FanPost

Team Success in Top-10 by Position

With a little over a month and a half until the NFL Draft we all basically know the top-2 picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin. After that things become more debatable. There are high-ranking players at multiple positions: OT(Matt Kalil), WR(Justin Blackmon), DB(Morris Clairborne), and RB(Trent Richardson).

Most analysts are currently saying RB should not be taken in the top-10 due to the devaluation of the position in today’s pass-heavy NFL. I personally don’t believe top-10 picks should be used on OT due to the high-risk of drafting the position and the lack of potential to make a huge impact on the game. Also, some consider drafting the WR position a high risk pick.

In order to figure out what strategy is correct I decided to try to find what position in the top-10 leads to the most success for a team. I decided to measure the Average Wins the following year and Average Wins over following 5/6 years. I only evaluated those 4 positions and for just the past 15 years. Below are the results:

Season

#

Avg Pick

Before

1st Yr

Inc

Wins

5 Yr

6 Year

OT

18

4.56

4.89

7.11

2.22

6.93

6.99

RB

14

5.21

5.14

8.00

2.86

7.79

7.92

WR

20

6.05

5.55

7.50

1.95

7.35

7.38

DB

21

6.67

5.19

7.05

1.86

7.44

7.29

The limitations of the data are obvious, small sample size and a team’s wins are not a result of how what player performs. However over the past 15 years for immediate and long-term improvement, teams drafting RB improved the most and OT the least. WR and DB tend to be similar long-term.

While OT drafting teams perform the worst at 5/6 year, they tend to have a strong immediate impact, especially considering they tend to come from the worst teams.

The result at RB shows a benefit to drafting RBs in the top-10. With only 14 drafted during the past 15 years, it’s obvious the RB position is not highly valued in the draft, however based on the results, the position is currently valued to low.

Final note, in no way do I think this means Trent Richardson should go #3. Obviously the team will evaluate their needs and the individual players and make a decision. This is less about individual players and more about the strategy of current front offices in how they value positions. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see me add in the future.

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