Following up from the previous post here, which examined the best (and worst) GAR performers in each game situation, this article will examine defensemen value relative to cap hit. For more information on how GAR is calculated, please check out the introduction. Before delving into the nuances of player value, I present an illustration of the cap hit and GAR of all defensemen:
In a strange twist, rather than try to guess the selection (and be wrong most of the time), I am going to look at the potential available options for each team.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Option A: Kyler Murray, QB (OU)
Option B: Quinnen Williams, DT (Alabama)
Option C: Trade Down
After months of drama and speculation, this has got to be the biggest smokescreens (or non-smokescreens) in recent history. The Cardinals have so many holes in their roster that they should trade this pick to accumulate a collection of riches, but probably won’t. If they are able to trade Rosen for a late first/early second, while also acquiring their franchise QB, then this is as good as it gets. This is a matter of fit more than any other single factor. Even if Murray is objectively only slightly better than Rosen in a vacuum, the NFL isn’t a vacuum.
- Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
Maybe he is the next Russell Wilson…or the next Johnny Manziel. On second thought, the comparison between the two is the epitome of laziness for sports writers and analysts. Sure they both have an attitude and have displayed emotion in a negative light, but Manziel was an overall train wreck off the field and a good athlete on the field. I feel the desire to defend this pick against all the jersey burning haters out there. Let me introduce the QBASE projections, which looks at collegiate production (completion percentage, yards per attempt and passing efficiency) relative to the quality of the defenses faced and offensive teammates around them. QBASE projects NFL success in the first 3-5 years after entering the league. Here is the breakdown of the top QB options for the Browns:
This is the one and only mock for Stats Enforcer, compiled from a variety of sources (including analysts, advanced stats and personal bias). I’m sure that about 10% of this mock draft will actually happen tonight, but it was a fun exercise nonetheless.
1. Cleveland Browns
Needs: QB, CB, OT, DL
Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
Given the uncertainty of picks 2 and 3, the Browns have to take a QB here at #1 or risk not landing “the guy” they want. If they were actually interested in trading down, I’m sure they would have already received the entire Bills stockpile of picks. I personally believe that Darnold is locked in at #1. At best, scouts have described his talents as comparable to Andrew Luck; at worst he has been compared to Matthew Stafford. With the right developmental program, I think the Browns might actually have their QB of the future in Darnold.
Darnold was a four-star recruit out of high school. He earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshmen of the Year award after leading the Trojans to a 9-1 record with over 3000 yards passing and 31 TDs. Unfortunately, his sophomore year was more problematic, as Darnold struggled to find chemistry with his new WRs and offensive line protection. Darnold is not without faults, including atrocious decision-making this past season, resulting in 22 total turnovers. The Browns hope it was an anomaly and let him sit behind Tyrod for at least one season. Continue reading “[NFL DRAFT 2018] One mock to rule them all…”