New kid on the draft block, and see you have done this before. I am impressed with "Slimm's Pickings."
I believe that, due to the new CBA, 2 or 3 teams will take a shot at QB in the top ten. It makes sense to pay a pick less than a bad backup, with many teams in need. Curious as to your thoughts?
Mods should post this with a sticky for future reference.
Make your own rules!
Slimm, how do you come about ranking Hopkins higher than, say, Stacy. I've read some of your posts on each, and I haven't read very many positive statements in regard to Hopkins, but you're very high (or you seem very high on Stacy). I understand that in relation to where most people rank them, you're much lower on Hopkins and much higher on Stacy, and this isn't meant as an accusing question at all. I'm really curious where the rubber meets the road for you when ranking these kinds of prospects. This is an area where I struggle when creating a big board. I come across a guy I really like, and maybe I connect too much with an aspect of his game and miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. I know these are all your own opinions (you're not averaging your grade with Mayock's or something like that), so how does that work for you?
This is a case where it's as simple as the value of the position, and strength of the class. Also, keep in mind that I don't draft vertically. For example, I won't necessarily draft the player that's #32 over the player that's #33 in every instance. Talent wise, you can obviously see that I view Hopkins and Stacy extremely close together. I believe Hopkins to be as quality of a receiver as Stacy is a running back, and vice versa.
However, vertical grade is also determined by the competition that each prospect is competing against at their respective positions. The WR class that Hopkins is competing with is deeper and stronger than the RB class that Stacy is competing against. Stacy is my #3 RB, whereas Hopkins is my #9 WR. They happen to fall into the same range on my vertical big board because the strength of the WR class is stronger than the RB class.
I wouldn't pass up my #3 rated player at any position for my #9 rated player at another position if the need there is equal for both. You've often heard me talk about how I wouldn't pass up the #1 safety on my board (Eric Reid) at the top of the 2nd round for the #4 or #5 cornerbacks on my board at the top of the 2nd round, even though they all fall grade wise into a range at the top of the 2nd round. This is where the term "value" has a purpose, and why teams don't draft vertically.
Hopkins ranks one spot higher on my big board because I tend to give underclassman the advantage when stacking equal talents vertically. Again, that doesn't mean I'd actually draft that way. This is why I think it's important to have position rankings to refer back to in addition to your big board. It's how you guage value, and make the best decision in terms of selecting one over the other.
I think it's a good idea to draft vertically in the top 10 picks or so because that's where the elite talent is, and elite talent always takes precedence over need. But once you get beyond those 7 or 8 elite talents, I think it's a good idea to start considering value at that point. If I'm choosing between the #1 TE, #6 WR, and #3 CB on my board, I'm going with the #1 TE because that's where I'm getting the best value.
I know there isn't an exact science to this thing, so there isn't a specific cut off, but generally speaking, how do you work your horizontal/vertical board? Obviously, there are other factors coming into play like positional value and team need, but say you're Miami sitting there at 54, and you're looking at Jonathan Bostic (your #2 ILB - 2nd RD value) and Alex Okafor (your #7 DE - 1st RD value). I know pass rusher is more valuable than ILB, but if you could assume their positions are of equal value and of equal need for this example, does your horizontal board win out in this example, or do you go with a guy you have rated as a 1st RD talent?
Just off the top of my head I'd say that Janoris Jenkins at the top of the 2nd round was the most recent example of an elite talent slipping. Although we all know why. He was easily a top 10 talent (clean).
The Okafor scenario is pretty cut and dry. I have a higher grade on Okafor as opposed to Bostic. Secondly, we're factoring impact here. A pass rusher affects the game more than an inside linebacker is able to.
All of this is actually much more complicated when it's being explain in detail in my opinion, because my mind automatically calculates all of these factors instantly without conscious effort. Particularly the intangible factors of impact, positional value, etc.
Slim I saw you had the WR Zach Rogers listed as a late pick, if that someone you would take a punt on?
I think he's far better than a punt. He's an extremely underrated player. I believe he has a chance to go higher than where I have him graded here if the NFL has been paying any attention whatsoever to Tennessee's offense. Reminds me of Brandon Stokley as a prospect. Needs to add 6-8 pounds of muscle to his frame and he should be fine. Route running and football IQ are big assets here. Underrated athletic ability.