NFL 2017 Consensus Mock Draft - Team Needs

Most Recent Team Needs Revision: March 20, 2017

About Team Needs
The entries in the matrix below are codes used in our draft simulation program (aka DRAFTSIM). The codes are defined down at the bottom of the page, but in general they reflect how badly a team needs help at each of 22 player positions. For each pick, the DRAFTSIM model refers to the Team Needs Matrix to assess the best player available to the team. In the months leading up to the draft, these codes are tweaked quite a bit in response to goings-on in the world of the NFL. Drafttek is able to produce a new simulation on a daily basis if events warrant, responding to real world trades or other news.

Most Recent Team Needs Adjustments (June 2016)
In an effort to improve the plausibility of our simulations, changes have been made to our Team Needs grid for the 2017 draft cycle. These modifications are:

1) Left Offensive Tackle (LOT) and Right Offensive Tackle (ROT) have been collapsed to just Offensive Tackle (OT). Our experience has been that our ROT prospects have been converted to Guards. Due to varied defensive schemes, Right Offensive Tackles are more coveted for defending against pass rushers versus plowing the way for the running games
2) Free Safety (FS) and Strong Safety (SS) are collapsed to just Safety (s). The trend toward pass-covering linebackers is largely eliminating the Strong Safety position.
3) OLB34 and pass-rushing DE43's are collapsed and re-branded as Edge Rushers, designated as "EDGE". Run-defending DE43's are re-categorized as "5-Technique Defensive Linemen", or "DL5T".
4) DE43, DE34, DT43 and DT34 are recategorized as "DL1T", "DL3T" and "DL5T".
4a) DL1T - "1-Technique" Defensive Lineman. DL1T covers pure "0-technique" Nose Tackles and 1-Technique DL in the 3-4 defense (2-gap coverage). Also strong-side 2-gap DL in the 4-3 alignment.
4b) DL3T - "3-Technique" Defensive Lineman responsible for 1-gap penetration. Generally the DL3T represents the weakside DT in a 4-3 alignment.
4c) DL5T - "5-Technique" Defensive Lineman generally represents our replacement for a 3-4 DE, but may also represent a 4-3 DE who is charged with run support.
4d) OLB - OLB43 is rebranded as simply "OLB"

Team Needs Code Descriptions

1 (or P1) - This is the absolutely highest priority team positional need. If a player position (PP) is assigned a P1 code, the program will reach to fill the need. For example if a team is selecting 15th, the program will search to the 25th player (as an example) to fill the P1 need. A team can have only one P1 need. However, it is acceptable to have no P1 needs.

2 (or P2) - PP's designated with P2 indicate that the that the team is in great need of starting caliber talent and will reach to fill the need. The reach isn't quite as great as P1. There can be multiple P2's identified per team.

Regarding Reach, the reach limit changes as the selection number increases.

3 (P3) - PP's (Player Positions) designated with P3 indicate that the team is in need of starting caliber talent, but will not reach for it. Some teams use a "best available player" draft discipline, this fits the P3 code well. Two notes on P3: a) even though we say "will not reach", there is a little bit of reach. Selection #25 could reach to the #30 rated player to fill a P3 need. b) If the program cycles through all the P1, P2, P3 and P4 needs without finding a player, the program will add more reach to the P3 PP's and search again for a P3 player.

4 (P4) - PP's tagged with a P4 code are depth needs. P4 is purely a value oriented selection, so there is no reach.

5 (P5) - The P5 code is used to identify positional needs that the team absolutely wants to fill (within reason), but does not want to invest a high draft pick. P5 PP's start the simulation as an equivalent to P4 (depth needs), but in the 3rd round all P5 PP's are promoted to P3. Thus the chances of the PP's getting a player fill increase dramatically in the 3rd round.

6(P6) - The P6 code is used to identify late round fill needs - like a kicker, fullback, or backup QB. P6's have very low priority in rounds 1-5 and will only fill a player under the most unlucky of circumstances for the team. In the 5th round, a conversion takes place and all P6 PP's convert to P4.

P7 and P8 do not exist. They did once but were replicative and never seemed to fill.

9 (P9) - PP's tagged with a P9 code are positions where the team is absolutely set. But there are occurrences where the program simply cannot find any player to fill the P1-P6 designations within a reasonable reach. In these cases the P9's will be sifted through and the best available selected.

Team Needs M (Multiple) Code Definitions

The "M" designation stands for for "Multiple"; indicating that a team needs more than one player at a given Player Position (PP). Most player positions do not have the M designation. In these cases, if a PP is filled, the PP will be reset to P9 and no further players will be selected at that position. But if the PP has an M code next to it; the program will reset the positions priority based upon the M code upon the initial player selection at the PP.

M3 - PP's appended with an M3 code will get the PP code reset to P3 following the first selection at the position. This indicates a desire to add a second helping early on in the draft. Assume that the WR position is coded as a "1" with an M3 next to it. After the first WR is selected, probably in the 1st, maybe 2nd round, the priority code is reset to P3 (internally) and the M code is reset to a blank. Likely a second WR will be selected within the next couple selections given the P3 designation. Then after the second WR selection, the priority code will be set to P9 and no additional WRs will be picked.

M4 - PPs appended with M4 will have the PP codes converted to P4 following the initial selection at the PP. This implies that the team has an initial need, then a secondary depth need at some position.

M5 - PPs appended with M5 will have the PP codes converted to P5 following the initial selection at the position. This implies that the team has an initial need, then a secondary need to be filled in the mid-rounds.

M6 - PPs appended with M6 will have the PP codes converted to P6 following the initial selection at the PP. After the first player selection at the PP, the team may have some interest in a late round second helping.