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DBN Big Board 2011

It's back.

The DBN Big Board will be a collective ranking of the draft prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft. What is a big board? Why are we making one as Dawgs by Nature? Where do you vote?

It's all after the jump:

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


Draft Board or Big Board

In real teams' "war rooms", they probably have a physical board.  Through countless hours of discussion, film study, and philosophizing, teams will rank the players in some sort of order.  They might simply chart the players from best to worst.  They might use some sort of "tiered" system.

The bottom line is that somehow, some way, teams develop a plan for the draft beforehand so that they don't make multimillion dollar decisions that impact their entire franchise in the pressure-packed environment of the draft. The Big Board is a team's plan.


This is a mostly self explanatory term.  "Needs" are positions where teams need to 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 of position?  For example, we already have a promising young CB in Joe Haden, so we don't need a corner as much as say, a defensive end. At what point would it be wise to draft CB Patrick Peterson anyway, despite our lack of a need?


Different people have different views on the value at different positions. For me, value comes down to two things:

1. How big of an impact can a player at a given position have on the game? Bernie19Kosar has some great thoughts on drafting QBs (h/t). A lot of people think that Quarterbacks have a big impact on the game.  Some might think players at the offensive guard positions don't have a very big impact on the game.

2. How rare are good players at a given position?  Great quarterbacks, for instance, are extremely rare.  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?


Another buzz word this time of year.  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?  Will he be distracted by fame, fortune, etc? Is he a hard worker who will work to improve, or will he take his huge signing bonus and be content?  Does he really care about football? Some guys simply have an "it" factor while others do not.

Character and other 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.


Our Draft Board

Our draft board will be a ranking of the players that are draft eligible, from the best pick for the Browns through the top 40 (hopefully) picks.

Our rankings should take need, value, and character 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 from best to worst.

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 Nate Solder if he were still available. The point where I would rank Solder on my big board would be exactly that point.

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.


Rank the top five available players. Take talent, value, need, and character into account if you think the Browns should take these things in to account when drafting. If you could take any player in the draft with the Browns' first pick, who would that be? Rank him first. Now, who would you take if that guy was the only guy drafted before we were on the clock? Rank him second. (and so on)

Players will receive 5 points for every first place vote, 4 for every second place, etc.  They will receive 0 points if they are unranked.  Total points from all ballots will be added, 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.

Just rank your guys in the order you would like to see them drafted by the Browns. If Chris was Mike Holmgren and we were actually in charge of the Browns' draft, we would simply draft the highest prospect on this list that was still available when we were on the clock.

Please vote only once. 

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.