A few weeks back I put together a Best Player Available mock draft at positions of need. This better reflects how a draft is likely to go than a standard mock draft in my opinion.
I built it using two key data sources:
- Top 50 Prospects Board from Daniel Jeremiah (former Ravens scout, now NFL.com draft analyst)
- Top Needs Per Team, also compiled by Jeremiah
Jeremiah has been updating the team needs and prospects board, which has allowed me to revisit this. When he finishes I'll put up a brand new one.
In the meantime though, I keep coming up with the same predicament: C.J. Mosley is routinely available at 17.
Now, the need for ILB is not high in the slightest. That's even assuming Rolando McClain never plays for the Ravens. However, he's always BPA. There aren't many teams in front of us likely to need him, given the devalued nature of ILB. Some teams may like the value (PIT for instance) but by the rules I set out in this BPA/Need draft, no one takes him.
So, I thought I would pose this pick to the community and see how you would respond.
The BPA draft, as I do it, has a few ground rules: Teams must choose the best player player at a position of one of its 3-4 listed needs unless none exists, then simply BPA. No reaching for a player past 10 spots - if no player fills a need they take the BPA instead.
Teams are allowed to forgo the literal BPA (for instance Greg Robinson to Jacksonville who has a LT already) at a need to acquire a more pressing need (like quarterback) as long as they are within 10 slots of the pick. But they cannot forgo a need for one that isn't unless they would have to reach beyond 10 places. This preserves both BPA and need.
Players do fall (think Sharrif Floyd last year), but it's unlikely that Mosley falls 20 spots to Denver for example. Teams do reach, especially for QBs, but we're trying to maintain some integrity here.
Here are the picks through 16 rounds:
|1||Houston||QB, RT, OLB, TE||Clowney, Jadeveon||DE||1||0|
|2||St Louis||OT, S, CB, WR||Watkins, Sammy||WR||2||0|
|3||Jacksonville||QB, RB, OT, OL||Bridgewater, Teddy||QB||11||-8|
|4||Cleveland||QB, WR, OL, ILB||Manziel, Johnny||QB||12||-8|
|5||Oakland||QB, OL, WR||Robinson, Greg||OT||3||2|
|6||Atlanta||OLB, OT, TE, S||Mack, Khalil||OLB||4||2|
|7||Tampa Bay||OT, OG, CB||Matthews, Jake||OT||5||2|
|8||Minnesota||QB, OG, S||Pryor, Calvin||FS||15||-7|
|9||Buffalo||RT, LB, WR||Evans, Mike||WR||7||2|
|10||Detroit||S, CB, OT||Gilbert, Justin||CB||8||2|
|11||Tennessee||QB, CB, RB||Bortles, Blake||QB||19||-8|
|12||NY Giants||LT, TE, WR, DT||Lewan, Taylor||OT||10||2|
|13||St Louis||OT, S, CB, WR||Clinton-Dix, Ha Ha||FS||16||-3|
|14||Chicago||S, CB, DT||Donald, Aaron||DT||14||0|
|15||Pittsburgh||CB, WR, DL, OL||Beckham, Odell||WR||17||-2|
|16||Dallas||S, DE, OG, OT||Barr, Anthony||OLB||6||10|
|17||Baltimore||OT, C, S, REC||#N/A||#N/A||#N/A|
And here's the board with the remaining players (up to prospect #23):
|Clowney, Jadeveon||DE||South Carolina||1||YES|
|Matthews, Jake||OT||Texas A&M||5||YES|
|Evans, Mike||WR||Texas A&M||7||YES|
|Gilbert, Justin||CB||Oklahoma St.||8||YES|
|Manziel, Johnny||QB||Texas A&M||12||YES|
|Ebron, Eric||TE||North Carolina||13|
|Clinton-Dix, Ha Ha||FS||Alabama||16||YES|
|Jernigan, Timmy||DT||Florida St.||18|
|Bortles, Blake||QB||Central Florida||19||YES|
|Dennard, Darqueze||CB||Michigan St.||20|
|Cooks, Brandin||WR||Oregon St.||21|
|Martin, Zack||OT||Notre Dame||22|
So as you see Mosley is the BPA guy here. But he's not a position of need per this draft construct. In reality, the Ravens don't need an ILB at all. So our pick here SHOULD be Eric Ebron, since a pass catcher (REC) is a need.
So I put it to the community: If this were a real-life decision faced by the Ravens, what should they do?