Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Dr. David Dean
Every year the National Football League has a draft selection process to recruit new talent. Despite the overwhelming amount of analysis performed on players, bad draft picks happen every year. Little research has previously been done to determine whether player performance is predictable at the time of the NFL Draft. Rafferty and Johnson chartered new territory in 2008 with their study entitled Is the NFL Draft a Crap Shoot? The Case of Wide Receivers. The purpose of this paper is to help fill the void of literature on performance prediction by extending the study by Rafferty and Johnson to analyze quarterbacks instead of wide receivers.
The empirical results of this study were limited by the amount of data available. The sample size was smaller than desired and subject to a selection bias that included performance measures from only the top quarterbacks. Unfortunately the appropriate data will never be obtainable so this study has made as many inferences as possible.
In general, the results are similar to Rafferty and Johnson; however, not as significant. Both studies conclude that the information available to scouts and NFL teams is useful; however, the majority of NFL performance is unpredictable at the time of the NFL Draft. That isn't to say that drafting players should just be decided by a coin flip, but it does indicate that an educated guess seems to be the best that NFL teams can do.
Montgomery, Cain, "Can scouts and NFL general managers predict future quarterback performance at the time of the NFL draft?" (2009). Honors Theses. 638.