Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The NFL Draft: Mocks and licks to wonder about

Mockingly speaking don’t you just love these mock drafts? It seems to me that every football related web site has one or more versions or they are planning one or more versions. We’ve done them before but I think the only people that actually read them were the participants in the mock. Two words for those mocks – mock you!

Not that there’s anything wrong with them…

I just don’t pay attention to them. Scouts and NFL war room officials across the league chuckle at them, especially those completed around the first of the year. NFL Draft Countdown had Andre Woodson as a top 10 player a couple months ago. Today he doesn’t even show up through two rounds of their mock draft. Don’t be surprised if Woodson is a Day 2 shot in the dark for some team. Troy Smith is better if you ask me.

Brian Brohm should be a Raven a month or so ago they said. Now he’s projected as a late second round pick.

I find it interesting too how Ravens’ fans favor mock drafts that deliver a preferred player but mock (pun intended) those that have the Ravens selecting and undesirable player.

Then there are the seven round mock drafts. I’ll call that a completely crocked mock. I think some folks just have too much time on their hands. Do yourself a favor – take them for what they are and that is nothing more than a collection of imperfect educated guesses given imperfect access to information.

And in the NFL Draft information rules!

Just ask Roger Goodell.

Quarterbacks should be smart right? They need to quickly process the rapidly changing environment that surrounds them and make good decisions with the football. All other key skills being equal, you’d prefer the guy with the good noggin, right?

To help quantify a good noggin NFL scouts lean on the Wonderlic Test to help separate the field. The Wonderlic is a twelve-minute, fifty-question exam to assess one’s problem solving skills while on the job. SI’s Paul Zimmerman in his book The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football provides average test scores by position for NFL wannabes. They are as follows:

Offensive tackle, 26; Center, 25; QB, 24; Guard, 23, Tight end, 22; Safety & Linebacker, 19; Cornerback 18; Wide Receiver and Fullback 17; Halfback 16.

Now back to quarterbacks and this year’s draft candidates that have attracted the watchful eye of Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta & Co, Matt Ryan and Brian Brohm posted scores of 32. Joe Flacco checked in with a 27 while Chad Henne’s scorecard read 22.

A score of 50 is perfect while the overall average is 21 for all disciplines. A score of 14 is equivalent to an unskilled worker and anything below that suggests someone was a professional truant during their childhood school years.

If you are interested in a sampling and how you might score, check it out here