The 2013 NFL Draft Expert Grades Visualized by Team and Round

UPDATE: I’ve received a lot of feedback to extend this analysis into a relative value one in order to answer the question “Which teams received the most value given their available picks?” That post is here: The 2013 NFL Draft Part 2: Which Teams Got the Most Value Given Their Draft Pick Positions?

We all know there’s no quantitative or qualitative way of knowing exactly how well each NFL team drafted until those players turn out to be either superstars or busts. However, I came across this results table from NFL.com and noticed that each draft pick was assigned an “Expert Grade”. The table of grades is broken down as such:


gradingSystem

I viewed the source on that page and simply grabbed the JSON draft data, read it into R, cleaned it up a bit and then imported into Tableau Public. I wanted to be able to visualize the results of the NFL Draft by Teams, Rounds, Positions and Expert Grades. I’m sure there are a lot of smarter ways to play with this data such as weighting later round picks more in order to identify late round sleeper/bargain steals. You can filter by team or division, but of course don’t try to select AFC East and then choose an NFC West team – that won’t show any data!

Here are a few interesting points I found by slicing and dicing the data within the Tableau dashboard.

  • From the Division dropdown menu, select All.
  • The upper left-hand view isn’t very helpful but scroll down in the Average Expert Grades by Round worksheet. I noticed Denver had quite a late round steal with drafting QB Dysert in round 7 (according to the experts this was graded 83.50). The Buffalo Bills however, flopped with a 68.70 in the first round on QB Manuel.
  • The NFC East chalked up the highest overall average draft grade.
  • The Dallas Cowboys had an overall average draft grade of 77.63, the highest in the league, while Seattle had the lowest overall average grade of 63.25.
  • What other cool pieces of information can you find from this data?

Comments (4)

  1. Great stuff Tanya, nice use of shapes and heatmaps. It looks like the Broncos made up for their 3rd round “low grade” pick of Webster (Expert Grade = 52) with their 7th round selection of Dysert (Grade = 83.5). Having recently moved to Seattle, I’m a little bummed to see the Seahawks at the bottom of the heat map, but we’ll have to see how the picks turn out. I wonder if there’s a way to look at past drafts and see how well the expert’s grades panned out. Nice work, thanks for sharing.

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