Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2018 Draft Value Study

I am going to use probabilities of this year’s draft to rank the team’s drafts. The data-set will include draft picks from 2000 to 2013 drafts. This gives players that were drafted in 2013 five seasons to have proven there worth. These have been grouped by early round (first ten), middle round (next eleven) and late round (rest) for each round.

I did try grouping by individual selection but there is not enough data. Then group them by position (worth noting that all safeties are down a cornerback due to problems with the data set). These groups have been used for creating the probabilities. Now to look out how to rate the players from each group. I am going to use all-pro selection, pro-bowler selection and players that been selected a starter for the majority of three seasons.


I can show the odds of a player being all-pro, pro-bowler and a decent starter. For example, a QB in the first ten picks has 9.52% to be an all-pro, 52.38% to be pro-bowler and 80.95% to be a starter for three or more seasons. Worth noting that there were 177 QBs drafted in the dataset. Only five of them are all pro with eight selections between them. Based on these probabilities we can calculate how many pro-bowlers a team can expect from there selections.

[table id=2 /]


So Miami Dolphins have got the first spot for all-pros. This mainly due to them drafting a kicker Jason Sanders in the Seven round that 50% chance of being all pro.

This draft as a whole has an expected value of 9.46. Due to a low number of all pro’s we can’t really evaluate the draft by this method. I think that pro-bowlers are a better way.



Miami is also top for pro bowlers due to Corner early in first, Tight end early in the second, and the kicker all having 50% chance of being a pro bowler. Dolphins expected pro bowlers are 1.87. If you exclude the kicker that still puts them 4th on the list.

[table id=3 /]

Cleveland draft

Cleveland got second even though both their second round picks had zero chance. This is a quirk in the data. As only one center has been picked early in the second round in the data set. Alan Johnson drafted for Dallas had five years as a pro but not a pro bowler. There are three pro bowl centers drafted in the second round from 2000 to 2013 out of eleven.

They also drafted a running back early in the second round. There are three early-round running backs in the data set but none of them made the pro bowl. But there are eight running back pro bowlers from second round including three all pros (Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew).

So how did they finish second? Well, it’s due to the two early first-round picks. Baker (QB 52%) and Ward (CB 68%). That alone would have put them 7th on the list.

[table id=4 /]

Tight End 4th Round

Biggest oddity of this model is that early in the 4th round for tight ends have third chance to be pro bowler. That’s better than any tight ends in the 3rd round. Both Jordan Cameron (Browns) and Owen Daniels (Texans) were drafted in the 4th and went onto the pro bowl. That’s out of a total of six.


To rate if a player is a decent pick then I have used if they have been the main starter in the position for 3 or more seasons. This has the greatest variance between bottom Atlanta has 1.5 compared to Oakland that has 4.3.


Not only Raiders have the most expected starters but also have got the biggest jump in ranking from expected pro bowlers compared to expected starters. This due to two Tackles and Punter. Both tackles have low chance of becoming a pro bowler. Tackles have 57% chance in the first ten picks then goes down to 12.5% after that. Part of this it’s very hard for a tackle to get noticed if he wasn’t a high pick. Then Johnny Townsend (punter) in the 5th round is a safe bet to be a starter (100%).


The biggest drop off was from the Bills. From 3rd for pro bowler to 21st for starters. There expected pro bowlers are 1.46 but expected starters are 2.33. This rounds up and down to two. There isn’t much of difference of there picks between pro bowl probabilities and starters probabilities. Taking two corners in 4th and 5th (starters 13% and 10%). Two wide receivers followed 5th and 7th (starters 6% and 6%).

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