Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Schramm NFL Draft Point System Explained by the Village Elliot

How do you figure out the value of a draft pick if you move up or move down in the NFL draft?  I'm not an expert, but as a Math teacher and football fanatic I think I've come to understand the basic theory. 

    Years ago the Cowboys devised a mathematical point system to evaluate the relative value of draft picks, with the help of a computer.  Gil Brandt was probably the single person who contributed the most, but the GM was Tex Schramm, and so the Cowboy's system is usually referred to as the Schramm Point System.    

The system is based on a mid-first round draft pick (number 16 if there are 32 teams) being worth 1000 points.   For example, according to the theory the first overall pick is worth 3000 points or 3 times the value of a mid-first-round pick.   Later round picks are worth much less.   

I am personally surprised at the vast differential between early and late rounds.  I'll question those assumptions in a future blog, but for now the important point is that football experts generally agree with the Schramm concept, though everyone has a somewhat different formula.   I've listed the values in the table below, and the same data is also plotted as a graph below. 


Brandt Point Value versus Overall Draft Pick Number

Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7

   What about trading future year picks for  a current year pick?  There is no textbook answer, though GMs almost always value the current year over future years.  Valuation theory won't work unless we know what period of time to amortize the investment over.  GM's seem to act like the period should be about three years   
     For example, if you draft a guy in the present year, he contributes for all three years, but next year's pick only contributes for two years.  So next year's pick is only worth 67% of this year's pick.   

     With that assumption in mind, let's look at the  Carson Wentz trade.  The Browns gave up the second overall pick, plus a 2017 4th round supplemental pick (i.e., end of 4th round)Thus,

Browns gave up

Year/Round/overall      Point

2016/1st/2               2600 
2017 4th                      29  (i.e., 66.7% x 44 points)
TOTAL                     2629 Points

The Eagles gave up 

2016/1st/8              1400 points
2016/3/72                 230 points    
2016/4/104  and         86 points
2017 first round,       667 points
2018 2nd round.      183  points

TOTAL                    2566 points

The point totals are comparable suggesting that the 3 year amortization postulate is not that far off.  

     Note also that the point values are made assuming the Eagles are a .500 team.    So the Browns win big if the Eagles have a losing record in 2017 and 2018.  But if the Eagles believe they will have a winning record in those years, it makes their price for a top quarterback more rational.  

     Morever, the Browns value the 2017 and 2018 squad more highly than the 2016 squad.  So the deal makes sense from both sides, depending on what you believe in

    Less understandable is the Brady Quinn trade, in which the Browns traded 2/36 plus a number 1 pick from the following year for the Cowboys' Round 1/22nd pick. 

     The Cowboys gave up 780 Schramm points, and got 540 points plus the Browns future year draft pick, worth 667 points for a mid-round future pick.  That is, the Browns gave up 540 plus 66.7%* 1000 = 1207 points.  This is acceptable if they believed Brady Quinn's true value was first round, 12th overall pick or higher.  


Monday, November 28, 2016

NFL 2017 Draft QB Ratings from the Village Elliot

************************update*********January 5 2017*******************************
I updated my picks because Mason Rudolph is not coming out this year, so he says.   I also had Deshaun Watson fall back a little because of his penchant from INTs, but boosted him back up after a sensational bowl season, and Brad Kaaya moves up because he hangs on to the ball. Also one of my friends has been touting Zach Terrell of Western Michigan, and I think he may have a valid point.  He is very, very good to lead a MAC team to the Cotton Bowl. 

    It's very early, but with the Browns at 0-12 attention has already started to focus on the 2017 season.  I've had some success at projecting future qbs even though I am not that much of a scout and don't watch that much film.  But I can tell you that I like guys who are accurate, football-smart,  big enough to take a hit, strong-armed, experienced with high level competition and fast, in roughly that order.  There are exceptions of course.  

    I also think that it normally takes about two years to judge a quarterback, especially now that they are coming out a year or two earlier than back in the day.  

     Good quarterbacks can be found at any level in the draft. I don't think you have to take a guy in the first round to be successful, even though Browns Nation tends to be obsessed with quarterbacks for the first overall pick. Conversely, the success rate for quarterbacks is only about 50% in the first round, and lower for later rounds.  
   Last year, the Browns were ripped for passing on Carson Wentz and trading him for a boatload of draft picks, even though Carson has been a below average quarterback in his first year rather than an instant star.  

    I think serious consideration has to be given to trading down or picking some other position besides quarterback. We have four qbs who will play in the NFL next year:  Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III, Kevin Hogan and Josh McCown. We're going to have to cut two of them if we draft someone in the first round, and it's arguable whether as a rookie he will be better than any of the four guys we already have.

     Nevertheless, I think Mitch Trubisky is going to be the number one overall pick, based on his outstanding accuracy, strong arm and football smarts.  He is not on a glamour team and he doesn't have a great corps of receivers, so perhaps his numbers don't jump out at you. But what he does is throw the football on the money consistently   If he does well at the Combine, I think that the GMs will fall madly in love with him.    Mason Rudolph would have moved up to the top 10 also, but he has decided to remain in school.    
      Brad Kaaya has performed well for a so-so Miami team, but like Trubisky and Rudolph, he isn't considered a superstar.  I have him in the late first round, but he is another guy who could move up if he wows the scouts at the Combine.
      At one point Deshaun Watson was at the top of everyone's draft list because of his passing and running ability, but he's thrown a lot of interceptions this year and people are wary. Plus, on a great Clemson team, you have to ask whether it's really the quarterback, or maybe his teammates--like WR Mike Williams.  So  I've pushed Deshaun back into the second round.
     Same with DeShone Kizer who has underperformed expectations a little bit.  He's been good but not great.   Many list him in the first round, based on his arm but I'm not buying it.   
      Chad Kelly has first round talent and maybe the best arm in the draft, but he got kicked off the team at Clemson.  I like guys that are in better control of their emotions at the quarterback position.  You could imagine that could happen with him if a team is willing to be patient.  After a knee injury, I don't really want to see him until 2018, but he would be worth a mid to late round draft pick. 
      Since Dak Prescott went in the fourth round last year, everybody figures that there might be another guy in a late round.  They might be right.  Davis Webb, Zach Terrel Nathan Peterman, C. J. Beathard and Joshua Dobbs all seem to have prototypic size and arm strength for the NFL.  If you look at the list, everyone is tall and big this year.  Maybe it's not the greatest quarterback draft of all time, but it is very deep and it is entirely possible that a late round quarterback could become a starter. which is not great but it didn't hurt Ben Roethlisberger. 

Generally, I don't think personnel guys are great geniuses. Like fans, they get too excited about quarterback potential and draft some of them too early.  Then they devalue the later rounds and consequently you see some really good players taken late.  How about 

Table 1 where I think they will be drafted:
Mitch Trubisky        1   North Carolina           6'3"  220
Deshaun Watson    1   Clemson                    6'2" 215

Pat Mahomes         1  Texas Tech                6'3"  230
Brad Kaaya             2   Miami                        6'4"  210
DeShone Kizer       2    Notre Dame              6'4"  230
Davis Webb             2    California                   6'3"  227
Chad Kelly               3   Ole Miss                    6'2"  224
Zach Terrell             4   Western Michigan      6'2"  210
Nathan Peterman   5   Pitt                             6'2"  225
C. J. Beathard         6   Iowa                           6'2"  215
Joshua Dobbs         6   Tennessee                 6'3"  210

Mitch Trubisky can stand in the pocket and make a good smart throw, and then take a hit.  What more could we really want?

Table 2.  Where I would draft them:
Nobody till mid first round, then

Mitch Trubisky        1   North Carolina           6'3"  220
Pat Mahomes         1  Texas Tech                6'3"  230
Brad Kaaya            1   Miami                        6'4"  210
DeShone Kizer       2    Notre Dame              6'4"  230
Deshaun Watson    2   Clemson                    6'2" 215
Davis Webb            2    California                   6'3"  227
Chad Kelly              3   Ole Miss                    6'2"  224
Zach Terrell            3   Western Michigan      6'2"  210
Joshua Dobbs        3   Tennessee                 6'3"  210
Nathan Peterman   4   Pitt                             6'2"  225
C. J. Beathard        5   Iowa                           6'2"  215

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Browns Draft Haul from the Wentz trade

It's complicated because their were multiple deals.  But basically the Browns gave up Wentz plus a 2017 number 4, and received the following 

Corey Coleman 1 15 WR Baylor
Shon Coleman  3 76 OT Auburn
Cody Kessler 3 93 QB USC
Ricardo Louis 4 114 WR Auburn
Derrick Kindred 3 129 SS TCU
Spencer Drango 4 168 OL Baylor
2017 NFL Draft Pick (from PHILLY) 1 TBD TBD TBD
2017 NFL Draft Pick (from TEN) 2 TBD TBD TBD
2018 NFL Draft Pick (from PHILLY) 3 TBD TBD TBD

Now, a related question is how the two quarterbacks compare.  Wentz is bigger, stronger and has a better arm. But Kessler seems to have a very good football mind and the stats are comparable.  It's early, and Cody hasn't played as much as Carson.  But for what it is worth, by QB rating Cody is currently the 13th best passer in the NFL and Wentz is about number 21.   Nevertheless, many Cleveland fans believe Wentz is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and we need to replace Cody Kessler as quickly as possible.  

Player Team Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int 40+ Sck Rating
Cody Kessler  CLE 119 178 66.9 1,241 7 6 1 4 15 95.7
Carson Wentz PHI 202 311 65 2,121 6.8 9 5 4 19 87.6