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.
|2||St. Louis||Chris Long||DE||Virginia||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|
|9||Cincinnati||Vernon Gholston||DE||Ohio State||2|
|10||New Orleans||Keith Rivers||OLB||Usc||1|
|12||Denver||Leodis McKelvin||CB||Troy University||1|
|14||Chicago||Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie||CB||Tennessee State||2|
|18||Houston||Devin Thomas||WR||Michigan State||2|
|19||Philadelphia||Mike Jenkins||CB||South Florida||3|
|20||Tampa Bay||Jerod Mayo||OLB||Tennessee||2|
|22||Dallas (from Cleveland)||Phillip Merling||DE||Clemson||4|
|23||Pittsburgh||Dan Connor||ILB||Penn State||1|
|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|