Categorized | 2011 Draft, Article, News

Success Rate Of 1st Round Tackles From 1995-2010 Using Approximate Value Method


In this exercise I wanted to take a hard look at the 1st round tackles drafted since 1995 and the success not only through the first five years, but more specifically in years one through three. This is by no means a fail safe measurement stick, but nearly a look at the 1st round tackles using the Approximate Value attached to each player by Pro Football Reference. Instead of explaining the madness behind the AV number in this post, I suggest you read up on it here. In a quick and dirty summation, the Approximate Value (AV) method is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position.

I went back and pulled the first round tackles since 1995 and noted their AV number for each of their first 5 years in the league. Now of course the players that have not played 5 years yet, will have no number in that year. Duh! I ran it for 5 years, but was more concerned about years one through three as previously mentioned.

The next task was to identify some sort of baseline of an above average AV for each year. Let\’s face it, truly elite tackles are few and far between. What I did to get what I felt was an acceptable “above average AV” for each year was to take the 3 highest AV numbers in that year and find an average of it first. Then I took 55% of that average number and rounded either up or down to establish an “above average AV”. It is not a perfect baseline number by any means, but a baseline nonetheless using the AV method. As you can see, the “above average AV” for a rookie season is 6, which means that any tackle in year one that scored a 6 or above made what I would consider any immediate impact for the team that drafted them and the contribution was “above average”. Going back to 1995, we see that 28 of the 58 tackles drafted in the first round made, what this exercise would consider, an immediate “above average” contribution to that team in relation to others drafted in the 1st round. That is 48% of all tackles drafted in the first round going back to 1995.

So was Ryan Clady “that good” as a rookie in 2008? His rookie AV number was 13. Well, Clady did finish third in voting behind only Matt Ryan and Chris Johnson for the 2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He was also the only offensive lineman to receive any votes. Was he elite in his rookie year compared to all the other NFL tackles in the league? No, absolutely not, but his AV number does hold some water as far as rookie first round tackles go.

In years 2 through 5, I used the same process in creating an “above average AV”. You can see the number is two whole points higher in the second season as it ended up at 8. 20 of the 52 players were above this number, almost 40%. Also 8 remains the “above average AV” through years 3 through 5, but Orlando Pace really blows the curve despite taking an average of the top 3 like I mentioned above. In reality, 7 might be a more realistic number to judge these players by from 3 and on, but I used 8 instead.

Another thing that stuck out was in years that more than 3 tackles were taken in the 1st round, you sure better be sure the tackle deserves that 1st round grade. There are of course exceptions to every rule, most recently Sam Baker, Duane Brown and Michael Oher for example. Now remember that these guys are measured against other first rounders only, not the entire draft that year.

Relating this now to the Steelers, unless they trade up on draft day this April, I doubt they will have a shot at one the top 3 tackles in the draft this year and questions about the 4th rated tackle on many list, Gabe Carimi, exist as well. Some say he might have to move inside to guard as he may not have the footwork needed to play tackle. Then there is Derek Sherrod, who I even have the Steelers penciled in as taking in the 1st round in my first Steelers mock draft of the year. Since 1995 there have only been 3 drafts where there have been more than 4 tackles taken in the 1st round. Using this exercise, makes you wonder if it is really worth a chance to be the team that takes the 5th. The Steelers might be better served going corner, depending on if a top 3rd or 4th one fall or maybe the best player available left on the board regardless of position.

In closing, there are no hard conclusions you can make from this exercise, but it gives a pretty good snapshot of what has happened with 1st round tackles over the last 16 years using the Approximate Value rating system.

Totals Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Above Average AV # 6 8 8 8 8
# Players 58 52 45 36 32
# Players = or < AV# 28 20 18 12 11
% # Players = or < AV# 48% 38% 40% 33% 34%

 

1995 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
2 Tony Boselli Jacksonville Jaguars 5 11 14 14 14 5
24 Korey Stringer Minnesota Vikings 7 6 7 9 9 1
25 Billy Milner Miami Dolphins 6 1 N/A N/A N/A 0
29 Blake Brockermeyer Carolina Panthers 6 6 5 7 6 0
31 Trezelle Jenkins Kansas City Chiefs 0 0 1 N/A N/A 0
1996 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
4 Jonathan Ogden Baltimore Ravens 9 14 11 11 13 11
10 Willie Anderson Cincinnati Bengals 6 10 7 6 4 4
27 John Michels Green Bay Packers 6 3 N/A N/A N/A 0
29 Jamain Stephens Pittsburgh Steelers 1 4 1 0 1 0
30 Andre Johnson Washington Redskins 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0
1997 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
1 Orlando Pace St. Louis Rams 4 6 18 19 18 7
6 Walter Jones Seattle Seahawks 6 7 10 7 13 9
19 Tarik Glenn Indianapolis Colts 7 8 10 10 9 3
30 Ross Verba Green Bay Packers 6 8 5 8 6 0
1998 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
11 William Thomas Philadelphia Eagles 4 5 7 9 12 3
23 Mo Collins Oakland Raiders 3 5 8 2 4 0
27 Victor Riley Kansas City Chiefs 8 7 8 2 2 0
1999 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
14 John Tait Kansas City Chiefs 2 7 7 9 8 0
18 Matt Stinchcomb Oakland Raiders 5 1 3 1 6 0
21 L.J. Shelton Arizona Cardinals 2 5 7 6 5 0
27 Aaron Gibson Detroit Lions 4 2 0 6 1 0
2000 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
3 Chris Samuels Washington Redskins 7 9 9 6 5 6
20 Stockar McDougle Detroit Lions 3 2 4 6 6 0
22 Chris McIntosh Seattle Seahawks 5 2 N/A N/A N/A 0
2001 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
14 Kenyatta Walker Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 5 6 5 7 0
18 Jeff Backus Detroit Lions 7 6 6 6 6 0
2002 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
4 Mike Williams Buffalo Bills 7 5 7 2 N/A 0
7 Bryant McKinnie Minnesota Vikings 4 9 11 7 6 1
10 Levi Jones Cincinnati Bengals 6 8 6 9 2 0
29 Marc Colombo Chicago Bears 2 N/A 1 0 10 0
2003 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
8 Jordan Gross Carolina Panthers 7 8 9 6 6 2
20 George Foster Denver Broncos 0 9 10 7 5 0
26 Kwame Harris San Francisco 49ers 3 3 4 6 1 0
2004 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
2 Robert Gallery Oakland Raiders 7 7 2 6 6 0
19 Vernon Carey Miami Dolphins 1 6 6 7 9 0
2005 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
13 Jammal Brown New Orleans Saints 5 15 8 12 6 2
19 Alex Barron St. Louis Rams 6 8 6 5 4 0
2006 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
4 D\’Brickashaw Ferguson New York Jets 8 6 8 9 11 2
2007 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
3 Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns 10 11 13 13 N/A 4
5 Levi Brown Arizona Cardinals 5 9 8 5 N/A 0
28 Joe Staley San Francisco 49ers 5 7 4 4 N/A 0
2008 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
1 Jake Long Miami Dolphins 11 13 13 N/A N/A 3
12 Ryan Clady Denver Broncos 13 13 9 N/A N/A 1
14 Chris Williams Chicago Bears 1 7 7 N/A N/A 0
15 Branden Albert Kansas City Chiefs 5 5 6 N/A N/A 0
17 Gosder Cherilus Detroit Lions 5 6 6 N/A N/A 0
19 Jeff Otah Carolina Panthers 6 6 N/A N/A N/A 0
21 Sam Baker Atlanta Falcons 3 8 8 N/A N/A 0
26 Duane Brown Houston Texans 8 9 7 N/A N/A 0
2009 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
2 Jason Smith St. Louis Rams 1 7 N/A N/A N/A 0
6 Andre Smith Cincinnati Bengals 1 2 N/A N/A N/A 0
8 Eugene Monroe Jacksonville Jaguars 7 9 N/A N/A N/A 0
23 Michael Oher Baltimore Ravens 8 9 N/A N/A N/A 0
2010 # Player Team Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Pro Bowls
4 Trent Williams Washington Redskins 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
6 Russell Okung Seattle Seahawks 4 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
11 Anthony Davis San Francisco 49ers 8 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
23 Bryan Bulaga Green Bay Packers 6 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Zeke Geek

    I had forgotten how many tackles went in 2008. That is a pretty good arguement you made for them not drafting a tackle in round 1. That suits me fine though as I see the secondary needing more attention.

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