NFL Draft Strategy: Draft Picks Trade Value


Every year I am amazed at the way teams dump veterans for low round draft picks.  Just this past offseason we saw the Steelers give up Santonio Holmes for a 5th round pick.  Moves such as this have always intrigued my interest and I often question the amount of value franchises put on draft picks.  I am aware that the Steelers were just trying to get rid of problem but there was no doubting Holmes’s talent and he warranted more than a 5th round draft pick.  I have gone through the 2009, 2008, and 2007 NFL drafts and below are the players that are currently making contributions in the NFL.  After the jump you can check out that list as well as more thoughts on draft pick value.

2007- Kevin Boss (pick 153), Brett Celek (pick 162), Troy Smith (179)

2008- Ryan Torain (pick 139), Brandon Carr (pick 140), Zack Bowman (pick 142), Orlando Scandrick (pick 143), Tim Hightower (pick 149), Kory Bierman (pick 154), Carl Nicks (pick 164)

2009- Johnny Knox (pick 140)

While there are some nice players on the list above you have to figure that 11 out of 123 picks have made a measurable impact on their football team.  If I am running an NFL team I am going to put more value in the proven commodity than into the unknown of a 5th round draft choice.  Even taking into consideration the veterans salary and possible character flaws  I would gladly give up a 5th round choice from someone like Holmes.

My strategy would be to utilize my 5th round picks to acquire veteran talent and I would be satisfied if that trade gained a positive result 1 out of every 3 trades.  I honestly believe that is the success rate you would be looking at; 1 in every 3 veteran that you acquire would work out and bring a positive contribution to your NFL team.  That rate is going to be much higher than the gamble of hitting on a 5th round draft pick.

I am sure that the majority believe that Bill Belichick and the Patriots know how to draft well but lets take a look at their recent 5th round choices.

2009- Ge0rge Bussey, 2008- Matt Slater, 2007- Clint Oldenburg, 2006- Ryan O’Callaghan, 2005- Ryan Calridge

You can go even further down their list of 5th round picks and you will struggle to find a player that has had a major impact on the football team.  Of course we all know the Tom Brady story but that really doesn’t change my opinion at all.

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Do you value draft picks as much as most NFL Franchises do and if so why?  Lets hear your thoughts!