I have been messing around with draft scenarios with the handy dandy mock draft simulators all over the internet to see what the draft might offer us. Once again this year I stuck with Pro Football Network's simulator because it seemed to give out the most consistent realistic draft picks for each team. I have found that the NFL Mock Draft Database has really dialed in their simulator this year, so if anyone is wanting to kill some time, go on to each and give a mock draft or two, then you can figure out which you prefer. TDN is another solid option, with PFF and Fanspeak coming in behind that for realistic outputs on any given draft.
With all of that said, I figured I would give an interesting look at what I'm seeing as the trends according to those models for the Falcons. It will include positional choices that I targeted for each pick, and the final choice that was made. Since it is early in the season though, I thought it would be interesting to see two different drafting strategies the team can consider. The first would be BPA with positional weight, the second would be positional need with BPA weight. The difference between the two is fairly simple. BPA with positional weight is what Mr. Fontenot already does and it simply looks at their big board and drafts the highest rated person left on the board, but the board takes into account the position the player plays, i.e. the top TE is below the 5th EDGE because even though the TE is the top guy within his position, we need EDGE players that much more. Now for positional need with BPA weight, it is saying TF would have a big board based on needs, and the players within that board are placed based on how well they played at that position. Meaning, the top 5 DT's would be weighed higher than the top 5 WR's, and the highest rated DT would sit on top of the board, second is a DT, third is a DT, and it goes all the way through the top five DT's or so before a WR could even be considered. This prioritizes positional need more than simply how well the player played.
So without further ado, here it is:
-----------------------------BPA w/ Pos. Weight-------------------Pos. Need w/BPA Weight
8- OT/DE/EDGE------Myles Murphy, DE: Clemson-------------Paris Johnson Jr., OT: Ohio St.
44- DE/EDGE/DT-----Siaki Ika, NT: Baylor----------------------Andre Carter II, EDGE: Army
75- DE/DT/IOL--------Alex Forsyth, C: Oregon------------------Byron Young, DE/DT: Alabama
108- WR/S/IOL--------Ronnie Hickman, S: Ohio St.--------------Luke Wypler, C: Ohio St.
111- S/DE/WR----------Jayden Reed, WR: Michigan St.---------Colby Wooden, DE, Auburn
189- CB/WR/S---------Riley Moss, CB: Iowa----------------------Jaden Haselwood, WR: Arkansas
203- CB/QB/WR-------Stetson Bennett, QB: Georgia----------Starling Thomas, CB: Auburn
Now, these mock drafts can vary from draft to draft even within the same site, but these picks seem to be repeatable, which to me shows a correlation between algorithmic based need and placement of each pick. While nothing is 100%, that would point to a probability that many of the picks by the site would be reasonable and logical. There is plenty of room for discussion about whether certain players are BPA or not for each of my picks, but within the runs through the drafts I noticed, these guys were normally within the top recommended players, and the research behind them backed up their draft stock.
I will continue to develop drafts based on this, and then add them onto the article I wrote a while back showing an outline for what I hope the whole offseason transactions would be. Hopefully culminating in a solid offseason strategy implementing financial outlines, player moves, and draft picks. Thus giving me an idea of what the squad for 2023 would look like.