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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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27

 

HOW VALUABLE ARE HIGH DRAFTPICKS IN THE NFL?

The NFL is generally thought to exhibit more parity than other leagues. This means that it appears easier for a bad NFL team to improve from season to season than for a bad NBA or MLB team to improve from one season to the next. We will investigate the truth of this matter in chapter 41.

Most NFL fans believe that the major equalizer from year to year is the structure of the NFL draft. Teams draft in each round in inverse order of performance with the worst team getting the first pick and the best team getting the last pick. Common sense tells us that an earlier draft pick should, on average, be a more valuable player to a team than a later pick. According to Thaler and Massey (TM), common sense ...

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