The Miami Dolphins hold the 29th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, some teams see first round picks as safe options, or safer options in a way. The truth is only 53% of players selected in the first round end up having success in the NFL. So does that mean first round picks are overrated?
Well it all depends on how you look at it, perspective is everything. If we go back to April 2021 when Miami took Jaylen Waddle 6th overall we can see it as a home run hit. But looking at the numbers really makes you think about how realistic or unrealistic it is for a team to draft this well often. Check this out:
First round pick success rate based on area of selection:
- 1-5: 77.1%
- 6-10: 51.4%
- 11-15: 57.1%
- 16-20: 51.4%
- 21-31: 47%
According to this report.
Some might say that is only one report, but going back in time further solidifies this theory according to this Forbes.com article.
The top tier prospects who get scouted for months and even years sometimes have a success rate of only 77.1%. I say “only” because teams decide to gut their roster and tank to rebuild a new path of success through the draft, often aiming for a top 5 selection.
Gutting your entire team to have little over 3/4 of a chance to land a quality NFL starter is pretty big gamble. Humongous gamble when you realize that these percentages are gathered from data of NFL starters, not stars. So what are the percentages a team gets a franchise altering player from the draft?
I wish I could tell you but that data is not out there yet, in recent history there has only been 1 player to maybe 3 players max per draft that are franchise altering. And some drafts like 2013, 2019, or 2021 had none.
Unless you want to hang your hat on Trevor Lawrence, who was supposed to be the greatest draft prospect ever since Andrew Luck, he looks far from it as of now.
Notice how dramatic the drop off is from the top 5 compared to 6-10, over 25% drop-off and were still in the top 10 selections, Miami is all the way down at 29. So I won’t say these picks are overrated just yet, but they’re looking suspicious.
Let’s put a hypothetical realistic scenario, something that could actually happen. In my opinion the Dolphins will go either WR or LB with their first pick. So let’s compare, what are the possible options Miami could get by trading their pick? Especially if looking at WR’s:
The Seattle Seahawks don’t have a first round pick this year, and according to this report they would be open to trading star WR D.K Metcalf in exchange for a first. Seattle is severely depleted in a lot of positions and need the draft capital to fill those out.
The Houston Texans have showed interest in negotiating Brandin Cooks, and a rebuilding team could make good use of Miami’s first round pick. Cooks had an exceptional season even though the Texans were a mess.
The New Orleans Saints won’t be able to afford Michael Thomas, it’s likely they’ll trade him away for picks. And in the report I linked below there’s speculation that a low ball offer might be all it takes, since he has dealt with injuries.
But was a big part of his absence the beef with Sean Payton? Who knows.
Unless you live under a rock you know the Atlanta Falcons are trying to trade Calvin Ridley, and Ridley has showed interest in the Dolphins publicly. The Falcons could use draft value depth to fill out some of their other holes.
It’s reported that all of these players could be acquired for a first round pick or a combination of mid round picks, Mike McDaniel stated before that he wants to build a “track team” around Tua Tagovailoa. The same nickname that Tagovailoa’s Alabama squad used to have when he played there.
All the players I listed are star receivers or have the potential to be one, they are proven NFL talent who have shown to be safety blankets and a major factor in their current QB’s success.
I don’t know if first round picks are overrated, but by the looks of it Miami could get much more value trading their current selection for a proven NFL weapon at WR.
Also I’m not saying the Dolphins should trade for all these players, but being able to trade the 29th overall for D.K Metcalf, Brandin Cooks, Calvin Ridley, Michael Thomas, or another proven NFL weapon could prove to be a power move by Miami in the future.
What do you all think? Are first round picks overrated?
I’ll leave you with this picture of Rams GM Les Snead, and his “F- them picks” T-Shirt: