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Are Draft Reaches Really Reaches?

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ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.   The Titans won 34-27.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10: Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Titans won 34-27. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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You will hear a lot next week during the Draft among football talking heads about the biggest "reach" in the Draft. The idea is that a player is taken too high. Many fans get caught in the trap of valuing players based on how some writer ranks them. If a number of mock drafts have a guy going in the second round, a team picking in the middle of the first round will get heat for taking that player.

Few think about how subjective this is. Mel Kiper might give a player a third round grade, but a team might think otherwise. Everybody has his own board. If you think somebody is the best player available and do not think he will be around the next time you pick, it is in your interest to take him. Over the past decade, many players have been called reaches. Chris Johnson and Logan Mankins are two such players. They have ended up justifying the picks. Many analysts stated they were not first round talents. They proved their doubters wrong.

The reverse is true also. If a player rated highly by the media falls, there might be a reason. Teams might be worried about character concerns after speaking with a player and those who know him. There might be medical issues of which the public is unaware.

We put so much stock into what guys like Kiper and Mike Mayock say. Nobody really knows how these players will turn out, though. When a team has a different board for the consensus in the media, the team is not always wrong. It is something to remember next weekend.