I want to show you how good this draft “probably” will turn out to be. I say that because I did a conditional probability study on it, and the results surprised me. No one knows, not David Caldwell, not Gus Bradley really knows how this will turn out, but draft history can show us some probable outcomes.
Drafting a Tackle Early
First, taking a tackle in the first 5 draft spots has happened 15 times from 1980-2007. Of those 15, 13 of them were the primary starter for their team for at least 5 years. Nine of the 15 made the pro bowl numerous times. One that didn’t, Paul Gruber, played for Tampa Bay in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Tampa Bay wasn’t very good, but Paul Gruber is in their ring of honor.
So we can say we have an 87% chance we just drafted a 5 year starter and a 60% chance we have a multiple pro bowl player in Luke Joeckel. Bringing it home, there is a very high probability we have drafted no worse than a Eugene Monroe quality player and a good possibility of a Tony Boselli quality. There is a 13% chance of a Tony Mandarich, but that is only because there really was a Tony Mandarich.
Drafting five Defensive Backfield guys
I looked at the draft from 1980 – 2007 for DB’s selected in the range of 25-40, 50-75 and 170-220. This is equivalent to the guys we drafted this year. The probability that we have drafted at least one guy who will be a primary starter for 3 years is 90%. I don’t know which of the five will make it, but the probability at least one does is 90%. The chance that two of the guys become 3 years primary starters is 53%. There is a 24% chance one of them is voted to the all pro first team at least once in their career. To bring this home, there is a 90% chance we have a Donovan Darius quality guy and a 24% chance we have a Rashean Mathis (in his prime) quality guy. There is better than a 50% chance we have one Derek Cox quality and one Donovan Darius quality defensive backfield guys in the draft. I don’t know which ones they will be.
The other two, Ace and Denard
These guys look like trying to catch lightning in a bottle kind of picks. There is a very very low chance of them catching fire, about a 15% chance of either being a primary starter for 3 years or more and only a 6% chance of either one being a pro bowl player. But with two guys, there is a 28% chance one of the two of them hits. I think 28% is decent odds for guys like this. If they do catch on, it is because they are very productive and if either of these guys is that good, season tickets will be an easy sell.
In this draft, there is almost 90% certainty that we have at least two multi-year primary starters and a very good chance, over 50%, there are three. There is a 14% chance of four primary starters for three years or more. There is a 70% chance of one pro bowl player and a 14% chance of two pro bowl guys.
I would say if we have two starters, one in the pro bowl and three good rotational or situation guys, this is a good draft. It “probably” was this good. There is a chance it is even better.
- Terry O’Brien