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Analyzing the first round 1996-2006 (56% of the draft picks were busts)

  • crzy
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1996-2006 1st round picks


QB: 27 players selected, 17 busts. 63% bust rate
RB: 33 players selected, 17 busts. 52% bust rate
WR: 46 players selected, 28 busts. 61% bust rate
TE: 12 players selected, 5 busts. 42% bust rate
OL: 49 players selected, 26 busts. 53% bust rate
DL: 71 players selected, 43 busts. 61% bust rate
LB: 40 players selected, 19 busts. 48% bust rate
CB: 51 players selected, 32 busts. 63% bust rate
S: 10 players selected, 5 busts. 50% bust rate


Total: 343 players selected, 193 busts. 56% bust rate


Quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs were fairly straight forward. Their success is clearly measured in statistics.

Any QB that had some level of real success in terms of winning and personal achievements, I didn't consider a bust. I didn't consider Michael Vick a bust, while some could argue that he was. I didn't consider players who were effective for awhile like Culpepper a bust. But there were plenty of obvious cases...Druckenmiller/Leaf/Couch/Akili/Carr/Harrington/Boller.

Running backs were even simpler because teams were quick to get rid of RB's that didn't perform well. The 2006 RB's were more difficult because Bush/Maroney still could turn things around. I did consider Reggie Bush a bust though relative to his massive hype and contract.

The offensive line was the hardest to evaluate. I had to focus a lot more on personal achievements. So I immediately ruled out all the lineman who had success for multiple years in terms of pro-bowls etc. But there were other lineman like Vernon Carey who aren't really talked about but are very good lineman. And then guys like Leonard Davis who have been in the league a long time but were busts with their original team (Davis only had success after switching to guard and going to Dallas). It was pretty subjective at this position. D-Line was similarly difficult.

Linebackers and defensive backs were much easier to assess, because they are glory positions on defense that are stat-oriented. It was pretty clear-cut at those positions which players were good and which were not. Keith Brooking/Andy Katzenmoyer....or Lito Sheppard/Tye Hill
Out of curiosity, who were the busts in 2006? so I can get what you consider a bust. Here is my break down of 2006:

Reggie Bush - Bust for being drafted #2.
Huff - Yes he isn't the starter, but he has 3 interceptions so far this year so he might be in for a breakout year. I can't rule him a bust quite yet.
Leinart - Tough call since he is starting behind a SB winner who threw for 4.5k yards last year. He can still emerge but I guess for now he is a bust since he is in his 3rd year and not starting
Tye Hill - Bust
Jason Allen - Bust
Bobby Carpenter - Bust
Maroney- Bust, he really hasn't contributed much, did nothing last year and it looks like he won't do much this year.
Jonathan Joseph - I wouldn't label him a bust, if he can stay healthy I think he is a good pickup. If he stays injury proned then he is a bust.
John McCargo - Bust
M. Lewis - Bust, even though he is a starter, his production is anemic
Kelly Jennings - Bust
Kiwanuka - Bust, despite some early production, he won't be seeing much of the field as long as Tuck/Umenyiora are healthy.

So for 2006 I got 10/32 are busts for 31%. And an important note is 4 of the busts were in the last 7 picks (the other 3 went to pro bowls).

So are you being more strict on who is a bust or are some years really really bad? Becuae 2006 doesn't seem to hold up to your numbers.
Sorry to double post, but I thought it would be easier to read rather then edit my first post.

I looked at the 1996 draft and I came up with 14 busts for a 46% rate.

But think about this, out of the 1st round 15 made the pro bowl (50% hit rate for a pro bowl player in the 1st round of 1996). Out of the next 224 players drafted only 19 players made the pro bowl. So outside the 1st round in 1996, you had an 8% chance for a pro bowl player.

Then in the 2000 draft, 14 players in the 1st round made the pro bowl. Out of the next 7 rounds only 14 players made the pro bowl. So 1st round pro bowl-caliber hit rate is 45%. Next 7 rounds hit rate is 6%

I checked 2 more draft years and the same thing pops out. About half of the pro-bowlers come in the first round, one quarter in rounds 2 and 3 and one quarter in 4-7.

I think your original numbers are very misleading.

Everything in the draft is a gamble, even 1st round picks. The 1st round pick is highly valued and highly paid because of the significantly higher chance the player will be a top player in the league.

Edit: LOL, I just went over all of the Niners picks during that span. From 2001-2004 we drafted only 1 pro bowler: Andy Lee.

Niners first round picks from 1996-2005 are abysmal. Only JP worked out.
[ Edited by SunDevilNiner79 on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM ]
Can u list your busts?
  • BobS
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Are you considering anyone a first round bust that would have fallen out of the first round if we knew what we knew today? With what Reggie Bush has done to date he has equated out to performing at a level expected of a 3rd round pick, since he was drafted in the 1st round does that make him a bust? I only put the bust label on those that don't make a significant contribution. Bush fell short of expectations, but he still gets a good chunk of his teams total yardage, so I personally would not label him a bust. To me the bust label is saved for those quickly out of football or guys who end up being special teams players only, or rarely see the field.
[ Edited by BobS on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM ]
where did u put alex smith?
  • DVDA
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Originally posted by miked1978:
Can u list your busts?
  • crzy
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Quarterbacks: 17 busts, 27 total

Busts

Jim Druckenmiller
Ryan Leaf
Tim Couch
Akili Smith
Cade McNown
Michael Vick
David Carr
Joey Harrington
Patrick Ramsey
Byron Leftwich
Kyle Boller
Rex Grossman
JP Losman
Alex Smith
Jason Campbell
Vince Young
Matt Leinart

Not busts
Peyton Manning
Donovan McNabb
Daunte Culpepper
Chad Pennington
Carson Palmer
Eli Manning
Phillip Rivers
Ben Roethlisberger
Aaron Rodgers
Jay Cutler


63% bust rate


I'll post the rest soon.
[ Edited by crzy on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:56 PM ]
Originally posted by crzy:
Quarterbacks: 17 busts, 27 total

Busts

Jim Druckenmiller
Ryan Leaf
Tim Couch
Akili Smith
Cade McNown
Michael Vick
David Carr
Joey Harrington
Patrick Ramsey
Byron Leftwich
Kyle Boller
Rex Grossman
JP Losman
Alex Smith
Jason Campbell
Vince Young
Matt Leinart

Not busts
Peyton Manning
Donovan McNabb
Daunte Culpepper
Chad Pennington
Carson Palmer
Eli Manning
Phillip Rivers
Ben Roethlisberger
Aaron Rodgers
Jay Cutler


63% bust rate


I'll post the rest soon.
VY, j. campbell, and leinart i feel are just too early in their careers... and i think Campbell would be good on a good team with some better coaching/stability. VY is learning under collins and leinart under Warner. i'd give until they begin to start and play (or i guess if they don't by 2011) and then label them. the NFL draft is not the NBA draft, not all 1st rounders are an immediate impact on the team... especially QBs and linemen (there are exceptions, of course)
  • Ether
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Only an absolute hater would call Michael Vick a bust. He's not the greatest Quarterback since Joe Montana, but what he did with his legs and the mismatches he created was incredible. He ranks 3rd in QB rushing yards, and has several rushing records pertaining to the QB position, and has done it in only 6 years. How do you break a meaningful record and still be a bust?
[ Edited by Ether on Sep 23, 2009 at 3:27 AM ]
Originally posted by crzy:
Quarterbacks: 17 busts, 27 total

Busts

Jim Druckenmiller
Ryan Leaf
Tim Couch
Akili Smith
Cade McNown
Michael Vick
David Carr
Joey Harrington
Patrick Ramsey
Byron Leftwich
Kyle Boller
Rex Grossman
JP Losman
Alex Smith
Jason Campbell
Vince Young
Matt Leinart

Not busts
Peyton Manning
Donovan McNabb
Daunte Culpepper
Chad Pennington
Carson Palmer
Eli Manning
Phillip Rivers
Ben Roethlisberger
Aaron Rodgers
Jay Cutler


63% bust rate


I'll post the rest soon.

I don't think people need to get to the Pro Bowl to be considered not-busts. Jason Campbell is doing ok for himself in Wash, Byron Leftwich has done nothing but start wherever he is (maybe close to bust). Lienart just has one of the best QB's above him. Its not like these guys came in and just stunk it up like Alex Smith did a lot
  • crzy
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Originally posted by Ether:
Only an absolute hater would call Michael Vick a bust. He's not the greatest Quarterback since Joe Montana, but what he did with his legs and the mismatches he created was incredible. He ranks 3rd in QB rushing yards, and has several rushing records pertaining to the QB position, and has done it in only 6 years. How do you break a meaningful record and still be a bust?

Michael Vick was the most overrated quarterback in the league for several years.


Career passer rating of 75.7.
Career completion percentage of 53.8%.
71 touchdowns. 79 turnovers (INT+fumbles).
$100 million contract.
18 months in prison for dogfighting
The #1 overall pick in 2001, traded for Ladainian Tomlinson
Only won one meaningful game


I'm sorry, but how is Michael Vick NOT a bust?
  • crzy
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Originally posted by confusedrhino:
I don't think people need to get to the Pro Bowl to be considered not-busts. Jason Campbell is doing ok for himself in Wash, Byron Leftwich has done nothing but start wherever he is (maybe close to bust). Lienart just has one of the best QB's above him. Its not like these guys came in and just stunk it up like Alex Smith did a lot

I don't equate the Pro-Bowl with success either. The Pro-Bowl is an over-glorified accomplishment that is based a lot on popularity. Which is why some terrible players like Vince Young make the Pro Bowl.

Jason Campbell's time in Washington is coming to an end soon. He is a mediocre quarterback. He doesn't make bad decisions, but he doesn't have good field vision either. Byron Leftwich started in Jacksonville for a few years, but that doesn't make him a good quarterback.
  • Ether
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Originally posted by crzy:
Originally posted by Ether:
Only an absolute hater would call Michael Vick a bust. He's not the greatest Quarterback since Joe Montana, but what he did with his legs and the mismatches he created was incredible. He ranks 3rd in QB rushing yards, and has several rushing records pertaining to the QB position, and has done it in only 6 years. How do you break a meaningful record and still be a bust?

Michael Vick was the most overrated quarterback in the league for several years.


Career passer rating of 75.7.
Career completion percentage of 53.8%.
71 touchdowns. 79 turnovers (INT+fumbles).
$100 million contract.
18 months in prison for dogfighting
The #1 overall pick in 2001, traded for Ladainian Tomlinson
Only won one meaningful game


I'm sorry, but how is Michael Vick NOT a bust?

I understand that as a Passer, he is not great. But he was not expected to be an efficient passer, everyone knew he had a big arm but not great accuracy. He did his job as a Quarterback considering his surroundings. BTW why did you decide to compare 71 Passing Touchdowns to 79 total turnovers? If you are willing to take fumbles into account, why not take into account his 21 rushing touchdowns?

Also, to add onto his Passing numbers, he has almost 4000 rush yards, as a Quarterback.

In 6 years, Michael Vick had 11,500 Yards Passing. 71 Touchdowns, 52 INT. 53.8%. 3800 yards Rushing (including a 1000 yard rushing season, and 1 970 yard season), 21 Touchdowns. 19 fumbles.

In ~2 years, Young had 5000 Yards passing, 22 touchdowns, 32 INT, 57.3%. 974 Yards Rushing, 10 Touchdowns, 24 Fumbles.

I consider Vince Young a bust because he couldn't perform as a Passer and a Runner at the same time. Michael Vick, while not incredibly efficient, at least had a positive TD/INT ratio, and impacted the game big time as a Runner. Not to mention that he packed seats and was #1 in Jersey sales for his entire career. IMHO, while he didn't "revolutionize" the QB position as he was supposed to, he added a different dimension that no one else has been able to replicate since he's been gone.
First of all thank you for the research. Many of us aren't willing to go though that.

To your benefit, I can see that you are basing most of your analysis on statistics which is the way it should be. Most of the time, good stats lead to better numbers in the win column.

A lot of these replys are based on opinions or people who had one good year surrounded by years of mediocrity.

I think a bust is anyone who was a first round pick that doesn't end up starting or earning a starting spot by their 3rd year. Since most 1st rounders are supposed to be the better players, this would make sense.

Fixes:

Campbell and Vick. Campbell threw for 3,000 yds and 16 tds...not pro bowl numbers, but doing that again will definately prove he's not a bust...he's just not donovan mcnabb, so what.

Vick, 1,000 yds in a season? A pro bowl, and a playoff win, and a winning record? I would have to say that one is probably wrong too, he was definately a force and still will be when he suits up for philly or whoever the next few years.

For us, Reggie Mcgrew was a bust, R.W. mcquarters was a bust...he played a lot but didn't do anything...

Ahmed plummer had one good season, and only played 5 years or w/e... so he's a bust.

Andre Carter? Bust. He's never come closed to that 12 sack season and he's not a force at all.

Rashaun woods....lets not go there.

Drunkenmiller, yeah...

Kwame harris? again....

I think your analysis is pretty telling and a good read. It definately needs to be looked into and have a detailed and articulate article made out of it before the draft.