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Draft Comparison...


gmenroc
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Yes, I've done this again. I did it before in a thread titled Reese Comparison back in 2014 I believe it was.

 

I took every player drafted from 2009-2015 and scored them. Yes, this has taken about a week to compile. I used the following formula:

 

Player Score = (25% * Round Drafted * Games Played) + (75% * CarAV)

 

- Round Drafted is simply that, the number of the round the player was drafted in. Using this figure allows me to give more value to the 7th rounder who performs at the same level as the 1st rounder.

 

- Games Played is the number of games that the player played in. Some would argue that games started would be the better measure, but I don't want to neglect the value of a special teams player that shows up week after week, has an impact on the game, but isn't necessarily deemed a starter. Further, I don't want to discount the rotational defensive linemen who may end the season with 5 or 6 sacks that due to a logjam at the position, isn't deemed a starter.

 

- CarAV is a value assigned each player by www.pro-football-reference.com. It stands for Weighted Career Approximate Value. I could go into a lengthy dissertation here on how it's generated, but who do that when you can read it here: www.sports-reference.com/blog/approximate-value/

 

So each player gets a score. Hopefully I haven't lost anyone yet.

 

From the scores for each player, I went two directions. First and simplest, I totaled the scores of each draft selection by year giving me a total score for a specific team's draft class. So I can tell you that the 2009 Cardinals draft class scored a 337.00 (Beanie Wells 23.25; Cody Brown 0.00; Rashad Johnson 87.75; Greg Toler 84.00; Herman Johnson 0.00; Will Davis 33.75; LaRod Stephens-Howling 108.25; and Trevor Canfield 0.00). The second direction I went is I totaled each round of each year for each team. So if a team has multiple picks in a given round, that round will score higher, theoretically, than a round where only one player is selected. Continuing with the Cardinals as an example, their 2013 draft yielded both Alex Okafor and Earl Watford in the 4th round. Combining their scores, the Cardinals got a score of 50.00 for the 4th round of 2013.

 

So, at this point, I have a score for each player, a score for each draft year, and a score for each round of each draft year. Hopefully, we're all together still.

 

But, we're not done just yet. I wanted to take team performance into account. Ultimately, the players you draft should help add to the win column. So I wanted to bring win percentage into the calculation. So, I took the score for each draft year as well as the score for each round of each draft year and multiplied those by the win percentage in the year the player was drafted. This also should bring immediate impact into account.

 

So I now have 5 stats if you're keeping track: (1) player score, (2) draft year score, (3) round score for each round of each year, (4) adjusted draft year score based on win percentage, and (5) adjusted round score for each round of each year based on win percentage.

 

If only it stopped there...hahaha. I averaged the adjusted round scores based on win percentage by round (the #5 stat in the previous paragraph) by round. So in other words, I took the adjusted scores a given team earned for the first round in 2009, the first round in 2010, the first round in 2011, etc. and averaged them. This gives me a numerical value to compare how one team does in the first round compared to how they do in the 3rd round. Further, I can compare how one team does in the first round against how another team does in the first round.

 

Lastly, I took the adjusted draft year score for each team and divided it by the number of years that draft class has had to make an impact. So, take the Cardinals again for example. Their 2009 draft class scored an adjusted total of 210.63. Remember the 337.00 from above? Multiply that by their 0.625 win percentage and you get 210.63. Take then the 210.63 over the 7 seasons since the draft and you have a 30.09 score. This gives me an idea of the annual contribution that draft class has made since they've been drafted.

 

 

 

 

 

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So, I then compiled results....

 

Top 5 team for 1st round selections: Patriots, Saints, Seahawks, Packers, Vikings (Giants are 18th)

 

Top 5 teams for 2nd round selections: Patriots, Ravens, Eagles, Packers, Vikings (Giants are 13th)

 

Top 5 teams for 3rd round selections: Steelers, Saints, Patriots, Chiefs, Falcons (Giants are 28th)

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Best 2009 draft goes to the Packers.

Best 2010 draft goes to the Patriots

Best 2011 draft goes to the 49ers

Best 2012 draft goes to the Seahawks

Best 2013 draft goes to the 49ers

Best 2014 draft goes to the Packers

Best 2015 draft goes to the Vikings

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No, this evaluation does not take injuries nor free agents into account. But, it does not take them into account for ANY team. So yes, the Giants may suffer a bit from that aspect compared to another team. But there's no good tool to apply to all teams by way of draft class to take injuries into account.

 

Also, the rankings are fluid in that each year, a players CarAV will change, their games played will change, etc. Of note, the 2015 draft class CarAV numbers are not out yet for any team, so I'll update my spreadsheet when they're available.

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How, specifically, do you take injuries into account when evaluating a draft?

 

In a way, injuries are taken into account here. I think we can all agree that depth is something to be gained through the draft. In my scenario, if a starter goes down and the backup, presumably a lower round draft pick, enters then as a starter or more frequent contributor, the lower round draft pick would score higher than the first round draft pick who got hurt.

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Seattle got Aaron Curry, Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, James Carpenter, and Bruce Irvin in the 1st round.

 

Aaron Curry scored 7.73 for their round 1 score in 2009

Russell Okung/Earl Thomas scored a combined 44.95 for their round 1 in 2010

James Carepenter scored a 13.23 for their round 1 score in 2011

Bruce Irvin scored a 18.73 for their round 1 score in 2012

 

(7.73+44.95+13.23+18.73) / 4 = 21.16 for Seattle's average first round score

 

New England is at 24.82

New Orleans is at 23.35

Green Bay is at 19.76

Minnesota is at 18.34

 

Giants are at 12.94

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Seattle's 2012 draft yielded:

 

Irvin scored 18.73

Wagner scored 35.23

Wilson scored 56.72

Turbin/Howared scored 75.11

Toomer scored 15.98

Lane/Guy scored 81.47

Sweezy/Scruggs scored 98.83

 

Total of 382.08 / 4 years of contribution = 95.52

 

They benefit heavily from getting Wilson in the 3rd round and getting 59 games with a CarAV of 18 out of JR Sweezy in the 7th round.

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How, specifically, do you take injuries into account when evaluating a draft?

 

In a way, injuries are taken into account here. I think we can all agree that depth is something to be gained through the draft. In my scenario, if a starter goes down and the backup, presumably a lower round draft pick, enters then as a starter or more frequent contributor, the lower round draft pick would score higher than the first round draft pick who got hurt.

 

Personally, I would take injuries into account by ignoring them entirely; i.e., assume the injured player was every bit as available as a non-injured player.

 

Which I think is what you did for the most part, I'm just saying for the sake of discussion that staying healthy is a skill, just like all the other metrics that draft picks are evaluated upon.

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Personally, I would take injuries into account by ignoring them entirely; i.e., assume the injured player was every bit as available as a non-injured player.

 

Which I think is what you did for the most part, I'm just saying for the sake of discussion that staying healthy is a skill, just like all the other metrics that draft picks are evaluated upon.

I agree that there is an art to staying healthy, but the flip side to that is the freak accident stuff like Chad Jones' car accident and the potential of an undiagnosed neck condition or a fireworks accident. Those aren't necessarily things a GM or HC is going to be able to evaluate prior to draft day that will take that drafted prospect off the field.

 

So I left it alone assuming that every team deals with injuries, both on and off field to some degree. I think the best way to evaluate may just be to footnote those drafts as a what could've/should've been.

 

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Seattle's 2012 draft yielded:

 

Irvin scored 18.73

Wagner scored 35.23

Wilson scored 56.72

Turbin/Howared scored 75.11

Toomer scored 15.98

Lane/Guy scored 81.47

Sweezy/Scruggs scored 98.83

 

Total of 382.08 / 4 years of contribution = 95.52

 

They benefit heavily from getting Wilson in the 3rd round and getting 59 games with a CarAV of 18 out of JR Sweezy in the 7th round.

 

So in your analysis, Sweezy is 3 x more 'profitable' than Wagner? I think that's a pretty misleading comparison. Wagner is a Pro Bowl MLB while Sweezy is part of the terrible OLine that gets Wilson sacked all the time (7th most sacks allowed).

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I agree that there is an art to staying healthy, but the flip side to that is the freak accident stuff like Chad Jones' car accident and the potential of an undiagnosed neck condition or a fireworks accident. Those aren't necessarily things a GM or HC is going to be able to evaluate prior to draft day that will take that drafted prospect off the field.

 

So I left it alone assuming that every team deals with injuries, both on and off field to some degree. I think the best way to evaluate may just be to footnote those drafts as a what could've/should've been.

 

 

Chad Jones, yeah, total fluke thing. There's no accounting for that except to just remove those kinds of incidents from the data set.

 

But the un-diagnosed neck condition, personally I'm totally ignorant about this, but I wonder if one could make a case that a better medical staff would have caught it?

 

And the fourth of July incident, was JPP drafted under the misconception that he was some sort of rocket surgeon? No, the potential for him to do something monumentally stupid to take himself off the field was always there, he's fucking dumb as a brick. That wasn't pure chance last Fourth of July, that was a character flaw in the person that the front office drafted.

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So in your analysis, Sweezy is 3 x more 'profitable' than Wagner? I think that's a pretty misleading comparison. Wagner is a Pro Bowl MLB while Sweezy is part of the terrible OLine that gets Wilson sacked all the time (7th most sacks allowed).

 

The discussion is NOT who is the better player. The discussion is who is the better pick. And where the two players were selected certainly plays into that. A 7th rounder who makes the transition from Dline to Oline, plays his way up through the depth chart, becoming a starter - but also logging time in 59 games...as a 7th round afterthought...yeah, has some serious value.

 

And because I combined Sweezy/Scruggs for a collective 7th round score...I can break that apart and tell you individual scores for Wagner & Sweezy. Suffice it to say that Sweezy is only a little over 2x the better pick in this analysis, not 3.

 

 

Chad Jones, yeah, total fluke thing. There's no accounting for that except to just remove those kinds of incidents from the data set.

 

But the un-diagnosed neck condition, personally I'm totally ignorant about this, but I wonder if one could make a case that a better medical staff would have caught it?

 

And the fourth of July incident, was JPP drafted under the misconception that he was some sort of rocket surgeon? No, the potential for him to do something monumentally stupid to take himself off the field was always there, he's fucking dumb as a brick. That wasn't pure chance last Fourth of July, that was a character flaw in the person that the front office drafted.

But how many stupid people out there DON'T do the monumentally stupid thing? I don't know. It's just when it comes to injuries off field or on field, they're unpredictable and to my knowledge, there just isn't any good way to factor them into a draft analysis.

 

About the only consideration you MIGHT be able to factor in is whether or not a drafted player had a pre-existing condition...knee surgeries in college for example...and a team drafted them anyway...only to have that player screw up their knee again. And even that's a crapshoot because they may have had a crappy surgeon the first go-round.

 

So when it comes to injuries, again, I think valuing it as if they're just missing games because they're no good and footnoting the injury is probably the best way to consider it...for all teams.

 

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The discussion is NOT who is the better player. The discussion is who is the better pick. And where the two players were selected certainly plays into that. A 7th rounder who makes the transition from Dline to Oline, plays his way up through the depth chart, becoming a starter - but also logging time in 59 games...as a 7th round afterthought...yeah, has some serious value.

 

And because I combined Sweezy/Scruggs for a collective 7th round score...I can break that apart and tell you individual scores for Wagner & Sweezy. Suffice it to say that Sweezy is only a little over 2x the better pick in this analysis, not 3.

 

 

But how many stupid people out there DON'T do the monumentally stupid thing? I don't know. It's just when it comes to injuries off field or on field, they're unpredictable and to my knowledge, there just isn't any good way to factor them into a draft analysis.

 

About the only consideration you MIGHT be able to factor in is whether or not a drafted player had a pre-existing condition...knee surgeries in college for example...and a team drafted them anyway...only to have that player screw up their knee again. And even that's a crapshoot because they may have had a crappy surgeon the first go-round.

 

So when it comes to injuries, again, I think valuing it as if they're just missing games because they're no good and footnoting the injury is probably the best way to consider it...for all teams.

 

 

Ahh, that makes more sense.

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Which IMHO is the way a draft should be graded. Those diamond in the rough players can really propel a team forward because of the immense ROI.

 

Agreed, the player drafted late that has the stats and the production and makes a name for himself is absolutely huge for a team. But beyond that, I put a lot of value on the guy who gets drafted late, puts in the work every week, cracks the starting line up, and is just a reliable stalwart for the next 10 years. The guy may not set the world on fire as a top 10 anything, but he's there, all...the...time and hold his own more often than not.

 

One team will likely not ever end up with a top 5 player at every position. There have to be role players, lunch-pail guys, that come to work and get the job done and are humble about doing so given their name won't likely make a headline any time soon. Finding THESE guys, is every bit as important and valuable as finding the top talent at the flashy positions.

 

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