Hit Or Miss

April 25th, 2024

Draft truly is a game of craps.

So who will the Bucs draft tonight? Will he make it in the NFL?

Let’s just say unless the Bucs draft an offensive lineman tonight, place your bets the player will struggle. That’s not Joe being an ass, that’s the cold, hard truth in plain black and white.

Adam Schefter, the BSPN uber NFL insider, passed along research cobbled together by BSPN producer Paul Hembo on what position group is more likely not to see a second contract from the team that drafts him.

The data covers first-round picks only and only includes players drafted from 2000-2019. Joe is guessing that for guys drafted in 2020 or after, it’s too early to label them a failure with their team as a collective group.

Some interesting numbers here:

* To hear people wail about drafting quarterbacks because they will blow chunks, quarterback isn’t even close to the highest bust rate. It seems 48 percent of drafted quarterbacks make it with their original team. So yeah, a 50/50 shot you can find your franchise quarterback in the first round, the most important player on the roster? That’s a very easy choice for Joe.

* The highest bust rate by position? That would be receiver. Only 27 percent stay with their original teams. Most receivers tend to be divas or at least have very elevated opinions of themselves. Coincidence? Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences in the NFL.

* For the loud crowd, the Robert Hainsey-is-Lucifer types, good news! Nearly every center drafted in the first round makes it. Some 92 percent of the centers drafted in the first round pass muster in the NFL, the highest hit rate number by far of any position.

* Only three positions that have a bust rate of less than 50 percent, the aforementioned centers, offensive tackles and guards. So outside of the offensive line, over half the dudes drafted in the first round won’t make it with their original teams. Wow!

* How much do the Bucs drag down the percentage of edge rushers making it? League-wide 46 percent of edge rushers drafted in the first round get a second contract with their original team. The Bucs were 0-2 during the first two decades of the 21st century with edge rushers, Gaines Adams and Adrian Clayborn. Sorry to unearth painful memories you may have suppressed for years.

* Slightly over a third of defensive backs make it to a second contract with their original teams — a third! Safeties have a hit rate of 34 percent. Corners make it 38 percent of the time.

* Maybe because Joe hyper-focuses on the Bucs, Joe was surprised to see edge rushers have a slightly better hit rate than defensive tackles. Edge rushers make it 48 percent of the time. Defensive tackles? Try 40 percent.

You can see the full breakdown below.

(Yes, Joe realizes this chart doesn’t factor in dudes who leave their original team as free agents or are traded — must we nitpick every GD thing in life? The point is, the teams that drafted them didn’t want to keep them or didn’t want them bad enough to re-sign them to a second contract.)


35 Responses to “Hit Or Miss”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    That figure for Centers is amazing…..I hope that’s our choice tonight….I suspect between JPJ & Graham Barton one of them will be there at 26.

  2. PSL Bob Says:

    The flaw here is that just because a player doesn’t sign a second contract with their original team, they’re a bust. Many, particularly wide receivers, hit free agency in search of riches. That doesn’t mean they’re a bust or that their team doesn’t want them (e.g., salary cap issues).

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Good information, Joe! I looked up all of the Bucs 1st and 2nd Rounders a few months ago, I think the total number was 99 in team history…Less than half were good NFL players.

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    Sorry Joe, I jumped the gun on my post. Hadn’t read your closing remarks yet!

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … I’d love to see us draft JPJ, but not so sure about Barton. He played Center as a freshman, but Left Tackle for the rest of his college career. Supposedly analysts recommend he move inside because of short arms, but that tells me that he’d be a project for at least a year. I think we’d be better off drafting Zach Frazier at Center in Rnd 2 because he’s got 3 years experience at the position.

  6. Scott Says:

    JPJ would be a great pick. Shore up the C position.

  7. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Joe & Friends,
    I don’t know if this has ever been addressed on JBF and we have some fairly bright bulbs on this forum that could contribute, so I ask earnestly: Why is the draft legal? In what industry, other than professional athletics, does the employer select the employee and “own” their rights to the point that the team/organization could fine and/or disallow the employee to work for anyone else? I am also aware that companies recruit talent but, that is not the same thing. Some labor laws must be broken here, no?

    All of our professional leagues have unions (of which the NFL’s is the “emptiest suit”) but, why don’t they act to abolish this draft system and give rights back to the employee? Why don’t the employees fight for this right that everyone else shares? Do the players/workers really want to be told who will employ them? You & I sure don’t!

    With that said, Bucs (Licht) no “projects” before the 4th round, please. By all means, treat the 2nd round with the same earnest effort and seriousness as you do the 1st, even if that means sending Licht out to fetch his “Dirty Deeds” CD.


  8. Toad Bowels Says:

    That’s great data and for me a good reason to trade down to get an additional pick since the odds are against a first round panning out. Although I can’t prove it I’d also suspect that a top 10 pic has a lot better chance of succeeding than a bottom 22 pick in the first round meaning that the bucks pick at 26 is even less than a 40% chance of succeeding. Therefore trading down and out of the round makes sense to me.

    I really enjoyed the draft podcast with Sean Sullivan and thought I heard you say part two covering Sean’s pics for rounds two through seven would be posted soon. Looking forward to listening to that before the draft.

    Awesome coverage both Joe’s! You guys are the best!

  9. Scotty Mack Says:

    … or the team that drafted them didn’t want to pay market price for a second contract or couldn’t due to the cap.

  10. Scott Says:

    Barton could plug in at left guard possibly

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Its interesting to see the positional breakdown based on 20 years of actual player data vs just saying generally that statistically, 48% of 1st rd picks are busts – 55% of 2nd rd picks are busts – 60+% of 3rd rd picks are busts, etc…..

    As you pointed out though – the data is a bit flawed in that just because a player doesn’t sign a 2nd contract with the team that drafted them doesn’t necessarily mean that player is a “miss” or a “bust”.

    Devin White for example is one of the 26 LBers (52%) counted in the “miss” column – yet he will likely go on to have a 10+ year NFL career and may yet turn out to be a “good” player overall….

    Diva was a “bust” for the Bucs though – especially since we used a 5th overall pick to acquire him…..

    Conversely – Michael Clayton counts as one of the 21 “hits” (27%) because he DID sign a 2nd contract. I believe most Bucs fans though would count Clayton as a “Bust” or “miss” because other than being a “good blocker”, Clayton didn’t do much for this team as a receiver after his ‘breakout’ rookie year… So of course – Dummynik signs him to a big 2nd contract…..

  12. Bucs Guy Says:

    A better measure of success is if the player was a starter for 8-10 years of his career. I saw a 10-year study on this by position by round and once again OLine was by far the highest with an 80% success rate for those drafted in the 1st round.

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    Who’s the unicorn center that didn’t make it?

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – Barton might just turn out to be the best OLine player in this draft. But he’s harder to project as a good Center or Guard prospect simply because there’s no tape to watch him play the position you are moving him to.

    If the Bucs have a choice between JPJ and Barton (unlikely) – I would rather see them draft JPJ because he is already totally comfortable at his Center position and can hit the ground running… probably make a bigger impact as a rookie which is exactly what we need.

    But I won’t be disappointed if Barton is who we draft in the 1st rd because he has all the traits you are looking for and his upside is seemingly very high.

  15. Joe Says:

    Why is the draft legal?

    Collectively bargained.

  16. Ryan Smith Says:

    Happy Draft day! Or Merry Christmas to all the draft freaks!!! 3 day’s of football before the 3 month silent time before the HOF preseason game.

  17. First Name Greatest Says:

    Most over hyped event in sports.

    After every first round pick every analyst acts like each player is a destined for Canton when in reality 50-60% of them are bust and do not get a second contract.

    I’ll follow along on my phone but the raft is mostly hype and bluster

  18. itzok Says:

    whoever they draft will likely be out of the league in 5 years

  19. Bucsfan Says:

    If Bucs need to move up some to guarantee JPJ , then it is a most likely can’t miss move based on the metric shown above. 92% re-contract is a very likable number for a GM I would imagine. Barton is fine at 26, but moving up a bit to secure JPJ is the option worth taking a hard look at.
    I am not high on the Chop at all as Bucs are feeling the sting of drafting a great measurables supposedly high ceiling edge in JTS right now , would not take on the risk. Darius Robinson is a much more attractive option. Robinson is 1st Team All-Sec which is proof of skill. Robinson also played interior Dline his 1st 3 seasons and that fact makes your depth on rotations just that much better. Robinson would be a starter on Day one.

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    SlyPirate Says:
    Who’s the unicorn center that didn’t make it?

    Billy Price. Drafted #21 overall by the Bengals in 2018. Played in 26 games for Cincy over 2 years (2018 and 2020) – then 11 games for Arizona in 2022.

    No team wanted Price last year so he was out of the league after 5 years and 37 games played. A true “Bust”.

  21. Allen Lofton Says:

    What hurt the Bucs in the beginning was their owner, Hugh Culverhouse, an attorney who was cheap and could care less about anybody., which explains why the Bucs were the bottom feeder in the NFL for so many years.

    He was highly regarded in the NFL business owner’s arena, but a real cutthroat businessman.

    The Glazers have done a lot to change the image of the Buccaneers and made them relevant.

  22. SB~LV Says:

    Out of the league in less than 5 years, a cruel and calculated punishment, less than 5 years and a player is SOL for NFL benefits

  23. ‘79 Defense Says:

    Allen Lofton,

    What hurt the Bucs in ‘76 was the pitiful offerings that Tampa (and Seattle) were given in obtaining players for fielding their expansion teams. We had zero wins in ‘76 and Seattle had two, one against us. Not a Culverhouse fan, but despite him we made the playoffs three times in four years and almost made the SB in ‘79.

    Carolina and Jacksonville had a much better deal when they both came into the league— probably thanks to the Bucs misery— and both made it to the conference championship game in their second year.

  24. Boss Says:

    With all the wishy washy on the first pick, I think we should trade it unless someone great falls to us.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    April 25th, 2024 at 7:30 am
    TBBF … I’d love to see us draft JPJ, but not so sure about Barton. He played Center as a freshman, but Left Tackle for the rest of his college career. Supposedly analysts recommend he move inside because of short arms, but that tells me that he’d be a project for at least a year. I think we’d be better off drafting Zach Frazier at Center in Rnd 2 because he’s got 3 years experience at the position.

    Probably a moot point on Barton because I suspect he will go in front of us to the Steelers or Packers.

  26. RiggedNFL Says:

    Build from the trenches out. Center and defensive end first two picks. Then grab a running back and a receiver. TE and CB after that. Let’s get premium value and make smart decisions. High character individuals only.

  27. Bucben61 Says:

    In a perfect world the bucs trade back and grab Zack Frazier center from West Virginia
    With the extra pick grab one of the top 3 running backs on the board

  28. Joe Says:

    Hadn’t read your closing remarks yet!

    LOL It happens! 🙂

  29. Mr. Editor Says:

    The (deceptively?) high success rate for Centers drafted in the first round is impressive, although the total number is not that high. The low success rate for WRs makes me more grateful to Jason Licht that he drafted Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. It would be useful to break down Licht’s record by position.

  30. Mr. Editor Says:

    I know that Chris Godwin was not drafted in the first round, but Licht showed that you don’t have to draft a WR in the first round to get a solid player with first round talent.

  31. Joe Says:

    Mr. Editor:

    The low success rate for WRs makes me more grateful to Jason Licht that he drafted Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

    Joe sort of suggested this in the post, but think about it: Why is the hit rate so low on receivers? Is there a position group that has more divas and dudes with (too?) high opinions of themselves than receivers? Yet the hit rate is terrible.

    You sort of hit upon it. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are not divas. They got their second contract (and more).

  32. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    I’m more interested in the data for picks 21-32. There’s usually a consensus top 5 or so players, and then another 10 or so guys grouped together. The data is flawed because it groups together bust rates of the very top prospects with guys picked closer to the second round.

  33. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I am guessing if you went by lucrative 2nd contracts, WR’s would be a much higher hit % rate, because like you said – they are Divas that get force teams to move on a lot because they want to be paid like QB’s or something. And there are always dumb teams willing to overpay at that position it seems.

    I am just going to trust in Licht if we go OL and assume we just got a probowler/all pro lol. The year we got Wirfs he wasn’t the highest OT on most boards but ended up being the best one by far.

    I keep seeing Jared Verse sliding in mock drafts. Hopefully that happens tonight and we pounce.

  34. David Says:

    Of course this is flawed, like Joe said, but it’s still a pretty good indicator. The bottom line is all the smaller, faster players that tend to have a diva attitude are the ones most likely not to last with their team.
    Probably because they get injured, they have attitude, or they’re chasing $$$. We should feel blessed we have Godwin and Evans.

  35. BillyBucco Says:

    The latest mock by Davis has us selecting Verse at 26, then he has Latu at 27 and Brian Thomas at 28.
    If that truly happens I wonder who the Bucs actually LIKE?
    We mostly suspect the players we want will be gone, but if 6 QBs go and someone bites on Junior Colson, Xavier Worthy, and other guys we don’t really need, I guess it’s possible.
    I still think if somehow Bowers is on the board at 18, the Bucs should go get him, even though we have 3 TEs and it is NOT a high priority NEED.
    That guy would instantly make our team better on offense and is as close to a sure thing at his position that I have seen in 10 years.