Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Jul 2011

ESPN: Ranking The Top NFL Organizations

It's quite a shakeup from last year's list as our 30th ranked team in last year's 25-and-under organizational rankings is now first. Who took the top spot away from Houston?

Posted by: Danny Tuccitto on 28 Jul 2011

15 comments, Last at 12 Aug 2011, 8:00pm by Jan


by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 1:50pm

Considering how many rookies Tampa wound up having to start due to the injuries all over the place, not really surprising that they came in at #1. See, people who like to whine about Insider, now you know.

Out of curiosity, I just looked up Tampa's roster. Ronde Barber is 36, Earnest Graham is 31, and Jeff Faine is 30. Every other player on the team is under 30, and there are only TEN players over the age of 25 on the roster. Wow.

by QQ (not verified) :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 2:42pm

GB must rank quite high on the list (I cannot view it). For 25 or under, GB has already 4 Pro Bowl Calliber stars who are already among the best at their positions in the entire league: Clay Matthews, BJ, Raji, Josh Sitton and Jermichael Finley. By contrast, Tampa has 0.

Even outside of those obvious 4, GB has potential rising stars in Sam Shield, Mike Neal, and Morgan Burnett.

Out of curiosity what metric does the rating use to determine the rankings.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 4:09pm

• The number of games in 2010 started by players under the age of 25
• Whether or not a team's young starters last season were simply injury replacements
• The number of 25-or-younger first-team All-Pros that a team has on its roster
• The extent to which a team's 25-and-under talent plays impact positions in the passing game
• Whether or not a team has a talented, young quarterback
• The amount of value a team added in the 2011 draft
• A team's recent track record of developing and retaining young talent

GB is #7. Tampa factors at #1 because (A) they're very young, and (B) due to injuries last year, their youngest players had to play a lot; at the end of the season, Tampa was starting 10 rookies, and many of them played quite well.

As for "best at position", that seems a pretty irrelevant stat; arguing whether Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald is better doesn't impact the relative quality of their steams. "Good" is "good". Tampa clearly has an extremely good, young QB, a couple impressive young WRs in Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn, LeGarrette Blount as the undrafted free agent rookie, lots of potential talent along the d-line . . . it's a young team with a lot of talent.

Tampa and GB are the two teams I think look best in the NFC for the next five years based on current talent, as both have drafted very well recently.

by QQ (not verified) :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 4:23pm

Thanks for the response. I do disagree with one thing though and would suspect that many other would. You are right that the difference between a Fitzgerald or an Andre Johnson is likely negligible. However, saying that "Good" is "good" does not properly weight the advantage that a Superstar provides over a merely above average player. For example, the production of a Suh or Clay Matthews or a likely 1st Team All Pro Caliber player is worth much more than a borderline Pro Bowl player.

It may be too subjective or complicated to assign weightings to these Under 25 Player (For example, would an expansion team rather have Suh or a 2 Player combo of Benn and Blount, my guess is most would take Suh) but it would be fascinating to see

by Danny Tuccitto :: Sat, 07/30/2011 - 6:51pm

TB was actually 5th-healthiest team among over-25s last year, so their young guys weren't just starting because older guys were hurt. It was more your (A) than (B), and their standing on our second criterion was one reason why they ended up #1.

by Tim Wilson :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 3:11pm

The Ravens, Jets, and Falcons are in the bottom 5 teams, and the Chargers are #25. So we must be saying that this metric is only meaningful for gauging future performance, because it certainly didn't handicap those teams last year.

I'd like to see rankings from the past few years (how long ago did FO start doing this?) and see how they related to team performance.

by Scott C :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 4:11pm

Does it adjust for position?

A 29 year old Pro-Bowl RB is a liability.
A 29 year old Pro-Bowl QB or CB is an asset.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 11:39pm

and both are irrelevant when discussing players under the age of 25.

by iapetus (not verified) :: Mon, 08/01/2011 - 4:30am

Really? Because as I understand the way the game works, if you have a 29-year-old starting QB, then your 25-year-old QB is... not starting. A roster slot that's filled by an older player is one that isn't available for a younger player, so both are highly relevant in this case. And the suggestion - whether you agree with it is up to you - is that while it would be good to have a young RB starting, throwing a young QB in might be a sign of a weakness at the position.

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) :: Fri, 07/29/2011 - 12:02pm

can someone just list all 32 teams

or at least the giants

by Mark Sanchez (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2011 - 12:37pm

Giants are at #4

Nicks, Phillips, Thomas, Pierre-Paul, Manningham, etc.

by Anonymous(not that one) (not verified) :: Sun, 07/31/2011 - 8:32am

GB wasn't ranked number one. Odd how a team overcomes 15 IR players, is very young, has a prime QB, and won the SB isn't number one. I must not have understood what great is when Lombardi was carving his name into the trophy.

by marcopo :: Thu, 08/04/2011 - 11:48am

Sorry. I just don't see the relevance of this measurement. As much as Football Outsider tries, not all things can be measured in meaningful ways. Last year, the Packers had the second youngest team. OK. The only core players over 30 are Woodson and Clifton. Rodgers is 28. Finley, Raji, Matthews, Sitton, Shields, Bulaga, Sherrod, Cobb and Starks are babies. It seems to me, more important than the number of babies, is the value each babe has.

by Benny (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2011 - 5:07pm

Where was Miami ranked? I've gotta think, with there young nucleus, that they'd be rated pretty high.

by Jan (not verified) :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 8:00pm

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