I was poking around the Internet and came across an interesting post over at NFLLabor.com. For those who have never been there, NFLLabor.com is a site created by the NFL for purposes of distributing labor-related information. While it operates in part as a mouthpiece for the league, it also provides a lot of more general, useful information for fans.
This particular post pointed out comments from team officials on the new layout of the NFL Draft:
In the [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (right) discussed draft strategy. "I think the second round will now be like the first round," Belichick said. "Take those [top] 32 players out of there…now you’re starting all over again for that second round. And I can see it being approached more as that first round. In the past, you rolled into that round. Now, [teams can] actually stop and have the whole night to sit there and think about it and talk to other teams and develop a new strategy. Everybody does that on the second day; now we have three days. It’s a different dynamic."
In all of our discussions about the draft, we haven't really addressed the new format and how it might affect draft strategy. In the past, you had multiple rounds on each of the two days of the draft, so by the time the first day was down you were well into the draft. The second round of the draft is a fairly big deal in generally, but especially so this year, given the amount of talent in this draft as a whole.
Given that, how does a team prepare for this new dynamic? I suppose it's not the most difficult thing in the world, but it's still one more wrinkle for which teams have to prepare. And for the 49ers, dealing with the football ops shakeup, it certainly might make things more interesting. Do we maybe see more trades throughout the league with this extra breathing space? I'm curious to see how this draft ends up comparing to other drafts in terms of draft-day trades.