Did the Jaguars overpay for pick 10?

GabbertThe economics of the draft have evolved over the last decade to the point where top 10 picks are almost undesirable due to the ludicrous contracts that accompany top picks. As such, the old trade value chart has become outdated and doesn’t necessarily match the amounts of today. So in recent years, when a team traded into the top 10 picks they usually did so and won on the trade value chart.

When the Jaguars traded the 26th, 71st, 89th and 125th picks to move up to 8th and select Derrick Harvey, they won on the trade value chart by over 200 points. Common sense tells the onlooker that the Ravens may have won the trade despite that discrepancy because the Jaguars had to pay Harvey $17.177 million of guaranteed money and the Ravens got three more picks in the draft. 

In 2010 things went differently though. The Jaguars traded up just six spots and gave up more than 100 points of value to do so. The Falcons trade is tough to put into numerical values due to the future picks that have no set value, but it’s clear they didn’t get a discount and likely lost in terms of the value chart. So did the Jaguars actually lose the trade? I don’t think they did.

Let me first be clear and say that the Jaguars’ selection of Blaine Gabbert excites me. I love the pick and if given the opportunity to make the trade again, I think they should.

What’s interesting is the sudden shift in the value of top 10 picks. Had the Jaguars been given the same scenario with the same prospects in the 2010 Draft or earlier, the Jaguars likely would’ve only had to pay a 3rd rounder to compensate the six picks they moved up for. It’s clear that the top tier picks this year are being valued higher than before.

That says to me two things:

A) A rookie wage scale is considered imminent by the decision makers in the draft and teams are not as afraid of the huge contracts associated with top 10 selections. If teams aren’t scared of paying ridiculous amounts of guaranteed money to early draft picks, the value of those picks will go back up to the value that they formerly held.

B) Elite, starting quality prospects are being valued higher due to the lack of free agency. Teams are trying to address their needs through the draft because there is a sense of uncertainty as to whether or not they’ll be able to secure the players they want in free agency. These teams are looking to find starters at the positions that they are targeting and that makes top 10 picks more valuable.

It’s clear to me that the Jaguars paid more to move up six picks then they would’ve had to in the markets of yesteryear. Does that mean they overpaid to do so in this year’s draft? No, I don’t believe it does. They paid market value so the trade can be considered a tie in my eyes.