Saturday, April 25, 2009

drafting linebackers is the safest move

Another one from Reed Albergotti in the WSJ...

If two quarterbacks are picked in the first round of the NFL draft Saturday, odds are that only one will prove to be successful, according to a professor of management sciences.

Jeffrey Ohlmann of the University of Iowa analyzed first-round picks between 1997 and 2004 and found that of the 21 quarterbacks taken, 10 turned out to be productive members of the team -- what Mr. Ohlmann calls a "hit." This is a player who either started at least 12 games in his fifth season in the NFL or started at least 60 games in his first five seasons in the league. "That's a testimony that you've established yourself as a credible NFL talent," Mr. Ohlmann says.

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As for other positions, a whopping 83% of linebackers went on to become solid additions to their teams...Offensive linemen are similarly good bets in the first round, with an 80% success rate. But watch out for wide receivers, a position in which only 38% of the first-round picks panned out....

One footnote: Drafting a quarterback in the second half of the first round is not advised. The six QBs taken 16 or later included underachievers Jim Druckenmiller and Rex Grossman. Chad Pennington was the only "hit."


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