nelsonal Posted January 10, 2010 Share Posted January 10, 2010 I used a consistent definition that a pick was a star if they went to the pro bowl at least once, and were a bust if they started less than 3 years for both QBs and O linemen. I think both are flawed (particularly the pro bowl since 1st rounders are more likely to be marketed and receive votes even if they're not the best at their position) but it's better than nothing. Because of that I looked at first team All Pro selections for better evidence of true excellence at a position. Of the 43QBs drafted in the first round from 1980 to 2002 16 were busts, while 18 were stars. That's roughly a 40% chance of drafting a bust QB and a 40% chance of drafting a star (if you look harder at the pro bowlers and only take All-NFL first team selections you have roughly a 10% chance). Of the 22 QBs drafted in the second round 11 were busts, and 7 were future pro bowlers, while 4 were first team all pros. So the talent evaluation of future all pros isn't very good at all (there were more all pros taken in the second round than the first even though far fewer QBs were taken). There is a trade off of about a 10% worse chance of drafting a bust and a 10% better chance of drafting a pro bowler in the first round. Now focusing on the O Line. During the same period there were 72 first round Linemen selected. Of those just 15 didn't start more than 2 years, while 28 became pro bowlers (and 15 were all NFL first team selections). So 20% were busts, 40% were future pro bowlers and half of the pro bowlers were also all pros. The remaining 40% were starters for more than 2 years but never made the pro bowl. Dropping back to the second round. There were 43 linemen selected. Of those 17 were busts, while only 5 were future pro bowlers and only Matt Light became a first team All Pro selection. That means the odds of drafting a lineman bust rise to 40% in the second round, and the odds of drafting a future star (pro bowl player) fall to 10%. This indicates to me that talent scouts are surprisingly good at evaluating offensive line talent, but not nearly as good at evaluating "franchise QB" talent. That was the biggest surprise to me, that the odds of drafting a superstar QB don't really change between the first and second round, even though the odds of drafting a good QB decline somewhat between the first and second rounds. Everyone knows that you're going to get worse options in the second round, but the options are clearly worse (if you're looking for a star to drop from the first round to the second round for o-linemen). So the cost of waiting on a QB is less than waiting for O line men. Finally, I think it's important to separate QBs who were taken #1 in the draft from the rest of the first round. There is a marked difference in results between those taken first overall and everyone taken in the first round. It wouldn't surprise me if there have been more pro bowlers taken in the second round than the first round excluding #1 picks. I'm not certain picking the first qb in a draft is good enough. If the QB is not clearly the best player coming out in a given draft, it seems there is a steep decrease in NFL output. Also, the Ravens and Jets both advanced in the playoffs, and 3 of the to five passing offenses are quarterbacked by non-first round draft picks. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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