SIzzle and Steak: Round 2 of the NFL Draft and the importance of the later rounds

Have you been noticing how the Eagles are trading more and more down into the second round? This is the football version of “Moneyball,” where value is seen more reliably in those less heralded second rounders THAT GET THE JOB DONE. In the Super Bowl for the Giants, when you sort the team’s reprentation of starters from the round where they came from, you would logically think that the first rounders outnumber the second rounders. But they do not. 3 first rounders, 7 second rounders. And the linked blog entry shows that over the previous administrations stretching all the way to 1979, the one constant is that the Giants do better in the second round, period end of story. Sizzle vs steak. Sizzle sells newspapers and draft coverage, steak sells championships. Add that Alford, DeOssie, Boss, Johnson, Bradshaw all came from (what is now) Day 2.

In reading up on the stories coming from the Giants “War Room,” I am continually struck by the pressure and emotion of the Round 1 pick vs the stories that come from the Round 2 and later rounds. There is always some ‘worry’ and stress about the big ticket not being there. Reese and Coughlin were allegedly holding their breath as they waited for each pick in front of them NOT to take Phillips. Yet I think this is why the Giants do not do as well in Round 1 as they do in Round 2. Objectivity is lost. They covet. They start getting married to the idea of which player they want and they get emotionally attached. That is much less so for later rounds where they have so many people ranked and have no clue who is going to be snapped up before they pick. So they play it by ear and are far more balanced. They are more value-oriented. And I have to think about Wonder’s positive bias for Terrell Thomas over Kenny Phillips, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. Seven, count them, SEVEN former second rounders started for the Giants in the Super Bowl.

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