5 Draft Mistakes NFL Teams Must Avoid


Mar 3, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; A general view of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center during kicker tryouts. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With this being April and the upcoming draft just days away, you and I know there will be some players drafted who will turn out to be great that we did not imagine and those who we thought would be great and just don’t cut it. In the drafting process there are all kinds of methods used by teams, some good and some just don’t make sense but I’m going to cover 5 Draft Mistakes NFL Teams Must Avoid that we have seen made in the past.

1. Combine Hero

This is the guy who normally has the measurables but hasn’t really performed in college except for maybe 1 season. Yes, he has shown flashes of what he can do but it didn’t cross over into consistent top-level play in the NFL. The Raiders have been notorious of drafting guys like this a-la Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Jets and that bum Vernon Gholston, the Packers and Tony Mandarich.

2. Need

Too many times teams have drafted a player based on what they need as a team and not because the player is the best player remaining on the board. By drafting based on need many times teams make a serious reach for a player who is not up to par for a 1st, 2nd or even a 3rd draft pick and they try to make them a star, all to no avail. The Giants come to mind when they drafted Prince Amukamara in the 2011 draft, the Texans in 2002 drafting David Carr and the Chargers in 1998 drafting Ryan Leaf.

3. Bad Draft Trades

Most teams have made major mistakes when it comes to this 1. Bad draft trades usually occur when a team gives up quality picks in the draft for a player that does not have the impact on their team that they had imagined or that player is starting on the downside of their best playing years. The Vikings trading all those picks for Herschel Walker to the Cowboys come to mind. I hope the Buccaneers don’t make that mistake this year.

4. Drafting History

Some teams base their draft on their past draft history success. What I mean is just because they drafted a specific player at a specific position 20 years ago who turned out to be a star they believe the current player they draft will have the same success because they play the same position and can draft them in the same spot. The Bears drafting Cedric Benson and comparing it to when they drafted Walter Payton comes to mind.

5. Drafting a Running Back Too High

With the way the NFL game has gone to more of a pass first league we have seen more of a running back by committee and undrafted free agents approach. There are some backs who have been drafted in the first few rounds doing well. When it comes down to it I think of the guys like Mark Ingram, Ryan Mathews, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Laurence Maroney, who were all 1st round picks and have not produced as expected by the teams that drafted them.

What draft mistakes have you seen teams continue to make and which ones would you say teams must avoid?

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