A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
View RSS Feed

Are You Not Entertained?

Analysis of Shanahan's Draft Tendencies in Denver

Rate this Entry
The Redskins faithful enter this 2010 offseason with more questions than answers. How will the player's react to all these new coaches? Will we able able to transition to the 3-4 effectively? Is Chris Samuels going to retire? What will be the fate of Jason Campbell? How will we approach free agency with the possibility of an uncapped year looming? Has Clinton's time run out in D.C.?

Perhaps the most compelling question, if not the most important, is what will new head coach Mike Shanahan do on draft day?

Obviously, no one knows for sure at this point (not even Shanahan), given that we're weeks away from the combine, and months away from the draft itself, but regardless, the mock drafting business is alive and booming.

The general consensus amidst these fortune tellers is that the Redskins will take either a QB or an offensive tackle with their first pick, the #4 overall pick in the entire draft. Can't say I disagree, either. So the burning question is, which way will we go?

Although I often mock the mock draft, and consider such acts of blind prediction as little more than an NFL-themed game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey, I decided to play along this time. After all, it's the offseason, what the hell else am I going to do?

I lost my magic 8 Ball last summer, and my local gypsy was fresh out of tea leaves (she blamed it on the weather, guess she didn't see that storm coming), so I needed to rely on the advice my 3rd grade history teacher once told me. The best way to predict the future is to study the past.

In an effort to get a gauge on Shanahan's positional draft tendencies, I analyzed all 111 draft picks he made during his tenure with the Denver Broncos between 1995 and 2008, breaking each pick down by position to see if anything popped out. Hardly an exact science, but it'll have to do until those tarot cards finally show up.

First, let's look at the raw totals by position. And uh, Carlos? You might want to 'pay attention' to this.

Apparently, if you can run fast, you're Shanahan's guy! In terms of quantity, you can clearly see his tendency to draft DBs, WRs and RBs more than any other position.

In terms of the positions we're interested in (QB and OT), neither were particularly popular. In 13 drafts, only six QBs and five OTs were drafted by Shanahan. Not really the compelling statistical argument I was looking for.

Ah, but what about where they were drafted? After all, quality matters more than quantity in this case, especially when talking about the first pick. Curious to see how Shanahan valued certain positions, I assigned each of those draft picks their appropriate point total from Jimmy's Johnson's dreaded Draft Day Chart.

And that exercise proved to be much more interesting.

So although he rarely drafted a tackle, when he did, he drafted one pretty high. On average, he drafted tackles higher on the board than any other position. Quarterbacks, on the other hand, were middle-of-the-road when compared to other positions.

And how does this translate into Jimmy's draft chart?

Looking at that, one could conclude, without a crystal ball, that Mike Shanahan puts more draft value on tackle than any other position. On average, when he drafts a tackle, he's using 470 points (most out of any position), which equates to roughly the 11th pick of the 2nd round. Conversely, he spends only 248 points on average when selecting a quarterback. And where does 248 come in the draft? The 4th pick of the 3rd round. Hmmmm......

Om recently provided us with a nice summary of Nighthawks's "The Shanahan QBs", outlining the QBs that Shanahan drafted or traded for in his career.

While my scope just covers his time at Denver, here are "The Shanahan Tackles":

1995, Jamie Brown, 4th round (121st)
1996, Leslie Ratliffe, 7th round (213th)
2003, George Foster, 1st round (20th)
2007, Ryan Harris, 3rd round (70th)
2008, Ryan Clady, 1st round (12th)

It should also be noted that Jamie Brown was the Broncos 1st pick in that 1995 draft. Not sure what happened to their first 3 picks, maybe Vinny was interning for them at the time.

So, what does all this mean? In all honestly, probably nothing. Each draft is unique, each year presents its own needs and directions, not to mention that every one of those draft picks were the result of the collective minds of many, not just Shanahan. Take into account that Bruce Allen is in the mix as well, and all of this draft history in Denver could be completely irrelevant.

But what fun is that? So instead of rationalizing back to the fact that I have absolutely no clue what's going to happen, I have a better idea.


Round 1: Russell Okung, OT
Round 2: Colt McCoy, QB
Round 3: <n/a>
Round 4: Eric Norwood, OLB
Round 5: Jeff Byers, C
Round 6: <n/a>
Round 7: Devin Ross, CB

You heard it here first.


  1. 's Avatar
    OK I'll try this one more time. I'm a DENVER fan since day one of their existence.

    If you have a great GM then you are probably OK IF mikey has his way on draft day you will be looking for a new coach in 5-6 years when he has run the team into the ground.

    If you look at his choices while in DEN you see that NONE of his day one choices save TWO LB and a DE made it to a second contract in DEN. Al Wilson and DJ Williams. Both great LB's most of his OLINE were drafted in the later rounds. Because he loved lighter faster guys that could play the ZBS. Most of them were resigned. SOme went on to become FA's .

    He loves to take a project guy and change him. IE Matt Lepsis a starting OLT for years until he was hurt and got on drug during rehab. Matt was originally a Small TE. Took WR Shannon Sharpe and made him into a hybrid TE. But he also had many RB that he tried to make into blocking FB's those were generally flops.

    He had great success in DEN as an Offensive genius which he was until he got into the Red Zone and once his HOF players from the Super Bowl era retired or moved on well he was not so hot as a coach. IMHO

    Getting back to the DAFT as I called it while he was here.

    He DAFTED a lot of DB and WR because for the most part they were all flops.

    Oneal, middlebrooks, lelie, nash IMHO were all busts. All number one chocie, HE did do well with Wilson and Williamms both LB's and Pryce as DE but he was a head case once he got his new fat contract he became an issue and had to be constantly called out to get him to perform. and he would for a while then be a no show in games.

    The only Bonafide OT that he took was Clady and he has been superb, his other dabble in OLINE day one choices was foster and he had been hurt in his Senior year IIRC and was never the dominant guy he should have been lasted a couple of years and was traded to DET where he failed also.

    Mikey knows RB's and did well with cutler but he was a head case IMHO the next Jeff GEorge a coach killer.

    He aquired Jake Plummer and turn him into an outstanding QB who had a career year that took us to the AFCCG. the next year after getting blow out by the steelers and the BUS, he drafted cutler stabbing Jake in the back. IMHO

    mike is a brillant OC but again IMO should not be trusted with overall responsibilities as he has never liked a DC not named Slowick.

    He has an EGO and is a micro manager, and expects everyone to be a YES man around him.

    I will predict your great Defense of 2009 will all but disappear in two years. With mikey in charge of player aquisitions your in trouble IMHO.

    he will put a great O on the field and you may win some games because of it but he will dismantle the D just because the Offense is his forte.
  2. 's Avatar
    online pharmacy [URL="http://buypillonline.co.cc"]buy kamagra[/URL]


Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL: