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Old 05-04-2013   #1
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Default Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

During a slow time in this offseason, I came across this thought-provoking detailed piece on how the Combine results may best be utilized in predicting NFL success........most directed at WRs, but apparently applicable to other positions.

Quote:
2013 NFL Combine: Can the Combine Tests Predict NFL Performance for Wide Receivers?

By now, Combine skeptics well know the wide receiver duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, who both put up 1000 yards in 2008 on the way to a Super Bowl-and they both managed times in the 40-yard dash in the lowest ten percent of all current NFL wide receivers. They ran a 4.63 and 4.72, respectively.

Moreover, a quick look at the quickest electronically-timed 40-yard dash times reveals a whose who of nobodies (and former Oakland Raiders) along with luminaries like Chris Johnson and Champ Bailey. For every star who ran a sub-4.3 40-yard dash, there are nearly three who don't make it. Once you'll find Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, another time, you could end up with Jerome Mathis (looking to find a job after the Hartford Colonials cut him, having failed to make a team).

In fact, over the past five years, only 14 1000 yard seasons came from receivers who placed in the top ten percent of 40-yard times, while 11 1000 yard seasons came from those in the bottom ten percent. Over the past five years, qualifying receivers in the bottom ten percent of 40-yard dash speed averaged 100 yards more per season than receivers in the top ten percent.

It seems that the 40-yard dash is useless, right?

Well, it's not entirely useless, but neither is it extraordinarily useful. When taken in context, however, it can be revealing. More than that, some workouts are much more powerful than you might believe, given the media attention that they (and other, less important workouts) receive.

The first step is to take a look at the work others have done and see how it performs. As always, DraftMetrics has been on the ball in figuring out whether or not Combine statistics provide any real value. Their measure of choice is the number of starts or seasons as a starter. Metrics are compared to their ability to predict one-year and three-year starters.

They initially found that the marquee event, the 40-yard dash, had very little impact on predicting future NFL success. Of the top thirteen players to run the fastest 40-yard dashes (top-ten times, including ties), only seven became starters for one season.

But, the event itself wasn't useless. The 20-yard split of that race did a pretty good job figuring out who was going to make it into the NFL. 74% of one-year starters ran the 20-yard split in 2.62 seconds or less, but that is a broad baseline. The average 20-yard spit of drafted players between 2006 and 2010 was 2.59 seconds, and 107 of 144 measured drafted rookies (74% exactly) in that time period posted a time equal to or less than 2.62 seconds.

The 20-yard split isn't useless-knowing that 74% of those scoring above a certain baseline become starters in the NFL is valuable information, but neither is it the most useful split. More on that later.

In their study, they saw that the vertical jump and the broad jump were moderately predictive of NFL success (as defined by the number of starts), but it didn't provide a lot of information. For them, the broad jump has a specific flag at 118, where 75% of all those who met that mark ended up starting in the NFL (defined as having eight or more starts in a season). In my sample, 72% of tested draftees bested a broad jump score of 118 and 33 of those (33%) started in their third season. Their sample is much larger and more holistic, so take the smaller sample done by me with a grain of salt.
REST OF THE STORY
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Old 05-04-2013   #2
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
During a slow time in this offseason, I came across this thought-provoking detailed piece on how the Combine results may best be utilized in predicting NFL success........most directed at WRs, but apparently applicable to other positions.

REST OF THE STORY
Excellent read CnD

It's nice to know that someone is out there trying to figure out what all those numbers mean.
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Old 05-05-2013   #3
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

Thanks for the post! My alter geek ego loves articles like that. MSR.
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Old 05-05-2013   #4
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

I wish the author would have applied his formulas to the 2013 WR class data that is readily available, and compared those numbers to prior WRs to make some predictions based on his metrics.
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Old 05-05-2013   #5
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

Yeah. I was hoping for all the 2013 receivers to be graded by the metric.

He did say the Bench was an unexpected metric that seemed to correlate with WR success.

If that's the case, the WRs grade out like this:

26 -- T.J. Moe
22 -- Josh Boyce
20 -- Markus Wheaton
Lanear Sampson
Chris Harper
19 -- Marus Davis
17 -- Mark Harrison
16 -- Kenny Stills
Ryan Swope
15 -- DeAndre Hopkins
Ryan Spadola
14 -- Alan Bonner
Robert Woods
Tavon Austin
13 -- Marquise Goodwin
...

Others of note:
Steadman Bailey -- 11
Cobi Hamilton -- 11
Terrance Williams -- 11
Da'Rick Rogers -- 10
Quinton Patton -- 8

Keenan Allen, Corderrelle Patterson, and Justin Hunter did not participate.

I don't know, though. I'm looking at the 2012 guys and I'm not seeing a who's who of WRs with high bench presses. The guy with the highest number of reps in 2012 went to the Jags and didn't get any stats.
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Old 05-05-2013   #6
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
...the Bench

26 -- T.J. Moe - WR
Winters, Brian/Kent St./OL 9

Aboushi, Oday/Virginia/OL 17

Mills, Jordan/Louisiana Tech/OL 20

Frederick, Travis/WisconsinOL 21

Fluker, D.J./Alabama/OL 21

Quessenberry, David/San Jose St./OL 25
-----------------------------------

Moore, Damontre/Texas A&M/DL 12

Okafor, Alex/Texas/DL 21

Ansah, Ziggy/BYU/DL 21

Werner, Bjoern/Florida St./DL 25
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Old 05-06-2013   #7
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Default Re: Will the Combine Results be Predictive of NFL Success, Especially with WRs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Playoffs View Post
Winters, Brian/Kent St./OL 9

Aboushi, Oday/Virginia/OL 17

Mills, Jordan/Louisiana Tech/OL 20

Frederick, Travis/WisconsinOL 21

Fluker, D.J./Alabama/OL 21

Quessenberry, David/San Jose St./OL 25
-----------------------------------

Moore, Damontre/Texas A&M/DL 12

Okafor, Alex/Texas/DL 21

Ansah, Ziggy/BYU/DL 21

Werner, Bjoern/Florida St./DL 25
26 reps for a WR is pretty freaking sick.
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