There's a pretty neat NFL draft simulator on Fanspeak that allows you to play the role of general manager for any team in the league, and run through their entire draft.
They update the simulator every Tuesday, so the position of your picks could change each week. They have considered draft pick compensation. For example, the San Francisco 49ers have two second round selections -- their own, and the Alex Smith compensation pick from the Kansas City Chiefs.
I thought it would be neat to see how you all would draft if you were in charge.
There is no timer when you're "on the clock," so take your time in researching the available players when your boss isn't hovering over your shoulder. One note: No stats are available for players in the sim that I see. So you'll want to have a second tab open so you can refresh your memory on height, weight, speed, and skills of players.
Here is the draft class I ended up with:
RD1: WR Allen Robinson, Penn State
RD2: DT Will Sutton, Arizona State
RD2: CB E.J. Gaines, Missouri
RD3: SS Craig Loston, LSU
RD3: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
RD4: C Bryan Stork, Florida State
RD5: CB Victor Hampton, South Carolina
RD6: WR L'Damian Washington, Missouri
RD7: QB Keith Price, Washington
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All in all, I was pretty happy with my draft. I took a couple guys that might have been best available over need that I couldn't pass up, but also think I got a couple solid values -- so much so, that it reminds me that this was a sim, not real life smart GM's doing the picking.
There are some issues here, obviously. In the real world, I doubt the Niners make nine picks in the draft, nor do they figure to end up in these spots of the draft. They're likely to trade a pick or two -- something the sim doesn't allow -- to continue hoarding buckets of sections in future drafts.
Robinson, an All-American, is a receiver with size that I like a lot. Not sure if it filled the biggest need on the roster based on what was available, but I felt he was the best talent on the board and has star potential in the NFL.
Sutton is an interesting case. A sack machine a year ago, he saw those numbers dip considerably this season. He put on weight -- argued by some as bad weight, others as more muscle -- and ASU put an emphasis on stopping the run. Taking him here means you saw the best of each ability over the course of the past two seasons and have confidence you can get him in the shape you want and use him in the scheme you prefer.
I took Remington Trophy winner Stork, as he was still on the board when real-world the beat writers were getting snippets from current 49ers C Johnathon Goodwin that he has kicked around the thought of retirement. Getting a guy like Stork would be better if he had a year to learn under a guy like Goodwin, but the Niners could always go get another veteran stop-gap if their rookie wasn't ready.
Also, my final pick made little sense. I could probably craft some words together to pitch you on why it makes sense, but let's be honest: I did it to piss off the imaginary Seahawks fans in my head.
I am by no means a draft guru, but this was fun nonetheless. How did your draft turn out?