This just in, with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles have picked another player from Georgia.
That is a joke, or is it? In a year in which we had 31 first round picks due to the Miami Dolphins losing one, we had 31 Power 5 picks. No Group of 5, no FCS, no D2.
The SEC had 8 go in the first round. But what if teams utilized the draft the way they should.
My theory is that teams should trade to the point that they have 10 picks a season. They also should draft anything other than Power 5 players with their picks, while drafting Power 5 players with the extra picks. The #1 Power 5 player may be better than the #1 Group of 5 player, but is the #20 Power 5 player better than the #1 Group of 5 player?
This year, Cody Mauch from North Dakota State was the first non Power 5 player (FCS) to go at #48. Note: Notre Dame, who needs to be in the ACC full time, had players drafted at #35 and #40.
Back in the old days, the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers had 38 of their own picks on the roster when they won the Super Bowl. Kansas City did it differently, as they only had 29. Getting Patrick Mahomes solves lots of problems. But if you are a rebuilding team, wouldn’t it make more sense to throw more darts at the board? Fish the underfished pond?
Here are the teams with the fewest double digit picks since the draft went to it’s current format in 1994.https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/
1- New Orleans
2-Los Angeles Chargers
- The Saints were saved by Drew Brees. They only hit double digits once, and haven’t done so since 1996. But that should not be a surprise, as this is the same team that traded their whole draft in 1999 for Ricky Williams.
- Chargers main takeaway was doing this in 2004, when they drafted Eli Manning.
- Atlanta made 2 of those years stick: 2001 with Michael Vick: 2008 with Matt Ryan
- Houston, like Atlanta with Vick and Los Angeles with Manning, did this in a year with #1 overall Jadeveon Clowney in 2014. The others were the first 2 seasons of the franchise in 2002-03.
- Kansas City really spaced it out. 1994, 2008, 2022. What did they do in 2022?
- The fact that Dallas chose Micah Parsons in 2021 makes that a standout class. Before then, they had not had double digit picks since 2009.
Teams with the most double digit picks.
14- New England
12- Green Bay
11- Los Angeles Rams
10- San Francisco
- New England has used the same template under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. Obviously drafting Tom Brady with the 199th pick changed the franchise, but that was a year in which they had 10 picks. Even without having a first rounder, Brady was the 7th player picked by the Patriots that year.
- Yes, they had 11 picks in 2005, the year they drafted Aaron Rodgers. Team has done a great job of stacking players in certain positions.
- Rams are a mild surprise. They seemingly trade away their first round picks, but make up for it with volume. 11 picks in 2005 unleashed Ryan Fitzpatrick on us.
- Baltimore is elite. Of course that means that they had 10 picks in 2008, walking away with Joe Flacco.
- Minnesota has a recent bias to this, having done so every year from 2019-22. 2020 is the watershed moment, in which they had 15 picks, which is a record in this 1994-2023 time frame. Getting loads of picks means that Jeff Gladney’s flameout goes under the radar. Also helps that this is the Justin Jefferson draft.
- San Francisco moved off this theory. But it worked. They did so every year from 2013-17, capping off the last season by picking up George Kittle.
Obviously, it is better to draft a franchise QB and then work out the rest of the roster. But taking a chance on more players leads to more hits.
Now if we can get them to value non Power 5 players properly, that would be the icing on the cake.