This Week At TDN: Feb. 19

Photo: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

That smell in the air? It's #LyingSZN so make sure you take all your NFL rumors at this point in time with a grain of salt. 

There are countless parties pulling narratives in completely different directions, all with the objective of swinging the discussion into a favorable light for the guilty party. We'll never lie to you here at TDN, though, which is why we are here for this week's update.

The NFL combine kicks off next Tuesday and rest assured we'll have you covered. TDN will be sending 11 staff members to Indianapolis next week to help provide a comprehensive fan experience and coverage of the second biggest event of the draft process.

We're also grinding away at some key updates for TDN Premium, which will continue to give you more ways than ever before to #BeTheExpert.

Here's what all has changed on the site since last week's update.

PREDICTIVE BOARD UPDATES

The Mock Draft Machine's Predictive Big Board continues to have some subtle ebbs and flows — with the big jumps coming when our analysts stumble upon sleepers that we think have the chance to crash the party and make a splash throughout the rest of their draft process. We'll get athletic testing numbers next week at the combine — yes, the testing will prompt some shifts for players. Not because it changes our individual player grades, but because we know there are teams that will be swayed by the athleticism by the time the draft rolls around in April.

Here are a few of the notable movers on the Mock Draft Machine's Predictive Big Board over the course of the last week:

Stock Up:

Stock Down:

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 we did get one big domino this week thus far.

The Arizona Cardinals re-signed offensive tackle D.J. Humphries to a three-year contract extension, which pegs him Arizona through the end of the 2022 season. It is a move that definitely impacted Arizona's first few team needs.

Here are a few 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 OT down to the third primary need for Arizona
  • Moved TE down to the third primary need for New England
  • Moved OT up to the top primary need for New York (Giants)
  • Moved WR down to secondary needs for Baltimore behind EDGE, LB and IDL

We also continue our quest to fight the good fight regarding running back value. Secondary team needs for teams who do need RBs continue to be tweaked in an effort to find a balance for the valued running backs in this class and their draft stock within Mock Draft Machine simulations.

PLAYER POSITION CHANGES

Part of the population of TDN's Player Boards involves importing rosters — it is an automated process that can allow some smaller details to slip through the cracks until our staff has the time to look specifically at individual players and provide updates. Positional changes are a primary example. Depending on individual team schemes, some players may be listed at positions that they're not going to play at the next level. As we study and formally write up these players, those updates are made. 

Here are the players this week who had their categorization changed in both the TDN Predictive Board for Mock Draft Machine and for our consensus rankings:

BUG FIXES

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. 17, 2020:

  • Formatting error: If you frequented the website last Thursday, you may have noticed some funky letters at the beginning of some of our paragraphs. That was related to a website update, so our developers rolled back the update, ran troubleshooting and viola! Problem solved.
  • Mock Draft Machine Compensatory Picks Ordering: In preparation for the NFL's release of the compensatory picks, we ran some tests and found that Mock Draft Machine mislabeled hypothetical compensatory picks into the wrong round when we introduced them to the simulation. That's since been fixed and we are ready to roll full steam ahead once the picks are released.

ON THE HORIZON — TDN PREMIUM

Welcome back, TDN Premium users. Our work here continues! There are no changes to the schedule laid out last week; our development team is making steady progress 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: As soon as they're released)
  • 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- to mid-March)

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. We're meeting later this week to formalize the release calendar.

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 customerservice@thedraftnetwork.com and we're here to help however we can. 

Happy combine eve, draftniks!

Written By:

The Draft Network

Football's 33rd Front Office