With all the trade up talk surrounding the draft I wanted to take a quick look at where the top 15 salaried players at every position were drafted. For each position I put together a list that looked at the average round the player was selected, the median round for the group, the average and median pick, and finally the percentage of the top 15 drafted in the top 10 and the percent drafted in the rest of the first round.
|Position||Average Round||Median Round||Average Pick||Median Pick||% Drafted Top 10||% Drafted 11-32|
Just two positions, corner and left tackle, actually average a pick in the first round. Corner is clearly a 1st round dominant position with 73% of the top players coming from somewhere in round 1 left tackle has 67% in round 1 while the edge rusher is at 60%. The only other position with over 50% coming from the first round is QB where 53% were selected in the first round. QB is dominant for the top 10 with 40% coming from the top 10.
I think the takeaway would be if you are going to trade up into the top 10 it has to be for a QB and no other position. I think if you are going to move up in round 1 or into round 1 there is probably a case to be made that its reasonable to do if the pick is going to be a corner or a left tackle. I don’t think you would put Edge in that group though as the split is very even between top 10 and rest of round 1. That makes it a strong position if you have a top 10 pick but probably not one to move up for. On the other end of the spectrum your tight ends, centers, and right tackles come way later in the draft with average rounds close to 4 and median picks near 120. Generally teams do not draft these players high and Im not sure anything would indicate that there is an advantage to drafting the few who do grade that high since there seems to be good talent throughout. Overall I think most of those positions on the bottom of the chart likely do not even warrant a first round draft pick if there is a player who might not grade as well but is in the remote ballpark and he plays one of those top 7 spots
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.