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Top Ten Best Eagles Draft Picks - #4 DeSean Jackson

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As promised in our previous post in the top ten best picks of the Reid era, we've got our second straight second round pick.

DeSean Jackson - 2008 - 2nd round

I could list you a bunch of DeSean's stats that would make you jaw drop, but none moreso than this. DeSean Jackson was the seventh wide receiver taken in the 2008 draft. Here's a list of the guys taken before him.

Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson, James Hardy, Eddie Royal & Jerome Simpson.

DeSean Jackson is the only pro bowler of the bunch. Two have already been cut. Only one has ever even caught more than 60 passes in a year and that was Eddie Royals now flukey looking rookie season. And why were six guys taken before him? For one, he's small and a lot of teams are afraid of that. The other reason were the supposed "character concerns" around him. Not that he was ever in trouble, just that he was cocky.

I read the book, "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis about how the Oakland A's exploited inefficiencies in the market to create an advantage for themselves. Among other things, they found that the ability to get on base was undervalued and things like speed and stolen bases were overvalued. It got me thinking about whether there was an equivalent in the NFL. What might be the inefficiency that can be exploited?

One possibility really might be these "character concerns." You can't tell me that teams thought that guys like Jerome Simpson or James Hardy were better football players than DeSean Jackson. They weren't, not by any measure. To me, if seven teams look at the same set of players and pass on the best one because of character concerns, then that's a serious inefficiency in the market.


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