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Why Some Picks Are Worth Top 10 Money And Others NOT!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by fraguela09 View Post
    There was ZERO chance we were getting Sanchez. ZERO, zilch, nada, wasn't going to happen. DEN discussed moving up to 8, but even that was costly. The only reason the Jets were able to do so.... was b/c Mangenius was appeased with getting some of his former players, whom he had valued and adored. He got his guys, along with two Day-1 picks. He wasn't making that deal with us.

    As for Orton, at least he's proven to play well in the "big" game- see his bowl performances. Chris Simms even won a playoff game. Pinch me when Cutler can claim such a feat.
    What's your point? All I said was that they liked him, worked him out twice and were considering drafting him IF he were available.

    It so happened that in the last 2 or 3 weeks before the draft Sanchez moved up from being a possible #10-15 pick to the #4 pick. Stuff happens. But, it wasn't all that unlikely that the Broncos COULD have had a chance to draft him. After all top rated QBs fell unexpectedly the last 3 years: Cutler in 2006 to #11, Brady Quinn to #22 in 2007 and Joe Flacco to #18 in 2008. It wasn't all that far-fetched to think that might happen again --- right up till the final weeks before the draft when he zoomed up out of the Broncos range.

    They rightly felt that moving up that high was too risky. They were probably right.

    Personally, I'm glad they didn't get him because it would be a colossal waste to trade for Orton instead of taking better draft picks offered by other teams and then draft Sanchez, without even seeing what Orton can do.

    As for when Cutler will win a playoff game, who knows? With a decent defense maybe this year.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by Cugel View Post
      What's your point? All I said was that they liked him, worked him out twice and were considering drafting him IF he were available.

      It so happened that in the last 2 or 3 weeks before the draft Sanchez moved up from being a possible #10-15 pick to the #4 pick. Stuff happens. But, it wasn't all that unlikely that the Broncos COULD have had a chance to draft him. After all top rated QBs fell unexpectedly the last 3 years: Cutler in 2006 to #11, Brady Quinn to #22 in 2007 and Joe Flacco to #18 in 2008. It wasn't all that far-fetched to think that might happen again --- right up till the final weeks before the draft when he zoomed up out of the Broncos range.

      They rightly felt that moving up that high was too risky. They were probably right.

      Personally, I'm glad they didn't get him because it would be a colossal waste to trade for Orton instead of taking better draft picks offered by other teams and then draft Sanchez, without even seeing what Orton can do.

      As for when Cutler will win a playoff game, who knows? With a decent defense maybe this year.

      CHI had the 30th ranked DE against the pass.... They were pretty bad as a whole, and I don't see much improvement?

      I'm just saying, about Sanchez, that DEN might have had to think if he fell to #8.... But, since he didn't.... he's not even in the conversation. I have complete faith McD's QB is on our roster (Orton, Simms, Branstater).

      Orton-Simms, with our O-line, the weapons and Mcd's scheme... should be VERY good. They wont choke in the big game either. I can almost bet you wont see Orton dropping the ball on the GL against SD>

      I wish we kept Cutler. NOt doubt. But, I think we have to move on.

      AND, keeping that first in 2010, b/c we might need a QB.... not a wise move. I wish we would have the ammo to get Mccoy.... BUT, I do know we will get a stud b/c the 1st round will have so much talent next year.

      AND, with Champ agin.... we needed a 1st round CB this year or next. That was obvious. We got one. If he is a bust, or if we stink next year.... it'll prove if the deal was bad. AND, if Smith is a starting CB.... bringing him in a year early and being groomed by Champ is priceless.

      BUT, I do think this does send a good emssage to the vets- we will compete this year. AND, let's be honest.... Mcd needed to throw a bone to the vets after everything that went on this off season.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Cugel View Post
        What's your point? All I said was that they liked him, worked him out twice and were considering drafting him IF he were available.

        It so happened that in the last 2 or 3 weeks before the draft Sanchez moved up from being a possible #10-15 pick to the #4 pick. Stuff happens. But, it wasn't all that unlikely that the Broncos COULD have had a chance to draft him. After all top rated QBs fell unexpectedly the last 3 years: Cutler in 2006 to #11, Brady Quinn to #22 in 2007 and Joe Flacco to #18 in 2008. It wasn't all that far-fetched to think that might happen again --- right up till the final weeks before the draft when he zoomed up out of the Broncos range.

        They rightly felt that moving up that high was too risky. They were probably right.

        Personally, I'm glad they didn't get him because it would be a colossal waste to trade for Orton instead of taking better draft picks offered by other teams and then draft Sanchez, without even seeing what Orton can do.

        As for when Cutler will win a playoff game, who knows? With a decent defense maybe this year.
        One thing that seems to be largely missed by all of us Denver fans is that Seattle stated that Denver contacted them about moving up to get their #5 pick. We are being very pretentious to assume that Denver wasn't making a play to get Sanchez, Raji, or even Curry, but most likely Sanchez.

        I think once a year or two goes by we will be a little better equipped to determine whether or not you, or myself for that matter, are better than McDaniels and Xanders at analyzing free agency and the draft.
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        • #19
          logic of Smith trade

          Originally posted by Cugel View Post
          There's been a lot of "Fox and the Grapes" thinking going around here since Denver traded their #1 pick next season for a 2nd rounder THIS year. The homers are all on board (for now) based on the idea that Smith will be a great CB.

          The more realistic think that Denver NOT having a top 10 pick next year is actually a good thing!

          Herein, I argue the opposite, that it's NEVER a good idea to trade your top pick next season for a 2nd rounder THIS year and that contrary to popular opinion SOME picks ARE worth paying top 10 money to. ....
          I don't think you're doing justice to the argument for taking Smith this year.

          It's not so much so much the cost-effectiveness on moving out of our pick (which most have assumed will be higher), but the simple discounting rate (roughly one round higher) for obtaining a player this year in return for a pick next year. We had a player we ranked somewhere around #20 (my guess, and suggested by Kiper) and we traded for a #37 this year to get him. The discounting rate is actually quite low if we consider Smith worth a #20 pick in the 1st round.

          It's not a question of whether there are some impact positions worth paying top 10 contracts, since there are quite obviously some positions worth it. And, moreover, it's not a question of whether we still have room to add one of those top ten-worthy players.

          The problem here is that you're arguing as if Smith is a top ten pick and we're paying him based on that. The logic of limiting top ten salaries to certain positions doesn't apply because we're not paying him a top ten salary.

          First of all that pick will likely be a top 10 pick. For the reasons outlined above, Smith is certainly NOT a top 10 talent, even if he becomes a starting CB and does well. (Under this theory, NO CB is worth taking in the top 10)!
          We're essentially paying interest for getting him a year early. We can't add the interest back in as if we didn't pay it -- as you're doing here.

          The trade would be a good one IF the Broncos already were set at QB, NT and LT -- and thus would be wasting top 10 money at some other position. They are not. Rather, they will need a NT and probably a QB next season.
          You're making what was a positional limiting factor for top ten picks into a necessity. We may have use for a top ten pick next year if we want to pick a franchise QB, etc., but it's not necessary to have a top ten pick to find one.
          There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them. - Louis Armstrong
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Cugel View Post
            BTW MUG. By saying that you think Smith is top 20 talent you are basically saying that he's the top CB in the draft -- because that's historically usually where the top CB has usually been taken -- somewhere between 11 and 20 (between Leodis McKelvin #11 and Antonio Cromartie #19).

            Well, we'll see.

            I agree with your longer response that I am presuming quite a bit. I feel confident in those presumptions though. The situation favors the odds it will likely come to pass.

            What we know for certain though is that next years D-line crop is going to be special. There will be quite a few high quality 3-4 DEs and NTs available, I really expect supply to outnumber demand, at least for the first few rounds.

            I don't expect Terrance Cody to be an option. I think the Chiefs will be pathetic next year due to transitioning schemes and a lack of talent, so I expect they will undoubtably take a NT in the Top 5. Cody seems to be that guy.

            After Cody, I don't see another NT prospect until the late 1st/early 2nd at the earliest. Boo Robinson is in that mix. Maybe Vince Oghobaase. Al Woods if he recovers well from this previous injury-filled season. And there are always some sleepers that rise, maybe someone like Kellen Heard or Dan Williams.

            And if we really want a QB, there should be options. You have to assume Sam Bradford goes #1 Overall to somebody. After that Jevan Snead probably in the Top 5. Then there is an entire host of "other guys" such as Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Dan LeFevour, Jimmy Clauson, and Jake Locker. All considered potential Franchise talents. And with the NFL becoming saturated with top QBs, some will fall. From my figurations, teams that might be looking for Franchise QBs are Washington, Minnesota, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Denver, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Seattle. And I'm still not convinced we need a top QB prospect with McDaniels' system. Tom Brady was average statistically until McDaniels. Matt Cassell was a nobody until McDaniels. And now, our offense is stacked probably better then NE's ever was, and there is no excuse why we can't dominate. All we were missing was a starting 3-down RB (Moreno, check), personnel to run a 2-TE set (Graham, Quinn, check), and a dynamic pass catching scat back/KR guy (Arrington, check).

            I think we'll have plenty of options in regards to NT or QB or DE or Rush LB. Lots to choose from next draft. The one area next draft looks *really* weak? Cornerback. Right now, it looks like its Trevard Lindley or bust. Perhaps, another reason why Alphonso Smith makes so much sense. And I do believe he was the best CB in this draft. Jenkins probably ends up as a Safety, not because of his speed, but because of his lack of fluidity. Vontae Davis is a headcase. And Darius Butler is the same size as Smith, comes from a weaker conference, and is not as productive. Smith, meanwhile, does everything well including run defense, kick return, and leadership. Even if Smith has to remain as the nickelback for the foreseeable future, we are in good shape. The Superbowl obviously runs through New England, which makes a slot CB a must against Welker, and by only paying Smith a 2nd Round salary, we don't have to force him into starting due to finances.



            I think all the way around, this trade will work out well.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
              One thing that seems to be largely missed by all of us Denver fans is that Seattle stated that Denver contacted them about moving up to get their #5 pick. We are being very pretentious to assume that Denver wasn't making a play to get Sanchez, Raji, or even Curry, but most likely Sanchez.

              I think once a year or two goes by we will be a little better equipped to determine whether or not you, or myself for that matter, are better than McDaniels and Xanders at analyzing free agency and the draft.
              Seattle was #4 not #5.

              We don't know how serious those discussion were. Obviously Denver would be negligent if they refused to talk to top 10 teams about a possible trade for their pick. You explore all options.

              Mike Shanahan for instance admitted that he had trade discussions every year during the draft about moving up into the top 10, but he never did. He said that no team was willing to trade.

              Just as obviously, Seattle WAS willing to trade that pick since they traded it to the Jets. Therefore Denver clearly decided the demanded compensation wasn't worth it.

              In fact, according to S.F.'s GM 7 of the top 9 teams contacted him regarding trading their pick to the 49ers. He wasn't interested in trading up but they were VERY interested in trading down.

              We know the Lions were quite desperate to trade for instance (not that Denver would be interested in their #1 pick unless they really wanted Matt Stafford).

              But, Denver probably talked to all the teams in the top 10 to find out what they would take for their picks. That's just common sense.
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              • #22
                Originally posted by Cugel View Post
                Seattle was #4 not #5.

                We don't know how serious those discussion were. Obviously Denver would be negligent if they refused to talk to top 10 teams about a possible trade for their pick. You explore all options.

                Mike Shanahan for instance admitted that he had trade discussions every year during the draft about moving up into the top 10, but he never did. He said that no team was willing to trade.

                Just as obviously, Seattle WAS willing to trade that pick since they traded it to the Jets. Therefore Denver clearly decided the demanded compensation wasn't worth it.

                In fact, according to S.F.'s GM 7 of the top 9 teams contacted him regarding trading their pick to the 49ers. He wasn't interested in trading up but they were VERY interested in trading down.

                We know the Lions were quite desperate to trade for instance (not that Denver would be interested in their #1 pick unless they really wanted Matt Stafford).

                But, Denver probably talked to all the teams in the top 10 to find out what they would take for their picks. That's just common sense.
                The Browns traded their pick to the Jets. The Seahawks, at #4 as you pointed out, selected Aaron Curry. Apparently, they were not willing to let the pick go with their need at LB after trading Julian Peterson.
                Last edited by Al Wilson 4 Mayor; 05-04-2009, 10:26 AM.
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan View Post
                  I agree with your longer response that I am presuming quite a bit. I feel confident in those presumptions though. The situation favors the odds it will likely come to pass.
                  That's what's fun about football and why we love it. Making predictions and then seeing if we're right or wrong! I won't be shy about admitting I was wrong if I am. And I get to say if I'm right too.

                  What we know for certain though is that next years D-line crop is going to be special. There will be quite a few high quality 3-4 DEs and NTs available, I really expect supply to outnumber demand, at least for the first few rounds.
                  Well, that would be a nice change from the last couple of years! If true then Denver could find a good NT around #25 or so. That would be great.

                  I don't expect Terrance Cody to be an option. I think the Chiefs will be pathetic next year due to transitioning schemes and a lack of talent, so I expect they will undoubtably take a NT in the Top 5. Cody seems to be that guy.
                  There's only so much money that you can devote to the DL -- especially when you play a 3-4 MUG!

                  Look at what they'll be paying just for Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson!
                  Glenn Dorsey #5: 7/26/2008: Signed a five-year, $33 million contract. The deal includes $22.5 million guaranteed. Another $18 million is available through incentives. 2009: $385,000, 2010: $983,500, 2011: $1,582,250, 2012: $2.181 million, 2013: $2.75 million, 2014: Free Agent
                  With various "incentives" (we don't know how likely these are to be earned but most of them should be) the guarantee is closer to $40 million!

                  Then there's Tyson Jackson who was the #3 pick. Last year's #3 pick Matt Ryan got:

                  5/20/2008: Signed a six-year, $66 million contract. The deal contains $34.75 million guaranteed, including a $7.45 million "log" bonus and a $2.505 million roster bonus in the first year. There was no signing bonus. Another $6 million is available through incentives. 2009: $3.5 million, 2010: $4.2 million, 2011: $4.9 million, 2012: $5.6 million, 2013: $6.3 million, 2014: Free Agent
                  While I don't think Jackson's contract will equal this one, the guarantees, around $35 million for a #3 pick, WILL be similar.

                  That's close to $70 million for just TWO players, neither of whom has shown anything yet. Dorsey is likely to be a very good DT in the future, but he hasn't shown it yet (no surprise few rookie DTs do anything).

                  And you think they're going to give top ten money to ANOTHER DL when they play a 3-4?

                  That would be just INSANE cap-management! You can find 3-4 DEs in much later rounds than the first! (Your own thread demonstrated this some time ago). The Steelers for instance have no starting DE who was drafted before the fifth round.

                  I don't see why they can't play Dorsey at NT, but then I can't see why they drafted Tyson Jackson either. So you could be right. But, it doesn't make any sense.

                  After Cody, I don't see another NT prospect until the late 1st/early 2nd at the earliest. Boo Robinson is in that mix. Maybe Vince Oghobaase. Al Woods if he recovers well from this previous injury-filled season. And there are always some sleepers that rise, maybe someone like Kellen Heard or Dan Williams.
                  If this is true, it's a problem. Even if the Chiefs are either out of the top 10 or don't draft a DL with their top pick, that does NOT mean that Denver will have a chance to draft Cody! Somebody else will take him quite high if he continues to be the same high prospect that he has been.

                  And if we really want a QB, there should be options. You have to assume Sam Bradford goes #1 Overall to somebody. After that Jevan Snead probably in the Top 5. Then there is an entire host of "other guys" such as Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Dan LeFevour, Jimmy Clauson, and Jake Locker. All considered potential Franchise talents. And with the NFL becoming saturated with top QBs, some will fall. From my figurations, teams that might be looking for Franchise QBs are Washington, Minnesota, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Denver, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Seattle. And I'm still not convinced we need a top QB prospect with McDaniels' system. Tom Brady was average statistically until McDaniels. Matt Cassell was a nobody until McDaniels. And now, our offense is stacked probably better then NE's ever was, and there is no excuse why we can't dominate. All we were missing was a starting 3-down RB (Moreno, check), personnel to run a 2-TE set (Graham, Quinn, check), and a dynamic pass catching scat back/KR guy (Arrington, check).
                  I would agree with most of this. There are a lot of QBs who could potentially go in the top 10 after Bradford. Of course, everything will change after this autumn's college season. Some will fall, some will rise, and some will be injured. For instance, if Bradford has a bad year he suddenly falls out of the top 10 and somebody else rises.

                  But, that doesn't mean the Broncos will be in a position to draft an elite QB! First of all, some of the QBs you've named will drop out of contention after next season. That's history. There are only 2 or 3 elite QB prospects in any draft. This year it was 2 and they were both gone by #5. (Unless you think that K-State's Josh Freeman was an elite prospect which he could be).

                  I'm not going to start a lengthy side discussion about Tom Brady. He's clearly an elite QB and would be in another system. McDaniels might have helped his development, but that does NOT mean that Kyle Orton is going to emerge as the next Tom Brady! Enough said.

                  I think we'll have plenty of options in regards to NT or QB or DE or Rush LB. Lots to choose from next draft. The one area next draft looks *really* weak? Cornerback. Right now, it looks like its Trevard Lindley or bust. Perhaps, another reason why Alphonso Smith makes so much sense. And I do believe he was the best CB in this draft.
                  Denver is probably going to start him at the #2 CB spot so we'll see what he can do. Personally, I think he's too short to be a great #1 CB given how #1 WRs are getting taller all the time. But, he can certainly be good with some safety help over the top.

                  And, I'm glad to say that for the first time in years Denver might actually have a cover safety worth mentioning in Darcell McBath. That would be a huge help! Still you know teams are going to try and match up BIG WRs on Smith in the end-zone and throw a fade route over the top and let their WR go up and grab it like a jump ball.

                  Vincent Jackson for instance is 6'5" which gives him an 8" height advantage over Smith! If Jackson can't go up and catch a pass over Smith's head with that kind of advantage he isn't trying! Same as Dre Bly was burned last year.

                  Jenkins probably ends up as a Safety, not because of his speed, but because of his lack of fluidity. Vontae Davis is a headcase. And Darius Butler is the same size as Smith, comes from a weaker conference, and is not as productive. Smith, meanwhile, does everything well including run defense, kick return, and leadership. Even if Smith has to remain as the nickelback for the foreseeable future, we are in good shape. The Superbowl obviously runs through New England, which makes a slot CB a must against Welker, and by only paying Smith a 2nd Round salary, we don't have to force him into starting due to finances.
                  I'm not opposed to drafting Smith, I just didn't want to see Denver give up a #1 pick to do it, and I don't think they needed to do that! They could have traded their #3 (or both of them) to move up.

                  All it would have cost was the chance to draft a TE in the 2nd that they don't need and who will sit on the bench for his rookie year, except in Denver's "Jumbo Packages" where they use 3 TEs.

                  I wouldn't have complained if they took Malcom Jenkins #12. After Shanny traded Foxworth, clearly this was a huge need. They could probably use yet ANOTHER CB in next year's draft if they don't plan on keeping Champ Bailey after 2010.

                  BTW: Bailey's contract is clearly designed so that there's a BIG incentive for the Broncos to re-sign him for the 2011 season. IF they let him go in FA they take a $6 million cap hit -- and get nothing.

                  Of course, who knows what the situation with the Cap will be then, or if there will even be one.

                  I think all the way around, this trade will work out well.
                  We'll get to see. Personally, I would prefer they kept the flexibility to respond to whatever their needs are.
                  Last edited by Cugel; 05-04-2009, 10:34 AM.
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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
                    The Browns traded their pick to the Jets. The Seahawks, at #4 as you pointed out, selected Aaron Curry. Apparently, they were not willing to let the pick go with their need at LB after trading Julian Peterson.
                    Or the Browns pick was cheaper. You're right.
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                    • #25
                      great read from milehighreport.com

                      http://www.milehighreport.com/2009/5...ts-nearsighted

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by donkeyDookie View Post
                        Thanks for the read! That's one fascinating article.

                        Here's the contentious point however:
                        b. There's also the urgency of right now. For this reason alone, the standard going rate of a draft pick this year is ALWAYS a pick one round higher the next season, which, for valuation purposes is ALWAYS assumed will fall dead in the middle of that one round. That means that a first next year is fundamentally equivalent to the 48th pick this year. The Broncos got the 37th pick for the equivalent of the 48th pick. Value-wise, the Broncos win easily there, regardless of who the player selected is.
                        This is how draft picks are valued using the points value system.

                        BUT clearly that's NOT all that was going on in this trade!

                        Seattle DEMANDED and got DENVER'S 2010 pick, NOT the Bears! Yet, we see from the above quote that BOTH Denver's and the Bears' picks would be equally valued from a points value perspective: Both are equal to around the #48 pick.

                        That's because the points value system doesn't ANTICIPATE what a team's record will be next season!

                        Where Denver fans are objecting to this trade is that looking at the Broncos roster, all the changes AND the brutal schedule they see a top 10 pick next year.

                        The Seahawks were obviously making that same conclusion or they wouldn't have cared which pick they received!


                        If the Broncos finish 9-7, their pick will be somewhere around #18 -- which would give reasonable value for Smith (if you believe he's a 1st round talent and taking into account the time-value of getting the pick now).

                        But, if the Broncos finish 5-11 or 6-10 then that pick will be a top 10 pick and THAT is NOT equal value!

                        I've already outlined my disagreement that ALL top 10 picks aren't worth the money. It depends on what you need and whether you can find it later in the draft.

                        What this article ignores is that you get more players to CHOOSE from in the first as opposed to the 2nd round.

                        If you could be sure of predicting the future accurately, then the 2nd round pick would always be better. But, you can't. The blue-chip talent is at a premium because those players are more clearly worthy of a roster spot in the NFL, and thus less likely to bust.

                        2nd round and later picks are more certainly more cost-effective, but they are also more likely to be completely worthless because the player didn't pan out.

                        If you consider the draft as as slot machine at Vegas:

                        1 You can play the $10 slots with a higher probability of getting a big pay-out (never 100% though), but that will cost more.

                        2. Or you can play the $1 slots with a much lower chance of a jackpot, but it costs less if you bust.

                        That's not a perfect analogy because the draft is much more likely to produce a jackpot winner (pro-bowl player) than Vegas, but you see the point.
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                        • #27
                          To me, getting rid of a 1st round pick because you might not be able to afford it is absurd. You pay the best talent, and either cut the lesser talent or make them take pay cuts. This is football common sense, and assuming McD and the FO knows this, they obviously thought Alphonso Smith was worth a 1st, and so they pulled the trigger.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Max Power View Post
                            To me, getting rid of a 1st round pick because you might not be able to afford it is absurd. You pay the best talent, and either cut the lesser talent or make them take pay cuts. This is football common sense, and assuming McD and the FO knows this, they obviously thought Alphonso Smith was worth a 1st, and so they pulled the trigger.
                            The Denver Post has reported that financial coniderations were NOT a factor in any of the decisions they made!

                            Apparently McDaniels sat down with Joe Ellis and they concluded that if Denver kept both picks this year and next year they could afford to sign those players.

                            Thus, they just went out and made a deal because they believed in the deal.

                            I think everybody will see this as a bad deal next year, but that's only because I'm predicting a 6-10 season or worse for the Broncos. If they go 9-7 it will be an even trade (setting aside consideration of whether Smith is any good) and if they do better than 9-7 they made a good deal.

                            If they can win games against the Steelers, Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, and S.D. twice then McDaniels will have earned his pay. They play virtually every elite team in the NFL outside of the Titans.

                            I doubt that, but we'll see.
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                            • #29
                              Here's my argument.

                              Smith was our top rated corner above Malcom Jenkins who went 14th, if we had him valued that high, in our eyes, it's a great trade.

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                              • #30
                                Have you guys read this article about the trade to select Alphonso Smith?

                                http://www.milehighreport.com/2009/5...ts-nearsighted

                                After going with focused and snark-free on Wednesday, I'm back with what everybody is more used-to from me. Meandering and snark... it must be ST&NO. Ready... BEGIN!!!!!

                                1. In the holistic, all-things-considered sense, second-round draft picks consistently work out to have better value than first-round draft picks. Some of you don't believe me, that much is clear; but it's true. Today, I am going to explain why and how.

                                There are four key reasons why:

                                a. Guaranteed money

                                b. The urgency of right now

                                c. Contract length

                                d. Relative value returned

                                a. First, let's start with guaranteed money. If a player is picked in the first 16 picks, his team is allowed to sign that player to a six-year contract, and they usually do. (The five-year deal Jake Long negotiated last year led a fairly anomalous preponderance of 5-year deals last season.) Players picked in the last 16 picks of the first round can be signed for a maximum of 5 years, and almost always are. All of them did in 2008.

                                Beginning with the first pick of the second round, you get into 4-year contract territory. I know what you're thinking... what does the length of the contract have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, a few things, actually.

                                A longer-term contract is inherently favorable to the team, because it provides cost certainty over a long period of time. To reap some benefits in return for the opportunity cost which the player is bearing (as represented by the inability to renegotiate for a long time,) agents insist upon receiving a great deal of guaranteed money in longer contracts, which provides income certainty to the players.

                                f you have a guy like Alphonso Smith rated as the 20th best player in the Draft, and you can get him at #37, it's a great deal financially. Instead of having to guarantee $1.6 Million per year, you're getting the guy for guarantees of $650-700,000 per year. Just because a guy was drafted in the second round, doesn't mean he can't play like a first-rounder. Many of them do, at least as many as there are first-rounders who bust.

                                b. There's also the urgency of right now. For this reason alone, the standard going rate of a draft pick this year is ALWAYS a pick one round higher the next season, which, for valuation purposes is ALWAYS assumed will fall dead in the middle of that one round. That means that a first next year is fundamentally equivalent to the 48th pick this year. The Broncos got the 37th pick for the equivalent of the 48th pick. Value-wise, the Broncos win easily there, regardless of who the player selected is.

                                A lot of media people are acting like this was a really questionable or odd trade, but it was absolutely not. It was standard, like any number of other trades in recent years, such as the ones for Tony Ugoh and Joe Staley. The Panther did exactly the same thing in trading for Everette Brown at the 44th pick. Somehow, they're taking much less of a media beating for it.

                                Josh McDaniels put it like this. He said that the way they were looking at it, they had four 1st-rounders in the next two years. When a player they valued as a #1 was available at #37, they decided to take three of the four #1s this year. I think that makes perfect sense. Three good players can help the team now, and for one of them, you got at a huge discount, in terms of dollar cost. Would you rather pay $700K per year guaranteed to Alphonso Smith, or 2.5 to 3 times as much to next year's 16th pick?
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