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Do's And Don'ts On Draft Day
April 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Over the years of following the NFL Draft, I've been witness to many different approaches to the draft. I've seen Mike Ditka trade the world away to land Ricky Williams, and I've seen the San Diego Chargers trade down to acquire two future stars, LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees. I've seen the 49ers trade up with future picks to acquire JJ Stokes, or trade up with current picks to land Andre Carter. I've seen the 49ers trade down to land Julian Peterson and Ahmed Plummer in the first round. I've seen players like Eric Johnson, Zack Bronson and Jeff Posey make a team after being drafted in the seventh round - or in some cases not being drafted at all. I've seen the Cincinnati Bengals try time after time to find a quarterback in the first round, failing time after time. I've seen teams deliberate on quarterbacks like Ryan Leaf, Peyton Manning, Tim Couch, Daunte Culpepper, Jake Plummer, Chad Pennington and Donovan McNabb. All this of course was only recently. I've seen past drafts too, where players like Emitt Smith and Jerry Rice were selected after teams traded up to land them. In short, I've seen quite a bit. So I thought I'd compose my Do's and Don'ts On Draft Day List. Enjoy:

1. Trade down. Quantity more often than not insures quality. Teams that trade down particularly from the top five often find two quality players for their team when they would have only found one.
2. Acquire picks. Again quantity is key in the NFL draft. Being able to maneuver up or down all depends on how many picks your team has. So deal the veteran who's lost a step, let a player go if it means lots of compensation. Do what you can to acquire picks.
3. The third round pick is key. The final round of the first day, the third round pick gives teams the flexibility to move up in the draft or find one more potential starter.
4. Explore all possibilities. Man the phones, listen to all possible trade scenarios and have an ultimate goal that can be worked towards.
5. Take a look at medical history. Too many players are injury prone these days. Know who you are drafting and what problems they may or may not have.

1. Lose your cool. Stay in control the whole time. Understand that there is more than one player at each position and at each draft position.
2. Fall in love with one player. In becoming incapsulated in one player, a team may reach for him to early or may ignore someone else out there who could be a greater help.
3. Throw away the future. There's nothing a team will regret more than trading away draft picks of the next year. Think present and future, not just present.
4. No player is worth the world, so don't give away the world to get one player.
5. Believe everything you hear. Just because one team is talking up a player it does not mean that the player is the one they want. Likely they are diverting attention from their man. 6. Be afraid to pull the trigger. Go with instinct, go with consensus, but don't pass up trade opportunities out of fear.

With any luck my eleven draft commandments will once again prove true. It is a long forty-eight hours, so sit back relax, and enjoy a full weekend of football.

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