It’s undeniable that our own Kent Lee Platte has become a valued resource when it comes to the NFL Draft. His RAS metric (Relative Athletic Score)—which compiles draft prospects’ athletic scores from Pro Days and the NFL Combine and creates a comparative score for each player relative to the rest of the league—has gained a ton of credibility over the past few years. Official team writers are using it. It’s now displayed side-by-side with other athletic metrics for some draft analysis websites. Hell, it’s even scored Kent some interviews on television.
RAS’s latest expansion is to the popular video game series Madden NFL. Game developers are apparently using Kent’s metrics as a resource to help create player ratings. Michael Rothstein of ESPN has more:
Five categories are pulled almost straight from combine numbers: Strength, jumping, speed, acceleration and agility. The other ratings -- including two private ratings, one for celebration and another they declined to name -- are determined from the research Smith and Weingarten do throughout the year and scouting reports they receive. They declined to name their scouting reports or give much information on their specific formulas for proprietary reasons. Draft guides are key. So too are specific Twitter accounts -- including those of Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) for athletic ratings and Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) for catchable ball and accuracy breakdowns.
This not only speaks to the incredible work that Kent puts in coding and creating an easily-consumable product with RAS, but the rarity of the information he has access to. While NFL Combine numbers are easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection, there are plenty of prospects that don’t go to the Combine. Tracking down numbers from Pro Days or private workouts can be a handful, and it’s an underappreciated aspect to the hard work Kent puts in every single year.
It’s nice to see Kent’s work go appreciated, because most of what he does is simply as a passion project. He has a full-time job outside of Pride of Detroit. He has a family to support. And all of his RAS work—including his RAS app—is available for free.