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Some draft data

Posted by Doug on May 2, 2006

I'm going to be fairly busy for the next week or so. I will do my best to post something every weekday, but don't be too disappointed if it's just data without much commentary.

I mentioned last week that I didn't have as much draft data as I'd like, and I don't. But I realized that I do have some. What I don't have (in electronic form) is a complete record of every draft. What I do have is the draft round of every player who has played at least for the last few years. For most draft questions, the latter data set doesn't get you exactly what you want. It's generally more useful, to take one example, to know that X% of all 2nd-round running backs have ended up making the pro bowl than to know that Y% of all pro bowl running backs were taken in the 2nd round.

Nonetheless, I only have what I have. And it might be interesting to look at what percentage of the league's production in various categories has come from players drafted in each round.

First, look at the running backs. Here are the total scrimmage yards in 2005 by running backs drafted in each round:


Rnd TOTYD
==========
1 24070
2 13401
3 9554
4 8366
5 1339
6 3078
7 1190
X 8016

Just to make sure we're clear, what that says is that in 2005, running backs who were former first-round picks accounted for 24,070 rushing plus receiving yards. Running backs who were former second-round picks accounted for 13,401 total yards, and so on.

If it's true that there are generally roughly an equal number of running backs taken in each round, and if these 2005 numbers are representative of other years, then this means that an average first-round back can expect to gain about 80% more yards per year than an average second-round back. I'm not sure how close to true those ifs are, and I don't want to speculate, but maybe some kind soul will hop over to drafthistory.com and investigate the first one for us.

Here it is for quarterbacks. All passing plus rushing yards for QBs, by draft round:


Rnd PYD
==========
1 48322
2 11697
3 6822
4 7069
5 4500
6 12313
7 6095
8 4096
9 1938
11 28
X 13162

All receiving yards by wide receivers, by draft round:


Rnd RECYD
==========
1 24167
2 16866
3 8534
4 6807
5 3421
6 972
7 4061
8 466
12 917
X 7875

All tackles recorded by defensive linemen:


Rnd TKL
==========
1 1713
2 869
3 692
4 599
5 510
6 379
7 383
X 858

All tackles recorded by linebackers:


Rnd TKL
==========
1 1440
2 1453
3 1260
4 1140
5 587
6 349
7 425
X 1579

All tackles recorded by defensive backs:


Rnd TKL
==========
1 2025
2 2665
3 1218
4 1159
5 658
6 541
7 392
X 1798