On hiring and the NFL Draft

Posted 9 years ago by Adam Gautsch

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.


Evan Tishuk ~ 9 years ago

I'm reminded of the 10+ years we've been conducting the golf drafts (the most recent of which I won). It's become cliche that the difference between coming in 1st and 2nd is in the late round picks. A majority of the points come from a Chad Campbell or Angel Cabrerra or Kenny Perry -- even-keeled grinders who are soldierly about their approach to the game. So who epitomizes the antithesis of a good golf draftee or employee? The prima donna high-maintenance underachiever. The arrogant and streaky whiner: Sergio Garcia.

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