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Redskins fewest Draft Picks since 2002

Although the fact was likely never in doubt, Football Outsiders (with a nifty chart) provides the research. The Washington Redskins had 29 draft picks from 2002-2006, fewer than any other team. The next closest were the Miami Dolphins, with 32. We were well below both the Mean (40.3) and the Median (41) -- duh.

Where were we specifically the most insignificant? We were last in the league in Centers (zero) and Defensive Ends (one) drafted in that time period. We were above the Mean in QBs, RBs, and TEs drafted, picking up three, four, and three respectively. I don't want to draw trends from such a small data set, though it appears we place a relative emphasis on skill positions over meat-and-potatos guys. In a ratio of Linemen:Total players drafted, the Redskins were .28 or 2nd to last of all teams (Detroit was last -- they also have the most losses since 2002. Just saying.).

We've also drafted the fewest Defenders of any team in the league since 2002, including dead last in Front Seven (LB+DE+DT), Back Seven (DB+LB) and Defensive Line. Perhaps that is one (of many reasons) why our 2006 defense was so susceptible to failure from one or two injuries. We lacked depth?

Some good news!

The shaded area includes the teams within +/- 2 total draft picks of the mean (40.3). This includes half the league, with the first quartile above the shaded area and the fourth quartile below. The first quartile averaged 39.5 wins per team. The middle two quartiles averaged 41.6, and the bottom quartile averaged 37.5 wins. It would generally appear that it's better to have more picks than fewer, but that gathering too many picks is not a great strategy in the short run. The overall correlation between the number of picks and wins is only 0.14 so perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about.

Only two teams were more than two standard deviations away from the mean number of draft choices; the Titans on the high side and the DPDR on the low end.

DPDR here means Draft Pick Deprived Redskins. Although the statistics do not support a conclusion that Draft Picks = Wins necessarily, I think it's important to remember that NFL teams, like Tolstoyan families, are unhappy each unsuccessful in their own way. My unsolicited opinion: Our relative dearth of draft picks is one of multiple things causing our failure. Additionally, remember that losing teams generally have higher draft picks, and thus are more likely to get additional picks through trades on Draft Day. This would skew the results in losing teams' favor as the more losses a team suffers the more draft picks it could accumulate (generally speaking, this might not be true in any particular circumstance). This would cloud the issue significantly and make statistical conclusions difficult. Something to consider.

It's an interesting read with a lot of well organized information. Have a look-see if you get the chance.