Picks in higher rounds do better by staying in the league longer, starting more, and being more likely to be Pro-Bowlers.
According to forbes.com,
of starters in the NFL in 2014,
Nearly 30% of all starters were 1st round draft picks when drafted into the league;
-Roughly 30% were taken in either the 2nd or 3rd round;
-Roughly 26% were taken in either rounds 4 through 7;
-Undrafted players (14%) were the 3rd most likely group to comprise 2014’s starters…only behind 1st round (30%) and 2nd round (18%) picks.
-The overall median “percentage of games started” by those players selected in the 2010 NFL Draft is 15%;
-1st round draftees from that season started a higher median percentage of games (67.5%) compared to players drafted in other rounds;
-2nd and 3rd round draftees from 2010 have started roughly 34% and 36% of all possible games, respectively.
-The median percentage of games started for players drafted in rounds 4 through 7 from the 2010 draft was extremely low, never rising above 7% of games played over the last 5 years.
-48.5% were first round draft picks when they entered the league;
-2nd round picks were the next most likely to reach All-Pro status (14%);
-But then undrafted players were the third most likely at 10.5%;
-Lastly, 21% of All-Pros from this period came from either the 3rd, 4th, or 5th round.