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Weighted draft grade formula

Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
If you're going to grade each pick, I like that you're giving unequal weighting....seems to make the most sense. I also think that since trading picks for players adds value to the team (and perhaps even more so especially when you're trading late round picks for those veterans), those should be factored in as well. You're essentially getting value for picks that generally have little-to-none, especially for a roster as loaded as ours.

Specifically, we should factor in trading for Colt McCoy (likely #2 QB) with the pick we got in exchange for Taylor Mays, and for picking up Boldin (likely #2 WR) with a late round 6th.

Here's the issue. Lets take Harvin. If you consider getting a player like Harvin at #26 overall (I believe that's where Seattle picked), he'd be an A+. But he's older, and has a MASSIVE salary. You can't compare him to a player making $1.5MM/yr when he'll be making close to 6 times as much. Not in a salary cap league. To lesser extent this applies to all veteran acquisitions. With Boldin, the issue is that he'll be here for 1 year. So the consideration is the probability that a 6th round pick pans out is low, but if he does pan out (it happens), even in a low impact role, he could be around for years. How do you value Boldin for 1 year at $6MM vs. Kyle Williams for 5 years at <$1MM? KW isn't the offensive weapon that Boldin is but he returns punts (when he doesn't drop them) and has potential to develop into a quality #4/5 and slot player. It gets tricky, but you do have a very valid point. Its an important future iteration.

Time is the key factor, which is why grading drafts right after they've happened is kinda goofy at best.

But in 2016 for example, we'll be able to place more objective values on the picks we made and the veterans we traded picks for based on actual results (individual and team). Don't get me wrong, placing grades on current/recent draft classes is fun, but it's also incredibly subjective.
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Posted in the 2010 regrade thread...


A more accurate grading system would account for quality and quantity. How about this:

'A' Player - A good to great player - 3 points
'B' Player - An average to good player - 2 points
'C' Player - A poor to average player - 1 point
'D' & 'F' - N/A

Now take the average amount of picks per team. 254 picks / 32 teams = 7.9 (we'll round up to 8) Now it's time to find an average score of these 8 picks. This theoretically would change from draft to draft and would take some time to figure out, but we can just guess for ease of use...

Pick 1 - 3
Pick 2 - 2
Pick 3 - 2
Pick 4 - 1
Pick 5 - 1
Pick 6 - 1
Pick 7 - 0
Pick 8 - 0

This seems like an average to solid draft to me; 1 high caliber player, 2 solid starters, and 3 backup types. So if this is the average to solid (and since I'm not giving point to D players I'll consider this 80% or a B-), let's give it a middle of the road "B-" grade with 10 points scored.

Now is the tricky part, what are our threshold between letter grades? Again, this is arbitrary right now and would take some statistical work to figure out if you wanted to get precise, but we can guestimate fairly well. Let's look at jreffs ratings from our draft from 2010 (which I think is graded fairly well)...

1. Anthony Davis-A (3)
1. Mike Iupati-A (3)
2. Taylor Mays-F(0)
3. Navorro Bowman-A (3)
6. Anthony Dixon-C+ (1)
6. Nate Byham-C- (1)
6. Kyle William-B (2)
7. Phillip Adam-C- (1)

That gives us a total of 14 points (4 over our average to solid of 10 points). So where does this leave us? Without finding out more examples of drafts we must consider what is widely accepted as a solid A draft and was is widely considered an F draft? I think this is pretty well defined as an A draft by most people on this board. Ninerjohn is definitely not a homer as well as many other posters in this thread give it an A. I would do the grading scale like this...

6 and below - D/F
7 - C-
8 - C
9 - C +
10 - B -
11 - B
12 - B+
13 - A-
14 - A
15 and Above - A+

This would be an A draft, which seems fair to me. I like this system of grading because it takes the complication out of other peoples' grading systems. It accounts for quality and quantity and does not add or take away points based on value of where someone was drafted. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is cumulative impact. If one were to feel compelled we could also chart what the potential average score should have been based on picks. So a team that has two first round picks, should score six points in that round. If we look at the 2010 draft as a potential grade (I'll give sixth round picks half points because it's kind of no-mans land)...

Round 1: 3
Round 1: 3
Round 2: 2
Round 3: 1
Round 6: .5
Round 6: .5
Round 6: .5
Round 7: 0

So our 2010 draft had the average potential based on our points of selection of a 10.5 (B- to B) draft.

I did read that this morning. Interesting analysis. The difference is that I judge each pick on how good they are for that specific pick, and not how good of a player they are. For example, Kyle Williams isn't a great player, but he's a nice piece, and thus a very good 6th round pick. So in my system he might get full credit (which in your system maps to 3 pts), but at a pick that would not hold as much weight as an earlier pick.

Time is the key factor, which is why grading drafts right after they've happened is kinda goofy at best.

But in 2016 for example, we'll be able to place more objective values on the picks we made and the veterans we traded picks for based on actual results (individual and team). Don't get me wrong, placing grades on current/recent draft classes is fun, but it's also incredibly subjective.

of course. I completely agree. I'm more interested in the "weights" structure and how I value picks, trade ups/downs, and acquisition/spending of future picks. It would be more valuable to apply this to a past draft. For 2013 its just fun and games. But I think the grading structure is still valid... even if the grades aren't :)
Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by jreff22:
look at what I just posted here...
http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/nfl-draft/173002-grade-49ers-2010-draft-years-later/page8/

Interesting. But if I understood correctly, a team is going to be heavily penalized for having a bunch of later round picks. Here is what I mean:

If we have 5 picks in the top 5 rounds, and nail all of them, we would get an excellent score. Now to that add 3 picks in the 7th, and all of them turn out to be busts (no big deal, the vast majority of 7th rounders don't pan out), the score would drop significantly. This is why I'm trying to give unequal weights to each of the 254 picks
I tend to give those kids a C- avg...Mays on the other had got an F because the pick and value in the 2nd was so f**king horrible

Mays was awful. But so many other hits in that class. If you re-shuffle for example, and think of Mays as a later pick and Anthony Davis as a 2nd rounder with Iupati and Bowman as 1st round picks. May KW as the 3rd rounder, you would have a very very strong draft. Also, Byhnum and Adams are great picks in their spots and have gone on to have good careers with other teams. Mays knocks that draft down, but everyone else was very very good.
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by jreff22:
look at what I just posted here...
http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/nfl-draft/173002-grade-49ers-2010-draft-years-later/page8/

Interesting. But if I understood correctly, a team is going to be heavily penalized for having a bunch of later round picks. Here is what I mean:

If we have 5 picks in the top 5 rounds, and nail all of them, we would get an excellent score. Now to that add 3 picks in the 7th, and all of them turn out to be busts (no big deal, the vast majority of 7th rounders don't pan out), the score would drop significantly. This is why I'm trying to give unequal weights to each of the 254 picks
I tend to give those kids a C- avg...Mays on the other had got an F because the pick and value in the 2nd was so f**king horrible

Mays was awful. But so many other hits in that class. If you re-shuffle for example, and think of Mays as a later pick and Anthony Davis as a 2nd rounder with Iupati and Bowman as 1st round picks. May KW as the 3rd rounder, you would have a very very strong draft. Also, Byhnum and Adams are great picks in their spots and have gone on to have good careers with other teams. Mays knocks that draft down, but everyone else was very very good.
I dont like the shuffling idea because you aren't being honest on the player and when he was taken. I would say all picks from round 1-2 who are a waste can get an F, 3-4 give a D, 5-7 give a C-. While all 3 could be failures the hit we take from burning a 2nd is much higher than losing a 7th for instance. And its a lot easier to find a pro bowl talent in the top 50 than the bottom 180 for instance. Losing on a 7th shouldn't be that crazy of an idea, losing on a 2nd is really bad.
Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by jreff22:
look at what I just posted here...
http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/nfl-draft/173002-grade-49ers-2010-draft-years-later/page8/

Interesting. But if I understood correctly, a team is going to be heavily penalized for having a bunch of later round picks. Here is what I mean:

If we have 5 picks in the top 5 rounds, and nail all of them, we would get an excellent score. Now to that add 3 picks in the 7th, and all of them turn out to be busts (no big deal, the vast majority of 7th rounders don't pan out), the score would drop significantly. This is why I'm trying to give unequal weights to each of the 254 picks
I tend to give those kids a C- avg...Mays on the other had got an F because the pick and value in the 2nd was so f**king horrible

Mays was awful. But so many other hits in that class. If you re-shuffle for example, and think of Mays as a later pick and Anthony Davis as a 2nd rounder with Iupati and Bowman as 1st round picks. May KW as the 3rd rounder, you would have a very very strong draft. Also, Byhnum and Adams are great picks in their spots and have gone on to have good careers with other teams. Mays knocks that draft down, but everyone else was very very good.
I dont like the shuffling idea because you aren't being honest on the player and when he was taken. I would say all picks from round 1-2 who are a waste can get an F, 3-4 give a D, 5-7 give a C-. While all 3 could be failures the hit we take from burning a 2nd is much higher than losing a 7th for instance. And its a lot easier to find a pro bowl talent in the top 50 than the bottom 180 for instance. Losing on a 7th shouldn't be that crazy of an idea, losing on a 2nd is really bad.

Right, but if you get an excellent player in the later part of the draft, shouldn't that even out a bad early pick. For example. A few years back, Cincy picked up Jermaine Gresham with the 21st overall pick. He has not played like a 1st rounder, and today I would give that pick a C. He's not a bad player, but isn't a 1st rounder. Had they gotten him in the 4th, I would give that pick an A (maybe A+). In the 4th, the team picked up Geno Atkins. He's an A+ in the 4th. An A+ at 21 overall, and would be a solid A or even A+ as the fist overall pick. Without shuffling I would not properly reward the team for getting such a steal. I would fully penalize them for falling short of expectations in the 1st, and I would give them full credit for meeting expectations in the 4th...but would not properly reward them for exceeding the expectations in the 4th. So I look at all the picks used, and all the players taken, rather than looking at each in isolation.
[ Edited by RollinWith21n52 on Apr 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM ]
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,068
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'll try to respond to all your points

"By definition undrafted free agents are not part of the draft. Being able to swap them for a draft pick makes no sense. If you are evaluating the whole off-season, you could include all players added the team regardless of how they were acquired."

  • Just to be clear, I'm not talking about Free Agent acquisitions. Just the undrafted free agents that have become a part of the draft process. These were players that would have been next in line to be selected, and maybe were even higher on a team's board but were not taken because the team thought they could still get them as a priority free agent. The impact this has on the draft grade is minimial. Mostly, you could swap out a 7th round pick or so. It has very very little impact on the actual grade.


"You are proposing moving picks around. You put Carradine in the first and drop Reid into the second with the expressed extent of maximizing his value.
If picks can be moved at will, shouldn't it be allowable to move a Taylor Mays pick into the 7th round to minimized the negative impact of a bust."

  • Sometimes teams reach for a player, then get really good value for another player in another round. This is a way to balance that out. For example, if we were to re-grade NE's draft when they picked up Tom Brady in the 6th, and used their earliest pick for Adrian Klemm, they would receive a bad grade w/o swaps, because while Brady would get a perfect score for his draft position, it wouldn't have a ton of impact. A swap would be fair.
  • In case of your example with Taylor Mays, sure, you could move Mays into the 7th round, but then you'd have to move the 7th rounder into the 2nd round, and I highly doubt, in the few days after the draft, you would evaluate Philip Adams higher as a 2nd round pick. But in a re-grade, you could say, "ok, Mays was a bust in the 2nd, but Bowman was a steal in the 3rd, and Kyle WIlliams is pretty good value in the 6th. In retrospect, if the draft went 1a) Bowman 1b) Iupati 2) Davis 3) Williams 4) Dixon 5) Adams 6) Byhnum 7) Mays then that draft would receive much better grades. You should be allowed to do that because you found value in the later rounds.


"As I understand it, you are using the Harvard Chart as a base for establishing positional value.
I do not any particular value gained by using it, but that is your option. Not everyone who grades a draft will use, or be willing to use, the Harvard Chart."

  • I use this because for weighted picks, a base weight in necessary. I'm not sure of a better system, but if there is one, I could use that instead. The base doesn't change the methodology, but since it is a well thought out base weight, it makes more sense for me to use it, rather then try to recreate that part of the analysis.

Grading a draft a few days after the draft is in and of itself problematic. Draft rankings, big boards, and mock drafts are interesting, but they are no more than speculative projections. These projections are by no means standardized and as far as I can tell are not true reflections of a draft board used by the teams doing the drafting. Using them frequently results in draft grades that have bear no resemblance to reality. Three day or three weeks after the draft, we have no empirical evidence on which a draft grade can be based. In three years, these speculative projections, which are so critical in our immediate draft grades, will have little weight in the evaluation of a team's draft grade.

I enjoy reading and discussing these immediate draft grades; the discussions are entertaining and quite often informative and thought provoking. Your system for evaluating the draft has provoked me to think.

Undrafted free agents are part of the draft process, but the grade is for the draft itself, not the whole process. They do not use one of the teams allotted draft spots. In contrast, the trades for players quite often use these allotted draft spots. Both, the Boldin and Harvin trade did use draft spots. It seems more appropriate to include any transaction that spends a draft pick in an evaluation of the draft. Perhaps, a player picked in the supplemental draft should be used in setting the grade. Maybe, an evaluation of the New Orleans' draft should 0 points for their lost second round draft pick.

In summary, it makes more sense to include all a team's picks, no matter how they were spent than to include undrafted free agents whose selection did not cost a team a draft pick.

Moving a Taylor Mays pick is still in effect changing the draft. He was picked in the 2nd round at a certain place; a place that in your system has a set value.
You purposely use the Harvard Chart to set that value in an effort to establish some objective basis for evaluating each pick. As I understand it, in your system, I could swap Mays out for the best undrafted free agent. Not only would that swap have a substantial impact on the draft grade, but it would also decimate the objectivity that the Harvard Chart brings to your evaluative system.

I think that draft evaluations have to respect the integrity of the draft itself. If a 2nd round bust such as Taylor Mays lowers the draft grade obtained, so be it.

In contrast, I do agree that the draft evaluation has to be able to award teams for hitting on a pick, such as Bowman or a Boldin, who was a late draft pick.
I have no clue on how to make this type of adjustment.


Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'll try to respond to all your points

"By definition undrafted free agents are not part of the draft. Being able to swap them for a draft pick makes no sense. If you are evaluating the whole off-season, you could include all players added the team regardless of how they were acquired."

  • Just to be clear, I'm not talking about Free Agent acquisitions. Just the undrafted free agents that have become a part of the draft process. These were players that would have been next in line to be selected, and maybe were even higher on a team's board but were not taken because the team thought they could still get them as a priority free agent. The impact this has on the draft grade is minimial. Mostly, you could swap out a 7th round pick or so. It has very very little impact on the actual grade.


"You are proposing moving picks around. You put Carradine in the first and drop Reid into the second with the expressed extent of maximizing his value.
If picks can be moved at will, shouldn't it be allowable to move a Taylor Mays pick into the 7th round to minimized the negative impact of a bust."

  • Sometimes teams reach for a player, then get really good value for another player in another round. This is a way to balance that out. For example, if we were to re-grade NE's draft when they picked up Tom Brady in the 6th, and used their earliest pick for Adrian Klemm, they would receive a bad grade w/o swaps, because while Brady would get a perfect score for his draft position, it wouldn't have a ton of impact. A swap would be fair.
  • In case of your example with Taylor Mays, sure, you could move Mays into the 7th round, but then you'd have to move the 7th rounder into the 2nd round, and I highly doubt, in the few days after the draft, you would evaluate Philip Adams higher as a 2nd round pick. But in a re-grade, you could say, "ok, Mays was a bust in the 2nd, but Bowman was a steal in the 3rd, and Kyle WIlliams is pretty good value in the 6th. In retrospect, if the draft went 1a) Bowman 1b) Iupati 2) Davis 3) Williams 4) Dixon 5) Adams 6) Byhnum 7) Mays then that draft would receive much better grades. You should be allowed to do that because you found value in the later rounds.


"As I understand it, you are using the Harvard Chart as a base for establishing positional value.
I do not any particular value gained by using it, but that is your option. Not everyone who grades a draft will use, or be willing to use, the Harvard Chart."

  • I use this because for weighted picks, a base weight in necessary. I'm not sure of a better system, but if there is one, I could use that instead. The base doesn't change the methodology, but since it is a well thought out base weight, it makes more sense for me to use it, rather then try to recreate that part of the analysis.

Grading a draft a few days after the draft is in and of itself problematic. Draft rankings, big boards, and mock drafts are interesting, but they are no more than speculative projections. These projections are by no means standardized and as far as I can tell are not true reflections of a draft board used by the teams doing the drafting. Using them frequently results in draft grades that have bear no resemblance to reality. Three day or three weeks after the draft, we have no empirical evidence on which a draft grade can be based. In three years, these speculative projections, which are so critical in our immediate draft grades, will have little weight in the evaluation of a team's draft grade.

I enjoy reading and discussing these immediate draft grades; the discussions are entertaining and quite often informative and thought provoking. Your system for evaluating the draft has provoked me to think.

Undrafted free agents are part of the draft process, but the grade is for the draft itself, not the whole process. They do not use one of the teams allotted draft spots. In contrast, the trades for players quite often use these allotted draft spots. Both, the Boldin and Harvin trade did use draft spots. It seems more appropriate to include any transaction that spends a draft pick in an evaluation of the draft. Perhaps, a player picked in the supplemental draft should be used in setting the grade. Maybe, an evaluation of the New Orleans' draft should 0 points for their lost second round draft pick.

In summary, it makes more sense to include all a team's picks, no matter how they were spent than to include undrafted free agents whose selection did not cost a team a draft pick.

Moving a Taylor Mays pick is still in effect changing the draft. He was picked in the 2nd round at a certain place; a place that in your system has a set value.
You purposely use the Harvard Chart to set that value in an effort to establish some objective basis for evaluating each pick. As I understand it, in your system, I could swap Mays out for the best undrafted free agent. Not only would that swap have a substantial impact on the draft grade, but it would also decimate the objectivity that the Harvard Chart brings to your evaluative system.

I think that draft evaluations have to respect the integrity of the draft itself. If a 2nd round bust such as Taylor Mays lowers the draft grade obtained, so be it.

In contrast, I do agree that the draft evaluation has to be able to award teams for hitting on a pick, such as Bowman or a Boldin, who was a late draft pick.
I have no clue on how to make this type of adjustment.

I completely agree with the uselessness of grading a draft 2 days later. It's all just for fun and to continue with the excitement of the draft process. No one is getting promoted or fired because of these grades, so why not put them out there? The structure and system for weighing the grades, however, is still valid, even if the grades themselves are not. It could be used for a historic draft.

For the Mays pick. Sure, you could swap him out for the best undrafted free agent we picked up. But we didn't pick up an undrafted free agent worthy of a 2nd round pick. So if you did the swap you would still most likely end up with a 0 int hat position. If, however, you drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round, getting 100% for that pick, and getting a bad grade for your 1st round pick and having it average to a very bad grade doesn't make sense. You drafted Tom Brady, your draft is good. End of story.

The adjustment you're talking about can be accomplished with the swapping system. Remember, it only benefits you to swap if you made an excellent pick later in the draft that exceeds their draft position by enough to still get a high score in a high round. The example I like is Geno Atkins and Gresham. Gresham was drafted 21st overall by Cincy a few years back. He hasn't lived up to that and is a C grade. Atkins would be an A+ at any position in the draft. They got him in the 4th round! Gresham in the 4th is also an A. Not a great player, but tremendous value in the 4th. So if using the 21st overall pick, and a 4th round pick for Atkins and Gresham is great (which in my opinion it is), why then does the order matter? Same picks, same players? Its like working on a salary system. Some days you work 5 hours, some days you work 11. At the end of the week you put in 40 hours. Who cares that you didn't stay long enough on Monday?
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'll try to respond to all your points

"By definition undrafted free agents are not part of the draft. Being able to swap them for a draft pick makes no sense. If you are evaluating the whole off-season, you could include all players added the team regardless of how they were acquired."

  • Just to be clear, I'm not talking about Free Agent acquisitions. Just the undrafted free agents that have become a part of the draft process. These were players that would have been next in line to be selected, and maybe were even higher on a team's board but were not taken because the team thought they could still get them as a priority free agent. The impact this has on the draft grade is minimial. Mostly, you could swap out a 7th round pick or so. It has very very little impact on the actual grade.


"You are proposing moving picks around. You put Carradine in the first and drop Reid into the second with the expressed extent of maximizing his value.
If picks can be moved at will, shouldn't it be allowable to move a Taylor Mays pick into the 7th round to minimized the negative impact of a bust."

  • Sometimes teams reach for a player, then get really good value for another player in another round. This is a way to balance that out. For example, if we were to re-grade NE's draft when they picked up Tom Brady in the 6th, and used their earliest pick for Adrian Klemm, they would receive a bad grade w/o swaps, because while Brady would get a perfect score for his draft position, it wouldn't have a ton of impact. A swap would be fair.
  • In case of your example with Taylor Mays, sure, you could move Mays into the 7th round, but then you'd have to move the 7th rounder into the 2nd round, and I highly doubt, in the few days after the draft, you would evaluate Philip Adams higher as a 2nd round pick. But in a re-grade, you could say, "ok, Mays was a bust in the 2nd, but Bowman was a steal in the 3rd, and Kyle WIlliams is pretty good value in the 6th. In retrospect, if the draft went 1a) Bowman 1b) Iupati 2) Davis 3) Williams 4) Dixon 5) Adams 6) Byhnum 7) Mays then that draft would receive much better grades. You should be allowed to do that because you found value in the later rounds.


"As I understand it, you are using the Harvard Chart as a base for establishing positional value.
I do not any particular value gained by using it, but that is your option. Not everyone who grades a draft will use, or be willing to use, the Harvard Chart."

  • I use this because for weighted picks, a base weight in necessary. I'm not sure of a better system, but if there is one, I could use that instead. The base doesn't change the methodology, but since it is a well thought out base weight, it makes more sense for me to use it, rather then try to recreate that part of the analysis.

Grading a draft a few days after the draft is in and of itself problematic. Draft rankings, big boards, and mock drafts are interesting, but they are no more than speculative projections. These projections are by no means standardized and as far as I can tell are not true reflections of a draft board used by the teams doing the drafting. Using them frequently results in draft grades that have bear no resemblance to reality. Three day or three weeks after the draft, we have no empirical evidence on which a draft grade can be based. In three years, these speculative projections, which are so critical in our immediate draft grades, will have little weight in the evaluation of a team's draft grade.

I enjoy reading and discussing these immediate draft grades; the discussions are entertaining and quite often informative and thought provoking. Your system for evaluating the draft has provoked me to think.

Undrafted free agents are part of the draft process, but the grade is for the draft itself, not the whole process. They do not use one of the teams allotted draft spots. In contrast, the trades for players quite often use these allotted draft spots. Both, the Boldin and Harvin trade did use draft spots. It seems more appropriate to include any transaction that spends a draft pick in an evaluation of the draft. Perhaps, a player picked in the supplemental draft should be used in setting the grade. Maybe, an evaluation of the New Orleans' draft should 0 points for their lost second round draft pick.

In summary, it makes more sense to include all a team's picks, no matter how they were spent than to include undrafted free agents whose selection did not cost a team a draft pick.

Moving a Taylor Mays pick is still in effect changing the draft. He was picked in the 2nd round at a certain place; a place that in your system has a set value.
You purposely use the Harvard Chart to set that value in an effort to establish some objective basis for evaluating each pick. As I understand it, in your system, I could swap Mays out for the best undrafted free agent. Not only would that swap have a substantial impact on the draft grade, but it would also decimate the objectivity that the Harvard Chart brings to your evaluative system.

I think that draft evaluations have to respect the integrity of the draft itself. If a 2nd round bust such as Taylor Mays lowers the draft grade obtained, so be it.

In contrast, I do agree that the draft evaluation has to be able to award teams for hitting on a pick, such as Bowman or a Boldin, who was a late draft pick.
I have no clue on how to make this type of adjustment.

We're playing GM here so you almost have to develop an operation definition (OD) of what a successful draft or draft-related move is first; not only for the draft class but also for players acquired for draft picks.

McCoy was drafted when? He's a great "value" for not only a 7th rounder but b/c he could end up providing key depth as the #2 QB. Boldin is an incredible pick for us for a 6th rounder (one of the MVP's of the offseason). We acquired a top 2nd round pick for Alex plus potentially a 3rd next year but he's a starting QB, so is that a wash? Harvin was a 1st rounder traded for a 1st rounder...wash?

As to the draft, the OD also needs to account for a weight for team needs. This is a championship team and as a result, our draft and draft-related moves should be weighed differently from Jacksonville.

Further, if we acquire a 3rd via a trade, that needs to have a weighted value. If we move up we need to factor where we moved up to and what we actually gave up. Another factor is the total number of picks a team has. We started with 15 and only had 2 or 3 real needs so trading up...anywhere...anytime...for any amount has to be weighed differently compared to the risk of a rebuilding team who just gave up a an equal amount to get their player...they need quality AND quantity. We only needed a couple quality picks.

What would be fun is designing a weighted system based on true team needs and then using ONE big board such as MadDog's to compare how the GM's for the NFC West did.

You'd have to create your OD's first for the aforementioned reasons but it could be done numerically.

So what would be considered successful for a team? How would you first define that?
[ Edited by NCommand on Apr 30, 2013 at 3:58 PM ]
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,068
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I completely agree with the uselessness of grading a draft 2 days later. It's all just for fun and to continue with the excitement of the draft process. No one is getting promoted or fired because of these grades, so why not put them out there? The structure and system for weighing the grades, however, is still valid, even if the grades themselves are not. It could be used for a historic draft.

For the Mays pick. Sure, you could swap him out for the best undrafted free agent we picked up. But we didn't pick up an undrafted free agent worthy of a 2nd round pick. So if you did the swap you would still most likely end up with a 0 int hat position. If, however, you drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round, getting 100% for that pick, and getting a bad grade for your 1st round pick and having it average to a very bad grade doesn't make sense. You drafted Tom Brady, your draft is good. End of story.

The adjustment you're talking about can be accomplished with the swapping system. Remember, it only benefits you to swap if you made an excellent pick later in the draft that exceeds their draft position by enough to still get a high score in a high round. The example I like is Geno Atkins and Gresham. Gresham was drafted 21st overall by Cincy a few years back. He hasn't lived up to that and is a C grade. Atkins would be an A+ at any position in the draft. They got him in the 4th round! Gresham in the 4th is also an A. Not a great player, but tremendous value in the 4th. So if using the 21st overall pick, and a 4th round pick for Atkins and Gresham is great (which in my opinion it is), why then does the order matter? Same picks, same players? Its like working on a salary system. Some days you work 5 hours, some days you work 11. At the end of the week you put in 40 hours. Who cares that you didn't stay long enough on Monday?

The swapping system makes more sense than including undrafted free agents.
The difference between working for a wage and working for a salary is a good analogy.

The Brady example you give is not responsive to my questions about the inclusion of undrafted free agents in an evaluation of the draft.
Brady was drafted, and with your swapping system, we would clearly swap him with a higher draft pick.
The would give us a more accurate evaluation of the draft. And I have conceded that that swapping drafted picks positions in the draft makes sense.

But, I still do not agree with the inclusion of undrafted free agents.

You offered a contingent response, but it did not speak to my concerns about UDFAs. .

Three days after the draft we do not know if we signed any free agents worth a second round pick. In fact, we can not know that until they play.
The fact that we are are unlikely at this time to swap in a undrafted free agent for a second round pick is contingent on our present lack of knowledge.

Down the line, in a year of two, the circumstances will be different; we will have more information.
At that point, it might be clear that we signed a free worth more than our second round pick.
In your system, we would logically swap out our draft bust and insert the undrafted free agent.

Your inclusion of undrafted free agents seems inconsistent. I raised different points but you did not speak to them.

They were not part of the draft. They were not drafted. Why include players in a draft evaluation that were not drafted.
The evaluation is of the draft and not the draft process. They may have been part of the draft process, but they clearly are not in the draft.

Trades for players can use draft picks. If we were to include undrafted players, shouldn't players that we used draft picks to obtain be included in our draft evaluation.

Are players taken in the supplemental draft included? They cost a draft pick.

Are draft picks fortified because of rule violations included in the evaluation. These violations cost a draft pick.
The evaluation of the Saints' draft would clearly be impacted.
[ Edited by buck on Apr 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'll try to respond to all your points

"By definition undrafted free agents are not part of the draft. Being able to swap them for a draft pick makes no sense. If you are evaluating the whole off-season, you could include all players added the team regardless of how they were acquired."

  • Just to be clear, I'm not talking about Free Agent acquisitions. Just the undrafted free agents that have become a part of the draft process. These were players that would have been next in line to be selected, and maybe were even higher on a team's board but were not taken because the team thought they could still get them as a priority free agent. The impact this has on the draft grade is minimial. Mostly, you could swap out a 7th round pick or so. It has very very little impact on the actual grade.


"You are proposing moving picks around. You put Carradine in the first and drop Reid into the second with the expressed extent of maximizing his value.
If picks can be moved at will, shouldn't it be allowable to move a Taylor Mays pick into the 7th round to minimized the negative impact of a bust."

  • Sometimes teams reach for a player, then get really good value for another player in another round. This is a way to balance that out. For example, if we were to re-grade NE's draft when they picked up Tom Brady in the 6th, and used their earliest pick for Adrian Klemm, they would receive a bad grade w/o swaps, because while Brady would get a perfect score for his draft position, it wouldn't have a ton of impact. A swap would be fair.
  • In case of your example with Taylor Mays, sure, you could move Mays into the 7th round, but then you'd have to move the 7th rounder into the 2nd round, and I highly doubt, in the few days after the draft, you would evaluate Philip Adams higher as a 2nd round pick. But in a re-grade, you could say, "ok, Mays was a bust in the 2nd, but Bowman was a steal in the 3rd, and Kyle WIlliams is pretty good value in the 6th. In retrospect, if the draft went 1a) Bowman 1b) Iupati 2) Davis 3) Williams 4) Dixon 5) Adams 6) Byhnum 7) Mays then that draft would receive much better grades. You should be allowed to do that because you found value in the later rounds.


"As I understand it, you are using the Harvard Chart as a base for establishing positional value.
I do not any particular value gained by using it, but that is your option. Not everyone who grades a draft will use, or be willing to use, the Harvard Chart."

  • I use this because for weighted picks, a base weight in necessary. I'm not sure of a better system, but if there is one, I could use that instead. The base doesn't change the methodology, but since it is a well thought out base weight, it makes more sense for me to use it, rather then try to recreate that part of the analysis.

Grading a draft a few days after the draft is in and of itself problematic. Draft rankings, big boards, and mock drafts are interesting, but they are no more than speculative projections. These projections are by no means standardized and as far as I can tell are not true reflections of a draft board used by the teams doing the drafting. Using them frequently results in draft grades that have bear no resemblance to reality. Three day or three weeks after the draft, we have no empirical evidence on which a draft grade can be based. In three years, these speculative projections, which are so critical in our immediate draft grades, will have little weight in the evaluation of a team's draft grade.

I enjoy reading and discussing these immediate draft grades; the discussions are entertaining and quite often informative and thought provoking. Your system for evaluating the draft has provoked me to think.

Undrafted free agents are part of the draft process, but the grade is for the draft itself, not the whole process. They do not use one of the teams allotted draft spots. In contrast, the trades for players quite often use these allotted draft spots. Both, the Boldin and Harvin trade did use draft spots. It seems more appropriate to include any transaction that spends a draft pick in an evaluation of the draft. Perhaps, a player picked in the supplemental draft should be used in setting the grade. Maybe, an evaluation of the New Orleans' draft should 0 points for their lost second round draft pick.

In summary, it makes more sense to include all a team's picks, no matter how they were spent than to include undrafted free agents whose selection did not cost a team a draft pick.

Moving a Taylor Mays pick is still in effect changing the draft. He was picked in the 2nd round at a certain place; a place that in your system has a set value.
You purposely use the Harvard Chart to set that value in an effort to establish some objective basis for evaluating each pick. As I understand it, in your system, I could swap Mays out for the best undrafted free agent. Not only would that swap have a substantial impact on the draft grade, but it would also decimate the objectivity that the Harvard Chart brings to your evaluative system.

I think that draft evaluations have to respect the integrity of the draft itself. If a 2nd round bust such as Taylor Mays lowers the draft grade obtained, so be it.

In contrast, I do agree that the draft evaluation has to be able to award teams for hitting on a pick, such as Bowman or a Boldin, who was a late draft pick.
I have no clue on how to make this type of adjustment.

We're playing GM here so you almost have to develop an operation definition (OD) of what a successful draft or draft-related move is first; not only for the draft class but also for players acquired for draft picks.

McCoy was drafted when? He's a great "value" for not only a 7th rounder but b/c he could end up providing key depth as the #2 QB. Boldin is an incredible pick for us for a 6th rounder (one of the MVP's of the offseason). We acquired a top 2nd round pick for Alex plus potentially a 3rd next year but he's a starting QB, so is that a wash? Harvin was a 1st rounder traded for a 1st rounder...wash?

As to the draft, the OD also needs to account for a weight for team needs. This is a championship team and as a result, our draft and draft-related moves should be weighed differently from Jacksonville.

Further, if we acquire a 3rd via a trade, that needs to have a weighted value. If we move up we need to factor where we moved up to and what we actually gave up. Another factor is the total number of picks a team has. We started with 15 and only had 2 or 3 real needs so trading up...anywhere...anytime...for any amount has to be weighed differently compared to the risk of a rebuilding team who just gave up a an equal amount to get their player...they need quality AND quantity. We only needed a couple quality picks.

What would be fun is designing a weighted system based on true team needs and then using ONE big board such as MadDog's to compare how the GM's for the NFC West did.

You'd have to create your OD's first for the aforementioned reasons but it could be done numerically.

So what would be considered successful for a team? How would you first define that?

  • I tried staying away from player acquisitions because then you get into questions of how long they have left in their career and salaries that are WAY higher than a 6th rounder (in Boldin's example)
  • I approached this as: "on draft day you start with X, how did you do with it." Teams that have more picks are expected to do more and have more opportunities. Teams that are drafting higher are expected to get more value from their early picks and are graded harder based on the weights assigned to their picks.
  • Trades and trade value has been considered. Price paid for picks and pick received have been factored in. If a pick was traded on draft day for a player, my model is f**ked.
  • Taking team needs, etc. into the equation is done when handing out grades. I graded Reid a bit better for us than for a team like Jax for example because we really need someone that can step in and play now. Reid, coming from the SEC and having plenty of experience, can do that. We are competing for a SB now. I'd rather have a good pretty good player today, even if he will never be a pro-bowler, than a guy with tons of potential that needs time to develop, at the safety position. For all other positions I feel the exact opposite.
  • Grades assigned to players is not scientific. It's my best judgement. Only the system of weighing players, picks, trades, etc. is systematic
was thinking of adding a bonus to players that make the probowl based on their round selected. But going highest value from bottom to top because hitting a 7th rounder that is a probowl talent is harder than a 1st or 2nd for instance.....
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I completely agree with the uselessness of grading a draft 2 days later. It's all just for fun and to continue with the excitement of the draft process. No one is getting promoted or fired because of these grades, so why not put them out there? The structure and system for weighing the grades, however, is still valid, even if the grades themselves are not. It could be used for a historic draft.

For the Mays pick. Sure, you could swap him out for the best undrafted free agent we picked up. But we didn't pick up an undrafted free agent worthy of a 2nd round pick. So if you did the swap you would still most likely end up with a 0 int hat position. If, however, you drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round, getting 100% for that pick, and getting a bad grade for your 1st round pick and having it average to a very bad grade doesn't make sense. You drafted Tom Brady, your draft is good. End of story.

The adjustment you're talking about can be accomplished with the swapping system. Remember, it only benefits you to swap if you made an excellent pick later in the draft that exceeds their draft position by enough to still get a high score in a high round. The example I like is Geno Atkins and Gresham. Gresham was drafted 21st overall by Cincy a few years back. He hasn't lived up to that and is a C grade. Atkins would be an A+ at any position in the draft. They got him in the 4th round! Gresham in the 4th is also an A. Not a great player, but tremendous value in the 4th. So if using the 21st overall pick, and a 4th round pick for Atkins and Gresham is great (which in my opinion it is), why then does the order matter? Same picks, same players? Its like working on a salary system. Some days you work 5 hours, some days you work 11. At the end of the week you put in 40 hours. Who cares that you didn't stay long enough on Monday?

The swapping system makes more sense than including undrafted free agents.
The difference between working for a wage and working for a salary is a good analogy.

The Brady example you give is not responsive to my questions about the inclusion of undrafted free agents in an evaluation of the draft.
Brady was drafted, and with your swapping system, we would clearly swap him with a higher draft pick.
The would give us a more accurate evaluation of the draft. And I have conceded that that swapping drafted picks positions in the draft makes sense.

But, I still do not agree with the inclusion of undrafted free agents.

You offered a contingent response, but it did not speak to my concerns about UDFAs. .

Three days after the draft we do not know if we signed any free agents worth a second round pick. In fact, we can not know that until they play.
The fact that we are are unlikely at this time to swap in a undrafted free agent for a second round pick is contingent on our present lack of knowledge.

Down the line, in a year of two, the circumstances will be different; we will have more information.
At that point, it might be clear that we signed a free worth more than our second round pick.
In your system, we would logically swap out our draft bust and insert the undrafted free agent.

Your inclusion of undrafted free agents seems inconsistent. I raised different points but you did not speak to them.

They were not part of the draft. They were not drafted. Why include players in a draft evaluation that were not drafted.
The evaluation is of the draft and not the draft process. They may have been part of the draft process, but they clearly are not in the draft.

Trades for players can use draft picks. If we were to include undrafted players, shouldn't players that we used draft picks to obtain be included in our draft evaluation.

Are players taken in the supplemental draft included? They cost a draft pick.

Are draft picks fortified because of rule violations included in the evaluation. These violations cost a draft pick.
The evaluation of the Saints' draft would clearly be impacted.

  • I don't include trades for players due to complexity. Mostly contracts and length of remaining playing career. More thought is needed to include them
  • Supplemental players should be included
  • Lost picks due to policy should not. Mostly I'm trying to evaluate how the GM performed on draft day. I don't want to penalize him because a defensive coach broke rules
  • Evaluating the "draft" or the "draft process" is a matter of preference. I guess here I'm choosing to evaluate the process.
  • Swapping in undrafted free agents right after the draft cannot work to do anything other than replace a 7th round pick or so. Its practically impossible, like you said, without any knowledge of that player, to think he's worthy of a 2nd round pick. However, Da'Rick would be really good value in the 6th or 7th, and since the team got him as an UFA, I would give them the benefit of replacing a 6th or 7th round pick. Its also very rare that a guy is projected in the 3rd (Da'Rick) and goes undrafted.

You bring up a fair point that these players were not drafted, but here I chose to judge the GMs' weekend acquisitions.
Originally posted by jreff22:
was thinking of adding a bonus to players that make the probowl based on their round selected. But going highest value from bottom to top because hitting a 7th rounder that is a probowl talent is harder than a 1st or 2nd for instance.....

In retrospect. The day after the draft that's impossible . Shuffling could also help take care of that.
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
  • I tried staying away from player acquisitions because then you get into questions of how long they have left in their career and salaries that are WAY higher than a 6th rounder (in Boldin's example). Player acquisitions for draft picks aren't very common so you could assign a value to the player based on his projected role and level of play (and need) for that draft choice. For instance, Boldin could be considered a 2nd or 3rd round value but we get this production at a 6th round pick. McCoy at 3rd for a 7th given the QB's in this years draft (poor) and factor in he could be our 2nd QB off the bench.
  • I approached this as: "on draft day you start with X, how did you do with it." Teams that have more picks are expected to do more and have more opportunities. Teams that are drafting higher are expected to get more value from their early picks and are graded harder based on the weights assigned to their picks. I like this approach...sounds like you are on the right track of developing a weighting system and quantifying it. Now you can build on it with the additional factors we both noted (scenarios, need, number of picks, player acquisitions for draft picks, etc.).
  • Trades and trade value has been considered. Price paid for picks and pick received have been factored in. If a pick was traded on draft day for a player, my model is f**ked. LOL. True...
  • Taking team needs, etc. into the equation is done when handing out grades. I graded Reid a bit better for us than for a team like Jax for example because we really need someone that can step in and play now. Reid, coming from the SEC and having plenty of experience, can do that. We are competing for a SB now. I'd rather have a good pretty good player today, even if he will never be a pro-bowler, than a guy with tons of potential that needs time to develop, at the safety position. For all other positions I feel the exact opposite. I think this will be the hardest to quantify and operationally define...like what is an OD for a successful draft-process?
  • Grades assigned to players is not scientific. It's my best judgement. Only the system of weighing players, picks, trades, etc. is systematic. Gotcha and I truly appreciate the efforts. I think you're well on your way and you can build the rest later...and then stack up other teams and see how we did...even go back and do past drafts and see how we stacked up back then as well. Good times. Great work!

By the time this is all done, you're going to be hired by Baalke himself for developing a GM draft-process scenario program. If X, choose Y.

See bolded above for comments.