I'm going to disagree and say that for someone to keep their job, they in fact DO need to hit on those first rounders. They are the easiest picks, more coverage, higher profile, more info. To miss that bad on one of those just isn't good at all. If you are missing first round but hitting at 70% the rest of the draft (30% is normal) then ok sure, no problem, but since that does not happen, you do need to hit on that high profile star player in the first.
I'd also like to know if you have a source for all these summaries of how the org and scouts felt about each pick, just because I know guys on both sides, and your assessments are way off from what I know to be said. 2007 has 2 really solid picks, a bunch of busts, and some AAAA players. I'm holding off voting on Mahoney yet because he needs to show me another year like last year at a higher level, but starting off with a serious wrist injury isn't a good sign.
It's easy to try to find the silver lining in a lot of these drafts, but you usually don't know what you have for a few years after, and they have been ignoring some really good players still on the table for money issues, only to spend the same amount later on by throwing more money at players than they should be getting. If the Red Sox, Royals and Rays can draft the way we have been lately, why can't we?
I don't know if I'd go so far as saying it has improved...2009 is looking like the worst of the bunch,