Gauging our Future Potential (Edited for Durability Factor)



Edit: Durability Factor - KP

We're right in the thick of that "limbo" state where FA didn't seem to satisfy our football desires, and the draft is an attractive, young seductress on the horizon.  Most have taken the siren's bait and moved along, but I'm here to evaluate the "potential" in our squad as it stands right now: pre-draft.  I'm not here to talk about specifically who we should draft, nor am I trying to say that this is how we'll shake out come opening day.  I'm just here to give you what I think is the state of our team right now, position by position, and how much potential they have to become great players for us in 5 years or so, based on what they've done so far.

Rather than try to do this completely arbitrarily, I've come up with a formula to try to help me out.  It is as follows:                 

Future Potential =     (# of Games Started) X (Talent Level) X (Age Factor) X (Durability Factor)


I'll attempt to gauge talent level appropriately on a 1-10 scale, as that is the only figure left open to interpretation.  This should also allow for some expansion of opinion while holding the same formulas in the comments.  Age Factor is 29 (about midway through an NFL career) subtracted by the player's age.  If the age factor is less than zero, I then divide by the age factor instead of multiplying.  Also, the age factor cannot be zero (divide by zero!), so the minimum is 1.  The Durability Factor (as suggested by chiefsandcigars, thanks!) is

Durability Factor = # Games Started/(# Games Started + Games Injured)

As always with my analysis, I'm going to stick to the players projected to be starters or see solid rotation.  Alright...let's do this!



Matt Cassel - 27 years old, but rode the bench for the first several years.  Only one game kept him out due to injury.  30 games started.  Perceived talent level:  5.  He showed with New England the capabilities to put up some gaudy passing numbers, but due to receiving, protection, and his own mistakes last year, I'm going to put him as a middling level QB.  Future Potential = 290.32

Running Back

Jamaal Charles - 23 years old, with one game missed due to injury.  12 games started, which actually hurts his potential level quite a bit, and hasn't proven over several seasons that he can "carry the load" just yet.  Perceived talent level: 9.  This is about as close as it comes to a superstar on this team.  Really came into his own at the end of last year and proved he could run with the NFL's elite RB's.  If he can do it again, we may have a legit stud.  Future Potential = 595.13

Thomas Jones - 31 years old, with 7 games missed due to injury.  He's started 107 games in his career, and the injury history (even though it still factors into the equation) all happened near the beginning of his career.  Perceived talent level: 8.  Five straight 1100+ yard seasons (while sharing carries) with his highest yardage season last year show that he hasn't slowed down yet.  Future Potential = 232.77


Mike Cox - 24 years old, no games missed due to injury.  He's started 15 games for us.  Perceived talent level:  2.  Unfortunately, a fullback is only as good as the run game surrounding him, and 2/3 of the games he started were not high rushing performances.  Future Potential = 150

Wide Receiver

Dwayne Bowe - 25 years old, 1 game missed due to injury.  He's started 40 games for us.  Perceived talent level: 6.  Last year would've been two full grades higher, but with the suspension and his reoccurring drops, the grade dropped.  Still, he's an exciting, young receiver that looks to have no ceiling with some work.  Future Potential = 936.59

Chris Chambers - 31 years old, with 8 games missed to injury.  He's got 120 starts under his belt.  Perceived talent level: 6.  A Chargers outcast, he showed in the latter half of the year why he was still a relevant starter.  Definitely not the future of the franchise, but certainly a solid option for now.  Future Potential =  223.20

Tight End

Brad Cottam - 25 years old, with 1 game missed due to injury.  He's got 8 starts tallied.  Perceived talent level: 3.  Brad started to show a little life towards the end of the year, making some nice soft hands catches, but is still lacking in a little-used area of the offense.  Future Potential = 117.60

Offensive Line

Branden Albert - 25 years old, 3 games missed due to injury.  Every other game he's started, though, with 29 LT starts.  Perceived talent level:  7.  Held his own very well last year, and made the rough transition to zone blocking by the end of this year.  Whether he's playing LT or LG in the future, he's definitely a huge asset for us when he's on the field.  Future Potential = 735.88

Brian Waters - 33 years old, 3 games missed due to injury.  A whopping 133 starts for the Walter Payton Man of the Year.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Though his career has been stellar, last year showed us that he was slowing down a little bit.  Future Potential = 166.25

Casey Wiegmann - 36 years old, but an ironman:  only 1 game missed due to injury.  An insane 168 starts for Casey.  Perceived talent level: 4.  Several reports of him slowing down and not playing at the extremely high level that he did for many years surfaced last year, but will be a good tutor for young linemen learning the zone blocking scheme.  Future Potential = 95.04

Ryan Lilja28 years old, with 3 games missed due to injury.  He's got a solid 59 starts.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Reports from Indy said that he was good in pass coverage but poor in his run blocking.  Still, a component of one of the NFL's best offensive lines in recent history is a valuable asset.  Future Potential = 280.73

Ryan O'Callaghan- 26 years old, 1 game missed due to injury.  He's put in 19 starts.  Perceived talent level: 4.  Did well for us last year after being obtained from New England, and if he continues to develop, might turn into a diamond in the rough for us.  Future Potential = 209.76


Nose Tackle

Shaun Smith - 28 years old, 1 known injury.  He's put in 27 starts for various teams.  Perceived talent level: 2.  Under Romeo Crennel in Cleveland, he actually had a respectable year.  When Crennel was fired, Smith became a casualty from the the new regime (and Brady Quinn's facial injuries).  He's played for many teams and has never really worked out for any of them.  Hard to expect that he'll have a revelation this year based on his past.  Future Potential = 53.15

Defensive End

Glenn Dorsey - 24 years old, 1 game missed to injury.  30 starts for the team.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Translating from a 4-3 DT to a 3-4 DE isn't easy, and he didn't do too badly.  Several times showed the capability to penetrate into the backfield, and turned into a good run stuffer.  Could turn into a solid lineman with some NT help.  Future Potential = 725.80

Tyson Jackson - 23 years old, no games missed to injury.  14 starts for the team.  Perceived talent level: 4.  Was not good at the beginning of the season, but started to turn it around with the introduction of Anthony Pleasant to the coaching staff.  Prototypical build/strength for a 3-4 DE, and may turn into a Ty Warren type of player with a capable NT.  Future Potential = 336

Outside Linebacker

Mike Vrabel - 34 years old, 5 games missed to injury.  A big 124 starts in his career.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Stout against the run, and decent in pass coverage.  Shows good leadership and fire.  Getting a little bit older, and his speed/ability is starting to show it.  Future Potential = 119.19

Tamba Hali - 26 years old, 1 game missed due to injury.  63 starts already in his young career.  Perceived talent level: 6.  Lacking a bit in the run defense department, but made a solid transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 DE and had his best season yet.  Continued development and settling into his role could turn him into a pro bowl player.  Future Potential = 1116.28

Inside Linebacker

Derrick Johnson - 27 years old, 2 games missed to injury.  60 starts for the Texas player.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Haley's definition of a "yo-yo player", DJ is by far our best LB when he's playing well, but a terrible liability when he's not.  Doesn't fit well with the players surrounding him in the 3-4, could stand to benefit from an upgrade at some of those positions.  Future Potential = 580.65

Demorrio Williams - 29 years old, no games missed to injury.  65 starts in his career.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Our most consistent ILB on the roster. Not flashy, but seems to find himself in the right place at the right time.  Could develop further, but we might have seen his ceiling this past year.  Future Potential = 325

Corey Mays - 26 years old, no known games missed to injury.  14 total starts.  Perceived talent level: 3.  Our only true hitstick ILB, but he is a giant liability in pass coverage.  He's also not very good at open field tackles if he doesn't have help.  Future Potential = 126


Brandon Flowers - 24 years old, missed 2 games due to injury.  28 games started.  Perceived talent level: 9.  Shutdown corner, and the building block of this secondary.  Has shone amongst a sub-par group, and is starting to gain recognition for his abilities.  Needs to stay healthier, as the drop in talent after him is large.  Future Potential = 1176

Brandon Carr - 24 years old, no missed games.  32 games started.  Perceived talent level: 5.  Still has some work to do with short coverage and getting his head around quicker, but has shown the ability to blanket cover receivers.  With some safety help, is one of (if not the) best #2 CB's in the league.  Future Potential = 800


Jarrad Page - 25 years old, missed 10 games to injury.  39 games started.  Perceived talent level: 6.  When he's on the field, he's a ball-hawking safety...his 12 PBU's and 4 INT's in 2008 show that.  He's a bit of a liability against the run, but his pass coverage skills were sorely missed in 2009.  Will he come back at the level he was before?  Future Potential = 744.98

Mike Brown - 32 years old, 44 games missed to injury!  115 games started.  Perceived talent level: 3.  Liability in coverage most of the year and missed a few BIG tackles.  Started to play better as the year went along, but can we count on him staying healthy?  Future Potential = 83.17

Future Potential Rankings:

1.  Brandon Flowers, CB - 1176
2.  Tamba Hali, OLB - 1116.72
3.  Dwayne Bowe, WR - 936.59
4.  Brandon Carr, CB - 800
5.  Jarrad Page, FS - 744.98
6.  Branden Albert, OT - 735.88
7.  Glenn Dorsey, DE - 725.80
8.  Jamaal Charles, RB - 595.13
9.  Derrick Johnson, ILB - 580.65
10.  Tyson Jackson, DE - 336
11.  Demorrio Williams, ILB - 325
12.  Matt Cassel, QB - 290.32
13.  Ryan Lilja, OG - 280.73
14.  Thomas Jones, RB2 - 232.77
15.  Chris Chambers, WR - 223.20
16.  Ryan O'Callaghan, OT - 209.76
17.  Brian Waters, OG - 166.25
18.  Mike Cox, FB - 150
19.  Corey Mays, ILB - 126
20.  Mike Vrabel, OLB - 119.19
21.  Brad Cottam, TE - 117.60
22.  Casey Wiegmann, C - 95.04
23.  Mike Brown, SS - 83.17
24.  Shaun Smith, NT - 53.15

Obviously, there are arguments to be made here.  Looking at the chart, you can see where our future deficiencies could lie.  SS, NT, C, OLB, and WR/TE.  This is not unlike what most think our team needs are currently.  Many point to ILB as a need, of which I don't disagree with.  However, upgrading the players around them could turn our currently middling talent ILB's into a solid option.  Given their relatively young age and ability to stay healthy, these players could turn out to be a boon rather than a burden.  Meanwhile, our second WR option is one that is considered somewhat of a strength in this team, but given the age/injury histories of players, it would seem that the position could need an upgrade sooner than expected.

This is by no means an end all solution to what our greatest needs are, but I thought it worth a (somewhat arbitrary) look into the future to see what positions we might have to fill in the next 3-5 years rather than the immediate future.  I anticipate the questions/comments/inevitable beratement for these rankings, and I encourage you to give your own analysis.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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