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NY Jets: Grading The 2013 Draft

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How well did the Jets draft in 2013?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It's a football cliche that you can't grade a draft until at least three years have passed.  Well, three years have passed since the 2013 draft, so let's take a look and see how the Jets did.

Let's first talk about a few preliminary matters.  To start, I dislike the game of showing what great player the Jets could have had instead of their actual selection.  Unless you choose a Hall Of Fame talent, there are almost always multiple players chosen somewhere after you in the draft that end up being better players than the one you chose.  It's an impossible game to win, so let's not play.

Another thing I don't really believe in: grading each individual pick in a vacuum.  As in, Sheldon Richardson, A;  Brian Winters, C, and so on.  The problem with this method is you can only choose the players actually available in that draft.  Some drafts might be loaded with talent, others not so much.  So you may give a draft a grade of C primarily on the basis of inferior talent being available that year, or an A primarily because of the plethora of premium talent available, when in fact those grades do not really reflect the actual drafting prowess displayed in said years.

So those are things I don't like.  How, then, shall we grade a draft?  The primary concern for me is grading on a curve.  That is, grading each selection based on the actual choices available, and not on some notion of what a player should be expected to produce based on draft position without any regard for the actual choices that were available on draft day.  One way to do that, which I will present here, is to compare how well each selection did against all selections in the relevant round, then compare how each selection rates compared to the actual draft slot they were chosen in.  For example, let's say you choose the 10th player in round 2.  The expected value of that selection would be the 10th best player selected in that round.  If your selection ends up being better than the 10th best player in that round, you did better than expected.  If your selection ends up being worse than the 10th best player in that round, you did worse than expected.  Fairly simple, right?

So let's see how the Jets did in 2013.  All player rankings are based on career AV as published by profootballreference.com.  Yes, like any other scoring system, this one isn't perfect, but it's easy to use and readily available and probably reasonably close to what the "real" value of these players are.  Here's the chart.

Jets 2013 Draft

Player

Round

Position in Round

AV Rank in Round

+/- Value

Dee Milliner

1

9

30 (Tie)

-21

Sheldon Richardson

1

13

7 (Tie)

+6

Geno Smith

2

7

7 (Tie)

Even

Brian Winters

3

10

17 (Tie)

-7

Oday Aboushi

5

8

12 (Tie)

-4

William Campbell

6

10

32 (Tie)

-22

Tommy Bohanon

7

9

17

-8

As you can see, the Jets performance was not good.  Sheldon Richardson was an excellent selection, outperforming his draft slot by six slots.  Geno Smith scores an average grade, performing exactly in accordance with his draft slot.  This probably reflects one of the weaknesses of AV, as the AV system routinely overvalues bad starting quarterbacks and undervalues good starting quarterbacks, but for now we'll just take this on face value.  After Sheldon Richardson and Geno Smith, every other Jets selection underperforms their draft slot.  William Campbell, who never played a snap, is the worst offender, but Dee Milliner is the most costly selection, as his underperformance in the first round is much more costly in terms of draft assets squandered than Campbell's flop in the 6th round.  On the whole, this draft was pretty dismal for the Jets.  Sheldon Richardson's showing in the first round keeps this draft class from being a total failure, but he is really the only selection we can call above average for his draft slot.  This was an inauspicious start for the then new Idzik regime.  It perhaps foreshadowed how grim things were to get in the not too distant future.