How the Cleveland Browns can beat the draft quarterback market
The ongoing argument about this year’s quarterback class states that none of the quarterbacks in the draft are “worth” the first overall pick. Implied in the argument is there is an objective and determinable value placed on the first overall pick. By the standard of that value, the quarterback in question is not worth that value.
Thus, when saying “Mitch Trubisky is not worth the first overall pick,” what is meant is that the worth of the first overall pick exceeds the worth Trubisky would bring in terms of draft value.
At the heart of the argument is the need to correlate the objective worth of the pick to the worth of the player taken with said pick. The argument rests on the worth of the pick as its guiding standard. The subjective judgement concerning the worth of Trubisky bears the burden of correlating to the objective standard.
Determining the objective value of a pick is not all that difficult. There are plenty of point charts available online that assign a numerical value to each pick. The most famous point chart is the one used by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson. You can find a copy of the chart here.
The original purpose of the chart was to help determine a value for picks in trades to ensure a fair trade or to gain an advantage. Although intended for that purpose, its usefulness exceeds its original function. One of the many ways it can be used is to determine draft capital and the worth a team receives in return for that capital.
For example, the Browns own the first overall pick. Per Johnson’s chart, it is worth 3,000 points. The objective for the Browns (for this argument) would be to find a player worth 3,000 draft points.
The worth of a player must, by necessity, be determined and mathematized into a corresponding number on the draft value chart. For example, Mel Kiper’s recent big board at ESPN ranks Trubisky as the 16th overall prospect. If these rankings are slotted into pick values, then Trubisky’s value would be 1,000 points.
Thus, using the first overall pick valued at 3,000 points on a player whose draft value has been determined to be 1,000 points would be a waste of 2,000 draft value points, or the equivalent of the fourth overall pick in the draft.
Thus, a team must conclude that Trubisky is not worth the first overall pick. Of course, all values in this argument are based on Johnson’s chart and Kiper’s rankings.
When the pick value matches the value of the player then the market is efficient. But the market has proven itself inefficient when it comes to quarterbacks. But why is that?