If there's one tribe in professional team sports, anywhere in the world, whose members have been given a virtual guarantee of athletic fame, glory and riches, it's the 32 lucky men who are chosen each year in the first round of the NFL draft.
Of the 287 players drafted in round one over the past nine years, 85% are still playing, which is 20% better than the rate for second rounders. The average "one" plays for 9 years, which is nearly triple the league average. They make up 40% of the league's team captains and they were 140% more likely to make the Pro Bowl in the last decade than players taken in round two.
Among players who started more than six games last season, first rounders earned 55% more than the rest. And according to a person familiar with the matter, the first-rounders in last year's draft took in an average of $14 million in guaranteed...