It is fascinating to work closely with two people I deeply respect, Wonder and Pete Furman. They have spent a great deal of time looking over hundreds of players. To see them agree on some players and then totally disagree on others is great for this site, because we are building data that is going to be very interesting to verify.
Of note is how Wonder has targeted Wilson and Moch as two LBers the Giants should go after, yet Pete likes them even HIGHER! Why? Because the Draft is so weak that there simply are not very many good players, so these good ones rise. In terms of disagreements, Pete (who everyone knows, is a different bird on his best day!) ranks some people high that are in stark contrast to EVERYONE. Guys like Danny Watkins at 10 and Kyle Rudolph at 12.
It is also interesting to note that both of our draft experts pan Prince Amukamara, but for different reasons. To Wonder, he does not transition well from his backpedal to the sprint. Pete, on the other hand, cannot make it add up and asks how an allegedly elite CB collected zero INTs his last year.
Pete only ranked the Top 100, while Wonder ranked the Top 200. “Wonder deserves an award for doing 200 players, because this draft is so weak,” says Pete. Pete did something which I find personally fascinating- when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Pete and Wonder both agree the draft is weak, yet Pete’s response is to elevate interior linemen and make these guys higher on his board. “At least these Guards/Centers (like Watkins, Cannon, Pouncey and Franklin) will be with your team for many years,” says Pete. “That is a lot more than I can say about the rest of this field of garbage.”
We can look at some hard data to compare the relative strength of this draft in 2011 to 2010. Wonder had roughly the same # of Solid starters (3′s +). Pete had 71 last year and he has 41 this year.
The agreements are revealing: Both have Clayborn, Newton and Amukamara as overvalued based on consensus. On the plus side of consensus, they both have Moch and Kaepernick. Coincidence? Not! Why not? Because you can see they also disagree like oil and water on other players. Take for example Kyle Rudolph, where Wonder specifically warns that this TE is not Gronkowski, that those who like this guy in R1 do so at their own peril. And look at Pete, who does exactly that, slotting him at #12 in the whole draft! One of them will be wrong, and if you ask both, they each laugh and say the other! For us, it is good information, because we learn as much from the differences as we do from when they agree.
Summary- there are always going to be interesting opportunities in the draft. The thing that jumps out for me is that both of our analysts agree on the landscape at LBer, where they like Wilson and Moch, and dislike Ayers. They also both love Marcus Cannon at Guard. Only time will tell, but I believe that when both of our analysts are on the same page, the confidence in their evaluation is increased.
REMINDER: We’ll be Live at the NFL Draft in NYC on Thursday night. Follow us on Twitter so that you can get the latest from the Draft and from our experts as Round 1 unfolds.