Date of Publication

Fall 2013

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


The National Football League (NFL) draft is a reverse-order event that positions the teams with the worst record in the NFL to draft first, thus enabling those teams to get the best talent from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to help their team grow and be successful. In today’s NFL draft, there are 7 rounds of selections which includes 32 selections for 32 teams. While literature exists on what statistics are relevant toward evaluating specific positions and how that knowledge is used to select draft picks, there is no existing research that examines NFL success based on statistics and draft position. This gap in the knowledge lead to the question do individual offensive skill players who were drafted in the 3rd through 7th rounds of the NFL draft have more successful careers than those drafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds? By understanding the trends in the data that lead to flaws in scouting, one can then present the findings to the GM’s in charge of draft decision and give analytic review of the facts that exist in the scouting industry today. The results of the research show that 60 % of the running backs and wide receivers in the 3 rd-7th round sample have amassed greater average career statistics than the 1st and 2nd round players they were compared with. Players were randomly selected from the 2008-2012 drafts, where 4 players per position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver) were selected for each year. Two players per position were selected from the 1st and 2nd round, while the other two players per position were selected from the 3rd-7th rounds. These players were then put through a statistical test to determine success.