Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Do NFL teams draft proactively or reactively?

The NFL does not have a reputation as a forward-thinking league. It tends to get caught up in trends with a couple teams pioneering something (the wildcat formation, big CBs) and others following the next season.

Given that players are locked into rookie contracts and tend to improve in their first few seasons, the draft could be an opportunity for teams to bet on what positions will be in demand – and higher priced – a couple years in the future while their players are still locked up on rookie contracts.

By looking at whether the allocation of value in the draft more closely matches the allocation of salaries in the prior year, current year or next year, we may be able to tell whether teams are being proactive or reactive in how they draft relative to where the league spends money.