Joint Post: Talking Wide Receiver Size With Matt Waldman

June 12, 2014 Draft

Friend-of-the-program Matt Waldman had some thoughts on the topic of wide receiver size, and then asked if I could contribute with some data. Matt posted our joint effort on his Matt’s site, but I’m reproducing it below for the Football Perspective readers. On twitter, some asked if I could do a separate study on wide […]

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Overvalued? College Teammates and the Biggest Mistakes in the NFL Draft, Part 2

June 3, 2014 Draft

Last week, I wrote about whether having great college teammates might cause quarterbacks and wide receivers to be overvalued in the NFL draft. The results were inconclusive on the impact of teammates on quarterbacks, but they indicated that wide receivers who played with first-round QBs in college tended to underperform in the NFL relative to […]

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Does Rookie Performance Help Explain the Traditional Draft Value Chart?

May 30, 2014 Draft

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: the traditional draft value chart is outdated, and it never made much sense in the first place. Trying to use logic to explain why teams operate in an illogical manner is a tall task, and probably a waste of time. So, let’s try anyway. First, I recreated […]

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Overvalued? College Teammates and the Biggest Mistakes in the NFL Draft

May 28, 2014 Draft

Do players get too much credit when teammates make them look good? Take Johnny Manziel. In the last thirty years, no quarterback has had teammates around him drafted so highly. Last year, his left tackle (Luke Joeckel) was the second pick in the draft. This year, his new left tackle (Jake Matthews) was the sixth […]

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Are First Round Quarterbacks Starting Earlier?

May 23, 2014 Draft

Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater were selected in the first round of the 2014 Draft. The Jaguars seem intent on giving Bortles a redshirt year, but it seems likely that the Browns and Vikings will hand their rookie quarterbacks the reins at some point early this fall. From the first common draft in […]

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Age and the NFL Draft

May 22, 2014 Draft

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Kevin Clark noted that the Eagles targeted college graduates in the 2014 NFL draft. Six of the seven players selected by Philadelphia are on track to get their degrees before entering the NFL, which is important to Chip Kelly. Kelly said a degree is more than proof of intelligence. “It’s […]

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Declining Running Back Value in the Draft

May 20, 2014 Draft

Running backs had a very rough time on the open market this year. To be fair, other than perhaps Chris Johnson, the market was full of question marks, platoon guys, or second stringers. And while players like Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew were big names, they were devalued because of the “tread on their tires.” After […]

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Vikings, Jaguars, differ on approaches to finding a quarterback

May 19, 2014 Draft

Interesting tidbit from Peter King this week about how the Vikings nearly acquired Johnny Manziel: As the picks went by, starting soon after the Rams chose at 13, Cleveland GM Ray Farmer worked the phones, trying to find a partner to move up from their second pick in the round (26th overall) to grab Manziel. […]

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Best and Worst Drafts since 1970

May 17, 2014 Draft

Not all drafts are created equal. The 2014 NFL Draft was said to be very rich in talent, while last year’s iteration was considered relatively weak. We don’t have much data on which drafts scouts have labeled as “good” or “bad”, but I thought it might be fun to see which drafts have turned out […]

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Will Blake Bortles be the Best QB of the 2014 Class?

May 15, 2014 Draft

The Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles with the 3rd pick in the 2014 draft. Nineteen picks later, the Browns took Johnny Manziel, and with the 32nd pick, the Vikings traded up to acquire Teddy Bridgewater. If you believe in the efficient market theory, this means Bortles is the most likely of that group to wind up […]

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College Observations from the 2014 Draft

May 14, 2014 College

Messing with Texas By now, you’ve probably heard that no player from the University of Texas was drafted. Jackson Jeffcoat was the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, but that honor wasn’t enough to enable him to hear his named called on any of the three draft days.1 The draft was first instituted in 1936, […]

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The NFL Draft and the Wisdom of Crowds

May 13, 2014 Draft

[Chase note: Take a look at the name at the top of this post. Our good friend Andrew continues to desire to post here, and we thank him for that.] In 1906, Sir Francis Galton probably wasn’t thinking about the NFL draft when he asked almost 800 fair goers to guess the weight of an […]

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Analyzing Position Values In the 2014 Drafts

May 12, 2014 Draft

The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books. The three-day event gives us a unique peek behind the NFL curtain; teams can and do say all sorts of ridiculous things, but the way the draft unfolds is the ultimate in what economists refer to as a revealed preference. For example, NFL decision makers might say […]

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Defensive Backs, Wide Receivers, Rule Early Rounds of 2014 Draft

May 11, 2014 Defensive Players

In the first round of the 2014 draft, five cornerbacks were selected: the Browns traded up from 9 to 8 to ensure that Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert would be coming to Cleveland; at 14, the Bears drafted Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller; at 24 and 25, the Bengals and Chargers took Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) […]

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Analyzing the Trades in Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft

May 10, 2014 Draft

The action got started on day two even before the round began. Buffalo, after giving up next year’s first and fourth round picks to move up to acquire Sammy Watkins, responded by trading Steve Johnson to the 49ers on Friday afternoon.  Buffalo was able to at least get back a 2015 4th round pick from […]

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Round 1 2014 NFL Draft Recap

May 9, 2014 Current Events

Let’s get started! As always, I’ll be using my Draft Pick Value Calculator and the JJ Trade Value Calculator to analyze all trades (well, all trades except for one). 1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina Little drama at the top. Clowney’s been expected to be the first overall pick in the 2014 […]

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Drafting Diamonds in the Rough

May 7, 2014 Draft

Guest blogger Andrew Healy, an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University, is back and the author of today’s post. As a reminder, there a tag at the site where you can find all of his great work. Asante Samuel. Jahri Evans. Robert Mathis. These three players share something in common that offers a hint to […]

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Rookie Draft Impact and Super Bowl Champions

May 6, 2014 Draft

The NFL Draft is this week, which means we have something resembling real football to talk about. But how much impact will the players who hear their names called during the 2014 Draft have on the 2014 season? Here’s the short answer: as a group, they will make up about 10% of games played by […]

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Football Perspective 2014 First Round NFL Mock Draft

May 5, 2014 Current Events

1. ***Trade*** Atlanta: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina The Falcons are desperate for a pass rusher and Thomas Dimitroff doesn’t anticipate being this close to landing a top-flight talent like Clowney ever again. After successfully trading up for Julio Jones in 2011, Dimitroff rolls the dice again, sending the 6th pick in the draft along […]

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Compensatory Draft Picks From 2003 to 2013

May 3, 2014 Draft

Here’s a good story from Jenny Vrentas about compensatory draft picks in the NFL. The NFL provides extra picks to teams who lose more unrestricted free agents than they sign, and no team has manipulated the system quite like the Ravens. The NFL’s formula for doling out these compensatory picks is a secret, but in […]

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Which Teams Exercised Fifth Year Options For 2011 First Rounders?

May 2, 2014 Current Events

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, most rookies sign four-year contracts. But as further evidence of the owners’ success during negotiations in connection with the 2011 lockout, teams were granted a club option for a fifth year for all players selected in the first round. The option is only guaranteed for injury, however, […]

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Why Aren’t Teams Better At Drafting Now?

April 29, 2014 Draft

The NFL Draft has emerged from an afterthought to the center of the sports world every April spring. A cottage industry of draftniks has emerged. Teams spend more time, money, and other resources on scouting than ever before. Scouting departments have grown exponentially in both size and sophistication. The Draft used to be much less […]

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Analyzing the last ten years of trading for future first round picks

April 28, 2014 Draft

Last Wednesday, I looked at every time a team traded away a future first round draft pick in the last ten years. Today, the reverse: the times a team traded for a future first round pick.  I’ll again be focusing on the general manager or other person responsible for making the trade: that’s because future […]

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Analyzing the last ten years of trading away future first round picks

April 23, 2014 Draft

When a general manager trades away a future first round pick, it’s worth wondering if the transaction was the effect of the principal-agent problem. A general manager is supposed to act in the best interest of the franchise, but he may instead choose to act in his own self-interest. If he’s on the hot seat, […]

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Will the Jaguars draft a first round quarterback?

April 21, 2014 Current Events

A couple of years ago, I wrote that when a team misses on a first round quarterback, someone tends to gets fired (update here). I identified 22 quarterbacks drafted in the first round between 1998 and 2010 who did not turn into stars: in nearly every case, the offensive coordinator and/or head coach was fired. […]

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Which College Conferences Dominate the NFL Draft?

April 18, 2014 College

On Sunday, I used my draft value chart to determine how NFL teams valued various positions. Today, I’ll use the same method to see which schools and conferences dominate the NFL Draft. You are not going to be surprised to discover that USC Trojans have dominated the draft over the last ten years. You’ll be […]

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Analyzing Position Values in the NFL

April 13, 2014 Draft

Every draft pick has a value, as seen in my draft value chart.  When the first overall pick is used on a quarterback, that means the quarterback position gets credited with 34.6 picks. If you assign a value to every pick in each of the last ten drafts, you can get a sense of the […]

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The Best 40-Yard Dash Times since 1999

March 26, 2014 Draft

A month ago, I looked Jadeveon Clowney’s impressive time in the 40-yard dash. In that post, I argued that all 40-yard times must be adjusted for weight. Well, thanks to the good folks at, 40-yard dash times are available for many players going back to 1999. Which made me wonder: which players have posted […]

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College Quarterback Passing Stats From 2013

March 18, 2014 College

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that it’s 2014. With draft season now in full gear, I wanted to take a few minutes and look at the stats of the top college quarterbacks from last year. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. I couldn’t find a site that presented a full list of all college quarterback […]

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Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald Was Your Combine MVP

February 28, 2014 College

Building on yesterday’s post, I decided to crown a combine MVP because it’s February and there’s nothing else to do. I looked at each player’s combine results, courtesy of the great, in four different tests. 40-yard dash There were 268 players with 40-yard dash times posted at NFL Savant. I ran a regression using […]

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