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On the chances of getting good players after round 3

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Ungeheuer, Mar 29, 2009.

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  1. Ungeheuer

    Ungeheuer Rookie

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    So I went back and did a little research on the draft and found some interesting tendencies.

    Going back about ten years, one of the most dependable trends is that your chances of getting a very good player drop off significantly after the middle of the second round. Oddly enough, the chances of a bust are about the same in picks 1-10 as they are in picks 20-30 and even 32-45 -- but your chances of a wasted pick rise exponentially after about pick 47.

    Just look, year after year. In 2004 there were about 20-21 very productive players in round 1 (and the # of stars is only somewhat higher at the top of the round, which had the likes of Sean Taylor and Phillip Rivers, than it was at the bottom, where there were guys like Steven Jackson and Vince Wilfork), and about 6 or 7 very productive players in the first half of the second round (including guys like Bob Sanders, Karlos Dansby and Jake Grove). But after the first half of the second round, the talent level drops off sharply, and suddenly you have about a 1 in 5 chance of getting even a productive NFL player, to say nothing of a star player. By round 3 you're down to about 5 or 6 good NFL players in the whole round, and only a few of those guys really hit (ie Nick Hardwick, Chris Cooley, Darnell Dockett). Same thing in '07: about 20-21 very good players in round 1, and about 6 or 7 good players at the top of round 2 (including guys like Lamarr Woodley, David Harris, Tony Ugoh and Arron Sears). Then, after pick 48, the desert starts.

    I went back and looked and it's like this virtually every year. It seems like after pick 46 or 47, the talent level drops off sharply. Before pick 47, you have about a 50% chance of getting an impact/longtime starter; after 47, the chances drop down to about 20% or less. And by the time you go beyond round 4, the chances drop to about 5-10% at best. It sounds like an obvious observation, but there are really several solid demarcations in the draft -- the middle of the second round (before which you have a good chance of getting a starter, after which you don't) and the end of the fourth round (before which you have a slim chance of getting a starter, after which you have almost no chance).

    The reason I bring this up is I'm wondering about the Patriots' draft strategy this year. It seems like a sound course of action would be to either lump pick 89 and pick 59 together and move closer to the middle of the second round, or to sell pick #59 for a higher pick the next year. Because the overwhelming likelihood is that your best value is going to be the picks at 34 and 47, while the pick at 59 is not likely to be much more valuable than the picks at the bottom of the third round. Similar to the first round, where you're as likely to bust in the top 10 as you are at the bottom of the first round, historically speaking you're about as likely to bust at the bottom of round 2 as you are at the end of round 3.

    Which means that pick at the bottom of round 2 that the Pats have is probably best traded -- either into next year or up this year.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I think NO will be itching to pick someone by the time the 2nd round roles around.
    They lost 2nd and 3RD rounders in Vilma and Shockey trades. Maybe 47 for their first next year. And we can always move up from 59 if we like someone who might not last until 59.

    I think Carolina might be willing to trade up 2 if they don't trade Peppers. They don't have a 1st rounder and pick after 59. If they want 47 for their 1st next year, I'd be happy to oblige them.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think there are lots of "good" players in this draft through the middle rounds. Some will not pan out and only a few will be stars, but many will be solid. There is great depth in this draft through the top 100 picks and even beyond.

    With that in mind, I agree with you that after about pick 50 there seems to be a bit of a drop off. From 20-50 the level is pretty even. A lot of players could go almost anywhere in that range - Eben Britton, William Beatty, Alex Mack, Max Unger, Donald Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin, Brandon Pettigrew, Jarron Gilbert, Ron Brace, Robert Ayers, Connor Barwin, Clint Sintim, Larry English, James Laurinaitis, Alphonso Smith, DJ Moore, Darius Butler, Louis Delmas, Sean Smith, Connor Barwin, etc. That's 22 players who you could 100 people about and get 100 very different orders. But after 50 the level drops a bit. Some of those guys may slip a bit, and there are some others that may end up being as good (Brian Robiskie, James Casey, Jared Cook, Jamon Meredith, Eric Wood, William Moore, Patrick Chung, to name a few). But there is a bit of a dropoff.

    So I agree with you about the probability of trading the #58 pick. I could see trading up (#89 and 58 get us to around 43-44, where another of those players listed above might be available), or more likely trading the pick into 2010 to a team which is likely to have an early 2nd round next year, unless one of the above players slides.
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    99 posts since Oct 05, now that is quality post management right there.
  5. Feep50

    Feep50 Rookie

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    1. Clay Matthews
    2. William Beatty
    3. Louis Delmas
    4. Larry English
    5. Connor Barwin
    6. Brian Robiskie
    7. Ebon Britton
    8. James Laurinaitis
    9. Max Unger
    10. Donald Brown

    For what it worth.............:rolleyes:

    I pasted this in the wrong thread! Sheeesh
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    - When you say "productive" players, are you strictly talking about starters or do you weight productivity for the round they are drafted? For example, Mayo as an overall #10 started as a rookie, and Banta-Cain as a 7th round pick contributed on Special Teams and didn't start except as an injury replacement. Both are productive for their place in the draft.

    - Does you analysis vary team to team?

    - Do some draft classes perform worse than others?
  7. amazinPats

    amazinPats Rookie

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    You make some great points. I like to fantasize about draft day trades while I'm on my running machine. :D

    I can see us dumping most of our late round picks this year as we have no room for them on the roster. But basically, I'd like to see us trade one of our second rounders and perhaps our third rounder in order to get another first rounder this year. It would be great to draft an OT with the first pick and take the top rated safety still on the board with the second pick. Perhaps we could trade away another second rounder along with our fourth in exchange for a first rounder next year. So with two later first rounders and a second round pick, we should be able to draft three starting-quality players: OT, Safety, and DE/OLB. The remaining third round pick could be used to draft wide receiver, or running back as a Kevin Faulk replacement. Anyway, with six picks in the first three rounds, we've got a lot of good cards in our hand.
  8. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    Yet some insist on labelling our 2007 draft as poor because the five of the six players we selected in the 6th and 7th round didn't make our team (though they all made an NFL 53-man rosters).
  9. MetalBleachers

    MetalBleachers Rookie

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    We all like to think that BB and Co. are geniuses and needn't trade up to get quality players (they picked TOM in the SIXTH), but your reasoning makes a lot of sense. They have to pick three, that leaves them eight. Wouldn't mind seeing them package a 2 and 4 or 5 to move up in the second. Not sure how many they should/would use to get a higher first, though.

    In any case, they should end up with extra 2010 picks. So to answer the thread question: there's a good chance they'll land a high-quality mid-rounder, but I'd rather see them use the currency while they've got it.
  10. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    It's kind of a no brainer that the chances of getting a good player decrease after round 2 or 3.
    But you still have to try because there is always a great player drafted in the middle to late rounds. Koppen 5th, Samuel 4th and Brady 6th etc etc. I know you already know that.

    2nd, coaches view later rounds in a different light when it comes to 5th,6th 7th etc. Some of the time they pretty much know that a player will never see the field when they draft them. Or maybe they draft some to contribute to special teams which is just as important to a lot of coaches. I'm sure some are drafted to replace certain players on the practice squad in hopes with a couple of years of coaching and experience they may someday crack the lineup or contribute to the overall of the teams success. If a team doesn't have good practice players how is this helping the starters?

    Believe me the draft serves it purpose and that purpose is lost to some who think every player drafted should be a starter for the New England Patriots. There are a lot of other areas coaches are looking at from the mid to later rounds.
  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Fact is: from pick #1 to the last pick, there are no guarantees. But having 6 of the first 100 picks gives you a lot more options than having two of the first 100 picks.
  12. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I think the premise jumps off from a bad point, because the Patriots of the NFL are getting lumped in with the Lions and the Raiders.

    I think if you were to look at teams with competent front offices and scouting departments, you'd find many more qualtiy picks later in the draft. Plus these teams tend to have less room on the roster for rookies, so some players may be drafted purely as practice players, injury replacements, special teams (David Tyree was a seventh rounder, and is one of the top 3-4 coverage guys in the league), or otherwise a talented player with some issues that may never pan out, but if they do it's worth it.

    Anyway, I commend your research, and not taking the mediots words as it pertains to drafting.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  13. CanadianPat'sFan

    CanadianPat'sFan Rookie

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    Top 15 all-time late-round steals...

    15 Jamal Anderson (Falcons, 201st overall, in 1994)
    The 1994 draft produced two steals at running back; Dorsey Levens was selected in the 5th round that year. Anderson gets ranked because he was a later pick and a more dominant player in his best years. Still, we may be overrating him a bit. In a few years, his career record may be remembered like those of Craig James (7th round, 1987) and Wilbert Montgomery (6th round, 1977), smart picks and fine players whose careers were cut short by injuries.

    14 Jeff Van Note (Falcons, 262nd overall in 1967)
    Drafted as a linebacker, Van Note switched to center and starter for Atlanta until 1986. A durable and reliable player, in his best years (1978-82) Van Note was considered the second best center in the league behind Mike Webster.

    13 Leon Lett, (Cowboys, 173rd overall in 1991)
    Jimmie Johnson took DT Russell Maryland first overall in 1991 and Lett at the end of the draft, and the Cowboys had a stone wall in the middle of their defense for years. Somewhat overrated by analysts of the 1990s, Lett was a gifted run stuffer when personal problems didn't take him off the field.

    12 Karl Mecklenburg, (Broncos 310th overall in 1983)
    The Albino Rhino helped the Broncos to three AFC titles and was an All Pro from 1985 to 1989. He finished his career with 79 sacks. A total of 38 linebackers were taken ahead of Mecklenburg, including Billy Ray Smith, the fifth pick overall. Only Bills' second rounder Daryl Talley had a noteworthy career, though Trey Junkin (another Bills pick in the fourth round) hung around forever as a deep snapper.

    11 Jay Novacek, (Cardinals, 168th overall in 1985)
    The Cardinals never knew what they had in Novacek and let him get away after four unproductive, injury-marred seasons. The Cowboys signed him and he caught at least 40 passes in each of the next six seasons, providing Troy Aikman with a reliable target over the middle during three Super Bowl runs.

    10 Zach Thomas, (Dolphins, 154th overall in 1996)
    Thomas is one of the selections who affirmed Jimmy Johnson's reputation as a draft genius. Thomas flunked every scout's test but plays the game with outstanding intelligence and determination. The 1996 draft produced a bumper crop of fifth rounders, in addition to Thomas: Joe Horn, LaRoi Glover, and Titans tackle Fred Miller were all taken in that round.

    9 Dexter Manley, (Redskins, 119th overall in 1981)
    Manley finished with over 10 sacks in four straight seasons, including 18.5 in 1986. He finished his career with 97.5 sacks and two Super Bowl rings. It was quite a draft for the Skins in 1981: in addition to Manley, they picked up two Hogs (Mark May in the first round, C Russ Grimm in the third), a Smurf (Charlie Brown in the 8th round) and future starting TE Clint Didier in the 12th.

    T-8 Harold Carmichael, (Eagles, 176th overall in 1971)
    A 6-foot-8 giant who won every jump ball, Carmichael was one of the best receivers of the 1970s and led the Eagles from the basement at the start of the decade to the Super Bowl at the end. He ended his career with 590 catches and 79 TDs. Also a steal at wideout in 1971: Mel Gray, drafted in the 6th round by the Cardinals, would catch 351 balls in 11 years with the club.

    T-8 Richard Dent, (Bears, 203rd overall in 1983)
    One of only five players drafted out of Tennessee State that year, defensive end Richard Dent quickly elevated himself among the best in the NFL at his position. One of the anchors of a great defense in Chicago, he was one of the most feared pass-rushers thanks to his quickness and speed despite a 6-5, 265-pound frame. A four-time Pro Bowler, he was Super Bowl XX's Most Valuable Player in the Bears' 46-10 rout of the Patriots. He finally retired in 1997 with 137.5 sacks (tied for fifth on the all-time list at the end of the 2003 season) in 203 career games, including 151 as a starter. Aptly so, Dent is among the preliminary nominees for the Hall-of-Fame class of 2005.

    7 Shannon Sharpe, (Broncos, 192nd overall in 1990)
    He left college as an oversized wide receiver, but Sharpe went on to become the most prolific pass catching tight end in history and a key performer on three Super Bowl winners. Not bad, considering the careers of some of the tight ends taken before him. While Eric Green (a first round pick by Pittsburgh) had some good years before a weight problem ended his career and Jackie Harris (4th round, Green Bay) was a decent player for a decade, when was the last time you thought about Mike Jones (3rd round, Vikings) or Jesse Anderson (fourth round, Buccaneers)?.

    6 Mark Clayton, (Dolphins, 223rd overall in 1983)
    You would think that getting Dan Marino with the 27th pick in the draft was enough of a steal, but the Dolphins did it again in 1983, picking one of Marino's favorite targets in the sixth round. Clayton and Marino hooked up for 18 touchdowns in 1984, and Clayton would finish his career with five 1,000-yard receiving seasons and a total of 84 touchdowns, 79 of them from Marino.

    5 Herschel Walker, (Cowboys, 114th overall in 1985)
    Walker only slipped into the later rounds because he was playing for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL. Tex Schramm alertly gobbled up his NFL rights with this pick, and Herschel would easily surpass the careers of the #1 selections at RB that year (George Adams, Ethan Horton, Steve Sewell, and Lorenzo Hampton). Walker is docked one place in our countdown for not being a "true" late round pick. Of course, his greatest contribution to the Cowboys came in getting traded to Minnesota for the draft picks that would become Emmitt Smith and others. Fun fact: the Cowboys drafted RB Robert Lavette one round before Herschel. Lavette would carry the football 23 times in his career..

    4 Lester Hayes, (Raiders, 126th overall all in 1977)
    Hayes is best known for his marvelous 1979 and 1980 seasons. He picked off 13 passes in 1980 and tended to ride on his reputation after that, but Hayes was a valuable starter on two Super Bowl winners. The Raiders picked up another bargain in 1977 when they drafted LB Rod Martin in the 12th round. Martin would also start in two Super Bowls and recorded 11 sacks in 1984.

    3 Dwight Clark, (49ers, 249th overall in 1979)
    He was a big target at 6-goot-4. He was a smart player who worked the middle of the field and made plays in traffic. Long before the term "West Coast Offense" saturated the league, Clark was creating the mold of the perfect receiver for the system. Best known for "The Catch" against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, Clark caught 506 passes in his career, led the league in receptions in strike-shortened 1982 (60) and was Joe Montana's favorite target until a fellow named Rice came along.

    2 Terrell Davis, (Broncos, 196th overall in 1995)
    Davis was on his way to the top of this list before injuries cut short his career prematurely. To put his two Super Bowls and his 2,000-yard season in perspective, take a look at the running backs drafted in the first round in 1995. Ki-Jana Carter went third overall. Tyrone Wheatley, Napoleon Kaufman, and James Stewart went back-to-back-to-back at 17 through 19. And Rashaan Salaam, who looked like the best of the bunch in his rookie year, went 21st. While Stewart has had some fine years and Wheatley and Kaufman were good role players, it's amazing to think that Davis and Curtis Martin were still on the board after those guys were taken. Davis was an oft-injured collegian who didn't post phenomenal workout numbers, so he was forgotten until late in the draft.

    1 Mike Webster, (Steelers, 125th overall in 1974)
    The Steelers drafted some guys named Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, and John Stallworth in the early rounds of that 1974 draft before selecting the center who would anchor their line for over a decade. Webster would play in 177 consecutive games for the Steelers and make every offensive snap for six straight seasons. Of course, he was part of four Super Bowl winning teams, starting in two of them (Super Bowl XIII and XIV). Webster was unanimously considered the best center in football from 1978 to 1982 and was a Pro Bowler in several other seasons.

    Honorable Mentions Some players fall through the system and are never drafted at all. Jim Langer, the Dolphins center of the 1970s who entered the Hall of Fame in 1987, was a walk-on in camp. Ditto for Kurt Warner and John Randle, two of the best players in recent history to rise from rookie free agency to stardom.

    Lots of players deserve mention who didn't quite make the list. Gary Fencik (10th round, 1976) and Dwight Hicks (6th round, 197 were two of the best safeties in the league in the early 1980s. Quarterbacks Brian Sipe (13th round, 1972) and Steve Grogan (5th round, 1975) were quality starters for a decade. Another QB, Mark Rypien (6th round, 1986), won a Super Bowl. Linemen rarely get their due, so guys like Doug Dieken (6th round, 1971), Joe Fields (14th round, 1975), Dave Szott (7th round, 1990) and Tom Nalen (7th round, 1994) deserve mention, as each was a successful starter for many years. Ben Coates (5th round, 1991) and Brent Jones (5th round, 1986) were very good tight ends who finished just off the list; the same can be said of Frank Wycheck (6th round, 1993). Recent players are sometimes overrated on lists like these, so we had to make tough decisions and leave off the likes of Terance Mathis (6th round, 1990), Troy Brown (8th round, 1993) and Jessie Armstead (8th round, 1993). There are others - Tim Krumrie (10th round, 1983), Seth Joyner (8th round, 1986) - but you get the picture.

    Finally, Bo Jackson's seventh-round selection in 1987 was ignored, as he had been selected in the first round of an earlier draft.
  14. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Not surprisingly, there is a New England QB mentioned here.

    Very surprisingly, it is Steve Grogan, while there was a better QB taken later in the draft.
  15. Ungeheuer

    Ungeheuer Rookie

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    Hey, listen, I understand that there is a long history of late-round steals. I'm not saying we shouldn't use late-round draft choices.

    What I am saying is that players taken in the second half of the second round in particular historically perform a lot worse than players in the first round and the first half of the second round. Moreover there's another sharp line down after the fourth round.

    Which suggests to me that a team like the Patriots with a low pick in the second round might be better off moving up with that pick. They don't have the option of moving into the fourth round from the fifth this year, because their fifth is compensatory, but they can move from 59 up above the 47 range, which is what I'm talking about.
  16. bakes781

    bakes781 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    The answer is yes a very good chance. I wouldn't be looking to trade up in the 2nd round. If anything I'd hold onto that #58 pick to see who from that top 50 falls, because you know it will happen. But if what falls isn't a good fit for us then trade back into the early part of the 3rd round if possible. You'll have a night to redo your board and make solid day two choices early and often.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  17. CanadianPat'sFan

    CanadianPat'sFan Rookie

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    I know where you are going with this I just thought I would be a nice tid bit to add to this. Now these are 15 players out of close to 3000 guys who have been picked late so what I am saying is there is a dimond in the rough out there so to speek.

    I think this draft is deeper then you think and there are quality players who will be picked in the first two rounds. I think we can get a great player at #58 but after that I agree it starts to drop off. I think that there are some good O-Line which will be left on the board between picks 80 and 100 with good value.
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