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Do we overvalue the draft?

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Old 04-22-2008, 01:34 PM   #1
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Do we overvalue the draft?

First let me say, by we I don't mean Redskins Fans/The Redskins in particular. I mean football fans in general.

With that out of the way, on this boards I've seen people unwilling to part with a first round pick for proven high quality players. While it's necessary to use the draft to build your team, many players (especially at positions such as WR, DE, etc) have a huge bust rate. Going after a player that has played in the NFL and played well you know you're getting a commodity.

Hypothetically, I'd rather spend a first and a 3rd to get a proven player such as Chad Johnson, Roy Williams, Jared Allen, etc. Rather than take my chances with drafting a player and ending up with say Rod Gardner, Mike Williams, etc.

The draft is far from an exact science, and in the first round you're giving up big contracts. Every player you choose could turn out to be a stud, but statistics says most picks will be average at best. You hope to get a solid starter.

Yes, you have to build depth, etc on your team through the draft. It's necessary because even 3rd round picks are fairly affordable. You get good players, but rarely studs late in the draft.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel we overvalue draft picks sometimes. I'm not saying give away all our picks, or that they aren't important. But I will trade a 1st and a 3rd for any player thats already at the top 15 in his position currently in the NFL.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:56 PM   #2
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

Good thread. I think we "misvalue" the draft. Having several draft picks doesn't mean their value is only for acquiring college players. Draft picks essentially collateral for acquiring talent (college or pro). I mean people want to complain about CJ and his attitude so they don't want to trade a 1st round pick for him because, to them, it's a waste of the "value" of the #21 pick. But how is that a worse "value" than using it to draft Malcolm "The Excuse" Kelly?

I tend to agree with the Beathard philosophy. Unless you're guaranteed some blue-chipper, then use your high draft picks to get proven players who can contribute now or for multiple, lower round picks that will improve your depth at a much cheaper cost.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Do we overvalue draft picks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
First let me say, by we I don't mean Redskins Fans/The Redskins in particular. I mean football fans in general.

With that out of the way, on this boards I've seen people unwilling to part with a first round pick for proven high quality players. While it's necessary to use the draft to build your team, many players (especially at positions such as WR, DE, etc) have a huge bust rate. Going after a player that has played in the NFL and played well you know you're getting a commodity.

Hypothetically, I'd rather spend a first and a 3rd to get a proven player such as Chad Johnson, Roy Williams, Jared Allen, etc. Rather than take my chances with drafting a player and ending up with say Rod Gardner, Mike Williams, etc.

The draft is far from an exact science, and in the first round you're giving up big contracts. Every player you choose could turn out to be a stud, but statistics says most picks will be average at best. You hope to get a solid starter.

Yes, you have to build depth, etc on your team through the draft. It's necessary because even 3rd round picks are fairly affordable. You get good players, but rarely studs late in the draft.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel we overvalue draft picks sometimes. I'm not saying give away all our picks, or that they aren't important. But I will trade a 1st and a 3rd for any player thats already at the top 15 in his position currently in the NFL.
With that sentiment you would never have an early round pick where chances are exponentially better to walk away with a homegrown starter or star.

The output of skill players is also system dependent. How do you know they are going to work with your system???

Randy Moss played for the Raiders didn't make any noise and now that he since has been traded to the Patriots he's back to being the best WR in football. The desired player has to fit like a puzzle piece in your scheme.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

I think people get too caught up in this notion that you have to build through the draft, and by doing so you should ignore free agency. The truth is you have to strike a balance. I think the true value of a draft is adding those later round role/depth players. Because in the early rounds you're still paying a pretty hefty price for an unproven player.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Good thread. I think we "misvalue" the draft. Having several draft picks doesn't mean their value is only for acquiring college players. Draft picks essentially collateral for acquiring talent (college or pro). I mean people want to complain about CJ and his attitude so they don't want to trade a 1st round pick for him because, to them, it's a waste of the "value" of the #21 pick. But how is that a worse "value" than using it to draft Malcolm "The Excuse" Kelly?

I tend to agree with the Beathard philosophy. Unless you're guaranteed some blue-chipper, then use your high draft picks to get proven players who can contribute now or for multiple, lower round picks that will improve your depth at a much cheaper cost.
The Beathard philosophy doesn't work in the modern age of the NFL.

Quality depth is needed at almost every position in the modern era. Depth isn't something that you can get if you are not using all your draft picks every year.

Using all of your picks across multiple years allows you to sign the occasional highly sought skill free agent to place in your already entrenched system. The only team to have a dynasty in the modern era of the NFL is using that method.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

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The Beathard philosophy doesn't work in the modern age of the NFL.

Quality depth is needed at almost every position in the modern era. Depth isn't something that you can get if you are not using all your draft picks every year.

Using all of your picks across multiple years allows you to sign the occasional highly sought skill free agent to place in your already entrenched system. The only team to have a dynasty in the modern era of the NFL is using that method.
Trading a high pick for a proven NFL player or trading a high pick for multiple picks in later rounds (again, at a cheaper cost) is not the same as "not using your picks."

Case in point, I'm assuming the dynasty you're talking about is the Patriots. Well the Pats used their draft picks last year to acquire two WRs already in the league. A 2nd and 7th for Welker, and a 4th for Moss.

So I think you're contradicting yourself.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

Good thread. I just heard this on the radio so it's not all mine but i agree w/ it. Let's just look at the successful teams recently: Pittsburgh, Indy, NYG, Dallas, NE, etc. I think what you'll find is that teams that draft well are successful. Teams that don't draft well are not. In WAS, we draft decently but we just haven't drafted often enough. We've placed too much emphasis on FA. That doesn't mean that those teams haven't added FA's but they've done well w/ the draft overall.

But i do think that if you can get an impact player w/ a 1st rounder, than do it. You don't want to mortgage your future though.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

I think some people do overvalue the draft. Trading a high draft pick for a proven player is sometimes a smart move. As the saying goes, "a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush." Whether it makes sense to trade draft picks for a vet depends on many variables (e.g., who will be available at the traded picks, the age of the vet, the cap considerations, etc.).
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Trading a high pick for a proven NFL player or trading a high pick for multiple picks in later rounds (again, at a cheaper cost) is not the same as "not using your picks."

Case in point, I'm assuming the dynasty you're talking about is the Patriots. Well the Pats used their draft picks last year to acquire two WRs already in the league. A 2nd and 7th for Welker, and a 4th for Moss.

So I think you're contradicting yourself.
The Pat's haven't added many FA's until last year though. They already have their foundation built (oline, dline, secondary).
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Trading a high pick for a proven NFL player or trading a high pick for multiple picks in later rounds (again, at a cheaper cost) is not the same as "not using your picks."

Case in point, I'm assuming the dynasty you're talking about is the Patriots. Well the Pats used their draft picks last year to acquire two WRs already in the league. A 2nd and 7th for Welker, and a 4th for Moss.

So I think you're contradicting yourself.
I am aware that the Patriots have done that. They already had an entrenched system that allowed them to do that. Look further than last year for them and you will see that their most of their roster is made up of homegrown stars that were hand picked by their coaching staff.

The Redskins are by no means even close to being at the point where they can give up picks for a big signing or two to get them to be a dominant force in the league. If you've seen the depth on team I think you would agree. Just look at our draft needs posted by every analyst in the NFL and you will see that we need almost every position on our team addressed in some way.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

I think it is a similar to the problem that Schneed pointed out with JLC's posts on the Skins cap management issues. We are losing sight of the problems in talent evaluation that have plagued many previous Redskins trades and saying ergo trading draft picks is a losing strategy. It would be more accurate to say that trading draft picks of mediocre talent is a losing proposition. Trading picks for Lloyd and Duckett - mistakes. But neither Lloyd or Duckett had demonstrated elite production or been selected to five Pro Bowls.

The issue about cost is perhaps more valid, since it would apparently take $20 mil + in guarantees to lock up CJ. But, the Skins have demonstrated their ability to manipulate the cap with using cash-over-cap so as long as they got 5-6 seasons of high production from Johnson it likely would not cause huge problems. The issues with other guys they have traded for have been the lack of production they have received in return.

I think you could also argue that the Skins have, in the past, undervalued their own picks as compared to the value placed on them by others in the league. Adding a 2nd rounder in the Bailey/Portis deal or giving up a 3rd for Brunell comes to mind. In those instances the production was less a problem then the fact that most teams would not have added a high pick when giving up a comparable talent at a more valuable position or giving up a first day pick for an aging QB. Also remember that disgruntled future HOFers Marshall Faulk and Jerome Bettis were both dealt for 2nd round picks.

Now, having said that, a mid level 1st and a conditional 3rd (with high conditions for escalation) is probably not too high for Johnson (in my estimation). That strikes me as pretty fair compensation. Deion Branch netted the Pats a 1st and he's no Chad Johnson. Wes Welker and Javon Walker went for 2nds. Probably the most comparable trade we have is the first Randy Moss deal, which netted the Vikings the 7th overall pick and Napoleon Harris. So I think you can make arguments against the trade, but the firmest ground to stand on, I think, is cap ramifications. I really don't think you can say the Redskins are selling the farm in their proposal. I think there are at least several teams who would also make that sort of deal for Johnson, so here I don't think the Skins are bidding against themselves (as they have in the past).
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:40 PM   #12
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

This is a good thread, and to echo your sentiments, I think we do over value draft picks, not so much the draft. I particularly feel all the hype around the first round is just hype.

I think the trap the Redskins have/had fallen into was a cycle of targeting and building through free agency and placed too low of a premium on the draft in general. I've maintained all of along, save three or four top flight NFL teams, the Redskins haven't had any more free agency mis-cues than the next team. They've had more high profile free agents, perhaps, that haven't panned out. There's just got blown out of proportion because of Danny's reputation as a spender and the media's penchent for "I told you so". Simply put, I think the Skins have just been out of balance somewhat with their approach.

I don't think you can build entirely usuing one approach at the expense of the other. As much praise as the Patriots get, they have their share of free agents.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:59 PM   #13
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

i think it all boils down to who is making the picks, and evaluating the talent. a good general manager, that makes the right picks, can never over value the draft.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #14
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

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I am aware that the Patriots have done that. They already had an entrenched system that allowed them to do that. Look further than last year for them and you will see that their most of their roster is made up of homegrown stars that were hand picked by their coaching staff.

The Redskins are by no means even close to being at the point where they can give up picks for a big signing or two to get them to be a dominant force in the league. If you've seen the depth on team I think you would agree. Just look at our draft needs posted by every analyst in the NFL and you will see that we need almost every position on our team addressed in some way.
And wide receiver is a need, and Chad Johnson happens to be one of the best WRs in the league. It's not like we're talking about trading a first rounder for Matt Leinart. Trading a pick for him doesn't mean we're ignoring our needs or that we don't have 8 more picks this year with which to address more needs.

Furthermore, let's not act like we have no homegrown talent (Campbell, Rogers, Landry, Doughty, Golston, Montgomery, Heyer, Samuels, Jansen, Betts, Cooley, Wilson, Smoot; to name a few).
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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Re: Do we overvalue the draft?

I would venture to say people dont have a problem trading for talent. The problem is that you cant live by it. A top ten pick is a huge huge contract. but after that the players are cheap for many years.

we trade our picks every year. yes somehow we always are under the cap. but we force our players to change their contracts. they dont have to, one day they may not.

The draft is a risk, but a cheap way to get talent. and it keeps your team young.

Id love to get CJ, or Allen... but it wouldnt hurt to acutally use our draft picks for once, save some money, hope to get talent...
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