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Rick Reilly's NFL Re-Draft: Loves Bethea and Garcon, not Addai

Recently, ESPN's Rick Reilly announced his first ever NFL re-draft! Woohoo! I almost fainted from anticipation...

Besides being the biggest exercise in futility if there ever was one, the re-draft is supposed to measure the drafting abilities of all 32 teams grading teams for both finding future gems in the later rounds and for picking major NFL duds in the first round. I mean yeah the re-draft  is cool in theory, but it’s kind of pointlessly silly in the long run. It’s like going back and scrutinizing your life choices; did you pick the right college, did you pick the right career/job (that is if you had options to begin with), did you marry the right girl? Yeah you can go back and run advanced Goldman Sachs econometrics models on your life’s decisicions or you can boil it down to a much more simple yes or no answer key:

Are you happy? Yes/No

Are you stable financially? Yes/No

Are you a gambling,  heroine shooting alcoholic? Yes/No

Are you divorced 6 times? Yes/No (somehow does not apply to Donald Trump)

 If you answered yes, yes, no, no then you are blessed and did things right. You should probably thank your parents.

 If you answered no, no, yes, yes then you are like the Oakland Raiders and have made some poor decisions over the years…

 If you came up with another combination then guess what? That’s life. You win some and you lose some.

 The football model is even easier (after the jump)...


 Are you a perennial playoff contender with few marquee free agent signings?

 Are you scratching your head wondering why year after year you pick in the top 5 (and if you are the Redskins wonder why this keeps happening even after you blow hundreds of millions of dollars on washed up former stars no one else is even remotely interested in)?

 If you answered yes to the first one, bravo you can draft and build a franchise. If you answered no well… keep trying. You might strike dumb (Andrew) Luck someday.

 Jerry Richardson shakes his head ruefully as Carolina announces it’s 12/13 opening day roster:

1st string QB: Andrew Luck

2nd string QB: Cam Newton 

3rd string QB: Jimmy Clausen

4th string QB: Matt Moore

5th string QB: Tony Pike

Looking at Reilly's re-draft, its an obvious inexact science and one that produced some questionable results.

For one, somehow Devin Hester ranks above Greg Jennings even though Jennings had 4 times as many touchdowns and double Hester's receptions. Ditto for Reilly and co ranking Marcedes Lewis above Vernon Davis... uhhh what??? Really? Did they not watch Sunday NFL countdown at all this year? Because I am pretty sure that Keyshawn Johnson mentioned Vernon Davis as the NFL's next great tight end at least 32435 times. Not sure you could say the same thing for Lewis (although he is a favorite of Tom Jackson).

However, Reilly did give some love to the Colts. In 06 Reilly bumped Bethea up the draft boards by +179 draft positions, second only to the Titans Cortland Finnegan. 

In 08, Reilly showed mad respect to Pierre Garcon increasing his draft stock by 196 points which was third to Madden Cover Boy Peyton Hillis and Bill's Steve Johnson. 

One sour note was Reilly dropping Joseph Addai 63 spots out of the first round and knocking Anthony Gonzalez down a whopping 89 points. While Gonzalez's drop is justified simply because he cannot stay healthy, Addai's is not. Once again, analysts fail to realize Addai's overall importance to the team. Blocking, calling out blitz's and general leadership do not show up in the stat lines but are vital to a team's success. Also with a decent line to run behind, Addai is going to bounce back with a monster year. (If Reilly only dropped Reggie Bush 30 spots, no way in hell Addai should have fallen more than 40. Especially since Reggie Bush was considered a 'cant miss' prospect and was taken at 2 overall).

Anyway overall, Reilly must have done something right because in the final team rankings, Reilly's list for the best

drafting teams were:

  • New Orleans
  • Tennessee
  • Green Bay
  • Indianapolis

Each team save for the outlier Tennessee has won a Super Bowl since 2006 and all four teams have been at the

very least respectable (Tennessee) if not straight dominant over that time span (Indy). 

As has been proven over and over again, you can't win Super Bowls through trades and free agency.

The only team that used free agency and trades to win a Super Bowl were the Rams who lucked out by signing Kurt Warner out of the Arena League (not what you call a high-profile signing) and traded with the Colts for Marshall Faulk.

Anyway, all the silliness and speculation and conjecture aside, its good to see the Colts as a whole, and specifically other Colts not named Manning, Freeney and Wayne get some praise every once in-a-while.