FanPost

There You Are Man.

...........................................................College-grads_medium

via www.elcivics.com

That's right, there you are. You are pursuing a law degree at the university of your choice, because you got so many scholarships that you could pick and choose! The reason that you chose your father's Alma Mater couldn't have been because his buddy, who just happened to graduate with him, just brought you a brand new Mustang Cobra GT Special!

No way! "It's all about family tradition!" you said. "My grandfather graduated from here, and so did my Great Uncles, along with my Dad, so where the heck did you think I'd go?" I hear ya man! ("The fact that Dad knows a lot of the staff up here doesn't hurt either!")

..........................................Unemployed-college-grads_medium

via www.davidduke.com

Butt, now you have a very nice problem! You're going to have to put your dream career on hold for a bit, because you just got hired by the NFL! You knew that playing football in college could change your focus, but all you had in mind at the very beginning was to get a degree, and chase women! Football was just a way to get women, and football cheer leaders are the cream of the crop, right?

........................................47georgiacheer2_display_image_medium 33fsu_cheerleaders_3_display_image_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

When I began this study on the longevity of NFL players careers, based upon their position, it took several posts on a few positions before I came up with a way of presenting the information in a more succinct manner. The further I got into it the more I looked forward to the day when all of the statistics could be compared, and now finally that day has arrived.

The first thing that I always noticed was the amount of players who get cut in camp. "Man, I'm glad you went ahead and took the Bar and passed it, because as an NFL QB hopeful, you have a pretty good chance that you will never play a game in the NFL!" "Look, I'm not trying to be negative here, just trying to let you down easy."

.................................................................21texas-tech_display_image_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

What stands out in this area is that, ALL of the positions that are cut the most are offensive positions. I mean ALL of them, and the O-line and QB's are the two highest! "Sure wish you hadn't tried out for QB dude! You really weren't all that focused on football while in college, and you were just lucky to start in your senior season, so, are you going to make the most of this or what?" This is what back up QB's in the NFL look like after a few years of warming the bench, so...

.........................................................Nfl_quarterback_roethlisberger_medium

via phanswithbatteries.files.wordpress.com

BIG BEN SPENDS A LOT OF TIME WITH HIS BACK UP!

That's right! ALL, and I mean every one, of the positions that get cut in camp the most frequently are offensive positions. Who was it that said "The D wins games?" Well that's exactly what is focused on every year, the defense!

LB's are the lowest cuts of any position, then P/K's & DB's are close behind them. Just how much the cuts affect the averages will be discovered later, but the players who's careers last just one to four years are just as important as the cuts. It's just that when you consider the shortness of their careers, and the affect it has on the averages, that you realize the true value, or lack there of, of the "short timers."

My concept is that players who last three to four years or less were no more valuable than practice squad players, and since that group is such a significant chunk of the total it skews the "true" longevity percentages. (A new study conducted last year by the NFL shows that they agree on excluding players who get cut in camp.) This is why I separate this group from the rest to show the effect of the short timers on the group as a whole.

.................................................Peyton-manning-1998-nfl-draft_photo_medium_medium

via www.jimrome.com

Every year all coaches and NFL executives are looking for players who will have long careers. That's the goal, and it's also the goal of every player who hopes to be drafted. It's obvious that it isn't the easiest thing to accomplish with every pick, and that sums up how difficult it is for the player as well.

......................................................................Nfl-players-association-logo_medium

via images.indyposted.com

The NFL Players Association tells us that the average career of a player is 3.3 years, (NOT TRUE) and that running backs are the shortest averaging just 2.57 years. (Again not true!) The longest careers tend to be the positions where players are hit the least, which is why kickers and punters average 4.87 years. These are the stats from the NFLPA, but I'm not aware of what years they cover. It may be the entire history of the game.

This study only covers the modern era of the last 20 years or so, and so it should tell us what we can expect based upon the rules and technology that affect the players today. The nice thing is that we are familiar with the names of these guys, and with many of their careers, and so it makes the information more relevant.

Cuts in camp favor the Line Backers.

POSITION....# OF PLAYERS DRAFTED....TOTAL CUT....% CUT

LB's..............................369.............................27............07.31%
P/K...............................047.............................04............08.51%
DB's.............................562..............................48...........08.54%
D-line...........................473..............................53...........11.20%
TE's.............................157..............................18...........11.46%
RB's.............................162..............................19...........11.72%
WR's...........................342...............................53...........15.49%
QB's............................160...............................29...........18.12%
O-line...........................415..............................76...........18.31%

The Tight Ends, Punters & Kickers had no cuts from their first 4 rounds, and the Defensive Backs managed to escape the first three rounds of cuts. The Linebackers however, had cuts in every round but the second, yet they lead in this category with the fewest over all. The P/K's of this era don't get selected very often, and so they have to be great to make the most of the opportunities.

The 00 - 04 year players break down is next.

POSITION.....TOTAL SELECTED.....# @ 4 YEARS OR LESS.....% OF TOTAL

P/K............................46.....................................17...........................37%
TE's.........................156.....................................63...........................40%
O-line.......................415...................................178...........................43%
LB's.........................366...................................157...........................43%
D-Line.....................462....................................207...........................44%
QB's........................153......................................67...........................44%
DB's........................551....................................254...........................46%
RB's........................159......................................76...........................48%
WR's.......................342....................................185...........................54%

It is easy to see from the first two tables that the punters/kickers and line backers made the top four in both lists. Wide receivers should take note because if they don't work their butts off they will never see a long career. 54% play just 4 years or less. It's rather strange that this is also the group with the largest number of players who for some reason feel that the game owes them something. The diva syndrome.

If a WR realizes that over half the players selected in the field are gone within four years then they should know how important the first four years are, and work a lot harder. The RB's, on the other hand, simply succumb to the ware and tear of the position.

When we look at the full table of the tight end group below, some things of interest show up. The 63 players who are gone after 4 years are 40% of the 156 selected, but when you subtract them from the group it leaves 93 players. The 72 five to nine year players are now 77% of the remaining group showing that the players who make it to the 5 - 9 year group have a 23% chance at a ten or more year career.

When you look further at the "still active" players it is even more revealing. A player who completes his 5th year can look at the 6th year "still active" players stat and see that he has about a 45% chance at playing another year. (This of course will vary from draft class to draft class as some are better for different positions in different years.)The eleven players that played ten years have a 50% chance at another year and so it goes.

If you make it for 12 years you have a pretty good chance of adding another year to it. That's the TE's, and every position has it's own set of circumstances. I didn't include all of the tables and information that I created as it covers many pages of data. If anyone would like that info, I can post it on a fan shot for you to copy so just let me know if you are interested.

TE's
Years Played......# of Players.....% of total

00 year........................18..................12 %
01 year........................07..................04 %
02 year........................09..................06 %
03 year........................13..................09 %
04 year........................16..................10 % 63 / 156 = 40%
....................................63

(The percentage totals below are after the 00 - 04 year players have been extracted from the rest.)
05 year........................21..................(8 still active 38%)
06 year........................20..................(9 still active 45%)
07 year........................11..................(5 still active 45%)
08 year........................10..................(5 still active 50%)
09 year........................10..................(4 still active 40%) 72 / 93 = 77%
....................................72
10 year........................11..................(5 still active 45%)
11 year........................04..................(2 still active 50%)
12 year........................03..................(2 still active 67%)
13 year........................02..................(2 still active 100%)
14 year........................00..................00 %
15 year........................01..................(0 still active 00%) 21 / 93 = 23%
....................................21
TOTAL.............................72 + 21 = 93 (This is the 5 year + total # of players)

The Jerry Rice regiment of taking care of his body is what makes long careers happen, but continuing to improve the skill set is what matters most for WR's early on. That's why Demaryius Thomas needs to work hard on that aspect right now.

The 05 - 09 year players break down is next. The 00 - 04 year group has been dropped from the rest of the figures for this example. The position with the smallest percentage of players in this 5 year group is listed first.

POSITION.....TOTAL PLAYERS.....% OF 5 - 15 year group

P/K...........................19...........................66%
QB's.........................62...........................72%
D-Line....................196...........................77%
TE's.........................72............................77%
DB's......................237............................80%
O-line.....................190............................80%
LB's.......................169............................82%
WR's.....................135............................86%
RB's........................71............................86%

The 10 + year group:

POSITION.....TOTAL PLAYERS.....% OF 5 - 15 year group

P/K.........................10..............................34%
QB's........................24..............................28%
D-Line.....................59..............................23%
TE's........................21..............................23%
DB's........................60..............................20%
O-line......................47..............................20%
LB's........................38..............................18%
WR's......................22..............................14%
RB's.......................12..............................14%

As you can see, the most protected positions in the NFL last the longest. For punters and kickers to have a 34% chance at a 10 + year career, all they have to do is make it past the first 4 years. Not bad. QB's aren't to far behind and those big guys on the D-line surprised me.

The rounds that these players are selected in certainly has a major affect on their longevity. It is primarily due to the talent level, as they tend to stay ahead of the new players who are trying to take their jobs.

THE FIRST ROUND COMPARISON: (# years in bold are above the round average.)

Position...# Drafted.....%@ 5-7 years.....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

P/K.................01...............(01) 100%...........(01) 100%..........(01) 100%...........12 years (12 total years)
O-line..............41...............(40) 98%.............(21) 51%............(06) 15%.............7.9 years (322 total years)
LB's................40...............(36) 90%.............(19) 48%............(07) 18%.............7.7 years (309 total years)
QB's...............32...............(27) 84%..............(17) 53%............(07) 22%.............7.7 years (247 total years)
RB's...............25...............(23) 92%..............(12) 48%............(04) 16%.............7.6 years (191 total years)
DB's...............65...............(61) 94%..............(32) 49%............(09) 14%.............7.5 years (493 total years)
D-Line............76...............(63) 83%..............(37) 49%............(14) 18%.............7.5 years (571 total years)
TE's...............18................(14) 78%..............(10) 56%............(03) 17%.............7.1 years (129 total years)
WR's..............47...............(37) 79%..............(17) 36%............(06) 13%.............6.5 years (306 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND: 345 (2,580 total years) 2,580/345 = 7.48 years is the combined 1st round AVGY.

Although the TE's are slightly below the groups AVGY, if you need one and there is one in this round whom you have graded this high, you better get him now. After the first round, the TE's take a dive to the bottom and stay there!

The P/K's screw up the realistic comparison for the first two rounds, since so few are picked. There was only one selection in each of those rounds, and so however well or poorly that player did is the total summation. (I know, I thought for a minute that I should just leave them out of the deal, but we do need those guys.)

If you need an O-line guy, and have a chance to get one you have ranked in the first round, then it's a good bet! The first round RB's did quite well, and if you can wait on a WR until the second round you can save some bucks. The difference in their AVGY is just 0.1%, and the % of them lasting 5 - 10 years is higher than first rounders!

THE SECOND ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted......%@ 5-7 years.....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

QB's................14...............(13) 93%.............(07) 50%............(04) 29%.............8.4 years (117 total years)
O-line...............50...............(44) 88%.............(21) 42%............(08) 16%.............7.5 years (373 total years)
DB's.................92...............(75) 82%.............(41) 45%............(12) 13%.............7.2 years (661 total years)
P/K...................01...............(01) 100%...........(00) 00%...........(00) 00%.............7.0 years (07 total years)
D-Line..............55...............(43) 78%.............(21) 38%............(03) 05%.............6.5 years (356 total years)
WR's................43...............(36) 84%.............(22) 51%............(02) 05%.............6.4 years (277 total years)
LB's.................47...............(39) 83%.............(13) 28%............(02) 04%.............6.1 years (289 total years)
RB's.................22...............(14) 64%.............(05) 23%............(01) 05%.............5.6 years (124 total years)
TE's.................26...............(17) 65%.............(07) 27%............(02) 08%.............5.1 years (132 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE SECOND ROUND: 350 (2,336 total years) 2,336/350 = 6.67 years is the combined 2nd round AVGY.

There is a pretty good selection of positions above the total group's AVGY, so you again have a good shot at finding some long term players in a position of need. Here is a good place for that wide receiver you needed, because from here on out they don't do nearly as well. If you can't find a quality WR in the 2nd, or TE in the 1st round, I would just wait & grab some UDFA's. Grab an exceptional QB, and he'll make them all great anyway.

Those of you who read the QB's longevity study saw that the 2nd round selections out performed the first round picks. It was the only position where that happened in those two rounds, however the 6th round TE picks out performed both the 4th & 5th rounders. The first two rounds are certainly beating the 3.3 year averages given to us by the NFLPA.

THE THIRD ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted......%@ 5-7 years.....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

P/K.................06...............(05) 83%.............(03) 50%............(01) 17%.............8.2 years (49 total years)
O-line..............51...............(38) 75%.............(21) 41%............(04) 08%.............6.4 years (325 total years)
LB's................60...............(44) 73%.............(18) 30%............(06) 10%.............6.0 years (359 total years)
D-Line............54...............(32) 59%.............(19) 35%............(05) 09%.............5.9 years (321 total years)
DB's...............74...............(43) 58%.............(18) 24%............(05) 07%.............5.8 years (427 total years)
QB's...............18...............(13) 72%.............(04) 22%............(04) 22%.............5.7 years (102 total years)
RB's...............21...............(15) 71%.............(09) 43%............(00) 00%.............5.5 years (115 total years)
WR's.............45................(26) 58%.............(10) 22%............(03) 07%.............5.1 years (231 total years)
TE's...............31................(17) 55%.............(07) 23%............(01) 03%.............4.5 years (138 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE THIRD ROUND: 360 (2,067 total years) 2,067/360 = 5.74 years is the combined 3rd round AVGY.

The RB's here actually look pretty good in the 5 + to 8+ year category. It was an improvement in those two spots over their 2nd round selections, but the fact that the 11+ category was a wash hurt a bit. The O-line and LB's are back up there like they both were in the first round, so here may be a good place to take a 2nd chance.

It isn't looking to good for the TE's and that theme will carry through to the end. It seems like the TE group is fairing a bit worse than the RB's in every round.

THE FOURTH ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted......%@ 5-7 years.....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

P/K.................09...............(06) 67%............(03) 33%............(02) 22%.............6.3 years (57 total years)
QB's...............21...............(14) 67%.............(07) 33%...........(01) 05%.............5.4 years (114 total years)
LB's...............59...............(41) 69%.............(20) 34%............(02) 03%.............5.5 years (327 total years)
O-line.............55...............(30) 55%.............(11) 20%............(04) 07%.............5.0 years (276 total years)
DB's...............83...............(35) 42%.............(18) 22%............(04) 05%.............5.0 years (414 total years)
D-Line............64...............(37) 58%.............(14) 22%............(02) 03%.............4.9 years (316 total years)
WR's..............43...............(19) 44%.............(09) 21%............(02) 05%.............4.7 years (202 total years)
RB's...............31...............(14) 45%.............(03) 10%............(00) 00%.............4.0 years (123 total years)
TE's...............26...............(07) 27%.............(04) 15%............(00) 00%.............2.8 years (74 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE FOURTH ROUND: 391 (1,903 total years) 1,903/391 = 4.87 years is the combined 4th round AVGY.

In this round the TE's have already dropped below the 3.3 year player average referenced by the NFLPA. This may be a good place to grab that backup QB though, as the next round is a wasted pick in that group. You still have better than a 30% chance at finding a LB that will last 8 - 10 years.

THE FIFTH ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted......%@ 5-7 years.....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

D-Line..............58.............(31) 53%.............(17) 29%............(02) 03%.............5.1 years (294 total years)
P/K...................06.............(04) 67%.............(03) 50%............(01) 17%.............5.0 years (30 total years)
RB's.................16.............(09) 56%.............(04) 25%............(01) 06%.............5.0 years (80 total years)
O-line...............65.............(31) 48%.............(15) 23%............(02) 03%.............4.7 years (303 total years)
LB's.................53.............(25) 47%.............(10) 19%............(03) 06%.............4.2 years (224 total years)
DB's.................83.............(40) 48%.............(09) 11%............(01) 01%.............4.0 years (337 total years)
WR's...............43.............(13) 30%.............(04) 09%............(00) 00%.............3.2 years (139 total years)
QB's................17.............(05) 29%.............(02) 12%............(01) 06%.............3.0 years (51 total years)
TE's.................49.............(16) 33%.............(06) 12%............(00) 00%.............2.7 years (133 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE FIFTH ROUND: 390 (1,591 total years) 1,591/390 = 4.08 years is the combined 5th round AVGY.

This could be another good place to take a shot at a running back since there's a 56% chance of getting 5 - 7 good years out of him. You could get lucky here and get 10 or more! As you can see, 5th round QB's are a disastrous pick when linemen look like a much better bet.

You may be wondering about that P/K stat. If 2 of them hadn't been cut so early then the total years would have been much better. That's the thing about that group again. So few in numbers that one ore two make a big difference.

THE SIXTH ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted....%@ 5-7 years....%@ 8-10 years....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

P/K.................13.............(08) 62%.............(02) 15%............(01) 08%.............4.8 years (62 total years)
DB's................82............(34) 41%.............(10) 12%............(01) 01%.............3.9 years (317 total years)
LB's................52.............(20) 38%.............(06) 12%............(02) 04%.............3.9 years (203 total years)
D-Line............75.............(29) 39%.............(09) 12%............(03) 04%.............3.8 years (285 total years)
QB's...............27.............(09) 33%.............(04) 15%............(03) 11%.............3.5 years (95 total years)
O-line..............63.............(26) 41%.............(07) 11%............(02) 03%.............3.4 years (216 total years)
TE's................33.............(11) 33%.............(05) 15%............(03) 09%.............3.1 years (102 total years)
RB's...............18..............(05) 28%.............(03) 17%............(00) 00%.............3.0 years (54 total years)
WR's..............52.............(12) 23%.............(01) 02%............(00) 00%..............2.7 years (138 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE SIXTH ROUND: 415 (1,472 total years) 1,472/415 = 3.54 years is the combined 6th round AVGY.

If you remember the table showing the "CUTS IN CAMP" then you know that the O-linmen were the highest position to get cut. For some reason, the sixth round picks are the ones cut the most, and that is where a good number of their short timers came from as well. The 7th round is where the most O-linemen are selected, and the 6th & 7th round AVGY is identical for the position.

This is a round where defensive players are the best bet. It is also the round where most of the positions begin to reflect the old 3.3 years per player average that I keep referring to.

THE SEVENTH ROUND COMPARISON:

Position.....# Drafted.....%@ 5+years.....%@ 8+years.....%@ 11+years...........AVGY

O-line..............90...............(30) 33%...........(15) 16%..........(04) 04%.............3.4 years (304 total years)
P/K.................11................(05) 45%...........(04) 36%..........(02) 18%.............3.3 years (36 total years)
D-Line.............91...............(26) 29%...........(07) 08%..........(02) 02%.............3.1 years (281 total years)
LB's................58...............(15) 26%...........(07) 12%..........(02) 03%.............3.1 years (180 total years)
DB's................83...............(21) 25%...........(06) 07%..........(01) 01%.............3.0 years (246 total years)
QB's...............31................(07) 23%...........(02) 06%..........(01) 03%.............2.7 years (85 total years)
TE's................50................(12) 24%...........(03) 06%..........(01) 02%.............2.7 years (133 total years)
RB's...............29................(04) 14%...........(02) 07%..........(00) 00%.............2.7 years (78 total years)
WR's..............69................(15) 22%...........(06) 09%..........(02) 03%.............2.6 years (178 total years)

TOTAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE SEVENTH ROUND: 512 (1,521 total years) 1,521/512 = 2.97 years is the combined 7th round AVGY.

THE BOTTOM LINE: 13,470 years / 2,763 players = 4.87 AVGY.

It appears that the modern era of the NFL has improved the longevity of it's employees with an improvement in equipment, and with rules that affect employee safety. 2,763 players were selected in the seven rounds, and they combined for a total of 13,470 years. That gives us a combined AVGY of 4.87 years.

These new rules may benefit the TE and WR groups the most, but you can bet that the Safeties, Corners and Line Backers hate them. Since the TE's and WR's are two of the shortest tenured groups, they have to be happy about those rule changes. If anyone knows about a study on the injuries in the NFL based upon the positions I'd really like to see it.

Here is the last of this long set of statistics.

POSITION...YEARS / PLAYERS = AVGY

P/K's..................253/47.............=5.38
DB's.................2895/562...........=5.15
D-Line..............2424/473...........=5.12
LB's.................1891/369............=5.12
O-line...............2119/415............=5.10
QB's...................811/160............=5.06
RB's...................765/162............=4.72
WR's................1471/342............=4.30
TE's....................841/233............=3.61

It appears that the running backs are no longer the most endangered position in the NFL. If anyone can shed some light on why the TE's and WR's dropped below them I'd sure like to hear about it. Thanks for taking the time to check out this long series of stats with me.

If you have any ideas an how this material may be used in the future just let me know. I'm certain that NFL teams have been using this information for quite some time now. I'm curious to see how some of our drafts stack up to the tables above.

After completing this study I discovered this article telling about a new study conducted by the NFL last year. This study is being hotly contested by the NFLPA! A revealing article by the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) gives their slant on the issue. Have fun!

GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPER BOWL OR BUST.





This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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