2nd Best GM Award: Mid-Cycle Race

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Old 01-17-2018, 04:45 PM   #1
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2nd Best GM Award: Mid-Cycle Race

We're just over halfway through the cycle now, and as usual the committee (of one) grades the Houston Texans GM as having done the best job out of anyone: very good starters found in the 3rd/4th/5th rounds & even UDFA. Didn't even have a 1st or 2nd round pick to start and has them already looking like one of the more talented teams in the league. Extreme cap flexibility. No doubt the rest of the way the Texans will only increase their lead on the rest of the pack.

Which leads us to the real meat of the award: who has been the 2nd best GM this cycle?

Key factors include:
- Overall team building acumen. Drafting, free agency, trades, cap flexibility.
- How good was the team initially?
- Sim season performance.
- Did the GM do anything crazy in NFL terms which could have impacted team success negatively (e.g. losing/trading/benching an elite franchise QB).

Still plenty of time to go for another team to surface, but let's look at a few contenders for the Crown of Nearly-The-Best as we surpass the halfway point.

in no order:

n0tabumblebee, New England Patriots
This has been the consensus pick for most of the first half of the cycle, having drafted a whopping four studs in the 90-95 OVR range. But the impressive part is only 1 of these 4 was drafted in the 1st round! Bumble drafted 95 OVR DE Emilio Hopkins & 92 OVR LG Trevence German in the 2nd, and he plucked 90 OVR DE Sanchez DeGraffenreid out of the 3rd. He's also done a good job to keep cap flexibility as the Pats roster ages with high-dollar contracts.

But recently there's been cracks in the armor: after a 12-4 record in 2018, due in large part to how much talent was already on this team, the Pats missed last sim season's playoffs at 7-9 despite an 89 OVR roster. They started off as one of the most talented teams in the league on paper, so for all the drafted studs, it's tough to say they are better now. Can Bumble lead them to succees in the post-Brady era?

sir felgar, San Diego Chargers
Perhaps an under the radar candidate until they came storming on the season last season, going 12-4 & making it to the Super Bowl and then closing it out in dominant fashion. Look beneath the surface, though, and this wasn't just a random good season. They finished 11-5 in 2018 and have been steadily building up their team talent.

The Chargers were a solid & promising team coming into 2017, but under felgar's drafting guidance, they've developed into an 89 OVR borderline juggernaut on paper. They've leapfrogged the KC Chiefs in talent and caught up to the Raiders, who started the cycle as one of the league's top teams. Look no further than 91 OVR QB Marion Strait to find the key to their success: they may not have as many huge splashes as the Pats, but they hit big where it counts (QB) and have done a good job finding talent around him.

hskr, Green Bay Packers
The Pack started off the cycle with a bang, trading away future picks for Shady McCoy and Justin Houston. While the McCoy trade didn't pan out the way they wanted, the Packers took a 9-7 record in 2018 all the way to a Super Bowl win. Houston was a monster, and he's still a monster today entering the league's 5th season, barely having missed a step from his prime form. This was a huge trade for the franchise and in retrospect, Green Bay got the best of that deal by a good margin.

In the drafts since, they found 95 OVR LG Steven Spencer and 89 OVR WR Raymond Finney, plus more budding mid-80s prospects who could turn into stars in their own right. Even though the Packers weren't able to repeat as sim year champs, they did finish 11-5 in another strong season performance.

The biggest knock against them, of course, is that GB started as one of the top teams in the league. Their 91 OVR rating now is an improvement on that, though, so the nod has to be given to keeping a very high talent level high and with plenty of cap to work with.
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Last edited by Aestis; 01-17-2018 at 04:58 PM.
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