Stats & Info: NFL Draft
April, 25, 2013
By Doug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsThe 49ers have had success with a home grown team built primrily through the draft.
Home Grown Team
The 49ers are looking to build on recent draft success and a mostly home grown team. Five of their 10 first-round selections since 2006 have made at least one Pro Bowl, tied for most in the league with the Washington Redskins. By comparison, 30 percent of the first-round selections by other teams since 2006 have made at least one pro bowl (An average of two per team).
Fifteen of the 49ers’ 22 offensive and defensive starters on last season’s Super Bowl roster were drafted by San Francisco, and seven of them were drafted in the third round or later. They have 10 picks in the third round or later this season.
Tough in the Trenches
The 49ers have built their team in the draft starting with the front lines. They started the same offensive line group in all 16 games in 2012 and were the only group to feature three first-round draft picks as their most frequent line combination (Joe Staley, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati).
Don’t be surprised if the 49ers beef up their defensive line in this year’s draft. With Justin Smith suffering an injury late last season a lack of depth along the defensive line was exposed. The 49ers recorded a sack once every 16.2 dropbacks and allowed a 57.8 Total QBR with Smith on the field last season. With Smith off the field, the 49ers recorded a sack once every 29.4 dropbacks and allowed a 75.2 QBR.
Will they move up in the draft order to secure one of this year’s top defensive lineman? San Francisco especially needs depth at the position after they lost starting lineman Isaac Sopoaga and backup Ricky Jean Francois in free agency (although they did sign Glenn Dorsey).
Trading up has worked for them in the past. The 49ers moved up in the 2011 Draft to the No. 36 pick and selected quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
April, 18, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
John David Mercer/USA TODAY SportsEddie Lacy is rated as the top running back prospect in the 2013 class by Scouts Inc.
Lacy was the beneficiary of one of the top offensive lines in football. Lacy gained 65 percent of his yards before initial contact and averaged 4.2 yards before contact per rush. He made it at least five yards past the line of scrimmage without being touched on 35.8 percent of his rushes.
Lacy runs downhill with 64.7 percent of his rushes coming between the tackles. Lacy averaged 7.6 yards per carry on such running plays with about one in every four attempts going for at least 10 yards.
In comparison to former Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Lacy averaged 2.5 more yards per rush inside the tackles in his final college season.
Ball was undoubtedly the most productive back in FBS over the last two seasons. Ball led FBS in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and rushes of 15 yards or longer since the start of the 2011 season.
Ball gained 36.1 percent of his FBS-leading 3,750 yards on rushes outside of the tackles over the last two seasons. Ball averaged 7.1 yards per carry on such running plays with at about one in every four gaining at least 10 yards.
Ellington gained over 40 percent of his yards after contact in 2012 but struggled to gain tough yards against top competition. Ellington averaged twice as many yards after contact per rush against teams that did not finish the season ranked in the top 50 in total defense than he did against the five top-50 defenses that he faced.
Bell gained over half of his yards after contact and led BCS-AQ running backs with 921 yards after contact.
Lattimore gained 41 percent of his yards after contact in his career. Against SEC opponents, Lattimore was even better, gaining 43 percent of his yards after contact and averaging 2.0 yards after contact per rush.
Lattimore ran between the tackles on 78.9 percent of his career carries. He averaged at least 4.5 yards per carry inside the tackles in every season of his career. Lattimore was at his best in the fourth quarter, averaging 5.5 yards per run inside the tackles with 54.2 percent of his yards coming after contact.
May, 12, 2012
By John McTigue, ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Andrew Luck was the first of eight offensive players drafted by the Colts.
Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.
Five teams used at least 75 percent of their draft picks on one side of the ball in this year’s draft. The New England Patriots (six of seven), Seattle Seahawks (eight of 10), Detroit Lions (six of eight) and Green Bay Packers (six of eight) went heavy on defense. The Indianapolis Colts (eight of 10) loaded up on offense.
Examining draft classes back to 2002, the first season there was 32 teams, there have been 18 instances of a team using 75 percent or more of its draft picks of offense and 15 instances of a team using 75 percent or more of its picks on defense.
When teams have gone mostly offense, their scoring has usually decreased the following year.
Twelve of the 18 teams that went this path saw their scoring decrease the following season by an average of nearly three points per game.
If anything, focusing on the offensive side of the ball in a draft harmed a team's defensive unit the following season. 13 of the 18 teams to take offensive players with at least three quarters of their picks allowed more points the following season. These teams allowed approximately three more points per game.
When teams have gone mostly defense, the results have been less one-sided.
Seven of the 15 teams that went this route allowed fewer points the following season. These teams allowed just over five points per game fewer on average.
Seven of the 15 teams allowed more points the following season, with those seven averaging approximately four points more per game. The 2009 Atlanta Falcons, who used seven of their eight picks on defense, allowed the same amount of points in 2008 that they did in 2009.
The other side of the ball wasn’t affected as much by this strategy. Eight teams scored more after going heavy on defense while seven scored less.