Drafttek's main product (DRAFTSIM) uses a computer model (VBA on MSExcel platform) to generate a 7-round mock-up of the 2014 NFL Draft. As team needs and player rankings change over the months leading up to the draft, Draft Tek will be the first out of the block with updated projections - on a daily basis if events warrant.
The goal of Drafttek's model is to produce a "plausible" imitation of the draft, called a Consensus Mock Draft, or CMD. An algorithm weighs the available players on a ranked "Big Board" against a matrix of team positional needs. Positions that are most likely to be addressed via the draft are identified with higher priority codes. Of course what is needed by a team may not be available; a team with a TE as the highest priority will think twice before selecting their #35 rated player at selection #10 in the first round. Thus the algorithm must often weigh between "reaching" for a position of high need versus selecting a better valued player at a position of lesser need.
When DRAFTSIM was first developed some 12 years ago, it was a purely computer generated product. Team Analysts had the sole responsibility of supplying team positional grades to the model. In this capacity, the results were completely unbiased. However the results were a little quirky here adn there, and the website was deemed nothing more than a novelty. The model was simply not robust enough to ascertain the more nuanced traits by which teams assess prospects. Players were simply liated by rank according to position. With a CB, some teams may prefer cover versus zone skills, taller over shorter, over-emphasis on pure 40-speed, character may or may not play into the evaluation.
Grabs and Lockouts
A few years ago, "Grabs" and "Lockouts" were built into the DRAFTSIM. Based on their insider knowledge of the their team's goings-on, the Team Analysts were able to place targeted players on a "Grab" list. If the player was still on the board when it was their team's pick, the DRAFTSIM model would bypass its selection logic and assign the player on the Grab list. Similarly, if there were players that the analyst just did not feel would be a fit, that player would be locked out, and bypassed by the DRAFTSIM model. A typical CMD in January will see about 10-15% of the players selected coming from Grab lists, with the remainder of the draft filled in via DRAFTSIM selection logic. In April, this percentage will veer toward 30%, as most of the selections in rounds 3-7 continue to be auto-selected.
It is the Team Analyst's job to look out for his team, and to ensure that the DRAFTSIM model produces the best possible CMD for his team. In the first round, the DRAFTSIM should produce a player who is among a handful that best represents the team's target. In the final CMD closest to the draft, the analyst ideally will identify the actual Draft Pick. In the later rounds, it is more important to correctly identify positions of need rather than the players that fill them. We believe that, since each team has a completely biased team analyst, the overall Consensus Mock Draft is one which does not show a bias toward any one team.
User Interactive Online Draft Simulator (ODS)
Drafttek converted its popular computer model to an online version, called ODS - Online Draft Simulator. Readers can run our primary simulation themselves or change team need inputs to create new mocks based upon their views. Or modify the team selection order to simulate the trade rumor dujour. It's free and doesn't even require sign-up!
Drafttek.com employs 26 college and pro football analysts. Our personnel have "day jobs" with a disparate range of expertise, with several currently employed in mainstream media: sports talk radio, newspaper reporting, and online media.
1) Pre-Draft trades and rumors - we've heard them all (and invented our own!). Using our computer model, we'll tell you how that rumor will likely affect the rest of the draft.
2) Risers/Plungers - In the months prior to the draft, we're busy running dozens of draft models daily. We've got a real good idea what positions/players will be in high demand, and which guys will go a round or two late.
Contact Media Relations here: Warren@Drafttek.com
|NBA Chief Analyst||Vacant||NBATeamNeeds@Drafttek.com|
|Green Bay||"Jersey Al" Bracco||Packers@Drafttek.com|
|New England||Matt Pfleger||Patriots@Drafttek.com|
|New Orleans||Rick McGlothlin||Saints@Drafttek.com|
|NY Giants||Jesse Bartolis||Giants@Drafttek.com|
|NY Jets||Rich Tinley||Jets@Drafttek.com|
|San Diego||Brett Stott||Chargers@Drafttek.com|
|St Louis||Frank Dobozy||Rams@Drafttek.com|
|Tampa Bay||Warren Hauck||Comments@Drafttek.com|