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Draft Hangover: Chucking Future Picks or Why I Put The Bar Tab On The Credit Card

The Panthers once again demonstrated the willingness to give up future draft picks for lower picks in the current year. This time we received the 89th pick from the Patriots in exchange for our 2nd round pick in 2011. A mid round pick in the 2nd round would be approximately 3 times the value of the 89th pick according to draft pick value charts. Fox and Hurney wanted to draft Armanti Edwards who they suspected was high on many teams’ draft boards. Why did they feel that a trade was worthwhile?

You may have heard that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. I posit that, all other factors being equal, a 3rd round pick in 2010 is worth more than a 3rd round pick in 2011.The idea is essentially the same as what is thought in introductory finance/economics - when you invest a certain sum of money, it pays off with interest over time. Similarly, investing in an Everette Brown last year pays off as we are now set with a pass rusher with a year‘s experience in the NFL. The key point is that by borrowing a pick from a draft in the future we can accelerate the development of the player. Brown after 1 year is far better than Brown the rookie. The big difference between NFL rookies and money being invested is that that rookies have very steep learning curve, in other words, a large "rate of appreciation" or growth if you will. (If anyone is wondering, yes, this is an example of arbitrage).

In addition to all this, there is a perception that the draft next year is not expected to be very deep. If this is true, the value of the 2010 second round pick relative to our 89th pick this year becomes even lower. Translation: Since this years draft may be deeper than next year's draft, this was probably the ideal year to trade next year's second rounder for a third rounder this year. Not to say that such trades are a bad idea in any other year; this year we have one more factor that would favor such trades.

Our rookie in question, Armanti Edwards, looks a bit delicate at the moment.  A year in the gym would help him add the 10 pounds that he needs to and perhaps even add the 15 pounds he would like to. The idea would be to get stronger without losing any quickness or agility. He is still likely to contribute this year, albeit in a limited way. Some Special Teams, some Wild Cat QB and some slot WR. Not sure in what order though.

The key, however, lies in his upside. When trading draft picks management has to be very positive about the investment they are making. You trade future draft picks to get someone you are confident about - someone who is perceived as being a fairly low risk bet with great upside. The Panthers saw in Armanti Edwards a high character athlete who can play multiple positions. To me, he has the versatility of a Reggie Bush but without the hype.

Trades like these are positive developments brought about by the Panthers management. As long as the due diligence is thoroughly performed, it would be beneficial to the Panthers for such trades to be explored in every draft.

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