Every single year, I preach that the NFL Draft is all about drafting for value, rather than for need or automatically selecting the so-called “best available player” on the board. I have also made it very clear that if I was an NFL GM, selecting a position such as tight end, running back, safety, or wide receiver with a top 10 is something I would never do. *Note: If there was a player who I believed was a “can’t miss” superstar such as Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson, I would be willing to have the discussion.
That being said, whenever the Detroit Lions have a top 10 pick, they seem to take the player they think is the “best available” or a position they “need” rather than going after the best value.
Well, according to ESPN Draft guru Todd McShay, the Lions are going to screw up again as he has them selecting WR Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Here is what McShay has to say about the selection:
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU*
Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are all set to be free agents, and Chase is an explosive route runner with great body control. He opted out in 2020 but set a SEC record for receiving yards in 2019.
Some will point to a defensive need after Detroit allowed a league-worst 419.8 yards per game. Some will argue it is time for a new quarterback, with Matthew Stafford turning 33 and having a potential out on his contract after next season. A new coaching staff and general manager might take the team in a whole new direction, and maybe that direction is with Justin Fields driving the offense. But it’s tough to ignore how well Chase matches need with value here for the Lions.
Now, everything McShay says is true except for the very last part about Chase matching “need with value” for the Lions.
Yes, the Lions could potentially lose their top 3 wide receivers which means they will need some replacements. But, that does not automatically make a wide receiver at No. 7 overall a “value” pick like I would be looking for.
Just for reference since I know a bunch of you are going to call me an idiot and tell me how important it is to get good wide receivers, let me explain something.
First, I AM NOT saying wide receivers do not have importance to a team. What I AM saying is that taking one with a Top 10 pick, unless that player is Calvin Johnson, is ignorant.
Here are the top 10 receivers from the 2020 regular season, along with where they were drafted.
- Stefon Diggs (146)
- Deandre Hopkins (27)
- Justin Jefferson (22)
- Davante Adams (53)
- Calvin Ridley (26)
- DJ Metcalf (64)
- Tyreek Hill (165)
- Allen Robinson (61)
- DJ Moore (24)
- Bradin Cooks (20)
As you notice, only 5 of the top 10 wide receivers were selected in the first round with only 1 being selected within the first 20 picks and ZERO being selected higher than No. 20 overall. In fact, the average draft spot for the wide receivers listed above is roughly No. 61 (60.8 to be exact), which is the very end of the 2nd round.
Will Ja’Marr Chase be a good NFL receiver? I think he will be. Is he a guy that I am willing to predict will be an All-Pro? Nope.
Therefore, selecting him at No. 7 would be a mistake.