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Analyzing Team Draft Needs per Dynastyguys.com Jeff Pasquino


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for the guys that can't get enough

http://www.dynastyguys.com/page/analyzing-team-draft-needs

Now that my NCAA bracket has done its usual implosion after the first weekend of the college basketball tournament, more of my attention can be focused upon the NFL Draft. I personally love to start with a good publication (magazines, remember those?) and one of my favorites is Lindy's NFL Draft magazine. It is one of the best in my opinion in that they not only look at the rookie talents that are likely to be selected at the end of April but they also devote about half of the publication to the needs of all 32 NFL teams. That's a balanced outlook that I share with them, and that elevates their magazine towards the top of my list.

Dynasty player values - especially for rookies - are not just about talent but also opportunity. First year players are committed to their franchises for at least three - probably four - or more years with that organization. Even the best talents cannot surpass a stacked lineup of contracted veterans ahead of them and get adequate playing time for fantasy relevance. Don't believe me? Every original owner of Michael Turner knows exactly what I am talking about, as do Aaron Rodgers owners. Sure the value eventually comes - but how long must you wait for it to materialize? Talent and opportunity matter, almost at a 50-50 split.

So let's take a look at the general positional breakdown of Lindy's analysis of all the NFL franchises. Without giving a ton away (go buy it, seriously - it's worth it), the magazine selected the Top 3 needs of each team. What I did was to take it a step further - ranking the first need as worth three points, second as two, and third as one point. Adding up each category gives a good feel for the overall league-wide need for a given position.

See the table below for the summary:

Position Level of Need

QB 22

RB 6

WR 24

TE 2

OL 29

DL 41.5

LB 28.5

DB 39

Total: 192

The Total is 192 since all 32 teams get six points.

I'll go deeper into the overall analysis of each team at another time (and agree to disagree with the publisher in a few areas) but overall there are some key points that jump out.

* Quarterback is a big need across the league.

That makes sense since we all saw how many teams made the playoffs last year with a strong signal caller. The NFL is a pass-happy league and while you can get buy with average quarterback play during the regular season, any chance of making a significant splash in January and February begins with having a strong QB option.

* Runningback is vastly overvalued.

I blame fantasy football for this. Right now, and for the past 4-5 years, the NFL is a committee backfield league. Running backs are viewed as part of a 1-2 punch with some teams even having specialties within their backfield between two complimentary players. With so many backs available every year and several late rounders and undrafted free agents adding legitimate production across the NFL there is just not much demand for stud running backs any longer.

* Tight end is going to be a wasteland in the draft.

Several teams already have their tight end answer, but the few that have a need will not have much competition for the few NFL prospects. This does fly in the face of last year's TE-happy draft with teams like Baltimore and New England going to that well twice, but without much depth in the draft and most teams already having that spot covered it will definitely be a quiet year for tight ends.

* The NFL is big on throwing the ball.

We already mentioned the need at quarterback, but look at the valuation on both protecting the QB (Offensive Line = 29 points), catching the pass (Wide receivers = 24 points) and defending the pass (Defensive backs = 39 points). Sure OL, WR and DB cover several spots, but let's just look at WR and DB. Those positions are usually on six of 22 starters, yet they comprise 63 out of 192 points - nearly one-third of the entire league need. Defensive backs and wide recievers will dominate the draft, right along with our next position....

* Pass rush is the key to defense.

Defensive line is the #1 need across the league, coming in at a whopping 41.5 points (over 20%). Most of that DL need is defensive ends who can rush and get to the quarterback. Stopping the passer is only part of it - forcing bad throws and disrupting the time a QB has makes every cornerback better. With the next biggest need in the NFL at DB, getting stronger at pass rush via additional DE help improves an entire defense.

Those are my initial thoughts.... more to come as we get closer to the NFL Draft.

Got a comment or question? @jeffpasquino on twitter or comment below.

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Defensive backs and wide recievers will dominate the draft, right along with our next position....

* Pass rush is the key to defense.

Defensive line is the #1 need across the league, coming in at a whopping 41.5 points (over 20%). Most of that DL need is defensive ends who can rush and get to the quarterback. Stopping the passer is only part of it - forcing bad throws and disrupting the time a QB has makes every cornerback better. With the next biggest need in the NFL at DB, getting stronger at pass rush via additional DE help improves an entire defense.

Defensive backs and wide recievers will dominate the draft, right along with our next position....

Well, these 3 positions certainly sum up our needs in the draft and I predict the first 3 picks will address just that (in what order who knows). A lot of mock drafts do not have us going after a corner early, but that is a bigger need area than people think for this team.

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Defensive backs and wide recievers will dominate the draft, right along with our next position....

* Pass rush is the key to defense.

Defensive line is the #1 need across the league, coming in at a whopping 41.5 points (over 20%). Most of that DL need is defensive ends who can rush and get to the quarterback. Stopping the passer is only part of it - forcing bad throws and disrupting the time a QB has makes every cornerback better. With the next biggest need in the NFL at DB, getting stronger at pass rush via additional DE help improves an entire defense.

Defensive backs and wide recievers will dominate the draft, right along with our next position....

Well, these 3 positions certainly sum up our needs in the draft and I predict the first 3 picks will address just that (in what order who knows). A lot of mock drafts do not have us going after a corner early, but that is a bigger need area than people think for this team.

yep. based on the above and my feelings, the last thing we need to do is waste a first rounder on a Notre Dame tight end

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yep. based on the above and my feelings, the last thing we need to do is waste a first rounder on a Notre Dame tight end

Exactly. I will fall out of my chair if we go TE with the first pick. I would not be surprised if we go corner early as a fall back plan if our DE prospects are gone and they very well could be.

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I think we have to go defense first (DE or CB) but if there is a WR sitting there that we like then maybe we pull the trigger.

I think the answer to solving the Wide Receiver puzzle is to draft in quantity every draft and eventually you hit- which means don't necessarily waste a first rounder. This could be true of all positions too and the only way to increase the quantity of drat picks is to trade down and draft wisely spending max money on scouting and personnel management

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I think the answer to solving the Wide Receiver puzzle is to draft in quantity every draft and eventually you hit- which means don't necessarily waste a first rounder. This could be true of all positions too and the only way to increase the quantity of drat picks is to trade down and draft wisely spending max money on scouting and personnel management

Good Stuff bro and I agree with you on that because you can never have enough guys for your franchise quaterback to throw too. Just look at guys like Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.

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I say we follow the example that great teams like the Steelers, Colts and Patriots have showed over the years. They are always playoff teams and are always loaded with talent. Why? Because they have great drafts. Why do they always have great drafts? Because regardless of need they always draft best available player and it's proven it's self over they course of time. If they Falcons want to start to develop an endless pipe line of raw talented playmakers then they need to start following that example.

Why have the Falcons had so many big time busts over the years? It's pretty simple. They have always drafted for biggest need and when you are focused on biggest need to reach for players and draft they higher than they are suppose to go and you end up kicking yourself for passing on stout players.

Look at 2007. We drafted biggest need and ended up with Jamaal Anderson. Had we chosen best available player we could have ended up with Patrick Willis or Darrelle Revis. How awesome would it be to have either of those guys in a Falcons uniform?

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I say we follow the example that great teams like the Steelers, Colts and Patriots have showed over the years. They are always playoff teams and are always loaded with talent. Why? Because they have great drafts. Why do they always have great drafts? Because regardless of need they always draft best available player and it's proven it's self over they course of time. If they Falcons want to start to develop an endless pipe line of raw talented playmakers then they need to start following that example.

Why have the Falcons had so many big time busts over the years? It's pretty simple. They have always drafted for biggest need and when you are focused on biggest need to reach for players and draft they higher than they are suppose to go and you end up kicking yourself for passing on stout players.

Look at 2007. We drafted biggest need and ended up with Jamaal Anderson. Had we chosen best available player we could have ended up with Patrick Willis or Darrelle Revis. How awesome would it be to have either of those guys in a Falcons uniform?

Makes you sick really. JA over Revis or Willis? I think I just tasted bile......

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I say we follow the example that great teams like the Steelers, Colts and Patriots have showed over the years. They are always playoff teams and are always loaded with talent. Why? Because they have great drafts. Why do they always have great drafts? Because regardless of need they always draft best available player and it's proven it's self over they course of time. If they Falcons want to start to develop an endless pipe line of raw talented playmakers then they need to start following that example.

Why have the Falcons had so many big time busts over the years? It's pretty simple. They have always drafted for biggest need and when you are focused on biggest need to reach for players and draft they higher than they are suppose to go and you end up kicking yourself for passing on stout players.

Look at 2007. We drafted biggest need and ended up with Jamaal Anderson. Had we chosen best available player we could have ended up with Patrick Willis or Darrelle Revis. How awesome would it be to have either of those guys in a Falcons uniform?

Man I didn't want to think about that but I agree with you and hopefully we get the best player available at 27!

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