OK guys, so here’s how I’m going about this. I’m trying to figure out exactly what percentage of guys drafted in any round are going to be immediate impact players or IIP. Also, I'm interested in how the position they play effects the likelihood they become an IIP. I’m not necessarily trying to find superstars, but rather single out who comes in and helps the team in a significantly noticeable way (special teams excluded). It’d be worthwhile to do the same kind of analysis and screen for superstars, but alas I only have so much time on my current study break (Property Law really sucks). Note, because you cannot really get excel files into SB's format nicely, the presentation leaves something to be desired. Sorry.
So here is the summary of the data, and how I’m defining guys who come in and help the team immediately, in their rookie year. I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section if you think a certain definition should be changed. Again, I tried my best to format this, and apologize in advance for any sloppy presentation. After the tables, I offer a little bit of commentary on what I think the data may be telling us. Then I give you the list of guys and how I classified them so you can quibble away if you so desire.
IIP By Round
• If you expect that you are average at scouting and selecting players, you should expecdt that in rounds 1 and 2, more often than not you will come away with an IIP. That should be the standard you are judged by. If you do not select an IIP, the pick was below average in terms of immediate impact. If you do not select an IIP in round 1, it was a terrible pick.
• In Rounds 3 and 4, it really does not make sense to draft to fill a need on the starting squad because as you can see, more often than not, you will not select a player that for whatever reason (and there are plenty of them) will end up contributing noticeably immediately. So, not only do you potentially miss out on developing your favorite prospect (regardless of position) but you probably won’t plug in any gap in the short term.
No need for a table here. There were 5 Quarterbacks taken in the first 4 rounds. The 2 QB’s taken in round 1 were IIP’s. The three taken in round 2 were not.
• This is woefully insufficient data, and it’s not the right data to evaluate this position. It’s self-selecting in that, teams don’t plug in a QB they don’t draft in the first round. By definition, any QB not taken in the first round is not meant to be an IIP.
• At least for last year, it did not make sense to draft a RB in the first round. I would like to see more data to make any concrete conclusions (and I intend to follow up with 2007 info at some point).
• My early thought, without more data is that it if you already have an established back, and are just looking for a change of pace guy, it makes no sense to draft that guy high. The two teams who did that, Dallas and Pittsburgh both swung and missed in terms of IIP with Felix Jones and Rashaad Mendenhall respectively. I suspect that as I analyze more data, I’ll find that it doesn’t make sense to draft a RB at all in the first round. I just think this is a position where value can be found in the late part of the first half of the draft.
• You are kidding yourself if you think a WR is going to be an IIP. This was what I expected from the position. I’d like more data, but since the limited data matches what I expected coming in, I’m pretty confident in saying that WR is just not typically an IIP producing position. Even the guys who did produce here, were not awesome.
• If you need an IIP at TE, you better be willing to pay a high draft pick to go and get it. This limited data certainly suggests that IIP’s are available in the first 2 rounds, but after you get to the 3rd round you seem to cross a line into project. (Hope Shawn busts this trend open).
• Again, dealing with limited data here, but it would seem to be that after the first three rounds, your chance of getting an IIP drastically decreases.
• I suspect the exact point in the draft where the drop off occurs will depend on the depth of the OL class, and the number taken in first two rounds.
• Those who wanted the Bills to take a tackle after the 4th round in order to fill a need, have to find a way to square that belief with this data which suggests that even in the fourth round, your chance of finding an IIP at the tackle position are slim. (NOTE: the chances of finding a starting caliber lineman are certainly even slimmer).
• Like with the Offensive Lineman, it appears that you’d better invest a high draft pick if you want to get an IIP on the D-Line. In this particular draft, had you invested before the 3rd round, your chances were excellent of landing an IIP. If, like the Bills did, you waited until the 3rd and 4th, your IIP hopes went up in flames from there.
• Again, I suspect that on different drafts, the exact moment of the drop off will be different. As a rule of thumb though, just be safe and take your DL in the first round like we did!
• Woefully inconclusive here. Simply not enough data to say anything with any amount of sincerity.
• The emerging hypothesis is that you’d better be safe and take LB in the first or second if you are looking for an IIP.
• It appears as if CB is a position where, unless you invest a 1st rounder, you are probably not going to get an IIP, with your chances steadily decreasing all the way down to 25 percent in the 4th round.
• I think this makes the Bills pick in the 2nd round look like a bad pick, in that, they could have gone another direction, and had not much worse odds of landing an IIP in the 3rd or 4th. Since we were just looking for someone to step into the mix, and not necessarily looking for a starter from day one (i.e. all we were looking for was an IIP) we should have waited until the 3rd round or later, and invested in a lineman again before they dropped off the face of the earth at some point in between the third and fourth.
Here is the list of names by position and how I classified them. It is colorcoded by rounds.
First up is the QB, RB, WR an TE
NNow, Here are the OL, DL, LB
Finally, here is the DB, and for good measure, the Round by Round breakdown of IIP percentages. Note, Jacob Hester is a FB and I have added him on the margins. He was not counted as an IIP.
OK, that was a mouthful. Now it’s your turn. What do you guys think? (that is, other than I wasted about an hour and a half or so that I could have spent on Property Law?)