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Worst Draft Classes of This Century

I love fun little historical pieces like this one from Eric Edholm over at Yahoo! Sports. Even if he doesn't go too far back in time, we don't remember a lot of these failures, but they're pretty bad. In the draft where they took JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders also cut the first pick of the third round before he ever played for them! Which 1-2 punch was worse: Troy Williamson-Erasmus James or A.J. Jenkins-LaMichael James? That's all covered here.

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5 comments, Last at 09 May 2019, 3:03am

1 Re: Worst Draft Classes of This Century

I played a little bit with numbers from PFR before the draft.

I came out with calculating the AV produced for the team that draft the player over the average of that value for the draft class. Then determined the Expected DraftAV over average for each draft position in a logarhitmic function.

Calculate the Ratio: DrAVoAV/ExpDrAV and then filtered the results, using as a cut number only teams that had more draft capital than the average during 2001-2018 (ExpDrav > 8.01).

After this, the Top 10 Worst are (Team. Year. DrAVoAVG. ExpDrAV. ratio):

Vikings 2005: 2.03; 10.03; 0.20
Rams 2006: 2.29; 9.91; 0.23
Broncos 2003: 2.46; 8.37; 0.29
Cardinals 2002: 2.88; 8.68; 0.33
Packers 2001: 3.02; 8.51; 0.36
Jets 2014: 3.65; 9.76; 0.37
Jaguars 2012: 3.25; 8.03; 0.40
Bears 2001: 3.41; 8.21; 0.41
Broncos 2009: 5.48; 13.02; 0.42
Dolphins 2013: 4.60; 10.79; 0.43

Raiders 2007 are #15 and have those numbers: 6.52 - 13.81 - 0.47.
JaMarcus was a gigantic iconic bust, but Miller, Henderson, Bush were decent I guess.

With the draft capital filter in, Seahawks 2012 are the best class, with a ratio of 2.47.

Without any filter, the best is Patriots 2005 (2.73: Mankins, Kaczur, Hobbs, Sanders, plus one season of Cassel from the late 7th round). The worst is 49ers 2012 (0.08!)

I did a raw graphical rendition here, where you can filter those numbers by years and teams:


5 Re: Worst Draft Classes of This Century

Going back 25 years (I stopped in 1994) it is the 2nd best with 18.12/6.36 = 2.85

The best ratio comes from the 1994 Broncos with 11.30/3.22 = 3.51
That class had only a 2nd, a 4th and three 7th. They got Aldridge as a serviceable LB and Nalen as a great center in the 7th.

It sure is a great value, but no historical haul, and that's why I put some sort of filter (draft capital better than average).

If you put the filter, then it is the 1995 Bucs (otherwise 7th overall) with 23.58/9.15 = 2.58