Now that draft day has passed, it’s time to look at how it all played out. There were so many mock drafts and postulations in the weeks leading up to the draft that it seemed like nobody really knew what was going to happen, not even the teams involved. And there’s no doubt that some surprising developments occurred, specifically during Thursday’s first round. The draft is truly a story of how one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, because each team had individual needs and individual opinions of players. That’s where the idea of value enters the picture.
If there’s one thing that each of the 32 National Football League teams have in common on draft day, it’s that they’re trying to maximize value and fill their needs. It can be challenging to accomplish both of those simultaneously — for example, a player who a team has high on their big board might fall during the draft, but if they don’t need him, should they still draft him? There’s a fine line between maximizing value while also filling your needs, and usually the elite teams do it better than others.
Despite all the interviews and testing and grading, a player’s true value won’t be known until he starts playing. So what we’re really talking about here is perceived value. A lot of the time, if a front office expects someone to come in and start immediately, there’s solid logic behind that. But that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee: only time will reveal that. In terms of perceived value from last weekend’s draft, here are five teams with quality selections, in no particular order.