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Niners Nation/Draft Tek Partnership: Ranking Needs

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EDITOR'S UPDATE 10:15PM - Alright, we'll have an open thread for the Super Bowl, but in the meantime I thought I'd throw up some more information about Draft Tek and the way they operate. I've erased what I wrote in this post before but am leaving it as the main post for plugging in team needs by position. Check out the way things operate as that will affect how you rank positions. If you have any questions let me know and I'll try and answer them. Whatever I can't answer, I'll get an answer from Warren over at Draft Tek.

About Draft Tek

Draft Tek uses a computer model (VBA on MSExcel platform) to generate a 7-round simulation for the 2008 NFL Draft. As team needs and player rankings change over the months leading up to the draft, Draft Tek will be the first out of the block with updated projections - on a daily basis if events warrant.

The goal of Draft Tek's simulation is to produce a "reasonable" draft based upon the higher needs of each team getting filled in the earlier rounds based on the players available in the ranked player list. Draft Teks staff readily admits that they are unable to keep a watchful eye on the ongoings of all 32 teams.

The plan is to set up arrangements with knowledgeable sources for those teams where our understanding is inadequate. Readers are encouraged to submit positional analyses of their team of choice. However they should make some effort to use Draft Tek's priority codes found on the Team Needs page.

After the NFL Draft is completed in late April, Draft Tek offers a variety of unique content, primarily involving the rating and scoring of the most recent draft and also drafts of past years. Draft Tek at times chooses to present features associated with sports other than football. In 2007 its name was recently changed to "Draft Tek Sports Information" to reflect this more varied focus.

How the Draft Tek system works Each position is assigned a number between 1 and 9. The positions are:

Offensive - QB, RB, WR, OT, OG, OC, TE, FB

Defensive - DT, DE, ILB, OLB, SS, FS, CB, PK

Team Needs Code Descriptions(listed as P1, P2, etc and taken from Draft Tek's website.)

P1: The highest priority team positional need. If assigned a P1, the program will reach to fill the need. For example, if a team is selecting 15th, the program will search to the 25th player (as an example) to fill the P1 need. A team can have only one P1 need, but it's acceptable to have no P1 need.

P2: PP's (Player Positions) designated with P2 indicate that the team is in great need of starting caliber talent and will reach to fill the need. The reach isn't quite as great as P1. There can be multiple P2's identified per team.

Reach: Regarding Reach, the reach limit changes as the selection number increases.

P3: PP's designated with P3 indicate that the team is in need of starting caliber talent, but will not reach for it. Some teams use a "best available player" draft discipline, which fits the P3 code well. Two notes on P3: 1) Even though we say "will not reach," there is a little bit of reach. Selection #25 could reach to the #30 rated player to fill a P3 need; 2) If the program cycles through all the P1, P2, P3, P4 needs without finding a player, the program will add more reach to the P3 PPs and search again for a P3 player.

P4: PP's tagged with a P4 code are depth needs. P4 is purely a value oriented selection, so there is no reach.

P5: The P5 code is used to identify positional needs that the team absolutely wants to fill (within reason), but doesn't want to invest a high draft pick. P5 PPs start the simulation as an equivalent to P4 (depth needs), but in the 4th round all P5 PPs are promoted to P3. Thus the chances of the PPs getting a player fill increase dramatically in the 4th round.

P6: The P6 code is used to identify late round fill needs - like a kicker, fullback or backup QB. P6 have very low priority in rounds 1-5 and will only fill a player under the most unlucky of circumstances for the team. In the 5th round, a conversion takes player and all P6 PPs convert to P4.

P7 & P8: Do NOT exist. They did once but were replicative and never seemed to fill.

P9: PPs tagged with a P9 code will NOT be filled under any circumstances. The program simply bypasses them.

Override Option - In 2007, there was a problem involving each position. For example a wide receiver was identical to every other wide receiver as far as system fits, even though some receivers are possession receivers, some are depth threats and so forth. For 2008, Draft Tek has created a lockout system. Players can be locked out who don't fit team needs or needs profiles. If a player is on the list, the program will bypass him. Players on the list must be in a position of high need for the team.

Examples can be seen over at Draft Tek's Override 2008 page. For example, according to Draft Tek, many simulations have the Bills selecting WR Harry Douglas from Louisville. According to them, while the Bills have a great need at the WR position, they would not be likely to select Douglas because his skill set is already replicated by Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish (tell that to the Lions!).

So in addition to ranking team needs, I'd like to try and figure out guys at high need positions that we are fairly certain the 49ers will NOT select under any circumstances. Any thoughts on that?