Today is a big day for all you football fans and data geeks. Are you ready for the NFL draft?
Tonight, after nearly not having a 2011 season, we’ll see NFL teams lessen their risks as new NFL collective bargaining rules go into effect. According to an article in Forbes, this year’s draft is less of a risk than years past and “drastically” reduces the amount of moolah “an unproven player” can receive in his first year.
From a business perspective, it’s a good move to make a decision based on analytics and performance over the perceived value of talent. And some teams fare better than others when you look at the historical data.
To determine which teams have scored touchdowns in past drafts and which teams couldn’t even split the uprights, Forbes turned to a source after our own hearts – the analytics of drafted players over the course of four years (2005 to 2009).
The author defined parameters and specific questions before engaging the data and was able to make some solid decisions on which teams have made the best and worst NFL draft picks over time.
Best & Worst Teams in Draft Proficiency
We won’t leave you in suspense for the best and worst teams regarding drafting proficiency (according to research conducted by the author, Patrick Rishe, and a Syracuse sophomore with a bright career ahead – perhaps in analytics – named Tyler Wasserman).
According to Rishe’s feature in Forbes, the best teams at draft proficiency are the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets and the worst teams at draft proficiency are the Cincinnati Bengals and the St. Louis Rams.
Now, for the data analytics criteria:
- The researchers looked at a strict time period – 2005 to 2009 – to ensure that the players had sufficient time in the league to adapt to the pro environment;
- They analyzed seven rounds of draft picks for 32 teams. (That’s all of the teams and all of the rounds.);
- They looked at four variables to determine draft proficiency: the percentage of games a draft pick played; the percentage of games the player started; the career of a player (still playing in the NFL); and the number of Pro Bowl nods a player earned.
With this criteria, Rishe calculated an index that he explains here to get his top picks for draft proficiency. It’s well worth the read.
Bad Draft Pick = Costly Decision?
According to our featured infographic, the impact of a bad hiring decision in football can result in the loss of millions of dollars. However, a traditional college grad who works from age 25 to age 64 earns about $2.1 million or roughly $51,000 per year. That’s just 1% of an NFL draft flop. But here’s a question for you to ponder: Would a $51,000 flop hurt your business? Analytics can help (continued…)