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  • WCG Top 100 Bears players: 100-91
    by Sam Householder on May 24, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    We’re kicking off our WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears Players list with 100-91. We’ll update this list as we reveal more of our picks, so stay tuned! This is it, the Top 100 Chicago Bears as voted on by the Jeff Berckes, Sam Householder, Lester Wiltfong, Erik Duerrwaetcher, Jack Silverstein and Jacob Infante. This post will be updated 10 at a time on a weekly basis to start with. We decided to rank players based only on their Bears playing career, so coaching career and accomplishments with other teams were not considered. For the full voting method and more on how this list came to be, click here. 91. Beattie Feathers, RB, 1934-1937, 1 All-Pro (1934) Feathers is most-remembered as the answer to the trivia question who was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in NFL history? Feathers accomplished that as a rookie, in 1934, adding eight rushing touchdowns and averaging an impressive 91.3 yards per game over the 13 game season, though he played in just 11 games. There wouldn’t be another 1,000 yard rusher for 13 years. The 91.3 YPG is still a rookie Bears record and his 8.4 yards per carry is still an NFL record for a single season. He’s the only member of the 1930s All-Decade Team not enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. - Sam Householder 92. Matt Suhey, FB, 1980-1989. SB XX Champion The lifelong Bear paved the way for Walter Payton and Neal Anderson as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the game. A second round pick in 1980, Suhey scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. While overshadowed by talented running backs, Suhey averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his standout 1983 season where he racked up over 1,100 yards from scrimmage including an impressive 49 catches. The fan favorite was also a close personal friend of backfield mate Payton and served as executor of his estate when Payton passed away in 1999. - Jeff Berckes Matt Suhey is 10th all-time in Bears history with 260 receptions. 93. Brad Maynard, P, 2001-2010, 2nd Team All-Pro (2004) No one has punted for more yards in Bears history than Maynard’s 36,781. His 878 punts rank second all-time, which is good for a 41.9 yard average. He was known as a directional punter during his day as evidenced by averaging 28.4 punts inside the twenty during his 10 years in Chicago. He also completed 5 of 7 passes in his Bears’ career, for two touchdowns and a passer rating of 153.3. - Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. 94. Gary Famiglietti, FB/RB, 1938-1945, 2x NFL champion, 3x Pro Bowl (1940, 1941, 1942) Forget for a moment everything you know about Gary Famiglietti, and just look at this picture. If I asked you to pick out the man whom sportswriters of the day referred to as a “steamroller,” you would quickly I.D. the dude wearing #2. At 6’0, 225, Famiglietti was arguably the premier big back in the NFL during his day. His 503 rushing yards in 1942 was the most for an NFL back his size until Hall of Famer Marion Motley’s 1950 season. Famiglietti helped the Bears win two championships as the bruiser of the backfield; following ‘42, he was one of only three players ever with 500 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in a season. — Jack M Silverstein Los Angeles Times 95. Tom Thayer, OG/C, 1985-1992, Super Bowl champion (1985) Now the color commentator for Bears radio broadcasts on WBBM, Tom Thayer put together a solid career for himself as a player. He started at right guard for the ‘85 Bears and remained starter for the remainder of his tenure with the team, paving lanes for Walter Payton at the end of his career and ensuring Neal Anderson make a smooth transition into the starting lineup. — Jacob Infante 96. Dave Whitsell, DB, 1961-1966, 1963 NFL Champion Whitsell spent his NFL career with three different teams: the Lions (1958-1960); the Bears (1961-1966); and the Saints (1967-1969). His lone Pro Bowl came in his first year with the New Orleans Saints in 1967. In all, he totaled 46 interceptions in his NFL career, with 26 of those recorded with the Bears (6th all-time). It’s worth noting he totaled only one interception while with the Lions. The career highlight for him was being a member of the 1963 NFL Championship team. - Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter 97. J.C. Caroline, DB, 1956-1965, 1 Pro Bowl (1956), 1963 NFL Champion Caroline was a one-time Pro-Bowler but was a starter for his first seven years and still ranks eighth in team history in interceptions with 24. He appeared in every game during the 1963 Championship season. He was a running back in college at Illinois and briefly played both ways with the Bears before becoming a DB full time. He also intercepted Johnny Unitas’ first career pass and returned it for a touchdown. - Sam Householder 98. Marty Booker, WR, 1999-2003, 2008. 1 Pro Bowl (2002) Booker was the first Bears receiver to eclipse the 100 catch mark in a single season in 2001 and followed that effort up with a 97-catch Pro Bowl season, holding the top two spots in team history at the time of his retirement. Drafted in the third round of the 1999 draft, Booker’s oversized hands helped him make crazy one-handed grabs like this one. Despite spending four years of his career with Miami, Booker is currently tied for the fourth most receptions in Chicago Bears history with 329. - Jeff Berckes 99. Alshon Jeffery, WR, 2012-2016, 1 Pro Bowl (2013) Say what you want about Jeffery, but you can’t deny how productive he was when playing in Chicago. In 2013 he set the single game high for receiving yards in a game at 218, then he broke his own record two months later when he went for 249 yards. His 4,549 receiving yards in a Bears’ uni ranks third all time in franchise history, while his 304 receptions ranks seventh. - Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. 100. Tim Jennings, CB, 2010-2014, 2x Pro Bowl (2012, 2013), 2nd team All-Pro (2012) After his second season in Chicago, the knock on Jennings was that he didn’t finish interceptions. So with just seven picks in four years, Jennings went hard on the JUGS machine in the 2012 offseason. The results were huge: a team leading 10 interceptions in minicamp and OTAs, and an NFL-best nine picks in 2012. In his two Pro Bowl seasons, he bagged 13 total with three TDs. - Jack M Silverstein […]

  • What’s the most embarrassing Bears jersey to own?
    by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. on May 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    It happens every offseason. The Chicago Bears draft a fresh class of rookies or signs an exciting free agent or two, and the NFL whips up a new batch of jerseys for fans to purchase. How many of you guys ran out to get a Muhsin Muhammad #87 in 2005, a Julius Peppers #90 in 2010, or a Kevin White #13 in 2015? Muhammad’s Bears’ career was most memorable for his quote about Chicago being, “where receivers go to die.” Peppers made four straight Pro Bowls, but after being released he ended up playing north of the border. And White’s career never got on track. But not every jersey purchased has a cautionary tale attached to it. Brian Urlacher’s #54 had staying power, as did Devin Hester’s #23. In our latest WCG offseason, roundtable topic, we wanted to know the answer to the following question. What’s the most embarrassing Chicago Bears jersey to own? Considering I’ve never owned a Bears jersey, I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this one. If I were to ever get a jersey (but I probably won’t because I’m very cheap), I have a strict throwback-only rule. I’d never buy a current player because with free agency there’s no telling how long he’d be relevant. In recent years there have been several Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Howard, and Brandon Marshall jerseys purchased by fans. I’ve seen Grossman, Terrell, and Enis in my travels. My advice to jersey buying fans, stick with the classics like #34, #50, #54, #23, #57, #33, #65, #99, #95 and #81. Here’s how a few of our other staffers answered today’s topic. Jeff Berckes - Buying the jersey of anyone the Bears drafted gets an automatic pass from me as there is always hope that player will develop and / or live up to expectations. I think the worst thing you could do is buy the jersey of a player who played the vast majority of his career for an enemy squad and signed on for one last run with the Bears. In recent history, that’s Jared Allen. Owning that jersey tells me you’re either related to Mr. Allen or a closet Vikings fan. Sam Householder - I think this is a case of it has to be a player that was so bad that not only did he bust out as a player but also as a person. At least you can rock a Kevin White jersey and be like ‘hey he was a nice kid that got hurt, that’s too bad.’ But David Terrell it’s like ‘He was bad and kind of an a-hole.’ And then it has to be someone that the burn has kind of worn off but is not so old that you can wear the jersey ironically (like a McNown or Enis jersey). So I think like a Jeremiah Ratliff jersey or a Ray McDonald (did they even sell those though?) would be embarrassing. Of ones that are still out there though, Brandon Marshall has to be up there. Sure he set a lot of records but he has a lot of issues. Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Any jersey previously worn by a Bears QB not named McMahon, Cutler, or Trubisky. Ken Mitchell - There are several levels of cool, jerseys, and a few that are just embarrassing. Let’s start with several types of cool ones. First, there is any Bear in the Hall Of Fame. Secondly, any easily recognized Bears great like Jim McMahon, Kevin Butler, Keith Traylor, Israel Idonije, Thomas Jones, Matt Suhey Olin Kruetz, Mike Brown even up to guys like Josh Sitton. Bearman Don Wachter be inducted into the fans wing Hall Of Fame for fans this summer in Canton, Ohio wearing Doug Plank’s 46 jersey. Then there’s the “obscure cool”, show up at any function wearing 87 (Tom Waddle), 85 (Keith Jennings), 67 (Jerry Fontenot) or 37 (Tony Parrish). The most embarrassing ones are for the flops... I mean absolute flops... Show to the tailgate up wearing Kevin White’s 13, or David Terrell’s 83 and you deserve to be mocked. I wanted to open this roundtable up to the fans too, so I posed the question to our Facebook and Twitter audience. We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 This is a picture. Would post my Grossman Jersey but I had to sacrifice that Jersey at a jersey burning party. True story. pic.twitter.com/3MVgarFH3A— Keith DeVore (@kjdevore28) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Once saw a Conte Jersey floating around.— Zachary Lekfield (@ZLekf) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Jon Bostic and Shea Mclellan jerseys are still in my closet if anybody wants one— Extremely Sioux City Guy (@reallycooljohn) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I won a Jared Allen autographed Jersy st a cancer shoot,I was the only one that put a ticket in for it— Jasper Fenix (@jasperfenix9) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I have an authentic kordell Stewart, Jared Allen, Tank Johnson, and Kevin White.— Dan Aguire (@bearsfan_dan) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I bought a Bryan Cox 52 jersey. It said B Cox on the back. Tore the name off when they traded for Mack— Richard Bunts (@Elephanthole) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Now it’s your turn. What’s the most embarrassing Bears jersey to own? And if you own one you’re embarrassed of, share a pic in the comment section! […]

  • The Bear’s Den, May 24, 2019
    by Ken Mitchell on May 24, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Another Day, another OTA session at Halas Hall. BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!! BEARRRSSSS / FREE AGENCY / DRAFT Medina: Excuse Me, But What Do You Mean Brian Urlacher Isn’t a Top-10 Player in Bears History? - Bleacher Nation - Brian Urlacher is a Hall of Famer, an all-time great, and deserving of a top-10 spot among the best Bears ever. Hughes: Bears to Donate Million Dollars to Local Charities - Da Bears Blog - One of the great things about the partnership between Ted Phillips and George McCaskey has been their committment to charity. And never has that been more apparent that their new initiative. Dickerson: Matt Nagy sees no signs of defensive drop-off for Bears - ESPN - Chuck Pagano is thrilled to be back on the field with coaches and players and says his scheme will have some elements of Vic Fangio’s defense. Koshul: Matt Nagy is taking culture to another level with Chicago Bears - 247sports - We take a look at how Matt Nagy has changed the culture around the Chicago Bears, going into year two as the head coach. Eurich: Chuck Pagano does not plan on many changes to Bears defense - 247Sports - Following up someone like Vic Fangio will be no easy task for Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. Fangio oversaw one of the NFL’s best defensive units a year ago before he took on the role as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Pagano was hired by the Bears this offseason after he was fired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following the 2017 season. Alper: Bears “seeing some different looks” with Chuck Pagano running defense – ProFootballTalk - After being hired as the defensive coordinator in Chicago in January, Chuck Pagano said that the Bears defense won’t change much with Vic Fangio now running the show in Denver. Nazario: Allen Robinson needs to lead wide receiver corps - NFLSpinZone.com - Allen Robinson had a good season last year but needs to take a big step forward this season for the Chicago Bears to succeed. Our culture is second to none and it shows at OTAs.@lscreeden has your #BearsUpdate. pic.twitter.com/EGwvZpuoEA— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 23, 2019 Stankevitz: Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - ‘It’s just like Bama’ - NBC Sports Chicago - Eddie Jackson convinced Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to sign with the Bears thanks to one simple pitch: It’s just like where the two played in college. Barbieri: Bears have had high attendance rate at offseason workouts - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears players have bought into Matt Nagy’s system for the second year in a row, evidenced by their participation rate this offseason. Potash: Khalil Mack eager to take his game to another level - Chicago Sun-Times - His goal? ‘To be the best that ever played the position,’ OLB coach Ted Monachino said. Biggs: Chuck Pagano has to put his stamp on the Bears defense, but he won't throw away what Vic Fangio built - Chicago Tribune - New Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano is installing a new defense, but it won't be a whole lot different than Vic Fangio's. Medina: Let's Enjoy Some Highlights Starring Walter Payton, the Greatest Bears Player in Franchise History - Bleacher Nation - The greatest player in NFL history is the best player in franchise history. And he has the highlights to prove it! Chasing greatness.#BearsOTAs | #Bears100 pic.twitter.com/qCpVvxL7cq— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 23, 2019 Quick hits: Trubisky clearly in comfort zone - ChicagoBears.com - Six weeks into the Bears offseason program this spring—and after two OTA practices—quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s familiarity with the offense and his receivers is evident. Mayer: Ranking best Bears of all time - Nos 1-25 - ChicagoBears.com - Legendary Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Dick Butkus top the list of the greatest players in Bears history as ranked by writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson in the Bears Centennial Scrapbook. Hoge and Jahns: OTA’s, Best Bears of All Time, and The Next Live Podcast Recording - WGN Radio - Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns share their thoughts after witnessing the first session of the Bears’ Offseason Training Activities. They play tape from head coach Matt Nagy, new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, as well as some of the positional coaches and players. They also play an interview with Ted Monachino, the team’s new outside linebackers coach. Hoge and Jahns discuss the list of the top 100 Bears of all time available on the team’s website. The guys also talk about where the next live recording of the podcast will take place and how you can get yourself there! Bernstein: Here’s What’s Wrong With Bears’ Top-100 List - 670 The Score - Dan Hampton deserves more respect, and William Perry needs included. .@BoJack39: "You wouldn't even know we have a new defensive coordinator." pic.twitter.com/UFbXV73J5c— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 22, 2019 Finley: Bears trying James Daniels at center, Cody Whitehair at guard - Chicago Sun-Times - James Daniels, who started 10 games at left guard last year as a rookie, is getting snaps at center, coach Matt Nagy confirmed. POLISH SAUSAGE Adam Gase says Jets didn’t overpay for Le’Veon Bell - NFL.com - Jets coach and interim GM Adam Gase met with the New York media on Thursday and addressed reports that he disagreed with how much his team spent on RB Le’Veon Bell. Greenfield: Taking pain management in the NFL seriously - Our Turf Football - A new day is coming in the NFL. Could the decriminalization of marijuana in the NFL be too far behind? OTFB’s Sonja Greenfield takes a look. Arhar: NFL and NFLPA adding health resources for players - Our Turf Football - The NFL and the NFLPA finally agree on something. The players mental and physical health. OTFB’s Kate Arhar looks at the health resources that are being adding for the players. KNOW THY ENEMY Minnesota Vikings OTAs: Is it possible Mike Hughes won’t be ready for Week 1? - Daily Norseman - At least one well-placed source is raising that possibility Packers 2019 90-man roster ranking, 40-36: Will it be a bounce-back season for Marcedes Lewis? - Acme Packing Company - The veteran tight end surprisingly re-signed in Green Bay after a quiet 2018 that saw him struggle to get on the field. Why a 2019 Darius Slay extension makes sense for everybody - Pride Of Detroit - Darius Slay wants an extension now, and it makes complete sense for him to seek that new deal. PFF: Frank Ragnow has potential to be the best center in NFL - Pride Of Detroit - Pro Football Focus thinks Frank Ragnow’s potential is endless at his "new" position. Detroit misses out on 2021, 2023 NFL Draft hosting opportunity - Pride Of Detroit - 2022 remains a possibility. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears players of all-time: 100-91 - Windy City Gridiron - We’re kicking off our WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears Players list with 100-91. We’ll update this list as we reveal more of our picks, so stay tuned! Sunderbruch: Examining draft day trades and the value they hold: Part 3 - Windy City Gridiron - Despite the age of the Johnson chart, it continues to predict high-end trades better than its competitors. However, a new chart is beginning to own the middle of the draft. Infante: Bears’ David Montgomery facing surprisingly tall odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year - Windy City Gridiron - With the odds given for the rookie running back, Montgomery seems like a smart bet. WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, and T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert; and Robert Zeglinski’s The Blitz Network THE RULES Windy City Gridiron Community Guidelines - SBNation.com - We strive to make our communities open and inclusive to sports fans of all backgrounds. The following is not permitted in comments. No personal attacks, politics, gender based insults of any kind, racial insults, etc. The Bear’s Den Specific Guidelines – The Bear’s Den is a place for Chicago Bears fans to discuss Chicago Bears football, related NFL stories, and general football talk. It is NOT a place to discuss religion or politics or post political pictures or memes. Unless otherwise stated, the Den is not an open thread, and profanity (including profanity only stated in pictures) is prohibited. Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook. […]

  • Have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears?
    by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. on May 23, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    This next roundtable discussion topic was an easy one for us to answer, but what about you guys. With more bad than good the last three decades, have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears? The Chicago Bears have the second most NFL Championships in the history of the league... But none since 1985. In the Super Bowl era, which is all that many fans care about, the Bears are 1-1 in their two appearances. Even though the Chicago Bears are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, recent history hasn’t been very kind to them. With only six division championships since 1989, us Bears’ fans have had much more heartache than good times when cheering for the beloved. We’ve seen some locker room dysfunction, coaches announced as hired before it was official, mock news conference requests, there has been sniping done through the media, boxes not checked, and allowing over 50 points a game in consecutive weeks, just to name some of the things that we’ve had to deal with. But through it all, I maintained my fandom. I never wavered, and Bears games have remained appointment television for me since the 1980s. When this latest roundtable topic was sent to us, I know that the WCG stafffers would all be in unison. Have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears? My answer, Hell no. But let’s check in on what a few of our guys had to say. Sam Householder - I have never been foolish enough to think I could actually follow through on it if I said it, so I don’t think I’ve ever said it aloud or written it. The very closest I’ve ever come though was the 2014 Marc Trestman season, followed closely by January of 2017 when they brought John Fox back after 3-13. I really didn’t think they’d ever get out of the mire at that point. Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Nope. I’m mother Martz’ing Optimist Prime. Ken Mitchell - Quitting? The Bears? No. Never. It would be like considering quitting breathing. Sorry for the short answer, but it’s an unmodified, unqualified no from me. Jeff Berckes - I don’t know about quitting, but I’ve never been more upset with the Chicago Bears fan base than I was when Cubs fans booed Mike Glennon and Bulls fans booed Mitchell Trubisky after they were acquired in the same off-season. Neither had ever thrown a pass for the team at that point and you’re booing them? I truly did not identify with that mentality and I honestly questioned if I fit in as a Bears fan. Jeff, we know all about that kind of fan. Photo by Jacob Andrzejczak/Getty Images for Rio And you my friend, are not that kind of fan. Have any of you guys ever come close to quitting the Bears? Get ready for the 2019 Bears season by taking advantage of the Breaking T Memorial Day Sale! Click right here and you can get a Club Dub hoodie for only $16.00! There are literally hundreds of different designs for every sports fan you know, so get ready for the season at Breaking T, and don’t forget, Father’s Day is right around the corner too. […]

  • Examining draft day trades and the value they hold: Part 3
    by Josh Sunderbruch on May 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Despite the age of the Johnson chart, it continues to predict high-end trades better than its competitors. However, a new chart is beginning to own the middle of the draft. Previously, when I have looked at draft trades, I have defaulted to the Johnson chart, which many people consider outdated. The reality, however, is that the Johnson chart is still largely accurate. For example, for the 105 draft trades that have taken place in the last three years, the Johnson chart has been within 5% of the predicted value in 54 cases and within 10% in 78 cases. That’s remarkable for such an old instrument, and most of the “errors” come from the end of the chart, where picks in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds are being swapped hastily. There is less value to be found in these picks, and so a few points of irregularity here or there make a bigger swing in the total percentage of value lost or gained. Of course, another advantage to using the Johnson chart is that there are calculators readily available online to help determine pick value, and so I only need to check the math--I do not need to do it all by hand myself. The only other chart system that has such convenience is the Chase Stuart chart, and that is simply not a tool that matters when it comes to predicting which picks will be traded for what value. I’ve covered this before, and it remains true. However, there is a third option, and that option comes in the form of the work done by Rich Hill. Hill writes for Windy City Gridiron’s sibling site, Pats Pulpit. Hill has a new chart, more or less reverse-engineered from trades that took place after the new CBA went into effect. It attempts to construct how actual GMs value actual picks, and so it is functionally superior to the theoretical work done by Stuart. Using the sample of the last three years of pick-only trades, and using the version of Hill’s chart available through Drafttek for 2019, we find that Hill is within 5% of the predicted value of picks 55 times, and within 10% of the predicted value 80 times. In other words, he had two more “hits” about the Johnson chart. That’s nice, but it’s also unspectacular. What gives? Hill vs Johnson To some extent, the Hill chart encounters the same problems as the Johnson chart. Essentially, both charts hold up impressively well across the first couple of rounds, but in later rounds things get messier. Most of the big misses involve picks after #150, and they deal with very slim total margins. For example, the Johnson chart only misses by more than 10% on 3 trades out of 32 in the first two rounds. One of these is the ridiculous overpay the Jets made to trade up to spot #3 in 2018, and another is Panthers overpaying to trade with the Seahawks in order to take Greg Little. The final miss? The Bears got too good a deal on their trade to draft Anthony Miller in 2018. Meanwhile, the Hill chart misses with those three picks as well. However, it also misses on other picks at the top of the draft. The Hill chart has the Bears as underpaying the 49ers by a considerable degree (they paid 89% of the Hill chart’s value for #2, whereas the Johnson chart has the Bears/49ers trade as almost a perfect breakeven proposition), and it also has the Bills as overpaying the Bucs by 29% to draft Josh Allen. Additionally, it thinks the Steelers overpaid the Broncos by 18% to take Devin Bush. These three trades are fine by Johnson’s chart. Why the difference? I think Rich Hill is trying too hard to make sense. When he is using past trades to calculate current value, an even mathematical progression of value makes sense. However, GMs do not seem to value picks in the top ten evenly. They place disproportionate value on them, and that means that the steep curve of the Johnson chart is more likely to hold up precisely because it does not make as much “sense” in objective terms. Trends On another note, it is worth pointing out that across these three years, the Patriots are the team most likely to give away higher picks for less than what Hill predicts their market value to be, followed closely by the 49ers and the Jets. Obviously, with high-end picks being overvalued by many measures, it makes sense that some teams would accept a lower price. However, just because it seems to work for the Patriots does not mean it is a proven strategy, as the other two teams on that list prove. It’s hard to claim the strategy adopted by San Francisco and New York are netting them impressive results, at least so far. By contrast, it is interesting to note that only one team has multiple trades forward where its GM beat the Hill values over these three years, and that’s the Chicago Bears’ Ryan Pace. On the other side, only one team was able to get an above-predicted return for selling its pick more than once--the Baltimore Ravens. Finally, only the Buffalo Bills overpaid more than once. However, there is not a lot in the way of “pattern” beyond that. Essentially, the Johnson chart, or something like it, holds sway across most of the draft. Rich Hill is getting closer and closer to cracking the code on the new values GMs are using post-2011 CBA. Ultimately, nobody is owning the trade market, but an argument could be made that Ryan Pace is doing a better job than most of his peers in maneuvering through the draft. It is also true that there is no obvious sign that teams succeed or fail on the basis of how they trade. For example, the Patriots have both overpaid to trade up and taken less than market value to trade down. However, they seem to be doing fine. The Bills and Jets have the same pattern, and they cannot boast nearly the same outcomes. […]

 

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