spot , who in the world was going to trade up to 26  to secure him ? I looked pretty hard and I see nothing that made sense. Plus some wine would have had to be pretty sure GB would have taken him at 30 ? I don't buy it would have happened. NE and NO passing at the immediate picks before convinces me that they blew a 4th. But not the end of the world if he ends up terrific.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing one can honestly grade right after a draft is to what extent a team fills their needs.  Outside of that...  All the stuff you see flying around is people calling teams winners because they drafted the players they recognize.  Which is ridiculous really.

 

Another thing that is ridiculous is PFF acting like taking a RB above round 3 is some sort of mistake.  There are tiers on these guys.  If you can change field position (game breaking speed), provide a scheme fit (power, zone, etc), function as a receiving option, and pass block (which teams look hard at), you're in play earlier than round 3.  It's a basic supply and demand issue.  Even though RBs are easy to get in every draft (which is what leads PFF to that take), the guys who have that rare collection of talent/ability are not easy to get.  Taylor is that type of back.

 

Lastly, Buckner does come with some risk.  Good as he is, there is a bust rate when it comes to paying players elite money.  Some guys seem to lose their edge with the security of that type of contract and I think it's a human nature thing as you see this effect across all sports really.  So that's why teams put so much emphasis on whether a guy loves football.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The colts were not even going to take Love at 34. He probably would of kept falling. The colts were intent on making this team better for Rivers. The colts scout mentions about how junior QB are a tough eval unless they see special like a Lawrence.  I don’t think the colts were going to even look at a QB until the fourth round. I have a feeling colts would never have a project QB at the top of their board. Packers probably could of had love in the second.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, shastamasta said:


I agree...with a legit QB...1– 3-WR sets seems to be his preference. If he was passing out of those nearly 75% of the time with Luck and the group of WRs on that 2018 team...imagine what he will want to do with both Campbell and Pittman...two 2nd round picks...on the field.

 

I think people assume Reich loves 2-TE sets because of his time in PHI and Ebron’s production. But in PHI...he was running Pederson’s offense...which is obviously predicated on 2-TE sets...and in Indy...Ebron was actually being used as a big slot WR. Last year, he used them more because of JB’s limitations and because they were focused more on running the ball.

Yup, I don't look at his time in Philly. Pederson called the plays there, and Reich was more like an assistant coordinator. When he was with the Chargers, I'm not sure how much McCoy influenced him (McCoy was an O coach with history as QB coach and OC), but at least Reich was calling plays. I will say, with the Chargers, they didn't use TE2 that much when Gates was healthy.

 

Coaches always evolve, so this is really the first Reich led O, even though we have an OC. I'd say if anyone is influencing his style, it's likely Ballard. Not talking micro management stuff, but just stuff like Run vs Pass, and a few other basics. Reich was horrible with balance (run game) when he was OCing with the Chargers, and we know he's changed his stripes on that topic.

 

I really wouldn't call Ebron a big slot WR. I'd simply call him a typical detached TE. But yes, anything coming out of slot or TE alignment is going to be TEish if there's someone 6-4 or more running it. I'm just stoked that we have a QB that will take advantage of those alignments/routes. JB rarely threw to the seam, and it was open a ton. Those throws require quicker processing and anticipation, and we know JB struggles there.

 

And with a set like Pittman / Doyle / Pascal / TY or Campbell, that's plenty of size in a typical set. It's like most teams 2 TE sets anyway. Even a Pittman / Campbell / Doyle / TY has plenty of size, but also has crazy speed too. There's so many possibilities and sets we can run now that we have Pittman and all the other speed guys. If the health gods are kind, Reich has all the tools, and Rivers will have all the weapons. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2020 at 3:09 AM, stitches said:

You have mentioned explosive plays a couple of times here but keep in mind that explosive plays in the run game are different than explosive plays in the pass game. In the league there is rarely a 50 yard run, while 50 yard pass plays happen all the time. Explosive run plays are both rarer and usually shorter than explosive pass plays. It's not a coincidence that the yards per attempt for pass play are almost double the yards per rush. Just no matter how explosive your run game is, it will never catch-up with the pass game when it comes to potential for explosiveness. That's also part of the reason why good passing game is more valuable than good rush game.

 

Haha...I do like to use the word explosive...but I also think those plays are incredibly important.

 

I would agree that explosive run plays and pass plays are definitely not created equal...and I would also agree that the passing game is the most important thing.

 

However, I don't think that is the comparison to make. No team passes 100% of the time. ATL...who passed 67% of the time last season...still ran the ball 1 out of every 3 plays. A more likely percentage for the Colts to maintain balance is probably closer to ~60% pass plays. That means ~40% of the Colts' offense is still going to be run plays.

 

So it should actually be a comparison between a team's average run play result and an explosive run play result. And since other team's are also utilizing some percentage of run plays...that's where having more explosive run plays gets the added value and impact...and provides an edge for an offense (much like the 3 pointer did for GSW).

 

As an example...using that 40% run play rate...if a stud RB gets 55% of a team's carries (probably close to what Mack got last year if he played all 16 games)...he has the potential to provide that edge on 22% (a huge chunk) of the team's offensive plays.

 

And if he is used in the passing game at a good rate...like 15% of the team's targets...that would mean he would be involved in 37% of the team's offensive plays...and would add a potential explosive impact each time. So given that, I can see why a RB would have early Day Two value...and why the Colts wanted to add a HR hitter like Taylor.

 

I just watched the latest episode of "With the Next Pick"...and the first thing they discuss is adding "explosive elements" to the offense...and then they debate about Pittman and Taylor...and which player is the better add to that end. Reich says it's not "black and white"...and that they would both add explosiveness to the offense. He also says the offense has some good players...but could use some explosiveness. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

 

 

However, I don't think that is the comparison to make. No team passes 100% of the time. ATL...who passed 67% of the time last season...still ran the ball 1 out of every 3 plays. A more likely percentage for the Colts to maintain balance is probably closer to ~60% pass plays. That means ~40% of the Colts' offense is still going to be run plays.

 

 

While I think you are technically correct, many feel backfield passes to RB's blur the line a bit.   As Rivers did with Ekeler last season, they were actually pass plays, but essentially run plays.  I would like to see stats that have removed them from any passing or running stats to see what a team may have.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

Haha...I do like to use the word explosive...but I also think those plays are incredibly important.

 

I would agree that explosive run plays and pass plays are definitely not created equal...and I would also agree that the passing game is the most important thing.

 

However, I don't think that is the comparison to make. No team passes 100% of the time. ATL...who passed 67% of the time last season...still ran the ball 1 out of every 3 plays. A more likely percentage for the Colts to maintain balance is probably closer to ~60% pass plays. That means ~40% of the Colts' offense is still going to be run plays.

This is an interesting part of the game that I don't know the answer to. What would happen if a team starts raising their proportion of pass plays... to 70... 75... 80... 85%... is there a limit and if there is where it is to efficient offense?

 

Something I would warn against is looking at the raw proportion of plays. Different teams get to the same % differently. For example - some great passing teams might have high % of their plays be run plays simply because they get big leads early passing the ball and then just control the time and run the clock down for big portions of the second halves of games. Some outlets nowadays take stats for what they call "game neutral" situations - meaning, you are not too far ahead to start running the ball all the time and you are not far behind to be trying to catch up by abandoning the run and throwing all the time. 

 

4 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

So it should actually be a comparison between a team's average run play result and an explosive run play result. And since other team's are also utilizing some percentage of run plays...that's where having more explosive run plays gets the added value and impact...and provides an edge for an offense (much like the 3 pointer did for GSW).

 

As an example...using that 40% run play rate...if a stud RB gets 55% of a team's carries (probably close to what Mack got last year if he played all 16 games)...he has the potential to provide that edge on 22% (a huge chunk) of the team's offensive plays.

That's the thing though... the stats show that that edge is relatively small with great RBs compared to mediocre ones(i.e. even if you get huge chuck of plays that go directly through the RB, this still doesn't answer the question just how much more valuable it is for them to run through Ezekiel Elliot vs pick your average RB in the league(lets say Marlon Mack)). That's a big thing that teams don't seem to realize  with the numbers - you can recognize that there is a big diference in talent between the best of the best runners and the average ones... and still realize that the difference in impact does not correspond to the difference in talent. 

 

4 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

And if he is used in the passing game at a good rate...like 15% of the team's targets...that would mean he would be involved in 37% of the team's offensive plays...and would add a potential explosive impact each time. So given that, I can see why a RB would have early Day Two value...and why the Colts wanted to add a HR hitter like Taylor.

I'm not sure where exactly the value would be good for a player like Taylor. It's possible second round type value is good. I would like to hear the guys from PFF about what they think is a good value for a player like Taylor. For example, Taylor or Diggs/Mims(2nd round)? What about Taylor or Ojemudia/Lynn Bowden(3d round)? What about Taylor vs Troy Pride/Gandy-Golden(4th), etc. For some reason I feel like they won't stop at 2nd round. Until last year they were saying 1st round RBs don't give back enough value, now they are arguing for 2nd round RBs not returning enough value. I wonder where they will stop? For the recond, I personally don't know where the value makes it worth it... 

 

4 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

I just watched the latest episode of "With the Next Pick"...and the first thing they discuss is adding "explosive elements" to the offense...and then they debate about Pittman and Taylor...and which player is the better add to that end. Reich says it's not "black and white"...and that they would both add explosiveness to the offense. He also says the offense has some good players...but could use some explosiveness. 

 

Yep, agreed here... I don't think anyone(even the PFF people) would disagree with the fact that Taylor gives us even more explosiveness on offense. The more nuanced question is - "how much more?" and is this much more explosiveness worth a second round pick.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/28/2020 at 8:02 AM, Myles said:

I include Buckner because we essentially took him with our 1st round pick.   Since the Cap space was a non issue, it really doesn't affect anything else.  With Kinlaw's injury history and unknown impact, Buckner seems a huge upgrade over what we could have had. 

I give the draft a B+.  

Even with the Buckner trade in your equation you still give this draft a B+?  Curious to dive deeper into that mind and see what is making you cautious?  I can live with a B+ if not including Buckner but cant see anything less than an A with Buckner.  I'm not totally sold on the 3rd rd pick that has to sit out an entire yr but with getting Eason in the 4th kind of makes up for it.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, BornHoosier said:

Even with the Buckner trade in your equation you still give this draft a B+?  Curious to dive deeper into that mind and see what is making you cautious?  I can live with a B+ if not including Buckner but cant see anything less than an A with Buckner.  I'm not totally sold on the 3rd rd pick that has to sit out an entire yr but with getting Eason in the 4th kind of makes up for it.  

Curious. What is the material difference between a B+ and an A? Is there a formula or a means of retrospectively grading these in 'x' years time? Seems all a bit goofy to me. Probably even pointless. No offence.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Myles said:

While I think you are technically correct, many feel backfield passes to RB's blur the line a bit.   As Rivers did with Ekeler last season, they were actually pass plays, but essentially run plays.  I would like to see stats that have removed them from any passing or running stats to see what a team may have.


But they are counted as pass plays...not run plays, right? As an avid DFS player, I can tell you that if that ball goes forward...it’s a pass. ..that’s how QBs get credit for that short shovel pass that teams do. 

 

If anything...the passing game involvement only adds to a explosive RB’s value. Taylor is an incredible combination of size and speed...if they can get him the ball in space...he is going to create huge chunk plays. This is an entirely new element to the offense. Yes...Hines catches passes...but he has never broken one past 28 yards and only has 5 plays of 20+ yards. 
 

I won’t compare him to Saquon...yet. But he has that type of upside in the passing game I think. Right now...I think of him more as a slightly bigger Miles Sanders...who was awesome last year for PHI (and was picked about 10 spots later in the draft than Taylor). Taylor has that type of impact next year...it’s a HR pick.
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, braveheartcolt said:

Curious. What is the material difference between a B+ and an A? Is there a formula or a means of retrospectively grading these in 'x' years time? Seems all a bit goofy to me. Probably even pointless. No offence.

None taken.  I was just curious the thinking that was holding the grade back from an A, especially with Buckner being added. I give it an A w/o Buckner for what it's worth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

If anything...the passing game involvement only adds to a explosive RB’s value. Taylor is an incredible combination of size and speed...if they can get him the ball in space...he is going to create huge chunk plays. This is an entirely new element to the offense. Yes...Hines catches passes...but he has never broken one past 28 yards and only has 5 plays of 20+ yards. 

This is where I would've liked to see better play from Luck and Brissett.  Neither were very good at the check down to the rb's and I feel that is a very dangerous part of an Elite O.  Rivers excels at this trait and I can't wait to finally see it in the Colts game plan.  It puts the D on its heels more than anything as we ALL have seen playing against Rivers, Brady, etc...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Thread of the Week

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Normally I’m am against any of these big name trade or older trade ideas, but this one I could actually get behind. The age worries be a bit but if we could get him for a couple years, it’d give us a one two punch at TE like we need. 
    • Man, total bummer he is hurt but few of us are surprised.  I personally hope he is not resigned even on an incentive based deal. Every year he is hurt and his best season was barely over 1k yards without a top 5 OL that played the entire year.   He has given the Colts the best he could and his career will be downhill from here and will most likely be out of the league after 2-3 more seasons.  It’s unfortunate but this happens with RBs all the time. Please just move on and cut losses bc talented employees that never  live up to their potential are more aggravating than the bad ones. 
    • I wouldn't say he's assembled a D that are fits for zone. Rock was a cover/press corner. Willis comes from a press D. Blackmon comes from a D that's all about man coverage. Rhoades in MN used a lot of man C1, and even man a lot when in C2. MN could have changed this last year, but pretty sure they played a ton of man during Rhoades career (I know we have MN fans that can comment).    I was actually figuring we were going to play more man, or at least wanted to play more man. Flus hinted before last season started that we'd see more man, but the only game we really saw it was the KC game, against a crippled passing attack. I figured he wanted to beef up the DL with a few horses before he transitioned.    At the end of the day, the situation is so muddy, it's hard to tell. What we do know is that our zone D gives a ton of cushion and is soft as Charmin. Flus could still play C2 with press coverage instead of all the cushion. IMO, we probably have more guys from a C1 scheme, than C2, or at least those that played in C2 had a lot of press elements to them.   If anything, I think it's two things. 1) Charmin soft way to much cushion. It's really bad on 1st and 2nd downs at times. I can understand cushion on X and long, but we get ate up underneath by everyone on standard downs. And I've seen way to much cushion at times on 3rd and short, which is simply inexcusable.  And 2) we simply try to be too cute. If we were going to shrink the playbook anywhere, I'd do it for the DBs.   Regardless, I don't see this as a Ballard problem. I see this as a Reich/Flus problem. If we're going to play C2, we need play it with more press and less zone. And against teams like Jax, we probably would have been better off playing C1.
    • I thought Claypool looked fast and strong in the Steeler game. Didnt see much of him or Pittman in college but Claypool passes my “eye test” higher for no teal reason other than what i’ve seen.  I was wondering what the “experts” thought made Pittman “better” for us.  Another words, why Reich and Ballard preferred Pittman.
    • In some ways it has grown on me.  Sounds “old-timey.” ”The Washington Football Team.”   It puts the emphasis on the home location.... Washington.   There’s actually probably a unique marketing angle that could be inventive, progressive, and refreshing........: thenagain, its Dan Snyder.
  • Members

    • bertjones7

      bertjones7 158

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • GoColts8818

      GoColts8818 9,982

      Senior Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • greenacres

      greenacres 1

      Rookie
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • Logan59

      Logan59 0

      Rookie
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • NFLfan

      NFLfan 9,978

      Moderators
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • BCoop

      BCoop 424

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • Blueblood23

      Blueblood23 402

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • PeterBowman

      PeterBowman 3,422

      Senior Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • holeymoley99

      holeymoley99 205

      Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
    • CoachLite

      CoachLite 615

      Senior Member
      Joined:
      Last active:
×
×
  • Create New...