Not another mock! But wait! This time I promise analysis of my picks and reasoning for how I think the big picture comes together! PLUS we go over some correspondence with real live GMs from across SBNation and lastly I will take a look at and grade our rivals selections.
This past weekend the MtD Live Draft was held over at Music City Miracles. I was happy to take part in the event, representing our own Acme Packing Company and Green Bay Packers. The draft was commissioned by TheDUCKin'Noles10 in place of Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft. All the pre-draft specifics are available here.
Rules were simple. 1st round = 5 minutes per pick. 2nd-4th round = 3 minutes, 5th-7th = 2 minutes. Each pick was assigned a specific value according to this Trade Value Chart. I don't think there were many, if any, rejected trades- everyone seemed to be on top of their stuff. Future picks had 1/2 value, but there were not many 2015 picks used, which was great. There were no player trades outside of newly drafted prospects and teams had to give the commissioner a big board for pick selection in case of absenteeism. Trading was stopped after the last pick in the 4th round, but teams could trade any of their picks at any time prior to that.
Okay, now that all that is out of the way... How did the Live Draft go?
Well, soon after I signed up for the Packers GM spot, I received an offer from SF (Niners Nation), unfortunately I overloaded my circuit breaker which caused my OS to corrupt itself. Such.A.Pain, especially because I didn't have a backup for it. So I never even noticed the message until 2 days later when DEN (Mile High Report who I think does great prospect write ups) sent me a message about pick 21 as well.
SF offered me a short message with a straight up deal "Would you consider a trade picks 30, 77 and 243 for picks 21 and 161?". DEN didn't offer me anything, rather just non-commitally suggested he could be looking at 21, but "probably not".
I really hadn't had time to look at what moves I might want to make and reach out to those teams. I had been using Fanspeak's On The Clock premium, which allowed for multiple big boards at least 6 so far that update every week. It also allows you to set custom big boards and the AI was certainly interesting and varied. Trades were only offered to you at the start of rounds, but you could make deals at any time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When I checked out the ongoing open thread it basically seemed that everyone was interested in trading back in the 1st round. This draft is very deep, the best I can remember in recent history. So rather than waste my time blindly reaching out to teams who were all publicly trying to trade back I decided to engage SF and DEN in further talks. I liked the positioning of their picks in the 1st and both had good top 100 pick ammunition to entice me.
As I talked to SEA I played to the SF offer that was on the table (I hadn't even responded to SF and had no idea if it was on the table at this point, but I doubted it a little). Suddenly DEN was super interested in trading up with me because he suspected SF of targeting the same player. Meanwhile, SF responded to my inquiry about their terms and basically started backtracking and talking about a "team" he had to consult about the deal and that he wouldn't even know until a few picks before 21 whether he would make the deal. Yet DEN had solidified an offer in the meantime: 21 and 85 for 31 and 63. It seemed like a pretty good offer, but I really wanted to add some extra picks without having to do too much negotiating down the road. Also I hated to give up my 85th pick because I thought it would be a great spot on my big board to address a huge team need.
It seemed to me I had a DEN team looking to be aggressive and maybe a rogue SF GM throwing out numbers without any real commitment to back them. Just my read from the back and forth e-mailing.
I counter-offered Denver with 21, 161 (5.21) for 31, 77 (3.13), and 243 (7.31). DEN later responded to me with another counter: 21, 85 (3.21), 161 (5.21) for 31, 63 (2.31), 131 (4.31). He had just sent this offer as I was getting off work... well, normally. I had to work about 4 hours of overtime and I never checked my messages. After I got home I saw it and was super psyched and took about 25 minutes doing some research about the picks with my big board and how it would affect my strategy. I started responding with an acceptance and got a liiiiiiittle too lengthy with my response (from TJD??? NO WAY!!!). After I submitted my acceptance, I saw I had a new update on the conversation... from 10 minutes ago. Hmm.. Okay, crap.
Okay, now I started hounding SF, totally trying to seal that original offer as I felt like the market was as soft as I feared it was and it was going to be hard to land a solid deal. He was still flip-flopping on the deal and suddenly was taking votes and ideas from a 4-person team. He says 2/4 are good with the deal, but how about this proposal instead: 30, 77, 170 , 243 for 21, 121.
Missing out on the Denver deal had made me hungry to get the best deal I could though. I didn't feel like the 121 pick instead of 161 was worth the extra 170, but it was still good. It would be great to get some input from some other guys so I messaged Tex and Shoes31. Tex got back to me first and was very cool despite my recent criticisms of him mocking Shazier to us at 21 (is there an irony font?). We seemed to be in general agreement about the situation and philosophy in the original deal. Shoes31 later got back to me and offered his thoughts on how things had progressed so far. He gave me some great advice too, some of which I didn't follow (lol sorry!). He said he wouldn't personally counter SF offer yet, rather hold both offers in hand and see what else would come as the picks got closer.
I chose to pursue the original SF deal and thought my best tactic would be to aggressively counter-offer, while still pushing that I liked the original deal. I offered: 21, 85, 161 for 30, 61, 77, 243. It was a hail mary and wasn't accepted, but it forced SF to commit to the original deal if their guy was still there at 14-17. It felt good to have something in hand rather than have it fall apart in the middle of the action. (oh irony font, where art thou).
Basically, late night at work and then a late night of catching up on Game of Thrones (get out if you haven't actually read the books tho yo.) with my lovely girlfriend and suddenly I find myself thinking a bit foolishly thinking that the draft starts at 1pm CST (12EST) rather than 11. Well basically.. I missed the entire 1st round of the draft. My trade with SF fell through (sorry to them, but it worked out for them anyway).
Anyway let me give my thoughts on the round I guess... lol.
Well, we ended up with Shazier and I'm not disappointed in that, but I wonder what would've happened. Would Shazier have been there? Or perhaps Dennard would've lasted. Hard to say, but in the end we got an athletic speed ILB who should be a good compliment to this defense. We definitely needed to address the OL after his selection as Shoes31 (who was present for the Shazier pick and I think basically made it) points out that he can be washed out and needs help up front.
Lions get a great weapon, but I would've considered HaHa if I were them. Megatron and Mike Evans could be a vicious combo though.
Vikings take Bridgewater who almost everyone has universally cooled on, and trade back into the 1st (sound familiar) for a falling Darqueeze Dennard. I think Bridgewater is a safe pick, but I don't think he has a huge ceiling or upside. I'm not sure how great he will do as a rookie, I don't think he makes them a playoff team with that defense, but I don't think they are bad enough to land a top pick.
So how do you all think the first round turned out? I will be putting out the subsequent rounds in short order with the rest of the picks and maybe a few thoughts, but it will be a much shorter read.