Preamble I thought it would be fun to take a statistical look at the draft. At the moment, Texans nation is split in their wish for the #1 overall pick. Some advocate taking one of the top 3 QBs (Bridgewater, Manziel, or Bortles) with the top selection. Others think that Clowney is too good to pass up and the Texans must select one of them. A third group feels that keeping the QB safe is the top priority and think taking an OT such as Robinson or Matthews is the proper way to go. There is a 4th group that advocates a trade down. As such, Texans nation does have one thing they agree upon...the Texans need a new QB. The divergence of opinion is based on when should the Texans pull the trigger. Those in the take Clowney, Robinson, or Matthews camp believe that a QB can be had later in the draft or that the fail rate for 1st overall QBs is too high to risk on this pick and there are plenty of good QB options to be hand in the second or third round. Method I was curious what the numbers suggest. As such, I delved into this statistical analysis. The objective was to determine: 1. What is the relative success rate for QBs, DEs, and OTs selected #1 in the NFL draft vs the failure rate of the same positions. 2. What is the relative success rate for QBs, DEs, and OTs selected in the 2nd or 3rd round of the NFL draft vs the failure rate of the same positions. 3. Compare these rates together over a long enough point to help determine a trend. For this analysis, I decided to set my NFL draft parameters as 2000-2012. It gives me 13 years worth of data, which should be a large enough sample size. Definitions 1. Success. I am defining Success as a quality player. In my mind a quality player has to be one who is able to positively affect his team and help them to win games. A quality player is one who also positively contributes in some way on the field of play. 2. Failure. I am defining Failure as a subpar player. In my mind this player either was unable to positively affect play on the field, is out of the league, or was unable to get on the field. Stats I am using a simple statistical mean. Results 1st Overall Picks QB Success:6/10=60% Michael Vick (2001), Carson Palmer (2003), Eli Manning (2004), Matthew Stafford (2009), Cam Newton (2011), Andrew Luck (2012) Fail: 4/10=40% David Carr(2002), Alex Smith (2005), JaMarcus Russell (2007), Sam Bradford (2010) DE: Success:1/2=50% Mario Williams(2006) Fail: 1/2=50% Courtney Brown (2000) OT: Good:1/3=33.3% Jake Long (2008) Bad: 2/3=66.66% These numbers suggest that many QBs have been taken. That would make sense since it is such an important position. As such, a 60% success rate is quite good. DE is 50%, but only has 2 selections. OT has 3 overall and only a 33.33% success rate. Now let's look at Rounds 2/3 2nd round/3rd round QB Success: 6/27=22% 6: Drew Brees, Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles, Russell Wilson Fail:21/27=78% DE: Success:25/51=49% Fail: 26/51=51% OT: Success: 26/52=50% Fail: 26/52=50% I included the names of the success QBs for a reason. Look at the threshold of the term success. An argument can be made that even some of these guys should not be in the successful group, thus making it even smaller. What clearly stands out to me is the piss poor success rate for the 2nd/3rd round QBs. Whether its 22% or lower its horrendously bad. The success rate for OTs and DEs are remarkable similar: right around 50% which is a great number to have. Conclusion Based on my statistical analysis, I conclude that the notion that fail rate for 1st overall QBs is too high to risk on this pick does not bear out statistically. QBs taken with the overall #1 selection have a 60% success rate. The second conclusion is that there are simply not enough good QB options to be hand in the second or third round. In fact, it can even be argued that players like a Russell Wilson or Nick Foles, who may have in the past had imperfections in their draft profiles may go higher in subsequent years. Russell Wilson fell into the third round because he lacked ideal size. However, due to his success, a team is more likely to take a chance on someone else who resembles Wilson thus not allowing him to fall as much as he did. Thus, finding the next Russell Wilson becomes that much harder. Therefore I conclude, statistically speaking, the best strategy is as follows: 1st overall Pick: Best QB prospect. 2nd round: Best OT or DE prospect. 3rd round: Best OT or DE prospect. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sometimes I go a little overboard and do not mean to write an entire essay, but I find i have a lot that I want to say. I understand that this is a message board where these is an opportunity of give and take...back and forth...discussion and counterpoint. I am aware that sometimes my posts can become long and cumbersome and for that I apologize. I sometimes get an idea and in order to explore it thoroughly it takes a little time and perhaps more characters than are warranted. But, as I said, thanks again for taking the time to read this. I look forward to a spirited discussion on the matter!