Following up on Robert's post (& Nick's comment) on the NFL draft, check out this article by the Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin.
Blame all this on Max Starks.
Starks started on the offensive line in the Super Bowl for the Pittsburgh Steelers three Januarys ago. But he couldn't hold onto his starting position, losing the right tackle spot to Willie Colon last training camp.
Starks wound up starting only four games for the Steelers in 2007. He became a disposable player, right?
Starks became a free agent this off-season, but the Steelers slapped a transition tag on him to prevent him from leaving. They were willing to guarantee him $6.8 million in 2008 to have him ride their bench again.
That displayed the value of offensive linemen in today's NFL – and the 2008 draft drove that point home.
Michigan's Jake Long became the first offensive tackle selected No. 1 overall in a draft since 1997 when the Miami Dolphins gave him that honor Saturday.
Seven more offensive tackles were selected in the next 25 picks – and Atlanta, Carolina and Kansas City traded up to get theirs. That's eight offensive tackles in the first round.
There is an element of anecdote to this, but 8 tackles out of the first 25 picks is really a stunning figure. I'd be interested to see some time series data on picks by position in the first round. Surely this is a) an outlier and b) unlikely to persist. Has Michael Lewis ignited a fad? I imagine that Richard Thaler would argue that he has.