So much earlier this year, I wrote a short piece about need vs. value drafting. One of the things that came out of that post was the idea of ranking players according to their individual strength, arranging them by position and looking to see just what position would most benefit from the drafting of some particular player. One idea on how to rank these players was to grab their Madden Rankings as jumping off points, adjust them according to how we think a player has improved or regressed and gone from there.
So I thought we could start that here:
I grabbed the Bills Madden ratings for their starting day roster, eliminated as many people as I could who were traded away/cut, etc. and put it in a spreadsheet.
First a bit about how the ratings work: I only took the overall rating number-as avid fans know there are 20 or so different ratings that make up an individual overall rating (running backs are better runners than throwers, etc.). I figured sticking to the overall ratings was easier to work with.
The ratings are also a lot like schools grades: Those with a 90 or above are considered excellent, elite players. 80-89 are Solid Starters, good players. 70-79 average players, usually subs. Below 70, well, you get the picture.
As you can imagine, Buffalo doesn't have very high numbers. For those players who didn't have ratings in Madden, I opted to give them a score of 50 to start with-well below any sort of impact rating, it's just a place holder. These are obviously players (for the most part) who haven't done anything to deserve a better grade-but I'm hoping that we can figure it out here.
What I would like to do (or, more accurately, for you all to do) in the comments is:
a.) point out mistakes (i.e. someone isn't on the team, or is on IR).
b.) list any changes to the scores you would make that amount to more that 3 points either way (I think 3 points is the minimum to actually be noticeably better than the number listed. Less than that, I think is within the realm of statistical error); and
c.) which position you think is most important to the team. As was discussed in the previous post, a modest upgrade at QB might be better than a huge upgrade at safety (or vice versa). Namely, not all positions are equal. Give your best pitch as to what position needs to be improved most on the team-and use the numbers to help if you like!
At the end of the season, I'll post the original numbers along with our mid season adjustments, and we'll have one more opportunity to adjust. That'll give us a solid starting point for Free Agency and the Draft, and an informed basis to work from when offering our opinions on who Buffalo should take/what they should be doing.
Here then, are the Bills grades by position:
Defense and Special teams
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