This first-round stat might surprise you #TakeFlight Dan Leberfeld

This is quite the eye-opening stat about the success rate of first-round picks.

According to Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim, only 47 percent of NFL first-round picks over the last 10 years have worked out. He said this on a podcast with NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks.

Wow. Most probably thought the percentage was higher than that. This is the first-round we are talking about, not the seventh. This round is supposed feature the best of the best prospects.

One factor that’s likely contributed to this stat, is teams reaching for need. When you reach for need, and don’t stick to the value board, you often get in trouble.

For instance, the New York Giants reached for need two years in a row, selecting “left tackle” Ereck Flowers ninth overall in the 2015 draft, and then cornerback Eli Apple, 10th overall in 2016. Neither player is still with the Giants, and neither is the GM who reached for them. Flowers has reinvented himself into solid guard, but the Giants reached for him to play left tackle, because they desperately needed one, but he didn’t have the skill set for the position. Apple isn’t necessarily a bad corner, but was picked too high.

So while selecting players is always a crap shoot, reaching for prospects makes it even more of one.

Jets GM Joe Douglas needs to stick to his value board, and not govern by public opinion polls, and reach for need.

Just stick to how you stacked the value board in your war room. It’s always the best way to go. Of course, it’s ideal when value meets need.

Because teams reaching for need leads to a lot of misses (look at the Bears and their QB), and probably has contributed to 53 percent of first-round picks not working out over the last decade.

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