2014 NFL Draft: Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and the Early Wide Receiver Rankings
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Image via Neon Tommy/Flickr With both the NFL regular season over and college bowl season completed, hard core draft and fantasy addicts are already poring over reams of data on the 2014 NFL Draft. Why Models Matter, Why NFL History Always Repeats Itself, and Why the Lions Are Probably Doomed Models matter. A lot. Martin Mayhew recently escaped what should have been a complete purge in Detroit despite repeated debacles in the draft. Three years ago, he selected Titus Young over Torrey Smith even though Smith was bigger, faster, and had represented a much larger share of his college team’s receiving offense. Two years ago he selected Ryan Broyles over Rueben Randle even though Randle possessed superior physical attributes and was three years younger. For the most part, NFL general managers are made to serve long apprenticeships, prove themselves on the grunt work, scratch and claw their way up. The problem with this approach is that organization-defining decisions are much more likely to come down to general strategy and tactics than football knowledge and work ethic. (I’m not suggesting these need to be mutually exclusive.)