Fifth Year Option Outcomes

With the final outcomes in for this years option eligible rookies I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick look at how the option rates have fared since the NFL went to a fully guaranteed fifth year option starting with the 2018 NFL class. Here is the breakdown by pick range

RangeOption Rate
1 to 575.0%
6 to 1075.0%
11 to 1570.0%
16 to 2055.0%
21 to 2555.0%
26 to 3225.0%

Inside the top 15 we essentially have a 75% hit rate with a majority of players being good enough to at least warrant a guaranteed fifth year salary. That number declines to 55% when we get into the 16 to 25 range of the draft. For the tail end of the draft things fall off a cliff with only a 25% exercise rate.

For what it is worth almost no individual pick is perfect. The 1st overall pick in the draft has had all the players have their options picked up. Pick 5, 7, 13, and 25 are the other ones to have a 100% hit rate. Picks 27 to 29 are the duds so far. The overall average is 57%. Just goes to show that nobody is close to perfect with the draft selection process.

Here is a breakdown by position.

PositionPlayersOption Rate
Tight End4100.0%
Left Tackle977.8%
Wide Receiver1573.3%
Int. D-Line1172.7%
Right Tackle757.1%
Running Back728.6%

While tight end has not been a record mover the few players selected have all have their contracts extended by a year. Of the higher quantity selections we have good returns on left tackles, receivers. interior defensive line, and pass rushers.

QB comes in at 52.9% which is below average and I would expect this to fall further in the future. These numbers are propped up by mistakes made with Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold that I do not think will occur in the future. Corner is down at 40% while linebacker and running back are both around 30%. These are both terrible first round selections. They don’t offer the value upside to begin with and when you see the lack of options being exercised it shows how far below expectations these players have been.