Every year, draft analysts break down the prospects of the upcoming draft. They share varied opinions on what player holds value in what round. This year I am going to reverse the process and look at what round holds value with what player.
This article came to fruition while I was breaking down my latest mock draft. I was going through the third round of my mock draft and with each pick I was surprised that player x was available this late in the draft. The third round stuck out to me as the round where value was held the most.
Why you ask? I found roughly 7-9 players that I thought could make an immediate impact on an NFL team next year. I also identified an additional 6 players that could contribute as a spot starter or special team’s player. If my mock draft plays out the way the NFL Draft does on April 29 that is at least 13 players who will contribute next September or whenever we start the season.
To understand value we need a good definition. Merriam-Webster defines value as a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged. Sure, there may be 18 starters that come out of round one but those guys are being paid top dollar.
For some perspective on this I randomly picked the 14th selection in the 2010 draft. Earl Thomas was selected 14th by Seattle in the first round. His contract was for 5 years at 21.1m and 12.32m guaranteed. Damian Williams was selected 14th by Tennessee in the third round. His contract was for four years at 2.61m and 820k guaranteed. Clearly, Earl Thomas made a significant impact for Seattle in 2010 and may be on his way to multiple Pro Bowls. However, Damian Williams started one game and played in all sixteen for Tennessee. While, he did not have a breakout year like Thomas he was able to contribute. Both picks hold value but the argument is which one holds more value?
In my mock draft, the 3rd round gave us the likes of Curtis Brown, Greg Little, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Chimdi Chekwa, Jacquizz Rodgers, John Moffitt, and Greg Jones. To name a few. For anyone familiar with my blogs these are guys I have thought of as potential starters that could be had a little later in the draft.
The moral of the story is that if I were an NFL GM I would try to obtain as many 3rd round picks in the hopes of attaining the services of a Jared Veldheer, Jimmy Graham, or Colt McCoy. All guys who started significant games in 2010 that were 2010 3rd round picks.