Just some thoughts, going back to studies I made last year and things I've just been thinking.
1. Guys like Mel have a habit of selling the accuracy of their analysis while constantly floating players up and down, creating a constant "noise" in their rankings that have draft geeks spinning in their seats. Why? Because to some extent, draft ranking is akin to a magic act. It's not nearly as accurate as the magicians would have you believe.
2. My studies last year suggest a much larger error per player than people expect. In part, this is because the average draftee is a 3rd/4th rounder and ranking them much more difficult than the consensus 20 best players (and draft heads spend 99% of their time worrying about the Patrick Petersons of the world, as opposed to the David Arkins).
3. More draft picks are correlated with more wins
. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Brian Burke does too.
4. The error I calculate (circa 0.8 round per player) is so large that any method that increases draft accuracy improves the "effective" position of a team by some very real numbers. Doubling draft accuracy is equivalent to moving your draft position up 5 to 7 slots.
5. The draft is an auction; and as such, suffers from the Winner's Curse
. If the draft is considered to be an efficient market
, then 3 players of the same real value will be drafted in the order and to the degree they were (over)valued.
6. Ironically, simulations of a NFL draft suggest the actual draft yields more accurate picks than the average evaluation. This suggests there are real winners and losers in the draft; the losers are those who get snookered into massive overvaluations of players. The winners are those who don't get trapped into massive reaches, and manage to pick up undervalued talent.