Saturday, October 19, 2019

How do NFL teams value positions? Here's the answer

This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Nobody Dec. 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm.

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  • #1077291

    tog
    Participant

    How do teams value positions? We can tell by what they pay them.

    Below are the average top 10 cap hits of every position (put together by @PFF_Mike).

    I was surprised interior DL was so high, but then you look at the contracts to guys like Suh, Cox, Malik Jackson and its not surprising.

    You can see that OG is getting a lot more valuable. Not mentioned here, but the OTs are all LT contracts. The RT position is now paid less than OG.

    Its interesting that EDGE, interior DL, and CB are all valued more than OT and WR. But this also makes sense given the outsized impact a QB has. Pressure/coverage all work together. But if you have a great QB you can have lesser OT/WR. Especially given the rise of the quick passing game.

    Surprised how much LBs are paid. I’m also surprised by S being lower than LB, especially given almost all those contracts are FS contracts (which are a lot more valuable than SS).

    Position Value 1

    Position Value 2

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    #1077321

    Team Pteranodon
    Participant

    Great find, and this chart tells the truth. Yes, I would rather take a OG over a similarly rated true SS (almost an obsolete position like FB today), or even a LB for that matter. RB presents a problem because like we see with Bell the return on investment isn’t there when you’re asking for twice the average of the top 10, basically at such a plug and play position a team is better off never giving a RB that 2nd big contract when the value really exists in the OL that’s blocking for them.

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    #1077328

    BucNCane
    Participant

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxsports.com/nfl/gallery/nfl-position-importance-ranking-value-every-player-053117%3famp=true

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000503855/article/ranking-each-positions-importance-from-quarterback-to-returner

    These say different.

    I think just using salary is short sighted.

    RBs are extremely valuable to a team (hence Elliot Gurley Fournette and soon Barkley being top 10 picks) but their salary doesn’t show it because after their first 5 years they’re not likely to give a great ROI. Whereas a guard can play til 35 at a high level.

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    #1077352

    JC5100
    Participant

    Suh and McCoy getting those crazy rookie deals did a lot to drive up DT market

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    #1077396

    tog
    Participant

    @bucncane

    Those lists aren’t really different. And I’m more interested in objective information than one random guys opinion.

    Salary is BY FAR the best metric to tell you how teams value players. Its not based on potential. Teams get to pick which players they pay how much. If a one position is paid more than another its because he’s more valuable. There’s no opinions, just facts.

    Teams have only so many dollars, and they’re allocating it as efficiently as possible. Spread across 32 teams, we have a VERY good picture of how teams value positions.

    As for RB not being reflected in salary, you’re making my argument. They have very little value after their rookie deals. And Elliott, Gurley, and Fournette aren’t great arguments (although that’s a popular argument). Before Gurley/Gordon, it was a couple years without an RB going in the 1st. Even with the draft investment, teams pay their RBs very little.

    @jc5100

    That’s not correct, salaries normalize after the old rookie deals.

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    #1077400

    JC5100
    Participant

    @tog

    Spotrac only goes back to 2011 but…

    Contract value (average per year) for DT

    2011- Suh #2, McCoy #5
    2012- Suh #1, McCoy #3
    2013- Suh #1, McCoy #3

    They were on their rookie deals these years and at the top of the market. They were not going to sign extensions for less than what they were making on their rookie deals. I remember a long thread on this subject and there was never an example of a successful top pick signing an extension for less than what he made on his rookie deal.

    2014 is when the McCoy set the DT market, going from $11M per year on his rookie deal to nearly $16M per year.

    2014- McCoy #1, Suh #2 (still on rookie deal)

    2015- Suh signs his FA deal with Dolphins, Dareus signs his extension with Bills

    2015- Suh #1, Dareus #2, McCoy #3

    2016- Suh #1, Cox #2 (extension), Dareus #3, McCoy #4

    2017- Suh, Cox, Short, Dareus, McCoy

    The fact that Suh was the highest paid DT for 2 years on his rookie deal is proof that his rookie contract set the DT market and it has not recovered. The franchise tag being 120% of previous year cap hit let McCoy and Suh blow up the DT market.

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    #1077410

    Condor Bastadon
    Participant

    I think this is a pretty good guideline as to positional value, but there are definitely exceptions to the rule. I’d say an elite center fielder safety(Ed Reed, Earl Thomas), or a swiss army knife type SS(Polamalu, Harrison Smith) are as valuable as anything else on a defense. They’re just so rare, and it’s so easy to find competent safety play without high draft picks or high dollar players.

    And I think WR is overvalued, especially if you have a really good QB. Guys like Peyton Manning, Brees, Brady, and Rodgers can field top offenses with less-than-stellar talent at the WR position. Top QB’s earn every bit that they make, because they cover up so many deficiencies directly on the O-line and receiving positions….and indirectly by making things easier on your defense.

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    #1078953

    tog
    Participant

    @jc5100

    Those are good points, really making me think about this.

    What I would say is that the value of the picks before the CBA adjustment were still based on position.

    For example, Calvin Johnson and Bradford had record setting deals (especially in guaranteed money). But those deals were based on numbers that players were already earning at their position.

    I mean Suh and McCoy were grossly overpaid as rookies but they still had players around them with similar contracts. The problem was the CBA and what teams were paying rookies. But those rookie deals were based on deals already handed out to veteran players.

    Thoughts?

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    #1145055

    tog
    Participant

    @tampaspicer is this the one you were thinking of? I’ve done a couple on NFL draft value.

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    #1145062

    tampaspicer
    Participant

    @tampaspicer is this the one you were thinking of? I’ve done a couple on NFL draft value.

    @tog this isn’t the one. I believe the thread was done around preseason? It detailed what rounds had better value per position per round I believe and how some position value drop in the latter rounds. Something along those lines. I hadn’t read this one yet though. If you can find the other I’d like to read it again. Thanks for bumping this one back up.

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    #1145063

    leeroybuc93
    Participant

    We’ve recently spent a first rounder and three second rounders on 4 of the bottom 5 valued positions on that list…

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    #1145101

    tog
    Participant

    We’ve recently spent a first rounder and three second rounders on 4 of the bottom 5 valued positions on that list…

    Yes.

    Licht is terrible and struggles with the basics of drafting and scouting. I don’t know how he got this job or how he’s held it.

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    #1145102

    tog
    Participant

    @tampaspicer

    Not sure which of these it might be:

    Yearly reminder most of these players will fail, there are no "safe picks"

    https://www.pewterreport .com/forums/topic/lichts-draft-spending-by-position/

    Or maybe it’s this one:

    An RB at #7? Tragic!

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    #1145126

    Lawdy
    Participant

    now im kinda leaning towards keeping mccoy

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    #1145197

    GoldsonAges
    Participant

    Another way of looking at it is to see what positions are drafted early in the 1st round.

    The reason these positions are drafted early is because these are positions that simply have more impact on the outcome of the games.

    Ironically, QB, CB, DE, DT, OT are all positions that have had lots of early 1st round draft picks.

    WR and RB has had a few early 1st picks because these can be impact players as well.

    The least valued positions looking at it from this angle are safety, TE and interior OL and rightly so.

    The traditional safety is too far away from the ball and can be easily schemed against.

    While there have been great TE’s most of the earlier drafted TE’s in recent years haven’t paid off for their teams (Ebron, Eifert). That had NFL teams reluctant to draft TE’s early and enabled the bucs to get a Top-5 talent in OJ Howard in a good TE class at 19.

    The interior OL is also an area not drafted early. They are typically not the good athletes and usually not well developed players.

    Look at the grades of guards and centers you’ll notice compared to grades of the highly coveted positions, you aren’t getting a lot of bang for your buck. Predictably the worst athletes on the field grade out the worst.

    Quentin Nelson was the first top 10 interior lineman since Cooper and Warmack in 2013 and you have to go years beyond that to find another interior OL drafted early.

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    GottaJaboo wrote:
    (Justin) Evans will be far superior to (Budda) Baker in the pros.

    Dan Skipper Sucks! (lost bet)
    Update - UDFA Dan Skipper has been signed by the Dallas Cowboys

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