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NFL draft economics -- Why we should draft OT at #9 and DT at #41.

I am new at the post thing so bear with me while  I learn, and forgive me if I dont get my thoughts put together in an orderly fashion. 

I sure do enjoy reading, and learning from the many different prospectives that this site offers!!! ----LETS RUMBLE-- 
I wont claim to be an economics expert, but I do know the basics of supply and demand.  I am also not  a draft expert (more of a rookie myself).  In my readings here lately as we approach the draft there have been many comments, opinions, and discussions about who, when, and how players should be drafted.  In  this post I do not want to focus so much on individual players as I do on the when, and the how (draft philosophy).  I expect there will be many different opinions, as we all will put different values on the positions of need, philosophy, and when to address the needs.  I hope I can finish  these thoughts after the jump!!!!

Again I dont want this to become another post  on favorite players as that has been discussed already.  That being said I will mention a few names along the way more in a way of explanation than anything.  For the purpose of this post I am going to assume the positions of need as  ( QB, OT, DT, OLB ).  I think we can all agree on these needs.  I also put them in order of positional value IMO.  Some may disagree with this order, but I think this is a generally held view. 

Before I start to loose anyone lets throw out a couple more generally held views.  As much as I would love to see us in the playoffs this year; I know the odds are so slim it is not worth the time to discuss.  We will be really lucky to finish 2010 close to last years record.  We need top tier talent at too many positions.  It is going to take two years minimum of good solid drafts to fill all the holes.  with that in mind I think we have to fill the holes in a way that gives us as much talent as possible at each  position.  I hope we are all still on the same track, because this is where I anticipate loosing some of you. 

Some people put too much value on positional value.  They will argue we dont have a franchise QB so we have to get one at #9 this year no matter what.  Some people will argue you have to draft  BPA  even though we dont need a  safety if that is the BPA we should get him because our team needs more play makers.  Others will argue a combination of these two.  I think most of us fall in between them somewhere.  I know I do, but I would take it a step further.  I would add draft strenght  as a third leg to the stool.  We already do this all the time in a way when we use BPA.  If we look at last year there was a high amount of quality (C).  Based on that, and the fact that (C) is not a high positional value one might have expected some of the prospects to fall into later rounds.  That did not happen though, because demand was also high.  In fact the top three prospects were picked before where most mocks had them.  Why??  (supply and demand) As demand for a position rises faster than the supply players in those positions rise up the draft boards.  We see this every year at QB, LT, and NT.  Players rise up the boards based on talent, and positional demand.  This is why there  is a higher "BUST" rate at these positions, because  some of the demand influenced how high they were picked.  We  picked Woods at #28 last year, and some said that was to high.  He climbed up (our) draft board based on our perceived talent of him, but also our knowledge of the demand  for the position.  We did not think he would be there at #42.  The draft class strength at (C) influenced supply, and demand ,because teams looking to strengthen their interior line not knowing when a draft class that  strong would come along again.  (I am glad we got Woods at #28.) 

QB is our biggest positional need, but the top tier of this draft class is thin, and there is a  wide range of opinions of how much value should be given to each individual player below the top two.  With 5-6 teams in need of a QB and only two top tier players available, I submit that is keeping their values somewhat inflated, and hype too high.  I am not saying there is not talent there.  Where do you think Bradford, and Clausen would be rated if they had waited until next year to come out??  Would they still be #1, and #2??   I doubt it.  Of course we will never Know, but my point is with 4-5 projected top tier QB next year if you added this years to the bunch someone would have to slide down the board providing value.  IMO the best way to optimize our draft selections is to play to the drafts strengths.  I know!!! I cant predict the future.  We dont know if there really will be 4-5 top tier QB next year.  This is true we dont.  I dont know there is gas at the gas station, but I still take an educated guess on ocassion and swing in with money in hand ready to buy.  We dont know a lot of things.  That should not stop us from formulating a solid draft plan based on the best information we have. 

We can in no way get all the high positional value needs we have in this draft, so it makes sense to get the best value out of the next two draft classes to fill those needs.  To look at only one year at a time IMO would be short sighted.  To the other extreme we cant look 5 years down the road either it just would not be accurate.  What I have found is this. 

1.   This years draft is deep at DT.  Players like Cody, Thomas, and Troup might would have gone higher in another year than they will this year.  Thus Cody at #41 might be a value compared to where he might have been drafted if the talent pool was not as deep.

2.  This years draft although not stacked with top tier talent at OT I believe is going to be better than next year.  I am not thrilled with the choices of OT at #9, but compared to waiting until next year I think it is still the way to go. 

3.  Next years draft is projected to be deep in top tier QB.  If Clausen is available at #9 this year it would be tempting to take the bird in the hand so to speak, but what will we get at OT, and NT at picks #41 ,and #72 or #1 next year in a weaker draft class???  Could we get a better or just as good QB next year at a lower pick based on the depth of the class???  Would we pay less for a franchise QB next year under a new CBA???  (probably yes) 

My conclusion:   We should take the best OT available at #9 this year, unless the top 4-5 are gone already.  We should take the best DT available at #41 this year .  The rest of this years picks should be used for OLB, and depth.  We should take the best QB available next year with our #1 pick trade up as far as needed.  We should plug any other holes with the remainder of the picks.

Ihope this made sence thanks!!!!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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