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Posted July 19, 2009
Predicting Future Needs
Can we predict future needs?
I have heard from multiple people online that it is pointless to make a 2010 NFL Mock Draft because it is so far away in time.
Granted, predicting the players today is certainly not even close to accurate as compared to early April, but I think projecting the needs of NFL teams is more predictable than we might think.
To back up what I am saying, let's look at the 2009 NFL Draft and predict if we thought these would have been needs back in mid-2008.
1. Detroit: Quarterback (Daunte Culpepper/Dan Orlovsky) - YES
2. St. Louis: Left tackle (Orlando Pace - will be 33 with back injuries) - VERY POSSIBLE
3. Kansas City: 5-technique (Coaching change) - NO
4. Seattle: Outside linebacker (Leroy Hill - contract year) - VERY POSSIBLE
5. NY Jets: Quarterback (Brett Favre/Kellen Clemens/Brett Ratliff) - VERY POSSIBLE
6. Cincinnati: Right tackle (Stacy Andrews - contract year) - YES
7. Oakland: Wide receiver (Javon Walker/Johnnie Lee Higgins) - YES
8. Jacksonville: Left tackle (Khalif Barnes) - NO
9. Green Bay: Defensive tackle (Justin Harrell/Cullen Jenkins) - YES
10. San Francisco: Wide receiver (Josh Morgan/Isaac Bruce) - YES
11. Buffalo: Defensive end (Aaron Schobel/Chris Kelsay) - YES
12. Denver: Running back (Selvin Young/Michael Pittman) - VERY POSSIBLE
13. Washington Redskins: DE/OLB (Jason Taylor/Marcus Washington) - YES
14. New Orleans: Defensive back (Mike McKenzie/Josh Bullocks) - YES
15. Houston: Outside linebacker (Morlon Greenwood/Zach Diles) - YES
16. San Diego: Outside linebacker (Shawne Merriman/Shaun Phillilps) - NO
17. Tampa Bay: Quarterback (Jeff Garcia) - YES
18. Denver: Defensive end (Crowder/Moss/Dumervil) - YES
19. Philadelphia: Wide receiver (Curtis/Brown/Jackson) - NO
20. Detroit: Tight end (Michael Gaines) - YES
21. Cleveland: Center (Hank Fraley) - NO
22. Minnesota: Wide receiver (Rice/Berrian/Wade) - NO
23. Baltimore: Right tackle (Adam Terry) - VERY POSSIBLE
24. Atlanta: Nose tackle (Grady Jackson) - YES
25. Miami: Cornerback (Will Allen) - YES
26. Green Bay: Rush linebacker (Coaching change) - NO
27. Indianapolis: Running back (Joseph Addai) - NO
28. Buffalo: Center (Melvin Fowler) - YES
29. NY Giants: Wide Receiver (Burress/Smith/Hixon) - NO
30. Tennessee: Wide receiver (Justin Gage/Roydell Williams) - YES
31. Arizona: Running back (Edgerrin James) - YES
32. Pittsburgh: Defensive end (Brett Keisel/Aaron Smith) - NO
In conclusion, here is the breakdown: Yes (17/32 = 53%), VERY POSSIBLE (5/32 = 16%), and NO (10/32 = 31%). I understand that from year to year it will change somewhat, but we could have guessed one of each team's biggest needs 69 percent of the time a year in advance.
Scouting is getting better and better, and teams continue to fill needs with second- and mid-round picks. I think we can do a better job than we think in determining future needs based on the 2009 NFL Draft.
In the near future, I will post my preliminary top three needs for each team for the 2010 NFL Draft, then we will see how well I did a year from now.