Measuring This Draft — and All Drafts

‘Tis the season for picking over the last draft. True believers tell us that each of their team’s picks are sure-fire All-Pros, if not Hall of Famers. Pessimists weep over every one of the results, saying that their GM missed the boat or that other teams stole their rightful choices a spot or two before. Talking heads and "experts" share opinions disguised as facts.

A problem that comes back again and again is rating the teams picking late. How does Licht, for example, stack up when his first picks in the 26/33 range? If his choices are compared to the Jags or the Lions he has to fall way short because he doesn’t have a top-5 pick. So how to level the field?

A better way to look at this is by comparing results from around 1/20 forward. In most drafts the consensus studs are 12-15 deep, plus or minus a few tweeners. Then there usually is a second tier from 20-50 or so, and another from 55 to about 105. And so on. Comparing Jason to the Jets at 26, the Packers at 28, Atlanta at 38 and Washington at 47 helps us get a handle on what a team is angling for and to get a feeling for what else is available.

In this approach, the early picks still matter. But instead of adding points, those slots take away from the score. After all, anyone should make a good pick at 1, 4, 10 or 12. GMs who flunk those picks earn demerits, while the managers who screwed up last year don’t deserve a genius grade growing out of their poor performance.

So, what do folks think about this way of grading the draft? And using this approach, how would you grade this last Buc’s draft?

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