Last week we looked at the performance of 1st round draft picks made from 1999-2011. Now let’s take a look at the 2nd round.
I’ve made a slight adjustment, grouping CBs and Ss together as DBs. I did this because players frequently switch back and forth between these positions, and it’s tough to know what teams were projecting each player to play when they were drafted.
Below is the chart, I’ve placed it beside the 1st round chart to allow for easy comparison.
– It should come as no surprise that the % of All-Pros and Pro Bowl players has dropped precipitously. As I showed in an earlier post, as a general rule, elite NFL players come from the 1st round. Finding elite talent after that is fairly random.
– Second round LBs have almost the same odds of starting (54%) as do LBs taken in the first round (58%). This certainly supports the Eagles past philosophy of avoiding LBs early in the draft. However, it remains to be seen whether that holds past the 2nd round.
– Second round DEs start just 36% of the time, compared to 67% for 1st rounders. This might be the most surprising result. It appears as though if you need DE help, you have to get it in the 1st round.
– Conversely, 70% of Tackles taken in the 2nd round ended up as starters. Additionally, almost the same percentage made a Pro Bowl as those take in the first round. This would seem to suggest that if you can’t get an Elite OT prospect, likely in the top 10, than it is better to wait and take a T in round 2.
– 2nd round running backs have performed rather poorly. Just 27% have become starters. Shady is the exception to what should be a rule against drafting RBs in the 2nd. RBs also were among the worst performers in the 1st round.
Soon we’ll add the 3rd round, which should allow us to start seeing trends. Eventually, we’ll have a good idea of what positions the Eagles should target and when in the draft they should take them. This won’t hold for their top pick, but the mid-late rounds are likely much more luck driven, in which case the team should look to historical data for guidance.