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Like the Browns’ future, Myles Garrett is in good shape.

Before the 2017 NFL Draft, Bill Barnwell wrote about the incredible amount of draft value accumulated by the Browns. At the time, Cleveland’s 2017 draft picks equaled 96.7 points of draft value, but because of some trades – particularly involving Houston’s trade up for QB DeShaun Watson (which hurt the Browns 2017 Draft but added a 2018 1st round pick), along with a pair of trade-ups by the Browns that cost the team some value – Cleveland wound up using 86.9 points of draft value. That was still, by a good measure, the largest amount of draft value for any team in 2017.

In the last 20 years, only two teams had even 85 points of draft value — the expansion Texans (85.2 points) and 2008 Chiefs (86.6 points). As a result, the 2017 Browns had more draft value than any team since the 1993 Patriots (88.4 points)! Meanwhile, the current iteration of the Patriots had very, very little draft value: New England started behind the 8-ball with the last pick in each round, and things only got worse after trading a 1st round pick for Brandin Cooks, a 2nd round pick for Kony Ealy, and a 4th round pick for Dwayne Allen and a 6th rounder. That’s the lowest in the last five years, topping the 2014 Colts (17.3 points of value), and the fewest since the 2012 Raiders, who had just 14.9 points. [click to continue…]

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Longtime commenter Jason Winter has chimed in with today’s guest post. Jason is a part-time video game journalist and full-time sports fan. You can follow him on twitter at @winterinformal.

As always, we thank Jason for contributing.


Two years ago, I started a little experiment. I saw that many NFL prognosticators were posting mock drafts for 2016 just a few days after the 2015 draft concluded. I found as many as I could and, when the 2016 draft rolled around, rated all of them on their predictive prowess.  Regular readers may recall that last year’s article was posted here at Football Perspective.

I did the same for the 2017 draft, recording the same people’s drafts – along with a couple others – right after the 2016 draft, so it’s time to see how they did this year. Were the same people good (or bad) at predicting the draft a year out? Or was it an exercise in guesswork and randomness?

This year, I had 12 different sources to draw from – the same 10 from last year, along with a pair of new entries: Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus and Todd McShay from ESPN. To recap my scoring methods:

I applied two different scoring systems to each mock draft. The first, which I call the “Strict” method, better rewards exact or very close hits: 10 points for getting a pick’s position exactly right; 8 points for being 1 pick off; 6 for being 2 off; 4 for being 3-4 off; 3 for being 5-8 off; 2 for being 9-16 off; and 1 for being 17-32 off. [click to continue…]

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Teams needed stability at the QB position so they traded up for these guys

The 2004 Draft was a remarkable one for first round quarterbacks. Eli Manning was the first overall pick — to the Chargers — while Philip Rivers went fourth overall to the Giants. Shortly thereafter, the teams completed an epic trade that landed Manning and Rivers on opposite coasts, where they still are 13 years later. With the 11th pick in the first round, Ben Roethlisberger went to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’s still there, too. One other quarterback went in the first round, and he was the subject of a trade, too: the Bills sent a future first round pick to the Cowboys for the right to draft J.P. Losman.

That 2004 first round may have marked a turning point in the league’s perception when it comes to “getting your guy.” The fact that Manning, Rivers, and Roethlisberger have become long-time starters with national recognition has likely had an impact when decisionmakers think about trading for a first round quarterback.

Since then, there have been 16 times over the last 13 drafts that a team “traded up” in the 1st round to get a quarterback.1 On average, those teams have paid about 149 cents on the dollar (according to the Football Perspective Pick Value Calculator) to move up in the draft to get their quarterback. But let’s put aside the cost for now, because there’s a theory that “if you think you have found your franchise quarterback, it doesn’t matter what it cost to get him.” So we have 16 cases where teams were really sure they found a quarterback that they had to get, and traded up to grab him. How did those quarterbacks fare?

While it’s too early to trade the last six quarterbacks selected in the previous two drafts, it’s not too early to grade the first 10. Seven of the 10 were busts, even if I am unfortunately labeling Teddy Bridgewater as such. An 8th was Mark Sanchez, and while he’s a pretty clear bust (he has the 9th worst era-adjusted passer rating in history among players with 1500 pass attempts), he won 33 regular season games and 4 playoff games with the Jets. It was a trade the Jets would have been better off not making, but he at least reached some level of success. The two “successes” were Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco, and neither could be called an unmitigated success.2

Now, let’s get back to the cost.  As I did yesterday, I am valuing all drafts picks in the current draft using the Draft Pick Value Calculator I created.  For future picks, I used the middle of each round and applied a 10% discount rate; so a Year N+1 2nd round pick was worth 90% of whatever the draft value calculator says the 48th pick is worth.

Look at the first trade on the list.  This shows the Texans, who in 2017, traded up for Deshaun Watson by dealing with the Browns.  Houston sent the 25th pick and a 2018 1st, while the Browns sent back the 12th pick.  The pick equivalent on the Houston side is therefore 25 and 16 (projected 2018 1st round pick), and the pick equivalent on the Cleveland side is just 12.  The value given up shows the value my pick value calculator assigns: 14.1 for the 25th pick, and 15.2 for the 16th pick in next year’s draft (i.e., this represents 90% of the value of the 16th pick in this year’s draft).  The value received is just the value of the 12th pick, or 18.8.  The return is 156% — the Browns gained 156 cents on the dollar, with a raw difference of 10.5 points of draft value, by consummating this trade. [click to continue…]

  1. Note that this does not include Jason Campbell, whom the Redskins selected in 2005. Washington did trade up for the pick, but they did so before the draft, not knowing that Campbell would be available at their new pick. []
  2. Flacco, for his career, has a below-average passer rating. Cutler lasted only three years with the Broncos, before the team traded him … albeit for two first round picks. []
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As a junior in college, Mitchell Trubisky produced impressive, if not dominant, passing stats. Here were the 2016 leading passers in the ACC:

Passing Rushing
Rk Player School G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate Att Yds Avg TD
1 Nathan Peterman Pitt 13 185 306 60.5 2855 9.3 10.1 27 7 163.4 72 286 4.0 3
2 Lamar Jackson Louisville 13 230 409 56.2 3543 8.7 9.1 30 9 148.8 260 1571 6.0 21
3 Mitch Trubisky North Carolina 13 304 447 68.0 3748 8.4 9.1 30 6 157.9 93 308 3.3 5
4 Jerod Evans Virginia Tech 14 268 422 63.5 3552 8.4 8.9 29 8 153.1 204 846 4.1 12
5 Brad Kaaya Miami (FL) 13 261 421 62.0 3532 8.4 8.9 27 7 150.3 37 -136 -3.7 1
6 Deondre Francois Florida State 13 235 400 58.8 3350 8.4 8.6 20 7 142.1 108 198 1.8 5
7 Deshaun Watson Clemson 15 388 579 67.0 4593 7.9 8.0 41 17 151.1 165 629 3.8 9
8 Ryan Finley North Carolina State 13 243 402 60.4 3050 7.6 7.6 18 8 135.0 74 94 1.3 1
9 Eric Dungey Syracuse 9 230 355 64.8 2679 7.5 7.5 15 7 138.2 125 293 2.3 6
10 Daniel Jones Duke 12 270 430 62.8 2836 6.6 6.4 16 9 126.3 141 486 3.4 7
11 Kurt Benkert Virginia 11 228 406 56.2 2552 6.3 6.1 21 11 120.6 60 -94 -1.6 0
12 Patrick Towles Boston College 13 138 273 50.5 1730 6.3 6.1 12 7 113.2 115 294 2.6 4
13 John Wolford Wake Forest 12 166 299 55.5 1774 5.9 5.0 9 10 108.6 130 521 4.0 6

While Trubisky had a very good year, both the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and the ACC coaches only named him to the third team in the conference, behind Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. [click to continue…]

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The 2017 NFL Draft Brought Back The Running Back

Over the last 15 years, NFL teams have put less emphasis on drafting running backs. The amount of draft capital used on the position had been on a steady decline, although there was a notable reversal this year. In fact, 2017 falls behind only 2005 (where Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, and Cadillac Williams went in the top 5, and Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Marion Barber and Darren Sproles went in the later rounds) and 2008 (Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, and Chris Johnson all went in the first round, and Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, and Justin Forsett went in the later rounds) in terms of draft capital used on running backs and fullbacks.

Take a look: while there is obviously a general decline over the last four decades, the 2017 Draft was a great one for running backs: [click to continue…]

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The 2017 NFL Draft, Value By Position

Which positions were the most valued in the 2017 Draft? Well, using my draft value chart, it’s very easy to answer such a question:

[click to continue…]

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Alabama Had The Best Draft Class Of 2017

The Crimson Tide edged out some stiff competition

One of the stories from the first round of the 2017 Draft: what happened to all the Alabama players? Through the first 15 picks, there were zero Crimson Tide selections, surprising mock drafters across the country. TE O.J. Howard was heavily linked to the Jets at 6 to the Jets, DE Jonathan Allen was viewed as a top 10 pick rumored to go as high as 3rd overall, and LB Reuben Foster and Marlon Humphrey were regularly mocked as top 15 picks.

Well, after the top 15, things went much better for Alabama.  Humphrey went 16th to the Ravens, Allen went 17 to the Redskins, and Howard went 19th to the Bucs. By the end of the night, Foster had gone, too, being selected 31st by the 49ers.  Three more players from Alabama went in round 2, two more went in round 3, and a 10th Crimson Tide star went in the fifth round.

Only Michigan had more players drafted (11), and no other school had more than eight draftees.  But while the Wolverines had more drafted players, only three players from Michigan were drafted in the first 80 picks — compared to nine for Alabama. I calculated the draft value — using my draft value chart — for each college in the 2017 Draft. [click to continue…]

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The 2017 Draft Was Defense Heavy in Round 1

There were 19 defensive players selected in the first round of the 2017 Draft. That’s a lot: from ’02 to ’17, there were an average of 16.6 defensive players taken in the first 32 picks, with a minimum of 13 (2004) and a maximum of 19 (’06, and ’17). And it wasn’t just low picks: the first selection in the draft was DE Myles Garrett, and the 49ers drafted DE Solomon Thomas with the third pick.

Defensive backs Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore went 5th and 11th, respectively, before six straight defensive players went, beginning with the 13th pick: Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett, Malik Hooker, Marlon Humphrey, Jonathan Allen, and Adoree’ Jackson. And from 21 to 31, 9 of the 11 players taken were defenders: Jarrad Davis, Charles Harris, Gareon Conley, Jabrill Peppers, Takkarist McKinley, Tre’Davious White, Taco Charlton, T.J. Watt, and Reuben Foster.

All told, the 19 defensive players drafted in round 1 were selected with picks holding 333 points of value on my chart. Since 1992, only one year — the ’06 draft — saw more draft value spent on defensive players in the first 32 picks.
[click to continue…]

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Two of the top three picks in the 2017 Draft.

There were six trades in the first round of the 2017 Draft, so let’s do some quick analysis of those moves. To do so, I will be using two draft calculators used: the one I created and the traditional one referenced as the Jimmy Johnson chart.

Football Perspective calculator
Traditional calculator

1)
49ers trade: 2nd overall
Bears trade: 3rd overall, 67th, 111th, and 2018 3rd round pick

Chicago traded up for UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The 49ers moved down 1 spot and still grabbed Solomon Thomas, the player most expected San Francisco to take at #2.

If you value a 2018 3rd round pick as equivalent to the 100th overall pick, The 49ers traded 30.2 points of value, and received 45.3 points of value, meaning San Francisco received 150 cents on the dollar. On the traditional chart, SF traded 2600 points for 2627 points, making it a nearly perfectly even trade. If you valued a 2018 3rd as equivalent to the 110th pick, it’s a perfectly even trade.

In other words, this is a sign that teams used the traditional chart.  But we know that on average, the FP chart will provide a more accurate representation of player value. As a result, this was an outstanding trade for the 49ers, and a very, very risky one for the Bears.  If Trubisky doesn’t turn into a star, this is going to be a bad trade for Chicago.

Good analysis available here from Bill Barnwell. [click to continue…]

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As it turns out, drafting Mark Sanchez brings with it a form of Draft PTSD. Since selecting the USC quarterback with the 5th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Jets have used 8 consecutive picks on defensive players.  That includes four busts (Wilson, Coples, Milliner), two hits (Wilkerson, Richardson), and three players where it’s probably still too early to evaluate.  Richardson has been great at times, but has also been frustrating on and off the field; in any event, his tenure with the team is likely coming to an end soon.  Pryor and Lee are still works in process, so it’s been mostly a mixed bag for the Jets over the last seven years:

Drafted Players Table
Rk Year Rnd Pick Pos DrAge From To AP1 PB St CarAV G GS Int Sk College/Univ
1 2016 1 20 Darron Lee OLB 21 2016 2016 0 0 1 4 13 9 1 Ohio St. College Stats
2 2015 1 6 Leonard Williams DE 21 2015 2016 0 1 1 19 32 31 10 USC College Stats
3 2014 1 18 Calvin Pryor DB 22 2014 2016 0 0 3 14 44 38 2 0.5 Louisville College Stats
4 2013 1 9 Dee Milliner DB 21 2013 2015 0 0 1 6 21 14 3 Alabama College Stats
5 2013 1 13 Sheldon Richardson DT 22 2013 2016 0 1 2 26 58 55 18 Missouri College Stats
6 2012 1 16 Quinton Coples DE 22 2012 2015 0 0 2 20 62 32 16.5 North Carolina College Stats
7 2011 1 30 Muhammad Wilkerson DT 21 2011 2016 0 1 5 60 92 89 1 41 Temple College Stats
8 2010 1 29 Kyle Wilson DB 23 2010 2015 0 0 1 15 95 32 4 1 Boise St. College Stats

Will that streak end tonight? If not, the Jets will set a record by becoming the first team to use 9 consecutive draft picks on players on one side of the ball. Right now, New York shares the distinction with three other franchises who have used eight consecutive first round picks in the NFL draft on efforts to rebuild one side of the ball. [click to continue…]

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The Jets, And Draft Capital Spent On QBs Since 2009

Drafting quarterbacks is more art than science. And by art I mean film noir.

The Jets have drafted a quarterback in each of the last four drafts, and six quarterbacks since the 2009 draft. And yet the Jets still — unless they already do have their guy in Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg — are trying to solve the quarterback riddle.

Let’s be clear: this sort of analysis is mostly trivia in nature.  That’s because past draft picks are simply sunk costs, although that’s generally only clear after a team has reached an evaluation on a player.  The Jets drafted Mark Sanchez in 2009, and that didn’t work out.  Four years later, the team selected Geno Smith in the second round, and that didn’t work out, either. In between, the Jets spent a 7th round pick on Greg McElroy, but spending much time lamenting the use of a 7th round pick is not productive.  Similarly, a year after drafting Smith, the Jets selected Clemson’s Tajh Boyd in the 6th round. New York then upped the ante by grabbing Bryce Petty in the fourth round in 2015, a move which seems unlikely to pay off.

And while those picks may not have been good, they were old made under an old regime. General manager Mike Maccagnan came on board in 2015, and while he didn’t draft a quarterback that year, he did trade a 7th round pick for Ryan Fitzpatrick, a moved that was heralded as a steal last December.  So far, the only quarterbacks drafted by Maccagnan were Petty in ’15 and the second round pick used on Christian Hackenberg last year.  Petty has underwhelmed in limited action, while there has been no ability to grade the Hackenberg pick so far, as he (intentionally) did not see the field last year.

So yeah, the Jets have drafted a lot of quarterbacks.  And for the most part, those picks have been bad.  But that doesn’t mean the Jets should stop drafting quarterbacks or that drafting quarterbacks is a bad idea. It just means the team hasn’t found its quarterback yet — unless, again, they already have in Hackenberg (or perhaps Petty).

Two years ago, I looked at the draft capital spent on quarterbacks from 2000 to 2014.   Today I want to do the same thing but from 2009 (when the Jets drafted Sanchez) to 2016.  Again, I’ll be assigning draft picks value based on the Draft Pick Value Calculator, which comes from the values derived here and shown here. If we assign each draft pick its proper value, and then sum the values used to select quarterbacks by each team over the last eight years, we can see which teams have devoted the most draft capital on quarterbacks.

And while the Jets have used six picks on quarterbacks over that time period, New York isn’t alone. The Broncos have, too, and Denver may not be much closer than the Jets are when it comes to finding their franchise quarterback of the future. The table below is sorted by total value, and the Jets rank “only” 4th in that regard, behind the Rams (who have spent two number one picks on passers during this time frame), the Bucs (a #1 and another first) and the Titans (a #2 and a #8). I hvae also listed each quarterback selected by each team during this time frame, from most valuable pick used to least. Take a look: [click to continue…]

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Myles Garrett Is Your 2017 Combine Champion

Myles Garrett is in good shape.

Over the last few days, we have looked at how the top college athletes performed in various drills at the NFL combine, after adjusting for height and weight. Today, we look at the full results and crown a combine champion.

That is a pretty easy thing to do, as it turns out. Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is likely going to be the first overall pick in the draft, and his performance in Indianapolis cemented such a distinction. Garrett had the 2nd best performance in three separate drills: the 40-yard dash, the bench press, and the vertical jump. Then, he produced a 5th-place finish in the broad jump, while sitting out the 3-cone drill. Garrett competed in four of these five events and his averaged finish was 2.8. That’s tremendous.

The table below shows the results in these five drills. I have also included an average rank, excluding all events where a player didn’t participate. That’s not the best way to do this, but I don’t know of a simpler method to rank them. The far right column shows how many of the 5 events each player competed in, so that can be a useful guide. It’s clear to me that the runner up for Combine King is Solomon Thomas rather than Aviante Collins. Thomas had an average rank of 7.6, but he competed in all five events. Collins has a higher rank at 5.0, but the TCU tackle only competed in the 40 and the bench press. To me, a 1-7-8-8-14 is more impressive than a 5-5-dnp-dnp-dnp, but to keep things simple, I just used a simple average. [click to continue…]

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Thomas was a combine superstar

As you can imagine, heavier players fare much worse in the 3-cone drill, and taller players have a slight advantage, too. Here was the best-fit formula from the 2017 combine:

7.3397 -0.0317 * Height (Inches) + 0.0091 * Weight (Pounds)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the more interesting prospects from this draft, and he dominated in the 3-cone drill, finishing in 6.57 seconds, just one hundredth of a second behind the leader. Given his dimensions — 71 inches, 202 pounds — he’d be expected to complete the drill in 6.93. McCaffrey therefore finished the drill in 0.36 seconds more than expected, the 7th-best adjusted performance in this drill.

The top performance belonged to a different Stanford player, defensive end Solomon Thomas, who finished a full 0.50 seconds above expectation. The full results, below: [click to continue…]

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Hey, look who it is again.

Yesterday, we looked at the vertical jump, which is biased towards lighter players. The star at the combine was Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu, who had both the top vertical jump and the top weight-adjusted vertical jump. Well, Melifonwu also had the longest broad jump at the combine.

The broad jump is also biased in towards lighter players, but it’s also biased towards taller players. As a result, we need to adjust broad jump results for both weight and height: the best-fit formula from the results of the 2017 combine is:

Broad Jump = 84.14 + 1.0766 * Height (Inches) – 0.1940 * Weight (Pounds)

For Melifonwu, he weighed 224 pounds and was 76 inches tall; that means he’d be projected to jump a solid 122.5 inches. That’s a pretty high projection, showing that Melifonwu’s body is well-tailored for this drill. But even still, he exceeded that jump by 18.5 inches, courtesy of his remarkable 141 inch jump. As a result, he once again had both the top jump and the top adjusted jump: [click to continue…]

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Being able to jump high might be useful for a safety

Let’s begin with the most remarkable of today’s feats: Myles Garrett is getting pretty good at this number two thing. After finishing second in the weight-adjusted 40 and second in the height and weight adjusted bench press, Garrett has again finished second in a combine drill, this time the weight-adjusted vertical.

When it comes to the vertical jump, weight is by far the most important thing that matters. For every additional 16.7 pounds a player weights, his expected vertical declines by one inch. That’s because the best-fit formula for projecting the vertical jump at the 2017 combine was 46.38 – 0.0597 * weight (pounds). Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu weighed 224 pounds in Indianapolis, which would project him to jump an even 33 inches if he was average at this drill.

Well, Melifonwu was anything but average. He jumped an incredible 44 inches: for comparison’s sake, Florida State / Jacksonville safety Jalen Ramsey had a 41.5 inch vertical last year, tied for the most of any player at the 2016 combine. And that was at 209 pounds. Melifonwu was 15 pounds heavier and jumped 2.5 inches higher. That’s a remarkable feat, and brings to mind some of the great verticals from the 2015 combine.

And while Melifonwu was 11 inches better than expected, Garrett was right on his heels at +10.9 inches. Garrett weighed 272 pounds at the combine, but still jumped an insane 41 inches. That’s only three fewer inches than Melifonwu at 48 pounds heavier. Now because the average player lost 16.7 inches for every pound, that makes Melifonwu’s jump just slightly better, but the two of them were far ahead of the rest of the pack. Below are the full results: [click to continue…]

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Lawson, when he’s not on the bench press

Yesterday, I looked at the best weight-adjusted 40-yard dash times at the 2017 NFL Combine. The Browns are expected to select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, and with good reason: he had the 2nd best weight-adjusted 40-yard dash time, and he comes in 2nd place again today in the height and weight adjusted bench press.

In 2015, Clemson/Atlanta Falcon Vic Beasley was the bench press champion, using a formula involving expected bench press reps based on a player’s height and weight.  That turned out to be pretty predictive of future success; on the other hand, last year’s winner was Nebraska fullback Andy Janovich, who wound up being a 6th round pick and a minor contributor as a rookie with the Broncos.

The best-fit formula to project bench press reps for the 2017 Combine was:

17.401 -0.3354 * Height (Inches) + 0.1075 * Weight (Pounds)

Using that formula, Garrett — at 76 inches and 272 pounds — would be projected to bench press 225 pounds for 21.1 reps. In reality, Garrett produced a whopping 33 reps, or 11.9 more than expected. The only way to top him was Auburn’s Carl Lawson, who measured at 74 inches and only 261 pounds. Being shorter is better, but being lighter is worse, and Lawson would be projected using the regression to have 20.6 reps on the bench press. Instead, he had 35, or 14.4 more than projected, easily the largest margin at the combine.
[click to continue…]

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O.J. Howard is fast.

As I have done for the last few years, this week I will be using the raw NFL combine data and adjusting them various metrics.  With respect to the 40-yard dash, the only adjustment I’ve made is for weight, as no other variable (e.g., height) impacts a player’s 40 time quite like weight.  The best-fit formula to predict 40-yard dash time during the 2017 combine was 3.283 + 0.00606 x weight. ((This time around, I excluded punters, kickers, and long snappers when running regressions, as those players aren’t invited to their combine for their raw athleticism (and removing them made the numbers a little tighter). As you can see

Let’s use Alabama tight end O.J. Howard as an example.  He weighed 251 pounds at the combine, which means he would be projected to run the 40-yard dash in 4.81 seconds. Instead, he ran it in just 4.51 seconds, a full 0.30 better than expected.

That was the best performance of any player at the combine. A very close second was produced by the presumptive number one pick in the draft, Myles Garrett. The Texas A&M defensive end weighed 272 pounds, so using the formula above, a player of Garrett’s size should run the 40 in 4.93 seconds.  But Garrett was 0.29 seconds better than expected, completing the drill in 4.64 seconds. Garrett reportedly bested that time by running 40 yards in 4.57 seconds at his Pro Day, too. [click to continue…]

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The Broncos thought they had found their heir apparent.

The Giants, Saints, Steelers, and Chargers all have older franchise quarterbacks, leading many to speculate that one or more of those teams will spend an early pick on a quarterback. That could even include a first round pick, which made me wonder: how often do teams do that?

I looked at all teams since 1967 that:

  • Used a first round pick on a quarterback;
  • Had a QB on the roster the year before and that upcoming season who was at least 32 years old in the upcoming season;
  • That QB threw at least 100 passing touchdowns with that team.

There are 15 examples that fit those specific criteria.  Let’s review: [click to continue…]

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2016 Team AV and Draft Value

Last year, I looked at each team’s “average” draft value, with average being defined as the AV-weighted average of the team’s roster. And yesterday, I did the same thing for every Super Bowl champion. Today, we look at the draft value for each team in 2016.

One thing that’s interesting, if not surprising: there’s not a ton of turnover from year to year in this stat. The top five teams in this metric last year were also the top five teams this year, although the order switched around notably. The Falcons were fifth last season, but were first this year, and would have been in the top 10 among all Super Bowl champions had they won. That’s what happens when Matt Ryan (3rd overall), Julio Jones (6th), Alex Mack (21st), Jake Mathews (6th), and Vic Beasley (8th) were the team leaders in AV.

The table below shows all teams in 2016: [click to continue…]

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Super Bowl Champions, by Draft Value

The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI, but it wasn’t because the team was packed full of high draft picks. Of the five Patriots who had more than 10 points of AV, only one was drafted in the first four rounds. Regular readers know that I created an AV-based draft value chart, which assigns points to each draft pick based on the expected marginal production produced by that pick.

Well, you can calculate a team’s weighted average draft value by doing the following:

  • Calculate the draft value spent on each player on the roster who produced at least 1 point of AV that season.
  • Calculate the percentage of team AV produced by each player. This is key, otherwise Chris Long would skew the results in the wrong direction.
  • Multiply the results in steps 1 and 2, and then sum those values.

Here’s how it would work with the 2016 Patriots, who had an average draft value (as a roster, and weighted by AV) of 6.72.

PlayerPosAVPerc of TmAV%Draft PkDraft ValWt Draft Val
Dont'a HightowerILB145.4%2514.10.76
Malcolm ButlerCB135%udfa00.00
Tom BradyQB135%1990.90.05
Marcus CannonOL135%1383.20.16
Julian EdelmanWR114.2%23200.00
Devin McCourtyDB103.8%2713.60.52
Nate SolderT103.8%1716.60.64
Alan BranchDT93.5%3312.30.43
LeGarrette BlountRB83.1%udfa00.00
David AndrewsC83.1%udfa00.00
Shaq MasonC83.1%1313.60.11
Joe ThuneyOG83.1%786.90.21
Malcom BrownDT83.1%3212.50.38
Chris HoganWR72.7%udfa00.00
James WhiteRB72.7%1303.60.10
Trey FlowersDE72.7%1015.20.14
Martellus BennettTE72.7%618.40.23
Rob NinkovichDE62.3%1353.40.08
Jabaal SheardDL62.3%3711.60.27
Patrick ChungDB62.3%3412.10.28
Chris LongDE62.3%230.20.70
Nate EbnerDB51.9%19710.02
Logan RyanCB51.9%836.50.13
Jamie CollinsOLB51.9%529.40.18
Rob GronkowskiTE51.9%4210.80.21
Elandon RobertsILB41.5%2140.40.01
Cameron FlemingOT41.5%1403.10.05
Malcolm MitchellWR41.5%1124.60.07
Shea McClellinDE41.5%1915.80.24
Dion LewisRB31.2%1492.70.03
Stephen GostkowskiK31.2%1184.20.05
Vincent ValentineDT31.2%965.50.06
Eric RoweCB31.2%4710.10.12
Danny AmendolaWR20.8%udfa00.00
Jonathan FreenyDE20.8%udfa00.00
Ryan AllenP20.8%udfa00.00
Ted KarrasOG20.8%2210.20.00
Duron HarmonFS20.8%915.90.05
Jacoby BrissettQB20.8%915.90.05
Jimmy GaroppoloQB20.8%628.30.06
Kyle Van NoyOLB20.8%4011.10.09
Barkevious MingoOLB20.8%623.20.18
Jonathan JonesDB10.4%udfa00.00
Anthony JohnsonDT10.4%udfa00.00
Justin ColemanCB10.4%udfa00.00
Brandon KingDB10.4%udfa00.00
Woodrow HamiltonDL10.4%udfa00.00
Joe CardonaLS10.4%16620.01
Geneo GrissomOLB10.4%975.50.02
Jordan RichardsSS10.4%648.10.03
Cyrus JonesCB10.4%608.50.03
Total260100%6.72

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Draft Capital Used By Position: DB

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for defensive backs: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: LB

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for linebackers: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: DL

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for defensive linemen: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: OL

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for offensive linemen: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: TE

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for tight ends: [click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

Draft Capital Used By Position: WR

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for wide receivers: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: RB

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s look at the graph for running backs: [click to continue…]

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Draft Capital Used By Position: QB

Regular readers know all about the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart, which is derived from the approximate value actually produced by draft picks at each draft slot. Over the next week, I will be showing how much draft capital has been used to select players at certain positions in every draft since 1990. This will allow us to see how much the league’s view on the value of a position has changed, while also giving us a visual insight into the volatility among the talent in draft classes is from year-to-year.

I will be staying out of the commentary for now, so I encourage you to post your thoughts. To make comparison across positions easier, I will be using the same scale for each position. Let’s start with the graph for quarterbacks: [click to continue…]

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With the 2nd pick in the 2nd round of the 2016 Draft, the Cowboys drafted Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith at 34th overall.  Smith tore his ACL and MCL in the Fiesta Bowl, but Dallas was willing to take the risk with by giving Smith a redshirt season.

With the 41st pick, Buffalo traded up for linebacker Reggie Ragland, who wound up missing his entire rookie season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in training camp. With the 50th pick, Houston drafted offensive lineman Nick Martin, who also was injured in training camp and wound up missing his entire rookie year.

Those three players, and Bengals first round pick William Jackson (who tore his pec in August), were four of the five players selected in the first two rounds of the 2016 Draft who failed to see the field. Jets second round pick, quarterback Christian Hackenberg, was the fifth.

That makes Hackenberg the 17th quarterback since the common draft (1967) to fail to make the field as a rookie despite being drafted in the first or second round. For the most part, that’s because those quarterbacks were behind entrenched starters. [click to continue…]

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Today at 538: A look at draft value by team, based on the number of snaps taken by each player:

Based on the draft value calculator I created to measure the approximate average production level provided by each draft pick, we can convert each draft slot into a draft value (undrafted players receive a draft value of zero). Then, with the help of Pro-Football-Reference.com, I was able to calculate the snap-weighted draft value of each team’s offense and defense. For example, Palmer, as the first overall pick in the draft, has a draft value of 34.6. And since Palmer has taken 77 percent of all snaps for the Cardinals this season and he is one of 11 players on the offense, that means that 7 percent (i.e., 77 percent divided by 11) of Arizona’s snap-weighted offensive draft value is driven by Palmer’s 34.6 rating. This isn’t a perfect proxy for the production we can expect from a top pick — Palmer is on the back end of his career, when we expect even the best quarterbacks to be in decline — but it’s a fun way to look at the rosters.

Perform this calculation for each player on each team through the first six weeks of the 2016 NFL season and we can calculate the average draft value of each offense and defense, with all snap data coming from Pro-Football-Reference.com. Arizona has the best-pedigreed offense in the NFL; the Seahawks’ offense, on the other hand, has the lowest average draft value.

You can read the full article here.

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