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Thread: Draft Strategy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    113

    Draft Strategy

    In the Input directory, the DraftStrategy.txt file determines the draft strategy of all teams. The default strategy does not reflect NFL drafting very well. There are good reasons for this. Teams draft using different strategies. Some go for measurables, others for on-field performance and others by combine/workout sessions (or a combo of all of these). Teams also differ in drafting based upon need, best available, and/or a hope and a prayer (recently, think Trey Lance and possibly Malik Willis if he is taken high in the first round).

    You can not use salary trends as a basis for drafting. Over the last 10 years, more LBs have been drafted in the first round than QBs, CBs or DBs. Only 2 more WRs were drafted than LBs. Yet the pay difference is massive.

    Ability at position is also not a primary consideration since top Ks, Ps, and FBs rarely are drafted prior to the 4th round.

    So drafting appears to be based on 1) Position, 2) Ability at the position, 3) Need. The top drafted positions in the 1st round (2012-2021)were (in order):
    WR, DE, T, QB, DB, DT, LB, CB, RB, G, S, OLB, TE, C, OL, ILB, DL, NT, K, P, FB, LS
    ** K, P, FB & LS had 0 1st rounders, they are ranked by highest round picked in.
    ** when ILBs, OLBs and LBs are combined, LBs were drafted 2nd to WRs.

    Even though fewer QBs are drafted in the first round than other positions, they tend to be drafted higher. When overall pick is considered, this is the order by position:
    QB, T, G, DT, CB, DE, S, DL, WR, LB, DB, TE, C, RB, OL, P, K, FB

    So when you modify the DraftStrategy.txt file to try to emulate the NFL draft, it is impossible to emulate accurately. If you rank the QBs too high, too many get picked in the 1st round (even mediocre ones). Rank then lower and top QBs get drafted too low. So you have to find a middle ground.

    I am currently using the below values. If you have something better, please provide your strategy!
    28, // QUARTERBACK 0
    15, // RUNNING_BACK 1
    4, // FULLBACK 2
    16, // TIGHT_END 3
    25, // WIDE_RECEIVER 4
    25, // TACKLE 5
    19, // GUARD 6
    14, // CENTER 7
    24, // DEFENSIVE_END 8
    19, // DEFENSIVE_TACKLE 9
    17, // LINEBACKER 10
    21, // CORNERBACK 11
    19, // SAFETY 12
    0, // KICKER 13
    0, // PUNTER 14

    You may be puzzled by my ranking the FB higher than kickers and punters when FB are the least valued. Apparently, the game itself does some adjustments independent of the values in this file. So the higher number is to compensate for the games "adjustments".
    Last edited by als; 04-26-2022 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Added a 6 after "Guard"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    271

    Re: Draft Strategy

    really great post on stuff for the draft that I never realized over the years. that text you had listed, could I just copy and paste that in to replace what is currently in that file and that would be the new strategies? again really good info. I'm now using it. The only thing is, I think guard should have a 6 beside it, there's apossibility you may have forgotten it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    113

    Re: Draft Strategy

    Yes, you can copy and paste over the existing values. I would suggest making a copy of the DraftStrategy.txt file first so that you can return to the default values should you desire to do so.

    When you make your own adjustments to the strategy, don't change the number following the position name. Only change the numbers that come before the comma.


    * You are correct. There should be a 6 following "Guard".
    Last edited by als; 04-26-2022 at 09:40 PM. Reason: additional comment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    271

    Re: Draft Strategy

    [I]I'm surprised that there are not draft strategies for individual teams, especially on theAI side of things with computer ran teams and such. Very surprised that Clay hasn't done that as yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    113

    Re: Draft Strategy

    Agree. To a degree teams do draft differently since it appears that need is also factored into the AI draft choices. I have tested this by running the draft. Restarting the game. Trading players with computer teams for player in positions the computer team drafted and rerunning the draft. The AI in many cases will change their draft selection.

    Because teams do draft by need, it is somewhat a trial and error process to get a draft strategy that "works" reasonably well. I am still tweaking mine.

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