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Building Through The Draft: An unofficial case study, part three

Time to continue on with our look at some NFL Drafts of years past. Why? Like I've said, I'm hoping to create some discussion on this idea that it is best to build through the draft rather than dealing away early draft picks (for the purpose of this study, rounds one and two are being considered "early draft picks") in exchange for proven (but potentially troublesome) veterans.

Again, the basis of this discussion centers around how successful every NFL team has been since 2000 in "hitting" on their draft picks in the first two rounds of the draft. You will find my "defined categories" below, as well as the results for the next two drafts, the 2004 and 2005 drafts. And I promise, I am getting to a point here.

If you'd like to see the previous parts of this series, you can do so by clicking here.

The categories for these next two drafts are defined as follows:

Superstar - Player named as 1st team All-Pro more than once and who has multiple Pro Bowl appearances.
Star - Named 1st team All-Pro one time or has more than one Pro Bowl appearance.
Starter - At least three years as a primary starter and has not appeared in more than one Pro Bowl.
Disappointment - Not at least a three year starter but has appeared in at least 48 games (equivalent to three 16 game seasons).
Bust - Played in fewer than 48 career games.

If you'd like to see the players selected in each draft, you can click here for the 2004 draftt or here for the 2005 draft.

The 2004 NFL Draft 1st and 2nd Round Results:

Category # of Players % of Draft Picks
Superstar 1 1.6%
Star 8 12.7%
Starter 29 46%
Disappointment 14 22.2%
Bust 11 17.5%


This was a very different kind of draft. While there weren't as many "superstars," less than 40% of the class ended up in one of the bottom two categories. Still, when only three of every five players taken are starters for their team and that's a good thing, there's definitely some food for thought here. Some "busts" from this class include Marcus Tubbs (23rd overall) and Chris Perry (26th overall). Bob Sanders was the lone "superstar" and he was drafted in round two.

Of the first round alone, 7 of the 32 picks were either "disappointments" or "busts" while 8 were "stars."

The 2005 NFL Draft 1st and 2nd Round Results:

Category # of Players % of Draft Picks
Superstar 1 1.6%
Star 3 4.7%
Starter 26 40.5%
Disappointment 22 34.4%
Bust 12 18.8%


The '05 class had only one more "bust" than the '04 class but had eight more "disappointments." Some of the notable "busts" include Mike Williams (10th overall), David Pollack (17th overall) and Erasmus James (18th overall) while the lone "superstar" was DeMarcus Ware, who was selected by...Bill Parcells (perhaps some foreshadowing of the conclusion of this case study).

Next time we'll wrap this whole thing up and explain the point of this whole mess.

But for now, any thoughts?