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In 2017, just 15 of the 352 starts (4.3%) by the New England Patriots came from rookies.  Just four rookies produced any points of Approximate Value for the 2017 Patriots: three defensive linemen (Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise Jr., and Eric Lee) combined to just 10 points of AV, with third-string TE Jacob Hollister gaining 1 point. No team got less out of rookies in 2017 than New England, which makes sense given that (a) New England did not have a first or second round pick, (b) the team had just four picks (with only Wise producing AV or a start), and (c) the Patriots had quality starters at most positions throughout the team, leaving few opportunities for rookies to steal playing time.

For the Eagles, rookies didn’t contribute much more. Kicker Jake Elliott, backup CB Rasul Douglas, backup RB Corey Clement, and DE Derek Barnett (the team’s first round pick who played on 41% of snaps) each produced 3 points of AV, the most for any Eagles rookie. Linebackers Joe Walker and Nathan Gerry, and wide receiver Mack Hollins, each had two points of AV, with third-string QB Nate Sudfeld and backup OL Elijah Qualls bringing one point of AV.

Rookies produced only 8% of the AV by all Philadelphia players this year. Yes, every player is valuable, but compared to the rest of the NFL, the Super Bowl participants — again — didn’t get much from rookies.

The table below shows the percentage of team AV that came from rookies for all teams this year. The Saints were the only team in the top 5 that made the playoffs, although the Bills, Jaguars, and Chiefs also saw substantial contributions from rookies.

TeamRook AVAVPerc
CLE3515422.7%
HOU3717621.0%
SFO3718619.9%
NOR4524218.6%
NYG2815917.6%
BUF2918515.7%
CIN2818914.8%
JAX3324013.8%
GNB2518613.4%
CHI2518913.2%
KAN2922712.8%
DET2721312.7%
MIA2217412.6%
IND2016612.0%
ARI2118811.2%
LAR2725110.8%
PIT2423210.3%
BAL2322310.3%
NYJ1918710.2%
WAS2019810.1%
TAM181869.7%
OAK181949.3%
MIN222468.9%
SEA182108.6%
DEN151768.5%
DAL182158.4%
PHI202488.1%
SDG172257.6%
ATL162227.2%
TEN142056.8%
CAR142176.5%
NWE112544.3%

But as the bottom of the table shows, the best teams in the NFL aren’t made from the most recent draft: they’re made from the drafts two, three, and four years ago.

{ 6 comments }
  • Richie

    Dolphins in the middle They are in the middle of every chart and i don’t think thats good

    Also I just have to shake my head at the chargers they always seem to under perform

    • Johhny Ohrl

      “the chargers they always seem to under perform”

      That´s no surprise. Years of timid Schott & Norv-Smurf Football infected even the future teams of the Chargers. Both coaches (ofc, moronic Norv was even worse than Maggie Schottenheimer) wasted the most talented team in the 2000s. Then the owner handed the Smurf a new contract, just days after he punted the win vs the 16-0 Patriots away. Talk about karma, or just about a disease that´s incurable: If you can´t deliver with the best team of a decade, you won´t with good ones. Chargers will win nothing, for a long, long, ver long time… Like the BoSox who traded Ruth away. Incompetence has a price…

    • Mark Growcott

      The Chargers had the misfortune that their 1st Rd Pick WR Mike Williams was injured before the season even began and it looked at one stage that he would be lost for the entire season. The Chargers will now have to hope he can deliver some of the promise he displayed whilst at Clemson. The Chargers did have much better luck in the 2016 Draft with Bosa (despite a holdout) and Hunter Henry.

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  • Johhny Ohrl

    Off-topic: Line is down to 4 (from 6 opening line). So much about NE shoulda woulda 8-14 points fav…
    Never seen such a drastic drop in any SB.
    So, say good-bye to my early moneyline bet on PHI. Seems everybody saw that the spread was too high. Watta heck…

    “Nearly 80 percent of the money bet on the point spread was on the Eagles
    at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, including some wagers placed by
    respected bettors Monday. The Westgate SuperBook trimmed the point
    spread to Patriots -4”

    Normally the favourite is bet on heavily, not the other way around like now. I am truly screwed.

    No way the books will let it happen that they lose 50+ million dollars on Sunday. Never ever. So, watch out boys, some obscure stuff will happen on Sundays 6th NE SB-win.

  • Mark Growcott

    Not surprising to see the Patriots at the bottom after divesting themselves of much of their Draft stock in Pre-Draft trades with somewhat mixed success. Only the Cooks trade could be considered a success and even his numbers were down on a year earlier. Will be interesting to see if the Patriots hold on to their early picks in this year’s draft.