Assuming your theory here is accurate, it only proves my point that Menelik Watson was the biggest reach in the draft if in fact, the difference in talent is greater from #22 (Desmond Trufant) to #42 (Menelik Watson) than it is from #42 (Watson) to #62 (Christine Michael).
The difference in talent between the 22nd player and the 42nd player depends entirely on who the two players were that were drafted with these two picks. Same applies to the 42nd player and the 62nd player. If Atlanta had selected Anthony Amos with the 22nd pick, are you going to tell me that the talent gap between him and the team that picked Tank Carradine at #42 is greater than the talent gap between Carradine and Eddie Lacy at #62? Of course not. The talent gap between two picks is always entirely dependent on who the two picks were.
I don't subscribe at all to the theory that the talent gap between Brandon Weeden (#22 in last year's draft) and Jonathan Martin (#42 in last year's draft) is greater than the talent gap between Jonathan Martin and Casey Hayward (#62 in last year's draft).
Players with 1st round talent fall into the 2nd round for a variety of reasons, most of them deemed to be correctable. I've had 9 players that I graded as 1st rounders all with the same grade. I've had 9 players that I graded as 4th rounders all with the same grade. Fact is, there's no such thing as the 22nd best player in the draft or the 42nd best player in the draft. 100 evaluators are going to have 100 different draft boards.
If you're a team that runs C2 and prefers huge CB's, you're going to have a completely different looking draft board in terms of CB's than a team that likes to play man coverage, because you're prioritizing a completely different set of skills.
The purpose of this thread was nothing more than showing where some players were actually selected in comparison to how I had them graded. On somebody else's board they may see all my value picks as reaches, and all my reaches as value picks. 3 years down the road we're going to find out about every single one of 'em either way.
The majority of elite players are typically off the board in the first 15 picks. After that, the talent pool from that point all the way through the next 25-30 players is fairly similar. The talent pool from that point to 150 is fairly similar. Then there's another steep dropoff similar to the magnitude of the one that happened after the first 15 picks. The talent pool from 150 through the UDFA pool is fairly similar. These are players that are considered to have flaws that aren't correctable.
The point is, your odds of finding elite talent drops all throughout the draft. It just drops at different rates. If you study the draft closely and the history of it. you'll understand where the steepest dropoffs occur.
When you look at the statistics involved with the draft since it went to 7 rounds in 1994, the percentages tell you the value of draft picks. If you look at every draft from 1994-2007, because the 2007 class is the most recent one that has had time for all of the players to fully develope, and essentially become what they are... the percentages tell you where the talent is found.
1994 Draft:: 222 players drafted / 26 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 10 of those were 1st round picks / 6 were 2nd round picks / 10 were selected in rounds 3-7.
1995 Draft:: 249 players drafted / 29 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 13 of those were 1st round picks / 5 were 2nd round picks / 11 were selected in rounds 3-7.
1996 Draft:: 254 players drafted / 34 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 15 of those were 1st round picks / 6 were 2nd round picks / 13 were selected in rounds 3-7.
1997 Draft:: 240 players drafted / 24 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 10 of those were 1st round picks / 6 were 2nd round picks / 8 were selected in rounds 3-7.
1998 Draft:: 241 players drafted / 31 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 10 of those were 1st round picks / 9 were 2nd round picks / 12 were selected in rounds 3-7.
1999 Draft:: 253 players drafted / 28 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 13 of those were 1st round picks / 4 were 2nd round picks / 11 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2000 Draft:: 254 players drafted / 28 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 14 of those were 1st round picks / 5 were 2nd round picks / 9 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2001 Draft:: 246 players drafted / 34 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 17 of those were 1st round picks / 11 were 2nd round picks / 6 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2002 Draft:: 261 players drafted / 20 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 10 of those were 1st round picks / 4 were 2nd round picks / 6 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2003 Draft:: 262 players drafted / 35 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 13 of those were 1st round picks / 7 were 2nd round picks / 15 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2004 Draft:: 255 players drafted / 31 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 15 of those were 1st round picks / 3 were 2nd round picks / .13 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2005 Draft:: 255 players drafted / 28 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 12 of those were 1st round picks / 5 were 2nd round picks / 11 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2006 Draft:: 255 players drafted / 35 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 17 of those were 1st round picks / 8 were 2nd round picks / 10 were selected in rounds 3-7.
2007 Draft:: 255 players drafted / 29 made at least 1 pro-bowl / 14 of those were 1st round picks / 6 were 2nd round picks / 9 were selected in rounds 3-7.
Basically what you have here over these 14 drafts are 3,502 players drafted / 412 made at least 1 pro-bowl..... or about 11%.
Of those 412 who made at least 1 pro-bowl / 183 were 1st round picks.... or about 44%.
85 were 2nd round picks.... or about 20%. Your chances of getting a pro-bowl player is more than cut in half from Round 1 to Round 2.
144 were selected in rounds 3-7.... or about 35%. You have about a 7% chance of getting a pro-bowl player in the 3rd round, and it drops to below 5% in every subsequent round.
If you look a little closer, 79 of the 183 pro-bowlers that were selected in the 1st round were all top 10 picks.... or about 43%. This is why it's so important to draft for TALENT instead of need, especially in the top 15.
Only 1 out of 10 draft picks will ever make 1 pro-bowl. Almost half of those are found in the 1st round.... and almost half of those are found in the top 10. The majority of pro-bowl talent found in the 2nd round comes in the top 15 picks or so of the round.
After that, you're simply trying to get rosterable players to acquire depth. This is where competent GM's begin drafting for need, while still taking talent into consideration. You never cease to keep TALENT at the top of your priority list... you simply increase how much impact need has on your selection.
As the statistics clearly show, your chances of getting an elite player decrease dramatically after the first 15 picks. Your chances of getting an elite player is virtually the same from 15-32 as it is from 32-47. That's why people like Belichek value 2nd round picks so much, and is constantly trading down from late round 1 into the early part of round 2. He knows that his chances of getting an elite player is the same in the first half of the 2nd round as it is in the 2nd half of the 1st round.... he just doesn't have to deal with a 1st round contract.
The talent pool from #22 to #42 is much closer than it is from #42 to #62. Which is why your odds of getting a pro bowl caliber player is around 35% in the second half of the 1st round, and remains essentially the same for the 1st half of the 2nd round (pick #22 to pick #42). As opposed to a dropoff to around 7% by the time pick #62 rolls around. The talent gap between #42 to #62 is significantly greater than it is from #22 to #42.
FWIW btw, the Herbal Badger was the best value of the entire draft IMHO. I had the kid ranked as one of the best 5 players in the entire draft and the Cards got him in round 3. Thats a steal. Straight up.
Come to think of it, Stedman Bailey was probably an even better value considering he went even later than the Herbal Badger. Best WR in a draft loaded with WR talent taken in the late 3rd. Thats value.
We had 12 and 42. Both were borderline. You'd prefer to be a couple of notches higher, in each case. I would have been tempted to stay put, and use 54, 77 and 82 to move within the top 40. The trade to 3 was sensible, given the cost and potential payoff of a supreme athlete, but damn it stung when you consider it only allowed one pick in the premium top 40 or 42, instead of a guaranteed 2, and possibly 3 if we'd packaged our second tier resources, the ones that are invariably overvalued.
Anyway, regarding the numbers in this thread I can see Slimm's point, that it's more convenient and straightforward to use the linear numbers. Everything else requires too much explanation and interpretation. It's similar to when I share a betting angle with a friend. I'll hand them the system that's easiest to follow and with the greatest sample size, even if a more complicated version with several twists produces a somewhat higher percentage.
A few points worth noting:
1. Each draft is unique.
While in aggregate we can see patterns, that doesn't translate into accurate projections for an individual draft.
2. Selections are in serial but grades aren't.
If a team has 10 guys rated all with the same grade, they would select them at 10 different spots, but that doesn't change the fact that the team graded them all similarly. Also, while the selection spot between 50 and 51 may be 1 spot difference, which isn't much, the team may have them graded as the last player with a high grade and the first player with a significantly lower grade. Many GM's will trade back if they think some of the similarly graded guys will make it to a later pick, and trade up when they think their pick is after a significant dropoff.
3. All teams pick for need to some extent.
Yes, every GM likes to talk about drafting the best player available, and to a certain degree they do, but the majority of a team's picks fill specific needs. Ireland calls it lateral drafting, but essentially, when the grades are similar he fills needs. Even the vaunted Ravens draft for need to a certain extent, and we saw it again this year.
4. Rarely is there uniform depth at a position in a draft.
So, looking at where players were picked often is skewed by the demand for the position (a function of need and utility) vs. the supply at various points in the talent pool. We saw a lack of supply for elite WR's this year, but an oversupply of promising prospects teams had graded as round 2 or 3 prospects. That lead to many WR's being pushed down. Guys like Kenny Stills, Keenan Allen and Ryan Swope all had reasons they weren't chosen higher, but in other drafts guys like that would have been chosen higher by teams willing to take the chance on them because of less-deep talent pools.
5. Value is dependent on the roster.
A team like San Francisco has a talented roster from top to bottom. While they could make a pick that ranks as a good value pick, the guy could still fail to make the roster. Some would argue that it is still a value pick, and I can see that reasoning. But personally, I see value as the chance to make the roster and how much they can improve the team. So, a guy like Lattimore may be a risky injury pick, but still a value pick for San Fran because the chance of any player making their roster at that pick is not good. Lattimore has as good of a shot as any, and their situation allows for them to stash him on the IR and enjoy the benefits of a good RB taken in a mid round selection down the road. I wouldn't see the same value from a team like Cincinnati or Green Bay who really want someone to step in now.
Anyway, great analysis Slim, and a very good discussion throughout this thread.
Nonetheless- the size, the power, the hand punch, the quick reflexes, the solid base, the run blocking, lateral movement on the kickslide, the pass blocking- all of it was there on film imo, in spades. In games and in clips I rarely saw Watson get beaten, if he gave up a sack I missed it. he won/dominated nearly all of the time. The one thing that bothered me were his feet- they're good feet, but I was expecting Lane Johnson & D'Brickashaw Ferguson feet quickness (and Lane Johnson type speed) and it just wasn't there.
But good Lord can this guy play- the quick hands and reflexes- and solid footwork- show themselves and speak well of his training in boxing and basketball. Watson is a devastating run blocker and he just neutralizes power and speed rushers, a neatly ideal RT imo who might very well be able to play LT. As per your last comment, another FSU OL cetainly caught my eye, it might have been Cameron Erving.
Erving is the kid that interested me out of those two. They converted him from defensive tackle in spring practice 2 years ago. He's been the best player on FSU's offensive line at left tackle in my opinion since he made the conversion.
Him and Matias are really good prospects.