Every year, football players are taken late in the draft and paid thousands of dollars while most players receive millions. And, every year, some of these players provide more “bang for the buck” than their colleagues. Draft pick number and salary are both taken into account when determining the player’s cost, with their bang being determined by the numbers they put up and their ability to fulfill desired rolls. These five rookies posted the best stats in relation to their draft number and the salaries they agreed to.
1) Doug Baldwin (Undrafted Free Agent): Coming out of Stanford University, Baldwin outperformed every other Seattle Seahawks wide receiver with 51 receptions for 788 yards and four touchdowns, despite being an afterthought in the draft. His average salary is $375,000 per year, opposed to the $8,200,000 per year that starting receiver Sidney Rice earns and the nearly $3,000,000 per year that starter Mike Williams receives.
2) Jacquian Williams (Rd. 6; Pick No. 202): This New York Giants linebacker, who was a great tackler at University of South Florida, amassed 78 tackles and a sack in his first season. His average salary is $529,750 per year. In the playoffs, Williams posted 15 tackles. In the Conference Championships, he forced a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers, while being paid $484,750. To compare, former first round pick, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, was paid $5,550,000 for 84 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Linebacker Michael Boley earned $5,650,000 for 93 tackles and a sack. In other words, the Giants paid Boley more than 10 times the amount they paid Williams and gained an extra 15 tackles in return.
3) Brian Rolle (Rd. 6; Pick No. 193): Eagles outside linebacker Brian Rolle, an Ohio State star, managed 54 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble as a rookie, earning a measly $399,150 this year. Rookie linebacker Casey Matthews, who was picked two rounds earlier than Rolle as the 116th pick, only had 37 tackles and one sack, but he was paid $483,716 this season. Rolle’s average salary is $534,150 per year, while Matthews is $619,966. Rolle has out-produced every Philadelphia linebacker with the exception of second-year player Jamar Chaney.
4) DeMarco Murray (Rd. 3; Pick No. 71): The Oklahoma University product was taken in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys and offered an average salary of $742,500 per year, as compared to the $2,105,000 per year that fellow running back Felix Jones was offered. In his first game as feature back, Murray broke the franchise record for most rushing yards in a game. He could easily compete with New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram, and should have gone in the second round.
5) Denarius Moore (Rd. 5; Pick No. 148): The Oakland Raiders have once again grabbed a late round pick. Over the past few years, two fourth round picks have been used to acquire wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, who make $575,000 and $549,000 per year respectively. This is why he was named Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week twice for great catches. In 13 games, Moore recorded 618 receiving yards, five receiving touchdowns, 61 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. His average reception went for 18.7 yards. Moore is easily worth the $550,000 per year contract that the Raiders signed him to