Greg Gabriel at the National Football Post (a great website that I highly recommend) recently published an article entitled “How clubs strategize for free agency and the draft” which postulates an interesting idea that when picking at a certain position in the draft, a team can expect a certain number of players at a position to be picked ahead of them (if that sounds confusing please check out his article where he goes more indepth in the concept). For instance, if a team just won the Super Bowl and is picking last in the 1st round and is interested in drafting a quarterback, they can reasonably expect to see the 3rd or 4th best quarterback still available because on average 2-3 quarterbacks get drafted in the 1st round. If you think about it, there are only so many “can’t miss” 1st round draft picks produced every year and usually their positions are distributed rather evenly (factored in with the nature of the NFL). Obviously some years can be strong years for certain positions, like this year with defensive ends, but on average the amount of players in a certain position selected remains relatively constant.
With that in mind, the question I had is which players are statistically likely to be available at pick 28 for the Packers and which picks would make sense compared to previous years. To do that I complied a list of every draft from the 1st pick overall to the 28th pick overall from 2005 (the year Ted Thompson became the general manager) to 2011 and then computed the average number of players at a position taken and their standard deviation between each year.