Archive for the ‘draft’ Category

Where did your draft resources go?

August 8, 2009

We wanted to get an analytical assessment of which positions the Giants drafted over the past 10 years. Specifically, where did the significant (first three rounds of) resources get allocated?

1st round pick = 3 points
2nd round pick = 2 points
3rd round pick = 1 point

OL=5 pts (ie Snee and Beatty 2 pts each, Hatch 1 pt)
QB=7 pts (Eli lovers, remember he cost you two 1’s and a 3, forgetting the 5)
TE=5
RB=3
WR=12

DL=12
LB=3
SEC=14

But wait, we now must divide by the number of starters on the field:
OL=5 starters
QB=1 starter..
TE=1.3
RB=1.3
WR=2.4

DL=4
LB=2.5
SEC=4.5

So we now get the final answer of number of draft points allocated to each WEIGHTED player spot over the past 10 years (sorted from highest to lowest):

QB = 7.0
WR = 5.0
SEC= 4.0
TE = 3.8
DL = 3.0
RB = 2.3
LB = 1.2
OL = 1.0

Observations:

1) First we have to note that 32 points of offense were drafted vs 29 points on defense, so overall there has no particular bias between squads.

2) OL and LB have been denied resources. It is a good thing one of the 5 picks in the first three rounds in 2009 was taken on a LBer (Sintim) or else this position would have come in at a whopping low of 0.4. That is embarrassing. OL needs more resources and this has not received much attention ONLY because of the (knock on wood) health of the starters not exposing the lack of depth.

3) Despite the fact that we have always been on record that the Eli Manning trade was overpayment, it should not bother anyone to see QB get these resources over a 10 year period. But once again, this 7.0 rating should remind everyone just how much Accorsi committed and just how exposed the franchise was if the pick did not work. There was no value and no margin for error.

4) WR got too many resources. It has gotten consistently too much attention and these numbers bear that out. About the only logical extension of this misallocation is that at least the Giants are consistent in also allocating heavy resources to the same people COVERING them- the Defensive Secondary. So if you want to observe anything from all of this, the FIRST THREE POSITIONS ACKNOWLEDGE HOW THE RULE CHANGES FAVORING PASSING HAVE AFFECTED THE GIANTS’ FOCUS TO THE PLAYERS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE PASSING GAME.

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Top 5 by position

April 23, 2009

TE
Pettigrew
Cook
Ingram

G
Robinson
Johnson
Levitre

C
Mack
Unger
Wood
Caldwell

CB
Butler
ASmith
Jenkins
Davis
Byrd

RB
DBrown
Wells
Moreno
Greene
ABrown

WR
Crabtree
Maclin
Harvin
Britt
HBey
Nicks

ILB
Maualuga
Ellerbe
Brinkley
Laurinaitis
Phillips

OLB
Curry
Matthews
Cushing
Freeman

DT
Raji
Jerry
Hood
Brace

DE
Jackson
Ayers
Orakpo
English
MJohnson

OT
Monroe
JSmith
Oher
Britton
Loadholt/Beatty

S
Delmas
Moore
RJohnson

QB
Stafford
Sanchez
JFreeman
Bomar

Top 32 By Value

1. Stafford
2. Monroe
3. JSmith
4. Curry
5. Crabtree
6. Sanchez
7. Maclin
8. TJackson
9. Oher
10. Ayers
11. Raji
12. Orakpo
13. Harvin
14. Maualuga
15. Pettigrew
16. English
17. Matthews
18. Cushing
19. Butler
20. DBrown
21. Moreno
22. Wells
23. Britton
24. Beatty
25. Jenkins
26. Mack
27. Unger
28. Britt
29. H-Bey
30. Freeman
31. ASmith
32. Robiske/Nicks

And by the way, that ASmith at 31 is not Andre Smith, it is Alphonso Smith the CB. As a reminder, Wonder won’t advocate taking a risk on Andre Smith this high.

Ultimatenyg Book Club: Moneyball

May 20, 2008

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

It has business. It has sports. It has the GM and the draft. This is as close as it comes to Ultimatenyg required reading. What more can you say when a General Manager turns the sports world upside down by listening to the statistics which work and transforming a 100+ year old pastime? The lessons for football are incredible. Pay attention to what works. Go for the steak in Round 2 instead of the sizzle of Round 1. Look at stats in college that will make a player stick in the pros. Respect the work of scouts but respect the stats that matter for a player’s chances more. Ultimatenyg already mentioned how the 40 yard dash time is not statistically correlated with success. We found out that Jerry Reese looks at the 3-cone drill.

Baseball is radically different from football because it does not share revenue equally. But that does not mean the front office is less important. It simply means that if Billy Beane as GM has more money he is competing for championships and perpetual winners instead of trolling for good players and always watching them leave. The Eagles are trading down because they see the merit in Round 2. The experiment is two drafts (only one season) old, so the dividends will take years to be seen. But you can already see that the Eagles are getting lots of 2’s 3’s and 4’s for their trouble. And they have two #1’s next season. It is exasperating their fans, as this is the equivalent of being down by 4 and punting. But quietly the Eagles are beginning to load up. They are going to wreck that draft value chart, which I have already speculated is too top heavy. Read the links, see how second round draft picks do and you will begin to understand that you are better off trading down. That is the Moneyball conclusion Ultimatenyg has reached without a computer.

New York Giants take their chances in the NFL draft

April 29, 2008

For the past two weeks Wonder has been preaching value to us. It is not who you pick but where you pick them.

“These people (GM’s) do not understand the draft,” says Wonder. “You must pick players you like when appropriate, not just because you like them. Not picking for value is easily the most common draft mistake.”

Well, Wonder approved of the pick of Mario Manningham. Not because of the player, but WHERE the Giants were able to land him. Manningham’s former coach Lloyd Carr is never going to trash his player publicly, but he does support the idea that the Giants may have something here at the end of the third round.

The general philosophy of Ultimatenyg is play to win championships, not to beat some team during the season or just make the playoffs. In order to do that you are going to have to take chances. Take calculated risks. They may or may not work out. But at least put yourself in a position to enable something good to POSSIBLY happen. The Manningham pick is a perfect example of intelligent rolling of the dice. He may crap out. He may be a star. That is worth the risk at #95, the end of the third round. The fact that the Giants said they did their “homework” (due diligence) on him? All the better. The Seven P’s: Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. So the Giants checked him out, kicked the tires, and will give it a spin. If this is a bust, what have they lost? If they had brought in the same player with a much higher pick, the risks would have been far greater. The Giants did not allocate a huge amount of their draft on him, so the risk is certainly in line with the potential reward. Ronnie Barnes, the trainer for the Giants, says Terrell Thomas is in good health, but I think there might be more risk in that selection, given THREE previous injuries. Time will tell on all of these picks. Rookie minicamp is this week.

New York Giants 2008 NFL Draft Recap and Analysis

April 27, 2008


In tomorrow’s papers we will get all of the wonderful spin on why every one of the Giants’ picks were simply outstanding. Until Reese lays an egg, I will be following him like Svengali. He is 1 for 1, or rather 1 for 2007, so he certainly deserves a little latitude in his choices.

With that said, Wonder the Ultimatenyg draft guru likes picks 2, 3, and 4, but is uninspired with the rest. The Kenny Phillips pick has upside but we would have preferred Tyrell Johnson as a different Safety, or WR Devin Thomas or LB Quentin Groves. All three were taken in the second round, with the Redskins notably taking Thomas 3 picks later at #34. For the gmen Terrell Thomas and Mario Manningham are solid picks, and Wonder is particularly upbeat on Kehl for 4th round value, fully endorsing the move up to take him.

FYI the Giants had to give up a #194 to the Steelers to trade and move up from the #130 to #123 slot to pick Kehl.

There must have been some kind of major (medical, personal) problems with Josh Barrett for him to drop so badly that all 32 teams would avoid him like the plague. Denver finally took him with the 220th pick in the seventh round.

24 years and counting that the Giants have not drafted a LB in the first round.

Not that it means anything, but Wonder did not hear of the #199 pick (Henderson).

Wonder is giving his best grade for the draft to the KC Chiefs… all seven of their first seven picks make the team, says the draft guru. He is in seclusion for the time being, totally disgusted with the Jets second day after having gotten off to a very good start on Day 1.

ESPN discusses the New York Giants’ first pick in the draft

March 29, 2008

First Round Value BY POSITION

March 24, 2008

In the Past 10 drafts, here is a list of the number of first round picks taken BY POSITION:

QB 28, WR 43, OT 28, RB 30, G/C 13, TE 13, DE 37, DL 29, LB 36, CB 43, S 15, P 1

NET FREQUENCY DRAFTED

Here is the same list for NET FREQUENCY DRAFTED. This is defined as drafting frequency taken MINUS frequency on field. (Example: QB is 1 out of 22 players on field or ~4.6%, frequency taken is 28 out of a total of 316 players taken or ~8.9%, so QBs are taken with a NET FREQUENCY of 8.9%-4.6%= +4.3% excess weight in first round.)

RB +5%
QB +4.3%
DE +2.6%
CB +2.2%
WR +2.2%
DL +0.1%
LB +0.0%
OT -0.2%
TE -0.4%
S -4.3%
G/C -9.5%

What this says is that RBs, QBs, DE’s, CB’s and WR’s are more coveted vs their number of players at that position on the field. It also says that Safeties and Interior Offensive Linemen are less coveted relative to their numbers on the field. This makes a great deal of sense given what we know about the game. Interior Offensive Linemen are less skilled than Tackles, and while they are in the trenches, they do not cause fumbles and make impact the way other players can. Likewise, Safeties are not as fast as Cornerbacks and certainly not as important as a versatile LB or DE (who can wreak more havoc on a QB).

ULTIMATENYG General Manager:
(a) Underweight RB. While these players can have great impact, they also rate to get injured and have far shorter careers.
(b) Underweight WR. We have discussed this in 2007’s offseason. There are always WRs available in free agency. Case in point Burress, Moss and Stallworth. Less draft, more free agent. If you want a quality WR, the Toomers and Smiths are there in Round 2 anyway.
(c) Underweight DL if you can. This is not a statement about need for effectiveness in the trenches. It is merely an observation that DL is probably the second hardest position for a rookie next to QB, and that experience is more important than pedigree. I keep thinking about Barry Cofield and Keith Hamilton at Round4 vs the Jets’ Dwayne Robertson at Round1, the 4th pick in the entire draft. Good DL’s take years to develop, and it negates the immediate impact you need for your first rounder in today’s cap world. Articulated another way- you can win a title with a midround DL who simply is afforded the time to play the position.
(d) Overweight OT. SLAM DUNK. The statistic above that Offensive Tackles are only taken roughly in line with their natural frequency on the field is very surprising to me. The numbers do not lie. Use this to your advantage and draft more Offensive Tackles.

2008 Giants Draft

March 21, 2008

NFL Network had an installment on the Giants draft needs. It mentions the usual suspects of CB, OLB and S. I would like to believe the Giants go LB if they can get some speed there. I do not prefer to go Safety that early because Safety is not a skill position in the NFL. If Madison is still healthy, between him/Ross/Webster I would prefer going LB first and CB later on. Charles Davis thinks the Giants should go LB with Xavier Adibi.

Danny Clark, Michael Strahan

March 15, 2008

LB Danny Clark signed with the Giants on Thursday. This is a numbers game. The Giants have holes at LB and S, so they have to get bodies in there that can compete for jobs and give the Giants flexibility next month in the draft. The goal is to be able to get the best player available at every point in the draft, so Reese needs to know he has his bases covered if (appropriately valued) Safeties and Linebackers are not there early. Knight will be 33 on opening day. Clark will be 31 on opening day. The Giants are smart enough to know that you do not get ahead by investing in aging assets. These players will likely not be on the roster in 2-3 years from now, but they will bridge the gap, keep the team competitive in 2008 and provide the team with maximum flexibility on draft day.

NFL Network discusses Michael Strahan’s chances for coming back this year.

Believe in Second Round Draft Picks

February 26, 2008

Many years ago (pre blog, when this started as email chat amongst ~15-20 Giants fan), I went through the numbers on the Giants’ success in the first round vs the second round. It was staggering. The bottomline conclusion at the time was that the Giants were much more capable of finding the second round talent than the first round player. This was a GEORGE YOUNG conclusion. What about Accorsi and Reese? Let’s look.

Key dates: 1979 George Young’s first draft. 1994 Jerry Reese joins as junior scout. 1998 Ernie Accorsi hired as GM. May 2002 (2003) Jerry Reese promoted to Head of Player Personnel in charge of the draft. 2007 Reese’s first draft as GM.

Using a completely subjective rating system where a player who is making/made meaningful contributions = 1, and a player who faded out of the picture gets a 0, we add up the total from each Executive’s meaningful years. Young (1979-1997), Accorsi (1998-2006) and Reese (2003-2007).

Exec, # Yrs, Rd1 score, Rd2 Score
Young 19 9 12
Accorsi 9 4 5
Reese 5 3 4

Table explained- as an example, in 19 years, Young had 9 solid contributors from first round picks and 12 from the second round.

One would logically think that it would be easier to pick first rounders which could contribute to the team, but therein lies the enigma. There is slightly more impact from second round picks than first round picks. (Considering that Reese has only 5 years of data and that Accorsi was in charge for four of them, it is too little information to really draw any conclusions about his work.) The point is clear- second round picks are where this organization seems to thrive. Until we get much stronger hit percentages on the 1st rounders as compared to second rounders, it makes sense to get more volume of second rounders when given value on a trade down. The 1st rounder is the sizzle, the lure of the dominant player, but the Toomers-Strahans-Barbers of the world get plenty done without being the once in a generation Lawrence Taylor (… and how many OTHER times have we picked #2 in the entire draft?- none with the exception of a trade up for Manning).

SECOND ROUND DRAFT PEDIGREE GETS IT DONE OVER AND OVER.

Given this conclusion, what are the takeaways for this upcoming draft?
1) Sit tight with your #31 (really like a high second round pick) and #64 picks, pick up quality additions and do not worry about them not being super impact players. For the Giants this draft will not be sizzle, it will be steak.
2) Do not go chasing DeAngelo Hall. If you have to pay more than a #31 pick and you cannot extend his contract before he gets here, it does not feel like it is worth it. (I personally feel the #1 pick is not worth it either, but respect the value of a good corner enough to understand why the Giants would consider it. He has enough baggage. The most exciting thing about him is his age (24)… that is why the Giants are attracted to him. This is why you MUST extend that contract before making the trade. And therein lies the rub- you have to extend the contract, pay him plenty up front, all for him to be potentially volatile and blow up in your face if he is a malcontent in waiting.)
3) Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing. Reese did not go wild last year, so he has cap room this year as a result. “Folding” your hand and simply using your draft picks is not dereliction of duty if being proactive means going 1 step forward and 2 steps back. See Snyder for myriad examples of that.