Two is better one, or so the St. Louis Rams hope after pulling two players out of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Just playing the odds, it stands to reason that a team helps itself tremendously when it gets to pick twice in the opening frame of the draft where the top talent is available. But is it always a ticket to success?
Cold Hard Football Facts ran the numbers. They found that, yes, teams picking at least twice in the first round of the draft tend to hit on at least one of those picks. Of the 366 players chosen by teams with multiple picks in the first round, 64.5 percent of those players have been "hits" (which is sort of vaguely defined as something above average).
The numbers go down when you start factoring the hi-end levels of success. Teams with two or more picks in the first round have only had all of those players go to multiple Pro-Bowls 14.5 percent of the time.
CHF delves into the analysis, breaking it out case by case. The Rams franchise has had its fair share of drafts with multiple first-round picks, and mixed results on those players. Let's take a look. Players in bold are the "hits."
Larry Smith, RB
Jim Seymour, WR
Bob Klein, TE
Isaiah Robertson, LB
Jack Youngblood, DE
Mike Fanning, DT
Dennis Harrah, G
Doug France. OT
George Andrews, LB
Kent Hill, OG
Gaston Green, RB
Aaron Cox, WR
Bill Hawkins, DE
Cleveland Gary, RB
Lawrence Phillips, RB
Eddie Kennison, WR
Notice the decline of the franchise right around the time of the Eric Dickerson trade? And look what the Rams did with all those picks. If you buy into the whole Georgia Frontiere was trying to wreck the franchise idea, that was a good way to go about it. I've always had my doubts. The incompetency continued once Georgia took advantage of that sweetheart deal to move the team to St. Louis.
I'm not sure how Pickett is a "hit" for the Rams and Archuleta isn't.
The Rams hit big on multiple picks in the 70s, and it created a dynasty, though no championships. Still, it's a clear reminder of just what it can do when a team does hit on those picks.
And so what about this latest haul? Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree certainly pass the eyeball test. Both had productive college careers at big time schools. Both have worlds of talent. They also have sort of a boom or bust component.
Austin plays at a position that's notoriously difficult to draft. I'd make a crack about the Patriots here, but the Rams haven't had much success with wideouts either, not since Torry Holt. This front office has done a better job building a roster, but the jury's still out on their acumen for picking offensive prospects.
Brian Quick and Isaiah Pead, the top two offensive players off the board for the Rams last year, were invisible as rookies. One-cut runner Daryl Richardson got off to a good start, but his successes slowed in the second half of the season. Chris Givens, a fourth-round pick, had the most success of any offensive rookie since Donnie Avery, whose first-year stats are eerily similar. Hopefully, those others can develop. Will Austin?
Ogletree's issues revolve around the character questions that dogged him in the pre-draft process and as a college kid. He did manage to get a DUI in February, roughly two weeks before the Combine. Fortunately, the current regime at Rams Park has had some early success managing players who had their fair share of youthful indiscretion.
We have a few years before we can accurately judge the impact of the 2012 trade for the second overall pick. Getting a truckload of draft picks is only the first part of the process. We'll know the overall impact when we see it in the standings.