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Posted April 30, 2010

Double Down

This was the first year in a while that I noticed teams drafting two players from the same position early in the NFL Draft, and it's a strategy I want to talk about, explore and analyze. I find this draft strategy highly intriguing.

First off, I would like to comment I only analyzed teams that "doubled down" (or drafted two players from the same position) within the first four rounds of a draft. Fifth- to seventh-round selections seldom pan out, though we all know as fans how we want to believe they are all pieces to the puzzle. They aren't.

It's important to bring up some research here that I've heard from Charlie Casserly of the NFL Network. He said that first-round draft picks pan out 60 percent of the time, second-round picks pan out 40 percent of the time, third-round picks pan out 30 percent of the time, and fourth-round picks pan out 20 percent of the time.

When I say "pan out" I am referring to a player becoming a starter (according to Casserly).

I think doubling down is a great strategy because if you look at the odds, you just probably aren't going to strike gold in the third and fourth rounds. Therefore, it is very ignorant to rely on these players both in the short and long term.

When you double down, you increase the odds that you hit on one of the two positions. Let's say you draft four positions in the first four rounds (one pick per round): QB, OL, DE, WR. If the OL, DE, or WR doesn't pan out, then you simply don't get any impact at those particular positions that bust.

However, if let's say you draft: QB, OL, OL, WR, then your odds are significantly greater at getting an impact offensive lineman in this draft class.

I analyzed every team's draft and came up with the teams that drafted the same position in the first four rounds twice. However, I excluded Arizona from this list because O'Brien Schofield is seriously injured and likely a candidate for the PUP list, and isn't expect to make any sort of an impact this year.

Here are the teams that doubled down with the round drafted in parentheses:

Oakland-Offensive Tackle: Jared Veldheer (3) and Bruce Campbell (4)

Baltimore-Tight End: Ed Dickson (3) and Dennis Pitta (4)

Pittsburgh-Outside Linebacker: Jason Worilds (2) and Thaddeus Gibson (4)

Jacksonville-Defensive Tackle: Tyson Alualu (1) and D'Anthony Smith (3, Smith was Jacksonville's second pick � they had no second-rounder)

Philadelphia-Defensive End: Brandon Graham (1) and Daniel Te'o Nesheim (3)

New England-Tight End: Rob Gronkowski (2) and Aaron Hernandez (4)

Carolina-Wide Receiver: Brandon LaFell (3a) and Armanti Edwards (3b)

Tampa Bay-Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy (1) and Brian Price (2a)

Tampa Bay-Wide Receiver: Arrelious Benn (2b) and Mike Williams (4)

It remains to be seen how these draft classes pan out, but I'm a fan of doubling down as long as you remain true to your board. As a Draftnik, you simply can't criticize teams for drafting the same positions early on if the team executes value and address positions of great need, such as Tampa Bay did. Value is a concept I would like to educate Draftniks on how to understand with a greater ability.

Ninety percent of my e-mails in regards to mock drafts from fans are all about need. They generally don't care about value. If you really study value and make it a part of your education as a Draftnik, then you will more greatly appreciate NFL Draft strategy, and your ability to analyze how teams think will improve.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
Top 10 Quarterback Busts - 7/7
NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
Six Sophomores Who Need to Step Up - 6/2
Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
LeBron James Game 6 Reaction - 5/14
The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
LeBron James: Celtic Pride - 5/13
The JaMarcus Russell Lesson - 5/11
Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
Double Down - 4/30
2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
Response to Mike Mayock's Redskins-Trent Williams Comment - 4/8
Teams Misevaluating Their Own Quarterbacks - 4/6
Where Will Jimmy Clausen Go? - 4/5
2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks - 3/25
Gerald McCoy's Draft Range - 3/12
NFL Draft Picks Are Business Investments (Anthony Davis) - 3/11
Offense Matters - 3/9
Mel Kiper vs. Todd McShay Debate Revisited - 3/8
Taylor Mays - 3/3
"He's a Winner" ... Not Really - 3/2
Quarterback Height (Jimmy Clausen) - 2/25
The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
2010 NFL Draft: All-Overhyped and Underrated Teams - 2/18
Matt Ryan and the Rams - 2/17
Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow - 2/11
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades - 1/20
Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl - 1/14
Junior Quarterbacks/Jimmy Clausen - 12/29
2010 NFL Draft Prospect Updates - 12/21
The Michael Oher Lesson - 12/20
Cameron Heyward's Ceiling - 12/17
Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season - 12/15
Top Four Scenario - 12/8
"Suh" is Elite - 12/7
Carlos Dunlap Update - 11/11
Player to Watch - 10/30
Alpha Quarterback - 10/29
2010 NFL Draft Mailbag - 10/28
O Bradford, Where Art Thou (Draft Stock)? - 10/27
The Trojan Torpedo - 10/26
Quarterback Mobility - 10/23
Charles Brown's Stock on the Rise - 10/18
Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams - 10/17
Mr. Overrated - 10/14
2010 NFL Draft Cursed? - 10/8
Conservative Carroll - 9/22
The Crabtree Lesson - 9/21
Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3 - 9/20
Terrelle Pryor - NFL QB? - 9/15
Jay Cutler Trade Evaluation - 9/14
THE Choke State University - 9/13
2009 NFL Predictions - 9/10
2009 College Football Predictions - 9/3
The Brett Favre Line - 8/20
Why Vick Hasn't Signed - 8/12
The Vince Young Lesson - 8/10
Vegas NFL Power Rankings - 8/9
Dorsey Fat - Chiefs Stupid - 8/7
Eli Manning: The $100 Million Man - 8/6
Predicting Future Needs Part II - 8/4
NFL Draft Moved - 7/24
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