Draft Architecture

The oracle of Berra once said:

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.

He also gave us this nugget:

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

What is the Giants plan? When it comes to the Draft, the Patriots have a plan. Over the last 10 drafts they have AVERAGED 9 selections. It is important to understand, because right now everyone is doing cartwheels that the Giants have amassed 10 picks for 2019. This is the biggest draft for the Giants in 16 years. Let that sink in.. the Giants have a haul that is one more pick than what the Patriots average each year.

Gettleman may have screwed up Free Agency and he may have gone the wrong direction with star Saquon Barkley, but at least Gettleman is doing some good things in the draft.

How do you get more draft picks? There are typically three ways:

(1) You trade down.

(2) You do less in Free Agency.

(3) You trade away veterans.

That’s it. Jerry Reese traded up, he was busy in Free Agency and he rarely traded away veterans. Along with poor draft choices, that systematically gutted the team of youthful draft restocking.

The decision to sign Patrick Omameh ($5.6M for 8 games) was a costly Free Agency blunder. Because of the losses of Pugh + Richburg, cutting Omameh in midseason allows the Giants to get a compensatory draft pick they would have otherwise lost by formula. Good. You need those draft picks.

Just ask the Patriots.

They stopped bidding for Solder when the price got too high and they’ll take more draft compensation instead. In the 2019 draft, they’ll get more from this mechanism than anyone, tying the Rams with TWO 3rd Round picks. That’s a lot. Quality too. The Patriots haven’t been killing it with great selections but the sheer quantity helps them continually rebuild their roster without missing a step. That’s good architecture. That’s a plan.

In the past 10 drafts (Gettleman inherited the 2018 setup from Reese with 6 picks), the Giants have averaged 7 picks. That’s what the NFL gives you. So the Gmen managed to gain a net of zero selections, as whatever compensatory picks they gained was lost from trading up and never trading down. That’s pretty hard to do. Even more telling, as the Giants scrambled in later years, they only averaged 6 picks per year THE LAST FOUR YEARS. Is it any wonder that the Giants are threadbare? Reese missed on too many picks and he didn’t even give himself enough bullets to miss.

Juxtapose this- the last 4 seasons the Patriots are shooting 1.5X more often for players in the Draft than the Giants. That’s a structural disadvantage. With Gettleman’s 10 picks in 2019, the Giants are hopefully on a new path with a new plan. Respect the Draft. Rebuild.

3 thoughts on “Draft Architecture

  1. Good article. If Gettleman is anywhere near as successful as he was his first year drafting for the Giants, the should be on the right track. The Giants may be a good slot to trade down in the first round this coming draft. i am hoping that if they aren’t sold on a pick they will trade down and get extra swings at the plate. Please, avoid the 1st round Flowers/Apple picks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We thought Flowers would develop into a vg Tackle. We were wrong. But in our defense we were not enamored with WHERE he was taken. Considering that even we understood he needed time to develop, that is NOT what you should get for a pick that is 10th overall. All else equal, you trade down if you like him and let someone else take the risk on his development at THAT spot.

      Apple was overdrafted period. No one had him there and it was Reese flat-footed again taking instead of trading down. It was proven by U of Chicago (and by us, analyzing 10 yrs of drafts from the previous decade) that GMs overpay for the right to choose. The Giants wanted someone else (Conklin or Floyd)… so when they were taken, it was logical to trade down. I’m almost certain Apple would have been there at 20-25 and the Giants would have at least gotten some quantity of an additional R2 etc. It was another metaphor for Reese’s failed drafting: the (1) lack of understanding of value (2) poor evaluation (3) never trading down (4) media leaks of his intentions.


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