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PossibleCabbage

So how do teams know this stuff?

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Posted (edited)

In post-draft news conferences we have had a couple of cases of general managers claiming that they knew that a player they selected would not have been available at a later pick.  Gettleman said he knew that Daniel Jones would not have been available at #17, and Gutekunst said he knew for a fact that Savage would not have been available at #30.  I find the choice of words curious, since there's a level of epistemic certainty inherent in "know" that isn't there in something like "thought" or "believed" or "suspected" which have hedges built in.

So how does a team go about figuring "if we want this player we have to get him here and not somewhere else"?  Certainly sometimes it's obvious, Kyler Murray would not have been available  #33 and it's likely Houston would have preferred Dillard to Howard had the Eagles not moved up.  Is this thing they get from the player or his agent?  Is it inferred from who spends a lot of time around a prospect?  Is it scouts talking amongst themselves?  Is there subterfuge involved?

Or is this simply a poor word choice, where Brian Gutekunst is simply playing the percentages that Savage was not going to last 9 more picks based on what he knows?  Was it perhaps something like "they knew the Raiders wanted a safety, and had Savage ahead of Abram?" because of the intel leaks that lead the Raiders to send their scouts home (Reggie McKenzie came from Green Bay, after all, and his twin brother Raleigh is still a scout with the Raiders.)  Or if Gettleman had not selected Jones, who else would have taken him before #17? 

Edited by PossibleCabbage

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Might be shallow, but I just assume the GMs are justifying their picks in these cases.

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5 minutes ago, Yin-Yang said:

Might be shallow, but I just assume the GMs are justifying their picks in these cases.

Is the justification stronger if a GM says "I know player X wouldn't be there at pick #n" than if they said "we didn't think player X would be available at pick #n"?  If pressed on the latter a GM could always just point to the unpredictable nature of the draft .  It feels like you should only use "know" if you have some specific intel.

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25 minutes ago, Yin-Yang said:

Might be shallow, but I just assume the GMs are justifying their picks in these cases.

Eh. That doesn't really explain why GB would move up for Savage though. Indianapolis was going to take him, so they somehow knew to move up if they were going to get him

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27 minutes ago, PossibleCabbage said:

Is the justification stronger if a GM says "I know player X wouldn't be there at pick #n" than if they said "we didn't think player X would be available at pick #n"?  If pressed on the latter a GM could always just point to the unpredictable nature of the draft .  It feels like you should only use "know" if you have some specific intel.

I guess in response to the latter, some would say “well then you have a bad feel for the draft, because player X wouldn’t be picked until much later” - whether or not that’s true. Can’t really say either way for sure. Just seems like when a GM says “I know for a fact this would’ve happened” it comes off as more of a cop out, IMO.

 

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Like you can defend the move up to #21 simply by saying "Seattle was looking to move back to pick up more picks, so we took the highest rated player on our board".  Now it might seem strange to have Darnell Savage higher on your board than, like, Andre Dillard but these sorts of things happen all the time; the team whose opinion of a guy is most higher than the consensus tends to be the team that takes him- Oakland had Clelin Ferrell higher than Josh Allen or Ed Oliver, but many teams likely did not.

So how would a team like Green Bay figure out that "Indianapolis was going to take Savage at #26"?  At be it seems like you could figure out that team A likes player B a lot, but you probably can't tell that whether like player B more or less than players C, D, or E.

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19 minutes ago, Jeezla said:

Player agents maybe

Do teams straight up tell agents "your guy is our guy" or do player's agents compare notes with each other?  Like it seems like there is some level of inference here that makes it hard to say stuff like "I knew for a fact".

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If you watched those 3 senior bowl series you would’ve known too OP.

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10 minutes ago, sammymvpknight said:

They run mock drafts just like you and I...only there are professionals who get paid to do it. 

I mean, running mock drafts is a strong argument for how "know" is generally the wrong verb here.  Like I might have near 100% certainty that Minnesota and Houston was going to select an offensive lineman in the first round, but without actually being in the room and seeing their grades how could I know that Minnesota prefers Bradbury to Dillard or Houston prefers Howard to Jawaan or Ford.

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9 minutes ago, PossibleCabbage said:

I mean, running mock drafts is a strong argument for how "know" is generally the wrong verb here.  Like I might have near 100% certainty that Minnesota and Houston was going to select an offensive lineman in the first round, but without actually being in the room and seeing their grades how could I know that Minnesota prefers Bradbury to Dillard or Houston prefers Howard to Jawaan or Ford.

You’re right. They don’t have 100% certainty...just a strong suspicion. 

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Posted (edited)

These guys aren't strangers to each other.  They talk.  "Hey other GM, throw me a bone, are you taking Player X at this spot?"

Edited by smokeybandit

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8 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

These guys aren't strangers to each other.  They talk.  "Hey other GM, throw me a bone, are you taking Player X at this spot?"

Or scout tells other scout after pick "nice pick, he was top of our board 3 picks later" or something, too

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Seems like scouts are much more likely to tip their hand than GMs, since the scouts are more personally concerned with "the guys they gave high grades to end up as good NFL players, and the guys they give bad grades to don't" whereas GMs are held accountable by the ultimate success of the team.  But scouts aren't ultimately responsible for the final grades or the pick.

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