he rules are fairly simple; all selections are made from a Big Board (because I control the decision and can make them contemporaneously -- in other words, no going back to change picks nor going forward to see who's available). The source of the Big Board is CBS DraftScout, because it's more accurate. Only players who appear on the Big Board at corresponding number for our pick can be selected.
Needs. I've written volumes on this, so I won't reiterate everything here now. Most everyone has an idea so I don't think I need to elaborate on previous discussions. In any case, I'll address this in the discussion after each pick.
A final note -- I haven't looked at CBS lately but I have a pretty good idea of where they rate players. This fact is not unlike our actual war room decision-making process so there is fidelity with the actual process. I have certain ideas about availability of players and will explain that decision making process in the discussion after picks.
1) - #11 Dan Williams - DT - (reach: 2)
-- DISCUSSION: Alternates were Earl Thomas (CB/S), Rolando McClain (ILB), Maurkice Pouncey (OC) and Mike Iupati (OG). The BPA values are fairly close so there's an argument to make for picking on positional need alone. They rank: #14, #13 -- Willams, #11, #17 & #20 respectively.
~~ REASONING: BPA rankings don't adequately convey positional value. The DT position has more value, although there's still an argument to be made concerning William's ability. Developmental considerations play a part in this pick. We need to start grooming DLs now while there's a group of veterans to groom him under. There's also reason to suspect that Jamal Williams may be prone to injury. A final consideration is the impact value of NT versus the DL in general. D-Will also projects as a possible DE34 so he holds value at more than one position.
~~ CONCERNS: Chris Baker could be a casualty but it appears he may be moving to DE, which is another reason to reinforce NT. Also -- I wouldn't be opposed to trading either up or down.
2a) - #43 - Vladimir Ducasse - OT/OG - (reach 6)
-- DISCUSSION: There wasn't as much to pick from here as I expected. I was hoping to find help at WR and willing to entertain certain other positions and players but there wasn't any prospects that I was worried about losing before the next pick. Alternates included Terrance Cody (NT) and Tyson Alualu (DE34).
~~ REASONING: I don't think picking an interior-OL needs explanation, and he's projected as an OG in this decision. Ducasse is a raw prospect but he ranks very high on character and work ethic. There's a slim chance he could eventually backup RT, too, although I didn't put any weight on this factor.
~~ CONCERNS: I worry about his Ducasse's ability to pull and get to the second level.
2b) - #45 - Damian Williams - WR - (reach 5)
-- DISCUSSION: The need is clear but I don't want to make any pick merely because he's next on the list. Damian Williams fits our scheme well so he wasn't chosen only because he's the BPA at WR. Alternatives include Koa Misi (OLB) and Arrelious Benn (WR).
~~ REASONING: As stated, there's a little more here than taking a WR because Marshall is gone. Damian Williams is a strong route runner and would seem to fit the profile for WRs in our system. He appears to do everything well while not standing our at anything in particular. KR is also on his resume, which helps him.
~~ CONCERNS: I'm a little leery of USC wideouts. There's a strong hint of 2nd best here since Demaryius Thomas was preferred here along with Golden Tate. The fear is that it could be the wrong WR choice for a situation in which there are many other choices.
3) - #80 - Ben Tate - RB - (reach 7)
-- DISCUSSION: It just dawned on me that the decision making process used in this exercise doesn't favor reaching so I need to explain that Centers weren't anywhere in the vicinity when this pick was made. I like this as a pick and it fits the positional consideration reasonably well -- that is, for power RB -- although I have questions about his suitability there. Alternatives consisted of Ed Dickson (TE) and Ricky Sapp (OLB).
~~ REASONING: The opening exists and a power back can have an immediate impact in our offense. Impact is partly a positional trait so RB or playmaker (either at WR or at RB) would meet the criteria of immediate impact. Toby Gerhart would also fit here because of his utility as a one-back and a power RB, but he wasn't available.
~~ CONCERNS: Pass blocking and pass catching are concerns along with concerns over utility as a FB.
4) - #114 - Zane Beadles - OG/OC - (reach 17)
~~ DISCUSSION: Positional considerations are paramount at this point but the Big Board isn't cooperating so I took Beadles as an OC because many analysts believe that's where he belongs. Alternatives are Ted Larson (OC) and J. D. Walton (OC), who's a surprisingly big reach here.
~~ REASONING: We need someone to play Center, OK? I like many other prospects at this point but it doesn't matter. A real decision-making process wouldn't suffer from the defect in this one, which strongly favors BPA. Beadles is actually highly regarded in some circles so this pick will seem surprising to laypeople and not to analysts. Waiting till 'later' to pick an OC will raise some eyebrows but that's exactly what we may do.
~~ CONCERNS: The switch to Center is the biggest. What isn't a big a concern is picking Beadles over the others, although I can't provide a strong argument against switching to another Center prospect as the choice. I believe Beadles may actually be the better Center prospect, so don't be surprised if he goes sooner.
5) - #137 - Alterraun Verner - CB/KR - (reach 5)
-- DISCUSSION: Position was a big part of this pick although he wasn't a reach. Alternatives are many, but the most important ones are Emmanual Sanders (WR), Riley Cooper (WR) and Jamar Chaney (ILB). Chaney might be the actual pick by McX but I went with what I thought.
~~ REASONING: Verner is the type of CB that McDaniels likes and he's also a real KR. There's a lot that can be said for making this pick.
~~ CONCERNS: Not taking an ILB is the biggest one. There's a lot of available prospects that could fill one of our needs so it would make sense to trade down earlier in the draft and fill more needs.
6) - #183 - A. J. Edds - OLB - (reach 17)
-- DISCUSSION; I went outside rather than inside but I feel better about Edds in terms of skill set. Alternative was Travis Goethel - ILB. Might be able to slide inside.
~~ REASONING: He's good in pass coverage and is probably advanced due to his IU coaching. LBs are expected to do everything at IU so I feel comfortable about what he adds even though he's not an ILB. I'd prefer adding a LB who adds something besides run stopping ability and I've advocated this argument before. I think we can find an ILB through other means if the draft plays out unfavorably.
~~ CONCERNS: Mostly on his athletic ability.
SUMMARY OF PICKS:
1) - Dan William (DT)
2a) - Vladimir Ducasse (OG)
2b) - Damian Williams (WR)
3) - Ben Tate (RB)
4) - Zane Beadles (OC)
5) - Alterraun Verner (CB/KR)
6) - A. J. Edds (OLB)
FINAL DISCUSSION --
I'm happy with the picks. I pay careful attention to spreading the pick around, but this also makes me wonder if we might be finding more picks to address more areas. I can imagine the furor it would create if traded next year's #2 for the picks to a few more players but I think we're very close to being able address every need area.