Rookies Who Will Outperform the Average Vet
By Position, Projecting Which 62 Will Excel in 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
By Joe Landers
SPECIAL TO THEFOOTBALLEDUCATOR.COM
Part 2 of 3
From 2006 to 2011, five rookie offensive tackles have performed over veteran average on an annual basis. It’s typically two first rounders, two between the second and third rounds, and one undrafted free agent. The highest value attribute for offensive tackles is the 40-yard dash. The ideal OTs EPA in 6 attributes.
- MIN, Matt Kalil, USC, 1st
- DET, Riley Reiff, Iowa, 1st
- MIA, Jonathan Martin, Stanford, 2nd
- KC, Donald Stephenson, Oklahoma, 3rd
- TB, Bradley Sowell, Mississippi, udfa
Two rookie offensive guards OVA year to year. One between the first and second round and one more between the third, fifth, and sixth rounds. The ideal guard EPAs in six attributes with the 3-cone being the most important – 86% of 2011 starters EPA’d in the 3-cone.
- PIT, David DeCastro, Stanford, 1st
- HOU, Brandon Brooks, Miami(OH), 3rd
One rookie center OVAs on an annual basis. Throughout the NFL, 3rd round centers average the highest productivity with 6th rounders a close second. No centers were taken in the 3rd round and Slowey EPA’d in four of the top-5 attributes. 88% of 2011 starting centers EPA’d in the 3-cone. 80% EPA’d in the 40. Slowey EPA’d in both and two of the next three most critical. He’s an unknown from Western Oregon, but he’s the one.
- SF, Jason Slowey, Western Oregon, 6th
Three tight ends come in OVA each year. One comes from the first round, one from the second, and the third comes between the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. This year, we had no first round tight ends. While there’s a chance we could see less than three come in OVA, I’m going with the average – 3. The ideal tight ends EPA in six attributes with the long shuttle (88% of 2011 starters EPA’d in it) being the most important. As much as the Missouri string of underperforming tight ends (i.e., Rucker, Coffman) makes me reconsider including Egnew on this list, his measurables, productivity, and opportunity (2nd string behind Fasano) make it exceedingly difficult to disregard him.
- IND, Coby Fleener, Stanford, 1st
- MIA, Michael Egnew, Missouri, 3rd
- SD, LaDarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, 4th
No surprises here. It’s been discussed at length over the last month how productivity is highest in the first round. In the context of rookie year performances, it’s true. Four were taken in the first round this year, but only two EPA’d in three or more attributes. An average of two QBs come in OVA annually. Since 2006 only one non-first rounder has come in OVA (Dalton, 2011, 2nd round). With Osweiler the only second rounder, it’s a slam dunk that only 1st rounders will OVA in the 2012 NFL season. In retrospect, this QB class that was so heralded as being the next ’83 will end up playing second fiddle to the 2011 rookie class. (A six-year high of four QBs OVA’d in 2011. Only two will OVA in the 2012 NFL season.)
- IND, Andrew Luck, Stanford, 1st
- WAS, Robert Griffith, Baylor, 1st
Unglamorous and often overlooked, these guys make holes, serve as decoys, and contribute. Two OVA per year. One comes from the 2nd, 3rd, or 5th. The second comes between the 6th and undrafted free agency. 100% of 2011 starters EPA’d in the 3-cone and EPA’d in four attributes overall.
- ATL, Bradie Ewing, Wisconsin, 5th
- PHI, Jeremy Stewart, Stanford, udfa
Six rookie running backs produce over veteran average per year. Two RBs come from the first round. One more comes between the first and second. One comes between the third and fourth. One comes between the sixth and seventh. The last comes from undrafted free agency. Based on the uncompelling EPA values of the sixth and seventh rounders, and additional second rounder was added in. 90% of 2011 starting RBs EPA’d in the 3-cone. 81% in the 40, and 80% in the short shuttle.
- TB, Doug Martin, Boise State, 1st
- NYG, David Wilson, Virginia Tech, 1st
- STL, Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati, 2nd
- SF, LaMichael James, Oregon, 2nd
- BAL, Bernard Pierce, Temple, 3rd
- CAR, Tauren Poole, Tennessee, udfa
** All depth chart data is courtesy of OurLads.com, the premier source for NFL roster and depth chart information.
Next up by Joe Landers – The Defense