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The Dangers Of Grading Draft Classes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 28, 2010 – 8:35 am

Now that the 2010 NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, NFL draft grades are going to be seen as frequently as NFL mock drafts were seen prior to the draft. And the practice of assigning a grade to a team’s draft efforts just days after the draft concludes is as silly an exercise as actually trying to predict what will actually happen in the NFL draft.

But that doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay were critical of the Vikings draft, with Kiper assigning a C- to the Purple and McShay using some complicated formula to determine the Vikings had the 24th best draft of the league’s 32 teams. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks disagreed and gave the Vikings a B+, saying “The Vikings routinely draft well by sticking to their philosophy of taking the best available player regardless of position. In adhering to the premise this year, they came away with three players (Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart and Everson Griffen) that could be key contributors in 2010.”

We won’t be assigning a draft grade to the Vikings 2010 draft effort. Instead, click here to read why it’s such an inexact exercise.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “The Dangers Of Grading Draft Classes”

  1. By PurplePeopleEater on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    This makes a very good point. I’d hate to see another Troy Williamson on the team, a guy who looks like an ‘A’ on paper but earned an ‘F’ on the field. It would be nice to see how other recent draft years have been graded as well. The 2007 draft brought in some great talent too with Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice as 2 stars on the team, and Robison becoming an essential backup with potential yet to become a starter. 2008 was a great year, even though we traded away some high picks to bring in Jared Allen. Tyrell Johnson has become a starter and is continuing to improve, as is Sullivan. We also acquired some quality backups in Guion and Jaymasr Johnson with the only bust of the year coming from John David Booty, who never even played a snap for the team. And the 2009 draft may have been better yet, acquiring the Rookie of the year with the 22nd pick, bringing in an immediate starter at Right Tackle, and getting 3 other guys who showed plenty of quality when they took the field this last year.

    Considering all the strength we already have on the team, we’re not going to see most of the 2010 draft class on the field a whole lot this year. Cook may be an exception, as he’ll be fighting with Sapp and Allen for the #3 CB spot, but will likely see more time at the beginning of the year while Griffin heals up. Gerhart will likely be an excpetion as well, subbing in for AP on a number of downs to keep the guy fresh. But all of the rest will be fighting to retain backup roles, some in areas that are already plenty well manned. So it will be interesting a couple years down the line to come back and look at how many guys stuck around, and how well the 2010 draft panned out.

  2. By Robert on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    I bet you a nickle if the Vikes had taken one of the top listed QB’s with our first round pick everything would be rated A across the board.

    The fan base sees a QB situation; Favre, playing his undecided card and with only a year to go anyway, TJ a good QB but inconsistent under pressure and Sage is not getting enough playing time to keep his flavor.

    Now add in the three year seasoning time a new QB needs to gain the experience for NFL play and the result is a fan base in panic. There’s nothing management can say or do to calm that fan base without a knight in shining armor riding into camp as our new QB.

    What the fan base doesn’t realize or accept is that if Favre decided to not return, or even when he does finally retire, the Vikings are going to BUY a seasoned QB anyway just as we did with him. This may even mean wheeling Sir Francis out of storage and pumping the purple back in his veins. Accepting this fact alone could ease their panic.

    In my opinion, this whole QB thing has clouded what could be a really decent draft class. I’d rather see the Vikes grab up a known quantity Free Agent QB next year to lead the team than pay the huge bucks for a risky first round draft QB.

    I suppose this is a lesson that if you don’t have at least one guy who is a first round – superstar the fans are going to be calling for heads to roll. They’ll get over it if the program comes together and we are winning. But until we have the Heir Apparent lined up, there’s going to be trouble in River city.

  3. By Pat the Viking on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    No one else is going to say it – well I will – The Vikings need to find a Kicker that can Kick longer field goals – if we had a kicker that could have kick further against the Saints ( and of course, Brett would have taken the sack) we could have won the game, if, we had a kicker that could have made that distant of a field goal. The Patriots won their way into their 1st Superbowl like this.

  4. By jbork88 on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    what does mel kiper know? he is an analyst not working in the front office. and a FORMULA? if it were true every team would have a winning record

  5. By jbork88 on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Mike, how’s this for a fact? there are more players in the hall of fame that went undrafted than those that went first overall. (vikings have both though)

  6. By mikewobschall on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    Nice fact jbork88.

    Here are some more facts Pat the Viking should consider with regard to the Longwell comment:

    Longwell has connected on 22 field goals from 50+ yards during his career and his 6 FGs of 50+ yards in 2008 was a team record for a single season. His 2
    50-yarders in 2009 have moved into 1st place for the most career 50-yard FGs in Vikings history with 9, and he is 8-of-8 on his last 8 50+ yard attempts.

    I don’t understand Pat the Viking’s opinion on this one.

  7. By MIke B on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    I saw USA today’s grade for the Vikings and I happen to agree with it whole heartily a “C”. I can imagine with a team that looks set to go to the Superbowl there isn’t any glaring needs to be filled. I am looking at this Draft in that way. I have been critical of this draft, but I still think it’s honest. I am still going to cheer them on and hope that I am wrong. Let’s win a Superbowl.

  8. By PurpleNurple on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    Speaking of grading draft picks, how is the 6th round QB Joe Webb being graded right now? I’ve heard many people comparing him to Randy Moss, and saying that we really don’t intend to use him as a QB. So do we intend to use him as a WR, and if so, are people grading his selection in that light? And, just how is this guy going to fit into the team as a WR? How much impact will he have on the team if we move him?

  9. By chad on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    Mike come on man if all the big names in the media gave the Vikes an A the Vikes would giving themselves a pat on the back instead of trying to justify the picks.

    The biggest gripe I have is the the Vikes poor judgement when it comes to trade value, Vikings management in the last five years have proven time and time again of over paying in draft picks to move up or in trades. Not that i’m complaing about the personal that they have brought in because I mostly love there free agent choices.

    The debate for taking best player available is strong but if you have a need that should get address also. Mainly with Gerhart, say if we didn’t panick and moved up and got robbed when we gave up the 2nd and 3rd round pick for Gerhart he could have fell to us there in our spot if not there are still some great options still there for us in Tate, Dwyer, Scott and Blount to name a few that could have been picked up in later rounds also. Also there were needs and value at DT, OG, OT, S that could have helped the team more than a RB.

    And look out on the talent that we missed out on in the 3rd round since the Vikes bent thmeselves over the table for the Texans could have found some starters of the future there since we have some major depth and talent problems on the OL and DB with the injuries to Winfield and Griffin.

    And since some time has past how do you grade the past drafts?

    Heres my wasted two cents:

    2009
    Rnd Name College Note
    1 Percy Harvin Florida
    2 Phil Loadholt Oklahoma
    3 Asher Allen Georgia
    5 Jasper Brinkley South Carolina
    7 Jamarca Sanford Mississippi mployer?

    As long as Harvin doesn’t miss to much time on the playing field have to love how plays the game and how tuff he is.

    Loadholt did struggle at times with pass protection but a strong run blocker and heading into his second season should improve.

    As for Asher, Jasper and Sanford they all played key roles on special teams and stepping up for injured starters can’t complain about these kids at all.

    Grade would be an A-

    2008
    Rnd Name College Note
    2 Tyrell Johnson Arkansas State
    5 John Booty USC
    5 Letroy Guion Florida State
    6 John Sullivan Notre Dame
    6 Jaymar Johnson Jackson State

    Jared Allen cost a first and two thirds and I think we it cost the Vikes one 3rd round pick to much but since the Vikes have had no luck with DE’s since Doleman can’t complain to what Allen has brought.

    Tyrell, can’t remember what we gave up in a trade to move up and get him but whatever it was it hasn’t been worth it. Avg at best so far.

    Booty, um ya bust

    Letroy, avg back-up at beast

    Sullivan, one word STEAL

    Jaymar, jury still out but looking good

    Overall have to give it and A because of Allen and Sullivan

    2007
    Rnd Name College Note
    1 Adrian Peterson Oklahoma
    2 Sidney Rice South Carolina
    3 Marcus McCauley Fresno State
    4 Brian Robison Texas
    5 Aundrae Allison East Carolina
    6 Rufus Alexander Oklahoma
    7 Tyler Thigpen Coastal Carolina
    7 Chandler Williams Florida International

    AP, thats all you have to say right, ok maybe the other word is fumbles….

    Rice, STEAL

    McCualey, bust

    Robinson, solid player great motor

    the last four no need to say anything because they are not the team anymore right?

    Another A because of Rice and AP

    2006
    Rnd Name College Note
    1 Chad Greenway Iowa
    2 Cedric Griffin Texas
    2 Ryan Cook New Mexico
    2 Tarvaris Jackson Alabama State
    4 Ray Edwards Purdue
    5 Greg Blue Georgia

    Greenway, stud

    Griffin, solid

    Cook, bust

    T jack-bust but I still hold out hope for this kid I hope he just tries to learn from farve because if he does watch out. i still can’t believe we gave up two 3rd round picks for him.

    Ray-steal

    Blue, Blue my boy where are you? bust

    Grade B, some core players but alot of wasted early picks in this draft.

    Over all they have done a good job with some core players but they have missed a lot too. Where they have excelled at is the free agents that they have brought in done a solid job there only a handfull of misses. As I have mentioned my only issue over the past few years is poor trade values we seem to get and it goes both ways it seems we get to little in return when we trade down and give up to much when we trade up.

    But all in all I love what the Ownership has done with the Vikings and want to thank them for everything they have done to try and bring respect and a championship to the VIkings.

  10. By Nat on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply

    Pat the Viking – noticed we picked up a kickoff specialist, which also likely means he has a big enough leg to attempt the real long field goals if needed.

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