Love them or hate them, NFL mock drafts are THE big thing this week. The problem with mock drafts is that they are static. Once the draft starts and 10 or so picks are made, a mock draft is basically useless. What good is a prediction of your team’s pick at that point? Not much at all.
But there is a better way. Picture a continuously updating NFL mock draft that changes within a few minutes of every pick. As a player comes off the board, the rest of the draft simulation is instantly updated to reflect that occurance.
Is this just a dream? A fantasy? No, it’s DraftTek.com
How does their mock draft work? First, from their web site:
About the Consensus Mock Draft
Draft Tek’s main product uses a computer model to generate a 7-round mock-up of the 2011 NFL Draft. The goal of Drafttek’s model is to produce a “plausible” imitation of the draft. An algorithm weighs the available players on a ranked “Big Board” against a matrix of team positional needs. Positions that are most likely to be addressed via the draft are identified with higher priority codes. Of course what is needed by a team may not be available; a team with a TE as the highest priority will think twice before selecting their #35 rated player at selection #10 in the first round. Thus the algorithm must often weigh between “reaching” for a position of high need versus selecting a better valued player at a position of lesser need.
In plain English, DraftTek is a fantastic marriage between technology and human knowledge. It takes a 3-prong approach. They scout college players and develop their own positional and Big Board player rankings. Every team has an “Analyst”, someone with extensive knowledge of that team and it’s positional needs. And finally there is the computer model that takes all of the data into account and determines the selection based on ranked needs and relative value.
First, some full disclosure. I am the Green Bay Packers Analyst for DraftTek.com. So I may be a little biased, but on the other hand, I don’t give out raves unless I am truly excited about something. I love the whole concept of what DraftTek is doing and every year it gets better as the model gets tweaked.
There are some other unique features of this system; team analysts have the ability to influence selections by using “grabs” and “lockouts.” If an analayst feels a certain player is being targeted by his team or matches the profile of what their team likes, he can put a “grab” on that player. If the player is available at the selection specified, the grab overrides what the computer simulation might have done on it’s own. Conversely, if an analyst is sure a certain player is a poor choice for his team, they can put in a “lockout.” A perfect example would be locking out short cornerbacks for the Green Bay Packers.
DraftTek also takes a unique approach to positional rankings. For example, they don’t just rank outside linebackers, they have separate rankings for 3-4 and 4-3 linebackers. They separate left offensive tackle rankings from right offensive tackle rankings. So, lets say the Packers draft an offensive tackle. Well how does he rank specifically as a left tackle? DraftTek can tell you. Was that sixth round running back a feature back type or a multi-purpose and third-down back? DraftTek can tell you.
That should give you an idea of how it all works and the value DraftTek provides. But in my mind, one of the coolest things is the continually updating mock draft (or draft simulation, as Warren Hauck, founder of DraftTek prefers to call it).
We all have our habits for following the draft, ESPN, NFL Network, SiriusXM… Whatever you do, try to fit DraftTek.com into your LIVE draft coverage. You won’t be sorry.
P.S. For you Packers fans, I also hope you’ll have your CHTV NFL Draft Guide handy. If you don’t have one yet, you can get one here for only $5.00.——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.