Premium Content: NFL Draft Summary Data

For those who are premium subscribers I put together a pdf file breaking down the contract results of the draft from 2011 to 2019 looking at results by round for each position, the best and worst performing teams, and who has taken the best approach to the draft the last few years. You can find the file under the “position reports” link in the “rosters” tab on the menu. Here is a brief preview of the report:

With the NFL Draft about to take place I thought we would do a new study using contract data to look at different ways to view the success and failures of drafting. To help do this I went back and looked at every draft from 2011 to 2019 and determined how much was spent on a per year basis on a rookie contract and how much was committed to a player on a post rookie contract. The ratio of 2nd to rookie contract value should give us an idea as to general expectations in each round as well as how much value teams receive by landing these low cost rookies who are generally underpaid in every year of their contract with the exception of the first year.

Overall Draft By Round

The results by round tell us a few things. First it is very clear that the general ranking of players in the NFL draft is pretty good. 1st rounders earned much more as a group than 2nd rounders who earned more than 3rd rounders and so on.

However, the total salary investment in round 1 is also very high relative to the other rounds which gives the round that many consider the “safest” in the draft, a high risk relative to the initial investment in the rookie contract. The 1st rounders salary is 2.83 times that of the rookie contract, which actually lags all but the last two rounds in “value”. You are paying up for that big potential even though rookie wages are depressed….