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"First Round Picks are Over-rated": Discuss


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5 minutes ago, ScottLaw said:

Saints have been in cap hell for years it seems.

 

The better question is if the Bills adapted the Rams strategy this offseason and won a Super Bowl next year but had to blow it up 3 years from now with minimal draft picks would it be worth it? I think the answer is clearly yes. 

I don't understand how watching the landscape of the NFL this isn't more obvious. This is what true contenders do.

 

What the Pats have done, no team will ever do. I feel confident in saying that. If your goal is to compete for Super Bowls for 20 years straight, you will miss your chance by looking to the future.

 

Some teams, like the Seahawks, have remained in that playoff space because they have a great QB.  But how many years have they had a Super Bowl worthy squad?

 

Step 1 is acquire a franchise QB.  Step 2 is build a team around him to compete for a 3 year window. Step 3 is tear down the team for a turnaround. Step 4 is rebuild a team to compete for a 3 year window.

 

Most teams suck at step 1.  A lot of teams suck at step 3 and 4 (looking at the Falcons here). But that's how it works.

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They are also destroying their cap by paying top dollar instead of paying for players on rookie contracts. It's why their cap situation is a disaster and doesn't look like it will be improving anytime

The Rams just traded their 1st round draft pick QB who helped them win 3 playoff games and make it to a SB in 3 years for a broken down former 1st round QB on his last legs who was 0-3 in playoff game

Well the Rams did apparently miss on their last 1st round pick.

2 minutes ago, BuffaloRebound said:

Since this conversation is going there, I’ll also say that cap problems are highly over-rated.  Seems like every year, people go crazy over the Rams cap problems and every year they find a way to get under the cap and still be a contender.  And their cap problems stemmed from bad contracts to their own players (Goff and Gurley), and they were still able to unload those contracts and remain a contender.   Unlike the NBA and MLB, football contracts are very club friendly and generally to get out of.  Heck, you could cut $30m pretty easily from the bills roster before you start impacting wins and losses.  

 

 

If by "highly overrated," you mean that they're even worse than people say, I'm with you.

 

Cap problems are real and they have effects. You cite the Rams as your example, but that's a team with a really good defense but were a few players away on offense, and so they're out in the divisional game whereas if they'd been in better shape and had been able to keep or bring in a couple of more guys they might have really competed.

 

IMO the Saints just wasted Drew Brees, only winning one championship, and a lot of the reason for that was their consistent cap problems handcuffing their personnnel moves.

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16 minutes ago, ScottLaw said:

 

The better question is if the Bills adapted the Rams strategy this offseason and won a Super Bowl next year but had to blow it up 3 years from now with minimal draft picks would it be worth it? I think the answer is clearly yes. 

 

I'm sure you are aware that the Rams current strategy is a gamble and probably more likely to fail then succeed ( only one team gets to win it all every year and you are compressing your chances of success into a smaller window then doing things the "conventional" way) ...

 

Now, if the Bills copied this approach  and it didn't succeed, would you accept that outcome?  I know that you arent normally one to bring up previous other occasions when some Management decisions have not gone to plan....

 

 

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19 minutes ago, FireChans said:

I don't understand how watching the landscape of the NFL this isn't more obvious. This is what true contenders do.

 

What the Pats have done, no team will ever do. I feel confident in saying that. If your goal is to compete for Super Bowls for 20 years straight, you will miss your chance by looking to the future.

But wouldn’t your probably of winning a Super Bowl increasingly the more often you’re in the playoffs? The playoffs are ultimately a crapshoot. 

I feel like it’s more of a risk going all in on 1-2 seasons and falling short and setting yourself back 4-5 years than it is constantly being competitive and going on a run 1/10 of those seasons? 


I’m not advocating to avoid taking a big swing here and there either... I’m just trying to look at the two trains of thought. 

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1 minute ago, JGMcD2 said:

But wouldn’t your probably of winning a Super Bowl increasingly the more often you’re in the playoffs? The playoffs are ultimately a crapshoot. 

I feel like it’s more of a risk going all in on 1-2 seasons and falling short and setting yourself back 4-5 years than it is constantly being competitive and going on a run 1/10 of those seasons? 

 

I mean, yes and no.

 

You can't use strict math like that. Every team had a "chance" to win the Superbowl, but do you think the Chiefs had the same odds to win as the Washington Football team?  The answer is clearly no.

 

The best teams that make the postseason have the best chance to win.  You want to be a part of the "best teams."

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If I can deal a late 1st for a proven talent, in his prime on a favorable contract (Diggs), then I’d do it 10x out of 10... Matt Stafford however is none of those, that was a ridiculous trade by the Rams who remind me of some noob playing franchise mode in Madden. 

 

The late 1st is basically the same talent level as the 2nd round in most drafts except at a way higher contract (on the plus side if you hit, you get that 5th year option). If I’m Beane, and I can’t deal that pick for a proven edge rusher or LB, or another “impact player”, then I atleast try to trade down into the top of the 2nd and pick up an extra 3rd and 4th/5th in the process.

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1 hour ago, ScottLaw said:

Saints have been in cap hell for years it seems.

 

The better question is if the Bills adapted the Rams strategy this offseason and won a Super Bowl next year but had to blow it up 3 years from now with minimal draft picks would it be worth it? I think the answer is clearly yes. 

 

 

I agree with you that my answer would be yes.

 

But how about a related question? How about if the Bills adapted the Rams strategy this offseason and LOST a Super Bowl next year but had to blow it up 3 years from now. Would that be worth it?

 

Or if they adapted the Rams strategy and came much close to the Chiefs next year in the AFC championship, losing by one on a last-minute field goal, almost getting over the top but had to blow it up after that? Would that be worth it?

 

 

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1 hour ago, FireChans said:

Haha 90% of these names are old as dirt. And they aren't all even good examples.

 

Rosen was a proven vet?


Case Keenum signing a front-loaded prove it deal after a miracle year was a big gamble?

 

Deion retired and was off the books in one season.

 

Like what are we even talking about here?  Maybe redo your list a bit.

I believe it is the logical conclusion of the "what if they aren't a star in your system" argument that you could make for every player acquisition ever.

 

Acquiring a ProBowl level player for a later first is safer in terms of playing ability than acquiring a late first round rookie. Point blank. Period.

 

 

 

As usual, you're wrong in many small and large ways. Sanders was not "off the books in one season." They were still paying $5.2 of dead money two years after he left. And the cap at that time was $71.1M, so Deion was taking up about 8% of their cap two years after he left. And for that financial farrago, he got them all the way up to an 8-8 record. Great FA pickup there.

 

You say, "Case Keenum signing a front-loaded deal after a miracle year was a big gamble?" Yeah, um, the answer to that would be "Yeah. Duh." Guaranteeing $25M of his deal at signing while signing Keenum, and keeping him for only one year after he shepherded them to a 6-10 record, was indeed a big risk and a horrible deal.

 

You say, "Josh Rosen was a proven vet?" And yet I didn't say he was a proven vet. I put him in a list of "examples of free agents and trades that also didn't work out or busted" ... and he absolutely belongs there. Rosen was acquired in a trade. Miami gave up a 2nd round pick. How's that deal look in hindsight? I mean, maybe you would do that one over in a second, Chans, but most, um ... wouldn't.

 

They're great examples whether you like to admit it or not.

 

And while you may (or may not) be right that in terms of playing ability you might be better off, playing ability is only part of the equation. You're also generally dealing with much higher salaries or throwing in trade value. So if your Pro Bowl level player (Jairus Byrd, for instance, or the Bills giving sure-fire high-production TE Charles Clay a massive contract so Tyrod could (not) throw to him or giving the massive deal to Mario Williams) even if the guy is good he can be a crappy deal due to how much you're paying or what you traded to get him.

 

And yes, the "what if he's not a star in your system" argument is an excellent argument and is part of the risk you take with FAs. Along with aging worries, overpays, giving away too much on the trade problems, lose interest after the big payday problems, etc.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

 

 

As usual, you're wrong in many small and large ways. Sanders was not "off the books in one season." They were still paying $5.2 of dead money two years after he left. And the cap at that time was $71.1M, so Deion was taking up about 8% of their cap two years after he left. And for that financial farrago, he got them all the way up to an 8-8 record. Great FA pickup there.

 

You say, "Case Keenum signing a front-loaded deal after a miracle year was a big gamble?" Yeah, um, the answer to that would be "Yeah. Duh." Guaranteeing $25M of his deal at signing while signing Keenum, and keeping him for only one year after he shepherded them to a 6-10 record, was indeed a big risk and a horrible deal.

 

You say, "Josh Rosen was a proven vet?" And yet I didn't say he was a proven vet. I put him in a list of "examples of free agents and trades that also didn't work out or busted" ... and he absolutely belongs there. Rosen was acquired in a trade. Miami gave up a 2nd round pick. How's that deal look in hindsight? I mean, maybe you would do that one over in a second, Chans, but most, um ... wouldn't.

 

They're great examples whether you like to admit it or not.

 

And while you may (or may not) be right that in terms of playing ability you might be better off, playing ability is only part of the equation. You're also generally dealing with much higher salaries or throwing in trade value. So if your Pro Bowl level player (Jairus Byrd, for instance, or the Bills giving sure-fire high-production TE Charles Clay a massive contract so Tyrod could (not) throw to him or giving the massive deal to Mario Williams) even if the guy is good he can be a crappy deal due to how much you're paying or what you traded to get him.

 

And yes, the "what if he's not a star in your system" argument is an excellent argument and is part of the risk you take with FAs. Along with aging worries, overpays, giving away too much on the trade problems, lose interest after the big payday problems

 

 

They are great examples that what? That no player is a guarantee?

 

You got me.  Enlightening stuff.

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I see.

 

So you agree that I'm right.

 

And yet you just spent about four paragraphs telling me I was wrong about the same thing.

 

You're a real talent here, dude, an asset to the board.

 

 

Correct, no players is a guarantee. Getting free agents and trades also carry many risks, as many as drafting guys, and yet they tend to cost more.

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25 minutes ago, Thurman#1 said:

I see.

 

So you agree that I'm right.

 

And yet you just spent about four paragraphs telling me I was wrong about the same thing.

 

You're a real talent here, dude, an asset to the board.

 

 

Correct, no players is a guarantee. Getting free agents and trades also carry many risks, as many as drafting guys, and yet they tend to cost more.

Incorrect.

 

I could spend my time listing out every bum drafted but that would be wasting time.

 

You’re all over the place. Mario Williams was an All-Pro in Buffalo and our best player for multiple years. How was he a bad acquisition? Because we didn’t win a Super Bowl?

 

What is your lens for judging good or bad acquisitions?

 

No one has ever said that there’s zero risk in acquiring an FA or trading for a player. That’s a Wizard of Oz level strawman. Everyone has heard of Albert Haynesworth. You aren’t proving anything.

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I do think first round picks may be overrated, but having more draft picks is certainly not overrated.

 

The more selections you can make the better.  If you can move back, or out of the first round, and collect more picks in doing so all the better.

 

Do feel that sometimes fans value 1st round selection more than the known vet, however that doesn't mean it's fine for a front office to just light draft capital on fire or give it away.  Trading up or giving away multiple draft picks can be harmful, you need as many as you can get, no perfect answer here.

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4 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

I wondered if this was tongue-in-cheek, but it appears to be serious:

 

 

Discuss.

 

First we see that delightful shadowy figure, the anonymous NFL executive 🧛‍♀️

 

It's quite correct that there's a substantial whiff rate on first round draft choices.  On the other hand, there's an even more substantial whiff rate on second and third day draft choices.

 

I can see strategically trading a first round pick from time to time, as the Bills did with Stefon Diggs.  We wanted an established, "no question this guy can play" WR to ensure all the pieces were in place to help the Bills answer the question "is Josh Allen Our Guy, or No?" 

 

But now we're swapping players and multiple first round picks and it's rapidly approaching a sort of Tulip Mania

 

Yes, there's to some degree less risk trading a 1st for an established player with a track record.  You know the guy can play.  But there's a down-side too; you don't know if he'll adapt and play as well in your system, and of course you miss out on the benefit of the draft and rookie contract system, which is hopefully getting a good player at a bargain price for 4 years.

 

 

 

 

Been saying this for years.

 

First round picks are a 50/50 proposition.........that's about how many end up playing well enough for the drafting to pick up their 5th year option.

 

That's a solid percentage........but it's presumed by fans that they pan out at a much, MUCH higher rate.

 

More like if you use that pick it will automatically pan out............so, of course, use it at a position of need!   

 

The value in first round picks is simply a better chance at the top ranked players at elite money positions.

 

The only time a first round pick isn't overrated is when it's used on a QB.

 

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7 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Been saying this for years.

 

First round picks are a 50/50 proposition.........that's about how many end up playing well enough for the drafting to pick up their 5th year option.

 

That's a solid percentage........but it's presumed by fans that they pan out at a much, MUCH higher rate.

 

More like if you use that pick it will automatically pan out............so, of course, use it at a position of need!   

 

The value in first round picks is simply a better chance at the top ranked players at elite money positions.

 

The only time a first round pick isn't overrated is when it's used on a QB.

 

Tre, Edmunds, Allen, Oliver.

 

Only 2 of those players are pretty much guaranteed to be Bills 4 years from now and even that could change.

 

A team like the Jets have only 3 of their first round picks on their roster and honestly who knows about any of them being Jets in 4 years.

 

The Rams saw the insanity of pick valuation and flew in the face of it. 

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23 minutes ago, bouds said:

I do think first round picks may be overrated, but having more draft picks is certainly not overrated.

 

The more selections you can make the better.  If you can move back, or out of the first round, and collect more picks in doing so all the better.

 

Do feel that sometimes fans value 1st round selection more than the known vet, however that doesn't mean it's fine for a front office to just light draft capital on fire or give it away.  Trading up or giving away multiple draft picks can be harmful, you need as many as you can get, no perfect answer here.

Interesting read with Beane on Diggs trade, as are the comments, which relate to your point a bit.

 

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/01/27/brandon-beane-stefon-diggs-trade-was-a-win-win-for-us-and-minnesota/#comments

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2 hours ago, ScottLaw said:

Saints have been in cap hell for years it seems.

 

The better question is if the Bills adapted the Rams strategy this offseason and won a Super Bowl next year but had to blow it up 3 years from now with minimal draft picks would it be worth it? I think the answer is clearly yes. 

This is the interesting question. And my perspective on it has changed.

I used to share your opinion. Winning a Super Bowl is everything! It's why you play the game. I'd gladly trade a half dozen years of being a cellar dweller for one Super Bowl win, or maybe even one Super Bowl appearance.

But I've changed my mind. Noncompetitive teams are just boring teams to follow. I got used to essentially abandoning the Bills in November. Just based on where I live the Broncos became my "Bills are out of it again, let's follow a possible playoff team" mode. That was especially true when the Broncos always were competitive in the 2000s under Shanahan even though they never made a Super Bowl. Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler, whatever - they would hang around, sometimes make the playoffs, sometimes get eliminated in Week 17, but never go 5-11. It's entertaining to watch a season unfold when your team is in it, or at least has some hope of being in it. 

So I realized that from an entertainment perspective I'm getting more value out of watching good teams play competitive football year after year. I hope that's where the Bills will be for an extended run. Imagine we have the chance to trade our 2021 - 2023 first round picks for Travis Kelce, and that most experts think that gives us a much improved chance to win the Super Bowl in the next two years, but a strong likelihood of having to tear it down and start from scratch in 2023. I don't like that scenario. That's consigning Bills fans to several years of drudgery in exchange for an additional week or two of football in the next two years.

So I guess I'm saying the answer is complicated. It's not clearly yes.

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If I recall they discussed this at length on Hard Knocks.   

 

If my first, which is always going to be in the high teens to 20s, I'm trading for Ramsey all day.  

 

If the Bills 30th this year and first next year somehow got us say Nick Bosa....I'm freaking doing that.

 

Teams unsure of how good they'll be hold on to firsts.  

 

I'm ready to deal em to get certainty and help right now.  

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First round picks are highly important because in a sport as volatile as football you can't "lottery protect" your first round pick. Having your own first round pick allows the bottom to fall out on the season and it not to be a total loss. So even if you have a very good team the injury bug can hit any team at any season and deliver you 13-15 losses. And not having your first round pick to rebuild is tough. I think in certain terms trading a future first can be decent but it is a huge gamble that is unlikely to be worth it.

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5 hours ago, LABILLBACKER said:

The Rams spent 6 picks to get Goff and 3 to get rid off him.

 

Thats definitely making a case for trading them to get a proven player versus drafting ;) 

 

 

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2 hours ago, FireChans said:

Incorrect.

 

I could spend my time listing out every bum drafted but that would be wasting time.

 

You’re all over the place. Mario Williams was an All-Pro in Buffalo and our best player for multiple years. How was he a bad acquisition? Because we didn’t win a Super Bowl?

 

What is your lens for judging good or bad acquisitions?

 

No one has ever said that there’s zero risk in acquiring an FA or trading for a player. That’s a Wizard of Oz level strawman. Everyone has heard of Albert Haynesworth. You aren’t proving anything.

 

 

Yes, you are indeed incorrect. Thanks for the warning right up top.

 

And if anyone is all over the place, it's you. In your first post, you tried to show why my examples weren't good, but I pointed out where you were wrong. Then in your next post you said that I was right (you were right about that) but that my point was obvious. And yet your next post was back to arguing the point that a moment ago you felt was too obvious to make.

 

You're right that no one has said there's no risk in FA or trades. But the title of this thread is that first round picks are overrated, and it implies that that is true compared to FAs and trades. That is wrong. You among others here have tried to whitewash the salaries out of how you decide whether an FA is a good pickup. Which is nuts. As is whitewashing out the value of what you give up when you make a trade. They both absolutely factor into a decision on whether an acquistion is a good one.

 

Mario Williams was a mistake. He was overpaid. He was a very good player but he was not as good as his salary made him out to be. For years I tried defending that signing but ultimately there was no good defense. But they brought him in because they thought we were close and he would make a difference. And no not because we didn't win a Super Bowl. In case you didn't notice, we didn't even make the playoffs. Mario was brought in after a 6-10 season and raised the level of the team, so that out record soared up to ... oh, 6-10 again, for his first two years here.

 

You don't pay a hundred million dollar contract, making a guy the highest-paid defensive player in league history at that time ... not for performances like that. Two out of four years here he made the Pro Bowl.

 

Mario was a very good player who was still overpaid.

 

My lens for judging good and bad is what I've been saying in the last few posts. It's what anyone should look at.

 

Is his performance, good and bad, worth what you spent to bring him in? How much money you spend or picks or players you trade away is absolutely part of the equation as to whether it was a good acquisition.

 

And yeah, you could go on an write up hundreds of bad draft picks. And I could go on and write up hundreds of bad FA and trade acquisitions. Which is my point. People want to pretend FAs are safer and better. When looked at correctly - factoring in the money and what was traded away - that is very questionable.

 

Picks are cheap, and rookies are more teachable in terms of developing towards your system and what you want from them. That's why over the years few teams have flourished without valuing picks and bringing in most (not all, but most) of their core through the draft. Giving those picks away will hurt the Rams more than the unnamed executive thinks. And I say that as a guy who thinks Stafford will be a good acquisition for them, that in a good situation he will shine far more than he did in Detroit. Losing those picks, especially while in a bad cap position, will impact their ability to put him in a good situation.

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