Big Blue United

Fact or Fiction: Offseason evaluation debate

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A prospect’s ceiling is more important than his floor in evaluating potential.    
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction – This is a great question that isn’t asked enough. Too many people only look at a prospect’s ceiling without looking at what the worst-case scenario, or what the floor is for a player. Often times, the most important first question to ask about a player is: What do we know that he can do with some high level of certainty? Dalvin Tomlinson was a high floor player. The team was fairly certain he would be a very good run defender with a chance he could develop pass rush skills. When you consider a player’s floor, there’s a smaller chance of drafting a complete bust, even if there is a slightly smaller chance you don’t get a superstar. A player’s floor is certainly a part of the draft evaluation that isn’t talked about enough.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact – Especially when you’re talking about a top five draft pick like the Giants have this year, franchises cannot afford to miss on the P-word. Potential is the trickiest part of personnel evaluation in sports and is what makes the NFL Draft so fascinating. For the most part, you know what college players are going to be All-Stars in the NBA. In football, you could go from being the Heisman Trophy winner to just hoping to get drafted. That’s why what you know (i.e. the floor) is more important.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction – The easy response here is “Fact” since a team ultimately wants a prospect to reach his ceiling, but projecting the floor correctly is more important because that represents the worst case scenario.  If your projections are off with the ceiling, it’s not the end of the world as that prospect could still end up being a very productive player. But if you make a mistake on the floor, it may be difficult to salvage the pick or get anything in return later on.  When you draft a player, you have to consider whether you can live with that decision in the event he ends up closer to his floor than his ceiling.

If you could acquire an All-Pro running back or a Pro Bowl pass rusher, you would choose the pass rusher.

JOHN SCHMEELK: – It Depends (Yes, I’m copping out): This is a loaded question because I don’t know what level of Pro Bowler the defensive end is. If the defensive end is a starter in the Pro Bowl each year — and not a third alternate injury replacement — he is much more valuable. If you’re talking about a 7-10 sack defensive end or Adrian Peterson, I’ll go with the running back. If you are talking about a top pass rusher like Khalil Mack, I will go with the pass rusher because there is far more longevity at that position. Even the best running backs might only last five to seven seasons, but a great defensive end might get to 10 to 12 years at a fairly

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