2013 Draft Grades, Catharsis, and Deeply Flawed Memes


The following is a complete rundown of my 2013 Draft Grades. Even if you think my grades are ridiculous – and some will inevitably prove to be – the draft pieces act as an index for the RotoViz work done on your team’s prospects. That work has value for two reasons. It’s contrarian, and it’s objective. You can get scouting reports – most of which are plagiarized or completely made up – anywhere. The type of content we’re providing is analytical and rarely duplicated outside of this site.

The grades: A lot of writers give out mostly Bs and Cs, in part because of the informational gap that exists between pundits and GMs and in part because it’s in vogue to claim a draft can’t be graded for three years. I suspect you already understand the gap in information and would just prefer to know what I think even if it ends up being wrong. (And let’s face it, there’s less cathartic value in going on Twitter to rip a guy who gave your team a C-. I mean, who cares, right?)

Secondly, the idea of waiting three years to grade a draft is hopelessly flawed. You wouldn’t wait until after the flop to grade a poker player’s bet on his hole cards. The likelihood a bet will pay off doesn’t depend on whether it actually does. If NFL teams are waiting three years to grade their own drafts, then they’re going to get crushed by organizations that are constantly assessing and upgrading their procedures.

Those new to RotoViz may need to subscribe to peruse some of these links. If you find yourself on the fence, be aware that this is just the beginning. RotoViz is entirely unlike any fantasy football website that has existed to this point. In addition to excellent content written by guys like Jon Moore, Matthew Freedman, Davis Mattek, and Ryan Rouillard, RotoViz will be providing fantasy apps the likes of which have never been seen before.

But I’m biased. Check some of it out for yourself.

The Grades

1) New York Jets A+

Geno Smith was the premier player in this draft. (Just ask whoever’s on the other end of his cell phone.) Plus, he won’t spend practice on Revis Island.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers A+

Le’Veon Bell is the poster child for my Agility Score, and Ryan’s awesome new article using a RB version of the Dominator Rating to project RB fantasy points. While the Jags drew all the wrong conclusions from their analytic work, Pittsburgh added key parts to their roster.

3) Baltimore Ravens A

Arthur Brown will be the top IDP in rookie drafts, and Aaron Mellette was an absurd value at 238.

4) Houston Texans A

DeAndre Hopkins was the best match of value and need among skill position players.

5) San Francisco 49ers A

In a vacuum, I’m not that high on Marcus Lattimore, Vance McDonald, or Quinton Patton, but the 49ers landed each at a value while adding significant defensive talent as well.

6) Green Bay Packers A

Eddie Lacy is an enigma as part of an Alabama timeshare, while Johnathan Franklin was overhyped. Why the strong grade? Both of them came cheaper than expected, and by selecting two backs the Packers double their chances to hit. And then they picked Megatron Jr.

7) New Orleans Saints A-

Mickey Loomis, author of “How to Destroy a Super Bowl Roster With Just One Pick,” finally rebounded from the Mark Ingram selection by adding Kenny Vaccaro, Terron Armstead, and Kenny Stills.

8) Detroit Lions A-

Ezekial Ansah may have the most star power of any player in this draft. Corey Fuller is a stealth choice to lead rookie WRs in 2013 scoring.

9) St. Louis Rams F/A

Tavon Austin is a gimmick player in a perfect spot. Stedman Bailey may be the best receiver in the draft. Zac Stacy was an Agility Score star who should quickly vanquish Pead and Richardson.

10) Washington B+

Not an interesting draft from a fantasy perspective. Chris Thompson eviscerates Roy Helu’s sleeper value.

11) Cincinnati Bengals B

The RotoViz staff was unanimous in praising Tyler Eifert, circumspect on Gio Bernard, and enthusiastic about Rex Burkhead.

12) Seattle Seahawks B

Christine Michael is an Agility Score freak, and Skittles may not be long for the roster. Don’t sleep on him in dynasty drafts.

13) San Diego Chargers B

Jon Moore didn’t like Keenan Allen even before the pro day debacle, but I’m more impressed by his high impact 2011 in a bad offense.

14) Cleveland Browns B

Barkevious Mingo loses IDP value, but look out for Cerberus.

15) Kansas City Chiefs B-

The RotoViz TE Rookie Rankings point to Travis Kelce as a real sleeper. Evidently John Dorsey reads Matthew Freedman.

16) Chicago Bears C

The PFF IDP gurus think Jon Bostic may have been a reach. Marquess Wilson is a guy to keep an eye on if he doesn’t pull a Dwight Jones.

17) New York Giants C

According to our rankings, the Giants’ play for future draft value would have worked better with Tyler Bray than Ryan Nassib.

18) Tennessee Titans C-

An electric athlete, Justin Hunter still sports a lot of red flags. Blidi Wreh-Wilson is competitive, but nobody bests Alterraun Verner in the name game.

19) Arizona Cardinals C-

According to Frank, “The Cards managed to draft a big back with a poor Speed Score and a small back with a poor Speed Score. That’s called diversity.”

20) Atlanta Falcons C-

Rock star GM Thomas Dimitroff’s draft was not fantasy friendly (or at least not fantasy relevant).

21) Indianapolis Colts C-

Ryan Grigson’s dubious offseason continued, but Kerwynn Williams represents an arbitrage opportunity for a wide range of fantasy/reality players.

22) Denver Broncos C-

The last time Denver drafted a high profile back with suspect athleticism they got stuck with Knowshon Moreno.

23) Miami Dolphins D+

As Sterling would say, I had something for this . . . Mike Gillislee is all the rage in rookie drafts even though his comps don’t show up on NFL rosters.

24) Minnesota Vikings D+

The Vikings agreed with Matthew Freedman over Albert Camus.

25) Dallas Cowboys D+

Terrance Williams probably doesn’t project as a fantasy viable player in his own right, and his upside is limited by age.

26) Tampa Bay Bucs D

If the Bucs wanted a Blaine Gabbert clone, they could have just waited for the 2014 offseason and picked up the real thing.

27) Carolina Panthers D-

The gap in perceived value between Gio Bernard and Kenjon Barner is surprising since the former Duck is probably the better player. Unless he can play WR, the Panthers still didn’t get a bargain.

28) Oakland Raiders F+

When your best pick comes at 181, that’s a real concern. Latavius Murray instantly becomes a fantasy sleeper. He won’t solve Oakland’s reality problems. RotoViz wasn’t optimistic about Tyler Wilson in our Composite Rankings.

29) Philadelphia Eagles F

Zach Ertz may be a media creation. Matt Barkley doesn’t project as a future a star, but the Eagles see some Drew Brees.

30) New England Patriots F

Recent history suggests Bill Belichick can’t scout WRs. It may be the only thing he can’t do.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars F

In 2013 the Jags will struggle to score despite two elite tackles. The Saints are going to burn the scoreboard bulbs despite having none. I wonder what position is actually important. An olive branch to Jags fans: Johnathan Cyprien is going to be awesome. Target him in your IDP league.

32) Buffalo Bills Z-

If you’re wondering how the Bills rank last despite selecting the underrated E.J. Manuel, there’s only one way to find out.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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