I have been off trolling other sites, trying to get a feel for other teams and how they may draft. Specifically I have been looking at our division opponents, and the teams that hold some key factors in our draft such as the Cowboys and Texans. While doing that I came across a nice little tidbit on the Cowboys SBNation site which you can find here.
while it might be a small sample size I think it demonstrates a valid point regarding actual draft value.
I will quote the most important info here.
Using years 2005-2010 as a comparison, these picks produced pro bowl players:
Pick 1-10: 15
Pick 11-20: 16
Pick 21-30: 17
Pick 31-40: 4
Pick 41-50: 8
Pick 51-64: 10
Pick 65-96: 3
Bill Belichick has set a trend, to trade down whenever possible, and now we see some hints of perhaps why. By trading down he does not really lower his chance at finding a quality player, and in fact by acquiring extra picks in later rounds, by virtue of having more chances to succeed, he in fact does increase his chances of generating more talent out of a given draft class.
Other teams follow different philosophies. A majority of teams rarely move around but you do see some teams with enough of a history to show patterns. The Ravens follow a similar play book to the Patriots, trade down, acquire more picks, get more talent than other teams. The Redskins show a tendency to trade away picks for players, along with the Bears and Vikings. The Jets tend to both trade up to get a specific guy, and use picks to get veteran players. The Eagles target a specific player and either move up or down to get him in what they deem is the proper value range.
Ultimately though more and more teams seem to be interested in moving down. I think that the Patriots and Ravens play book is out now, and I expect them to be less and less able to take advantage of it now that other teams are competing with them to trade down. It appears more and more that the teams who can trade down will depend more on circumstance than any kind of master manipulators like Ozzie Newsom and Bill Belichick.
That being said I could not help but to be impressed with what I feel is a clear emerging strategy for the Lions. We seem to want to trade down with our first round pick, though we are usually unsuccessful with it. However we also seem to have a history of trying to either trade back up into the first round, or to acquire an extra first round pick in a trade for a player that is either short on contract or no longer in the long term plans.
While this could just be a byproduct of circumstance itself, because the Lions tend to target specific players and move up to get them if they feel strongly about them, it still nets the same end results. Year in and year out we are adding more players that have a chance to make the pro bowl than other teams are.
Year one: Stafford and Pettigrew
Year two: Suh and Best
Year three: ???
Usually the Lions seem to have a specific strategy in mind, specific players to target. So who do you think the Lions would target if they make two first round picks again this year?