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2019 NFL Draft: Our Rankings and Evaluation Methodology Explained (Updated 3/1/2019

2019 marks the second year Football Scout 365 will examine and work to identify the top players participating in the NFL draft. In 2018 we used the eye test more than any other to identify the key prospects. In 2019 we are moving towards a more analytical approach that identifies key needs by team (needs analysis) and the total number of combine participants by position (player talent depth). By using this approach we can then analyze each team by draft order and simulate the NFL Drafts first three rounds using the using a best available option approach or as we call it (BAO).

Below will be a set of screenshots diagramming the process using our actual Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Evaluation process.

Total league Needs Analysis

The first step of the process begins with a broad scope needs analysis that covers the entire league and covering team needs by position and the total number of draft participants by position giving us a ratio.

In the above diagram, we can identify the depth of this years draft by position and compare to player needs in the league as a whole. For example, the RB position has good depth but only two teams as of right now (2/24/2019) two teams have an immediate need to fill the position. What this tells us is the 1st RB may not get picked until late in the 1st round, or early 2nd round and boasts a plentiful 15.00 to 1 needs to availability ratio. The least plentiful position that will likely fill two spots in the top 10 picks of round one is the DE position with a needs to availability ratio of 1.82.

2019 NFL Draft Order With Needs to Availability Ratio and Best Available Option

The 2nd part of our approach combines the league needs analysis and team needs analysis so we can identify every teams draft position, top need, and match them with the best available option filling each teams most logical position of need.

In the above diagram, we have 12 defensive players and four offensive players going in the first 16 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. Logic tells us that this is mostly accurate based on what the pundits in the media have been discussing over the last few weeks. The most important offensive position in football is the QB position, and we have it as the only offensive position being picked in the first 16 picks of the draft. I doubt we see 4 QB's selected in round one, but according to our data, this is how the draft should go based on team need, positional importance, and availability at the position.

let's simulate the Arizona Cardinals who many believe might be willing to move their round 1 pick and possibly a two for (Antonio Brown). Lets hypothetically simulate their draft picks without them trading away any picks. Their most essential team needs are CB, WR, OL. Based on their team needs and the best available option (BAO Ratio) the data says they will pick a CB at number one (Greedy Williams). The CB position has a 2.35 to 1 ratio and the next most important position of need WR has a 3.71 to 1 ratio with OL showing a deep 4.85 to 1.

The best available option with the lowest availability of depth is at CB. The Cardinals need defenders, and it would make since for them to pick Greedy Williams with their top pick, but this is where you can imagine they would be willing to trade down. There is no way they grab a CB number one overall unless one of the top players at the position they covet explodes at the combine.

Best available options by player rank will override the best available option by needs analysis ratio if the player pool based on the depth of talent at he position.

Best Available Options (Arizona Cardinals)

As we move forward, the rankings will change post combine, and the need analysis will change if teams make trades pre-draft. The above process will be the one we employ throughout the NFL draft process in 2019.

Player Rankings and Composite Rankings

This year I have decided to add analysis from other sources creating a composite ranking for each player listed. I decided to use CBS sports, Pro Football Focus, Draft Network and Daniel Jeremiahs NFL player rankings to help analyze each player. By doing, we can compile analysis from varying viewpoints. We may add or change the sources as we move through the process, but I feel pretty good about this approach in 2019. Once the combine is over, I will go through and evaluate each players performance in the combine and go through all of my scouting notes on each player creating our own top 50 players list and finishing our composite rankings.

Example of our composite player rankings


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