Most people agree that there are pro’s and con’s to all draft positions, including early, middle and late draft positions. Some people may have their preference, but theoretically you can win from any draft position. The results from the NFFC support that theory fairly well as owners from 12 out of the 14 draft positions made the playoffs.
Here are the results from the NFFC by draft position:
Here are some similarities among the most and least successful draft positions:
- Draft Position #2: All four playoff teams drafted LaDainian Tomlinson
- Draft Position #8: All four playoff teams drafted Edgerrin James
- Draft Position #13: All four playoff teams drafted different players, including Domanick Davis, Fred Taylor, Kevan Barlow and Daunte Culpepper.
- Draft Position #9 and #10: The most common player drafted was Jamal Lewis with 10 of the 32 owners at this position selecting Jamal Lewis.
The top 10 ranked teams drafted from the following positions:
Analysis of Early Draft Position
Drafting from an early draft position enables you to get a stud RB on your roster (100% of first round draft picks from this position were RBs). In fact, 58% of the owners drafting from this draft position used the stud RB draft strategy (drafted RB in 1st and 2nd round), the highest percentage of any draft position. However, you will be very dependent on how well that player performs. On the upside, those owners that were able to draft LT were well rewarded with almost all teams doing well and 6 teams making the playoffs. On the downside, Priest Holmes went down late in the regular season and cost his owners a shot at making the playoffs. Not a single team with Priest Holmes made the playoffs, although many still did well. Out of the top 5 consensus RB Studs, the owners of Priest Holmes, who missed more games than any other top back, where the only owners to be shut out of the playoffs.
Analysis of Middle Draft Position
Drafting from a mid position enables you to get a tier 2 RB that still may have the potential to outperform and carry your team and a better 2nd round pick than those picking from the early position. The 16 owners that selected Edgerrin James in this position were smart as 7 of them ended up in the playoffs (Edgerrin James was on more playoff rosters than any other player). The following RBs were the primary draft selections by owners with a mid-round draft spot. Randy Moss was the only non-RB to be consistently selected at this position.
Analysis of Late Draft Position
Drafting from a late draft position enables you to get the best 1-2 punch. This draft position typically prohibits you from getting the single stud RB that can carry your team, however, it is a great position to draft a stud QB or stud WR. In fact the highest percentage of Value Based drafting strategies were found at the late draft position. However, only those owners that selected Daunte Culpepper or a running back at this draft position made it to the playoffs.
An owner can be successful from any draft position. It is far more important what your draft strategy is and what players you choose, as we will see in the following section.