Remember this when the Titans draft
The Tennessee Titans have four premium (top-100) picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and they are going to need a few of those players to make an instant impact.
Since the majority of the big moves in free agency are already done, it is time for people to fully shift their attention to the draft. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I am outspoken against the players I like and the players I don’t.
I wanted to take this time and this article to discuss little my process and why even if I say something in January, I might have a different opinion in March or April. In fact, I might have a different opinion in a few days if there is new information.
There are really three different phases of how I look at draft prospects.
The first tweets or comments I make about players usually come from the previous season where I make comments while I’m watching a player live. I try my best not to watch too much film on draft prospects until after the NFL season is over because I want to be able to sit down and look at the whole picture. Still, if I am tweeting about someone in January, consider that an outline of what I think about a player rather than final thoughts.
Secondly, I try to watch at least three games of all of the consensus top-100 prospects and the top-10 guys at each position. Three games isn’t a lot, but I think Justis Mosqueda said it best when he said that some positions take more time than others.
Sometimes three games isn’t enough, but for some positions that is plenty.
The point is, trying to watch a few games of 100+ prospects takes a lot of time and sometimes you make some assumptions that aren’t fair based on when you watched a player, which order you watched his games in, and some biases you may carry into an evaluation (more on that in a minute).
This second phase that takes until early/mid-April, and it is when I set my vertical and horizontal big board and try to get a feel for how the class stacks up to previous classes and where the value is for each position.
Finally, I try to go back and look at everyone again quickly while looking at my notes to see whether or not I still agree with the February version of me that was writing notes in the first place.
Despite that months-long process and trying to take in new information from analytics, testing data, character concerns, injury red flags, and everything else, there is still a lot I get wrong.
That is the nature of the beast, and GMs and NFL Owners make the same mistakes with millions of dollars invested in scouts who get much more information than we do.
For example, the rumor goes that the Dallas Cowboys badly wanted to draft Paxton Lynch, but the Denver Broncos got to him first. In that draft, they had to settle for their backup quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Mistakes are easy to make when you are trying to predict the next 10 years of a prospect’s career based on what he did in the structured environment of college athletics. Prospects are told what to eat, what to lift, what to look for on film, when they need to wake up, and countless other things that you just can’t enforce with 21-year-old millionaires who don’t all live together in one place.