What Would Make A "Successful" Draft?

Al Bello

At what point can fans of the New York Jets laud GM John Idzik for landing a successful draft?

After the 2013 NFL Draft is complete, you will see a significant number of people pontificating on whether or not a given draft by a team was "successful." They'll often grade the draft, assigning them meaningless letter grades from A to F, before a single snap by any of the players is even drafted.

Many people have said that a draft cannot truly be evaluated until three or so years after it occurs. At that point, you can see what players became starters, what players have "busted," and who the late-round gems were. At some point, when you're evaluating a draft, it crosses the line from "terrible" to "average" to "good," or even great. But at what point does that happen? Where's the line? What makes a draft good versus great?

Do we only look to see if a team has filled their holes? Count the number of starters they've acquired? In short, what makes a draft successful? This distinction is important because it's necessary to keep your expectations realistic. It isn't realistic to expect every pick to result in a starter. To be honest, if you're finding a starter after the third or fourth round, you probably just got lucky, considering how many other teams passed on that player, and how many times your own team passed on him.

Going into next week's NFL Draft, barring a trade of Darrelle Revis or for Chris Ivory, the New York Jets will have seven selections, one in each round. To me, a great draft would be to see three full-time starters (who are actually decent players, not just starting because there is nobody in front of them on the depth chart or the size of their rookie contract makes them the favorite) and two reliable backups, in relation to the number of picks the team currently has.

What will make the draft successful in your eyes?

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