We all have played Madden before.
We have all done the league reset where we draft from the beginning with every player available in the league.
I don’t know about you, but I have run this scenario roughly 6.3 million times since I was a child.
Now, Pro Football Focus has done the same thing, with even more available options:
The rules: The player pool is made up of the entire world — NFL players, college players, high-schoolers, some talented player’s toddler. Age matters, position matters, but contracts do not. The game will be played just like it always has been.
That’s right, players in college and if you’re brave (crazy?) enough high school are available to draft.
To say there was some surprises is an understatement, but what was more interesting was only one Arizona Cardinal player found their way into the top 32 picks:
29. PATRICK PETERSON
Age: 27 Position: CB Team: Arizona Cardinals Drafted by: Kiernan Hogan
We’re barely a month removed from calling Peterson the “standard-bearer” for shadow corners. Despite leading the league in coverage snaps against No. 1 receivers in 2016, he was targeted less often than any other corner and allowed receptions at the third-lowest rate. He’s 27 and, if there’s a knock on Peterson, it’s that he’s so strong in coverage that teams just look elsewhere. Still, he’s there to shut down at least one part of the opponent’s passing game.
Why him? As the NFL becomes increasingly built around the passing game, a strong secondary becomes even more valuable. Peterson finished sixth in our overall cornerback grading in 2015, and 11th last season. Peterson is still in his prime at age 27, and is an elite athlete that is capable of shutting down top receivers every week. – Kiernan Hogan, @PFF_Kiernan
Pick 29 before a Cardinal was picked, also the only one.
Here were the picks:
2. Andrew Luck
3. Russell Wilson
4. Derek Carr
5. Dak Prescott
6. Jameis Winston
7. Marcus Mariota
8. Matt Ryan
9. Cam Newton
10. Kirk Cousins
11. Tom Brady
12. Drew Brees
13. Patrick Mahomes
14. Matthew Stafford
15. Sam Darnold
16. Joey Bosa
17. Aaron Donald
18. Khalil Mack
19. J.J. Watt
20. Von Miller
21. Jadeveon Clowney
22. Luke Kuechly
23. Odell Beckham Jr
24. Myles Garrett
25. Mason Rudolph
26. Mike Evans
27. Josh Evans
28. Chris Harris Jr.
30. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston Cougars (19 years old)
31. Brandon Graham
32. Tyron Smith
First off, this is a great exercise.
Second, some of these picks are beyond asinine.
I am a Patrick Mahomes fan, but absolutely not at 13. Even more crazy, you have players that won’t even be eligible to take an NFL snap for a year or more being drafted over Defensive Players of the Year.
Why? Quarterback Tax.
I am shocked that no running back made the list, so I guess I cannot bemoan no David Johnson.