Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Draft-day chat falls amid usual confusion

By Mike Sando

A heads up: The NFC West chat takes place Thursday at its regularly scheduled time (1 p.m. ET). From there, I'll relocate to Seattle Seahawks headquarters for the 2012 NFL draft.

This might be a good opportunity to field a comment/question from Facebook friend Evan.

"I find it hysterical that the last few days leading up to the draft a bunch a guys are rocketing up, or falling off the board when these guys haven't played a snap of football in over four months," he wrote. "Why does it seem that teams are valuing more what guys are doing off the field then on?"

Teams tweak their player rankings in the final days before the draft. They generally do not make dramatic changes. However, strong divergent opinions exist within organizations. Coaches, scouts and general managers sometimes share their opinions with reporters. In some cases, it's just a matter of reporters finding out things teams have known for some time -- that concerns about a certain player could compromise the player's draft stock, etc.

No single person knows how all the teams feel about all the players. We're left to sift through opinions that might reflect what a single individual or team thinks about a certain player. I'd recommend filing away the things we hear, while guarding against giving too much credence to them.

A pile of puzzle pieces doesn't make for a clear picture.