The Washington Redskins have 10 picks in rounds five four through seven in the third and final day of the NFL draft. Today Mike Shanahan, who will be orchestrating the process and who will have final say in who is selected, will hope that he continues the success he had finding productive players in the late rounds when he was with the Denver Broncos.
From 1995 through 2008, Shanahan was either in charge of the Broncos’ 14 drafts or he had heavy influence. In that time Dener had 70 picks in rounds 4-7 and 39 of them have played 16 NFL games or more during their careers. Of those players, 23 were their team’s primary starter for at least one season, four made at least on Pro Bowl. Among the better players Shanahan drafted in the last four rounds are running back Terrell Davis (round 6) and Elvis Dumervil (4).
That looks like a fairly solid performance but how does it compare with the rest of the league? With time not permitting an in-depth look at the other 31 teams’ drafts, let’s take a look at how Shanahan’s late-drafting prowess compares to that of four teams considered to be among the very best in the business when it comes to getting great results in the draft—the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, and Giants.
The details are below, but for a quick comparison here is what those four teams have averaged in the past 14 drafts (1997-2010):
Players drafted: 73
Played in 16 games or more: 38
At least one season as starter: 19
Made at least one Pro Bowl: 4
So, Shanahan with close to the same number of late-round players drafted as the four teams who are the gold standard for drafting (70 for Broncos, 73 average), had just about the same number of players who played in at least one season’s worth of games (39 Broncos, 38 average), did better when counting players who were their teams’ primary starters for at least one year (23 Broncos, 20 average) and found the same number of Pro Bowl as the average (4).
The caveat here is that this is just a quick look further study would be needed to thoroughly evaluate how well Shanahan has drafted late compared to the rest of the league. But the surface analysis makes a good case that Shanahan’s performance compares favorably with the best in the busiess.
Here are the details for the other four teams:
Patriots last 14 drafts 78 picks in rounds 4-7, 41 who played 16 games or more, 17 who were their team’s primary starters for at least one season, six who made at least one Pro Bowl. Best picks Tom Brady (6), Assante Samuel (4)
Green Bay last 14 drafts 79 picks in rounds 4-7, 47 who played in 16 games or more, 23 who started at least one season, five who made at least one Pro Bowl, five who made at least one Pro Bowl. Best picks Donald Driver (7), Aaron Kampman (5)
Pittsburgh last 14 drafts, 71 picks in rounds 4-7, 29 who played in at least 16 games, 13 who were their teams primary starters for at least one season, two who made at least one Pro Bowl. Best picks Bret Keisel (7), Aaron Smith (4)
New York Giants last 14 drafts, 63 picks in rounds 4-7, 35 who played in at least 16 games, 21 who were their team’s primary starter for at least one season, three who made at least one Pro Bowl. Best picks Brandon Jacobs (4), David Diehl (5)
Join me today for the third and final day of my marathon NFL draft chat on CSNwashington.com. We'll get it going at about high noon.