As we all impatiently wait for the end of April for the NFL Draft to arrive, there have been several debates lately over which positions are worthy of a 5th overall selection. My curiosity has led me to do some more of my usual number crunching. Tonight, my research involved looking at the Chiefs and the six playoff teams from the AFC in 2009 and seeing where their offensive linemen were selected in the draft. Some players were drafted by teams other than who they played for last season but I went with their original draft position. For example, Damien Woody is a Jet but was drafted by the Patriots in round one. I assigned a point value (based on the round) for where each player was picked and calculated each playoff team’s average for where their player was picked and the average draft value for each offensive line position. The lower the number means the earlier the players were drafted. The following details the numerical value assigned for draft rounds…
Top 10 overall picks = .5 points
Round 1 draft picks = 1 point
Round 2 draft picks = 2 points
Round 3 draft picks = 3 points
Round 4 draft picks = 4 points
Round 5 draft picks = 5 points
Round 6 draft picks = 6 points
Round 7 draft picks = 7 points
Undrafted players = 8 points
The numbers for all five starters for each team are added up and divided by five to create the average given. So for example, with the Chiefs having a 5.0 average, that would mean their offensive linemen average out to be early fifth round draft picks.
Chiefs = 5.0
Albert (1), Waters (8), Niswanger (8), Goff (3), O’Callaghan (5)
Results by position:
2.9 = Left Tackle
3.6 = Left Guard
5.1 = Center
4.1 = Right Guard
3.1 = Right Tackle
*The Baltimore Ravens have two key backups on the offensive line who received significant playing time and have started games. If Yanda and Cousins are added to the equation and divided by seven instead of five, the result is still the same.
*The New York Jets, who have the lowest number for average draft pick, led the NFL in rushing yards in 2009.
*The Baltimore Ravens, who have the second lowest number for average draft pick, led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2009.
*Gaither was selected in the 5th round of the 2007 Supplemental Draft, resulting in Baltimore to lose their 5th round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
*New England has Sebastian Vollmer (2) from the 2009 draft and Cincinnati has Andre Smith (.5) from the 2009 draft who were not calculated into the equation but could effect the data if done again next year.
*As a side note, five of the six playoff teams also have 1st round quarterbacks.