The Pi-Rate Ratings

May 11, 2016

2016 NFL Draft Grades

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 8:24 am

We here at the PiRate Ratings are already hard at work updating our college and pro football ratings for the start of the 2016 season.

One of our most time-taking tasks is to grade the NFL Draft every May.  Unlike the mass media, where they aspire to come up with draft grades on the spot, we believe that there is only one way to possibly grade the draft before any players ever suit up on an NFL field.

For our purposes, the NFL Draft is no different than recruiting is for college football.  We can grade each player as a 1 to 5-star player.  Then, we can look at each team and speculate whether each player will contribute to each team in week 1 of the 2016 season.  That is all that matters for our purposes, because we are attempting to begin the season with the most accurate point rating for each of the 32 NFL teams.

Therefore, when you see the mass media claim that one team aced the draft because they picked up some great players, but none of these players are expected to be major contributors in Week 1, we may not have that team’s draft rated the same way.  Also, if a weak 2015 team now has 2 or 3 new starters thanks to the draft, then it reasons that this team has satisfied needs in a better way than most other teams.

Also, it goes without saying that just about all 32 teams make themselves more talented each year after drafting players, as they plug in better players for what they have released.  Sometimes, a team can be weaker, like when they lose great talent for a variety of reasons, and the new talent is not as talented or experienced.  However, in most years at least 30 teams improve their overall talent from the draft (and from free agency).  Therefore, a team may be rated dead last in draft grades yet still be improved from the year before.  Thus, draft grading is more of a task where we grade the level of improvement in power rating.

It also should be understood that from a draft standpoint, the actual point improvement between the most improved team and team number 32 is minimal, maybe as little as three points.

Here are our 32 numerical grades for the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 NFL Draft Score Sheet
# Team Grade
1 Jacksonville 4.8
2 Cincinnati 4.2
3 Chicago 4.2
4 Baltimore 4.2
5 Buffalo 4.0
6 Washington 4.0
7 Indianapolis 3.9
8 San Diego 3.8
9 Tennessee 3.8
10 Seattle 3.7
11 Oakland 3.6
12 N. Y. Giants 3.6
13 New Orleans 3.6
14 Miami 3.5
15 Denver 3.5
16 Green Bay 3.5
17 Los Angeles 3.5
18 Houston 3.3
19 San Francisco 3.3
20 Kansas City 3.2
21 Philadelphia 3.2
22 Arizona 3.2
23 Pittsburgh 3.1
24 Minnesota 3.1
25 N. Y. Jets 3.0
26 Cleveland 2.9
27 Dallas 2.9
28 Tampa Bay 2.9
29 Detroit 2.8
30 New England 2.7
31 Atlanta 2.6
32 Carolina 2.0

The difference in actual pointspread value between #1 Jacksonville and #32 Carolina is a mere 2.8 points.  That will affect the game outcomes very negligibly this year.  Of course, there are many other factors used in determining our initial ratings for the teams.  The draft score is just one tiny variable, but it is also one of the most entertaining parts of our rating compilation.  We doubt you would care about reading a post dealing with how age affects pass blocking abilities of offensive lines, or how a new defensive line coach might affect how efficient a pass rush might be compared to the year before.

Most importantly, remember that all of the stuff we do is useful to us only for the next week of scheduled games.  After every team plays game 1, all this work we compile quickly becomes obsolete, replaced by actual game results.

We look forward to your continued support.  Our initial 2016 college ratings should debut around August 10-15, with one conference per day.  Our NFL ratings will follow the release of our college ratings.

 

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