What Traits Do You Need in a Top 5/10 Pick?

What are you looking for in a top pick? How is a top guy different from say the 30th overall pick? We all know top picks can bust out and late 1st rd. guys and even undrafted guys can make the Hall of Fame. What makes a top pick a top pick?

To me it is having a trait or talent that is special that cannot be coached AND the competitive fire to want to improve. That is what I want and as a fan I don’t have access to knowing who has that fire… but we can all see the traits. Some drafts have no special players.

I will forever believe the Jags made a mistake going Walker over Hutch. Hutch is an elite blend of power, smarts and quickness that was unmatched in the 2022 draft. Amazing he fell to us. I bet Sauce was high on the Lions list too but we NEEDED DL strength so need and elite traits made Hutch an easy pick.

WR Jameson Williams has speed and elite route running. His breaks at the top of his routes are special when he is healthy. When he trusts his body and practices like he plays in games it will be easy to understand why Brad made his move. He saw special in Jameson.

I still cannot believe Sewell fell to us. He is a TRUE dancing bear. Elite traits and fire that can erupt a volcano. What a pick!

All other drafted players are talented. But early picks should be able to do things others just can’t do AND…they have to have the fire in the belly to WANT to win.

When I am thinking like this it helps when looking at the 2023 draft. For example if Will Anderson falls to us I am making that pick. Will Anderson, James Houston, Hutch, Paschal and maybe Cominsky coming after you? I am drafting that.

If Carter falls to us that combination of power and speed is r wet lite…as long as the passion and competitive fire is there too. If not…pass.

The top RB has me very intrigued.

Honestly Bryan Bresee is still a guy who has my attention even at six. His luck and injuries have been awful BUT… he has special talent. When you watch his 2022 games every few snaps he shows his talent which is consistent with an injury history and lack of practice but I think there is something there that us special.

What to y’all think? What are you looking for? What do Scout’s look for?


A really high ceiling and a reasonable floor. That’s one of the problems this year, most of the floors aren’t reasonable.

I also take into account positional value. So does everyone here, no one would draft a long snapper in the top ten. There are varying degrees to which everyone is comfortable with specific positions, but we all take positional value into account.


Elite traits and motor… If you have the desire and ability, the rest comes down to coaching.


Except for those few who banged the table for hock. Those few suck reallly, really… really bad at understanding positional value.


Talent matters, but I look for elite production in college. When I see players dominate the underwear olympics but lack production on the actual field that always concerns me. Thanks to the Jags for passing on the guy with the elite production and letting us get Hutch.

This might be harder to evaluate, but also looking for someone who freaken loves football, and isn’t just playing for the money. Some guys just have that passion for the game that you just know they are going to be successful.


So perhaps a more nuanced answer is…it depends?

One thing I’ve noticed over the years reading about the draft is that each draft is unique. Your example of Sewell dropping to us at like 7 is a result of a deep top of round one. Some drafts scouts have 20 guys in the first round with a first round grade. Other drafts they might have 6 first round grades.

But regardless, you have take a player with your pick whether he is a first round grade or not.

Ideally though, I think its what a lot of the others have said. Most drafts you should be able to find a high upside player with a relatively low floor. You don’t want your first round pick busting. So sometimes the safe pick is the best pick. The players who were productive in college and have the sort of height/weight/measurables to back up that production. And the requisite safe character to see the potential through…


This is tricky. It’d be nice if they loved football but at some point the grind of it is gonna wear all of them down. You hear it in all the retirement speeches, they just don’t want to go through the grind anymore. Football has a cost.

What I look for more than guys who love football is guys who are professional. Are you gonna go out there and earn all those millions? Are you gonna go out there when you feel shitty, when something’s going on in your life, when the team is 3-10 and give it your all? Loving football is a bonus, but I think if you take guys who aren’t blood-and-guts-football off your board, you’re gonna miss out on a lot of great players.

I look at a guy like Trent Williams who has many times admitted that the money is what motivates him (and who once sat a whole year because he believed he wasn’t being paid enough), but who’s also such a pro that he’s generally considered the best OT in the league. Jalen Ramsey, Tyreek, Chris Jones, etc… there’s a lot of guys for whom money is the main motivator, but who are such pros it doesn’t matter.


I refer to it as PTSD…seriously……I know I would try to rationalize the bull Shit picks even if I didn’t like them bc the alternative was realizing “we are ficked”

Like seriously now that we have dan and Brad, how did we manage to be hopeful or optimistic and we had GM’s taking 3 wr’s in four years in the first….taking tight ends in the first, having entire draft classes be out of the league in 3 years……we are an optimistic bunch as much as we like to complain at times……:joy:

Yea, that’s a good word “professional”. Take care of business type is good as well. The hardest part to evaluate has got to be what happens when you pay these guys big money to play a sport? Sometimes that motivation or professional style disappears once they are rolling in the benjamins. Sure there is a rookie pay scale. But Hutch for example still got 35 million guaranteed before ever stepping on the field. That changes some dudes.

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Yep, hard to figure out. I think that’s why “loves football” is such a turn-on for GMs… because they think it means they’ll keep playing hard even after making all the money. But there’s a lot of examples of guys who are just pros, they know if they slack off they won’t keep making the money lol. And you can sorta see guys coming who get paid once and just start to mail it in, especially if their play spikes during a contract year.


And we see than all the time, across many different pro sports. Buyer beware, paying big money to a guy who has had 1 great year in his contract year.

Yeah absolutely. Why I want no part of the Payne sweepstakes.


To me this is fairly easy. You are always going to take someone talented in the top 10. As a Spartan, I want someone like Hutch. Someone with a killer mentality, practice ethic, and desire to win. Pretty much all the guys going in the top 10 are already supremely talented, but it’s those with the above traits that turn into the pro bowlers.

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When Patricia and Quinn took Hock over Ed Oliver they not only passed up positional value they took a kid with a lower ceiling/floor than Oliver. Ed was looking like a wild card BUT no one doubted his desire to win. Big mistake at that point.

When Quinn took CB Okudah he ignored the idea of an elite level skill or talent as Jeff’s speed was and is a concern. Bob passed up DT Derrick Brown who did have an elite skill (power and size) for Okudah who was not seen as a guy as talented as Sauce.

I like that Farmer noted that each draft is different. Some years there are not guys like that available.

In this draft I see two defenders that fit this profile of having elite traits:
Anderson and Carter,

The top RB from TX might be special.

Past that the CBs are very interesting and might fit here. Witherspoon from IL has me intrigued.

Safety/CB Branch might fit here too as he might have elite speed, size and smarts to be a hybrid defenders which could be critical.

DT Bresee is at the bottom of my list of guys who might have an elite skill set but his story is unique.

Which guy that might be available has has the most elite skill set? If Carter and Anderson are gone…what defender is 3rd on the elite talent list? Or is the RB that good?


As an aside, that’s why I’m so fascinated with Geno Smith’s negotiations beyond it’s impact on the Lions draft


I like the ‘Hawks mention. Geno had a heck of a season and I think he is 32.

Years back Pete got lucky and drafted Wilson in RD. 3 I think. BUT…the plan was to pay and start high-priced Matt Flynn. Matt was fresh off killing the Lions. Matt was bad but Russell was great.

Is Pete going to count on being lucky again? Extend Geno and draft a rookie later? OR, are the Seahawks going to extend Geno AND draft a QB high?

This is a HUGE decision for the ‘Hawks as Geno is good enough for them to be midpack or better. If Geno falters and falls back to Earth they are in a tight spot.

To me they should extend Geno for two years and draft Stroud.

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My general philosophy for the draft is “just go get good football players.” Don’t overthink it. In that light I am just looking for a guy that is going to contribute to the team on a weekly basis and be one of the best players in his class. A top 5 to 10 pick should always make the 1st round in a redraft.

Taking it a step further I would like to see a foundational piece that can work in multiple systems. I’d rather not see a system specific player taken with the top 5 to 10 picks. Big Swinging Penei and Hutch are great examples of guys who can play in an array of schemes and be successful.

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Penei is a swinger!? Who knew.

Will Ferrell Reaction GIF


Do you remember when someone said that Tombstone was more quotable than Anchorman? Me neither.

Frustrated Will Ferrell GIF

A team leader
Pick and forget type. A cornerstone
Someone worth a 2nd contract and completes 2nd contract unless injuries shorten career.
A playmaker unless its a lineman.

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