Each team has its own philosophy when it comes to the draft. Some teams value certain positions more than others, depending on the scheme and coaching philosophy. For example, a team like the Jets value the cornerback position much more than their New York counterparts. On the contrary, you will see the Giants spend more resources on their pass rush than the Jets typically do.
However, there are certain rules every team must follow if they want to be successful in April's draft:
Do: If there is a quarterback you like, take him. If you have to trade up, so be it, but you should not let a dispute in minute details of a trade get between you and your future face of the franchise. The Redskins paid a lot for RGIII, but they will reap the benefits.
Don't: Reach for quarterbacks just because you need one. If you spend a first or second round pick on a passer, you will be married to them until they fail. Make sure he is the right guy, and you're not just taking him to fill the position. It can set your franchise back several years.
Do: Draft pass rushers, even if you already have a few. The pass rushers you have, the fresher they can be, resulting in greater effectiveness.
Don't: Spend a high pick on an inside linebacker. Unless you are getting the next Patrick Willis, wait until the second or third round to fill the need. There are a ton of two-down, run stopping players out there.
Do: Put a high value on free safeties. Safeties are the key to stopping the new phenomenon of these athletic freaks of nature at the tight end position, and they are not easy to find.
Don't: Place a ton of value at the receiver position. There are a lot of great prospects in the middle rounds to fill a need at receiver, so unless you are in position to take a future pro bowler, wait until later to fill the need.
Do: Pick guards early. The elite quarterbacks can get around edge rushers, but pressure up the middle is almost impossible to deal with. Carl Nicks did not sign a $50 million contract by accident, they are become a more important cog in an offense every year.
Don't: Trade future picks. According to the draft value chart, if you want to move back into the second round, it will cost you next year's first round. Unless you think the player is the next Tom Brady, there is an extremely small chance that the player will wind up being as good as next year's first round picks. Continuing o mortgage the future is just going to dig your franchise into a hole.
Don't: Reach to fill a need. This seems obvious, but free agency is for filling needs, and the draft is for finding players to build around. Not to mention, I would have a difficult time trusting a rookie to come in and start for me right away.
Do: Spend a high pick on a right tackle. There just are not a lot of tackles to go around, and if you want your quarterback to be properly protected, you need to invest highly in a right tackle.