This is for the newbies more than anything but could be informative for the more experienced. The Amateur Draft board will appear with 500 hopefuls contained therein. Not everybody's board will look the same as there are 1000+ players total in the draft and I am not sure that everyone sees them all. The first thing you will want to do is look at the Amateur Draft Settings page and become familiar with it. If you have a question don't forget to ask for help. You can play with the the settings and it will realign the players in the pool to those wishes. One thing to note about the settings page, any time you have ranked the players manually then change your settings page it will rearrange the draft pool again and you will need to re-rank the players again. Another research tool you can do is look at the draft history for previous seasons which can be found under the World Office and Reports. This can give you a clue as to how much a draftee will cost by draft position.
The target count is how many of that position you want to draft, I will not guarantee that is how many that will get drafted at that position. The weight determines how much emphasis at that position is desired. Basically what it does is resets your pool with more of that position being pulled forward. In other words it could bring a 67 OVR player into the mix and be placed over a 70 OVR or better players. I may be wrong, but when drafting, it also may check the weight and take an equally rated player with a higher weight over the next one on the board as long as it meets your targets. The Player Type can be useful in finding a specific type of player at a position but I rarely use it for the actual draft.
The "any" target becomes useful when the next player on your board does not meet any of the other targets but is ranked higher than the targeted players and there are no equally weighted targeted players(in regards to OVR). This is where the Rating Threshold can come into play.
The trickiest thing I have ever seen is the Rating Threshold and their explanation. If you have set up your players manually, then this should be irrelevant and set to None or zero, because you would want to take the best player on the board in your eyes. However used in conjunction with the "any" and targeted players it does become a factor, so think about how you would want it set. Do you want to take the better player ( and I use that loosely since it is OVR) or continue with a player that meets your target that might be next or further down the board?
How you set up your draft should meet your future needs and the direction you wish to take your team. The first 5 rounds is the most critical (well in my view anyway) as these players have the best chance of making the ML club. Some things to be warned about is in the Bio of the players and their meaning and the signing risk level. If in the Bio, it has anything other than "Will sign for slot money" he becomes a risk and may not sign. If it says "He may not sign" or "Probably won't sign", I don't even take a chance and put him at the end of the queue. I always run the "Very Conservative" approach for every round, but that is me and I am not recommending it, but I do recommend it for the first round and supplemental at least. That way if one of the other types are drafted, I know he will more than likely sign, it might take most of the rest the season, but he will sign. The worst one I had, he held out till 10 games to go in the Rookie League, but I digress. I also stay away from the ones that would rather play another sport.
If you drafted an "Iffy" pick, chances are he will sign if you were Very Conservative in the approach as stated before. Only give him the amount he requested and let it sit and don't spend the money, he may come back and want more before he signs, not always. HS players may want an outrageous amount, especially the big "Blue Chippers" that have scholarships on the table or want to be drafted in the first round so be warned. College players that want to be drafted in the first round can be costly also, so beware again. I don't up the ante to tempt these guys except with a ST invite. If they are really expected to be good I might offer a 3 to 5 year Big League contract but I still don't raise the bonus ante until they request it. If the agent replies with "content with your offer", let it sit. That is the only reply you will get even if you raise the offer. Be patient. There are some others, some are just waiting for others to sign to see how much they can get....the NFL way I think is where that comes form.
When ranking your players, take heed to all the various info you can get. Remember the players in the pool are rated as the scouts see them and how much you spent on scouting. Which means that the numbers can be skewed a little (or a lot depending) after you draft them. Some things to be aware of...HEALTH, defense, position, splits, control, durability, makeup. Make sure you check out the players fully, especially the big first rounders. Remember, just because he doesn't have the skill set for the drafted position, does he have it for another that makes him just as valuable.
After you sign your players, I would put them in the Rookie League for the first 25 to 30 games. If your first rounder(s) show good quality then promote them 1 level for at least another 25 to 30 games before advancing them again. Last stop could be AA when the season ends which is a good place to begin his second season if he warrants it.