The “40 Percent” Fail Rate

April 5th, 2017

Odds against Bucs GM Jason Licht

With the NFL Draft just 22 days away — Twenty-Two! — Joe thoroughly enjoyed listening to Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian dissect draft analytics on SiriusXM NFL Radio late last night.

Among other things, Polian ran through every single player in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

His point was to illustrate that 40 percent of those picks failed; they were busts.

Let ’07 be a lesson, Polian explained, because 40 percent of first-round picks are failures in the modern NFL.

That brings Joe to general manager Jason Licht, who has already hit a home run with 2014 and 2015 first-round picks (Mike Evans and America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston). And there are no signs Vernon Hargreaves is a bust, though he has much more to prove.

In the second round, Licht appears to be at a 50 percent fail rate, with Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Roberto Aguayo in the loss column, and Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet in the win column. Noah Spence is an incomplete. That’s a strong success rate, even though some fans may not want to accept it.

Former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik was 1-for-5 on second-round picks. Bruce Allen was 3-for-6. Yeah, Joe is calling Dewayne White a successful second-round pick in 2003, especially considering he was the 64th overall pick.

The draft is tough stuff across the league. Licht has done well.

(Soon, Joe will share the draft thoughts of Joel Glazer as expressed during Team Glazer’s 1-on-1 with Joe in Phoenix last week.)

44 Responses to “The “40 Percent” Fail Rate”

  1. Tampa Tony Says:

    1 for 5 makes you a rockstar? Man I wish the Joes were one of my actuarial professors a few years ago.

    Licht has done well, although it’s too early to judge his 2nd and 3rd draft just yet. His first draft it seems he only drafted one player who will get a second contract that’s not good at all

  2. ben Says:

    bucs wasted 2 high draft picks on a kicker, bucs have lots of cash left and didnt pick up rb or another wr, safety etc in free agency..Not sure i agree with u on Mr. Licht

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    i’ll give licht a free pass on year one as he still had to work with dominick’s incompetent staff and he had to follow orders from the worst coach in franchise history… I have been ok with his drafts since though. vh3 will not be a star or shut down corner has the homers and gator fans would like to think he will be but he will be an adequate role player that defensive coordinators have to protect a bit. i did not like vh3 in the first round but it’s not a bust.

    This is the key draft. Must come away with 2 starters and 2 contributors period. Given the fragility of mcdonald and mccoy DT is not fixed nor adequate with just Barker. Noah Spence is going to breakout this year with 8.5 sacks despite playing with weak DT’s. LVD is going to play his first complete season since schiano left as well.

    Get up and get Cook, take Goodwin in second and best safety left in 3rd and go dt 4th

  4. tmaxcon Says:


    bucs picked up wilcox who is at least equal to the scrubs that were playing safety in conte, tandy and mcdougal.

  5. Tomcin Says:

    I would not consider D. Smith as successful at this point in time.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    dominik was easily the worst gm in buc history, and if he came soooo close to being the worst gm in NFL history if could had closed the deal on Albert Haynswoth for huge dollars!!!!

    But Joe has no clue why dominik’s calls go unanswered by NFL front offices, no matter how hard he tries to crowbar himself into a job using his comedyshow/ radio shows!!!!!!

  7. tmaxcon Says:


    i agree 100%. He’s been durable and adequate but far from good or great

  8. America's QB Says:

    I think we are truly in good hands with Licht. He has a great learning tree and I think he has done just that and is implementing all he has learned from those organizations and making the Bucs great AGAIN!

  9. Tampa Tony Says:

    Then look at Dominiks 1st rounders

    Freeman BUST
    McCoy Pro Bowler
    Clayborne BUST
    Barron BUST
    Martin Partial BUST 2 great seasons out of 5

    Gotta hit on your 1st rounders or you will continually suck

  10. flmike Says:

    Barron BUST?
    Checkout what he’s done in StL(LA) out in the right position by a competent coach he’s a beast

  11. flmike Says:


  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Just goes to show what I’ve always claimed is true: the draft is a crap shoot.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    But it was mostly “crap” when you had a bad GM like dominik!!!!!!!

    NO coach could have won under that disaster of a gm!!!!!!!

  14. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “flmike Says:
    April 5th, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Barron BUST?
    Checkout what he’s done in StL(LA) out in the right position by a competent coach he’s a beast”

    Well, I would consider him a bust in Tampa, in that Dominik drafted him to be a safety. He was so bad at the position we was pegged to play that isn’t even playing that position now.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    cant complain about his drafting…his only hic up would be Roberto….asj had the talent but was a nut case….he evaluated the player great but missed on the person….noah spence look like the real deal along with VHG…

    would love to see the failure rate on FA….GO BUCS!!!

  16. tdtb2015 Says:

    Has anyone seen the infamous Dave? smh

    In Licht we trust!

    Go Bucs!!!

  17. mike Says:

    D Smith is in the W column?

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    Just because 40% are supposedly busts, that doesn’t mean there weren’t other factors leading to their demise than just football skills or that they were mental midgets. That plays a roll, but look at some of the teams that are drafting these poor guys, there’s a reason the same teams are picking at or near the top of every draft. Mediocre players go to good teams and shine only to leave in free agency for the money to a bad team and fall back to earth.
    Safe picks bust just as easily as risky picks, it just depends on the environment they are thrust into sometimes. That’s why you pick the best player available that fits a need, defining what a teams need is can be the tricky part. Like, do the Bucs need a RB, sure, but do they need to jump on the highest rated one that falls to them? No. Do the Bucs need a safety bad enough to use a 1st round pick on one, probably not, but if a safety that grades out higher than a RB is one the board why not take him and make a young blooming defense even better. “Need” is a foolish word to use to define what a team should do in the top of a draft.

  19. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’d think we sign Pamphile to a 2nd deal – so that’d be 2 players from his first draft (Evans & Pamphile). And who knows – maybe Sims still proves valuable in his 3rd down receiving type role and is retained as a compliment to a more complete back that we draft? So still potentially 3 re-signings from that draft

    D Smith has started every game at LT and is probably the best LT from that draft so lol @ saying he isn’t a successful draft pick so far. He was chosen in the 2nd round and is only 23 years old (2 years younger than Garret Bolles – projected 1st round pick this year). He’s not an elite LT but he wasn’t chosen in the top 15 picks where you’d expect that. The hope is that he evolves into one.

    vs Eric Flowers who has been absolutely terrible (10th overall pick same draft)
    vs Andrus Peat – moved to guard (13th overall pick)
    vs Cedric Ogbueh – been terrible (21st overall pick)
    vs DJ Humphries – just late last year finally moved to LT after a bench year in 2015. Probably the best of the bunch so far (24th overall)

    D smith is basically the only player from that draft who has actually been a steady presence at LT. All the others have either sucked so bad that they had to be benched or were moved because they couldn’t cut it or they are still developing.

    O-line is the most developmental position in the NFL right now imo. Probably CB after that which is why I am still very high on VHIII as I’ve seen enough in terms of his close speed / leap ability & athleticism / hands to know that when he can finally relax and play full speed without worrying about where he’s supposed to be the impact plays will come. Hell he caused a few HUGE plays for us last year alone (tip ball for a Lavonte pick 6 – keying Tandy on the route @ San Diego that lead to an interception; picking off drew brees; forcing a fumble on Jimmy Graham vs Seattle – dude came up in some big moments). We maybe don’t win those games without those plays..

    But back to O-line – The only O-lineman that come in right away and do well are typically Guards that have amazing pedigree from college and are top picks. It’s extremely rare for LTs to come in and do very well. Even Tyron Smith for the Cowboys started at RT before moving to LT.

    Just perspective. It’s hard to find stud LTs… there is a drought right now. So honestly yeah I’m happy we have a 23 year old entering his 3rd season with 32 starts that has been about average in my football opinion so far. Given his age that’s great.

    There weren’t any upgrades in FA and there aren’t any upgrades in this draft according to most scouts. Hell even then look at the draft with Eric Fisher & Luke Joekal – those guys have basically been busts and were top 5 drafted OTs

  20. Bobby M. Says:

    Oddly….Dominicks strongest analysis came to finding no names on the street…..But then he would let them walk where they had decent/productive careers elsewhere.

    Licht is the real deal. You let him go, he’ll have a job within a year or two. Dominick….is barely serviceable on TV and i’m guessing he’s simply a great source with insight into the processes.

  21. Joe Says:

    he had to follow orders from the worst coach in franchise history

    Putting this in boldface type for you.

  22. Jim Says:

    Too early for the kicker to be a bust. He still has some time. “Poopy” the TE was a big bust.

  23. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    This is not really that complicated! Is the team better now or when Licht took the job? It really is as simple as that. Licht has been very successful!!!

  24. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    While that rate is scary – it’s MUCH higher at the RB position over the past 6-7 years.

  25. The Buc Realist Says:

    I would love to see some advance analytics of how productive a 1st round RB is. And I would be surprised if the answer is not 3 productive seasons average of RB average!!!!!!

  26. Tampa Tony Says:

    @flmike- Barron was a bust in Tampa, who cares what he’s doing at a different position on his second team?

  27. Fsuking Says:

    You can’t call Aguayo a bust yet! It simply isn’t fair. If he isn’t our opening day kicker then yea. But he did better than Janikowski did in his rookie year and to call Janikowski a bust would be moronic

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe, Roberto Aguayo is not a loss…not yet. Everyone assumed he would need a year first, s this year will determine his destiny.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    tmaxcon, Lovie Smith was not the worst coach in Buccaneers history.

    That you could even say that show’s you have not been a fan since their inception.

    Leeman Bennett (1985–1986) had a .125% win record. He goes down as the worst.

    Richard Williamson (1990–1991) .211% win record, so he was the second worst.

    Lovie Smith goes down as the THIRD Worst, not the Worst. (.250% Win Record)

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dirk Koetter and Tony Dungy are currently tied for the best coach in Buccaneers history, in case anyone is wondering, followed by Jon Gruden.

  31. Tampa Tony Says:

    Neither of those coaches came in and cut pro bowlers who didn’t fit their schemes

  32. Bucsfanman Says:

    Which is why the “trade X player for draft picks” crowd puzzles me.

  33. Dom is gone Says:

    Koetter not in conversation yet…. McKay best coach ever!

  34. tmaxcon Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai

    once again you are wrong… Lovie had 9 years previous experience and embarrassed himself and the human race over a two year stretch like which has never been seen before. Williams and Bennet did not have full control and final say over everything like the ignorant fool you call lovie. Paraplegic quarterbacks worldwide were lining up to face his defenses. Lovie is the unquestionably the worst coach in buccaneers history and the most ignorant as well. Lovie is a bad coach and worse human being. the way he stole money from glazers with his friends and family fraud plan not to mention he destroyed the careers of so many offensive and defensive coordinators and assistant coaches… Lovie was a me first fool that threw coordinators under the bus faster than a snowflake crys over a trump tweet.

  35. Buc You Says:

    How does Spence get an incomplete and Aguayo is a bust? They were drafted in the same round of the same draft and if anything, Spence has had more snaps to prove himself than Roberto.

  36. Not there yet Says:

    Noah Spence is an incomplete? But aguayo is a bust already even though he’s still on the team? Stop writing like you work for the bucs. All amulet had its opinions and assumptions not even the team knows what will happen in year 2 with these rookies we drafted last year. ALL OF THEM not just aguayo

  37. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Barron wasn’t a bust we were too stupid to move his position!

  38. unbelievable Says:

    One again, Lord Corn dropping all sorts of knowledge. Preach brother!

  39. Tampa Tony Says:

    If you draft a safety in the top 10 and he changes positions to be an average players he’s a bust for the team that drafted him

  40. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Tmax one of the biggest problem I’ve always had with Lovies detractors is the character assassination you and a number of posters always blasted up here. It boarders on hatred. You make excuses for the other coaches but with Lovie you call him a straight up thief that, he imbezzled from the Glazers and stole the money they paid him. Never mind the fact he is a man of great faith in his religion which strictly forbids those actions. He’s a bad coach for sure but for you to characterize him the way you do is foul. It’s obvious you don’t have much faith in anything but your own thoughts. With that little quip about Trump says it all. Your kind are always that way towards his kind so your hatred of him is apparent.

  41. SOEbuc Says:

    This is very funny to me in a stupid way. Lots of people trying to rate drafts after a players rookie year? Is that what it’s determined by? I would say you have to give the players at least three years before you can consider them busts. Aguayo, VH3, and Noah could all come back this year and be the MVPs of their positions. Ryan Smith could come in and turn out to be a very good lock down CB like he was in college. Devante Bond could come in and complete the masterpiece of our LB core. I really like Licht and think he’s really smart and knows how to pick em. This is a very dumb poll IMO.

  42. Phil Says:

    I wouldn’t call Roberto a failure at this point. He needs to improve this season & I think he will.

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    tmaxcon Says
    “Buccaneer Bonzai once again you are wrong…”

    Oh, okay. I didn’t know we were ignoring the actual recorded facts. So you base your assessment on imaginative opinion, not the actual truth.

    TMax, you just cannot handle being proven wrong, can you?

  44. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Bruce Allen wasn’t employed by Tampa Bay during the 2003 draft so how is he getting credit for any of the picks that year?