This study is based upon the players that were still on the roster in 2011. It begins 17 years ago since the 1995 draft still had one active player in 2011. The first group is called "The Die Hard's", and covers a 5 year period.
Last year there was no one left on any roster from the 1994 draft. The only player left from 1995 was the 5th pick in the 1st round, QB Kerry Collins. (249 picks were made in 1995) Kerry is 4/10 of 1% of his draft class! The QB's represent 100% of this draft class. (We will follow that stat throughout this study.)
From the 1996 draft we had two players left. 1st round pick (#26 over all) LB Ray Lewis, and 2nd round pick (#61 over all) DB Brian Dawkins. Kerry Collins anounced his retirement this year, along with Dawkins which leaves Ray Lewis as the longest tenured player still active. These two men are 8/10 of 1% of their draft class. (254 total picks in 96)
The 1997 draft had 7 players left. 2) 1st rounders, 3) 3rd rounders, and and 1 player each from the 4th and 6th rounds.
Here is that group and the position at which they were each picked.
(1st #8) James Farrior LB, (1st #13) Tony Gonzalez TE, (3rd #66) Ronde Barber DB, (3 #73) Jason Taylor DE, (3rd #95) Brad Maynard P, (4th #98) Derrick Mason WR, (6th #169) Al Harris DB. (240 total picks) As we can see here, there were more 3rd round players in this group than 1st rounders. These 7 players are 2.9% of their draft class, and as you can see, there were no QB's who remained in this group.
The Steelers cut James Farrior, Aaron Smith DE, Hines Ward (who is in the next group, and decided to retire) and Chris Kemoeatu G this summer, and Jason Taylor retired as well. It seems that Farrior still wants to play.
Gonzalez, Barber, Mason and Harris seem to still be going strong, but after a year with Cleaveland, punter Brad Maynard was cut due to the fact that their reg. punter has recovered from the injury he sustained last year.
The 1998 draft supplied us with our current starting QB. It just took us 14 years to get him. It also had 10 players remaining through 2011. The break down by rounds is 4) 1st rounders, 1) 2nd, 2) 3rd and 3) 6th round picks.
(1st #1) Peyton Manning QB, (1st #12) Keith Brooking LB, (1st #13) Takeo Spikes LB, (1st #19) Vonnie Holliday DE, (2nd #60) Charlie Batch QB, (3rd #64) Olin Kreutz C, (3rd #92) Hines Ward WR, (6th #173) Matt Birk C, (6th #187) Matt Hasselbeck QB, (6th #189) Patrick Mannelly T. (241 total picks) There were almost as many 6th round players in this group as 1st rounders. The QB's are 30% of this group, and these 10 players are 4% of their draft class.
The 1999 draft had 15 players left. 3) 1st, 4) 2nd, 1) 3rd, 2) 4th, 1) 6th & 3) 7th round picks. The # of 7th round players remaining tied the first rounders, but the 2nd rounders took the longevity blue ribbon this year! The QB's are 14% of this group and the 14 players left are 5.9% of their draft.
(1st #2) Donovan McNabb QB, (1st #5) Ricky Williams RB, (1st #7) Champ Bailey DB, (1st #23) Antoine Winfield DB, (2nd #36) Mike Peterson LB, (2nd #42) Reggie Kelly TE, ( 2nd #44) Jim Kleinsasser TE, (2nd #46) Kevin Faulk RB, (3rd #73) Joey Porter LB, (4th #105) Brandon Stokley WR, (4th #109) Aaron Smith DE, (6th #173) Kelly Gregg NT, (7th #213) Donald Driver WR, (7th #237) Todd McClure C, (7th #239) Chris Greisen QB. (253 total picks)
This is the first 5 year group of this study, "The DIE HARD'S!"
CORRECTION: 4th round pick (1991) K John Kasay, 2nd round pick (1992) K Jason Hanson, & 5th round pick (1993) QB Mark Brunell were the oldest tenured players in the NFL in 2011. It looks like the most protected positions in the game last the longest!
These guys just refused to give up, and not only that, they continued to beat out the competition at their position. This is why I wanted to list all of their names, as I believe that it is commendable that they have persevered in a game that requires exceptional talent and physicality every year!
From this group, on offense, there are 6 QB's, 4 WR's, 3 TE's, 1 RB, 3 C's, & 1 T. (18 total) On deffense there are 6 LB's, 5 DB's, 3 DE's & 1 NT. (15 total) On ST there is a total of 1 Punter. 17.6 % of this group are QB's.
The 34 players (having played for 13 - 17 years) represent 2.7% of the total number of players drafted (1237) during this 5 year span. That shows how tough it is to even make it into this ellite fraternity!
That certainly opened my eyes to the odds of any NFL player having a career that continues beyond 12 years! It also shows that the position with the greatest longevity is the QB possition. (The LB's would have needed an additional 12 players min to equal the QB's due to the number of players required at each position.)
Of these 6 QB's, 3 were 1st round picks, 1) 2nd, 1) 6th & 1) 7th. My hat is off to these 34 "DIE HARD'S!"
From this point on, only the # of picks per round at each position will be shown. (ie. 1st round 7 RB, = how many running backs were picked in the first round of that year who were still on an NFL roster in 2011)
Obviously, the length of tenure shortens as we get closer to 2011, and so the % of the players drafted that still remain increases. There is a brief note between each of the years, and then a few more in depth looks at what this compilation may reveal following that data.
2000: 12 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
1st round 1 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/FB, 1 LB, 2 D-Line, 1 K ( picks), (7 picks)
2nd round 3 O-Line, 1 DB, 1 D-Line (5 picks)
3rd round 1 QB (Redman) (1 pick)
4th round 1 O-Line, 1 LB, (2 picks)
5th round 1 RB/FB, 1 LB, 1 P (3 picks)
6th round 1 QB's (Brady), 1 K (2 picks)
7th round 1 TE (1 pick)
TOTAL % of the 2000 draft remaining = 8.2% (21 players of 254 selected)
Interesting note: In the 2000 draft there were 12 QB's drafted, and only one of those was a first round pick. As a matter of fact, only three were taken in the first 3 rounds and none in the second! 8 of the 12 were taken in the 6th & 7th rounds and the two who lasted 12 years were a 3rd and 6th round pick. 1) 1st, 2) 3rd, 1) 5th, 5) 6th, & 3) 7th rounders still remain. 2 QB's were selected and are 9.5% of this group.
2001: 11 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
1st round. 1 QB (Vick), 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/FB, 3 O-Line, 2 DB, 6 D-Line (16 picks)
2nd round 1 QB's (Brees), 1 WR, 2 O-Line, 2 D-Line (6 picks)
3rd round 1 WR, 1 O-Line, 1 DB, 1 D-Line (4 picks)
4th round 1 QB's (Rosenfels), 1 RB/FB, 2 O-Line, 1 P (5 picks)
5th round 1 QB's (Feeley), 1 O-Line (2 picks)
6th round 1 TE (1 pick)
7th round 1 WR (1 pick)
Note: The 2001 draft gave us 4 QB's who've lasted 11 years, one each from the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th rounds.
TOTAL % of the 2001 draft remaining = 13.7% (35 players of 254 selected)
2002: 10 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
!st round 1 QB (Carr), 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 O-Line, 4 DB, 5 D-Line (15 picks)
2nd round 2 WR, 1 RB/FB, 1 O-Line, 2 DB, (6 picks)
3rd round 1 QB's (McCown), 2 LB, 2 DB, (5 picks)
4th round 2 TE, 2 LB, 1 DB, 1 P (6 picks)
5th round 1 O-Line, 2 LB, 4 D-Line (7 picks)
6th round 1 TE, 1 RB/FB, 1 D-Line (3 picks)
7th round 2 RB/FB, 1 O-Line, 2 D-Line (5 picks)
Note: This draft class only gave us 2 QB's who've lasted 10 years, a 1st and a 3rd rounder.
TOTAL % of the 2002 draft remaining = 18% (47 players of 261 selected)
2003: 9 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
1st round 4 QB (Palmer, Leftwich, Boller & Grossman), 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB/FB, 2 O-Line, 2 LB, 4 DB, 5 D-Line (22 picks)
2nd round 1 WR, 1 O-Line, 1 LB, 4 DB, 3 D-Line (10 picks)
3rd round 1 WR, 2 TE, 3 O-Line, 1 LB, 2 DB, 1 D-Line (10 picks)
4th round 1 QB's (Wallace), 1 WR, 1 RB/FB, 1 O-Line, 1 LB, 3 DB, 2 D-Line (10 picks)
5th round 1 TE, 4 O-Line, 2 D-Line, 1 P (8 picks)
6th round 1 WR, 2 O-Line, 2 DB, 2 D-Line (7 picks)
7th round 1 WR, 1 O-Line, 2 LB, 1 DB, 1 K (6 picks)
Note: This draft class gave us 5 QB's who've lasted 9 years, 4) 1st's & a 4th rounder.
Total % of the 2003 draft remaining = 27.9% (73 players of 262 selected)
2004: 8 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
Special note: Mr Manning must be proud! Two of his sons were #1 picks over all in an NFL draft. Who says an ex- NFL QB can't teach his boys anything?
1st round 4 QB (Eli Manning, Rivers, Roethlisberger & Losman), 5 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB/FB, 2 O-Line, 3 LB, 3 DB, 3 D-Line (23 picks)
2nd round 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/FB, 1 O-Line, 2 LB, 3 DB, 3 D-Line (13 picks)
3rd round 1 QB's (Schaub), 1 WR, 1 TE, 5 O-Line, 1 LB, 4 D-Line 1 K (14 picks)
4th round 1 QB's (McCown), 1 WR, 1 RB/FB, 1 O-Line, 3 LB, 1 DB, 4 D-Line (12 picks)
5th round 1 RB/FB, 2 O-Line, 2 DB, 3 D-Line, 1 K (9 picks)
6th round 2 O-Line, 1 D-Line, 1 P (4 picks)
7th round 1 WR, 1 RB/FB, 2 O-Line, 1 DB, 1 P (6 picks)
Note: This draft class gave us 6 QB's who have stuck around for 8 years. 4) 1st's, a 3rd & a 4th rounder.
Total % of the 2004 draft remaining = 31.7% (81 players of 255 selected)
2000 - 2004 is the second group of the five years segments, and we will look at each group in more detail below.
2005: 7 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011
1st round 3 QB (Smith, Rodgers & Campbell), 4 WR, 1 TE, 3 RB/FB, 3 O-Line, 4 LB, 3 DB, 3 D-Line. (24 picks)
2nd round 2 WR, 3 O-Line, 3 LB, 7 DB, 3 D-Line, 1 K (19 picks)
3rd round 1 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/FB, 4 O-Line, 3 LB, 2 DB, 2 D-Line, 1 P (15 picks)
4th round 1 QB's (Orton), 3 RB/FB, 3 O-Line, 1 LB, 7 DB, 2 D-Line (17 picks)
5th round 1 QB's (Orlovsky), 2 O-Line, 1 LB, 1 DB, 2 D-Line (7 picks)
6th round 1 QB's (Anderson), 3 TE, 3 O-Line, 2 DB, 3 D-Line, 1 K, 1 P (14 picks)
7th round 2 QB's (Cassel & Fitzpatrick), 1 TE, 1 O-Line, 1 DB, 3 D-Line (8 picks)
Note: This draft class gave us 8 QB's who have stuck around for 7 years. 3) 1st's, & 1 each from the 4th, 5th & 6th, and 2 from the 7th round.
Total % of the 2005 draft remaining = 40.7% (104 players of 255 selected)
2006: 6 YEARS IN THE LEAGUE AS OF 2011 (The last year for this study)
1st round 3 QB's (Young, Leinart & Cutler), 1 WR, 2 TE, 3 RB/FB, 3 O-Line, 4 LB, 6 DB, 8 D-Line (30 picks)
2nd round 2 QB's (Clemens & T. Jackson), 1 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB/FB, 8 O-Line, 4 LB, 7 DB, 1 D-Line (26 picks)
3rd round 1 QB's (Whitehurst), 2 WR, 3 TE, 1 RB/FB, 4 O-Line, 1 LB, 3 DB, 3 D-Line (18 picks)
4th round 1 QB's (Brad Smith), 4 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB?FB, 3 O-Line, 1 LB, 1 DB, 5 D-Line, 1 K (19 picks)
5th round 1 TE, 5 O-Line, 2 LB, 1 DB, 4 D-Line, (13 picks)
6th round 1 QB's (Gradkowski), 1 WR, 1 RB/FB, 3 O-Line, 5 DB, 2 D-Line, 1 P (14 picks)
7th round 4 WR, 3 O-Line, 2 DB, 2 D-Line (11 picks)
Note: This draft class gave us 8 QB's who have stuck around for 6 years. 3) 1st's, 2) 2nd's & 1 each from the 3rd, 4th, & 6th rounds.
Total % of the 2005 draft remaining = 51.3% (131 players of 255 selected)
After 5 years aproximately 50% of all players drafted are out of the league. Obviously they were hardly worth the pick in the majority of the cases, that is if they didn't lose their job to a career ending injury Most of them lose their jobs to a younger more talented player. Others are cut due to off the field problems, and still others careers are cut short due to a catastrophic injury.
Fortunately not many are lost due to an untimely death, as was our own Darrent Demarcus Williams (September 27, 1982 - January 1, 2007). This was a young man with exceptional talent, and a great future ahead of him, and he is missed by all of us!
Now, this is where our discusion can turn to "True Value" (TV) We will study the six years from 2000 - 2005 and start with the QB's position. This same scenario can be used for any of the positions in the NFL, and the lists above should make it quite easy to do.
Total QB's drafted by year and round.
2000 1) 1st, 2) 3rd, 1) 5th, 5) 6th, & 3) 7th (12 total)
2001 1) 1st, 3) 2nd, 3) 4th, 2) 5th, 2) 6th (11 total)
2002 3) 1st, 2) 4th, 4) 5th, 2) 6th, 3) 7th (16 total)
2003 4) 1st, 2) 3rd, 1) 4th, 1) 5th, 3) 6th, 2) 7th (13 total)
2004 4) 1st, 1) 3rd, 1) 4th, 1) 5th, 4) 6th, 6) 7th (17 total)
2005 3) 1st, 3) 3rd, 2) 4th, 1) 5th, 1) 6th, 3) 7th (13 total)
The six year totals are: 16) 1st, 3) 2nd, 8) 3rd, 9) 4th, 10) 5th, 17) 6th, 17) 7th.
How many were still around in 2011? 13) 1st = 81%, 1) 2nd = 33%, 2) 3rd = 25%, 4) 4th = 44%, 2) 5th = 20%, 2) 6th = 11.7%, and 2) 7th = 11.7%. These 26 QB's (out of 82) represents a 31.7% success rate after 5 years which is not much worse than taking a QB in the 2nd round! I submit that every QB who is gone after 5 years was a "reach" based upon TV, regardless of where he was selected!
That would certainly include #1 Tim Couch, #3 Akili Smith, #11 Daunte Culpepper (i'm sure someone will disagree since he actually had two good years, and went to the pro bowl once, his first year), and #12 Cade McNown, if I had started with the 1999 season!.
I also submit that, based upon TV, any 1st round QB selection from this group who is still a back up was a reach. The ONLY WAY that you can say any player is a reach is based upon their playing record. The numbers above don't lie!
I read a statement by someone yesterday that said this or that player was a "reach" taken at a certain spot in this year's draft. I submit to you that there is no such thing unless it is based upon TV (true value). You cannot even know TV until after the 5th year of a draft, and even then it will change as their careers advance..
That same person said that second round QB selections "never make it" in the NFL. I submit that there must be QB's selected in the 2nd round for there to even be an opportunity for success. In the six years above, only three were selected, vs. 16 in the first and 8 in the third, and a whopping 17 picks in each of the 6th & 7th rounds.
Two years after Tom Brady got his first full year (2001) in as a starter, everyone began to think that they could get lucky by picking late round QB's. Twenty QB's were selected in the 6th and 7th rounds (combined) during the three years (2002 - 2004) following Brady's break out year as a starter. TV sure shows how many reaches there were.(All but 2)
What are the chances a player will still be on a roster in his 6th year? 51.3%. 7th? 40.7%. 8th? 27.9%. 9th? 18%. 10th? 13.7%. 11th? 8.2%. 12th? 5.5%. We each have to decide based upon an individual players contribution to the NFL wheather or not he was a True Value! (or a so called reach)
In summary, there are many studies that can be done on each of the different positions, and some interesting things show up, such as tendencies to select more D-line guys earlier than O-Line, and how those tendencies change over the years, etc. Also how some years are absolutely packed with a certain position more than others and that changes each year. Why? I couldn't tell you.
If your a numbers kind of person the above list may help in some way. It helped me to see the fallacy in the concept that there are any guarantees in this business at all. Even playing the percentages is just another crap shoot!