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2008 NFL Draft: How To Predict Trades For A Mock Draft

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With the 2008 NFL Draft eight days away, I wanted to do a mock draft that was a little different than what is usually done. Typically, knowledgable people begin with the knowledge of what each NFL teams needs to address and finds a player who fills that need while providing reasonable value at the team's draft position.

What I find difficult in mocks are the inevitable trades that occur to move teams up and down to grab players percevied to be good value or good fits for a particluar team. Accounting for this is the most confounding thing for any mock draft.

To remedy this, or better yet, to predict where those trades could occur, I looked at ESPN's Draft Board ranked by Scouts Inc's player values and aligned those rankings with the NFL Draft selections. Assuming Scouts Inc has valued the possible selections correctly, one can compare the player who should be chosen by a team based on those ranks and what the team actually needs to get an idea where a trade may occur.

One can also guess which teams may want to trade-up to grab a player whose draft value is higher than one would expect based soley on the information contianed in other mock drafts. As an example, RB Rashard Mendenhall of Illinois is rated the 8th best prospect by Scouts Inc. A lot of mocks have Mendenhall dropping to the Lions at 14th overall. What isn't accounted for is whether a team drafting after the Lions who also want/need a RB like the Houston Texans wouldn't trade-up to select this 8th-best player before the Lions take him with the 14th pick.

I don't claim to be able to accurately predict trades, but I do know a mock draft's utility should account for them. Hopefully, this provides a little more information to the mock draft knowledge pool and makes a postive contribution to the discussion.

Pick Team Player POS School POS RANK
1 Miami Darren McFadden RB Arkansas 1
2 St. Louis Chris Long DE Virginia 1
3 Atlanta Jake Long OT Michigan 1
4 Oakland Glenn Dorsey DT Lsu 1
5 Kansas City Matt Ryan QB Boston College 1
6 N.Y. Jets Sedrick Ellis DT Usc 2
7 New England (from S.F.) Ryan Clady OT Boise State 2
8 Baltimore Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois 2
9 Cincinnati Vernon Gholston DE Ohio State 2
10 New Orleans Keith Rivers OLB Usc 1
11 Buffalo Derrick Harvey DE Florida 3
12 Denver Leodis McKelvin CB Troy University 1
13 Carolina Jeff Otah OT Pittsburgh 3
14 Chicago Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee State 2
15 Detroit Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt 4
16 Arizona Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma 1
17 Minnesota Branden Albert OG Virginia 1
18 Houston Devin Thomas WR Michigan State 2
19 Philadelphia Mike Jenkins CB South Florida 3
20 Tampa Bay Jerod Mayo OLB Tennessee 2
21 Washington Aqib Talib CB Kansas 4
22 Dallas (from Cleveland) Phillip Merling DE Clemson 4
23 Pittsburgh Dan Connor ILB Penn State 1
24 Tennessee Limas Sweed WR Texas 3
25 Seattle Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon 3
26 Jacksonville DeSean Jackson WR California 4
27 San Diego Gosder Cherilus OT Boston College 5
28 Dallas Kentwan Balmer DT North Carolina 3
29 San Francisco (from Indianapolis) Brian Brohm QB Louisville 2
30 Green Bay Chad Henne QB Michigan 3
31 N.Y. Giants Felix Jones RB Arkansas 4