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Old 10-26-2009, 01:00 AM  
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Positional Value in the Draft

Just for grins, I looked at the last 12 years' 1st round picks and analyzed them by position.

Then I examined how many positions on the field each position occupied, out of 24 positions (including kickers and punters). For example, guards and OLBs each have two starting positions of the 24, whereas QBs and FSs each have one starting position.

Then I divided the proportion of people drafted at each position divided by their proportion of starting spots. For example, quarterbacks represent 8.9 percent of 1st-round picks but would only represent 4.2 percent of picks if all positions were valued equally (i.e., QBs represented 1/24th of all first-round picks).

By dividing these proportions, we can see the draft value of each position on the field. In the index below, a 100 means that the position is valued exactly equally to its propotion of positions on the field. A value of 200 means it's double the value (i.e., produces twice as many first-round picks as expected), and a value of 50 means it's half as valuable (i.e., produces half as many first-round picks as expected).

I then did exactly the same thing for top-ten picks only.

Here we go. Discuss away. They're presented in descending order of the average of the two indices.

Code:
Position  1st Round   Top 10
QB	214%    380%
HB	246%    260%
CB	159%    200%
WR	159%    190%
DE	152%    160%
OT	133%    150%
DT	137%    133%
OLB	78%      60%
TE	97%      40%
FS	52%      80%
ILB	70%      33%
SS	52%      40%
C	39%      0%
G	26%      0%
K	6%        0%
P	0%        0%
FB	0%        0%
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:33 AM   #2
jAZ jAZ is offline
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Suprised that HB is overvalued and OLB is undervalued. Maybe I overvalue DT and LT and undervalue LT and LJ.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:50 AM   #3
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Interesting.. thanks for all the midnight calculating...
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ View Post
Suprised that HB is overvalued and OLB is undervalued. Maybe I overvalue DT and LT and undervalue LT and LJ.
Yeah, it seems like an incredible waste to use high draft picks on RB when that's a position that has one of the shortest careers in the NFL. A team that can plug in late rounder after late rounder and have RB success, like Denver, seems to have a significant leg up on building the rest of it's team over a team that lives off of RBs in the 1st round.
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:01 AM   #5
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My draft philosophy would be to always take one of the following positions with my 1st round pick each year ...

QB
OT
DE
DT

unless I was set at those positions and thought I was on the cusp of Super Bowl contention
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:14 AM   #6
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Very interesting. Good job rain. It would also be interesting to see how it correlates with successful teams vrs teams like us.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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Believe it or not, this is a repost. My analysis was based on 3 years and 3 rounds of data and used the draft value chart. I've reposted it below, along with the link to your thread that I posted it in.

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showt...ght=positional

An interesting question, even though I don't agree with a standard scale by position because it doesn't account for how well a player plays that position.

Nevertheless, I have calculated how the NFL values these positions based on draft order (see details below):


HB: 15.5%
FB: 0.3%
QB: 14.2%
WR: 4.8%
WR: 4.8%
TE: 5.4%
LT: 3.3%
LG: 1.1%
C: 1.7%
RG: 1.1%
RT: 3.3%
K: 0.4%
P: 0.1%
KR/PR (one guy): 0%*
FS: 6.9%
SS: 4.6%
LCB: 4.2%
RCB: 4.2%
SOLB: 3.7%
WOLB: 3.7%
MLB: 5.3%
LDE: 3.5%
RDE: 3.5%
DT: 2.2%
NT/DT: 2.2%

The first surprise is RB>QB this is a little misleading. RB burn up faster than QB so you have to draft them more often. The above numbers should be adjusted for average career length of a starter at the position.

The second surprise is Safties > CB. That just shocks me, but probably should not when you consider the number of teams using a cover 2 and how the rules have castrated CB play.

Thrid surprise is MLB/ILB > OLB. Sure the MLB is the most important spot in the 4-3, but a lot of your play makers and pass rushers come from the OLB spot.

Fourth surprise is TE > WR. I think TE are being over-valued in the NFL right now due to the TG and Gates effect.

Methology in next post.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #8
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Methodology (only for the geeks):

I compiled a list of the players drafted in the first three rounds over the last 3 years. I chose the first 3 rounds because teams are looking for eventual starters in those rounds. Latter rounds are for backups and special team players. I used the last 3 years to get enough data to even out draft-class variations, while being recent enough to capture current trends.

I then assigned a value to each player based on the NFL Draft value chart. This goes from 3000 points in the first round down to 116 points for the end of the 3rd round. I then totaled the number of draft value points for each position over the 3 year period. I then made some additional adjutments based on the fact that you field 1 QB but 2 guards, etc. I also made the following groupings:

MLB = MLB + ILB
DT = DT + NT

There was no way to separate Left/Right Tackle, Guard, DT, DE, OLB, or CB.

The numbers are a little skewed since the above positional alignments are based on standard proset offense and 4-3 defense. Many times an offense lines up with 2 RB or 2 TE or 3 WR instead of a FB. Also there are 3-4 defenses and nickle packages. These would slightly change the value assignments.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:54 AM   #9
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Here's my best attempt to normalize my analysis to Rain Man's format:

QB 244.08%
HB 266.43%
CB 144.39%
WR 165.02%
DE 120.32%
OT 113.45%
DT 75.63%
OLB 127.20%
TE 92.82%
FS 118.60%
ILB 91.10%
SS 79.07%
C 29.22%
G 18.91%
K 6.88%
P 1.72%
FB 5.16%
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:41 AM   #10
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:51 AM   #11
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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This is exactly the point some are trying to make when it comes to drafting a safety in the top 5. Not that anybody will change their mind, though.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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Positional value is a weak argument. It is skewed by weak teams. It's okay for KC to take a WR with a top 10 pick because Detroit did so (year after year) and because Miami took Ginn.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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Positional value is critical in the top ten picks and particularly in the top 5 picks. You can't take a safety in the top 4-5 picks unless he can use flubber shoes. Seriously there are good safeties available in the 2nd and third rounds. I have no problem taking even 2 of them in the next draft but a top 5 safety would have to be a world beater.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
Positional value is critical in the top ten picks and particularly in the top 5 picks. You can't take a safety in the top 4-5 picks unless he can use flubber shoes. Seriously there are good safeties available in the 2nd and third rounds. I have no problem taking even 2 of them in the next draft but a top 5 safety would have to be a world beater.
Berry and Mays are world beaters.
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