The 2010 Roster - Approximate Value

I've been having fun recently over at Pro Football Reference, perusing their Approximate Value stats. In the past, I've tried to judge rosters and draft classes based off of the number of cumulative starts each player has - it's a blunt instrument that has a bit of value. AV is basically the same philosophy, but on steroids, and it can be sliced up in any number of ways.

One way it can be explored is by looking at how much value a player had for a particular season. Well, the 2010 numbers are in, and it's pretty fascinating. The AV numbers range from 0 (a great many players) to 20 (Arian Foster and Clay Matthews). Below the fold I'm going to group the Broncos' Roster by how many points each player got. Some of the results go against our conventional wisdom. You can spoil yourself by going to PFR's "play index" and doing the query yourself, but this is more fun.

Zero Points - The Scrubs: Here are the list of Broncos that didn't accrue any value points for the 2010 season. Note that this list is limited to players that made game appearances:

  1. Kevin Alexander
  2. D'Anthony Batiste
  3. Zane Beadles
  4. Diyral Biggs
  5. Andre Brown
  6. Chris Clark
  7. Daniel Coats
  8. Britton Colquitt
  9. Stanley Daniels
  10. Britt Davis
  11. Steven Hauschka
  12. Louis Leonard
  13. Kyle McCarthy
  14. Jarvis Moss
  15. Eric Olsen
  16. Matt Prater
  17. Lee Robinson
  18. LeKevin Smith
  19. David Veikune
  20. Matt Willis

First, I'm not familiar with how kickers are rated in regards to AV, so I wouldn't read much into Prater/Colquitt/Hauschka being on this list. Most of the players on this list are players that didn't get much playing time. A couple might have potential (I am curious about Veikune, but I don't think he's even under contract for 2011.) The real surprise name to me is Zane Beadles - especially given the relative score of his rookie counterpart, JD Walton (more on him later). Beadles got a lot of playing time. If this score is based in reality, then it could very well mean that our OL priority this offseason would be in re-signing Harris, and then finding another guard.

Update: I just heard that there was a bug in PFR's AV scoring system that inappropriate ranked some 2010 rookies with score 0. This definitely impacts Beadles, who will end up with a higher score, and maybe others. I'll update this when the scores are corrected.

One Point - The Role Players:

  1. Lance Ball
  2. Eric Decker
  3. Ronald Fields
  4. Laurence Maroney
  5. Darcel McBath
  6. Lonie Paxton
  7. Syd-Quan Thompson
  8. Cassius Vaughn
  9. Wesley Woodyard

This group is largely players that got a small amount of playing time and also showed some ability. Once again, Syd-Quan and Vaughn are mentioned in the same breath. It'd be awesome if we could merge them into one player, no? SquidVaughn? Some of these players are disappointments like Maroney and Fields, some have lots of potential for the future. The one that sticks out to me is Wesley Woodyard - it seems he's been mentioned a bit more often around here lately as a possible starter for the future. But he's never scored very high in this metric, and it may be that he's more a high-character player that should at best be a role player and backup, at least if we had a playoff-caliber linebacking corp.

Two Points - The Contributors:

  1. David Bruton
  2. Dan Gronkowski
  3. Nate Jones
  4. Spencer Larsen
  5. Joe Mays
  6. Ryan McBean
  7. Richard Quinn
  8. Demaryius Thomas
  9. Marcus Thomas

This is a nice, meaty list. Lots of... interesting... contributors here. We could easily argue that a couple of these players might normally have scored higher if not for injuries. A couple of others we can argue should be scored lower because of facemasks and just randomly hating them. But in general, every name on here has contributed to a greater degree than the Role Players. I personally still have hope for Richard Quinn - he blocks well and has honestly looked pretty athletic the few times he's been targeted.

Three Points - The Flashes:

  1. Correll Buckhalter
  2. Perrish Cox
  3. Andre' Goodman
  4. Tim Tebow

Carl and Perrish played almost the entire season, Andre' and Tebow were gone much of the season. Carl and Andre' were injured most of the season and flashed late. Perrish flashed throughout, in between a bunch of rookie mistakes, and Tebow flashed brightly, late in the season. Tebow amassed his three points mostly in the final three games of the season.

Four Points - The Solids:

  1. Robert Ayers
  2. Brian Dawkins
  3. Daniel Graham
  4. Russ Hochstein
  5. Kevin Vickerson

It's tough to think of a classification for this group because they each are controversial in their own way. But as a group it's definitely possible to argue that each played rather well aside from their various challenges. Ayers was a beast before his foot injury. Dawkins was valuable on the field despite his missed tackles late in the season. Graham had a very tough receiving year, but his still a heck of a blocker. Vickerson upgraded our defensive line. The odd name to me here is Hochstein, but it's also possible that we've given him short shrift - he's clearly intelligent with a lot of experience and versatility - he might have been better on the line than Beadles.

Five Points - The Roots:

  1. Justin Bannan
  2. Renaldo Hill
  3. Jason Hunter
  4. Eddie Royal
  5. Jamal Williams

If you're going to put together a young team, these are the kinds of players you might want to pull in first. They'll do their job, they'll help the people around them, and they'll serve as a good example to the other players around them on the field. They're not quite the center of the team that you build everything around, but they're the roots that you can build off of. Each of these players showed true ability and some flash, and were generally not controversial in how positive an impact they offered. They might be replaceable in the future, but only by talented players.

Six Points - The Starters:

  1. Mario Haggan
  2. Ryan Harris
  3. D.J. Williams

At this level, the players might not be pro bowlers, but they're effective starters. On average, nothing to be concerned about. Difficult to replace. You hope to hold on to them, they're the glue that holds together the rest of the team, to support the true stars. There are caveats - Mario was helped by his four-sack game, D.J. isn't penalized by his DUI problems - but they are definite starters.

Seven Points - The Examples:

  1. Chris Kuper
  2. Jabar Gaffney

These guys are a small step above the level of starter. They serve as an example to other players in their positions, and are definitely guys you want to keep around. We're a bit spoiled with our wide receiver corp - if we weren't, I think we'd be appreciating Jabar Gaffney a lot more than we already do.

Eight Points - The Future Stars:

  1. Knowshon Moreno
  2. J.D. Walton

Surprise! According to AV, these two players scored very well this season. It's surprising (if somehow encouraging) that J.D. Walton is... mentioned in such a different breath than Zane Beadles. But very welcome news - we almost never heard his name in a bad way this season, but I still couldn't help but notice him giving some monstrous blocks rather far downfield, many times. As for Moreno, I've been noticing that he's been rated very highly using a variety of pseudo-objective ranking systems. Both as a very good running back, and as more value than average for where we got him in the draft. Yes, better than your average #12. We had some o-line troubles early in the season, but this guy is very good.

Nine Points - The Pro Bowlers:

  1. Champ Bailey
  2. Ryan Clady

First, a secret about the AV system - players do get a minor boost in their calculations if they have made prior pro bowls or all-pro ballots. But it's still greatly dependent on their play for the season, and both of these players had good seasons. Clady had a bit of fall-off compared to his prior seasons, but he was recovering from an injury. Bailey was his consistent self.

Eleven Points - The Orton:

  1. Kyle Orton

At this point, I think it's fairly impossible for a Broncos fan to speak objectively about Kyle Orton. He's the lens through which we see the Broncos' past and future. He's either very talented and underappreciated, or a stats collector with no intangibles. But he was an extremely valuable part of Denver's offense when the offense was producing.
But he's still not the MVP of the 2010 Broncos, according to AV. There is one player remaining. So, without further ado...

Twelve Points - The Tigger:

  1. Brandon Lloyd

I'm serious! Have you seen this guy bound up and down as he runs back to the huddle? He bounces higher than a gazelle.

So that's it - the entire 2010 roster, in terms of every player that made a game appearance as a Denver Bronco. The url I used to compile this list is here: . One other thing I thought would be interesting would be to add up all the AV points for the 2010 Broncos, and compare that to the total AV points for the 2010 Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers. Or any other team in the league. That might give us another metric to examine how large our talent deficit is. But that started to turn into too large a job. I'd love to read what someone else comes up with along these lines. Here's a hint, though. Denver has eleven players ranked 6 ("Starter") or higher. San Diego has nineteen. Kansas City and Oakland each have twenty. Kansas City has nine players ranked 9 ("Pro Bowlers") or above.

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