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NFL Draft Expectations Need to be Checked: Some Early Odds

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/13/2021

Of all of the amateur drafts conducted, the NFL Draft is far and away the best. It makes for great television and high drama, and it taps into the one thing that keeps every NFL fan engaged over the long offseason. Hope.

Hope that this is the year the turnaround begins. The hope that each selection will get your team closer to its goals. The hope that getting that quarterback at the top of the draft will take your team from the bottom of the basement to the top of the Super Bowl mountain.

It is that last hope that is the most tantalizing. You can’t win a Super Bowl without a franchise quarterback. 

Your best chance to get a franchise quarterback is to pick at the top of the first round. So the expectation is that by picking first, second, or third, your championship fortunes will change.

Not so fast.

In the last 50 years of the NFL Draft, a quarterback has been taken first, second, or third a total of 44 times. Exactly two of those 44 - Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning - won a Super Bowl with the team that drafted them.

This isn’t to say that first-round quarterbacks don’t win Super Bowls. Of course they do. Or that top picks haven’t won Super Bowls. 

It’s just that more times than not, by a lot, trading the farm to get a top quarterback does not lead to Super Bowl success.

Winning Super Bowls is hard. Projecting NFL success on a college football player is also hard. 

According to Pro Football Reference and its evaluation statistic called Approximate Value, only 53% of first-round picks manage to average 5 AV for their careers, which represents a decent season, but not great.

Watch the NFL Draft. Love it. Feel the hope. 

Just understand that not all of your team’s picks are destined for NFL stardom. 

Eagles May Be Trading Picks Again 

We thought we knew what the Philadelphia Eagles were planning after trading back to the 12th overall pick. There seemed to be no greater sign that they were ready to turn the franchise over to Jalen Hurts than by taking themselves out of the NFL Draft quarterback sweepstakes.

Now there is a report that if one of the top quarterbacks drops, the Eagles will be willing to move back up to take them. Who the Eagles consider to be a top quarterback is unclear, as is a potential trading partner. But Philadelphia does have 11 picks in this year’s draft, so it does have the capital to move. 

Browns, Clowney Appear Close 

One of the biggest names still left on the free-agent market appears as though he is finally heading to Cleveland. Jadaveon Clowney was given an offer by the Browns a year ago, but he turned it down to play for the Titans. He then visited the Browns again this March, but no contract was offered.

Reports say that the former first overall pick is headed back to Cleveland this week, and both sides are expected to agree on a deal. A positive off season is something most Cleveland Browns’ fans might need some time getting used to. With their lowest off-season odds to win the Super Bowl in years, the Browns are currently priced at +1800.

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