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Today at 538, you can read my thoughts on Ohio State’s insane 2016 draft.  It is, by a large measure, the best in modern history.  And while some have noted that the Buckeyes dominated the draft, I don’t think people have realized exactly how impressive it truly was:

Incredibly, Ohio State had five players drafted in the top 20 and another five in the top 100. As a result, a total of 151.2 points of draft value was used on Buckeyes players. That’s the most — by a very large margin — in 70 years. The table below shows the top 25 draft classes as measured by points of draft value used to select players:

You can read the full article here.

  • What value do you assign to picks after 224 (basically the entire seventh round)? I imagine the values are negligible, and I have been using a descending scale from .1 to .025 as placeholders, but those aren’t based on anything but an imagined trend in the chart you provided.

  • Phil

    did the 2001 U of Miami squad have the most career AV of any college team?
    looks like that team mostly got spread out over the 2002 and 2004 draft classes
    wonder how much draft AV the rest of the Ohio State squad will have to get in the coming years to match the draft AV of that Miami team
    obviously, a lot of these guys will have to turn into stars to match the career AV of that Miami team

  • Richie

    I was surprised to see Texas in 1984 with the most picks ever. I didn’t think Texas was very good at that time. I was wrong – they had 1-loss seasons in 1983 and 1981. But I still couldn’t think of who might have been taken in the 1984 draft. And for good reason. Looking at the draft, it looks like the best NFL player amongst those 17 picks was a guard named Doug Dawson drafted by the Cardinals. I don’t remember him. But it looks like his best years were spent playing for Warren Moon’s Oilers.

    Mossy Cade was the first pick (6th overall). I don’t remember that name.


    Even if I expand the draft finder for years 1982-1987 for Texas (in an attempt to grab any of the players that were part of those 1-loss teams), I don’t see many familiar names. It looks like the best NFL player amongst them was Jerry Gray, who was a 4-time pro bowl DB for the Rams.

    Kenneth Sims was the first overall pick by the Patriots in 1982, but his career was pretty average. Looks like he missed a lot of games (injuries?).


  • Vynce

    Is there a way to compare this draft class’ expected value over their careers with the values of other draft classes as they actually performed (or have performed plus the expectation for the future, for recent classes)? … Actually, seeing how draft classes do compared to their expectation would be interesting, in general. I’d expect to see them underperform, as individuals get drafted by over-estimates of how much of their team’s success was on them.

  • Andreas Shepard

    I was curious to see what draft could beat out that record from Ohio State. Here is Notre Dame’s 1946 draft class: http://pfref.com/tiny/9xFkq

    13 players drafted, including #1, #4, #5, #10, and #16 overall. The first two of those were both quarterbacks: Boley Dancewicz and Johnny Lujack. Also the #16 overall pick was actually the first pick of the 3rd round, because the 2nd round only had 5 picks for some reason (as did the 4th). Needless to say, that draft class is going to be hard to duplicate.

    • Richie

      I assume draft scouting at that time consisted of “who is graduating from Notre Dame this year?”

  • Abe Froman

    Great study! I played around with these mega classes looking only at post-1992 when the draft rounds were reduced. Using weighted CarAV as the basis for performance, the best performance versus spent draft capital (CarAV : AV Spent on picks) were: Miami 2002 (3.5x), Miami 2004 (2.76x) and Ohio State 2006 (2.61x). The outperformance for the Miami classes were largely driven by future HOFers Ed Reed and Vince Wilfork.

    I also looked at the efficiency of picking the whole class as a draft strategy. Overall the classes with the lowest ratio of Games Started : CarAV were: FSU 2015 (1.55x), USC 2006 (1.76x) and Miami 2002 (1.91x). This measure is biased against long careers. But it shows that while USC 2006 was unspectacular returning only 1.75x AV, they weren’t “overstarted” versus performance. Otherwise FSU 2015 rookies justified their starting positions in a big way. And Miami 2002 owes so much to Ed Reed. Portis was understarted versus production, while McKinnie and Shockey got by on reputation for too long.

    • sacramento gold miners

      Vince Wilfork, has had an outstanding career, but I’m not sure Canton will be in the cards because of the low sack total. Of course, playing NT in the 3-4 won’t help sack totals, but Casey Hampton also made five Pro Bowls. My guess is the HOF would be looking more at a NT with more Pro Bowl appearances. Curly Culp had 68 sacks, but didn’t play in a 3-4 until getting dealt to Houston. Difficult to play long enough as a 3-4 NT to earn enough Pro Bowl berths.