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Over the past 10 years only 35 percent of first round picks ended up making a Pro Bowl | Why is it valued so high?

It is not very often a player is selected to the Pro Bowl, especially from the first round. I would have almost guaranteed that more than 35 percent of first rounders ended up in the Pro Bowl. I am shocked the number is so low.

One of our writers Daniel Kelly loves brewing the pot on his scouting takes, but he was one of the few who made it to the NFL to scouts. I was talking to an old head scout who has been doing it for years who told me their could not be more than 5000 scouts over the lifetime of the NFL. I know his takes get people’s feathers ruffled, but when you look at the break down of first round picks not many pan out. I mean rarely do they hit fifty percent when it comes to Pro Bowl caliber players.

We as fans value these first round picks, until they end up not turning out. I mean I am a huge Bills fan. I have been pumping the Bills for years, I knew for fact that Josh Rosen was going to be the Bills pick and we were going to win a Super Bowl. When the Bills picked Allen I went nuts. I remember calling my brother and telling him we would never win. Fast forward now and the Bills are contenders. Ok, so I was wrong.

Us so called scouts are always wrong, but we are not the only ones. NFL scouts are wrong all the time too. We recently made a post on Twitter with our readers posting their biggest whiff takes when it comes to scouting. Some of them were great. I mean I once though Brad Kaaya would be a Pro Bowl quarterback. We all miss, but NFL teams miss big time too.

I went back over the past 10 years to look at first round picks. First round picks should be the easiest to select. They are the players that are the best of the best at the collegiate level right? Well check this out 111 players drafted in the first round ended up being Pro Bowlers. That is out of 319 players drafted in the first round. Everyone believes that first round picks are so easy to hit on, but that means about 35 percent of first rounders will end up being Pro Bowl caliber.

  • 2011 – 16 players
  • 2012 – 14 players
  • 2013 – 12 players
  • 2014 – 17 players
  • 2015 – 10 players
  • 2016 – 11 players
  • 2017 – 12 players
  • 2018 – 12 players
  • 2019 – 5 players
  • 2020 – 2 players

All other rounds added up to 124 players being drafted that went to the Pro Bowl. That number is not as impressive when consider how many players are actually selected in a draft.

  • 2011 – 15 players
  • 2012 – 22 players
  • 2013 – 17 players
  • 2014 – 10 players
  • 2015 – 16 players
  • 2016 – 18 players
  • 2017 – 13 players
  • 2018 – 8 players
  • 2019 – 5 players
  • 2020 – 0 players

Now let’s look at undrafted players from each draft that made it to the Pro Bowl. I know it is crazy but 37 players were undrafted in those 10 years that went to the Pro Bowl. There is value everywhere in the NFL.

  • 2011 – 6 players
  • 2012 – 5 players
  • 2013 – 7 players
  • 2014 – 8 players
  • 2015 – 1 player
  • 2016 – 5 players
  • 2017 – 2 players
  • 2018 – 1 player
  • 2019 – 2 players
  • 2020 – 0 players

I bring this up because many critics and readers will talk trash about someone’s opinion when it comes to scouting, but draftniks are not the only ones who get things wrong. We all do. I mean when I see this list, and laugh. So many experts are wrong all the time, but remember this, the chances of a player not being a Pro Bowler is 65 percent. That number is not very good…….

So when a team gives up a first round pick to get someone that is a Pro Bowl caliber, it is worth it. The chances of you drafting a replacement like the Vikings did last year with Justin Jefferson is very slim. That was one of the rare trades that actually worked out well for both teams. So here is my question, why do we value those picks so much?

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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