Hello @Chompions. After this years draft I told everyone I would post some sort of guide to drafting. I don't really have a form in mind I am just going to write up what I can think of while looking at the draft screen. Maybe in the future I will run a mock draft or record one of our drafts with commentary. I will see about the interest in those later on. These are the guidelines I follow while drafting. 1. These are guidelines. There is always an exception to the rule and the rules are not perfect. 2. Scout every week. Learn to manage your point so you are using almost all of them every week. You lose half of your point you don't use each week so do not try and save up for later. It is a waste and you need all of them. As a note a good way to scout is to scout the first trait of everyone in a group then eliminate people from there. 3. Scout for your scheme and positional needs. Points are at a premium this year and you don't have any to waste. 4. Save combine reliant positions for last. HB, WR, and CB are the major ones. Every year you can eliminate half the skill position board by planning ahead on when to spend. 5. Everything matters. Every bit of info on the screen matters and I will break it down further later on. Don't ignore little things that can give you an edge even if it is slight it may be a quick dev vs a normal dev. 6. Use your watched board as you scout. It helps you keep track for later and on draft day. Use any other organization that can help you too I know a few guys keep an excel sheet. I think those are the major rules that I need to cover. Below I plan on breaking down everything you see on a player card for draftable players. This guy is not from any of our draft classes don't go looking for him. Projected Round: Generally you can tell where the computer is going to take a guy with this. It isn't perfect and the computer has gotten better this year. It will reach a round or possibly two when it gets later. Another nice bit of info here is when you compare his original projected round vs the talent. It doesn't apply to to early 1st rounders since those guys are usually good dev traits, but anyone predicted to go later after being scouted most likely has a normal or lower dev trait. There are guys with good stats who will have this too, but just understand what you are getting into. Also, do not take projected round as gospel as to wether or not you will pick someone. As an example the Saints had one of the best draft this year and the talent vs projected of each player for the first 4 rounds was as follows. Round 1: Talent Mid 1st, Projected Early 2nd, 81 Overall Quick Round 2: Talent 2nd, Projected Early 3rd, 76 Overall Quick Round 3: Talent 4th, Projected 7th, 76 Overall Superstar Round 4: Talent 6th, Projected 7th, 76 Overall Quick A good way to keep track of this stuff for dev traits is a simple +/- system. Follow this below, but only pick one of these. Do not add +4 for someone with early 1st round talent above their grade. This stat is probably the best indicator for dev traits. - Early 1st round grade: +3 - Talent above projected: +1 - Talent equals projected: 0 - Talent less than projected: -1 Wt/Ht: This has nothing to do with dev traits. What it can tell you is the style of player you are going to get. Some people like to have an athletic O-Line. You should consider that before you scout the 350 lbs Guard. Follow your scheme in most cases. Great players will find place on your team so don't feel like you can't take them, but maybe scout the guys who are out of your system and not first rounders later on. Use your points where they will be most beneficial to you. Age: This has a slight indicator on dev traits, but more importantly is the biggest intangible in the draft. In madden at age 25 upgrade cost skyrocket. I would take a 21 normal dev over a 24 superstar any day. Getting lesser players for an extra 2 years of good development is sometimes worth it. Players generally range form 21-24 as just a side note. The system is simple here, but remember this part isn't so much about dev traits as the years you get the most out of your points. - 21 or 22: +1 - 23: 0 - 24: -1 College: This is one that confuses people because it isn't mentioned often, but I have simmed enough drafts to believe it is true. It has an impact on dev traits and overall. We are going to break down schools into 3 tiers for this. Tier 1: Major conference schools. All of the schools you see in bowl games and in drafts year after year. Your top 25 and your national champions. Think Alabama or Ohio State. That is tier 1. Don't count out teams like Iowa or UCLA they belong here too. It is pretty far reaching, but there are a lot of schools. Tier 2: The lower teams in the FBS. The teams that struggle to get a bowl game land here. You can look up generally who they are if you aren't familiar with lower teams, but this is where you think of Akron, North Texas, and other teams like that. The key is that they are in the FBS, but bad teams. Tier 3: This is where the FCS teams land. NDSU and Delaware is who you are looking at now. Do not doubt these guys this is where you find gems. So when it comes to the schools it can get overlooked. Now that we have defined the tiers here is what they mean to you. Tier 1: Higher overall players, but lower dev traits. You won't find slow here that isn't what I mean. Here is where you find players that are already developed fairly well, but you may get a quick dev instead of superstar for top pick. It isn't enough to add to the point system though. Tier 2: Generally you will find guys with some flaws here, but no real affect on dev traits. Here you can find physical beasts who need a year or two to develop or generally good players with lower than normal awareness. They aren't worse just unpolished in some way. Don't shy away. Just trust your data. The point here is in a split with someone in the other tiers it can be a tie breaker for you. Tier 3: Higher dev traits, but lower overalls. This is the tier where you can find that 4th round sleeper who fell down the computer's boards. For point values there is only one thing to add here. This is for dev traits anyway so only tier 3 gets a boost. Tier 1 and 2: 0 Tier 3: +1 Type: View this like height and weight. It won't tell you everything about a guy, but it gives you an idea which is helpful when you need a specific type of player. Learn what these are just so you have the guideline. Top 3 Skills: This will get more in depth when we do positional breakdowns, but for now here is something to remember. The 3rd stat is the most important. It tells you that no technical stat is higher than that grade. I am not going to write out grades they are pretty straight forward. The low stat will show you an indicator of a player's potential overall. This last point is always worth the points if you like what you have seen so far. Combine: When drafting a player keep in mind that physical traits are the hardest upgrade. It is almost always better to draft the faster player over the slightly better technical player. You need to do drafts to get a feel for where this breaking point is. Each test breaks down like this. 40 yd Dash: Speed Vert Jump: Jumping Broad Jump: Ignore, some say it indicates strength and jumping, but we have better tests for that 3 Cone: Agility 20 Yard Shuttle: Agility Bench Press: Strength Here are some good number break downs for the combine, but it is not perfect anymore. Madden added in some variance this year so view these as a guidelines not absolutes. For dev traits the rule will be anyone in the top 10% of combine scores for their position is who we look for except QBs. Groups are below. QB HB FB WR TE LT + RT LG + RG C RE + LE DT LOLB + ROLB MLB CB FS SS For our point system the count is below. This is going by total score not just in specific traits. Top 10% Combine Score in Group (Except QBs): +1 Final Note: For a final addition to the point system we can add in something I am going to call a "sure thing." Generally these guys are first rounders and everyone knows about them. They are talented and athletic and very rare. They go above and beyond what we look for in a player at their position. I will break down what makes this later. Sure Thing: +1 So for our QB Davidson we can break down what the chances are of him have a good dev trait. +3 for Early 1st round grade 0 for age because he is 23 0 for college (Ole Miss) 0 for combine since he is a QB +1 for "Sure Thing". +4 Total With a +4 score I would guess that he will probably have a quick or more likely superstar dev trait. I doubt he will be normal, but it could happen. We are playing a game of chance, but tilting the odds you don't win every time. This time though we did. Obviously it is easier with the first pick. Next will be positional breakdowns which I will do in future posts. Watch the thread and keep and eye out for new posting.