The Cleveland Browns are going to select a quarterback with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. What happens next will begin to tell the story of this year's class. The New York Giants might draft a quarterback. They might trade the No. 2 pick. They might select one of Dave Gettleman's much-beloved hog mollies, such as Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson or NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb.
The most popular pick for the Giants, though, is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Anyone who watches two minutes of Barkley's highlights can understand why Gettleman might want to keep the 21-year-old in the Northeast, as the tape suggests that he is a transcendent talent. He produced a nation-high [url=http://www.nikeminnesotavikingstore.com/will-sutton-jersey-for-sale-c-74.html]Will Sutton Authentic Jersey[/url] 3,801 yards from scrimmage the past two seasons, and his 45 touchdowns tied him with Devin Singletary of Florida Atlantic atop the [url=http://www.authenticbluejaysstore.com/Authentic-Ja-Happ-Jersey]http://www.authenticbluejaysstore.com/Authentic-Ja-Happ-Jersey[/url] FBS leaderboard.
There's every reason to believe Barkley will be an excellent running back. The Giants have had six different backs rack up 100 carries over the past five seasons without finding a replacement for Ahmad Bradshaw, and they're currently projected to run out the duo of Wayne Gallman and Jonathan Stewart next season. Every team could use a Saquon Barkley. The Giants could really use one.
Should the Giants draft Barkley at No. 2? I don't think it's a great idea. That opinion has nothing to do with Barkley's considerable talent. I'm just not sure that the economics of the NFL and the running back market make it a smart decision to use the second overall pick on any rusher. Even if Barkley turns into a superstar, the Giants will be settling for a low-ceiling option if they draft him at No. 2. To understand why that's the case, you have to look at both the recent draft history and the economics of the NFL under the current collective bargaining agreement.
Part of the value of the draft is selecting players who will make a fraction of their true market value over the course of their rookie contract. Take Carson Wentz, who played at an MVP level in his second season before suffering a torn ACL. If Wentz were an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the 25-year-old would have no trouble finding a contract that would pay him $30 million per year for the next three seasons.
Instead of giving Wentz $90 million, if you prorate Wentz's signing bonus, the Eagles will be responsible for a total of $15.7 million over the next two years before picking up the quarterback's fifth-year option, which will be somewhere in the range of $22.8 million. (They could even franchise Wentz for another year at $27.4 million or so, but let's stop there.)
There's no stat that translates player performance into money, but we can use the current quarterback market to estimate what a top-tier passer gets in free agency to illuminate just how much of a bargain Wentz has been and will be if he continues to play at a high level. The top of the market was worth $25 million in 2017, will be [url=http://www.officialnationalstore.com/Howie_Kendrick_Jersey]Howie Kendrick Womens Jersey[/url] somewhere around $27.5 million in 2018 and should hit $30 million when Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan sign their new deals. If Wentz continues to play [url=http://www.rangersteamonline.com/Kevin_Hayes_Jersey]Kevin Hayes Youth jersey[/url] at a Pro Bowl level and is one of the five best quarterbacks in football, he'll save the Eagles more than $75 million:
Of course, Wentz doesn't have to play at that high of a level to justify his current contract. The first four years of his deal amount to a total of $26.7 million, which is an average of $6.7 million per season. That's slightly more than the league's better backups will receive on their deals. (For example, Nick Foles originally signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Eagles before renegotiating it this month.)
Even if you factor in an inconsistent debut season like his 2016 campaign, the upside for the Eagles is getting a quarterback worth $95 million while paying $26.7 million over the first four years. Even if you think Wentz has only a 30 percent chance of turning into that kind of [url=http://www.pittsburghpenguinsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Bryan-Trottier-Jersey]http://www.pittsburghpenguinsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Bryan-Trottier-Jersey[/url] superstar going [url=http://www.lionsfootballofficialauthenticstore.com/LIONS-DARREN-FELLS-JERSEY]http://www.lionsfootballofficialauthenticstore.com/LIONS-DARREN-FELLS-JERSEY[/url] into the draft, you're right to take a shot on a quarterback with the second overall pick. The numbers aren't and can't be exact, but you get the idea: The upside for drafting a quarterback is getting an absolute bargain.
When you do the same math for running backs, though, the numbers aren't anywhere near as appealing. There are only 11 active four-plus-year contracts for running backs. You'll notice something interesting about the five largest active contracts for halfbacks: Unlike rookie quarterbacks, who don't come close to making what the most expensive players at their position earn, highly drafted running backs such as Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette enter the league as some of the highest-paid players at their position. Elliott would probably top LeSean McCoy and [url=http://www.officialblazershop.com/authentic-22-clyde-drexler-jersey.html]Clyde Drexler Womens Jersey[/url] make more than $8 million per year if he became a free agent, but upper-echelon running backs aren't coming close to the $25 million to $30 million annual going rate for signal-callers. [url=http://www.cheapnflsuperbowljerseys.com]cheap jerseys from china[/url] [url=http://www.wholesalejerseysfromchina.us.com]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.supernfjerseyonlinehot.com]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.wholesalecustomnfljerseyschina.com]cheap jerseys from china[/url] [url=http://www.cheapjerseyschinapaypal.us.com]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.nflshopwholesalejerseys.com]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.goodjerseysmall.com]cheap jerseys from china[/url]
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