Earlier in the week, as so often happens, I had an interesting conversation in the comments with posters where we took a closer look at the “overachievers” from Day 3 of the 2022 draft. The idea was to look at the group and see if any trends might emerge. And, among that small sample size, they did appear to do so. For this piece, I wanted to go a bit further back to see if those trends held, and if others might emerge
For the purposes of this piece, an “overachiever” is a player who was drafted in round 4 or later, and who has averaged an “approximate value” (AV) of “5” or over during his years in the league. This translates roughly to a “plus starter or high quality back-up,” and represents very good value for a Day 3 pick.
The full listing of those players, drafted since 2019, is below:
Players Averaging 5+ AV Taken After Round 4: 2019-2022
|2022||4||Spencer Burford||OL||Texas San-Antonio||7||7|
|2022||4||Cordell Volson||OL||North Dakota St.||9||9|
|2022||5||Tariq Woolen||CB||Texas San-Antonio||10||10|
|2022||5||Braxton Jones||OL||Southern Utah||8||8|
|2022||6||Malcolm Rodriguez||LB||Oklahoma St.||6||6|
|2022||7||Brock Purdy||QB||Iowa State||6||6|
|2021||4||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||USC||21||10.5|
|2021||4||Dan Moore||OL||Texas A&M||15||7.5|
|2021||5||Adetokunbo Ogundeji||DL||Notre Dame||10||5|
|2020||4||Gabe Davis||WR||Central Florida||19||6.3|
|2020||6||Jon Runyan Jr||OL||Michigan||18||6|
|2019||4||Maxx Crosby||EDGE||Eastern Michigan||34||8.5|
|2019||6||Gardner Minschew||QB||Washington State||20||5|
Well, the first thing we see is the value of a bigger dataset. Based on just the 2022 data, it looked like there were three clear trends: 1) RBs were disproportionately represented (30%); 2) “Small schools” (40%), and 3) Particularly “small school” offensive linemen (30%) were overrepresented.
But those trends appear to evaporate largely into the ether once the prior three years are added. From that group, only 8% of the players were running backs. Only 1 was from a “small school,” and he wasn’t an OL from a small school.
From this 2019-2021 group, there are some interesting trends though. Around 28% of the players - eight of them - are offensive linemen, with all of them coming from power house schools, including Clemson, Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Wisconsin (2), and Michigan (2). Nearly 24% (6) of the players were wide receivers.
At the other end of the spectrum, only two of these players were interior defensive linemen. There were no tight ends in this group at all. The two QBs who qualified, Minshew and Purdy, were back-ups who rose to the occasion when called upon. Only two cornerbacks from Day 3 met this criteria for all four years.
There are surely other trends that I’m missing, but I’ll leave those for you to divine and discuss in the comments. I look forward to your thoughts.