The Packers need a wide receiver and there’s a great debate as to whether they should take one in the 1st round or wait since this class is so deep.
Historically, the Packers have had success with 2nd round receivers like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams, but are they just an anomaly or is it just a good idea to avoid wide receivers in the 1st round?
We dug deeper to look at the history of 1st and 2nd round receivers to learn more.
From 2005 to 2018, at least one Pro Bowl wide receiver was drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round. In 2019, rookie receiver Mecole Hardman made the Pro Bowl as a returner (though Deebo Samuels, AJ Brown, and DK Metcalf seem capable of continuing the streak)
Over the same 15 year stretch, only 7 drafts featured a Pro Bowl wide receiver taken in the 1st round.
This alone shows that waiting to draft a wide receiver.
To get more analytical, we tried to find some hard numbers and looked for a way to calculate Relative Value and see if it’s worth spending a higher pick.
We took a straightforward approach to gauging Relative Value using two numbers:
- Weighted Career Approximate Value (CarAV) from Pro-Football-Reference, which is a composite score that shows the general value of a player’s career
- Pick Position Value from DraftTek’s Trade Value Chart, which is a value assigned to each pick in the draft to gauge relative trade values
To get Relative Value for a player, we simply divided their CarAv by the Pick Position Value from where they were chosen and multiplied the result by 100.
Then we started looking at all the receivers drafted in the first two rounds in 2016 (since it would give us four years of statistical data to draw on) and went back for a decade.
The raw data is at the end of the article, but here’s what we found out about the 10 year window from 2007 to 2016:
- 8 of the 10 years had a 2nd round receiver with a higher Relative Value than all of the 1st round receivers
- In the 2 of 10 years that didn’t have a 2nd round pick with a higher Relative Value than all of the 1st round picks, there were only two wide receivers taken in the 2nd round
- In 3 of the 10 years, a 2nd round pick had a higher total value (this is their total career value, not adjusted for value based on the selection) than all the 1st round picks. That means that about a third of the time, a 2nd round receiver was better than all the 1st round receivers.
You’re always rolling the dice on a draft pick, but wide receivers have historically proven to be poor value in the 1st round.
This isn’t news, though, we learned this when we look at how champions draft.
Want to learn more about draft value strategy? We’ve got you covered!
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