clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 Minnesota Vikings Draft: Follow Along With A Consensus Big Board

I've combined the world's big boards for you to follow along as you please, and see how the rest of the planet rates your favorite players.


I've created a big board that I'll attempt to update throughout the draft that is an amalgamation of big boards across the internet and in draft guides. You can find the board here, and I'll attempt to embed the giant document below.

The big board doesn't contain any of my rankings, they simply are the combined rankings of over 50 big boards cross the web and found in several draft guides. This is therefore, not "my" board. If you want a detailed breakdown of the sources used for the board and an analysis of the compilations (which players are the most/least polarizing, the two kinds of big boards people will construct, etc), you should check out the full piece here. The board in that story is not as updated as the one below.

For those who want to see how the updates affected the "evaluator" vs. "forecaster" boards, you can look here. If you didn't read the original piece on the big boards, the difference between the two boards comes with access: the evaluators only use the film they have and what's publicly reported about prospects to construct their grades. The forecasters have access to NFL personnel and will let that access influence their rankings—even though the NFL will often lie. The NFL has better medical information, off-field information and access to coaches film that most evaluators don't have, but the NFL also has a big incentive to mislead the forecasters.

The two boards diverge pretty significantly at times.

If you've been following my work at Vikings Territory, you'll know that there are different position designations for the board than we're traditionally used to. Laid out, they are:

3T: Three-Technique Defensive Tackle—generally speaking a pass-rushing defensive tackle. They don't always have to play in the specific "three-technique" position between the guard and the tackle to receive this designation; J.J. Watt is nominally a defensive end who played one gap last year (and the year before) and rushed the passer. He'd have been a 3T.

5T: Five-Technique Defensive End—a run-stuffing two-gapper that doesn't generally play head above the center. Sometimes these players will become one-gap attackers or play in the middle, but the generally protect the edge by engaging the offensive tackle and taking care of either side. Sometimes these players will receive a "DT" designation by their team, but they're usually known as 3-4 DEs.

CB: Cornerback—you know the drill.

ER: Edge Rusher—the 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE whose primary responsibility is setting the edge against the run or rushing the passer from outside (or at) the offensive tackle. The DE and OLB designations have become too confusing in recent years, and Jadeveon Clowney is closer to Anthony Barr than he is Stephon Tuitt. And Barr is more like Clowney than Ryan Shazier. But Clowney and Tuitt are "DEs" and Barr and Ryan Shazier are "OLBs". No more. They rush the edge.

FB: Fullback—I regret no calling this H-Back/joker whatever to group the fullbacks like Jerome Felton with the H-Backs like Rhett Ellison instead of grouping the Ellisons of the world with the Rudolphs. Next year. For now it's a fullback.

FL: Flanker—generally speaking, off-LOS receivers who perform a possession role instead of playing as the primary option or deep threat. A lot of college split ends play the flanker role in the NFL, so this group is always smaller than it should be.

FS: Free Safety—center-fielders in pass coverage who primarily stop the pass and are the last option against the run (or in aggressive defenses, play the force responsibility against the run). They usually need range and a lot of awareness.

IL: Interior Offensive Linemen—guards and centers. It is difficult to scout half of the center's job on film, because they are involved in line communication, leadership and are responsible for the chemistry on the team. They will also often set protections. This means that scouting centers (to us, not to NFL teams) is similar enough to scouting guards that they will be grouped together. Also, many centers drafted in the NFL play guard for a short while before kicking inside.

MB: Middle or Inside Linebackers—once again, you know what's up.

NT: Nose tackle, in either 0- or 1-technique—Nose tackles are being asked to perform more versatile functions in today's NFL, so distinguishing between the 0- and 1-technique defensive tackles (or the tackles that two-gap over the center vs. those that attack the gap between the center and the guard) is becoming less meaningful. Some defenses will still need the distinction because they only play one of the two techniques, like the Tampa-2 and the Fairbanks-Bullough.

OB: Off-Ball Outside Linebacker—to distinguish it from the outside linebackers who are really edge rushers, these OLBs line up "off-ball" or off the line of scrimmage. No distinction yet between SLB and WLB, but those distinctions are eroding in the NFL, too.

QB: Quarterback—we as Vikings fans may not be as familiar with this term as we'd like to be, but I think you get the idea.

RB: Running Back—yes, we know what a running back is, but here it's meant to distinguish from the faster, smaller backs who are more involved in the passing game, like Dri Archer or Darren Sproles.

SB: Scatbacks/Offensive Weapons—the faster, smaller backs who are more involved in the passing game, like Dri Archer or Darren Sproles.

SE: Split End—the primary playmakers of an offense, usually bigger receivers with speed meant to dictate the play. Cordarrelle Patterson is currently attempting to learn this position (and, for what it's worth the flanker and slot positions as well), but Jerome Simpson traditionally fits the mold better.

That said, don't get too caught up in it. Terrell Owens and Michael Irvin were possession receivers that were also the fulcrum of their offenses, and often lined up off the line of scrimmage. They would still get the SE designation.

SL: Slot Receiver—a player who does his best work in space without a boundary and against some sort of matchup advantage, whether it is due to size or speed (usually speed/agility). Many times people projected as SEs because of their height are better fit in the slot.

SS: Strong Safety—a player who typically plays in the box and supplements the linebackers, the strong safety's duty is typically run support, then pass coverage. They will also often be the ones covering tight ends or running backs, and may even have nickel corner duty.

TE: Tight End—yep.

WR: Wide Receiver—I combined the SE, SL, and FL positions onto one board as well.

Here's the board, in it's giant, nearly unembedable glory. During the draft, I will attempt to update it live. Again, you can follow along here if you don't want to use the embedded piece: