FanPost

Chances of Pro Bowling, drafts 1990-2010, first round

I was alarmed by a blog entry in the sfgate.com site, stating that WR are the lowest probability of success, defined as at least one PB appearance, of all players. I looked on the Pro Football Reference website, and this is what I found.

I selected only first round picks, because I would like to get an idea about chances of success for our first pick. Obviously, there are some limitations in this list, most notably limited statistics. The error quoted for the percentage is the statistical error:

Pos. ( %+-d) Totals

QB (35+-8)%= 17/48

RB (42+-8)%= 28/67

FB -------- 0/2

WR (31+-6)%= 23/75

TE (44+-13)%= 11/25

C -------- 3/10

G -------- 5/18

T (38+-7)%= 28/73

OL (36+-6)%= 36/101

DT (40+-6)%= 23/57

DE (29+-6)%= 24/84

DL (33+-5)%= 47/141

DB (39+-6)%= 43/110

I tried to separate S from CB in the last line, I could not see, by eye, any change in probability. WR are in fact low percentage, but not overly so. 2nd round WR, however, are bad, with only 13 out of 108 2nd round WR making a PB appearance (for comparison, 2nd round OL are at 37 out of 126).

So I started this post to prove that CB and WR picks in the first round have hidden costs (besides the fact that any first round pick who does not become an instant starter is bad economics) and I found that it is not the case for CB. WR in the first round have a modest extra chance of failing, keep in mind that we are looking at less than 2 standard deviations difference from highest to lowest. DE appear to be the worst and DT and TE the best. I discount RB, since a quick look at the numbers showed that they collect far fewer PB appearances than the average player. They have short careers, and therefore there is more turnover in the PB. I assume that the success of DT is due to the fact that their performance is more strongly correlated with measurables. Comments welcome.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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