Quinn's Draft Analysis

Hey all,

First time poster in this section, so please take it easy on me :). Forgive me for the the length of the post. Context is required to understand the analysis.

After some of the surprising draft moves this weekend, and the corresponding skepticism, I decided to do an analysis of Quinn's draft success to this point. While it is still early to evaluate some of the classes entirely, it seemed like a worth while effort. Below is the methodology:

Obviously, there are 1,000 different ways to look at this, but I wanted something backed by statistics, and with some level of analytics behind it (instead of just looking at starts and pro bowls). However, I don't really have the time to do a full-blown statistical analysis, so I leveraged Pro Football Reference's AV stat. There are plenty of articles/posts to define the methodology behind this stats, but I found its as good as any out there - it has its flaws without question, but what advanced stat doesn't? Here is a link to the detailed methodology PFR uses to calculate AV.

I looked at the drafts since Quinn has been GM - 2016, 2017, and 2018 - for each team in the league. I broke it down in 2 main categories: Total CARAV - Career Approximate Value and Total DRAV - Appx. Value to the team that drafted the player. These allow us to identify how good teams are at identifying talent, and how much of the players career value is attributed to the team that drafted them - identifying players is one thing, getting the value out of the player during their time with your team is another. Obviously, with a small sample, most players are still on rookie deals, and thus, still with their original team. However, there are some teams that are negatively impacted by letting players walk too early - Alex Collins being the best example.

I took it a step further, just to give another viewpoint. Using totals gives an edge to teams that accumulate draft picks. This shouldn't be ignored, as there is evidence that suggests the draft is such a crapshoot, that more picks is an advantage. So you have to give teams that accumulate picks credit for that. However, you may also want to evaluate who is better at identifying talent. So I also added the average AV per pick for both CARAV and DRAV. A team like Atlanta is a great example - they are tied for the fewest picks, but they have nailed many of the picks they have had.

Finally, I added a column that lists the best players (by CARAV) drafted in the time frame for each team. The list is relative to other picks from the same team, so the criteria is not 100% consistent across the board. However, in general, the player needed to have a CARAV above 15 from the 2016 draft, above 10 for the 2017 draft, and above 8 for the 2018 draft. Since AV is going to favor length of service, I had to use a scale. Again - there are players listed here that broke these rules, especially when looking at teams with a lower average AV rank. You will notice there are not a ton of players from 2018 listed here, and that is intentional. Its hard to evaluate a player in 1 season, so the players had to really stand out to be listed.

I have included the summary grid at the bottom of the post, but some interesting takeaways are noted below:

1. The Lions ranked 6th in CARAV and 7th in DRAV, suggesting they have done pretty damn well in the Quinn era, relative to other teams. They had 25 total picks during that time frame, 1 more than the league average, so the numbers aren't completely buoyed by an abundance of picks. (Look at CLE, who ranked #1 in CARAV, but is outside the top 10 in AVG. Their 33 picks leads the league in the evaluated time frame)

2. The Lions ranked 10th in both CARAV and DRAV avg. Again suggesting that Quinn has been more than solid in his drafts.

3. The most successful picks are as follows - Decker (21), Glasgow (21), Robinson (15), J. Davis (16) and Golladay (12). I think the only one here people may argue with is Davis, but he is buoyed because he has been a starter for 3 years. For better or worse, starts have to count for something, and that is primarily what drives up his AV.

When looking at the 5 players above against the consolidated draft classes (762 players), Decker ranks 22nd, Glasgow 23rd, Davis 59th, Robinson 62nd, and Golladay 104th.

From the guys not listed, there have undoubtedly been some duds (Rudock, A. Williams, Landes, D. Washington, Tabor are the best examples), but this is true for any team. However, there have been some solid contributors as well (Agnew, Zettel). 2018 rookies are discussed in the next bullet.

4. While none of the rookies met the threshold, it does appear the Lions 2018 draft class has great potential. With 3 players above 5 in AV, this could be a very strong class in the coming years. Ragnow (7), Johnson (5), and Hand (5) all rank in the top 48 of players from the 2018 draft class. This obviously doesn't include Tracy Walker, who some expect to be a big contributor this season. This class could be in line with the Falcons 2016 draft if they continue to develop. 5 of the Falcons 6 picks in 2016 have an AV above 12. No other class even comes close in the evaluated time period, in terms of the pure number of picks with a solid AV.

5. Personally, if you look at the names listed for each team, I tend to think this evaluation represents a fair, objective view of draft success. Obviously, this will change each year, and we will gain more clarity as these classes "grow older". But for the time being, I am satisfied with the results. A team like NO deserves to be #1 in AVG AV - they have hit two major pieces in Thomas and Kamara, and two other very solid players with Ramczyk and Rankins. KC is #3 with T. Hill, Mahomes, and K. Hunt with high AV's. Chicago at #2 doesnt have the star power of NO or KC, but they have a number of solid to good players.

When you look at the other end, a team like Arizona has only a single pick that is worth mentioning, and Oakland/Cin only have 2. Minnesota is dead last, and has a few guys that have been decent to good, but a significant number of big failures. For the amount of picks they have had (27), you would expect at least one high AV player with a number of solid guys mixed in. Most notable is their 2016 class (which weighs most heavily in all teams scores, as it should, given the multiple years to provide a more accurate evaluation). Not a single player from that class has a CARAV above 6, which is extremely low. Especially when you consider team success is a factor in the AV calculation, and Minnesota has had a nice run in the past few seasons. If they had a 3 year run similar to Arizona, the gap would be even wider.

# of Picks Total CARAV Rank Total DRAV Rank Avg. CARAV / Pick Rank Avg. DRAV / Pick Rank
NOR 19 172 4 168 3 9.05 1 8.84 1 M. Thomas, A. Kamara, R. Ramczyk, S. Rankins
CHI 21 167 5 166 4 7.95 2 7.90 2 L. Floyd, C. Whitehair, J. Howard, M. Trubisky, E. Jackson, R. Smith
KAN 21 141 8 136 8 6.71 3 6.48 5 T. Hill, C. Jones, P. Mahomes, K. Hunt
ATL 18 119 15 118 16 6.61 4 6.56 3 2016 Draft
IND 27 178 2 160 5 6.59 5 5.93 9 J. Haeg, R. Kelley, D. Leonard, Q. Nelson (All O-Line)
DAL 27 177 3 175 1 6.56 6 6.48 4 E. Elliott, D. Prescott, M. Collins, L. Vander Esch
JAX 21 135 10 131 9 6.43 7 6.24 6 J. Ramsey, M. Jack, Y. Ngakoue, L. Fournette
NYG 18 114 18 109 19 6.33 8 6.06 8 S. Shephard, D. Tomlinson, S. Barkley
TEN 23 142 7 142 6 6.17 9 6.17 7 J. Conklin, D. Byard, D. Henry
DET 25 143 6 141 7 5.72 10 5.64 10 T. Decker, G. Glasgow, A. Robinson, J. Davis, K. Golladay
CLE 33 184 1 173 2 5.58 11 5.24 14 E. Ogbah, J. Schobert, M. Garrett, J. Peppers, B. Mayfield
HOU 21 117 17 117 17 5.57 12 5.57 11 D. Reader, W. Fuller, N. Martin, D. Watson, Z. Cunningham
LAC 22 120 14 120 14 5.45 13 5.45 12 J. Bosa, M. Brown, D. Feeny, D. James
PIT 22 119 16 119 15 5.41 14 5.41 13 J. Hargrave, S. Davis, JuJu, T. Watt, J. Conner
CAR 20 106 24 95 25 5.30 15 4.75 17 J. Bradberry, D. Worley, C. McCaffery, T. Moton
BUF 20 104 25 89 26 5.20 16 4.45 19 R. Ragland, M. Milano, T. White, D. Dawkins
PHI 21 108 23 103 23 5.14 17 4.90 16 C. Wentz, J. Mills
NYJ 22 110 21 110 18 5.00 18 5.00 15 D. Lee, J. Jenkins, B. Shell, J. Adams
MIA 23 108 22 106 21 4.70 19 4.61 18 L. Tunsil, X. Howard, K. Drake
SEA 30 140 9 127 10 4.67 20 4.23 21 G. Ifedi, J. Reed, A. Collins, C. Carson, S. Griffin
GNB 28 124 13 123 13 4.43 21 4.39 20 B. Martinez, K. Clark, D. Lowry, J. Williams
NWE 22 97 27 77 29 4.41 22 3.50 29 J. Thuney, E. Roberts, J. Brissett
SFO 30 128 11 124 11 4.27 23 4.13 22 D. Buckner, G. Kittle, S. Thomas
DEN 26 110 20 106 20 4.23 24 4.08 24 A. Gotsis, J. Simmons, G. Bolles, B. Chubb
BAL 30 126 12 123 12 4.20 25 4.10 23 R. Stanley, M. Judon, L. Jackson
LAR 25 99 26 99 24 3.96 26 3.96 25 J. Goff, C. Kupp, J. Johnson
CIN 29 111 19 105 22 3.83 27 3.62 27 T. Boyd, J. Mixon,
WAS 24 89 29 83 28 3.71 28 3.46 30 M. Ioannidis, J. Allen, C. Roullier, D. Payne
OAK 25 92 28 89 27 3.68 29 3.56 28 K. Joseph, K. Miller
TAM 21 77 31 77 30 3.67 30 3.67 26 C. Benenoch, C. Godwin,
ARI 18 63 32 58 32 3.50 31 3.22 31 B. Baker
MIN 27 83 30 74 31 3.07 32 2.74 32 P. Elflein, B. Gedeon, D. Cook
Avg. 24 122 117 5.22 5.01 17

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.