Saturday, April 28, 2007

The drum roll, please.

It's NFL draft day. This has been the most thoroughly analyzed draft in league history. Not all that long ago, newspapers told you who was drafted for your team. Details about players were skimpy unless there was local interest about the player. There was very little about other team's draft picks.

Now, NFL Network makes an event of the scouting combine - live, no less. And people watch! A dozen web sites post the combine stats as part of scouting details that used to occupy, er, scouts. Hundreds of football sites run mock drafts. Taken together, you get a group consensus on how college players rank. Maybe group consensus equals group intelligence. Time will tell on that one. Then, there's the blogging phenomena where thousands of posts weigh in on team moves, past draft hits and misses, and team needs versus best available debates.

I think fan knowledge going into this draft is unparalleled. Three years ago, Joe Fan pretty much accepted their team's spin on a draftee. Today, teams may spend as much time defending the move they didn't make as much as the one they did. It's not like it used to be. Heck, it's not like last year.

The Redskin Report points to today's Washington Post report that the Redskins will hold on to their first round draft pick and select LaRon Landry. That is, hold on to it unless there is a last minute trade. (wha?) The Redskin Report also posts a stat analysis of mock drafts showing the frequency of where the first round players, along with the range. The mock draftkateers suggest that Amobi Okoye won't last past the ninth pick. If the mock drafts mimic what will really happen, then the Washington Redskins would be advised to trade down no lower than Miami's ninth pick if they have interest in Okoye.

It's a cool take on the mock drafts -- consensus views are the only way to look at mock drafts. However, if college statistics made your head hurt, TRR's table might not be for you.

Jim Ducibella at The Virginia Pilot published a thorough report on the year long process the Redskins follow to scout players for the draft. Interesting in its own right, it also explains why the Redskins won't make the rumored front office changes until after the draft. A new player personnel director needs to start at the beginning of the process, not the beginning of the draft.

I'm headed off to the Redskins Draft Party at FedEx today, more to snap a few pictures for later use, than to watch the draft on the big screen. So, no Running Redskins draft reaction until tomorrow. The folks at The Warpath and ExtremeSkins message boards, and MVN Draft University plan live blogs of the draft. Get your fix there. Tonight and tomorrow, run through the blogroll to your right for fan reaction and analysis of the Redskins draft moves.

"With the sixth pick of the draft, the Washington Redskins select . . . ."

Photo: 2006 NFL Draft, The Orlando Sentinal

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