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Dan Pompei: Have Second-Round Picks become more valuable than first rounders in trade talks?


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2nd-round picks not always 2nd-best

Many GMs covet cheaper alternative, cap flexibility

Dan Pompei | On the NFL

July 27, 2008

The Jason Taylor and Jeremy Shockey trades last week were noteworthy because both the Dolphins and Giants received second-round picks in return for the players.

Those second-round picks have become very valuable—in some respects as valuable as first-round picks used to be.

"In my opinion second-round picks can be more valuable because you pay second-rounders less," one veteran NFC front office executive said. "They help you by giving you more cash to spend on other players and more salary cap space. Then after three years they are easier to re-sign because their initial contract was not overinflated. … And there are lower expectations for a second-rounder."

It's not as if the talent drops off precipitously. Among the players who have come out of the second round in recent years are the incomparable Devin Hester, 2007 defensive player of the year Bob Sanders, three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, 2006 defensive rookie of the year DeMeco Ryans and two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill.

The number of quality players to choose from in the first round obviously is higher, but not by much. A five-year draft study reveals 66 percent of players chosen in the first round between 2002 and 2006 firmly established themselves as starters compared to 49 percent of players chosen in the second round.

But in some years, the depth in the second round may be better than the first. The 2003 draft, for instance, produced 18 starters from the second round and only 17 from the first.

Plank returns

Twenty-six years after playing his final down in the NFL for the Bears, Doug Plank is back in the league as an assistant coach for the Falcons.

Plank, who wore the number for which the 46 defense is named, did not take a typical path to the job. After eight years playing for the Bears and one for the USFL's Blitz, he went into the fast-food business, owning 21 Burger King franchises at one point. Plank eventually got back into the football loop via broadcasting and then started coaching in the Arena League.

For the last four years he has been head coach of the Georgia Force, which is part of Falcons owner Arthur Blank's holdings and shares office space with the Falcons.

"If I was going to work in the NFL, what better place than with the organization I already was affiliated with?" Plank said. "The Atlanta Falcons knew Doug Plank better than anybody—even the Chicago Bears. This seemed like the most natural place to be."

New Falcons coach Mike Smith already had all of his positions filled but created an all-purpose job for Plank working in all aspects of football operations. He may even do some advance scouting.

"I am so honored and flattered to be given this opportunity," Plank said. "I'm attacking this like I'm a freshman in college. … I couldn't ask to be in a better spot."

I agree..... 2nd round picks are more vauleble.....In next years draft you should be able to get a starting DT,OT,G,C,LB,CB,and a Safety in the 2nd round............ Alot of you may diagree but ill rather have 6'6 320lbs DT Vince Oghobaase and 6'1 294lbs DT Geno Atkins (4 year, $4.833 million....each)..... Then have a Glenn Dorsey(5 year, $51 million)

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You can take more chances in the 2nd round. If you make a mistake in the early stages of the 1st you cripple your franchise for years. Maybe thats why you see the same teams picking in the top 10 year after year.

Except the teams that hit gets out of the top 10 but the teams that miss continue to be in the top 10......... You cant miss

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I can agree. We paid Ryan 12 million a year, and Henne is being paid .5 (notice the "." in that, half a million!) a year. Drafted right around my boy Brohm. It's crazy how much it drops off. End of the first round is like 2 million a year, and you should have a long term starter.

The only problem is trading out of the top of the draft, I'd prefer a few 2nd and 3rd rounders over that top 3 pick. I just hope that gets changed, I mean, look at what NO is paying Reggie Bush, and after 2 years he is not the starter, he is mentioned in the same breath as Stecker, or Steckler, or some late round or UDFA RB.

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you know what, this is so true. High picks come with a high amount of loyalty. You have to give those top 10 picks time to develop, and like said, if that player is a bust then it cripples franchises. Teams like hte Patriots are always picking low in the first round, and yet they always have the best product on the field. I can agree with what this article writer is saying. 2nd round picks are truly valuable since you can still get a player that has a high probability of becoming a caliber starter, at an extremely discounted contract

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I went on and on about this when we were discussing what to do with our #3 pick pre-draft. I was am would be again all for trading down for multiple picks, even if we lost value on the draft chart.

That's nothing against Ryan. I think he'll do very well for us, but multiple starters would have been more valuable for us, as a rebuilding team.

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I can agree. We paid Ryan 12 million a year, and Henne is being paid .5 (notice the "." in that, half a million!) a year. Drafted right around my boy Brohm. It's crazy how much it drops off. End of the first round is like 2 million a year, and you should have a long term starter.

The only problem is trading out of the top of the draft, I'd prefer a few 2nd and 3rd rounders over that top 3 pick. I just hope that gets changed, I mean, look at what NO is paying Reggie Bush, and after 2 years he is not the starter, he is mentioned in the same breath as Stecker, or Steckler, or some late round or UDFA RB.

The thing is....... if you have to pay big money(top 10).... it might as well be your franchise QB........ Glenn Dorsey signed a 5 year, $51 million contract........ I like Glenn Dorsey but i cant pay a DT that type of money .... Thats over 10 million a year for a DT....... Tommie Harris is the only DT close enough to being worth that type of money...... I wanted the falcons to draft Glenn Dorsey pre-drat but i thought he would cost around 6 year, $42 million

I am now 100% sure that alot of potential first round underclassmen will come out early....... Monopoly money is being passed around.......I know alot of fans want OT's like Michael Oher and Andre Smith but yooo.... Im praying to god that we have a good season and pick in the teens........ top 10 money is a killer

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The value players are picks 15-50 or so. You're looking at between 2 mill a year for the 15th pick to around under a million for the 50th. Very good values. It's the top of the first that is crazy.

If you made up your team with late first/early 2nd rounders, you'd have tons of quality starters and be under the salary cap by about 50 mil.

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The value players are picks 15-50 or so. You're looking at between 2 mill a year for the 15th pick to around under a million for the 50th. Very good values. It's the top of the first that is crazy.

If you made up your team with late first/early 2nd rounders, you'd have tons of quality starters and be under the salary cap by about 50 mil.

That's where I'd like to be next year (assuming we can't be a title contender). If we're picking in the middle of the first, that would suit me down to the ground.

If we're going to suck and have a high draft pick, I'd love to trade down and pick up some extra picks. Might as well flood the team with as much young talent as possible and see where we can upgrade. There really aren't many positions on this team that are secure. It's probably safe to say that we're set at QB, DE, WR, and RB for the next several years. After that, it's up in the air.

Direwolf

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The thing is....... if you have to pay big money(top 10).... it might as well be your franchise QB........ Glenn Dorsey signed a 5 year, $51 million contract........ I like Glenn Dorsey but i cant pay a DT that type of money .... Thats over 10 million a year for a DT....... Tommie Harris is the only DT close enough to being worth that type of money...... I wanted the falcons to draft Glenn Dorsey pre-drat but i thought he would cost around 6 year, $42 million

I am now 100% sure that alot of potential first round underclassmen will come out early....... Monopoly money is being passed around.......I know alot of fans want OT's like Michael Oher and Andre Smith but yooo.... Im praying to god that we have a good season and pick in the teens........ top 10 money is a killer

very true

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