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Old 12-31-2013, 11:36 AM    (permalink
killxswitch
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Ah. I must've missed that.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:46 AM    (permalink
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Man, the Colts were so dumb to part with a first round pick for a RB.

And it's not even hindsight. It was a bad idea from the start. Do these GMs ever watch these games before they trade for a player? Or look at trends league-wide that show that RBs are a dime a dozen and interchangeable?
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:55 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jomoz View Post
Man, the Colts were so dumb to part with a first round pick for a RB.

And it's not even hindsight. It was a bad idea from the start. Do these GMs ever watch these games before they trade for a player? Or look at trends league-wide that show that RBs are a dime a dozen and interchangeable?
This remains one of the most intriguing debates in the NFL to me. I entirely understand that RBs are a dime a dozen value wise. But my eyeball test is always so impressed by what a really fantastic RB can do to a game, its flow and momentum, ball control, etc.

I have the interesting bias of watching my team ride Ryan Mathews, who we paid both a first AND a second for, into the playoffs on the back of 5 straight 100 yard games (ok, one was a 99 yard game). It's tough to look at that and have a lot of regret, but there's so many different factors involved that it's tough to make a decisive call.

back on topic: Trent sucks.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:08 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jomoz View Post
Man, the Colts were so dumb to part with a first round pick for a RB.

And it's not even hindsight. It was a bad idea from the start. Do these GMs ever watch these games before they trade for a player? Or look at trends league-wide that show that RBs are a dime a dozen and interchangeable?
I was one of the first to question the move from the Colts perspective so I agree with that. But I have to disagree with the bold because it's a misconception.

Yes, it's generally easier to find a good RB late in the draft, undrafted, compared to other positions - that's true. But it's still very much get what you pay for, like all positions, and it's certainly not as easy as people make it sound to find a good RB.

The point about a good RB's value to a team winning is a different debate, but this idea that YOU CAN FIND A RB ANYWHERE is bogus. There are more outliers than other positions, but generally the best players are drafted high, like any other position.

Top 15 RBs in the NFL right now:

1) Adrian Peterson: top 10 pick
2) Jamaal Charles: 2nd rounder
3) LeSean McCoy: 2nd rounder
4) Matt Forte: 2nd rounder
5) Marshawn Lynch: 1st rounder
6) DeMarco Murray: 3rd rounder
7) Eddie Lacy: 2nd rounder
8) ARIAN FOSTER: UDFA
9) ALFRED MORRIS: 6th rounder
10) Gio Bernard: 2nd rounder
11) Reggie Bush: top 5 pick
12) Frank Gore: 3rd rounder
13) Le'Veon Bell: 2nd rounder
14) Ryan Mathews: 1st rounder
15) Knowshon Moreno: 1st rounder
16) Doug Martin: 1st rounder
17) C.J. Spiller: 1st rounder
18) ZACH STACY: 5th rounder

Worthwhile/starting RBs drafted in the
1st: Donald Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson

2nd: Montee Ball, Ray Rice, Lamar Miller

5th or later: PIERRE THOMAS, DARREN SPROLES, DANNY WOODHEAD, ANDRE ELLINGTON, LAGARRETTE BLOUNT (who only fell because he was a dick), CHRIS IVORY, BILAL POWELL

So out of the top 18 backs in the league, only three were found past the 3rd round. After that, only 7 backs in the entire league with any value whatsoever were found past the 5th round. And only one looks like a true impact starter down the road (Ellington).

I don't have much issue with the sentiment that it's usually not wise to spend a first round pick on a RB (although I don't subscribe to any absolutes), but to get a good RB it usually costs a draft pick.

The idea that "you can find one anywhere" isn't wrong. But the idea that you can find a GOOD one anywhere, is a common misconception. Whether or not having a good RB correlates to winning is a different debate. But you can't "find a good RB anywhere" and GOOD RBs are not a dime a dozen.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:11 PM    (permalink
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Not that it changes your point all that much, but Charles was a 3rd round pick.

Edit: MJD was a 2nd and Lamar Miller was a 4th. Still, you're right that you get what you pay for.

Last edited by WCH : 12-31-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:13 PM    (permalink
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MJD was a 2nd round pick as well. He makes an excellent point though.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:19 PM    (permalink
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I was one of the first to question the move from the Colts perspective so I agree with that. But I have to disagree with the bold because it's a misconception.

Yes, it's generally easier to find a good RB late in the draft, undrafted, compared to other positions - that's true. But it's still very much get what you pay for, like all positions, and it's certainly not as easy as people make it sound to find a good RB.

The point about a good RB's value to a team winning is a different debate, but this idea that YOU CAN FIND A RB ANYWHERE is bogus. There are more outliers than other positions, but generally the best players are drafted high, like any other position.

Top 15 RBs in the NFL right now:

1) Adrian Peterson: top 10 pick
2) Jamaal Charles: 2nd rounder
3) LeSean McCoy: 2nd rounder
4) Matt Forte: 2nd rounder
5) Marshawn Lynch: 1st rounder
6) DeMarco Murray: 3rd rounder
7) Eddie Lacy: 2nd rounder
8) ARIAN FOSTER: UDFA
9) ALFRED MORRIS: 6th rounder
10) Gio Bernard: 2nd rounder
11) Reggie Bush: top 5 pick
12) Frank Gore: 3rd rounder
13) Le'Veon Bell: 2nd rounder
14) Ryan Mathews: 1st rounder
15) Knowshon Moreno: 1st rounder
16) Doug Martin: 1st rounder
17) C.J. Spiller: 1st rounder
18) ZACH STACY: 5th rounder

Worthwhile/starting RBs drafted in the
1st: Donald Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson

2nd: Montee Ball, Ray Rice, Lamar Miller

5th or later: PIERRE THOMAS, DARREN SPROLES, DANNY WOODHEAD, ANDRE ELLINGTON, LAGARRETTE BLOUNT (who only fell because he was a dick), CHRIS IVORY, BILAL POWELL

So out of the top 18 backs in the league, only three were found past the 3rd round. After that, only 7 backs in the entire league with any value whatsoever were found past the 5th round. And only one looks like a true impact starter down the road (Ellington).

I don't have much issue with the sentiment that it's usually not wise to spend a first round pick on a RB (although I don't subscribe to any absolutes), but to get a good RB it usually costs a draft pick.

The idea that "you can find one anywhere" isn't wrong. But the idea that you can find a GOOD one anywhere, is a common misconception. Whether or not having a good RB correlates to winning is a different debate. But you can't "find a good RB anywhere" and GOOD RBs are not a dime a dozen.

Good post. Even going by this, guys like Gore/Murray would have gone much higher if they were healthier.

Arian Foster and Alfred Morris are also part of a system that has produced late round "stars" that flame out in other situations for a long long time, so I'm not sure how highly they'd be rated on other teams...
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:20 PM    (permalink
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Top 15 RBs in the NFL right now:

1) Adrian Peterson: top 10 pick
The best RB in the history of the NFL. The only RB I'd truly spend a high draft pick on, and still... what has Minnesota done with the best RB in the history of the NFL? Their only playoff success in the Peterson era was when Brett Favre was in the midst of an MVP season in 2009.

Quote:
2) Jamaal Charles: 2nd rounder
Wrong. From pro-football-reference.com (http://www.pro-football-reference.co...CharJa00.htm):

Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 3rd round (73rd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Quote:
3) LeSean McCoy: 2nd rounder
Yep. A late 2nd round pick.

Quote:
4) Matt Forte: 2nd rounder
Same as McCoy.

Quote:
5) Marshawn Lynch: 1st rounder
I don't count Lynch as a 1st rounder because the team that is making use of his talents right now acquired him in a trade in which the Seahawks gave up a 4th round pick and a conditional late round pick for him.

That's what I mean by "dime a dozen". You can find guys that are productive in free agency and in cheap trades. Which is what Seattle did instead of spending a valuable first round pick on a RB in the draft.

Quote:
6) DeMarco Murray: 3rd rounder
Yup. You can find guys in the 3rd round easily.

Quote:
7) Eddie Lacy: 2nd rounder
Same as McCoy and Forte.

Quote:
8) ARIAN FOSTER: UDFA
9) ALFRED MORRIS: 6th rounder
Classic cases of "dime a dozen" that can be found anywhere.

Quote:
10) Gio Bernard: 2nd rounder
Same case as McCoy and Forte, and I'd say that you could put any RB in that offense and they would be functionally similar.

Quote:
11) Reggie Bush: top 5 pick
He only counts as a first rounder for the team that drafted him - the Saints - and their offense basically hasn't missed a beat since they let him go in free agency.

Quote:
12) Frank Gore: 3rd rounder
13) Le'Veon Bell: 2nd rounder
14) Ryan Mathews: 1st rounder
15) Knowshon Moreno: 1st rounder
16) Doug Martin: 1st rounder
17) C.J. Spiller: 1st rounder
18) ZACH STACY: 5th rounder
Etc. The 3rd rounders and 2nd rounders are as good as, or better, than all of these 1st rounders that teams wasted picks on.

Quote:
Worthwhile/starting RBs drafted in the
1st: Donald Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson

2nd: Montee Ball, Ray Rice, Lamar Miller

5th or later: PIERRE THOMAS, DARREN SPROLES, DANNY WOODHEAD, ANDRE ELLINGTON, LAGARRETTE BLOUNT (who only fell because he was a dick), CHRIS IVORY, BILAL POWELL

So out of the top 18 backs in the league, only three were found past the 3rd round. After that, only 7 backs in the entire league with any value whatsoever were found past the 5th round. And only one looks like a true impact starter down the road (Ellington).

I don't have much issue with the sentiment that it's usually not wise to spend a first round pick on a RB (although I don't subscribe to any absolutes), but to get a good RB it usually costs a draft pick.

The idea that "you can find one anywhere" isn't wrong. But the idea that you can find a GOOD one anywhere, is a common misconception. Whether or not having a good RB correlates to winning is a different debate. But you can't "find a good RB anywhere" and GOOD RBs are not a dime a dozen.
You can find productive RBs that fit your offense in trade, in free agency, and in the draft with a late 2nd round pick or later.

There is no need whatsoever to spend anything higher than a mid-2nd round pick on a RB.

That's the point I'm trying to make. You can almost always have success picking in the 2nd round or later with your RBs, and very often you can have success just signing RBs in free agency, trading minimal assets for RBs, or spending 3rd round or later picks on RBs.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:27 PM    (permalink
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Initially you said "RBs are a dime a dozen", implying that it's easy to find a good one. Now you're saying that you should search for a RB in the 2nd or later or by trade/FA. I'd generally agree with that although I think it's silly to deal in absolutes like that.

But it's not as easy to find a good RB as people say.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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Initially you said "RBs are a dime a dozen", implying that it's easy to find a good one. Now you're saying that you should search for a RB in the 2nd or later or by trade/FA. I'd generally agree with that although I think it's silly to deal in absolutes like that.

But it's not as easy to find a good RB as people say.
The big issue with RBs and spending resources on them is that

a.) It's very easy to find one without spending a 1st round pick to do so, and it's relatively easy to find one without spending anything higher than a 3rd round pick to do so.

but also

b.) The success of a teams' offense is due maybe 80% to the passing attack and the QB. The RB has a minimal impact on the success of a team's offense compared to the QB, the OL, and the WRs and TEs. Look at all the top offenses in the NFL - Broncos, Saints, Packers, Chargers, Eagles, etc. All of these offenses are good because of their QBs. Not their RBs. The RBs on any of these teams may be good, but you could easily swap a different RB in for each offense and still get similar performance. Because QBs like Manning, Brees, Rivers, and Rodgers have shown the ability to generate top-5 offenses without the RBs they currently hand the ball off to. You can't say that about the top RBs. Without a good QB, a RB can't produce a top offense. Without a good RB, a top QB can.

That's what makes the Richardson trade so painfully stupid on the part of the Colts. That team will succeed based on what Andrew Luck does, period. No RB will significantly change what Luck does for better or worse. It's a wasted pick to spend it on a RB when you could have instead spent it improving the defense or helping Andrew Luck in the passing game - i.e. drafting an OL with that pick, or a WR.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:34 PM    (permalink
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I think that if they'd had a competent RB, the Packers would have probably gone undefeated a couple of years ago. Instead the Giants won the Super Bowl.

It's not really enough to just be a top-tier team, you need to be good enough to bring the trophy home. That's the whole point of everything.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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Agreed about the Colts trade.

My point was never that GOOD RB = WINNING. So I don't know why you're arguing that.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:51 PM    (permalink
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Good running backs can be a dime a dozen, but you have to get lucky or sometimes literally go through a dozen before you find the good one.

Sure, Alfred Morris is looking good as 6th round RB, but Cyrus Gray, Dan Herron, and Terrance Ganaway from the same draft class aren't exactly lighting the world on fire.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:54 PM    (permalink
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The best RB in the history of the NFL. The only RB I'd truly spend a high draft pick on, and still... what has Minnesota done with the best RB in the history of the NFL? Their only playoff success in the Peterson era was when Brett Favre was in the midst of an MVP season in 2009.
They've probably done more than if they had gone with Brady Quinn in the 1st and DeShawn Wynn as their late round dime a dozen RB.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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I think that if they'd had a competent RB, the Packers would have probably gone undefeated a couple of years ago. Instead the Giants won the Super Bowl.

It's not really enough to just be a top-tier team, you need to be good enough to bring the trophy home. That's the whole point of everything.
That's ridiculous.

The reason the Packers didn't go further in 2011 was their awful defense.

The offense set records that year. The offense was good enough to carry a wretched defense to a 15-1 record.

And the Giants in 2011 were... get this... dead last in rushing yards per game that year. They were an even worst running team than the Packers!
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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That's ridiculous.

The reason the Packers didn't go further in 2011 was their awful defense.

The offense set records that year. The offense was good enough to carry a wretched defense to a 15-1 record.
These kind of projections read sensibly, but don't hold up if you ask me. The offense was prolific but would they have been AS record-setting if they didn't have to hold up an atrocious defense? Would the defense have been as bad if they weren't playing against offenses trying to keep up with the GB aerial assault? Football teams are a pile of jello, touch one part of it and the whole thing wobbles around.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:09 PM    (permalink
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Good running backs can be a dime a dozen, but you have to get lucky or sometimes literally go through a dozen before you find the good one.
The point is that even if you go throw a dozen, it doesn't matter. What matters in the NFL is how well your QB throws the ball and how well your defense stops the other QB.

That's 80%+ of winning in the NFL right there.

There is no need to invest valuable resources in chasing RBs at all. All resources should be put into improving the passing game and the pass rush.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:37 PM    (permalink
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That's ridiculous.

The reason the Packers didn't go further in 2011 was their awful defense.

The offense set records that year. The offense was good enough to carry a wretched defense to a 15-1 record.

And the Giants in 2011 were... get this... dead last in rushing yards per game that year. They were an even worst running team than the Packers!
I was blackout drunk during the Giants game and felt no urge to re-watch it, so I'm going off of what Giants fans have told me.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:40 PM    (permalink
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Yeah the Giants had the worst run game in the league in 2011. We had the worst total rush yards per game, worst YPC, and we ranked in the upper tier of run plays per game on top of that, making it even worse.

On top of that, we had the worst graded OL in the league that year. Allowed the most qb hits and hurries in the league.

So when you think about it, Eli's 2011 season was incredibly impressive given the circumstances. I think that's why Reese neglected the OL for so long. He just expected Eli to pull magic out of his ass like that again but the OL got so bad over the past 2 years that he just couldn't do anything back there other than Eli face.

Now our OL is broken beyond repair and we literally need 4 (at least 3) new starters.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:17 PM    (permalink
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Sure, Alfred Morris is looking good as 6th round RB, but Cyrus Gray, Dan Herron, and Terrance Ganaway from the same draft class aren't exactly lighting the world on fire.
not that i care about this argument, but this is not a good point. hitting on one out of four players in the 6th is doing pretty well, and far better than most nfl teams will ever do. but these arguments always lead to poor draft "analogies", so whatever.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:09 AM    (permalink
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I'm pretty sure Jomoz is another Thumper handle, but I can't say for sure.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:29 AM    (permalink
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of course he is, i didn't think that was really in doubt.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:42 AM    (permalink
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not that i care about this argument, but this is not a good point. hitting on one out of four players in the 6th is doing pretty well, and far better than most nfl teams will ever do. but these arguments always lead to poor draft "analogies", so whatever.
I was just being lazy and only looked at one class. I'm going to take a wild guess that the "hit" percentage of finding pro bowl running backs in the 6th round is much less than 25%. The economic argument about the value of running backs is a good one, but the fact remains that if a team truly NEEDS a running back (again I'm not trying to argue if any team actually needs one), you have a higher chance of "hitting" on a prospect the earlier you take one, just like every other position.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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The dime a dozen argument doesn't hold up though. Yes you can find good RBs late in the draft but really with the exception of QB that holds true for most positions.

From 2007 - 2012 (I didn't use last year's draft due to only having one season) there have been 68 RBs drafted between rounds 5-7 or were notable UDFAs.

Of those 68 I would class 16 as worthwhile players for a team, ie - anywhere from bona fide starter to useful role player.

Between those 68 players there is a grand total of 10 1000 yard seasons split between 5 of them (Foster, BJGE, Morris, Blount and Bradshaw).

If you are saying to wait and not take a RB high in the draft I would generally agree unless it is someone like Adrian Peterson, however the value for top quality RBs is most definitely in the 2nd and 3rd round.

EDIT: I want to expand on this:

I do not think there is a set formula to any draft. You can't say value dictates that this many QBs should go round 1, this many DEs etc. Generally in the top half of the first round there are enough blue chip prospects which mean it would be foolish to choose a RB. However, if you pick towards the end of the first and 4 QBs have gone, 3 OTs and 6 DEs do you just choose the next highest rated player of those position based on positional value? Even if he is your 50th rated player? Or, do you choose a RB who may well have been your 20th top rated prospect?

I am of the opinion that the best teams are the ones who draft based on their own perceived value of players. When you go into positional value (with the exceptions of the very top of the draft) or need you tend to draft players who are less skilled than those left on the board. Bill Belichick had a quote a few years ago about building a team that basically said if you don't adopt a BPA approach then you basically build a team of inferior talent than one you could have built
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:14 AM    (permalink
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The dime a dozen argument doesn't hold up though. Yes you can find good RBs late in the draft but really with the exception of QB that holds true for most positions.

From 2007 - 2012 (I didn't use last year's draft due to only having one season) there have been 68 RBs drafted between rounds 5-7 or were notable UDFAs.

Of those 68 I would class 16 as worthwhile players for a team, ie - anywhere from bona fide starter to useful role player.

Between those 68 players there is a grand total of 10 1000 yard seasons split between 5 of them (Foster, BJGE, Morris, Blount and Bradshaw).

If you are saying to wait and not take a RB high in the draft I would generally agree unless it is someone like Adrian Peterson, however the value for top quality RBs is most definitely in the 2nd and 3rd round.
*shrug* hitting on roughly 1/4 of the picks at a given position is generally a pretty good return rate, and probably better than you're getting any just about any other position (though I could be wrong), and if you're hitting at a similar rate in the 6th as in the 2nd, you're better off using that 2nd round pick on a position where the value drops more precipitously in the 6th.
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