We trust you've made yourself at home on the site over the course of the last several weeks, yes? We like to think it is always #DraftSZN, but there's no denying a renewed sense of urgency once the calendar flips over to the new year.
We've been busy. We were in St. Petersburg, Florida for the Shrine Bowl. We partied on the doorstep of Ladd Peebles Stadium with our friends from Bud Light Seltzer for the Senior Bowl. Oh, right, and we also launched TDN Premium a few weeks ago, which has given you more ways than ever before to #BeTheExpert.
With the arrival of TDN Premium, we would like to pull back the curtain so that you, the users, can know what we're working on; so that you know your voices are heard, they matter to us and they're being called upon to make your experience with TDN as enjoyable as possible.
Here's what we've been up to over the past week.
Predictive Board Updates
The movers and shakers of the Mock Draft Machine's Predictive Big Board have calmed down a bit — for now. The aftermath of the Senior Bowl put some new prospects on the radar, helped others establish themselves as legitimate threats for the first round and exposed some others who might not be quite who we thought they were.
Regardless, as more and more momentum builds for the resume of some of these prospects, you'll see players continuing to climb the board. As our analysts continue to get more eyes on the middle tiers of talent, we'll stake our flag in the ground for several other prospects along the way.
Here are a few of the notable movers on the Mock Draft Machine's Predictive Big Board over the course of the last week:
- Mekhi Beckton, OT (10th overall)
- Zack Baun, EDGE (39th overall)
- Marlon Davidson, DL (62nd overall)
- Saahdiq Charles, OT (80th overall)
- Bryan Edwards, WR (95th overall)
- Jonah Jackson, IOL (110th overall)
Team Needs Updates
The season for team needs and changes hasn't entered into full form yet. All we're met with at this point are whispers, rumors and misinformation — designed to help leverage negotiations and expectations for players as they look for that big next contract. But as we parse through each of the 32 teams, there have been some opportunities to alter the needs and put new possibilities for teams in the early rounds of the Mock Draft Machine. Whether it is recent questions about pending free agents and their likelihood to return or chances to throw new blood into the mix, we've found a few curveballs.
Here are a few of the more notable changes in team needs over the course of the past week, which will influence team selections in the early rounds of the Mock Draft Machine:
- Moved QB down to secondary needs for New Orleans and Tennessee
- Moved RB up to secondary needs for Los Angeles (Chargers) and Washington
- Moved WR down to secondary needs for Jacksonville
- Moved SAF up to primary needs for San Francisco
We were also seeing a handful of highly-rated running backs sliding into the late second and third rounds of simulations, so there was a boost given to a number of teams' RB needs to create a higher demand within the mock draft's simulations on a consistent basis.
We're not perfect. We know it. But damn it, we're working on it. Our development team has been hard at work on several fronts — both with some new exciting layers, TDN Premium (more on that in a moment) and the website in general. This week, our development team will be pushing several bug fixes onto the front end of the website. Their application will make your experience easier and more enjoyable.
Bug fixes for the week of Feb. 10, 2020:
- Mobile bug: The MDM will now automatically zoom back out after scrolling down to finalize draft settings before the mock draft starts.
- Mobile bug: The website will no longer load with the desktop layout before converting to mobile layout on iPhone and Chrome mobile browsers.
- MDM bug: Users running simulations while controlling only one team will no longer have to select their team prior to choosing picks to offer in a trade.
On The Horizon — TDN Premium
Hi there, TDN Premium users! Are you all having fun wheeling and dealing picks in the Mock Draft Machine? How about chatting it up in the TDN Expert Forum? We want you to know that we hear you. Our staff has received a lot of great feedback on the features and offerings for TDN Premium and we're on the case. Our development team is currently laying the groundwork for some exciting new features to the Mock Draft Machine.
Here's what we're working on adding to the MDM experience in the coming weeks:
- 2020 Compensatory Picks: We understand just how precious your draft capital is to you. With that in mind, we're making sure that you'll have them installed into the MDM sooner rather than later. (Estimated delivery: mid- to late-February)
- Trade Value Chart: The MDM doesn't run off any one valuation of draft picks. Instead, we built a composite blend of four existing trade value charts: the Jimmy Johnson chart, the Rich Hill chart, the Harvard chart and the Stuart chart. From there, we tested trades from the current Collective Bargaining Agreement to ensure the values were historically accurate. They are. But with no template for you to work from, we understand that crafting trades can be … well, a little complicated. We're here to help. We plan on installing a trade value chart into the MDM to highlight the value of each of your picks — and the ones you want to trade for too. (Estimated delivery: early March)
But the Mock Draft Machine isn't the only feature on your TDN Premium ledger, is it? No, we've promised you 32 team-specific NFL draft guides and several awesome (trust us) draft specific pieces of content, including full NFL draft guides from Kyle Crabbs, Jordan Reid and Jonah Tuls; plus Benjamin Solak's Contextualized Quarterbacking series for the 2020 signal-callers. They're on the way. You can expect to see these guides released systemically beginning in mid-March and continue to trickle in until the week of the NFL draft.
The 32 team-specific draft guides will be on an April delivery schedule to ensure they're up to date with all the moving and shaking that is yet to come in free agency in March.
In the meantime, if you're having any problems or any questions, don't be shy. We've set up a customer service e-mail communication at firstname.lastname@example.org and we're here to help however we can.
That's all for now. We wish you happy mocking in the meantime!
Until next week, draftniks.