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Diary of High Stakes Virgins: Draft Board Time Machine
Another week, another loss. But fear not, we’ll keep recapping this saga.

This week though, we were at a bit of a loss as to what to write about. I suggested we take a look at some of the teams who are actually doing well in our league. Pete thought that sounded painful. Then Pete suggested that we revisit our draft and look at the players we could have had when we selected some of our under-performing picks. Cause, ya know, that doesn’t sound painful at all. Ultimately, Pete felt pretty strongly that revisiting the draft was the right move–We have to go back, Pat…WE HAVE TO GO BACKso we decided to fire up the old time machine and re-pick some of our draft.

Actual First-Round Pick: Allen Robinson

Time Machine Pick: Mike Evans

This one probably seems like pure hindsight, but I had Evans ranked above Robinson (and DeAndre Hopkins) in my pre-draft rankings. Part of the problem is that we had a clear-cut first choice and were confident our guy would be there. In dozens of drafts we saw A.J. Green falling to the 1.06, and we both agreed that he was the pick. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to us and we had to adjust. Pete had correctly argued against Hopkins, which made Robinson the obvious choice. Though Evans had more upside based on my pre-season projections, the fact that he had been available in the mid-second round for most of the off-season and miiight fall despite his ADP having climbed significantly, discouraged me from making the case for him. Ultimately, he did make it to the second round, but not nearly deep enough into it, getting selected at pick 14.

Actual Fourth-Round Pick: Delanie Walker

Time Machine Pick: Larry Fitzgerald

The funny thing about this pick is that we were hoping and praying Walker would fall to us so we wouldn’t have to pick Fitzgerald. Walker, we felt, had a lot more upside in TE premium as potentially the top pass catcher in his offense. It hasn’t worked out that way, but I don’t think our process was way off base. I do think however, that we were discounting Fitzgerald’s upside too much due to his age and that he’s a known commodity. We would have been psyched to land Fitzgerald in the fifth, but in the fourth it just didn’t feel great. But as the number one target on his team overall and in the red zone, the potential upside should have been visible to us ahead of time. We may have let the format dictate this pick too much here.

Actual Seventh-Round Pick: Jeremy Hill

Time Machine Pick: Spencer Ware

Ware wasn’t on our radar at the time, but he obviously should have been. At this point in the draft, we were looking for our second running back “starter” after Arian Foster and figured that of all the available RBs, Hill would receive the most touches over the course of the season. In what we now realize was an unfortunate theme for our draft, we were too confident trying to project things months out, instead of locking up guaranteed touches at the start of the season (which Ware was easily projected to have with Jamaal Charles on the mend). Chasing those early touches doesn’t always work out (‘sup Justin Forsett), but sometimes, like in the case of Ware, you get early season production plus the benefit of inertia to remain the starter throughout the season. – Peter

Actual 10th-Round Pick: Chris Ivory

Time Machine Pick: LeGarrette Blount

Of all these “woulda shoulda coulda” picks, this is the one that stings the most because we were actually debating between these two while we were OTC. One of our many pitfalls in this draft was focusing too much on playoff game theory.1 The rationale at the time was that having drafted Allen Robinson with our first pick, if Ivory emerged over the course of the season we would have a monopoly on Jaguars touchdowns. I know, it sounds idiotic now. We both liked Blount more in a vacuum, but got too cute trying to think 12 weeks ahead. Lesson learned. – Peter 

Personally, even though the stacking strategies didn’t work for us, I’d be willing try them again. By correlating our players’ performances we were intentionally trying to increase variance in the hopes of catching lighting in a bottle. We got struck by lighting instead. I can live with that. But I agree with Pete’s points about Ivory and Blount overall. We both liked Blount more than Ivory. The Ivory, Robinson stack would have made sense as a tie breaker, but the players weren’t actually tied in our minds.

  1. LOL at our Sammy Watkins/Tyrod Taylor playoff stack. Oof.   (back)

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