A couple of weeks ago, a fellow writer and I got into a discussion. We talked mostly about how the Raiders beat the Broncos that evolved into the Broncos potentially tanking. The conversation turned into two different views on prospects and essentially, why some draft picks bust more often than others do. One view was that the higher the pick the less bust potential there is for the pick while the other view was that anyone can be a bust or a hit depending on the situation they are put into.
Moreover, it hits home as to why the Raiders had a very good draft in 2014, Yet, selections floundered since. In 2014, the Raiders picked Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, and Gabe Jackson in that order. They got three cornerstone pieces at three different positions . Since then General Manager Reggie McKenzie reached for players, specifically after the second round of almost every draft. The one thing Reggie McKenzie can do is finding talent on the back-end of drafts. McKenzie arrived from Green Bay, who drafts and develops over free agency.
Looking at prospects, what GMs and coaches look for is getting a player that can contribute and be a starter with star potential. Everyone thinks that every team is looking for the next diamond in the rough, finding that lotto ticket that other teams pass over. Players like Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, and Antonio Brown are a few of these lotto tickets. All were late-round picks that became cornerstones of their prospective franchises. Finding these people is the exception, not the rule. Rarely do franchise players fall in drafts due to the combing over from scouts and talent evaluators repeatedly. However, occasionally it does happen. Therefore, there is no method to finding these players; sometimes teams just get lucky on late round prospects.
Additionally, I came across an article that had covered bust potential and the rate vs. draft position ratio here . The higher a prospect ranks in pre-draft ratings overall, the less bust potential . After the second round, the percentages fall drastically that teams will find a perennially contributor and starter.
Moreover, teams cannot always draft the best prospect available. Factors such as draft position, positional needs, trades, and having prospects are drafted before your pick happen. GMs must think on their feet and cannot always make the decisions they want to, so every draft is different. It is not an exact science. Plus, the further you go into the draft the lower the probability a star surfaces. Every draft is like buying a lotto ticket essentially, and hoping in 2018 the Raiders can cash out.