Teams overvalue draft picks on most days

Adam Schefter often takes time to answer reader questions from his mailbag. Got a query of your own? Submit it right here.

Q: It may be because I'm just a regular football fan, but it seems to me that teams undervalue players and overvalue draft picks (i.e., Antonio Cromartie for a third-round pick). If a team could know it was drafting a player in the third round with the value of Antonio Cromartie, it would do cartwheels, but yet the San Diego Chargers settled for just the third-rounder. Do you think teams overvalue draft picks?

-- Darin (Dayton, Ohio)

A: Darin, teams overvalue draft picks most days of the year. The exception is draft day, when they start trading their first-round pick next year for a second-round pick this year or late-round picks as if they don't matter. For some reason, draft day seems to be the only day on which picks lose some of their value. And the only way to explain it is that sometimes a team will fall in love with a player it feels it has to draft and is willing to trade more picks than it would on any other day of the year. Your perception is fairly accurate.

Q: Every year, there is talk about the Miami Dolphins needing to add receivers. Yet they don't seem to be interested in any free-agent wide receivers, and we all know that The Tuna drafts defense. How are they going to improve?

-- Kyle (Mt. Vernon, Ohio)

A: Kyle, I really thought this was going to be the year that Miami poured its resources into adding a front-line wide receiver. The problem is there aren't many of them out there. The Dolphins would have to give up a first- and third-round pick for Vincent Jackson, which is too high a price. (See, there I am valuing picks, too.) They would have to give up a first-round pick for Brandon Marshall. But isn't Marshall worth the 14th pick in the draft? We're talking about a receiver who has caught more than 100 passes in each of the past three seasons. If I were Miami, Marshall would have been signed to an offer sheet by now. But if the Dolphins just go on, they'll have to draft a wide receiver, and even the top one in this draft, Dez Bryant, isn't as good as Marshall.

Q: I am more than happy that the Chicago Bears acquired Julius Peppers, Brandon Manumaleuna and Chester Taylor, but I know Lovie Smith still wants a safety. Do you see them dealing Greg Olsen for one, or do they go for one in free agency?

-- Adrian (West Lafayette, Ind.)

A: Adrian, here's the deal on Olsen. If the Bears get good value for him -- and we're talking a second-round pick or better -- they should be open to dealing him. But they should not trade Olsen just to trade him. Teams need to accumulate good players, not dispose of them, and Olsen is a good player. At some point this season, the Bears will need him. But if they can get a high pick in return or even multiple picks in a draft in which the Bears are not scheduled to pick in the first or second round, they can be open to a deal. But Olsen should not be traded just to be traded.

Q: What is the rationale for Mickey Loomis not locking up Darren Sharper? Is it a reward to let our man make the most money in his twilight years, or does Loomis not have faith in Darren and have a solid backup plan?

-- Willy (Bayou Vista, La.)

A: Willy, looks as if what the New Orleans Saints did worked. They didn't think Sharper was worth the $6.45 million franchise tag and bet that nobody would be willing to step out of the box on the opening weekend of free agency to sign him. So far, they've been right. Some team could come along, sign Sharper and steal him away from New Orleans. But the fact that it didn't happen on the first weekend of free agency is an encouraging sign for the Saints -- and validation that they made the right decision.

Q: With the Jacksonville Jaguars finally getting some sort of a pass-rusher in Aaron Kampman, do you think they're poised for a bounce-back year next season, or is there still a lot of work to be done on that team?

-- Matt (Athens, Ga.)

A: Matt, first and foremost, we don't know how soon Kampman will be ready and effective. He's coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in November. Maybe he'll return to himself next season, but usually it takes players two seasons before they regain their old skill set. Assuming Kampman can buck those odds and be a good pass-rusher, Jacksonville still will need help elsewhere. Kampman doesn't provide explosive offensive plays. He doesn't intercept passes. But he's a start -- with a ways to go.