Aaron has responded to my post questioning his curious anti-grade fervor. His answer contains lots of words but few new insights. Like his first post, it never really gets to the roots of his rage, which leaves the reader wanting desperately to understand better his fervent opposition to post-draft grading.
This is as close as he comes:
Perhaps it’s because I start each post here at Cheesehead TV with the assumption that you, dear reader, are not an idiot. That every person compelled to follow a professional football team to the point where they check multiple blogs about their team is well aware of the tried and true axiom of needing to wait AT LEAST three years before one can truly begin to take stock of what transpired on draft day.
But that, dear reader, is precisely my point. Of course we can’t know whether the draft is going to be great right after the draft and of course readers know this. But the same is true for evaluating individual players. Brian Brohm is only a “steal” — as Aaron put it — if you’re projecting future performance based on his play in college.
Aaron answers this objection — or tries to — by writing:
Assigning value to individual selections is a much more subjective exercise (and therefore well suited to blogging) than giving out letter grades for an entire draft, with a universally agreed upon standard of what constitutes “A” through “F”.
First of all, I don’t agree with his claim that individual evaluations are “a more subjective exercise” than giving out grades for a class. How is that true? They’re both subjective. And I’m not sure that there is such a “universally agreed upon standard” of the meaning of grades A through F. (What accounts for the difference between my English grades from, say, Mr. Bearden and Miss Shapiro, with consistent effort and quality?)
More to the point, doesn’t this claim undermine his broader argument? If draft grades are “bullshit” because they are an attempt to apply universal standards to the unknowable, then aren’t these “more subjective” evaluations of the unknowable even more meaningless?
Now I think it’s completely harmless to slap a grade on a draft immediately after the draft is over. Real fans don’t take grades too seriously and understand that we won’t be able to evaluate a draft for years.
But I agree with Aaron that it’s possible to get carried away with the whole grading thing. The guys at footballoutsiders.com, for instance, have aggregated grades given by so-called experts and run standard deviations to evaluate the evaluations. This is what a friend used to call mental masturbation (unlike, say, the rest of this post).