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Build Your Own Bill Polian (BYOBP) Draft Board

This is Stampede Blue reader and new member B.P. Glass's baby, I just told him it was a great idea when he emailed me about it, offered to help (which I never got around to and he clearly didn't need) and am now posting it for him because you can't upload and link documents in fanposts. Jump for his jaw droppingly awesome work and click any of the first 3 links to download the spreadsheet .

Upon reading John Oehser’s recent article on, Formula for Success, I got an idea for creating a customizable draft board – what I call the "Build Your Own Bill Polian."

The philosophy behind BYOBP is neatly summed up in Oehser’s article.  In discussing the drafting of Reggie Wayne, the article stated:

The reason the Colts selected Wayne, Polian said, was what he called when the "need axis" and the "talent [axis]" met, meaning that while the most-glaring need on paper that season may not have been receiver, as the draft wore on and Wayne was still on the board, his value became too obvious to not select him.

But what does Polian mean by the "need axis" and the "talent axis"?  Really, they seem to be just two variables that, together, form the Colts’ drafting strategy.  So as we fans debate likely draft scenarios on this and other blogs, we are really trying to articulate how those two considerations both work to make up the Colts’ draft board.  Because even if you’ve figured out the talent evaluation and the team’s needs at different positions, you still need to form a strategy that incorporates and orders all of the team’s draft priorities. 
And to fulfill that role, I give you the "Build Your Own Bill Polian" Draft Board


Build Your Own Bill Polian (BYOBP) Draft Board

Attention all you Mockers!

•    Do you think you know how the Mastermind thinks?

•    Do you think you know the precise recipe of "best player available," "need," and intangibles that go into player evaluation on West 56th Street?

•    Do you want to apply that expertise to create a customized draft board that ranks players based on your strategy?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then look no further!  The attached spreadsheet will allow you to build your very own Bill Polian!

No, I’m not talking about some Colts’-fan version of Weird-Science geekery.  Instead, I’m talking about a customizable spreadsheet that, with just a few clicks of the mouse, will allow you to create a draft board of over 750 NFL prospects that inputs:

1.    Prospect rankings from around the web;

2.    Your knowledge of prospect evaluation;
3.    The Colts’ relative needs at every position; and even
4.    The intangibles that make a prospect either a "match-made-in-heaven" for the Colts’ system, or an incompatible fit who’s destined to flop.*

* Note: the BYOBP does not and, unfortunately, cannot account for the "Curse of Corey Simon."

Check out the attached spreadsheet, but this is a representative sample of the top of the BYOBP board:


How it works and what all of these crazy acronyms mean:

The BYOBP Draft Board is comprised of four customizable variables:

1.    BPA Score:    This score attempts to identify the "best player available" by placing each prospect on a scale from 0-9.990 based on prospect-rankings from around the web.  Currently it incorporates rankings from CBS Sports, Draft Dog, and Scouts, Inc., but you are free to add your own or others from additional source material.  Simply click on the "BPA Score" worksheet tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet and insert your rankings into the column entitled: "Insert Your Ranking Here," or feel free to leave them as they are.  The BPA Score averages all available rankings for each player, subtracts that average from 1000 (to get descending rankings) and then divides the result by 100 (to achieve a 0-10 scale).  Currently, Aaron Curry, who is ranked #1 on each of the prospect-rankings entered into the BYOBP, has the highest possible BPA Score of 9.99.
2.    Need Score: This score is based on the Colts’ relative need at every position.  To adjust, simply click on the "Need Score" worksheet tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet, and rank each position on a 0-10 scale, with 10 representing the greatest level of need.  Right now the BYOBP is skewed towards punters and defensive tackles, but you are free to adjust as you see fit.
3.    Colts’ Fit Score: This is where the intangibles come in.  Maybe the prospect is a great athlete but has character issues that lower the likelihood the Colts will draft him.  Or maybe he is an undersized linebacker that would fit well in the Colts’ system but is under-rated by the prospect-rankings.  If you think that a prospect’s BPA Score is over- or under-rated based on his compatibility with the Colts’ system, then you can use this score to factor that in.  Simply rank the player on the main page of the spreadsheet using a 0-10 scale.  The default for every player is "5" representing the scale’s average.  Currently, with input from Shake and information taken from posts by Bamock and Monstersbox, the BYOBP has adjusted several of the prospects’ fit scores by a factor of 2 in either a positive or a negative direction.  This is where the BYOBP can really benefit from the Stampede Blue community’s input.
4.    Strategy: Finally, and most importantly, the light-blue "Strategy" box is where you can customize the BYOBP to match what you believe to be the Colts’ emphasis on drafting for "need," the "best player available," or for players that have the intangibles to fit in the Colts’ system.  Simply adjust the percentages in the strategy box, and the Draft Scores will automatically adjust to reflect your desired emphasis.

SORT: Once you have adjusted the preceding 4 variables, you can sort the board so that prospects are ordered from highest draft score to lowest.  Simply highlight the columns B-H, and on the menu bar select "Data", "Sort".  A box will then appear.  Make sure that it reads "sort by draft score" (descending) before clicking "okay."

And Voila! - Congratulations, you now have your very own "Bill Polian" Draft Board that will allow you to predict whom the Colts will draft, no matter the options remaining.

Of course, the fun doesn’t stop there!  The BYOBP can easily become the BYO Scott Pioli, or even the BYO Matt Millen.**  Just adjust the need scores, fit scores, and strategy to match whichever NFL executive you are trying to emulate.  And check back next week for archived BYO Drafters, when we’ll bring back the BYO Mike Ditka (it automatically trades its entire draft board for whatever prospect is in the #1 position!).

Until then, Happy Mocking!

B.P. Glass

**The BYO Matt Millen is not responsible for how the actual Matt Millen might behave in an actual draft situation.