Home | Articles | Analytics | Calculating NFL Draft bust rates for each position – first round

Calculating NFL Draft bust rates for each position – first round

Calvin Pryor
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Michael Nania analyzes the success rates of each offensive and defensive position in the first round of the NFL Draft.

As Joe Douglas and the Jets ponder over positional value in preparation for the Draft, it is interesting to look back at the past and examine which positions have yielded the most value at each point of the draft.

Today, we start with the first round. I charted the career production of each first round pick from 2010-19 (319 players) to get a sense of how successful draft picks at each position have turned out to be.

Various measures are included with each position, as well as their rank in those measures among all positions, but I decided to rank the groups according to their cumulative “primary starter rate” – the ratio of total seasons accumulated as a team’s primary starter out of possible seasons (all seasons that have passed since a player was drafted).

Which position has proven to be the least fruitful investment during the first round? Let’s start with the most successful positions and work our way towards the worst of the bunch.

#13 – Center (77.4% primary starter rate)

Picks: 7

Possible seasons: 31

Seasons as primary starter: 24 (77.4% – 1st)

Approximate value: 202 (6.52 per season – 2nd)

First-Team All-Pro seasons: 3 (9.7% – 3rd)

Pro Bowl seasons: 14 (45.2% – 1st)

First-Team All-Pro players: 2 (28.6% – 2nd)

Pro Bowl players: 3 (42.9% – 3rd)

Center takes the cake as the most efficient first round position of the 2010s, as its small sample of seven selections has been largely successful. Maurkice Pouncey (#18, 2010, Pittsburgh) and Travis Frederick (#31, 2013, Dallas) make up 13 of the group’s 14 Pro Bowls, with eight and five, respectively. Ryan Kelly (#18, 2016, Indianapolis) and Frank Ragnow (#20, 2018, Detroit) have been solid starters.

Since centers are not valued quite as highly as other positions on the offensive line, not many are taken in the first round. Because of that lesser emphasis, it stands to reason that if a center warrants a first round pick, it is probably because he is an extremely unique talent. Only the best centers get taken this high, whereas at other positions, teams will reach on players who do not have first round-caliber talent in order to fill a need.

#12 – Offensive tackle (75.6% primary starter rate)

Jets X-Factor Membership
Sorry, the content stops here if you’re not a Jet X Member, not currently logged-in, or viewing from an outside source such as Google AMP or an RSS Feed where logged-in status is not possible.

Get Started with the button below to access this Jets X-Factor article and the best damn New York Jets content in the world for free (after becoming a member, search for this article near the bottom of the Membership Confirmation page):
Jets X-Factor, Get Started
Log In with the button below if you’re already a member:
Jets X-Factor, Log In
Connect with the button below if you’d like to create a free account first:
Jets X-Factor, Connect

Want More Jet X?

Subscribe to become a Jet X Member to unlock every piece of Jets X-Factor content (film breakdowns, analytics, Sabo with the Jets, etc.), get audio versions of each article, receive the ability to comment within our community, and experience an ad-free platform experience.

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) device.

Sign up for Jet X Daily, our daily newsletter that's delivered to your inbox every morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed and/or find us on Apple News to stay updated with the New York Jets.

Follow us on X (Formerly Twitter) @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Related Articles

About the Author

More From Author