FanPost

What Can We Learn?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the odds of drafting a starter caliber player, by round. I used data from a Brown's fan's site with that was a bit stale, but told the story. The gist of that post is that once you get out of round 2, it is really hard to find a starter caliber player (obviously), and that trading back in the draft is dangerous unless you are very lucky and/or have great scouting.

For the 2014 draft, our 12 picks should net us ~3 starters based on that analysis, and with Pryor and Amaro, the odds that McDougle and several of our day 3 picks (like our 3 WRs) becoming starters is improbable, but not impossible.

I wanted to get some more positional and team details and update the analysis, so I visited our friends at pro-football-reference.com, and dumped their 2006-2010 draft data into Excel. Using this data, I wanted to get a feel of how deep in a draft can you typically find value. Some interesting insight.

For the purposes of discussion, I bucket players into 8 groups based on their CarAV, or Career Average Value, and loosely describe them as follows:

1 = Pro Bowl Type Contributor (CarAV >50)

2 = Standout Starter (CarAV >40)

3 = Above Average Starter (CarAV >30)

4 = Starter (CarAV >20)

5 = Situational Starter, Sub (CarAV >10)

6 = Backup (CarAV >5)

7 = Limited (CarAV >0)

8 = Not a Contributor, Practice Squad (CarAV =0)

Ok, now with that all out of the way, let's look at success over 5 drafts, 2006-2010 (now that they've had at least 4 years in the league). Values below shown in parenthesis refer to the 1-8 bucket classification mentioned above.

Round 1:

[If you wanted to figure out what the odds of drafting a pro-bowler or a bust is, you could look back at history to prior drafts and classify each draft pick on a suck-scale. I used a scale of 1-8 based on a career score I mentioned above, represented by the columns below. Then, for each round, I calculated how many players that were originally taken in that round wound up in each of those 8 buckets. The percent means xx% of the QBs (or whatever position) taken in Round 1 are rated bucket 1 (pro bowl) all the way down to bucket 8 (probably never made it out of camp). We can use this as sort of a historical look back on how likely a team is today to draft a pro-bowl or bust based on how it played out in the past]

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
DB 7% 14% 17% 41% 17% 3% 0% 0% 100%
DL 8% 8% 14% 27% 22% 11% 11% 0% 100%
LB 25% 19% 13% 19% 13% 13% 0% 0% 100%
OL 22% 7% 30% 30% 7% 4% 0% 0% 100%
QB 25% 8% 17% 17% 17% 8% 8% 0% 100%
RB 29% 6% 18% 35% 12% 0% 0% 0% 100%
TE 0% 17% 17% 33% 33% 0% 0% 0% 100%
WR 7% 13% 33% 27% 13% 7% 0% 0% 100%
Grand Total 15% 11% 19% 30% 16% 6% 3% 0% 100%

In Round 1, your best best is to find a RB. 29% of RBs taken in round 1 go onto a Pro-Bowl type ranking (bucket 1) versus only 12 % are a situational starter or lower (5-8). Examples: Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams (all bucket 1) vs. Jahvid Best and Beanie Wells (both bucket 5).

Alternatively, if you're looking for high odds of a standout player, go with a Linebacker. Not only is there a 25% chance you'll wind up with a Pro-Bowler (bucket 1), you have a 44% chance to at least score a standout starter (buckets 1-2), and relatively low chance of nabbing a bust, just 26%. They have the second best bucket 1 concentration, and the best buckets 1-2 concentration of all positions. Examples Jon Beason, Patrick Willis, Chad Greenway, AJ Hawk (bucket 1), Clay Matthews, Jerod Mayo and Lawrence Timmons (bucket 2).

Not surprisingly, an OL is a pretty safe bet in Round 1, nearly tied with RB. While you only have a 22% chance of that Pro Bowl (bucket 1) type player, you have an 89% chance that the player will be a starter (buckets 1-4).

What position do you stay away from? TE. There is a 33% chance that you'll get a round 1 bust (buckets 5-8) whereas 0% of the TEs taken in Round 1 have enjoyed a Probowl type rating (bucket 1). Similarly, DL is a tricky pick with 43% chance you'll get a bust (5-8) and only 8% upside you might find a pro-bowler.

TE Examples: Jermaine Gresham and Brandon Pettigrew are both bucket 5.

DL Examples: Vernon Gholston, Gaines Adams, and Derrick Harvey (all taken top 10, but buckets 5-8). In all, 16 DL players were taken in the first round with CarAVs less than 20.

Grabbing a DB in the 1st isnt wonderful if you are shopping for star power. They just do not seem to have the same upside as some other positions do. But if you need a DB, Round 1 is the place to shop because there is an 80% chance you'll grab a starter in round 1 (buckets 1-4). It is somewhat of a safe bet, and the Jets took Milliner, Wilson and Pryor, all in Round 1, over the past 4 drafts or so.

Round 2. There are a lot of players that seem to tumble out of Round 1 that seem like a steal in Round 2. But what do the numbers show?

Sorry Geno, but YOU DON'T TAKE A QB IN ROUND 2. Of the limited sample of 9 QBs that went in Round 2, 0 of them scored in the top 3 buckets. Now, maybe that's because teams that take a QB in round 2 are drafting a backup (we had Sanchez at the time), so of course their career value is going to be limited. Let's consider the list:

Chad Henne, Tarvaris Jackson, Kevin Kolb, Kellen Clemens, Pat White, Drew Stanton, John Beck, Jimmy Clausen, Brian Brohm. Which of these QBs would you have start for the NYJ ahead of Geno? Tough choice huh?

2nd round is too high to draft a backup and no real chance you'll nab a star since they just dont seem to drop out oft the 1st round. I think back to this year and lock on that memory of the Vikings trading up to the last pick in round 1 to grab Bridgewater.

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
DB 3% 3% 26% 20% 23% 14% 11% 0% 100%
DL 4% 0% 4% 19% 37% 22% 11% 4% 100%
LB 9% 14% 23% 9% 18% 5% 14% 9% 100%
OL 8% 20% 28% 16% 24% 0% 4% 0% 100%
QB 0% 0% 0% 22% 11% 11% 33% 22% 100%
RB 25% 8% 0% 0% 42% 0% 17% 8% 100%
TE 0% 0% 11% 22% 44% 0% 11% 11% 100%
WR 10% 5% 5% 14% 19% 5% 38% 5% 100%
Grand Total 7% 7% 15% 16% 26% 9% 16% 5% 100%

What we can see here in round 2 is that finding a bucket 1 or bucket 2 player in round 2 is kinda hard. Only 14% of players (3 or 4 guys) taken in the 2nd round will really become something special, however 44% are expected to become a pretty decent starter, and another 26% might be a situational starter (Donnie Avery, Ben Tate, LenDale White)

We took Amaro in the 2nd round in 2014 - not a great idea based on historical experience. Only 33% of TEs taken in the 2nd become a reliable starter, although 77% fit that bucket 1-5 range of starter or situational starter. Maybe this is because the TE position is just underutilized in the NFL. These rankings may reflect the utility they bring to the team, but if you only play half the offensive downs, its hard to make a sizable impact.

Also, is Amaro more of a WR that a TE? If so, the good news/bad news is that there is high upside in Round 2 for a WR, with 15% landing in buckets 1-2, and 43% landing in buckets 7-8. As a WR, he might have a better outlook as far as becoming more of a pro bowl type contributor, but unfortunately, WR are among the bigger busts (well, except for QB) in Round 2. In a receiver rich draft, we have to hope that Amaro fell to us because of the depth of talent at receiver, not because TE are an underutilized position in the NFL.

Bad news friends is that a DB in the 2nd round has a 51% chance of being a starer caliber player (1-4). That's pretty good, and yes, we still needed a CB after taking Pryor in the 1st.

Round 3

I'm excited most about Round 3 because by now, you should be finding developmental players that might start someday. Some teams are good about Round 3. There are only 4 general positions you'll find exceptional talent in Round 3: Defensive Line, Linebackers, Offensive Line and Running Back. Anything else, you're probably drafting for depth or situational players.

Overall, only 4% of player taken in Round 3 land in buckets 1-2. You'll start to see a lot of busts starting here on out. 38% of Round 3 land in buckets 7-8, which is terrible. But Round 3 isnt all garbage. You can grab a situational starter or better (1-5) 47% of the time. Maybe you'll find a Jamaal Charles or NaVorro Bowman (bucket 2). You can also land an Eric Decker or Brandon LaFell or Mario Manningham in Round 3 (all bucket 4)

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
DB 0% 0% 3% 6% 35% 18% 35% 3% 100%
DL 0% 7% 10% 23% 13% 17% 27% 3% 100%
LB 0% 4% 4% 16% 20% 8% 36% 12% 100%
OL 4% 9% 4% 13% 39% 4% 17% 9% 100%
QB 0% 0% 0% 0% 40% 0% 40% 20% 100%
RB 0% 9% 0% 9% 27% 9% 36% 9% 100%
TE 0% 0% 8% 8% 8% 31% 31% 15% 100%
WR 0% 0% 6% 15% 24% 15% 24% 15% 100%
Grand Total 1% 3% 5% 13% 25% 14% 29% 9% 100%

Hell, given what we dig up in Round 3, I'll be happy with some of the guys from bucket 5 even: Brandon Tate, Earl Bennett, Jared Cook. But obviously there are a lot of decent players still hiding in Round 3.

The point I'm making about Round 3 is there is enough of a gap between what some teams find (great) and other teams find (crap) in Round 3, that if you consistently draft well here, this is the round where you can make giant strides over your rivals. Most teams will do okay in Rounds 1 and 2, but Round 3 makes or breaks a draft.

Later Rounds

Round 4 is really your last hope at finding a starter. Beyond round 4, the chances are negligible. Consider this table that compares the rounds to each other, showing the odds of finding different quality talent in each:

Row Labels 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
1 - Top 10 18% 10% 16% 38% 12% 6% 0% 0% 100%
1 - Top Half 20% 7% 23% 27% 7% 10% 7% 0% 100%
1 - Bottom Half 11% 13% 20% 25% 22% 5% 4% 0% 100%
2 - Top Half 7% 6% 16% 17% 21% 10% 20% 2% 100%
2 - Bottom Half 6% 8% 14% 14% 32% 8% 11% 8% 100%
3 - Top Half 1% 4% 4% 15% 26% 12% 30% 9% 100%
3 - Bottom Half 0% 3% 6% 12% 25% 15% 29% 10% 100%
4 1% 4% 4% 11% 17% 18% 26% 19% 100%
5 1% 1% 2% 6% 20% 8% 33% 30% 100%
6 1% 1% 2% 6% 9% 13% 32% 37% 100%
7 1% 0% 0% 3% 13% 14% 28% 40% 100%
Grand Total 3% 3% 6% 11% 18% 12% 24% 22% 100%

I've split up the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd into segments because I think the talent gap is great enough to make it worth the effort to show them as segments. (For rounds 1-3, I combined them as to have enough data points to then split out by position).

By the time you get to round 4, you have a 20% chance of finding a starter - and chances are they wont be amazing - they'll be serviceable. What does that mean? Some talent found in the 4th for various reasons (like allegedly murdering people) is Aaron Hernandez, Leon Washington, and Alterraun Verner (all bucket 4). Sometimes a gem slides by into round 4 like Brandon Marshall (bucket 1), but realistically, you've got a much better chance at finding a Demetrius Williams in the 4th (bucket 6).

I dont have a lot of interest going through round 4 positions in detail because so few of them really have any realistic chance at bearing pro-bowl or standout talent, that it is pretty depressing. But since we took 3 players in the 4th and 2 of them were wide receivers, and wide receivers do have a 5% chance of being amazing this late in the draft, I'll drop the chart in and let you soak it up yourself:

Row Labels 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
DB 0% 0% 3% 12% 6% 38% 24% 18% 100%
DL 0% 8% 8% 8% 24% 8% 24% 21% 100%
K 0% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
LB 0% 5% 0% 5% 18% 27% 32% 14% 100%
OL 3% 10% 10% 10% 16% 10% 32% 10% 100%
P 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% 100%
QB 0% 0% 0% 0% 25% 0% 25% 50% 100%
RB 0% 0% 0% 15% 15% 23% 31% 15% 100%
TE 0% 0% 8% 8% 25% 0% 33% 25% 100%
WR 5% 0% 0% 18% 18% 14% 14% 32% 100%
Grand Total 1% 4% 4% 11% 17% 18% 26% 19% 100%

Rex has about a 25% chance to find a starting caliber WR in the 4th, and given that we took two, you have a 50/50 shot that one of our two guys could be an NFL starter.[note: smackdad correctly points out in he comments section the odds are closer to a 41% chance that one of the two could be an NFL starter]. I don't expect them to be pro-bowl-esque, but maybe a slot receiver or a punt returner, okay fine.

By the time you tumble into the 5-7 rounds, the odds of a player who will never see the field is getting pretty high.

What did we learn?

I guess we learned that the Jets try to defy odds by selecting odd choices in odd rounds. Round 2 is not the place to be digging for QBs and TEs, and you're not likely hitting a home run (not to mix metaphors) by going with a safety in the 1st. But a DB in the 1st is a relatively safe pick, and who knows, maybe one of our 4th round WRs fights their way into the #2 or #3 spot.

Verdict - while the jury is still out on the past 2 drafts under Idzik, one can INFER based on prior drafts that Milliner will likely develop to be a good CB, but probably odds are thin that he is in the 7% that are pro-bowl caliber DBs. Same with Pryor. Geno is likely a very talented backup, but probably not a franchise QB, and Amaro might add situational value but the odds of a TE contributing in a major way is thin, and we might have been better off drafting a pure WR in that spot or moving up. McDougle in the 3rd (which may called a stretch to begin with) defies history, as DBs do not rate well in that round. Brian Winters in the 3rd made more sense, even if you dont particularly like Brian Winters.

Keep expectations reasistic for those pair of WRs in the 4th as history isnt on their side as far as being a #2 WR opposite Decker coming out of the 4th round.

In Case You Wanted To Know

How teams draft, which is somewhat biased based on the number of picks they may have had in each round. Rounds 1-3 shown first, then 4-7 below that. 2006-2010

Round 1-3

Yes, the Jets were actually the #1 team in the NFL at getting pro-bowl talent in the first 3 rounds from 2096-2010. 31% YIKES! Baltimore found 36% in the first 2 buckets, and the Patriots, well they came in at 5% for the first 2 buckets. You can draw whatever inferences you want about Tannenbaum or Mangini or Rex. One thing is true, we had some great years.

These are the 4 players rated bucket 1 for the Jets: Revis, Mangold, D'Brick, Harris.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
ARI 0% 0% 27% 13% 33% 13% 7% 7% 100%
ATL 6% 11% 17% 28% 17% 6% 17% 0% 100%
BAL 18% 18% 6% 0% 24% 12% 18% 6% 100%
BUF 6% 13% 6% 25% 6% 13% 31% 0% 100%
CAR 11% 6% 17% 17% 17% 11% 17% 6% 100%
CHI 7% 0% 21% 7% 14% 14% 7% 29% 100%
CIN 6% 12% 6% 29% 24% 6% 6% 12% 100%
CLE 7% 13% 7% 20% 20% 0% 27% 7% 100%
DAL 0% 0% 17% 25% 25% 8% 8% 17% 100%
DEN 12% 0% 18% 18% 29% 6% 12% 6% 100%
DET 5% 10% 10% 15% 25% 10% 20% 5% 100%
GNB 17% 11% 6% 17% 17% 11% 17% 6% 100%
HOU 20% 7% 7% 27% 27% 0% 13% 0% 100%
IND 0% 13% 0% 27% 33% 7% 20% 0% 100%
JAX 7% 0% 7% 43% 36% 0% 7% 0% 100%
KAN 5% 11% 16% 16% 16% 16% 21% 0% 100%
MIA 6% 12% 0% 29% 24% 6% 24% 0% 100%
MIN 15% 0% 23% 23% 15% 15% 8% 0% 100%
NOR 9% 0% 18% 36% 27% 0% 9% 0% 100%
NWE 0% 5% 11% 16% 21% 16% 21% 11% 100%
NYG 0% 0% 12% 35% 12% 6% 29% 6% 100%
NYJ 31% 0% 0% 23% 15% 15% 15% 0% 100%
OAK 0% 0% 13% 40% 27% 13% 7% 0% 100%
PHI 7% 7% 13% 13% 27% 20% 7% 7% 100%
PIT 6% 13% 13% 13% 31% 0% 19% 6% 100%
SDG 17% 17% 8% 8% 8% 25% 17% 0% 100%
SEA 0% 8% 25% 25% 33% 0% 8% 0% 100%
SFO 13% 19% 19% 6% 6% 25% 6% 6% 100%
STL 0% 0% 12% 12% 29% 18% 24% 6% 100%
TAM 0% 0% 31% 6% 31% 6% 19% 6% 100%
TEN 7% 7% 7% 7% 33% 7% 27% 7% 100%
WAS 0% 0% 44% 0% 22% 0% 33% 0% 100%
Grand Total 7% 7% 13% 19% 23% 10% 16% 5% 100%

Rounds 4-7

Mixed results in the back half of the draft. Thankfully the Jets beat the average (at the bottom) but still, some other teams seemed to find some diamonds in the rough on day 3 (Denver, New Orleans)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grand Total
ARI 0% 0% 0% 5% 16% 21% 32% 26% 100%
ATL 0% 0% 0% 8% 21% 4% 33% 33% 100%
BAL 0% 4% 0% 0% 17% 17% 39% 22% 100%
BUF 4% 0% 0% 4% 15% 11% 44% 22% 100%
CAR 0% 0% 0% 17% 8% 21% 42% 13% 100%
CHI 0% 0% 0% 4% 32% 14% 11% 39% 100%
CIN 0% 4% 4% 0% 11% 18% 14% 50% 100%
CLE 0% 0% 0% 4% 13% 9% 30% 43% 100%
DAL 0% 0% 4% 4% 14% 14% 36% 29% 100%
DEN 5% 5% 5% 9% 9% 9% 32% 27% 100%
DET 0% 0% 0% 5% 10% 5% 50% 30% 100%
GNB 0% 4% 4% 7% 25% 21% 25% 14% 100%
HOU 0% 0% 4% 4% 4% 30% 48% 9% 100%
IND 4% 4% 4% 0% 27% 0% 46% 15% 100%
JAX 0% 0% 4% 4% 9% 13% 39% 30% 100%
KAN 0% 0% 5% 0% 18% 0% 36% 41% 100%
MIA 0% 0% 4% 8% 13% 13% 17% 46% 100%
MIN 0% 0% 10% 5% 15% 15% 20% 35% 100%
NOR 15% 5% 0% 10% 10% 5% 30% 25% 100%
NWE 0% 0% 0% 10% 10% 13% 29% 39% 100%
NYG 0% 5% 5% 0% 24% 14% 19% 33% 100%
NYJ 0% 0% 0% 14% 21% 21% 0% 43% 100%
OAK 0% 0% 0% 13% 21% 8% 21% 38% 100%
PHI 0% 0% 0% 13% 25% 9% 22% 31% 100%
PIT 0% 0% 7% 4% 7% 11% 33% 37% 100%
SDG 0% 5% 0% 0% 29% 5% 14% 48% 100%
SEA 0% 4% 0% 8% 4% 16% 40% 28% 100%
SFO 0% 0% 9% 4% 9% 22% 35% 22% 100%
STL 0% 0% 0% 0% 11% 19% 37% 33% 100%
TAM 0% 0% 0% 12% 8% 15% 31% 35% 100%
TEN 3% 3% 0% 12% 6% 15% 24% 36% 100%
WAS 0% 0% 0% 8% 8% 21% 8% 54% 100%
Grand Total 1% 1% 2% 6% 15% 13% 29% 32% 100%

Anyway, if you made it this far, let me know what you think. This data took forever to cut but I can try to answer any questions you have. If you like this sort of thing, I can keep digging as well into other statistics.

-NC_Scott

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker