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Bears' Draft Success in Past Due to Number and Position of Picks?

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A site called Draftmetrics conducted a study to determine whether pick quality or pick quantity contributed more to draft success.

Doug Pensinger

If I told you that the Bears under Jerry Angelo weren't actually bad at drafting NFL talent, you'd try to laugh me out of the room. According to one metric, well, that was actually the case - at least prior to 2006, and as long as the Bears had enough draft picks.

A site called Draftmetrics conducted a study to determine whether draft success was due more to pick quality or pick quantity. The study focused on five-year starters drafted between the 1993 and 2006 draft classes. For simplicity's sake, they didn't care which team got the fifth year, as long as the player became a five-year starter.

It might surprise you to know the Bears finished in the second-highest grouping, between 27 and 30 starters produced (they had 28).

But if you dig a little deeper, you'll see the Bears' number isn't exactly as sunny as it seems. When it came to pick efficiency, the Bears scored a -0.33 (negative), which they interpret as the Bears produced approximately a third of a player less than they would be expected to produce normally. But thanks to their draft position and number of choices, they produced two-and-a-third more five-year starters than they would have expected to produce.

The moral of the story is, the Bears were less efficient with their individual picks, but their position and number of choices helped them out greatly. In other words, the definition of "Throw things, see what sticks." (The censored version, of course.)

Obviously, things are different now, as Mark Hatley and Jerry Angelo aren't in charge anymore, but it's still interesting to break down front-office metrics such as this.

And if you're curious, the Lions were a -9.00 overall and -8.88 in efficiency; the Packers were +9.00 overall and +9.72 in efficiency, and the Vikings were -1.00 overall and -3.10 in efficiency.