The best method for building a winning team is largely up for debate. We've seen teams make Super Bowl runs on the back of strong free agency periods, and we've seen sustained success over a number of years thanks to strong selections in the later rounds of the NFL Draft. It's not an exact science, though every general manager in the league certainly has his opinion on how it should be done.
Teams like the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots spend draft day continuously on the phone, making trades to get more and more picks, and that's reflected by the number of drafted players that remain on those teams. We decided it would be interesting to take a look at how many players from each round are still with the teams that originally drafted them.
So we've set up a table below ... keep in mind that we're only looking at players who were originally selected by the team, or players that were brought in as undrafted free agents. Players who were acquired via trade or as free agents after their rookie years will not be counted.
The table does show some interesting tendencies. For example: the Minnesota Vikings have 10 players they've selected in the first round currently on the roster. This hasn't translated to sustained success, but it's worth noting that seven of those players are from the last three seasons, including two taken this offseason. It's also interesting to note that the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no seventh-round picks they drafted on the roster. The Chicago Bears have the fewest first-round picks on the roster, when it comes to players they've selected, with three.
The full table is below, keeping in mind that we're currently at 90-man rosters, so the UDFA numbers reflect that bloated figure:
|Team||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||UDFA|
|Green Bay Packers||9||7||3||8||5||5||5||28|
|Kansas City Chiefs||7||3||8||2||2||4||3||18|
|New England Patriots||8||7||5||5||2||5||5||24|
|New Orleans Saints||5||1||4||3||5||2||3||31|
|New York Giants||6||5||4||6||3||2||3||18|
|New York Jets||8||4||4||4||3||6||3||16|
|San Diego Chargers||6||6||7||2||4||3||3||26|
|San Francisco 49ers||9||5||8||6||4||3||4||20|
|St. Louis Rams||8||7||5||3||2||4||4||31|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||4||3||3||3||3||0||24|