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The NFL Draft, By the Numbers

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Washington Post gathered data from the first three rounds of the NFL draft over the past 10 years and measured each pick's average games played per season. This number is not necessarily a measure of NFL success -- a player might have played 15 games per season, albeit unproductively for a losing team. But average games played per season can comparatively measure draft success and failure, and after analyzing the data, many interesting numbers emerge.

12.31

Average games played per season among players drafted in the first three rounds. Those drafted in the first have played an average of 13.02, those in the second averaged 12.70 and players drafted in the third round played an average of 11.17 games per season.

13.47

Average games played per season of picks 11-15, the highest segment in the draft. The top five have averaged 13.18.

15.29

Average games played per season of the Houston Texans' first-round draft picks (six of them), the highest average. Dallas first-rounders (seven) are second with 15.00. The second-round picks with the highest average have been Cleveland's. Its eight picks have played 14.00 games per season. The best third-rounders have been Pittsburgh's. Its 14 picks have averaged 12.33.

6.57

Average games played per season by the Baltimore Ravens' third-round picks (five of them), the lowest average. Carolina first-rounders (nine) are the worst of the first round with 10.48. The worst second-round picks have been Detroit's. Its eight picks have played 11.00 per season.

4.24

Average games played per season by the 13 quarterbacks drafted in the third round, the lowest of any position in any of the first three rounds. The quarterbacks drafted in the first round (24 of them) have averaged 10.22 and the ones drafted in the second (seven) average 8.91.

14.06

Average games played by safeties drafted in the second round (20 of them), the highest average of any position with more than three players drafted.

65

Picks 1-65 have averaged 12.86 games played per season. Picks 66-101 have averaged 11.01. Of the first 65, 30 have averaged 13 or more games played per season. Only four of the final 56 have averaged as many.

14.75

The 19th and 35th picks have both averaged 14.75 games played per season the past 10 years, the best in the draft. 7.12

The 77th pick has averaged 7.12 games played per season the past 10 years, the worst in the first three rounds.

2.17

Difference in games played per season between skill position players (QBs, RBs, WRs, DBs) drafted in the second round (12.91) and those drafted in the third round (10.74)

45

Wide receivers taken in the first round, the most popular position picked of any in the first three rounds.

124

Wide receivers and defensive backs picked in the first three rounds, tied for the most popular position. Punter is the least popular. Only three have been drafted in the first three rounds (all in the third) in the last 10 years.

MOST SUCCESSFUL DRAFTS OVERALL

Teams

(No. of picks)

Pick's avg. games played per season
Colts (30)13.47
Bills (30)13.08
Jets (30)12.97
Texans (20)12.85
Eagles (32)12.85

Note: Redskins are ranked 7th overall (23 picks) (12.69)

LEAST SUCCESSFUL DRAFTS OVERALL

Teams

(No. of picks)

Pick's avg. games played per season
Lions (32)11.25
Packers (31)11.44
Bears (32)11.75
Browns (24)11.83
Panthers (33)11.86

MOST SUCCESSFUL DRAFT BY ROUND

Teams

(No. of picks)

Pick's avg. games played per season
Texans' 1st round (6)15.29
Cowboys' 1st round (7)15.00
Colts' 1st round (9)14.96
Falcons' 1st round (8)14.18
Jaguars' 1st round (11)14.07

Note: Redskins' second round (six picks) is ranked 24th among all rounds by team, eighth among other second rounds (13.24); their first round (10 picks) is ranked 29th overall, 18th among first rounds (13.02); their third round (seven picks) is ranked 68th overall, 12th among third rounds (11.55).

LEAST SUCCESSFUL DRAFT BY ROUND

Teams

(No. of picks)

Pick's avg. games played per season
Ravens' 3rd round (5)6.57
Rams' 3rd round (11)9.91
Seahawks' 3rd round (12)9.91
Broncos' 3rd round (13)9.93
Jaguars' 3rd round (11)10.22

TEAMS WITH MOST FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICKS

TeamPicks
Steelers14
Chargers13
Raiders13
Rams13
Seahawks13

MOST SUCCESSFUL DRAFT POSITION

Pick
1914.75
3514.75
1314.51
1714.49
3614.49

LEAST SUCCESSFUL DRAFT POSITION

Pick
777.12
828.40
868.42
769.93
8110.18

PLAYERS SELECTED WITH THE 19TH AND 35TH PICKS , the most successful (14.75 games per season).

19s

Shaun Alexander

Alex Barron

Kyle Boller

Vernon Carey

Tarik Glenn

Casey Hampton

Marvin Harrison

Vonnie Holliday

Ashley Lelie

Luke Petitgout

35s

Mike Alstott

Reggie Brown

Alge Crumpler

Kalimba Edwards

John Engelberger

Barry Gardner

Lawyer Milloy

Igor Olshansky

Tony Parrish

Charles Tillman

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