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 NFL Draft - impact players?

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despyzer
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PostSubject: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:49 pm

A friend of mine recently asked me to state how deep this upcoming draft was in terms of impact players. I'm starting to wonder if anyone could adequately answer this questions considering what a crap-shoot the NFL draft is. How deep are most drafts? How late can a team expect to land an impact player? How early would a team have to draft to ensure selecting a can't-miss player? Let's look at some history to find out. First of all, even in this age of instant analysis, most agree that one cannot adequately grade a draft until at that class has played for at least three years, so we will start with 2011. I'll list the draft picks until we come to back-to-back disappointments.

2011
1. Cam Newton
2. Von Miller
3. Marcell Dareus
4. A.J. Green
5. Patrick Peterson
6. Julio Jones
7. Aldon Smith
8. Jake Locker
9. Tyron Smith
10. Blaine Gabbert
11. J.J. Watt
12. Christian Ponder
13. Nick Fairley

This appears to be a pretty deep draft, with pretty solid selections beyond the top ten. The three worst selections all appear to be quarterbacks, but that position is too important. Teams HAVE to overvalue it or doom themselves to mediocrity (see: Jets, Buccaneers, Browns). Saying that this draft was 11 players deep seems like a safe bet.

Here are some players who have performed like 1st rounders who were drafted after the 1st:
Richard Sherman (5th)
Andy Dalton (2nd)
Jurrell Casey (3rd)
DeMarco Murray (3rd)
Colin Kaepernick (2nd)
Torrey Smith (2nd)
Jabaal Sheard (2nd)
Orlando Franklin (2nd)
K.J. Wright (4th)
Justin Houston (3rd)
Stefen Wisniewsky (2nd)
Randall Cobb (2nd)
Stevan Ridley (3rd)

All but two were taken in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Sherman has obviously FAR outplayed his draft value.




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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:55 pm

2010
1. Sam Bradford
2. Ndamukong Suh
3. Gerald McCoy
4. Trent Williams
5. Eric Berry
6. Russell Okung
7. Joe Haden
8. Rolando McClain
9. C.J. Spiller
10. Tyson Alualu
11. Anthony Davis
12. Ryan Matthews
13. Brandon Graham
14. Earl Thomas
15. Jason Pierre-Paul
16. Derrick Morgan
17. Mike Iuputi
18. Maurkice Pouncey

Only Brandon Graham screams huge disappointment from this list. Okung might be slightly overrated, and McClain didn't start living up to his draft position until this year. Tennessee would love a do-over with the Derrick Morgan pick, but mostly this is a pretty solid group. It would be fair to say this draft was 15 or 16 deep.

1st round talent drafted after the 1st round:
NaVorro Bowman (3rd)
Geno Atkins (4th)
Daryl Washington (2nd)
Jimmy Graham (3rd)
Zane Beadles (2nd)
Rob Gronkowski (2nd)
Antonio Brown (6th)
Eric Decker (3rd)
Greg Hardy (6th)
Mike Williams (4th)
Kam Chancellor (5th)
T.J. Ward (2nd)
Alterraun Verner (4th)
Corey Peters (3rd)

Good talent was spread throughout this draft, including two steals in the 6th round. Which group would you rather have - the ones drafted in the top 18 or these that i listed from after the 1st?
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:41 pm

2009
1. Matthew Stafford

Jason Smith (2nd overall) and Aaron Curry (4th overall) have been monumental busts. The guy drafted between them, Tyson Jackson, has been a solid starter and not much else. You have to go all the way down to Clay Matthews with the 26th pick to find another guy who you might call an impact player (although Josh Freeman and Percy Harvin have shown flashes).

1st round talent drafted after the 1st round:
LeSean McCoy (2nd)
Louis Vasquez (3rd)
Sebastian Vollmer (2nd)
James Laurinaitis (2nd)
Mike Wallace (3rd)
Max Unger (2nd)
Phil Loadholt (2nd)
Rey Maualuga (2nd)
Jairus Bird (2nd)
Andy Levitre (2nd)
T.J Lang (4th)

Even of this group, it might be hard to say very many of these guys had a great impact other than being consistent starters. Still, it appears your chances of finding a decent players were almost as good outside of the 1st as they were in it.


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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:03 pm

2008
1. Jake Long
2. Chris Long
3. Matt Ryan
4. Darren McFadden
5. Glenn Dorsey

The next three picks (Vernon Gholston, Sedrick Ellis, and Derrick Harvey) are all decidedly busts. Jerod Mayo (10th overall), Ryan Clady (12th), Joe Flacco (18th), Chris Johnson (24th), and Dwayne Brown (26th) highlight the rest of the 1st.

1st round talent drafted after the 1st round:
Ray Rice (2nd)
Matt Forte (2nd)
Carl Nicks (5th)
Josh Sitton (4th)
DeSean Jackson (2nd)
Jamaal Charles (3rd)
Jordy Nelson (2nd)
Calais Campbell (2nd)
John Sullivan (6th)
Pierre Garcon (6th)
Kendall Langford (3rd)
Brandon Flowers (2nd)
Thomas DeCoud (3rd)
Brandon Carr (5th)

This draft wasn't terribly deep (even McFadden and Dorsey would now be considered borderline 1st rounders), and good talent could be found easily into the 2nd and 3rd with some sleepers later on.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:28 pm

2007
1. Jamarcus Russell
2. Calvin Johnson
3. Joe Thomas

Russell was a bust, but you might as well chalk this pick (and McFadden and Heyward-Bey) up to Al Davis' age-addled brain, so it shouldn't really count. Gaines Adams (4th overall) was a bust, and Levi Brown (5th) and LaRon Landry (6th) both underperformed for their draft positions. Standouts from later in the 1st include Patrick Willis (11th), Adrian Peterson (7th), Darrelle Revis (14th), Joe Staley (28th), Marshawn Lynch (12th), and John Beason (25th). It's starting to look like the best players in this draft were taken outside of the top ten.

1st round talent taken after the 1st round:
David Harris (2nd)
LaMarr Woodley (2nd)
Eric Weddle (2nd)
Ryan Kalil (2nd)
Jermon Bushrod (4th)
Paul Posluszny (2nd)
Marshall Yanda (3rd)
Dashon Goldson (4th)

So... if you were picking in this draft, you'd most likely want to be outside the top ten but pick no later than the 2nd round. Otherwise, not much happening.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:53 pm

2006
1. Mario Williams
2. Reggie Bush
3. Vince Young
4. D'Brickshaw Ferguson
5. A.J. Hawk
6. Vernon Davis

I almost pulled the plug on this one after number four. Hawk was your brightly burning candle for three seasons.. and then... steroids caught up to him? Vince Young was actually a two-time pro-bowler! Other impact players in the 1st round include Haloti Ngata (12th), Jay Cutler (11th), Tamba Hali (20th), Nick Mangold (29th), Chad Greenway (17th), Antonio Cromartie (19th), and DeAngelo Williams (27th).

Jahri Evans (4th)
Maurice Jones-Drew (2nd)
Brandon Marshall (4th)
Marques Colston (7th)
Greg Jennings (2nd)
Cortland Finnegan (7th)
Kyle Williams (5th)
Elvis Dumervil (4th)
DeMeco Ryans (2nd)
Antoine Bethea (6th)

This is why they call the draft a crapshoot. The top 5 or 6 are pretty solid, quite a few good picks in the rest of the 1st, and then quite a few guys who can help you in ALL rounds after that.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:53 pm

How many more rounds should I look at?
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PostSubject: 2011 and 2010 Drafts   Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:46 pm

That 2nd group of guys you posted from the 2010 is pretty incredible. It's crazy to think guys like Graham and Gronk slipped out of the first with the production they've provided thus far. It's funny that you posted this topic as well because I was looking at the Wikipedia page for the 2011 Draft and was thinking of how great the first half of that first round was, with the exception of Ponder, Gabbert and Locker.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:49 pm

The 05 draft was also fairly deep. Pretty cool to see the Packers nail it with the A-Rod pick and how's he's turned out.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Draft - impact players?   Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:37 pm

2005

This is the first year we have looked at where most of the 1st rounders' careers are over. The first three picks (Alex Smith, Ronnie Brown, and Braylon Edwards) probably should have been drafted near the bottom of the first round. I guess you could move Smith up to the middle of the 1st considering his position more than his production.

Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams, and PacMan Jones (picks 4 through 6) probably should have been 2nd rounders.

Troy Williamson (#7) and Mike Williams (#10) only had a season or two of decent production.

Antrelle Rolle and Carlos Rogers (picks 8 and 9) almost played up to their draft position in a weak year.

DeMarcus Ware (#11) and Aaron Rodgers (#24) seem headed to the Hall of Fame. One note on Rodgers: Green Bay's selection was more fortuitous than it was savvy. In the weeks leading up to the draft, almost everyone felt assured that either Smith or Rodgers would be the first guy off the board and neither was likely to last much past pick number five. Out of nowhere on draft day, everyone started speculating about whether any QB who was brought up under JeffTedford's tutelage would ever be a big-game guy (see: Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, and Kyle Boller.) Rodgers suddenly became poison, and no one wanted to get snakebit by an under-producing QB taken with a high pick. Green Bay had little to lose. Their roster was more or less stocked; Favre was aging and mumbling about retirement but still producing at an All-Pro level. It was a small gamble with huge dividends.

Roddy White (27th) and Derrick Johnson (15th) are just about the only other 1st rounders worth mentioning.

1st round talent taken after the 1st round:
Frank Gore (3rd)
Vincent Jackson (2nd)
Trent Cole (5th)
Michael Roos (2nd)
Justin Tuck (3rd)
Chris Myers (6th)
Jay Ratliff (7th)
Lofa Tatupu (2nd)

Other than two future Hall-of-Famers, your odds of hitting outside the 1st round were about as good as within it.







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