NFL  > Cleveland Browns  > Why Cleveland Traded Down
April 29, 2009, 09:39 AM
Hello All,

There's been a lot of debate about whether Cleveland made the right choice about trading down, and whether we got enough for the trade. Personally, I think we could have gotten more, but not substantially so because it is becoming clearer to NFL teams that the price you pay for a top 5 pick in comparison to your entire roster is usually not a good risk reward proposition.

Also keep in mind, the negotiations are happening before the draft to a certain extent, but also added to that is a secondary negotiation that happens within the minutes allocated to a team during their actual pick. If the Browns did not trade with the Jets, the would be stuck buying an expensive lottery ticket and hoping for the best.

To illustrate my point, I went to NFL.com and using their stats for top players (I don't like how I had to quantify QB's but I don't have all day), I took the top 5 players from last year from three positions, when they were drafted, and averaged the result.

To be fair, it looks like (at least last year) good recievers do come out of the top 5 with a fair amount of regularity. However, in most cases a top 5 draft pick doesn't come close to guaranteeing a star player.

QB ??? Passing Yards (just one facet I know ??? but I don???t have all day and this is the way NFL.com does stats)

Drew Brees #32
Kurt Warner Undrafted (so I???ll give him a 50th pick just to get an average)
Jay Cutler #11
Aaron Rodgers #24
Philip Rivers #4

Overall average pick: 24th

Rushing Yards

Adrian Peterson #7
Michael Turner #154
DeAngelo Williams #27
Clinton Portis #51
Thomas Jones #7

Overall Average Pick: 49th

Receiving Yards

Andre Johnson #3
Larry Fitzgerald #3
Steve Smith #77
Roddy White #27
Calvin Johnson #2

Overall Average Pick: 22nd


So I look at this and think, why buy that lottery ticket? Yes.. someone has to be in the top 5. Yes... you do have the whole field to consider. However, by what I am seeing you seem to have at least as good a chance to pick up a star late in the first round and early in the second round as you do in the top 5. So why pay that premium? From a business perspective, it doesn't make sense.

Really the only solution I see to this is capping rookie salaries. If I am a Steve Smith and some rookie gets paid more than me... I guess that would make me mad enough to punch a team mate. (I don't condone violence...).

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