2018 NFL Pre-Draft Musings

By Chris Malumphy

Last year the Browns drafted 10 players, expending 5101 points of draft value, over 5 times more than the Rams and Vikings. The Browns got worse. The Rams and Vikings won 7 and 5 more games, respectively, than in 2016. Cleveland has even more value to spend this year.

I gotta think that the Giants dip from 11-5 in 2016 to 3-13 in 2017 was due to far more than just the loss of Odell Beckham and some other injuries. Only the Browns currently have more draft capital, but the New York will need to use theirs well too rebound any time soon. Only QBs (200+ att) with a lower percentage of their passes going for 1st downs than Eli Manning (29.8%) were: 49ers C.J. Beathard 29.5%; Ravens Joe Flacco 29.3%; Packers Brett Hundley 28.2% and Browns DeShone Kizer 27.3%. Not good company. Giants will regret it if they don't take a quarterback.

In 2017 the Patriots had just 4 draft picks and only 389 draft value pts. There record fell from 14-2 to 13-3. After a trip to the Super Bowl they enter the 2018 draft with 8 picks, including two first rounders and two second rounds, with 2,252.40 draft value points to spend. Still, one injury at quarterback and the New England could be doomed.

For whatever reason, Josh Rosen's sunken eye look reminds me of Jay Cutler.

I'd have to say that this is the most exciting and fun draft since 1983.

Great article on how the NFL is terrible at evaluating QBs: ESPN.

And another on how hard it is for teams to excel at the draft: FiveThirtyEight.com.

Yet another good one: FootballOutsiders.

Three QBs were taken in the first 11 picks of the 2004 draft and all three remain starters for the team they played with during their rookie season (Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. But the fourth QB taken in the 1st round in 2004 was a bitter disappointment (Bills J.P. Losman at 22).

Ex-Ravens Coach Brian Billick tweeted: Biggest error we made when evaluating Kyle Boller out of Cal was justifying low comp % by criticizing the talent he had around him. From that I take it he may not be a Josh Allen fan.

Quarterbackss drafted in 2012 have started three Super Bowls, winning two and losing one. Andrew Luck was not one of those QBs (Russell Wilson, Nick Foles) and the Colts appear to be far away from Super Bowl contention. Drafting even an excellent quarterback is no guarantee of ultimate success.

Pro Football Talk had a poll on whether the quarterbacks drafted in 1983, 1971 and 1979 were better than those drafted in 2012, 2004 and 2000 (Brady). Going further back for us old-timers, how about: 1957: Len Dawson, Sonny Jurgensen, John Brodie, Milt Plum & Jack Kemp included Super Bowls, NFL & AFL championships and passing leaders; 1956: Bart Starr & Earl Morrall won Super Bowls; 1936: Slinging Sammy Baugh, best passer of his day who also led league in interceptions one year when he played defensive back too.

Starters in past 10 Super Bowls: Top pick in draft 2-3 (P. Manning, E. Manning, Newton); other first rounders 3-2 (Roethlisberger, Rodgers, J. Flacco, Ryan); second rounders 1-1 (Brees, Kaepernick); later rounds: 4-3 (Brady, Wilson, Foles); undrafted 0-1 (Warner). (Thanks for the correction by Mr. Banicki re: Matt Ryan who I initially mistakenly listed as a top pick.)

I don't know, but I'd wager, that the injury rate for strong safeties, especially those known for playing in the box, is the highest of all. Kamikazes who launch themselves like missiles leading with the head. Lots of big hitters like Bob Sanders with short careers.

Having two of the top four picks hasn't really worked out for any team in over 50 years. Can the #Browns change that tune? Amazing that even the Monsters of the Midway couldn't find success after the #Bears drafted Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers third and fourth in 1965.

I am trying to identify NFL owners who had been NFL players and/or coaches? I recall: George Halas, Paul Brown, Al Davis, Jerry Richardson. Are there others?