As the Packers head to the NFC Championship, it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about the reasons we are in this position. Some time ago, I read this study, by Kevin Hasset, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute. I think about it every time I see successful players like Jason Spitz, Scott Wells, Mark Tauscher, Donald Driver, and Greg Jennings playing at a high level for relatively little money. (Driver has since gotten paid, but the Packers had him for a bargain for years.)
This analysis targets the economics of the Packers’ 2006 draft. For a number of reasons, Hassett, using a theory developed by economists at Yale University and the University of Chicago, believes the Packers did very well. He writes:
The winner? The Green Bay Packers. They pulled off a number of clever trades, shrewdly stockpiling the enormously valuable second- and third-round picks. In the end, they drafted one player in the first round, two in the second, and two in the third.
Given the history of picks in the second and third rounds, Green Bay should have a number of players locking down valuable slots on their roster for years, freeing up resources to buy veteran stars when they need them. Other teams that pursued similar strategies included the St. Louis Rams, the New York Jets, and the Minnesota Vikings.
Read the whole thing, as they say. It’s well worth your time.