Most post-draft analysis is rooted strictly in subjectivity, simply because it’s difficult to measure how well a team drafts without being affected by individual biases or perception.
So, with this in mind, Draftmetrics’ Tony Villiotti created a statistical index in order to attempt to measure how well NFL teams draft, and in turn, whether the data matches with our perceptions.
In other words, if there’s a consensus that a team drafts well — teams like Green Bay or Baltimore come to mind — is it an automatic validation of its draft record?
After Villiotti crunched the numbers — both over a 10-year (2003-12) and a five-year period (2008-12) — the Dolphins ranked as the second-most effective drafting team in the last five years.
So, how exactly did Villiotti arrive there?
“The biggest obstacle in doing an objective analysis is to select the metrics that do the best job of measuring performances,” Villiotti writes. “DRAFTMETRICS decided to use a weighted combination of four measures to measure each team’s draft success.”
The four metrics that he used to create the index: (1) total games started; (2) number of players active for the 2012 season; (3) average share of annual starts (calculated by finding what percentage of total annual starts a team’s draft class accounted for and then averaging that out over time; (4) Pro Bowl selections.
Those metrics can be affected by a combination of draft position and other factors, of course, but Villiotti also created a formula to try to determine what a team’s “expected rank” would be based on position and total number of picks. In the five past years — which also coincides with General Manager Jeff Ireland’s tenure in Miami — the Dolphins outperformed their expected rank (eight) by six spots.
With five picks in the first three rounds of this April’s draft, the Dolphins will look to add to their mostly homegrown core.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.