To trade up or not to trade up?

Effective draft strategy

As the draft grows near fans are divided into a few "camps" as follows:

The trade up camp – Weather it's that special guy that they believe will be the next sure thing and is just 10 picks away or just a firm belief that the higher you pick the better quality of player you get, trade up is always an enticing gamble. Additional popular arguments are – "We have 11 picks and there is no room on this roster for 11 guys" or "We need a guy at X position that will have impact on day one…" or "There is a drop in value just before our pick..."

The Trade down camp - JS strategy has been for the most part "The more the merrier". Just move a few picks back and you get another player. There are always more then just one guy we'd like where we pick and we could get one of them a few picks later.

It is easy to build a good case for either direction. It has to do with the players you want and your evaluation of the talent available at any point in the draft.

I decided to take a look at all the picks by JSPC that had at least 2 years to prove their value. I will rank the players as follows:

* - One star - A player that was a contributor.

** - Two stars - A starter or a high level contributor.

*** - Three stars – A core player, pro bowler, etc.

Since we do have a 1st round pick (again), I'll divide the picks to two groups. The Top picks – rounds 2-4 and the low picks – rounds 5-7(plus UDFA).

Here goes:

2010 –

Top picks:

** Golden Tate

* Walter Thurmond

Bottom pics:

*** Kam Chancellor

* Anthony McCoy

2011 –

Top picks:

* John Moffitt

** K.J. Wright

Bottom pics:

*** Richard Sherman

** Byron Maxwell

* Melcolm Smith

** Doug Baldwin (UDFA)

* Ricardo Lockett (UDFA)

2012 –

Top picks:

*** Bobby Wagner

*** Russell Wilson

* Robert Turbin

Bottom picks:

* Jeremy Lane

** J.R. Sweezy

** Jermain Kearse. (UDFA)

2013 –

Top picks:

* Jordan Hill

Bottom picks:

* Tharold Simon

** Luke Willson

* Michael Bowie

* Alvin Bailey (UDFA)

4 years of draft picks by JSPC. 14 stars for the top picks (rounds 2-4), 17 stars for the bottom picks (rounds 5-7) and 6 more stars for UDFA.

If I was just a stats guy I'd say that trading your late rounds picks to move up with your top round picks does not sound like a very valid draft strategy. I am not. It has to do with the specific players and their value for the current roster. The right player can justify a reach or a trade up.

However, if someone tells you that the higher the picks the more value for the team no matter what you should tell him – Not with our FO.

Just thought you may find this interesting.

Go Hawks.