As experienced virtual NFL General Managers playing iGMTM on PowerHouseGM.com know, we do not require you to stay caught up to real life in the game’s “timeline.” You can fall behind by days, weeks, or even months without penalty, and this makes it possible to sometimes gain an unfair advantage because hindsight is, as the saying goes, 20/20.
However, one way in which we do try to limit any unfair advantages is by applying “draft restrictions” to the Live Draft when it comes into focus that certain players would go significantly higher if the NFL Draft were re-done taking into account the initial impressions that rookies make in the months following the draft.
We took our first pass at applying draft restrictions to the 2014 Live Draft today. In part, this was based on should-be-Hall-of-Famer Gil Brandt’s article on NFL.com earlier this week (more on that later.) Here are the restrictions we applied:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB/Louisville (must be picked 16th overall or higher / actually went R1/32)
- Gabe Jackson, OG/Miss St (32/R3)
- Weston Richburg, C-OG/Colo St (32/R2)
- Seantrel Henderson, OT/Miami (40/R7)
- Russell Bodine, C/N Carolina (64/R4)
- Terrance West, RB/Towson (64/R3)
- Alfred Blue, RB/LSU (80/R6)
- Jack Mewhort, C/Ohio St (40/59)
- Allen Hurns, WR/Miami (96/UDFA)
- Jeremiah Attaochu, LB/Georgia Tech (40/50)
- John Brown, WR/Pittsburg St (48/R3)
- Trai Turner, OG/LSU (64/R3)
- Andre Williams, RB/BC (96/R4)
- E.J. Gaines, CB/Missouri (96/R6)
- Brock Coyle, LB/Montana (128/UDFA)
- Ryan Grant, WR/Tulane (96/R5)
If you did your 2014 Live Draft already, these restrictions will not affect you. If you just did your 2014 Live Draft, and you took any of these players, consider yourself lucky, as we never announce our restrictions until after we’ve put them in place!
Now, back to Gil Brandt, who, with all due respect to Tex Schramm, Tom Landry, and the other talented personnel executives in Dallas at the time, was the architect of the Cowboys’ dynasty of the 1970s. Here’s his article from NFL.com (click “more” to read the entire article)…
2014 NFL Draft Do-Over: Blake Bortles goes No. 1 to Texans
It’s always dangerous to look back and assess a draft less than three years after it took place. To do it four weeks into the first season borders on lunacy.
But that’s not what this is, and it’s not just an assessment of four games. I’ve seen quite a few of the rookies in person at training camps, in games during the preseason and regular season, and have talked to coaches on almost every team.
Below is a stab at what the first 16 picks might look like if the 2014 NFL Draft were held today, knowing what we now know (which isn’t a whole lot) five months removed from the draft. These are players who are playing the best through the first four weeks of their NFL careers. We made no attempt to match team and need; this is best player available.
You’ll notice the absence of Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans, and Greg Robinson, who went No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams. I didn’t know what to do with Clowney since he’s been injured most of the season and hasn’t played much. And Robinson’s contributions have been limited to the punt and PAT teams after being moved inside to guard and behind Rodger Saffold on the depth chart.
So here goes nothing …
1. Houston Texans
Original pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Do-over: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Comment: Bortles went third overall to the Jaguars, who shocked many taking him that high. But he has quickly transitioned to the NFL even though Jacksonville’s stated plan was to have him sit his entire rookie season behind starter Chad Henne. Plans changed quickly midway through Jacksonville’s Week 3 matchup with the Colts. Staring 0-3 in the eye, the Jaguars turned to the future, and even though the results haven’t changed (Jacksonville is one of two winless teams, and the other just fired its coach), Bortles has acquitted himself nicely. He’s big, tall and strong. In his first start on Sunday, he completed more than 78 percent of his passes and the Jaguars were an impressive 9-of-14 (64 percent) on third down. I had him ranked No. 8 in my Hot 100 draft prospects, but his better-than-anticipated mobility (7 rushes, 54 yards) moves him to No. 1.