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Interesting Research On The NFL Draft


Maxman
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great article the only criticism i would have is that the sample size is too small. 1994-2006 is what? 12 picks? it would be interesting over 20 or 30 or longer years. Still a great article and I agree with the conclusion. BRICK is the safest, Ngata is very underrated and they have to be thinking about Cutler. Well done.

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By WestchesterJet, on the front page now. Take a look at this, Chris broke down the picks from the past several years and determined what the odds were of "bust" by position.

Interesting read Chris. Good job!

http://www.jetnation.com/?p=464

i would like to see this for the whole league, not just Jets,,too small a sample...

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other than jets,,,

all teams

He did do all teams - if you look at the PPT link at the bottom, it shows the actual players names.

I think this is great stuff - one question I would have is how he came up with the criteria for the QB (there's both starting and a QB rating requirement to not be a bust) whearas other positions can start (but stink) and still be a starter.

Take that as a question - certainly not a criticism - as I think this is amazing good stuff.

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He did do all teams - if you look at the PPT link at the bottom, it shows the actual players names.

I think this is great stuff - one question I would have is how he came up with the criteria for the QB (there's both starting and a QB rating requirement to not be a bust) whearas other positions can start (but stink) and still be a starter.

Take that as a question - certainly not a criticism - as I think this is amazing good stuff.

ooops, my bad,, mis-read it,,great stuff,,,

i was distracted by my samwich server

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Guys, I am going to let Chris answer these questions. He worked real hard on this and I have to say I was pretty impressed with his finished product.

Shameless plug: I look forward to future articles by this author!

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I think this is great stuff - one question I would have is how he came up with the criteria for the QB (there's both starting and a QB rating requirement to not be a bust) whearas other positions can start (but stink) and still be a starter.

Thanks guys - Let me see if I can clarify some things.

The reason I gave the quarterbacks a unique criteria is because, IMO, quarterback is unlike any position on the field. When a team invests a top 10 pick in a quarterback they tend to give the quarterback every opportunity to prove their worthiness as a top 10 pick (almost to a fault).

If I had left the criteria the same as other position, players like Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, and Joey Harrington would have been considered "quality starters," which we know isn't accurate. A Player like Kerry Collins would have been considered a Pro Bowler when we know that he is really nothing more than an average starter.

I think the criteria turned out pretty well in that most players belong in their respective category. Their were some exceptions, David Carr for one, who I don't think is a bust. However, with a good 2006/2007 season, David Carr will likely be out of the "bust" category and into the "quality starter" category (he needed a QB rating of 75.0 and had a 73.7 rating).

The criteria, in my opinion, needed to be flexible, to a certain degree. I didn't want to be sooo scientific that I was ignoring basic football knowledge (for example: Ryan Leaf being a bust). If I had left the criteria the same as other positions, everybody would be laughing at me - and with good reason.

As for the sample size being too small - I agree, to a certain extent.

The reason why I only did a ten year sample (1994-2004) is because the NFL is a different league with each decade. Teams began, circa 1994, to invest heavily in their scouting department. If I began looking at players picked before 1994, I believe that the statistics could be skewed by draft picks who weren't properly evaluated. However, in the past 10-12 years or so, almost every team has taken the draft extremely seriously and leveled the playing field. Although I don't have the research to back my hypothesis yet, I would bet that the years between 1994-2004 have yielded better players and reduced the "bust" rate than players picked between the years of 1984-1994.

However, this is just my opinion.

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Very interesting article. Nice job, CG.

A couple of points I'd like to make, where I differ with some of your conclusions. There was a run of offensive linemen in the late 90's that skew their numbers upward. Including the 2000 draft class, only one OL has made the pro bowl, once.... Chris Samuels on Washington.

There are few bust OL taken in the top ten though, but many never live up to their draft spot. So, taking an OL is very safe from a bust standpoint, no doubt. The chances of gettin a consistant starter is very good, but more recent history says it's pretty hard to get a pro bowl OL in the top ten. Ferguson could be the player who breaks the string of under performers.

QB's: You said:

Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum understand that a solid foundation must be built before a quarterback is inserted to finalize a team. One only needs to look at the Lions drafting Joey Harrington and the Texans drafting David Carr before their respective teams had solid foundations in place.

Young quarterbacks need to play for a team that has weapons in place to increase their chances at success, or, at minimum, a quality offensive line

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Odds of Drafting a Pro Bowler with a Top 10 Pick

RB: 56% -- ?

OL: 54%

DT: 50%

WR: 39%

CB: 38 %

QB: 33%

DE: 33%

So let me get this straight? A lot of Pro-Bowl running backs get taken in the top 10? Hopefully Lendale White runs a 4.4 40 on his pro day workout so we are then allowed to draft him #4.

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Not bad research but I dont follow it because Jets had tried many different programs to set the team.. Some of them had chosen wrong players which did not fit with a program..

I still lean on Williams because Williams is 6 7 295 with NT/DE talent. Nobody in DE department will match him. Williams will be an immediate success to Jets.... If you pass on Williams then you will need to pick tall and light DT to play DE later in the draft like Cofield or Wright but are they ready right away?

RB pool this year is very weak so why obliged to take a rb in first round.. Pass on RB.

QB pool this year is better than last year. It is nice to take a qb in first round but there is no room for a first round qb in Jets' roster and budget of 4 years. Why bother to take a first round qb when you can find a decent qb such as whitehurst, martin, jackson, olsen or nealy in the latter round.. Pass on QB.

OT is very solid this year but there are not many T who can play at LT RIGHT AWAY. Only Ferguson can. Jets already have Jones at LT so Jets may need a sizable RT rather than using Jones. Plenty of RT will be able to play right away at RT for Jets. Pass on Ferguson.

Ngata and Watson are only surely big NT in 3-4 this year. Jets have Pouha but he does not impress everyone.. If Jets need a promising big NT then Ngata is a good pick although 4th overall selection is rather high for him. Pass on Ngata and gamble on Watson's avail at 35th overall selection.. If Jets did not take either then they will rotate DL once again..

Remember that Jets have 3 picks in first 35 which is quite nice. Jets can afford to take a prospect (qb or rb?) for future at 4th overall selection and use 29th and 35th for immediate OL help such as Mangold and McNeil.. That would work too.

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OT is very solid this year but there are not many T who can play at LT RIGHT AWAY. Only Ferguson can. Jets already have Jones at LT so Jets may need a sizable RT rather than using Jones. Plenty of RT will be able to play right away at RT for Jets. Pass on Ferguson.

Brick at LT, Jones at RT.

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I really don't like Jones at RT. That is part of the reason I'm not crazy about drafting Ferguson. Jones might end up being OK at RT in a zone blocking scheme, but that experiment is over, thankfully. Jones might be good as a pulling guard, but how much will we bounce this kid around? He went from TE, to LT, to RT, to LT already in the last 4 years (college included). Given more time, I am convinced he'll be better than Fabini ever was at LT, and that was fine for several years until Fabini's back went south on him.

I want a center and a road grading RT.

The tricky thing here is we don't know what the offense will look like. Will they go with smaller faster O linemen who will pull and sweep the way we used to? Do they want a bruising, physical O line? One that wears the D down with power blocking, ala Pittsburgh? Answering those questions will have a HUGE impact on this draft. Lots of questions, very few answers....

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Brick at LT, Jones at RT.

Jones' better position was actually LT and it makes sense because he has the body for it. He's a smaller Tackle who is quick, similar to Ferguson. Let Jones play LT, sign Hopkins as insurance and draft either Whitworth or O'Callaghan in Round 2 to play RT.

Jones at LT, Whitworth at RT.

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I really don't like Jones at RT. That is part of the reason I'm not crazy about drafting Ferguson. Jones might end up being OK at RT in a zone blocking scheme, but that experiment is over, thankfully. Jones might be good as a pulling guard, but how much will we bounce this kid around? He went from TE, to LT, to RT, to LT already in the last 4 years (college included). Given more time, I am convinced he'll be better than Fabini ever was at LT, and that was fine for several years until Fabini's back went south on him.

I want a center and a road grading RT.

The tricky thing here is we don't know what the offense will look like. Will they go with smaller faster O linemen who will pull and sweep the way we used to? Do they want a bruising, physical O line? One that wears the D down with power blocking, ala Pittsburgh? Answering those questions will have a HUGE impact on this draft. Lots of questions, very few answers....

You certainly know what you're talking about with the O-line situation. I think Jones and Kendall can definitely get the job done on the left side.

Our needs on the O-line are C, RT and maybe RG if you don't think Brandon Moore can bounce back from a lackluster year. Moore played well in '04 though and you have to think that maybe his performance last year had more to do with the fact that guys like Mawae were falling apart and Kareem Mackenzie was gone.

Get a big, physical RT in Round 2. Ryan Cook is a big bruising Center who we can get in Round 3. Degory and Pat Ross are also good Center prospects that will be there in Round 4.

You gotta think Mangini likes Pat Ross since he's a Boston College Center and Mangini had Dan Koeppen, BC's previous Center, with the Pats. Ross also has a surprisingly good 40 time.

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You certainly know what you're talking about with the O-line situation. I think Jones and Kendall can definitely get the job done on the left side.

Our needs on the O-line are C, RT and maybe RG if you don't think Brandon Moore can bounce back from a lackluster year. Moore played well in '04 though and you have to think that maybe his performance last year had more to do with the fact that guys like Mawae were falling apart and Kareem Mackenzie was gone.

Get a big, physical RT in Round 2. Ryan Cook is a big bruising Center who we can get in Round 3. Degory and Pat Ross are also good Center prospects that will be there in Round 4.

You gotta think Mangini likes Pat Ross since he's a Boston College Center and Mangini had Dan Koeppen, BC's previous Center, with the Pats. Ross also has a surprisingly good 40 time.

I think Moore also struggled with the new zone blocking scheme last year. Cook is interesting, but if you take him, you're commited to the power man blocking scheme, even if, as some scouts say, he may be a RT in the long run anyway. Degory may offer more flexabilty at Center than Cook. The more I look at Eslinger, the less I like him. He was in a zone scheme at Minnesota, and his 3 cone times came up pretty bad for a zone blocking, somewhat under sized center.

The fact that the FO went after Runyan, in a big way, tells me they are looking to make the O Line a more physical, dominating type of unit.

In the Edwrad's era, they had lighter, more mobile guys, and used them correctly with a lot of pulling, etc, but they never could power block well enough to score on a short and goal.... the Jets failed how many times, running it up the gut? A big center like Cook and a big RT would fix that problem, and I think this is the way the FO is leaning. That's what I read into the Runyan episode, anyway. I wouldn't rule out a big guard like Gilles, either. That would leave Moore as depth, and that would be fine, too.

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