Now that we’re less than 30 days from the draft, you may be doing plenty of Googling your favorite team’s draft needs and trying to read everything you can on who they may be drafting. Here are a few things to remember.

  • It’s all based on clicks: One of my good friends runs a football site, and even though it’s relatively new, he’s gotten pretty good traction and is making money with it. How? He’s learned that people will click on any link if it includes their favorite player. So, for instance, he publishes something on Andrew Luck — and I mean anything — and then spends all his time placing it on message boards, Bleacher Report comment sections, any anything fan-based that will get him clicks. Here’s what’s interesting: he has his interns write his stories, and really doesn’t care about the content. He knows no one is editing it and that, in the long run, he doesn’t even care if it’s quality work. He just wants to get people to hit his link. That’s where the money is. So keep that in mind when your team is the Patriots and some website says they’re looking Mariota or Winston.
  • Not even NFL teams know how the draft is going to go: I remember a couple years ago a scout telling me his team was having its personnel staff rank undrafted free agents. They were ranking players they didn’t think were worth drafting. That’s ludicrous. Every year, several players a team rated as draftable fall through the cracks. In fact, probably at least half of players that go undrafted held draftable grades by at least half the teams. That’s why guys that are rated as undrafted free agents are the ones that will be lucky to actually be undrafted free agents. Those guys are the ones that held a fifth- to seventh-round grade.
  • Trading down is way easier said than done: It seems so elementary that a team that has a high pick can trade down and get a bunch of lower picks, and it’s all even Steven. In fact, this whole chart is predicated on this idea, but it rarely works out that way. There are salary considerations, plus the ‘sum’ of an impact player in the first round is rarely worth the ‘parts’ — the later-round picks obtained in return — received in return. So when you start seeing those rumors about massive trades up and down, take them with several grains of salt.
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