Lesson to be learned: Don’t trade up, especially for a player who isn’t a surefire franchise-changer
Another way to look at this: Don’t fall in love. Love makes you do silly things, like the Buffalo Bills did in 2014 when they traded their 2015 first- and fourth-round picks to the Browns to move up from the ninth pick to the fourth pick so that they could select wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Few active superstar receivers are worth two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick, and yet Buffalo was willing to part with all cheap customized nfl jerseys of that in exchange for an unpolished, inconsistent, immature 20-year-old with potential off-field issues.
Trading up is often a bad idea. It’s one thing to do it when you’re desperately chasing a quarterback who you believe could turn your franchise around, but when’s the last time a receiver did that? Has Odell Beckham Jr. turned the New York Giants into a Super Bowl-caliber team again? Did Dez Bryant put the Cowboys over the top? nike nfl jerseys cheap Did Calvin Johnson lead the Detroit Lions to a single playoff win?
The Bills were probably hoping Watkins could do for them what 2011 No. 6 overall pick Julio Jones did for the Atlanta Falcons (Atlanta also traded up big-time for Jones). But the Falcons haven’t won consistently with Jones, and quarterback Matt Ryan was the league MVP in their most successful season during Jones’ tenure there.
I won’t use hindsight to my advantage to rag on the Bills for believing Watkins would have as much success as Jones, because he definitely had the makeup of a potential superstar receiver. But the draft is basically a crapshoot, and sacrificing a future roll of the dice is almost always a counterintuitive strategy in that game. nfl jerseys cheap nike
The Falcons got relatively lucky; the Bills rolled snake eyes.
The same year Buffalo traded up for Watkins, Joseph Stromberg of Vox cited a series of papers from economists Cade Massey and Richard Thaler which determined that “NFL teams ignore basic economics and draft players irrationally,” pointing specifically to trade-ups like this one.
“Draft picks can be traded, and the success of any one player picked is highly uncertain,” wrote Stromberg. nfl nike jerseys cheap “Because of that, their data says that in the current trade market, teams are always better off trading down—that is, trading one high pick for multiple lower ones—but many teams become overconfident in their evaluation of one particular player and do the exact opposite.”
After becoming overconfident in their evaluation of Watkins, the Bills did the exact opposite. Now Watkins is playing for his third team in as many years, and Buffalo is still looking for its first nike nfl jersey cheap playoff win this century.