A flashy draft, or a functional draft? Which proves more useful?

John Errico HeartNSkol Podcast Blitzed Football Blog

By John Errico // @MikeZimmersEars

(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.) 

There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?

I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.

Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:

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A tough NFC West got even stronger in the Draft

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is a battleground. In order to win it, you have to beat some of the best in the league in just your divisional games. The 2020 NFL Draft made one of the best divisions even better.

While all four teams got great grades on their drafts, a few players really stood out as fantastic picks. And while there weren’t a lot of holes in this division, each answered a few questions that surrounded their teams.

Let’s take a look at their picks and which draftees should stand out in a division full of stars.

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Grading the Chicago Bears NFL Draft 2020

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

The much anticipated 2020 NFL Draft exploded on Thursday night in the most unique way. With social distancing in full swing, the NFL was forced to conduct its yearly draft virtual style.

Despite all the mock drafts, the day finally came when General Manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy put together a board of players that would make an immediate impact on all sides of the ball.

Speed, athleticism, strength, and heart were all tangibles the following players possessed.

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The AFC West gets high marks for their draft picks

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

For most teams, a lot rides on the draft each year. This year for the AFC West, a great draft was desperately needed to bring back some balance to the division.

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions and are bringing back most of that winning team. The other three teams needed a lot of help.

The 2020 NFL Draft brought that help and now the division is looking to be very competitive. Let’s take a look at who the teams selected, and the grades the “experts” gave them.

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The NFC West: Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

What a year it was for the NFC West. They had two teams reach the playoffs, one reaching the Super Bowl. It has long been considered one of the best divisions in the league, and 2020 is looking to be a strong year for all four teams.

However, we all know that teams always have needs. Teams always NEED the draft.

A few teams lost quite a few players to free agency and will need the draft to fill obvious positions of need, others just need to add depth to an already solid team. Here is a recap of who the NFC West teams took in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

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NFL Draft: Fans thoughts on Vikings and Lions needs

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Hello, my fellow quarantined friends! I hope this finds you well, or well-ish!

Because it’s Draft week, I was going to go around to the various teams that I cover for OTFB to find out who wants who, what needs were, etc. However, because I’m in grad school, and finishing up the semester, and working at home, and helping my kids with virtual school, oh yeah, and potty training a new puppy, that didn’t quite happen!

But – I was able to talk to Minnesota Vikings fan, John (@MikeZimmersEars), and Detroit Lions fan, Kevin (@4Lawson4) a couple of weeks ago to get their thoughts on what they think their respective team will do, and what they think their team’s biggest need is.

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Dolphins GM Chris Grier speaks draft

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

We are exactly one week away from making NFL history. Not only will the 2020 NFL draft be held virtually without fans in attendance due to health concerns over COVID-19 virus, but the Miami Dolphins (for the first time in team history) hold three picks in the first round.

How will Miami decide to use these picks?  Do they utilize all three picks the first round or do they try and trade down for more picks?

These and many more answers will be answered in one week per Dolphins GM Chris Grier who addressed the Dolphins media today via video conference.

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Who are you looking for at the NFL Combine?

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Alright… it’s the business and talent evaluation / acquisition part of the season for the NFL.  (I love making things sound fancier than they actually are!) One of my favorite times of the year.  Mostly because I enjoy watching the college kids get to move on to the next phase of their lives.

The free agency part of it is good too, but I really like the young ones coming in.  Maybe it’s because of the fact that I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner and I love all things growth and development-wise.  And watching the growth and development of players is always fun for me.  But I digress.

It’s time for one my most favorite events in the NFL year: The Combine.  This year, I want to know… who are you looking for at the combine?  Some people like to watch a specific position group, and others like to watch a certain player.

The NFL Scouting Combine will be held February 23 – March 2, 2020. For a full list of all the invited players, click here: NFL Scouting Combine Invitees.

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Day 3 at the Reese’s Senior Bowl brings focus to the lineman

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

It was day 3 here in Mobile for me, both practice sessions were held inside at South Alabama University due to inclement weather, and it was standing room only. We were all ushered into one end zone. I decided to stay close to the goal post and pretty much made that my office for the day!

Today’s sessions consisted of watching the big boys upfront, the offensive linemen.

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Keep the Combine in Indy, the draft can move

 

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

The NFL is the most popular sport in America. Even fans of teams who feel like their team may not be going anywhere are still heading to games.

To help increase the popularity (like it needs any more help) and give the fans what they want, the NFL Draft has been moving from city to city, and it has worked well.  At first, I thought that was sort of a stupid thing to do, but then I saw the response of the people in the cities that host the draft, and it’s been nothing short of awesome.

It’s also nice because a city can now host either a draft or a Super Bowl, giving more options for fans to interact. While a draft doesn’t bring as much revenue as the Super Bowl does, it still gives the city a chance to shine. Much like the success of Nashville this past draft.

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