clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cracking The Myth of the 'Safe' Draft Pick

This week, John Clayton jumped off from Bill Parcells expressing some regret about choosing Jake Long over Matt Ryan in 2008, posting a column on dealing with the idea of making "safe" picks in the draft.

Bill Parcells' recent statement that he may have missed the mark by not taking quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008 (when Parcells was the Dolphins' vice president of football operations) confirms the "safe pick" theory isn't really all that safe.

Make the jump to read more of his argument and jump into what's sure to be scintillating discussion of this idea...

Clayton's main point in whole shebang is this:

You always hear analysts discussing the safe-pick concept of a team -- particularly those teams toward the top of the draft. The problem with drafting in the top five or top seven is that one first-round pick isn't good enough to turn a franchise around -- unless he's a quarterback.

Clayton explains that while Jake Long is far from a bust or disappointment, Matt Ryan has led his team to three straight winning seasons and two playoff berths, and Jake has not done that for Miami.

Then Clayton goes on to point out the Rams drafted 'safe' for a few years in a row (2007-2009), with no improvement, but made a huge leap forward when they went with a QB in 2010.

With the selection of quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams jumped to 7-9 and should be a playoff contender for the next several years. Had they drafted safe and taken defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the 2010 defensive rookie of the year, the Rams might have not done better than 4-12 with their current talent base.

He winds down by discussing the lack of "safe" picks in the upcoming draft, how deep it is at defensive end (but then details the lack of production from the top DEs in recent draft), and then brings it full circle:

Parcells might have drafted the best tackle since Joe Thomas went to the Cleveland Browns at No. 3 in 2007, but safe still left the Dolphins wanting at quarterback. Safe just isn't safe these days.

* * *

So, what do you think of his argument? Is safety for suckers? Does it all really boil down to this, or are there other variables in the franchise-building equation he fails to take into account?

Give it your all in the comments section below.