Every NFL team has a ranking system for draft eligible players. They might rank all of the eligible players from best to worst. They might rank the players at each position. Or they might use some sort of grading system (90=first rounder, 80=second rounder, etc). Each year, an incredible amount of information is generated on all of the draft-eligible prospects, and it is easy to get lost in that information.
A "draft board" or "big board" is where the ridiculous amount of information on draft-eligible prospects is distilled down into a clear, concise plan. NFL teams develop a plan for the draft beforehand so that they don't have to stress too much while they're "on the clock." The Big Board is an NFL team's plan, and the DBN Big Board is our community's (fake) plan for the Browns' draft.
Our goal here is to create a simple list of players, ranking them from players that we want the most to the least. If we were actually in charge of the Browns' draft, we would cross players off of this list once they were drafted. When it was time to make our selection we'd simply find the top available player on our list and select him. We'd act almost robotically, simply taking our top available player every time.
This means that if you think need, character, positional value, or anything other than a player's talent should play a role in the draft, you need to factor that in to how you rank players.
- Despite having Johnny Manziel on the roster, I would like to draft Marcus Mariota. I think there are better players in the draft, such as Leonard Williams. But I think that quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, so I am ranking Mariota first. Out of all of the players I'd want him the most, so he's number one.
- Next, I am going to rank Leonard Williams #2. There's almost no way that he drops to us at #12, but that doesn't matter for our rankings. If he and Mariota were drafted in the top 5, we'd simply cross them off the list and work our way down to a player who was available. This means that if both he and Mariota were somehow available at #12, I'd take Mariota.
- I am going to slot Vic Beasley in at #3. I think that there are better players than Beasley that I have yet to rank, but he gets a slight bump (above, say, Brandon Scherff) because he can rush the passer. We don't have a game-changing rusher, and getting after the quarterback is a premium skill in today's NFL. Because of our team's current make-up and because Beasley can rush the passer, I am bumping him up over a few prospects.
- Next, I am going to put Kevin White at the #4 spot, with Amari Cooper at #5. The Browns patched the WR position in free agency by adding Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe. But neither guy is getting younger, and we don't know that Bowe can bring the gamebreaking ability he once had. Considering the rest of the roster and Josh Gordon's troubles, I think we could really use a young, talented WR. I think Cooper has a better chance to avoid "busting" but I gave the edge to White because I think he has more potential. If both dropped and were available to us at #12, I would take White.
- One notable exclusion here is QB Jameis Winston. I think he's in the conversation for the best player in the draft, and he plays the most valuable position in the game. However, due to his character I just don't think we can afford taking a chance on him. I would consider drafting him later (much later) but I just couldn't justify taking him before any of these five.
Compiling the board
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 ranked on the DBN big board. I will add the next 5 "best players available" players (according to Mocking the Draft's rankings) to the voteable pool of players. New polls will happen every two days or so until the draft, and we'll compile the DBN community big board 5 players at a time.
If there are players you think I should include in the voting pool--especially if they aren't coming up in MtD's rankings, let me know and I will put them in for the next poll.
Please vote only once.