Re-Drafting the Quarterbacks From the 2012 NFL Draft Using Advanced Analytics
In an NFL season full of talk about Derek Carr's MVP-caliber play and Blake Bortles' ever-increasing pick-six totals, we seem to have placed the 2014 class of quarterbacks ahead of the infamous 2012 draft class.
But, with Brock Osweiler disappointing in Houston, Kirk Cousins ascending in Washington and Robert Griffin III returning in Cleveland, it's time to revisit one of the most boom-or-bust (even controversial) quarterback drafts in recent NFL history.
Here's how things shook out just four years ago.
|1||Indianapolis Colts||Andrew Luck||Stanford|
|2||Washington Redskins*||Robert Griffin III||Baylor|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Ryan Tannehill||Texas A&M|
|22||Cleveland Browns*||Brandon Weeden||Oklahoma St.|
|57||Denver Broncos||Brock Osweiler||Arizona St.|
|75||Seattle Seahawks||Russell Wilson||Wisconsin|
|88||Philadelphia Eagles*||Nick Foles||Arizona|
|102||Washington Redskins||Kirk Cousins||Michigan St.|
|185||Arizona Cardinals||Ryan Lindley||San Diego St.|
Nearly five seasons into their respective careers, how would things play out if we could go back in time? Who would be the first quarterback off the board? Who would fall, according to their performance?
There are many ways to measure performance. For so many years, all we paid attention to were quarterback wins -- but, as most of the NFL community has come to learn, wins are not a quarterback stat. Yards, completion percentage and yards per attempt all play a factor in measures today, but they're not all telling.
The best advanced statistic numberFire has to measure a quarterback by is what we like to call Net Expected Points, or NEP. NEP measures the number of points a player adds (or loses) to his team versus what he's expected to add. It looks at down-and-distance situations and field position and relates these instances to history. When a player outperforms what's happened in the past, he sees a positive expected points value on the play. When he doesn't, his expected points gained on the play is negative.
I'll also reference other statistics, but NEP -- total, average, low and high -- is the standard for comparison. Using that, this is how the order would be different if we were to conduct a re-draft today.