Intro: I decided to do a small study of the NFL Draft to help shed some light on some of the questions debated on Hogs Haven. I studied the 2000 NFL Draft (beginning at the turn of the century and also the Draft where Tom Brady was drafted by Bill Bellichick, which produced one of the most dominant dynasties in league history) up through the present, concluding with the 2011 Draft. *Please note that the Houston Texans were an expansion team and first drafted in 2002.
Question: Since the departure of former 1st Round pick Carlos Rodgers in 2011, and the more recent departure of former 1st Round pick LaRon Landry in 2012, many on Hogs Haven have suggested that the Redskins have been exceptionally BAD at retaining their 1st Round Picks. This post will attempt to answer the following question: Compared to the rest of the NFL, how have the Redskins performed in regards to retaining players drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft?
Methodology and Analysis after The Jump
Methodology: To answer this question, I observed: A) The number of 1st Round Draft Picks taken by each NFL team, B) The number of seasons in each player's career, and C) The number of seasons that player played for the team that drafted them.
I then came up with three (3) important metrics:
1. Draft Keeper %: The ratio of seasons played for the drafting team, divided by the total number of seasons in their career. Basically, what percentage of a draftee's careers has the drafting team retained.
---Ex: The Redskins' 1st Round picks since 2000 have played for the Redskins for 50 seasons out of 61 their total NFL career seasons, meaning the Redskins have kept these players for 81.97% of their NFL seasons.
2. Seasons Played Per 1st Round Pick: The total number of seasons played by all 1st round picks of a team since 2000, divided by the total number of 1st Round Picks.
---Ex: The Redskins have had 50 seasons played by a total of 11 First Round Picks since 2000. 50 divided by 11 gives the Redskins an average of 4.55 seasons played per 1st Round Pick.
3. Seasons Played by 1st Round Picks: Shows how many seasons each team has acquired from their 1st Round Picks since 2000.
---Ex: The Redskins have had 50 seasons played by 1st Round Picks since 2000.
The Analysis: Once each NFL team's 1st Round information had been compiled and ranked from 1-32, the Redskins finished with the following Rankings:
1. Draft Keeper %: Rank 14th in the NFL, with a percentage of 81.97%.
---Notables: The Colts have retained 100% of the seasons of their 1st Round Picks since 2000. Other successful teams that ranked ahead of the Redskins were the Steelers, Packers, Saints, Titans, Ravens, and Eagles, showing a decent correlation between Regular Season winning % and retention of 1st Round Picks.
---Notables: The Redskins fall into the middle of a big pack on this number. The exceptionally good: The Colts (6.00), Ravens (5.75), Steelers (5.50), and Patriots (5.09). The exceptionally bad: The Rams (3.43), Browns (3.50), Broncos (3.54) and Lions (3.80).
3. Seasons Played by 1st Round Picks: Rank 19th in the NFL, tied with the Cowboys and Giants, with 50 seasons played by 1st Round Draft Picks since 2000.
---Notables: The Redskins are not far from being towards the bottom on this figure, but they are also not far from being within the top half of the league. Part of the reason for this would be that the Redskins have had only 11 First Round Picks since 2000.
---The Good: The Jets dominated this category, having 85 seasons played among their 16 First Round Picks, with the next closest being the Ravens with 69 seasons. The Bad: The Dolphins have only had 35 seasons played by 1st Round Picks since 2000, followed closely by the Bucs with 37 seasons.
Answer: The Redskins, despite the notion that they have not properly retained their 1st Round Draft Picks, compare relatively well with the rest of the NFL Teams regarding the retention of 1st Round Draft Picks, ranking 14th, 12th, and 19th in all important metrics.
Thank you for reading. Hope this sheds some light on the subject and gives way to some interesting conversation.