It's always fun to hear the guys running our football team talk about stuff - be it Free Agency, contracts, the Draft - and it's even more fun to dissect things that they say. Yesterday, we wondered what in the world President Ted Phillips was talking about when he spoke of the playing surface at Soldier Field, and today we're going to take a quick glance at GM Jerry Angelo's comments on his drafting philosophy. Particularly, this comment:
Picking at 29th, obviously it’s hard to think that we’re gonna hit a home run at 29; very hard to do. If you try to do it, you may. But if you don’t, what are you left with? I think that’s important because when we look at any draft, we want to come out with four starters.
Okay, let's hit the pause button right there. First and foremost, I love that philosophy. The most successful teams build their foundation from the ground up, finding young players that they can develop into long-term mainstays. But, how has Angelo done with his "four starters per draft" philosophy? Let's see.
2002 Draft picks-
Marc Columbo, Terrence Metcalf, Roosevelt Williams, Alex Brown, Bryan Knight, Bobby Gray, Adrian Peterson, Jamin Elliot, Bryan Fletcher
2003 Draft picks-
Michael Haynes, Rex Grossman, Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Todd Johnson, Ian Scott, Bobby Wade, Justin Gage, Tron LaFavor, Joe Odom, Brock Forsey, Bryan Anderson
2004 Draft picks-
Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson, Bernard Berrian, Nathan Vasher, Leon Joe, Claude Harriott, Craig Krenzel, Alfonzo Marshall
2005 Draft picks-
Cedric Benson, Mark Bradley, Kyle Orton, Airese Currie, Chris Harris, Rod Wilson
2006 Draft picks-
Devin Hester, Danieal Manning, Dusty Dvoracek, Jamar WIlliams, Mark Anderson, JD Runnels, Tyler Reed
2007 Draft picks-
Greg Olsen, Dan Bazuin, Garrett Wolfe, Michael Okwo, Josh Beekman, Kevin Payne, Corey Graham, Trumaine McBride, Aaron Brant
2008 Draft picks-
Chris Williams, Matt Forte, Earl Bennet, Marcus Harrison, Craig Steltz, Zach Bowman, Kellen Davis, Ervin Baldwin, Chester Adams, Joey LaRocque, Kirk Barton, Marcus Monk
2009 Draft picks-
Jarron Gilbert, Juaquin Iglesias, Henry Melton, DJ Moore, Johnny Knox, Marcus Freeman, Al Afalava, Lance Louis, Derek Kinder
2010 Draft picks-
Major Wright, Corey Wootton, Joshua Moore, Dan LeFevour, J'Marcus Webb
Now, the interesting part comes in when we start defining what "starter" means. For instance, there are many players that Angelo has drafted that started for a year, then got shipped out of town. Would those count as part of his goal to find four starters per Draft?
It's also worth noting that, since 2002, Angelo has made 77 total draft picks. Of those, 24 remain on the roster, with a few on the bubble for 2011. So, roughly 30% of Angelo's picks in the last nine drafts are still with the team.
Nine years could be too long of a frame of reference, so let's look at the last five years. Since 2006, Angelo has drafted 42 total players, of which 19 remain in Chicago. His retention rate jumps up to 45%. The argument could be made that not having higher than a 3rd round pick in each of the last two Drafts has watered down those numbers, but we are simply looking at his comment and the stats that go along with it. But let's get back on track...
In the last five seasons, has Jerry Angelo plucked four starters out of each Draft? Again, we have to be able to define "starters", but a reasonable case could be made that he is not living up to his own expectations. It is quite possible to make the argument that in exactly zero of his last five Drafts, Angelo has not drafted at least four starters.
How do you take his comment, and what sort of definition can you place on it? Looking at long-term drafting versus short-term, is Angelo living up to his own expectations?
Consider this a primer for the article coming soon from Tim regarding Angelo's overall drafting philosophy.