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  1. #1
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    With all of the talk going on between Ndamukong Suh, Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford being No. 1 overall selections this year, I felt it was important to look at the hit and bust rates of both the quarterback and defensive tackle positions to see if the former was actually the riskier pick.

    Below is a chart of all of the quarterbacks and defensive tackles selected in the top 16* of each NFL Draft from 1993** to 2009.

    * Why top 16? I wanted to cover the top half of the first round, and anything below that gets distorted. For example, if a No. 20 overall quarterback starts and plays well (but not on a Pro Bowl level) for only 4-5 seasons, is he considered a bust? A top-16 quarterback would be, but a guy who is taken No. 20 isn't expected to be a perennial Pro Bowler or anything.

    ** Why 1993? I didn't want to go beyond 15 years because scouting has really changed since then. But then again, I also wanted to include Dan Wilkinson (the last defensive tackle to be drafted No. 1 overall). I also wanted to add in some quarterback busts like Rick Mirer and Heath Schuler. Overall, I thought going back to 1993 would give us an accurate and large enough sample size to work with.

    Quarterback
    Draft No.
    Year
    Hit, OK or Bust
    Comment

    Matthew Stafford
    1
    2009
    TBA

    JaMarcus Russell
    1
    2007
    Bust
    If he eats his way out of the league, perhaps he can do ads for Skittles.

    Alex Smith
    1
    2006
    Bust
    He's playing OK now, but he's a bust for a No. 1 overall pick.

    Eli Manning
    1
    2004
    Hit
    Some will argue how great Eli Manning is, but he's a top-12 NFL quarterback and a Super Bowl winner. The Giants paid him a ton of money for a reason.

    Carson Palmer
    1
    2003
    Hit

    David Carr
    1
    2002
    Bust

    Michael Vick
    1
    2001
    Hit
    Was a Pro Bowler; sold tons of tickets; reached NFC Championship; exciting player before drowning dogs.

    Tim Couch
    1
    1999
    Bust

    Peyton Manning
    1
    1998
    Hit

    Drew Bledsoe
    1
    1993
    Hit

    Donovan McNabb
    2
    1999
    Hit

    Ryan Leaf
    2
    1998
    Bust

    Rick Mirer
    2
    1993
    Bust

    Matt Ryan
    3
    2008
    Hit

    Vince Young
    3
    2006
    OK
    Certainly not a bust, but not great or anything.

    Joey Harrington
    3
    2002
    Bust

    Akili Smith
    3
    1999
    Bust

    Steve McNair
    3
    1995
    Hit

    Heath Shuler
    3
    1994
    Bust

    Philip Rivers
    4
    2004
    Hit

    Mark Sanchez
    5
    2009
    TBA
    Certainly looks like a hit, but still early.

    Kerry Collins
    5
    1995
    Hit

    Trent Dilfer
    6
    1994
    OK

    Byron Leftwich
    7
    2003
    Bust

    Matt Leinart
    10
    2005
    Bust

    Jay Cutler
    11
    2006
    Hit
    One of the most talented QBs in the NFL; had no running game, receivers, offensive line or defense in Chicago.

    Ben Roethlisberger
    11
    2004
    Hit

    Daunte Culpepper
    11
    1999
    Hit

    Cade McNown
    12
    1999
    Bust



    Defensive Tackle
    Draft No.
    Year
    Hit, OK or Bust
    Comment

    Dan Wilkinson
    1
    1994
    Hit
    The last defensive tackle to go No. 1.

    Darrell Russell
    2
    1997
    Bust
    Two great years in 1998 and 1999 - then out of the league a couple of seasons later.

    Gerard Warren
    3
    2001
    Bust

    Dewayne Robertson
    4
    2003
    Bust

    Glenn Dorsey
    5
    2008
    Bust
    Some will say it's too soon, but I haven't seen anything out of him in two years. Two career sacks from the guy who was supposed to be the next Warren Sapp.

    Johnathan Sullivan
    6
    2003
    Bust

    Ryan Sims
    6
    2002
    Bust

    Richard Seymour
    6
    2001
    Hit
    Plays end now, but came into the league as a defensive tackle.

    Corey Simon
    6
    2000
    OK
    Had a few dominant years, but then ate himself out of the league.

    Sedrick Ellis
    7
    2008
    Hit

    Bryant Young
    7
    1994
    Hit

    Sam Adams
    8
    1994
    Hit

    B.J. Raji
    9
    2009
    TBA

    Kevin Williams
    9
    2003
    Hit

    John Henderson
    9
    2002
    Hit

    Amobi Okoye
    10
    2007
    Bust
    He's still young, but three years of mediocre production thus far.

    Dan Williams
    11
    1993
    Bust

    Haloti Ngata
    12
    2006
    Hit

    Jimmy Kennedy
    12
    2003
    Bust

    Wendell Bryant
    12
    2002
    Bust

    Damione Lewis
    12
    2001
    Bust

    Warren Sapp
    12
    1995
    Hit

    Adam Carriker
    13
    2007
    Bust

    Ty Warren
    13
    2003
    Hit

    Marcus Stroud
    13
    2001
    Hit

    Brodrick Bunkley
    14
    2006
    Hit

    Tommie Harris
    14
    2004
    Hit

    Jason Peter
    14
    1998
    Bust

    Albert Haynesworth
    15
    2002
    Hit

    Booger McFarland
    15
    1999
    Hit

    Ellis Johnson
    15
    1995
    OK

    Justin Harrell
    16
    2007
    Bust

    Travis Johnson
    16
    2005
    Bust




    My fingers are about to fall off after typing up those two tables in HTML. So, let's not waste any time and see what we can take from these two long tables:

    Quarterbacks:

    There were 29 quarterbacks selected in the top 16 of the NFL Draft since 1993...

    Hits: 13
    Busts: 12
    OK: 2
    TBA: 2

    Defensive Tackles:

    There were 33 defensive tackles selected in the top 16 of the NFL Draft since 1993...

    Hits: 15
    Busts: 15
    OK: 2
    TBA: 1

    Now, let's look at the hit and bust rates for each position:

    Quarterback Hit Rate: 48.2%
    Defensive Tackle Hit Rate: 46.9%

    Quarterback Bust Rate: 44.4%
    Defensive Tackle Bust Rate: 46.9%

    I find it very interesting that according to this data, quarterbacks have higher success rates and lower bust rates than defensive tackles, yet defensive tackle is generally perceived to be the safer route.

    It's a small sample size, but the disparity is even larger in the top five. In that area, only one defensive tackle has panned out of five opportunities, whereas five of 10 quarterbacks have been "hits," and only four of 10 quarterbacks have been busts.

    Considering how important the quarterback is in relation to the defensive tackle, if a team is deciding between the two positions, the "risk" factor should not sway them away from taking a signal-caller. In fact, it's actually riskier to take a defensive tackle.


    ***

    One more thing - I wanted to see how these two positions translated into winning and losing on the football field. I took all of the "hit" players listed in the two tables, and looked up how their initial franchise fared while they were on the roster:

    Hit Quarterback Original Team Record: 828-593 (.583)
    Hit Quarterback Average Years on Original Team: 6.9
    Hit Quarterback Average Playoff Years on Original Team: 3.8

    Hit Defensive Tackle Original Team Record: 966-745 (.565)
    Hit Defensive Tackle Average Years on Original Team: 6.4
    Hit Defensive Tackle Average Playoff Years on Original Team: 3.1

    No one should be shocked that teams with hit quarterbacks were more successful than teams with hit defensive tackles. I actually thought there would be more of a disparity until I realized that the numbers are skewed; after all, did the Patriots win three Super Bowls because of Richard Seymour and Ty Warren (two of the hit defensive tackles that affected these numbers), or because of Tom Brady? Brady is the correct answer just in case you have Bucky Brooks Syndrome and inexplicably hate quarterbacks.

    At any rate, I'm going to look into the hit and bust rates of the other positions soon. But with all of these facts and numbers in mind, hopefully the notion of taking a quarterback won't be seen as risky too much longer. In fact, the real risk is passing up on a franchise quarterback.
    --Courtesy of Walter Football


  2. #2
    01d 0rd3r's Avatar
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Cant say I'm surprised by the data. You hear more about QB bust then you do about DT bust. Honestly are you more likely to hear grief about Stafford having a bad year or B.J. Raji having a bad year?

    Saying that, I still think QB's have a harder time transitioning into an NFL game. The QB is the most mental position on the field, the only thing that even compares is the CB and the Center.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Bah, pseudoscience. Those hit and bust ratings are completely arbitrary. Cutler is a hit because his failure can be blamed on others? Carriker is a definite bust because he has been injured? Gerard Warren still starts in the league but doesn't even get an "okay"?

    The comments afterward about how the numbers are skewed just emphasizes the author's bias. The data he provides suggests that there is very little difference in the risk associated with each, so he makes an unsupported claim that the success of defensive tackles is determined by the success of their teams' quarterbacks.
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -03-13-2010 at 01:00 PM.

  4. #4
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    I agree with GoldenFleece on this one. It's opinions, not facts. Walter Football has always been viewed with a grain of salt by the majority in this forum. For instance, he stated that Vick was a hit. How did he come up with this data? If you look at stats, there are many lower-round QB's who have outperformed Vick. If you go by win-loss record, Vick isn't so hot, either. Yet people keep on saying that he's a good QB. It has been said that if you want a lie to be believed, keep repeating it until people accept it as fact. It's happened many times - and it looks like the writer of the article referred to by Bralidore(RAMMODE) believes the rumors he has heard instead of basing this article on facts. Had the Walter Football writer researched the subject and used actual statistics instead of a lot of obviously biased opinions, this might have been an interesting subject.

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    peramoure is offline Registered User
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    You guys can make all the excuses you want - I see you're talking about Gerard Warren and Carriker and how they should be reconsidered, and that they may not be busts, but you don't make the same argument for Leftwich or Leinart, who are considered busts in this article. I would say Leftwich was productive and started, and Leinart remains to be be seen (Warren and Carriker).

    I think the information is pretty solid, and overall I would guess that the bust to hit ratio would be about 50% at ALL positions, not just DT and QB.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Quote Originally Posted by peramoure View Post
    You guys can make all the excuses you want - I see you're talking about Gerard Warren and Carriker and how they should be reconsidered, and that they may not be busts, but you don't make the same argument for Leftwich or Leinart, who are considered busts in this article. I would say Leftwich was productive and started, and Leinart remains to be be seen (Warren and Carriker).

    I think the information is pretty solid, and overall I would guess that the bust to hit ratio would be about 50% at ALL positions, not just DT and QB.
    It cuts both ways, but that's just the point. Without specific criteria about what constitutes a bust, and with a small sample size, every name that moves from one category to another makes a significant difference.

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    BigGameTH is offline Registered User
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    I totally agree with Golden that many of these can really go either way.

    The one that stuck out to me was Kerry Collins. The Panthers started him for 3 years after being drafted #5 and he had QB ratings of 62, 79, and 56. He was then released during year 4 due to alcoholism. I would hate to model our drafting after the fact that Kerry Collins was a success and Gerard Warren was a bust when even Warren's wikipedia page says "by most accounts he is considered something of a draft "winner" given how the high expectations are for an overall third pick."

    Moreover his stats don't even address the question he is answering: is Sam Bradford a riskier pick than Suh? I think Bradford is a riskier pick because he's coming off shoulder surgery and because Suh is a better prospect than Bradford. I don't mind us drafting Bradford but lets not kid ourselves saying Bradford is the less risky option.

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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Wow.. nicecommitment to your project! I think personally that this will never have any kind of real resolve because any of these situations are a % confidence/ luck/ and situational.. ther's just no real way to accuratly break the odds down. too many factors to be simplified.. that being said I think personally the % that Suh jumps next level is better than Bradford because of Suh'slack of supporting cast as compared to bradford.. so I am a suh solder.. but either way still a nice read

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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Suh is still the better choice for the Rams.

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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Quote Originally Posted by poejoe8 View Post
    There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Suh is still the better choice for the Rams.
    Why? our defense was what held us in games last season, our offense sucked (not SJax) Bradford was predicted to go before Matthew Stafford last season, why are we not jumping to pick him? idk maybe we are just waiting to see if there can be a trade.

  11. #11
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    This is not even remotely scientific.

    First, the designations of "hit" and "bust" are subjective, and I'm sure that many would disagree with WF's position on several players.

    Second, there is a big difference between a "bust" QB and a "bust" DT. Some of the "bust" DTs, though disappointing, have nonethelss been starters who have contributed to their teams (though not to the level expected of a first round pick). Most "bust" QBs, on the other hand, once their "bust" status is revealed, sit on the bench and do nothing for the team other than hold a clipboard.

  12. #12
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    I totally agree with most of you guys who say this is very subjective. Just posted this to gauge reactions from you guys.

    What constitues a person to qualify as a bust isn't a science and is subjective.

    How many "grace" years does a player have before he is given the bust label? (ie people saying Dorsey is a bust yet is only 2 years into the league, and playing out of his position.)
    How productive must the player be before he is or isn't a bust?

    What position is the player playing?
    As Avenger stated different positions require different things. If i draft a nose tackle high, is it realistic for me to expect him to acquire 8 or more sacks a season and 50+ tackles. Or should I be happy if he can suck up space in the middle and allow others to be productive, was he still worthy of that high pick?

    However, some isn't really subjective. If a guy has been in the league 5 or more years and hasn't consistently done anything, then he is probably a bust. Alex Smith is a borderline example of this. He is currently starting for the *****, had an ok season, but was the first overall opick FIVE years ago, and just now has done anything really.

    Is he a bust?

    I'd say quarterbacks are easier to identify as bust, due to how many times they touch the ball and their overall impact on a game.

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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    It's interesting that he defines 'hit' and 'bust' as production relative to draft status - that is, a #1 overall QB who starts for 3-4 years and never goes to a pro-bowl is a 'bust,' whereas a QB drafted #30 overall with the same production would not be a 'bust.' I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad way to do it, but notice what the real thesis he's testing is:

    "Do QBs and/or DTs perform better or worse than you would expect based on their draft stock?"

    And what do we find? Half of all QBs perform better than you'd expect based on draft status, and half perform worse. Similarly, half of DTs perform better and half perform worse. The conclusion I'd draw from that is that as a whole teams don't seem to be systematically over- or under-estimating the performance of either position in the draft.

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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGameTH View Post
    bust when even Warren's wikipedia page says "by most accounts he is considered something of a draft "winner" given how the high expectations are for an overall third pick."
    .
    Dude, you're using wiki as a reference point, as factual info? Do you know who writes wikipedia's fan pages for football players? The fans. I wouldn't be surprised if players themselves updated their wiki pages. Jeez.

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    BigGameTH is offline Registered User
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    Re: Is DT Safer then QB?: A Statistical Analysis by Walter Football

    Quote Originally Posted by peramoure View Post
    Dude, you're using wiki as a reference point, as factual info? Do you know who writes wikipedia's fan pages for football players? The fans. I wouldn't be surprised if players themselves updated their wiki pages. Jeez.
    That's a fair criticism. I honestly don't know enough about the guy to say whether he's a bust. I just glanced at his wiki and saw it directly contradicted Walterfootball. Everyone knows its not a reliable source, which is why I mentioned I got it from wikipedia. It's not like I was trying to sneak one by you are something.

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