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Old 04-29-2008   #1
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Default Discussing Draft Reaches

I thought it may be a good idea to talk about draft reaches, in general.

I think it's important for those thinking Duane Brown was such a big reach to understand that 1st round or 2nd round is very vague. I think there can be different grading systems and when it comes down to it and all the players are graded, that's when you match them up against each other (ie 'he's a 2nd rounder' or 'he's rated as a B+ player', or 'he's rated as an 89'.

I might point out that a 1st rd pick (10th overall) is vastly different than a 1st round pick (18th overall) and different than a 1st round pick (26th overall). As is a 2nd rd pick (33rd overall) vs another 2nd rd pick (58th overall), etc. I think placing a "Draft Round" value on a player can be very deceiving.

You then also have to look at what players are on the board in order to consider it a reach or not. For example: Antoine Cason, Lawrence Jackson, Kentwan Balmer, Dustin Keller, Kenny Phillips, Phillip Merling, Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Brandon Flowers, Jordy Nelson, Curtis Lofton, John Carlson, Chilo Rachal, Tracy Porter, James Hardy, Eddie Royal, Tyrell Johnson, Matt Forte, Jordan Dizon, Jerome Simpson, Trevor Laws, Fred Davis, Desean Jackson, Calais Campbell, etc were the players taken immediately behind the Texans pick (and in order).

So let me ask you this: Was it still a reach? You have two options (1) trade down again and gamble on a player or (2) take the player you want at your spot that best fits your team and is better than the others. Of the 20 some-odd players listed, who would you take? By all intensive purporses, whoever you said would most likely be considered a reach as well. Antoine Cason, one of my favorites in the draft- thought by the experts to be a "2nd rounder", and the list goes on.

Another thing, is that different teams have the players rated differently. The Chargers could have ranked Antoine Cason as the 15th best player in the Draft, where as the Texans could have ranked him as the 50th best player. Or if the Texans ranked Cason as, say the 25th best player in the draft but ranked Duane Brown as the 23rd best player in the draft, who do they take? Brown.

I'm far from an expert when it comes to the draft, evaluating players, knowing the different schemes, etc. but think it's important to take a hard pressed look at a situation from several different angles before spewing one's opinion.

I'm not saying Brown was or was not a reach... but that I definitely give Smith, Kubiak, and Gibbs the benefit of the doubt. I think Brown can turn into a great player for us, at the 2nd most important position with Gibbs teaching him. However, we'll probably never know how they had all the players rated so it will always be hard to say did the TEXANS reach on him. Even if he turns out to be a pro-bowler. It may just mean that our 'reach' worked out very well.

So just a reminder that it's easy to listen to McShay or whoever say, "oh he was a 2nd round, he's a reach", I ask my self these questions:
-was he an early (32nd-35th) 2nd rounder or a mid 2nd (48th)?
-how were the other players available 'rated'
-where did Brown rank in relation to these other players
-what positions are we set at and what positions are 'need' positions
-I wonder how different teams had Brown rated vs. Draft Analysts placing a blanket grade on a player when 32 different teams run a variation of different schemes?
-Could we have traded down and still selected him? a mid 1st may be considered a reach (#18) but a late 1st (#26) may be just where the texans had him.

So when I really look at it these ways, the more and more I think it wasn't a reach or at least THAT big of one. If it is considered a reach- I don't think it was that big of one at #26.
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Old 04-29-2008   #2
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

I agree with most of what you said and I am extremely happy with every player picked. If we reached on Brown we made up for it with some steals later.

The problem I did see with the Texans draft this year was that Smith and Kubiak went into this draft targeting a specific position and player with their first pick. You set yourself up for failure doing that and I hope that this was the only time it happens. I believe Smith and Kubiak were extremely desperate to get a LT for Gibbs to coach up because I don't believe Gibbs will be here more than a couple of years. It was a unique situation and one that caused Kubiak alot of stress in the draft room. I think Kubiak more than anybody felt like he owed Gibbs for coming out of retirement. I can understand that. Gibbs is a sort of a zbs legend.

I think the Texans came out really good in this draft despite the situation they put theirselves in going into it. Cheers for a job well done!
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Old 04-29-2008   #3
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

definitely gotta get the player you think will be great. the only real concern with potentially reaching on a player is the money.
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Old 04-29-2008   #4
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

I remember when the Colts picked Freeney people were saying that it was a reach and he shouldn't have been picked that high. The Colts needed a pass rusher and Freeney was the guy they wanted, worked out pretty well for them.

It doesn't matter where a player is rated across the board, it matters what he's rated to that particular team. If the FO covets a player then they need to go out and get him even if people think its a reach at the spot. Not saying they need to trade their draft for him but if they dont think they can get that player with their next pick (EX: Our 3rd) then they need to make that pick.
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Old 04-29-2008   #5
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

After looking at the picks behind us the only player I think I would've really liked other then Brown is Campbell. All thing equal I think he was going up people's boards like Albert. Great post Ole Miss.

Far as reaching to me this staff has done a great job targeting players for what they want to do and have been very successful.
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Old 04-29-2008   #6
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

I do think that people (and I'm one of them) get worked up too much about whether a pick is a reach or not.

I think when people call someone a reach, they mean the player was taken at a position well before the consensus "grade" of the player. Usually this is because the team locks on to that player, the team is picking based on need, or due to the structure of the draft (e.g. a run on that position, or a falloff in talent at that position). It means that circumstances other than strictly "best player available" were determining the pick. Where a player ranks on the board of the team that picked him doesn't really matter - obviously that team had him rated high! The question is whether he was taken at a position too high relative to his "overall" value. Since teams never release their draft boards, we don't really know this, and have to infer it from scouting reports.

Being a reach doesn't mean that that wasn't the best choice for the team, or that he isn't a good player. You could have a future hall-of-famer, but if that person is picked in the 2nd round when the consensus going in was that he was a 5th rounder, that's a reach (a good one!).

Clearly Brown was a reach. There has been a lot of talk about how he was "moving up" draft boards in the last few days, but regardless, I don't think anyone (except Porky) had him going as early as 26th. If you were to ask all the scouts, I think the vast majority would still not put him in the top 26. The highest "rank" I saw for him was Rick Gosselin, who had him ranked 56th (I expect some others must have had him much higher, but I just never saw them). Among the reasons the Texans went for him there were because:
  • They wanted an LT, more than any other position
  • Lots of LTs had already been picked (there had been a run, including some other reaches)
  • They felt there was a big drop-off in ability to the next LT(s) that could be taken
  • They felt that there was less of a drop-off in ability for the other positions that they could potential take (that weren't reaches).
Those are all fine reasons, but they highlight that the pick was a reach. As an aside, I wouldn't classify any of the Texans' other picks as reaches, despite the fact that they were mainly need-based.

There were several other reaches in the first round. Sam Baker, Chris Johnson, probably Joe Flacco to name 3. In all these cases, like Brown, the team felt that there was enough of a need at that position, really liked that player, and that the way the draft was shaping up they needed to grab that player then. That's not to say these will be bad choices, just that the teams paid some "premium" in terms of value in order to get the player they wanted.

As I think about the draft as a whole, I am coming around to the idea that the Texans made a decent choice. If I had been GM, I would have gone for Cason at 26th, and then Collins at 79. That would have been much better "value", and I don't think either pick (and certainly not Collins) would be considered a reach. But, for the Texans, it seems that they believe the falloff from Brown to Collins was much greater than the falloff from Cason to Molden, and they are better off with (Brown+Molden) instead of (Collins+Cason). If that's the case, then they ended up making a wise choice (ignoring possible trade-down options).
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Old 04-29-2008   #7
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Bottom line: the Texans dramatically helped themselves with this draft. There is not a doubt in my mind that Brown, Molden, Slaton, & Okam will make significant contributions to this team's success in 2008. That's big time.
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Old 04-29-2008   #8
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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Bottom line: the Texans dramatically helped themselves with this draft. There is not a doubt in my mind that Brown, Molden, Slaton, & Okam will make significant contributions to this team's success in 2008. That's big time.
Don't forget about Brink.
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Old 04-29-2008   #9
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Quote:
[/QUAs I think about the draft as a whole, I am coming around to the idea that the Texans made a decent choice. If I had been GM, I would have gone for Cason at 26th, and then Collins at 79. That would have been much better "value", and I don't think either pick (and certainly not Collins) would be considered a reach. But, for the Texans, it seems that they believe the fall off from Brown to Collins was much greater than the fall off from Cason to Molden, and they are better off with (Brown+Molden) instead of (Collins+Cason). If that's the case, then they ended up making a wise choice (ignoring possible trade-down options).
It's only a value If they fit the system....Collins doesn't fit...what was it beerlover 5.35 at the combine ? That says RT...on a power running club. No matter how you slice it up, Brown was the last elite prospect for OLT in the ZBS. With your move down value scenario what that would tells me is: you were more than willing to pile on another 16 games onto Salaams legs and take your chances on the out come. With no prospects, only marginal back ups and journeyman, behind Salaam. Very risky.

Matt only has so many hits in the tank.

I think the Haynesworth Hit has bothered both Kubes and Smith all off season.
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Old 04-29-2008   #10
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

One more thing, I defy anyone to find a C.C. quote on the Brown pick. CC is a BPA GM. He hated the pick (my words). I stand on C.C's track record and the record of C.C's BPA board with the Texans. Brown was BPA on our board because we've been tring...desperatly... to find one for five years and have come up with nothing. And if he doesn't hit....you do the same damn thing in 2010.
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Old 04-29-2008   #11
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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Originally Posted by threetoedpete View Post
One more thing, I defy anyone to find a C.C. quote on the Brown pick. CC is a BPA GM. He hated the pick (my words). I stand on C.C's track record and the record of C.C's BPA board with the Texans. Brown was BPA on our board because we've been tring...desperatly... to find one for five years and have come up with nothing. And if he doesn't hit....you do the same damn thing in 2010.
I've really found it instructive watching CC on the NFLN. He's just like a robot with the "You stay with your board. If you deviate from your board and pick based on need, you're going to fail. Stay with your board..."

You'd think after so many unsuccessful drafts he'd maybe think that his BPA strategy wasn't such a good thing. I mean, this is the guy that didn't turn the Ricky Williams complete draft trade into a dynasty (or at least a superbowl). Can you imagine Smithiak with that many draft choices?
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Old 04-29-2008   #12
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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I've really found it instructive watching CC on the NFLN. He's just like a robot with the "You stay with your board. If you deviate from your board and pick based on need, you're going to fail. Stay with your board..."

You'd think after so many unsuccessful drafts he'd maybe think that his BPA strategy wasn't such a good thing. I mean, this is the guy that didn't turn the Ricky Williams complete draft trade into a dynasty (or at least a superbowl). Can you imagine Smithiak with that many draft choices?
He said stay with your board , he did'nt say stay with his board .
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Old 04-29-2008   #13
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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I've really found it instructive watching CC on the NFLN. He's just like a robot with the "You stay with your board. If you deviate from your board and pick based on need, you're going to fail. Stay with your board..."

You'd think after so many unsuccessful drafts he'd maybe think that his BPA strategy wasn't such a good thing. I mean, this is the guy that didn't turn the Ricky Williams complete draft trade into a dynasty (or at least a superbowl). Can you imagine Smithiak with that many draft choices?
Casserley was responsible for both David Carr and Heath Shuler. That is as indicting as it can get. And the expansion franchise excuse doesn't work with Carr because Shuler was with the Skins ones of the oldest and most revered franchises. The fact that he is on NFLN made this year's draft REALLY hard to stomach.

Also Casserley did pick based on need numerous times and much to his detriment. the texans FO 'needed' a face of the franchise, thus Carr in 02. the coaching staff 'needed' a 3-4 edge rushing OLB/DE and Babin was so damn necessary that he traded half the draft to move up from the 2nd Round to take him.

Basically any 1st Round pick you make is based on need. Denver didn't draft Boomer Esiason the year after they acquired Elway. That is simple logic...however...when you have multiple positions of equal need (OL, quality DB talent, DE/OLB) well you then have to determine which player gets you value while addressing one of your needs. If you start projecting things out, that is when you get into trouble. Take the value guy (Phillips, Cason, Merling) and then hope Brown or an equitable talent (Collins fell to our 3rd Rounder) is there in the 3rd. I would rather have Phillips/Cason and Collins than Brown and Molden....thats what I am getting at.
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Old 04-29-2008   #14
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Problem is, too many people base their opinions around all of the mock drafts they have seen. Just because an ''expert'' says a player should be drafted at a certain spot, doesn't make it true. I saw so many mocks and reports that said the Texans would be thrilled if Mendenhall fell to them, and would not pass him up. We see how that turned out. Sweed was supposed to be drafted in round 1. He nearly lasted to round 3. What about the 13 or 14 trades made in round one? I'm sure nobody's mock expected that. It's too bad the so much credit is given to the mock drafts that come out. They, like us, have no idea.
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Old 04-29-2008   #15
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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Problem is, too many people base their opinions around all of the mock drafts they have seen. Just because an ''expert'' says a player should be drafted at a certain spot, doesn't make it true. I saw so many mocks and reports that said the Texans would be thrilled if Mendenhall fell to them, and would not pass him up. We see how that turned out. Sweed was supposed to be drafted in round 1. He nearly lasted to round 3. What about the 13 or 14 trades made in round one? I'm sure nobody's mock expected that. It's too bad the so much credit is given to the mock drafts that come out. They, like us, have no idea.
well it doesnt take a genius to realize that a guy who struggled against top competition and is a converted TE and is pretty much a project, may not be the 26th best player in the land. Just a guess.

but its fine, the Texans made the pick. I would just prefer them to go after more value and less on potential. This pick just reminds me soooo much of the Babin selection. Coach's pick, workout warrior, and a system pick. Sounds familiar...hopefully the results are the exact opposite.
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Old 04-29-2008   #16
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

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It's only a value If they fit the system....Collins doesn't fit...what was it beerlover 5.35 at the combine ? That says RT...on a power running club. No matter how you slice it up, Brown was the last elite prospect for OLT in the ZBS. With your move down value scenario what that would tells me is: you were more than willing to pile on another 16 games onto Salaams legs and take your chances on the out come. With no prospects, only marginal back ups and journeyman, behind Salaam. Very risky.

Matt only has so many hits in the tank.

I think the Haynesworth Hit has bothered both Kubes and Smith all off season.

Not to mention that they have a limited window with Gibbs. I don't get the fell he is here long term. We needed to get a LT to be coached by the master while we had the chance.
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Old 04-29-2008   #17
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Originally Posted by Second Honeymoon View Post
well it doesnt take a genius to realize that a guy who struggled against top competition and is a converted TE and is pretty much a project, may not be the 26th best player in the land. Just a guess.

but its fine, the Texans made the pick. I would just prefer them to go after more value and less on potential. This pick just reminds me soooo much of the Babin selection. Coach's pick, workout warrior, and a system pick. Sounds familiar...hopefully the results are the exact opposite.
You have valid points. I was mainly pointing out that too much stock is put into the mock drafts that come out.
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Old 04-29-2008   #18
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Second Honeymoon View Post
well it doesnt take a genius to realize that a guy who struggled against top competition and is a converted TE and is pretty much a project, may not be the 26th best player in the land. Just a guess.

but its fine, the Texans made the pick. I would just prefer them to go after more value and less on potential. This pick just reminds me soooo much of the Babin selection. Coach's pick, workout warrior, and a system pick. Sounds familiar...hopefully the results are the exact opposite.
Yeah, except they traded down and picked up 3rd and a 6th instead vs. giving up a 3rd and 4th and swapping 5ths.
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Old 04-29-2008   #19
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Second Honeymoon View Post
well it doesnt take a genius to realize that a guy who struggled against top competition and is a converted TE and is pretty much a project, may not be the 26th best player in the land. Just a guess.

but its fine, the Texans made the pick. I would just prefer them to go after more value and less on potential. This pick just reminds me soooo much of the Babin selection. Coach's pick, workout warrior, and a system pick. Sounds familiar...hopefully the results are the exact opposite.
I agree that he's somewhat of a project but there are certain tools that it takes to play LT and it seems he has them . He was the last of the Texans Mohicans in that category after Williams , Clady , and Albert were gone .

He has the same Wunderlich test as Williams at 32 . Besides QBs your OL are usually the next smartest . Clady had a 13 , Albert had a 23 FWIW .

He was the one the fastest OTs in the 40 and some other drills . He was described as the best athelete on the VT team .

He also has a nasty streak . I have'nt heard that about the other three and to play in Gibb's system you got to be willing to cut ... some guys can't do it .

Collins was slow , Cason not the fleetest CB , and Phillips did'nt play that well last year and he's nowhere near Ed Reed . So the Texans went with their gut and a huge need . If Gibbs can get Brown to play up to his talent then it's gonna be fine .
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Old 04-29-2008   #20
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Default Re: Discussing Draft Reaches

Personally, something Duane Brown said I think is extremely relevant to this dicussion. He's raw. And that's just what Gibbs wanted. There are fewer things that he has to unlearn.

I think they had this guy targeted. And they got him and picked up some picks. I'm happy.
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