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The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value?

Posted: 6/21/2014 1:58 PM

The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


In another thread, we are discussing whether Kiwi is a bust.  I think it is safe to say that the consensus is that he is far from a bust.  I decided to do some research starting with the 2006 draft and ended up with some clarity on how the words bust and value should be used. Here is round 1 of the 2006 draft:

The highlighted players have become pro bowlers.

11Houston TexansMario Williams DENC StateACC [3]
12New Orleans SaintsReggie Bush RBUSCPac-10 [4]
13Tennessee TitansVince Young QBTexasBig 12 [5]
14New York JetsD'Brickashaw Ferguson OTVirginiaACC
15Green Bay PackersA. J. Hawk LBOhio StateBig Ten
16San Francisco 49ersVernon Davis TEMarylandACC
17Oakland RaidersMichael Huff STexasBig 12
18Buffalo BillsDonte Whitner SOhio StateBig Ten
19Detroit LionsErnie Sims LBFlorida StateACC
110Arizona CardinalsMatt Leinart QBUSCPac-10 [6]
111Denver BroncosJay Cutler QBVanderbiltSEC from  St. Louis [7]
112Baltimore RavensHaloti Ngata DTOregonPac-10 from  Cleveland [8]
113Cleveland BrownsKamerion Wimbley DEFlorida StateACC from  Baltimore
114Philadelphia EaglesBrodrick Bunkley DTFlorida StateACC
115St. Louis RamsTye Hill CBClemsonACC from  Atlanta  via  Denver
116Miami DolphinsJason Allen STennesseeSEC
117Minnesota VikingsChad Greenway LBIowaBig Ten
118Dallas CowboysBobby Carpenter LBOhio StateBig Ten
119San Diego ChargersAntonio Cromartie CBFlorida StateACC [9]
120Kansas City ChiefsTamba Hali DEPenn StateBig Ten
121New England PatriotsLaurence Maroney RBMinnesotaBig Ten
122San Francisco 49ersManny Lawson LBNC StateACC from  Washington  via  Denver
123Tampa Bay BuccaneersDavin Joseph GOklahomaBig 12
124Cincinnati BengalsJohnathan Joseph CBSouth CarolinaSEC
125Pittsburgh SteelersSantonio Holmes WROhio StateBig Ten from  New York Giants
126Buffalo BillsJohn McCargo DTNC StateACC from  Chicago
127Carolina PanthersDeAngelo Williams RBMemphisC-USA
128Jacksonville JaguarsMarcedes Lewis TEUCLAPac-10
129New York JetsNick Mangold COhio StateBig Ten from  Denver  via  Atlanta
130Indianapolis ColtsJoseph Addai RBLSUSEC
131Seattle SeahawksKelly Jennings CBMiami (FL)ACC [10]
132New York GiantsMathias Kiwanuka DEBoston CollegeACC from  Pittsburgh

I would label the following players a bust:

Vince Young
Mat Leinart
John Margo

Tye Hill is a player in the 2006 draft that is a good example of how a bust should be defined and how the word  value should be used.  He was plagued by injuries.  Indications are is that he would have been a very good player if not for the injuries.  IMO, he was not a bust but did not yield a high level of value. Traditionally the word value has been used to identify whether a player was a good pick at the point in which he was picked.  I am thinking that use of the word value is entirely too subjective.  Largely because draft position is based on what a player is projected to do rather than what they have actually done.

The 2006 draft provides an excellent example of how subjective the evaluation of college players is. Seventeen players in the first round turned out to be pro bowlers. Five of the first 6 players and 9 of the first 12 players selected in the first round became pro bowlers.   Eight players in the second round became pro bowlers.  In rounds 3-7, twelve players became pro bowlers.  That's right.  A seventh round player (Cortland Finnegan) became a pro bowler.  

What we can see is how fast predictability falls off.  Here is a breakdown of pro bowlers within the top 12 picks for the 2007 thru 2013 drafts

2007 had 6 of 12
2008 had 4 of 12
2009 had 1 of 12
20010 had 8 of 12
20011 had 9 of 12
20012 had 5 of 12 Note: 6 players in rounds 2-6 have already become pro bowlers.
20013 had 0 of 12 Note: 3 in the first round as well as 1 in the second round were pro bowlers in their rookie season.  LINK

Another way to look at the subjectivity and lack of predictability is to look at players that went undrafted.  In virtually every year going as far back as 1946, great players have gone undrafted. Our own Emlen Tunnel (1948) is one example.  More recent ones include Warner, Romo, Priest Holmes, Gates and of course our own Cruz.  Here is a LINK to a list of recent undrafted standouts as well as a list published in 2011 that goes back to 1946.
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Posted: 6/21/2014 3:33 PM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


"Traditionally the word value has been used to identify whether a player was a good pick at the point in which he was picked.  I am thinking that use of the word value is entirely too subjective.  Largely because draft position is based on what a player is projected to do rather than what they have actually done."


Correct me if I am wrong, because we are getting into nuance here, but I feel as if you are using "value" as strictly a reflection upon the player. I have always seen it as a reflection of the front office that drafted the player. For example Cortland Finnegan represented a phenomenal value because a Pro Bowl player was picked in the 7th round. We all know that's not common, so that's more luck than skill. Nevertheless, the value there is undeniable. I do believe the Giants slightly "overpaid" for Kiwi. Slightly. However, it is not Kiwi's fault when he was drafted and certainly not his fault that he was asked to play a good portion of his career out of position. That reflects back, strictly, IMHO, on the Giants front office. I think a discussion of value comes down to was that the moment the team should have drafted that player or should they have waited. Of course, if you wait, the player may be gone, so we run into that nuance thing again. For example, if the Giants felt Kiwi was a top half of the second round value, then the decision has to be made, is it worth "overpaying" slightly by using the last pick of the first round or risking losing the player completely. I do agree 100% that the vast majority of us see the "bust" label as completely inappropriate. I'm still baffled by where the OP was going with that post.
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Posted: 6/21/2014 3:45 PM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


1.  It is not uncommon for a 6th or 7th round pick or for that matter an undrafted player to become a pro bowler.  Granted it is less than 1% put still it happens virtually every year.  
2.  As far as value being used as a reflection of the front office, I think that overall draft productivity should be thought of as a reflection on the college draft department of the team.  In that context, a 3-5 year period is needed and ultimately it is the player productivity that is the foundation for evaluation of a team's effectiveness in the draft.  However, injuries and coaching come into play as well.  
3.  My point is that a bust is simply a player that does not produce.  Where it gets gray is when a player produces and then is compromised by injuries.  In the strictest sense of the word, a bust is a player that does not produce and the word probably should be limited to the first two rounds.  
4.  As far as whether a player is drafted when he is suppose to be, we need to recognize that it is increasingly subjective throughout the draft.  Especially beyond the top 12 players picked.  -
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  • bigjuje
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Posted: 6/21/2014 5:17 PM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


Then as mentioned....we got ourselves
a Pro Bowler in Beason because we gave
up a, I believe, a 7th round pick.

Value?
You ain't kidding.
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Posted: 6/21/2014 6:33 PM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 



GordonG wrote: 1.  It is not uncommon for a 6th or 7th round pick or for that matter an undrafted player to become a pro bowler.  Granted it is less than 1% put still it happens virtually every year.  

It is a semantics debate, but I believe most people would categorize a 1% chance that the player becomes a Pro Bowler as meaning it is NOT a common event. 

2.  As far as value being used as a reflection of the front office, I think that overall draft productivity should be thought of as a reflection on the college draft department of the team.  In that context, a 3-5 year period is needed and ultimately it is the player productivity that is the foundation for evaluation of a team's effectiveness in the draft.  However, injuries and coaching come into play as well.  

My lone debate is putting it all on the shoulder's of the college draft department. Their recommendations may have been spot on and then ignored by the HC, the GM, and/or the owner.

3.  My point is that a bust is simply a player that does not produce.  Where it gets gray is when a player produces and then is compromised by injuries.  In the strictest sense of the word, a bust is a player that does not produce and the word probably should be limited to the first two rounds.  

Agreed

4.  As far as whether a player is drafted when he is suppose to be, we need to recognize that it is increasingly subjective throughout the draft.  Especially beyond the top 12 players picked.  -

20/20 hindsight means we have advantages the team, obviously, did not have at the moment the pick was made. That HAS to be acknowledged. However, I think it is a bit informative and certainly entertaining to reflect back on choices made. In Kiwi's draft year, Ngata should have been the number 1 overall pick. So, if nothing else, you have to give the Ravens a tip of the hat there. 
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Posted: 6/21/2014 7:08 PM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


Another part of evaluating the draft is the overall talent available.  I think that is reflected by the number of pro bowlers in the top 12.  Another step in the analysis would be to go back and determine the number of busts in the first round.  I suspect that as the number of  pro bowlers in the top 12 increases, the number of busts decreases and in turn reflects the overall talent available. If my hypothesis is correct, the number of busts in 2009 would be the highest for the years cited in my original post.
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Posted: 6/22/2014 10:18 AM

Re: The Draft: What is a bust? What is Value? 


thanks G for pulling this together

Puts some things into perspective (vince young)


The Kiwi thread was interesting only in the value we all place on Rd 1 players.

There is so much that goes into how a player performs including the system they are in, players that surround them etc....

Where is the formula for hype=results? :-)
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