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Thread: An Economist's perspective on the Draft: Always better to trade down, than up

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    SkapePhin's Avatar
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    An Economist's perspective on the Draft: Always better to trade down, than up

    http://www.vox.com/2014/5/7/5683448/...s-irrationally

    Very interesting read and one that makes a lot f sense.

    Risk Diversification.

    It's better to have a lot of lower round picks and play the numbers than trade a bunch of picks for one high pick.

    I believe this is what set in place the tragic descent of the Dolphins in the early 2000s as WannSpiel viewed the draft picks as toilet paper. We still haven't recovered.

    Here's to hoping Hickey understands this concept.


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    Slim's Avatar
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    Also known as the Bill Belichick method.
    Sig courtesy of @dolfan565

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    TheWalrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim View Post
    Also known as the Bill Belichick method.
    It was the Jimmy Johnson method before that and the Bill Walsh method even before that.

    At the same time your chances of getting an elite player I think do jump up as you get into a certain range. I mean, if you think of it like horse racing, your chances of getting a great horse if you pay top dollar for one from top stock are going to be better than buying a dozen horses from mediocre stock and hoping one turns out. You might get better "value" from a dozen horses but if your goal is to win the Kentucky Derby good luck to you.

    As far as the draft is concerned it's the late third through fifth round that seems to produce the same number of duds as the sixth and seventh rounds do. So in that case trading down makes sense.



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    J. David Wannyheimer's Avatar
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    The problem with WannSpiel was that they picked crappy players.

    Ice up, Leodis.
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    SkapePhin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. David Wannyheimer View Post
    The problem with WannSpiel was that they picked crappy players.
    Well that only compounded the problem. They traded a crap ton of picks so they went into every draft with a lack of picks. If they had more, they may have hit on more ( considering they stumbled upon a few good players like Chambers, Y. Bell and McMichael)


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    NorFlaFin's Avatar
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    Until you have A++ players in key position, meh.

    After getting the franchise QB, 4-3 DE, stud WR then I start the trade down and stockpile players.

    Good idea though
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    spiketex's Avatar
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    I'm actually an economist by education and training and I'm delighted to see that someone has sought to gather data on the subject.
    It links to a very good life concept of being prepared to delay gratification. I'm not surprised that Belichick got the benefit of trading down for all those years, but he wasted many picks on players who failed to make it. This year seems a good year to trade down because of the apparent great depth of talent available, but that shouldn't be seen as the norm. At the end of the day you need a trading partner.
    Last edited by spiketex; 05-08-2014 at 05:31 AM.
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    rob19's Avatar
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    To what extent, though?

    I've heard that on average there are about 18-24 players who are identified as 'blue chip' prospects coming out of the draft every year, and that there's a steep talent decline once you get passed the first 40 or so selections. Of course there are exceptions, but by-and-large I believe that's probably got a lot of truth to it.

    So for example, I'd rather have four or five picks in the top two rounds than a dozen picks in rounds four through seven.
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    Rookie

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    It's an interesting analysis, but I just wish the article would say on average the teams that trade down usually do better, as opposed to saying teams are always better off trading down.

    There's also a bit of cargo cult to it, in that it talks about the correlation between a teams wins and losses and how often they trade down. Of course it might very well be that good teams have fewer glaring needs and are, as a result in a position to trade down. Or, for example, if you already have a good quarterback or at least one that you're willing to live with, you're in a position to trade with a team that's desperate to get one. So for instance, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where Houston (assuming it takes Clowney first overall) will attempt to trade up with any of the seven teams picking in front of Cleveland at 26, none of whom, with the exception of perhaps Arizona or Cincy, have a glaring need for a quarterback, if a guy like Manziel or Bortles is around. (The article also admits that the sample size is small).

    It's also interesting that in the captions under the pictures, it says that the Giants were the losers in the Eli Manning trade. So they would have won three Super Bowls if they stuck with Rivers and the other picks?
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    Awsi Dooger's Avatar
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    Shoots a hole in the notion that the trade for Dion Jordan was great value. The article spotlights that 8 spots within that range isn't worth nearly as much as conventional wisdom. Although it's true that two defensive ends went quickly after Jordan so it's not like we could have had the second pick at that position 9 spots later. We might have been stuck with Sheldon Richardson inside. Horrors.

    Late first/early second is the current sweet spot. I think that holds up if you look at the Massey research and all-time Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame criteria. For quarterbacks it's higher. The later first rounders and second rounders don't pan out particularly well, despite a local example.

    If we entertain ideas about trading down this year, the acquired picks need to be within the top 40 or 45. If all you get is third and fourth round garbage you might as well stand pat. Deep draft phooey.
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