Evaluating National Football League draft choices: The passing game
Recruiting competent personnel is crucial for the success of any organization, and especially in competitive sports, where the success of a team depends upon the quality of the players selected. This paper examines whether football executives are able to forecast who the most successful quarterbacks and wide receivers will be. Our data base is constructed from the NFL drafts between 1974 and 2005. We use a range of measures to determine the success of the players selected in the drafts, and conclude that, although their ability to rank the future performances of players is less than perfect, football executives are very successful at evaluating the talents of athletes. However, there was no evidence that teams which were more successful than others in drafting quarterbacks and wide receivers had a better overall success, as measured by their win-loss records.
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