View Full Version : Stats and the Draft

Clan Cameron
04-01-2007, 05:20 PM
I have been reading the posts on Finheaven for about 2 years now. I have always found them entertaining and informative. Even though I don't always agree with what is written, I have never tried to start a thread. Well today is the day.

Just like all of you I have been trying to figure out who would be the best draft choice for the Dolphins. I have read all of the Brady Quinn threads and was still skeptical. I read what Emmitt Smith said about being multiple drafts away from the playoffs and was pissed. I was disappointed that many of the reputable mock drafts have us picking Alan Branch DT from Michigan. I realized, I was thinking with my heart and not my head. It was then I decided to view the draft from a statistical approach.

One of the first articles I came across was from http://www.jetnation.com/?p=464 (http://www.jetnation.com/?p=464) . It had this table in it:

Odds of Drafting a Pro Bowler with a Top 10 Pick

RB: 56%
OL: 54%
DT: 50%
WR: 39%
CB: 38 %
QB: 33%
DE: 33%

I truly hate the Jets and their fans. I hate quoting anything they say. But if this table is correct (source is not documented) it would mean that drafting Levi Brown or trading up to get Joe Thomas would be the best plan of action for the Dolphins. It would also lend credence to the idea that the Dolphins should grab Adrian Peterson if he fell to #9.

After much searching I found this article http://www.footballoutsiders.com/print/3828/ (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/print/3828/) .
This is truly a thinking mans approach to the draft. It was written last year but it still applies.

One of the ideas it addresses is the age-old question of “Drafting for needed positions” versus “Taking the best available athlete”. I had always believed in getting the best available athlete. After reading this article, I now believe in drafting the best available athlete based on needed position and round. The success rate of a position player i.e. QB directly correlates to the round in which he is chosen. “Half of the starting QBs in the NFL (when this data was collected) were drafted in the first round.” Do the Brady Quinn or bust guys have a point? Some of you are probably thinking that the need to draft a QB in the 1st round is a no-brainer. However the following ideas are not so obvious. The article also shows how most successful centers are drafted in the 3rd round. The majority of the successful guards are taken in the first five rounds with little difference in quantity between any of these rounds. While strong side OTs and DTs should be top picks. Alan Branch maybe a good choice.

Maybe Emmitt Smith is right. Maybe he is not right. One thing is for sure, building through the draft is right.

04-01-2007, 05:38 PM
Nice post. Really the stats show you what a crapshoot the draft is every year. That's why I think it's critical you take the best player available early in the 1st. What the stat's don't show is whether teams reached for a player based on need in the top 10 that may have fell otherwise. The more you reach, the more likely a player will have to flop given where he was drafted. A top 10 pick should be a difference maker and likely should be in the running for a Pro Bowl. Reaching based on need will inherently raise the risk of failure.