Comments on: Errata: what’s a draft pick worth? football, statistics, and football statistics (and other stuff) Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:52:58 +0000 hourly 1 By: Pat Tue, 10 Apr 2007 23:08:00 +0000 Namely, teams do not appear to be able to the translate the theoretical surplus value they get from their draft picks into surplus production on the field.


Actually, I think the reason is simpler: Massey and Thaler didn't consider the effects of a fixed roster size, and limited numbers of players at a given position. To them, a draft pick which averages $750K of production and costs $250K is better than a draft pick that averages $2.25M production and costs $2M.

If you're talking about quarterbacks, for instance, you can't take 3 pick-75 quarterbacks and merge them in some sort of sick science experiment into a pick-1 quarterback. And while you could imagine that if you take 3 pick-75 quarterbacks, one of them is bound to be nearly as good as a pick-1 quarterback, you'd never be able to find out in a reasonable time frame, and in the time you're taking to figure out which quarterback is good, the team's probably still losing.