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NFL Draft Lingo 101
by Bovada Sportsbook

It's finally here. Put down the magic eight ball, the ouija board and the chicken bones. Mock drafts are finished, because on Saturday we'll see what the teams have really been thinking. Now, if we could just understand exactly what the TV network's draft gurus are talking about.

Take Your Draft Experience To The Next Level

In between team selections the telecasts will have the likes of Rich Eisen and Chris Berman discussing the selections with NFL players and their draft gurus Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper Jr. They'll all use some of the same words or phrases over and over again. For example, the draft gurus like to say really smart stuff like, "I love this kid. He played with his hand in the dirt his junior year, but he projects to play standing up at the next level." That's a fancy way of saying he was a great defensive end in college and teams will want him to play linebacker in the pros. Whether this is your first NFL Draft or your 20th, here's a refresher to some of the draft-speak lingo the professionals will throw at you while you're placing your wagers with Bodog Live throughout the first round.

The Next Level - The NFL. These players are moving on from college to the next stage in their football careers.

On The Clock - The time allotted for teams to announce their decision about who to select. In the first round it's 10 minutes, then seven in the second and finally five minutes for the second-day picks.

Draft Board - The magic wish list that every team has. Teams will go down the list and when it's their turn, select the next guy on their list who is still available.

Grade - The rating given by teams to players and where they think they should go. The U's safety Kenny Phillips has been given a second-round grade by most teams, but chances are he'll still be a first-round pick due to the lack of depth at that position.

Value - A player who is graded higher than the round he is selected in. If Matt Ryan were the only quarterback selected in the first round, then QBs such as Brian Brohm or Chad Henne falling into the second or third round would increase the value a team would get by selecting them later in the draft.

Reach - When a team is so enamored with a player that they draft him higher than he is projected to be worth. Same situation as above, only now a team trades up to the 10th pick to grab Brohm. Then the team is reaching up for a player that would probably fall to them at a much later pick.

Run - If a few players who play the same position are picked in close succession. If there is a run on corners, teams looking for one may have to trade up in order to get the guy they want or risk taking a lower graded player at a position higher than he was projected.

Slide - If a player is projected to be a high draft pick, but for some reason teams keep passing him up, and he isn't selected until much later in the draft. (See: Brady Quinn/Ted Ginn Jr. and the entire Ginn family.)

Safe - A prospect is seen to have very little risk attached to him. If you pick a left tackle, and he can't keep up with the speed rushers, then you can always move him to the right side of the line or in some cases shift to the interior of the line. The Dolphins made a safe pick on Tuesday by signing LT Jake Long.

Need Pick - This pick is made because a team needs to address a particular hole in their lineup. After losing Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, the Steelers now have a need at left guard, so at some point in the draft they will have to find a potential replacement for that LG spot.

Luxury Pick - If a team picks a player they believe in, even though he may not address any pressing need in their depth chart. Many experts say that Al Davis and the Raiders will draft the electrifying Darren McFadden, even though he'd be added to an already full backfield that includes Lamont Jordan, Dominic Rhodes, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush.

BAP/BPA - Best available player/Best player available. When teams don't have any player on their draft board that fits their needs when it's time to make their selection. When in doubt, it's a pretty safe bet to just take the most talented football player regardless of his position.

Blue Chip - These players are as close to "can't miss" prospects as you can get. Typically they are the best at their positions in college and are highly sought after due to the fact that they will make an immediate impact on their new teams.

Upside - The potential that people feel the player has to improve as a football player. Vernon Gholston is widely looked at as the defensive player with the most upside in this year's draft because of his elite athletic ability.

Measurables - The numbers that the player has had recorded. Height, weight, arm length, 40 time, bench press, etc. These are all things that teams can compare to other players' numbers and see exactly how they stack up.

Intangibles - The X-Factor. This is what the experts use when they're talking about the mental state of a player. Not just character-wise, but when it's the fourth quarter and the game is on the line, can he be a leader?

High Motor - Does the player play from whistle to whistle? Does he ever pull a Randy Moss (the Raider version) and take plays off? This year defensive end Chris Long has been praised for his intensity and never-quit approach to playing the game.

Football Intelligence - Lots of commentators will talk about a guy's "football intelligence" or his "football IQ." They are talking about the player's ability to understand the big picture of a football game, if he can pick up the schemes and formations and then relate that to his teammates.

Workout Warrior - A player who looks great with his shirt off, but not in a People Magazine kind of way. He's got the amazingly chiseled physique and posts huge numbers at the combine or his pro day. Of course, this can make teams wary, because that doesn't always translate to making big plays on the football field.

System Guy - This is usually a knock against the player when teams view a player's success as byproduct of the system he played in. Meaning, anyone would have looked good playing that role in the same offensive/defensive system.

One-Year Wonders - Teams look at a player's production throughout college. If a player went from six catches his sophomore year to 78 his junior year and was really being productive, they have to make sure that it wasn't just a fluke. Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas is projected as the best at his position in a weak WR class. Teams are careful not to just look at his one great year when making their evaluations.

Durability Issues - The player may have a history of injuries or some health concerns. Teams have their doctors poke and prod all of these kids to ensure they don't invest millions of dollars in something that's already broken.

Character Issues - If a kid has a history of having problems with the police, cheating on tests or a general "me first" attitude, he could be lowered on many draft boards and end up costing himself millions of dollars.

Now that you can speak "Draftnik" like the experts, you're ready to be part of all the draft day excitement by betting on the 2008 NFL draft with Bodog Live. Because on Saturday, it's your turn to be on the clock.

5Dimes Sportsbook