DBN Big Board 2013

USA TODAY Sports

It's back: rank the draft-eligible prospects on our community big board

The Board

Every NFL team has a ranking system for draft eligible players. They might rank all of the eligible players. They might rank the players at each position. Or they might use some sort of grading system (90=first rounder, 80=second rounder, etc).

The bottom line is that somehow teams develop a plan for the draft beforehand so that they don't make extremely important decisions in the pressure-packed environment of the draft. The Big Board is a team's plan, and the DBN Big Board is our plan for the Browns' draft.

note: If you participated last year or the year before and have a good grip on what we are trying to do, feel free to skip to the "Instructions" section.

Potential Considerations

Need

This is a mostly self explanatory term. "Needs" are positions where teams should draft new players because the players they already have just don't cut it.
Every team has needs, but the questions with regard to need are:
1. What, exactly, are the Browns' needs?
2. How badly do we need new players at each of those positions?
3. How much of a boost should players get because they play a position of need?

Value

For me, value comes down to three things:

1. How big of an impact can a player at a given position have on the game? Some personnel people believe that the closer a player plays to the ball the more impact they can have. Phil Savage publicly held the belief that QBs, RBs, WRs, CBs, pass rushers and LTs are impact positions. Having good players at some positions (quarterback) simply makes for a better team than having them at others (fullback).

2. How rare are good players at a given position? Will good player at this position come around twice every draft? Once a year? Once every couple of years? Can we wait until later in the draft for a solid player at this position? Supply and demand.

3. How much better are the great players at a given position than average or below average ones? There might not be a huge disparity in the talent of punters, for example. But the difference between the best QB in the league and the 32nd best one is huge.

Intangibles

To me, "character" can play a big part in deciding whether a player reaches his potential or not. Will he be in and out of jail? Is he a hard worker, or will he be content with just being in the NFL? Some guys simply have an "it" factor while others do not.

Need, value, and intangibles may or may not matter to you with regard to the draft. Whether or not it matters and exactly how much it matters should be reflected in your rankings.

Instructions

Rank the top five available players for the Browns. Take talent, need, value, and intangibles into account--if you think these things should be taken into account at all. If you always want the best player available, just rank them as you see them from best to worst. If you could take any player in the draft with the Browns' first pick, who would that be? Rank him first. Now, if that guy was gone and everyone else was available who would you pick? Rank him second (and so on).

(for example, I think it would be unwise to draft an offensive tackle early, because we have Joe Thomas. BUT at some point, it would be dumb to not draft a guy like Luke Joeckel if he were still available. The point where I would rank Joeckel on my big board would be exactly that point.)

Players will be given points based on our votes, and the 5 players with the most points will be taken out of the pool of available players and put up on the big board.

This is not a mock draft.

Do not predict what will happen

Do not consider other teams

Do not worry about who is or will be available during the actual draft.

If we at Dawgs By Nature were collectively in charge of the Cleveland Browns' draft, we would use our big board to make our draft picks. We would simply wait until we were on the clock and select the highest rated player on our big board that was still available.

Using the Scouts Inc rankings (yes, I am aware of how much you hate Todd McShay) I will compile a pool of 25 draft eligible players for this poll. We will take a poll and rank players five at a time. New polls will happen every two days or so until the draft.

If there are players you think I should include in the draft-eligible pool--especially if they aren't coming up in McShay's rankings, let me know and I will put them in for the next poll.

Please vote only once.

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