I'll disagree... First I believe there is a difference between The top 8 in the NFL draft and the rest of the first round. It's not guaranteed but with a top 8 pick (Which it's looking like we're sure to have) You have a higher probability of drafting a franchise player... and at the least the underachieve and turn into a role player... then there are a few that turns out to be complete bust being drafted that high. Point is we need franchise player and you have a higher probability of drafting that kind of player and someone who will contribute to the franchise long term in that position.
Now when you trade down to the late first round, second, and third round the chances of drafting a franchise player is greatly reduced, and the chances that player turns out to be a bust is greatly increased.
When you have the rare chance to draft at the top of the draft and take a low risk player you do it.... That would be like us not taking Peppers back when we did and just trade down for more picks since we needed a lot more players to make the team better.
I don't understand why a good amount of people here want to shy away from drafting proven talent or trade proven talent away for another shot at the 3rd/4th round draft crap shoot?
Now did you actually research your first three paragraphs, where you try to compare the likelihood of success when drafting in the top 8 as opposed to the rest of the first round, or are you just saying that because you want us to draft an "elite" prospect rather than a player taken after the top ten like Jon Beason, Clay Matthews, Deangelo Williams, Hakeem Nicks, Aaron Rodgers, Ed Reed, Patrick Willis, Reggie Wayne, etc.?
Let's not forget about players not even drafted in the first round like Ryan Kalil, Lamarr Woodley, Greg Jennings, Trent Cole, etc.
It's pretty clear that great players can be found throughout the draft. It's also pretty clear that busts can be found throughout the draft as well and that the draft is a crapshoot in general, not just the third or forth round as you suggested. Being drafted in the top 8 doesn't make you a lower risk, if anything its a higher risk drafting a guy that high when you consider the amount of money you're gonna have to pay him of he flops, esp if its a QB. None of these guys are proven.