By Dave Razzano, Playmaker Correspondent
When building an NFL team, the business approach of “supply and demand” should be the primary thought process of the people in charge. This should really hold true in today’s early rounds of the NFL Draft.
When the San Francisco 49ers were building their dynasty in the eighties, they valued certain positions much more than others. QB, DL, OT and DC were the most difficult positions to fill and that is one big reason the team “hit” on future Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott with the 8th overall pick in the 1981 Draft. It was the 49ers only top ten pick throughout their long run of Super Bowl titles and they nailed it. And seven teams past him by!
When you look at any team’s Draft board, there will be an abundance of WOs and RBs each and every year. It is a different story if a potential WO or RB is deemed a potential Hall of Famer like Adrian Peterson. Watching the Steelers vs the Packers in this year’s Super Bowl should remind everyone that, with the exception of QB, offensive skill positions can be found later in the Draft. Even the New England Patriots have been very successful without early round WOs or RBs.
The successful teams all seem to know this. It is teams that generally pick in the top ten that fall victim to the “sexy” picks and go the WO route early. Believe me, they are easy to find and are plentiful, like a Hines Ward in round three or a Marques Colston in round seven. Or a Michael Turner in round six or Priest Holmes as an undrafted free agent. It is much harder to find dominant big men or DCs in the later rounds, as well as playmaking OLBs. Those positions all tend to fly off the draft board early, which is why the best and most productive model for building a winning team is the “supply and demand” approach when picking players, especially early in the Draft.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).