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Old 05-03-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
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Default Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

Quote:
Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams
Monte Burke, 04.08.09, 06:00 PM EDT


What's almost as anticipated as the Super Bowl? The annual National Football League Draft.

This year, it will be held April 25-26 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. That's when all 32 professional teams will select newly eligible players for their rosters. The event has become, in effect, a second season for football fans, who obsess over which teams drafted the best players.

Here's a thought: Instead of looking at how many draftees make the team's active roster, a better barometer of success might be a survey of the last three years of drafts for all 32 NFL teams. To judge them, we looked at the percentage of players from those three draft classes who were still listed as active members of the team. The results were surprising.

Topping the list of the best drafting teams: the Houston Texans, who have kept on their current roster an amazing 85% of the players they've drafted in the last three years. The Texans have also produced two All-Pros (linebacker DeMeco Ryans and defensive end Mario Williams). But the Texans' record over the last three years is a less-than-mediocre 22-26.

The Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants placed second and third, respectively.

The bottom five will surprise fans most. The worst drafting team in the past three years, holding on to only a little more than half of its drafted players: the New England Patriots. With three Super Bowl wins since 2001, the Patriots are the team of the decade so far. They boast a 39-9 record in the past three years. How have they maintained that excellence? Though saddled with low draft picks, the Patriots have been the masters of picking up useful veterans via trades to fill holes in their lineup (see: receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker).

Behind the Numbers
To find the NFL's best and worst teams at drafting, we looked at the last three years of drafts for all 32 NFL teams. To judge the success or failure of the drafting teams, we looked at the percentage of players from those three draft classes who were still listed as active members of the team.

We gave a little extra weight to players who had made the Associated Press' All-Pro first and second teams--the players deemed as that year's best at their respective positions. Membership in this elite group is difficult to crack for a young player, as many long-tenured veterans make the All-Pro team year after year based only on reputation (take the N.Y. Jets' Alan Faneca).

Guessing Game
The NFL draft is all about potential, a stock market of big men in pads and helmets. Despite all of the scouting, speed trials, interviews and intelligence tests that teams require of potential draft picks, there is no surefire way to know if a player just out of college will be able to make it in the NFL.

The seven-round draft is rife with mistakes on both ends of the spectrum: Ryan Leaf, the first pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1998, turned out to be fool's gold and was out of the NFL within four years. Tom Brady, the three-time Super Bowl winner for the New England Patriots and one of the best quarterbacks of all time, was the 199th player chosen in the 2000 draft, a hidden gem passed over by every NFL team multiple times.

With skyrocketing rookie contracts, the pressure to get a draft pick right is more acute now than ever. When Jake Long, last year's overall No.1 pick, signed a five-year $57.5 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, he became the highest-paid offensive tackle in the league without ever having played an NFL game.

How It Works
To help with competitive balance, the NFL organizes the draft positions in a reverse-record manner. That is, the team with the worst record gets the first draft pick going all the way down to the Super Bowl winner, which drafts 32nd. The Texans, with their poor record over the past three years, have continually had a favorable drafting position (average spot: 12th).

Successful teams--those with excellent win-loss records--have also succeeded in finding NFL-caliber players. Take the Indianapolis Colts, with a 37-11 record and a Super Bowl title in the 2006 season. The Colts average drafting position: 40.

The New York Giants, winners of the 2007 season Super Bowl, are another successful franchise. The Giants have held on to 90% of their draft picks from the past three years.

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, two teams who have experienced up-and-down seasons of late, round out the list of best drafters.

After the Patriots, the next team from the bottom makes more intuitive sense: The lowly St. Louis Rams, who have logged a ghastly 13-35 record in the last three years. Though the Rams' average draft position is 10th, they have retained little more than half of their draftees.

Third worst is another surprise: the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers, with only 58% of their drafted players still on the team and no All-Pros among them. Like the Patriots, the perennially contending Steelers usually have a low draft spot, but they have fulfilled their needs by finding and developing excellent undrafted rookies over the years, like running back Willie Parker and linebacker James Harrison, the 2008 defensive player of the year.

Rounding out the bottom five are the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins had pitiful drafts until guru Bill Parcells stepped in as the de facto head of football operations. Parcells' talent-evaluation skills have turned the team around. The Bengals (19-28-1), by contrast, just can't seem to get out of their ugly rut.

The bottom line: Drafting NFL-caliber players is very important, but it doesn't necessarily equal success on the field. Finding other strategies to plug the gaps, like the Patriots and Steelers have done, is essential. So don't judge your team's success at the end of draft day. Wait to see how it all plays out--and watch for what your team does to boost draft deficiencies.
http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/08/nfl...nfl-draft.html
Older article..but PFW did a review of drafts going back to 2004 and pretty much game up with the same numbers and analysis.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

Just an observation, but a look at the short-term versus the long-term may show some of the flaws in this report. Houston is the key, to my mind.

If the cupboard is bare, you will have a lot more slots open to fill via the draft. Conversely, if you are successful drafting players, and they stay with your team for a longer haul (And the Steelers HAVE made signing their own free agents a top priority), you will naturally have less room for new players. It's actually going to be a lot tougher to make a Steelers team than it will be to make, say, the Texans roster. But this kind of thing will even out over time.

The exception at the top seems to be the Colts. But the other teams at the bottom seem about right. Also, when you consider that 19 of 22 starters (I believe that's the number) of the 2005 Steelers SB winning team came to them via the draft, and there have been significant Pro Bowl selections from that, and ensuing teams, I think you start to see a leveling out of the data over the longer haul.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Just an observation, but a look at the short-term versus the long-term may show some of the flaws in this report. Houston is the key, to my mind.

If the cupboard is bare, you will have a lot more slots open to fill via the draft. Conversely, if you are successful drafting players, and they stay with your team for a longer haul (And the Steelers HAVE made signing their own free agents a top priority), you will naturally have less room for new players. It's actually going to be a lot tougher to make a Steelers team than it will be to make, say, the Texans roster. But this kind of thing will even out over time.

The exception at the top seems to be the Colts. But the other teams at the bottom seem about right. Also, when you consider that 19 of 22 starters (I believe that's the number) of the 2005 Steelers SB winning team came to them via the draft, and there have been significant Pro Bowl selections from that, and ensuing teams, I think you start to see a leveling out of the data over the longer haul.
I think they "sort of" touched on that...but I agree.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

The Pats I agree with. There are two major differences between the Pats and the Steelers:

1) The Steelers actually draft well year in and year out. Too much emphasis has been placed on Brady being drafted late. It has WAY overstated the Pats drafting efficiency.
2) The Pats make up the shortfall by signing marquee (read: expensive) free agents, often of questionable character.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
The Pats I agree with. There are two major differences between the Pats and the Steelers:

1) The Steelers actually draft well year in and year out. Too much emphasis has been placed on Brady being drafted late. It has WAY overstated the Pats drafting efficiency.
2) The Pats make up the shortfall by signing marquee (read: expensive) free agents, often of questionable character.
In other words...our UDFA's should be counted as draft picks (not sure why they are looked at differently)....and it should be noted that the Patriots have to fish in other teams talent pool because they cant stock their own.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

i think baltimore always draft well but i love the 49'rs draft this year more then anyone elses
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

EXACTLEY!!!!!
When you draft consistently well, and you make it a point to keep your great players signed
( ala chicago bears 85 should have won 3 superbowls with a shit quarterback) it may look
like your drafting poorly but with pitt a rookie has a tough time making the team vs say making
st louis rams squad . may look like they drafted well ,they signed everybody they drafted. No they
just had a bunch of shitty players that couldnt beat out a rookie for a position.
As for the patriots, id like a shiek to buy them out and move them to afganastain!!!!!!!

Also, i live in chicago. born and bread. A Steelers fan for 40 years. There cant be a
worse drafting team in the league then the bears. Buddy Ryan was freaking lights out
at drafting talant but had to beg and plead for his guys. Once they were in tact ,ditka fired
buddy ryan and never resigned the defense that could have riveled the curtin given the chance.
every store in chicago has an ex 1st rounder baggen and bringing in carts from the parking lot. want ENIS'S autograph? he's working at JEWEL stocking shelves
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

This won't make the experts happy who slob all over the Patriot draft picks. Facts are facts. They have drafted poorly for a while now.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best And Worst NFL Draft Teams

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This won't make the experts happy who slob all over the Patriot draft picks. Facts are facts. They have drafted poorly for a while now.
Didn't they draft a pro bowl linebacker not long ago?

But the reason their draft % is so down is because they aquire more draft picks every year than any other team. Generally during any draft, only 4-5 of the players will stay on the team long term. Patriots on average have around 10-14 draft picks every year, so of course only a few will stay, but I think Bellichick thinks that if he drafts a lot of player she thinks are well, he'll have a better chance of getting more good player sout of it and less busts... Its worked out okay, right now their roster is full of low experienced players they have gathered from the drafts as of late, and they have some how aquired 8 picks in the the first 4 rounds of the next draft.

Last edited by lionslicer; 10-16-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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