Many moments throughout an NFL season grasp fans and pull them from their daily lives: Waking up on Sundays to reserve a favorite spot on the couch before the big game, or racing home from work on Monday and Thursday to wrap up the Honey-Do’s and settle down the house, or just chuckling quietly but knowingly at the sight of “28-3”.
One of my favorite yearly traditions is the NFL Draft. My memories fall to my childhood, to being ecstatic to come home from school, to watch the draft — and to immediately fire up Madden to play a game with the lineup we’d just drafted. I think of car rides with Dad, radio tuned to 870 AM, listening to the madness caused by trading an entire draft for Ricky Williams; and that moment the night before the 2006 draft when the Texans announced they had selected Mario Williams with their No. 1 pick, thus ensuring that one of the most electrifying players in football history was coming to New Orleans; and how he could re-energize a team — and a city — emotionally and physically drained after Hurricane Katrina.
REGGIE!! REGGIE!! REGGIE!!
Most of us, if not all of us, love to discuss one topic: “Who are the Saints going to draft?” Is that really the most important question we should ask ourselves, though? As fans, the only real option we have is to sit back and enjoy the thrills as they come. No, the real question is, “Do I trust my front office to make the right decisions?” That said, let’s see if Mickey Loomis is a trustworthy fella.
First of all, I want to express how difficult it is to draft the “right” players and be successful year in and year out. Last year, an article on Daily Norseman, the SB Nation page for the Vikings, did a great job demonstrating the numbers on just how hard it’s been to draft a legit player over the last 20 years.
- 16.7% - Never play for the team that drafts them
- 37% - Deemed Useless (Stanley Jean-Baptiste)
- 15.3% - Considered poor
- 10.5% - Average (Backup)
- 12.3% - Good (Starter)
- 6.9% – Great
- 1% - Legendary (Marshon Lattimore - Fingers Crossed)
That nearly 80% of drafted players never become starters in the NFL should lend some perspective.
Now that we know how difficult it is to draft, let’s see where our front office ranks. Inside the Pylon maintains a chart that uses Pro Football Focus’ approximate value to gauge the success of a GM over time. They broke down the chart into four categories, listed below:
- TOTav/yr – The accumulated AV/YR for all draft picks over time
- AVGav/yr – The average AV/YR for all draft picks made by the corresponding GM
- TOTsurplus – The accumulated AV/YR above or below expected AV/YR by corresponding draft position for each draft pick made by the GM
- AVGsurplus – The average surplus value per draft pick made by the GM
The first two values show the quality of draft picks over time, and the second two show if that GM has drafted better or worse talent than he should have drafted at the position he drafts each year. Mickey Loomis has done surprisingly well in these categories, ranking 6th, 9th, 8th, and 14th, respectively. These numbers tell us that Loomis has done extremely well finding quality picks over his years, with some rough drafts over the years holding down his overall average. The surplus tells me that Mickey has done a good job at finding players that are more valuable than the spot in which they were drafted (Alvin Kamara, Marques Colston, Zach Strief).
So, can we can depend on Mickey Loomis to make good selections?
Everyone remembers those few years when the drafts were awful, but the Saints brass have since then turned the corner and put out some of the most impressive draft results in recent history. Loomis and Jeff Ireland have done a great job sticking to their gut and drafting players based on overall talent available, rather than searching for the best fit at that certain time.
What direction will the Saints take tonight? Lately, they have invested heavily in the secondary and on both sides of the line. My honest opinion going forward (this article is just going to end up being here to remind me how wrong I am) is that the Saints will go TE, WR, or OL early in this draft. I do not think the Saints will be making a move for QB. That is my gut instinct. What’s yours?
Do you trust Mickey Loomis?
This poll is closed
No, he drafted a worthless pirate.