The NFL draft is right around the corner and the New York Times has an interesting article about the Baltimore Ravens draft philosophy. A key point, the Ravens focus a great deal of energy on the middle and late round picks. The idea of your draft being made by the later picks is pretty well known. The Cowboy dynasty of the '90's was built on the sheer number of picks they got for trading Hershel Walker. Tom Brady was a sixth round pick and so on.
When thinking of this through a business hiring lens the thought is often similar. Jason Fried is famous for saying he'd prefer not to hire rock stars. The thought behind all this is those that are willing to work hard, with purpose, and without a ton of hand holding and ego stroking are extremely valuable. Moreover, these folks almost always come at a more affordable price. Or, in the football parlance, two third round draft picks is more valuable than one first round draft pick that demands first round money.
It's an interesting thought and one I agree with for the most part. Of course, the coin does have another side. Don't forget the Ravens defense is anchored by two first round draft picks in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and 37signals programming lead, DHH, is most certainly a first round draft pick when it comes to programmers.