We like to think we know what we’re talking about: Fans, experts, or completely uninformed people who still like to give their opinion. We see it in countless mock drafts. We see it in signatures of users in the comments sections here at BTSC. We hear it from commentators or see how it plays out in mock draft simulators. But in 2020, apart from people within the organization, we really have no idea what teams are thinking when it comes to the 2020 NFL draft.
Experts being off with their mock draft a really nothing new. There is only so much insight one can gain about each team. But what may be different in this draft then previous years is how much each team is able to gauge the draft strategy of the other 31 NFL teams.
Two different analysts from the NFL Network chimed in on the subject recently. First, Daniel Jeremiah mentioned the fact teams were not in the same area while evaluating talent at pro days like in years past and therefore they may not know exactly how others are thinking regarding a certain player. Ian Rappaport added to the conversation that one GM informed him that various mock drafts seem to be nowhere close to what they expect other teams to take.
I had a GM tell me, “The media is wronger about mock drafts this year than you guys have ever been.” Point being, players are going to be taken in places no one expects. https://t.co/oyDHSndqkl— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 17, 2020
So which is off: What teams expect others to do in the draft, or those offering opinions on what everyone will do? Or are they both completely off? It’s really quite an interesting topic to ponder.
Admittedly, I have never been to an NFL pro day. I’ve never spoken to an NFL general manager or a head coach. So when it comes to what goes on with these pro days, I am only basing it off of what others report. Of course team personnel are there to gauge the talent on the field. But can’t they do that just as easily with videotape against real life opponents and wearing full gear? Or is a players pro day as much about figuring out how other NFL teams are viewing the player in order to get a grasp of where they would be available?
With coaches, scouts, and general managers along with members of the NFL media not being congregated in similar areas in order to judge a reaction or body language becomes an interesting factor for 2020 NFL draft. Generally there was a belief on whether or not a team was high on a particular player. But this year, it is much more speculation than ever before.
With this in mind, will teams be more likely to move up to grab a player or weil they stand pat and see how things fall? I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see a team to jump up 10 spots in the first round to grab a player who many think would have been available to them at their original pick. I could also do see teams reaching for a player at a given position because they were certain they would have multiple options only to see all those players get selected well before they had anticipated. I also see teams getting a complete steal with a player who is available who many never saw lasting as long as they did. It makes for a completely unpredictable and entertaining situation.
In every NFL draft, they are players taken way ahead of what many expected and players who plummet down the draft board. It’s bound to happen. But with teams not really knowing what others are thinking, 2020 could be the year where everything goes haywire. And with the Steelers not having a first-round pick, let the chaos ensue!