clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Todd McShay's common draft mistakes

Drew will have another 100 in 100 post later today, but in the meantime I thought we'd open a different kind of draft discussion.  Todd McShay put together an article for ESPN the Magazine discussing the four most common draft mistakes teams make.

1. They will ignore the big four. At the top of the draft, four crucial positions -- QB, offensive tackle, cornerback and pass-rusher -- should trump all others.

2. They will be seduced by looks. Scouts, GMs, even esteemed members of the media get too wrapped up in 40 times and 225-pound bench press reps.

3. They will pay no mind to minds. As one scout told me recently, "You can't win with dumb players in the NFL anymore." This Jeff George-inspired rule isn't so much about human intelligence as football intelligence, not book-smart guys but playbook-smart guys.

4. They will choose need over value. Everyone who has a say in a team's draft starts with the idea that the biggest holes need to be filled first. It's a fair philosophy in a football utopia. But in the real world, hole-filling can't be the only -- or primary -- factor in determining which guy to take.

I was going to address each individually, but one can look at these together in the bigger picture.  There has been a lot of talk about whether the team should be grabbing a right tackle with either of their first round picks.  It's a drastic need for the team, but there's all this talk about paying left tackle money to a right tackle early on.  The options are taking a left tackle early and moving him back over to right tackle, taking a right tackle fairly high, or waiting until later to grab a right tackle.  Plenty of options, but what is the best way to maximize your return?

The one I've always found curious is the idea of drafting for value, as opposed to specific need.  When the 49ers took Michael Crabtree this past year, it really was a perfect combination of value and need.  He was the consensus best guy on the board at that point, and the 49ers didn't exactly have an overwhelming group of wide receivers.  This year, it seems like the offensive line is so desperately in need over overhaul that a team should be willing to go with filling this need, even if a slightly better player at a position of depth is available.

If you were GM, in looking at the 49ers needs this year, do you just go BPA all the way in the first round?  Does having two first round picks allow you to go BPA with one and need with another?