Good Old Statistical Analysis

Well, maybe not really. But kinda. What I have here is, in spreadsheet format, a look at every RB and TE taken in the first two rounds since 1997.

Most Seahawk fans are of the opinion that these are the two biggest needs on the offense. While some may argue guard, few seem to expect that a guard from the draft could contribute right away. Considering that it appears much more likely that we will fill the hole at guard via free agency, than the holes at RB or TE, i am willing to discuss the merits of drafting these positions. However, the assumption most Hawks are working with is that a rookie RB and/or rookie TE will contribute immediately. So the question I ask is, will they??

Remember as you look at this that Seahawks’ will be drafting out of the #25 slot and the #55 slot. That will give you a better idea of what level of prospect will be available…

Player Position Pick # year carries/catches yards tds yrds/per
W.Dunn RB 12 1997 224 978 4 4.37
T.Gonzolez TE 13 1997 33 368 2 11.15
Antowain Smith RB 23 1997 194 840 8 4.33
David Lafleur TE 22 1997 18 122 2 6.78
Tiki Barber RB 36 1997 136 511 3 3.76
John Allred TE 38 1997 8 70 0 8.75
Corey Dillion RB 43 1997 233 1129 10 4.85
Curtis Enis RB 12 1998 133 497 0 3.74
Fred Taylor RB 9 1998 264 1223 14 4.63
Robert Edwards RB 18 1998 291 1115 9 3.83
John Avery RB 29 1998 143 503 2 3.52
Cam Cleeland TE 40 1998 54 684 6 12.67
Stephen Alexander TE 48 1998 37 383 4 10.35
Rod Rutledge TE 54 1998 no stats avail
Edge James RB 4 1999 368 1549 13 4.21
Ricky Willliams RB 5 1999 253 884 2 3.49
Regie Kelly TE 42 1999 8 146 18.25
Rob Conrad RB 43 1999 No Stats Avail
Jim Kleinsasser TE 44 1999 6 13 2.17
Kevin Faulk RB 49 1999 67 227 1 3.39
Joe Montgomery TE 49 1999 115 348 3 3.03
Mike Cloud RB 54 1999 35 128 3.66
Jermaine Fazande RB 60 1999 91 365 2 4.01
Jamal Lewis RB 5 2000 309 1364 6 4.41
Thomas Jones RB 7 2000 112 373 2 3.33
Ron Dayne RB 11 2000 228 770 5 3.38
Shaun Alexander RB 19 2000 64 313 2 4.89
Anthony Becht RB 27 2000 16 144 2 9.00
Trung Canidate Rb 31 2000 3 6 2.00
Ladanian Tomlinson Rb 5 2001 339 1236 10 3.65
Deuce Mcallister RB 23 2001 16 91 1 5.69
Michael Bennet RB 27 2001 172 682 2 3.97
Todd Heap TE 31 2001 16 206 1 12.88
Algae Crumpler TE 35 2001 25 330 3 13.20
Anthony Thomas RB 38 2001 278 1183 7 4.26
Lamont Jordan RB 49 2001 39 292 1 7.49
Travis Henry RB 58 2001 213 729 4 3.42
Jeremy Shockey TE 14 2002 74 894 2 12.08
William Green RB 16 2002 243 887 6 3.65
TJ Duckett RB 18 2002 130 507 4 3.90
Daniel Graham TE 21 2002 15 150 1 10.00
Jerramy Stevens TE 25 2002 26 252 3 9.69
Deshaun Foster RB 34 2002 113 429 0 3.80
Clintion Portis RB 51 2002 273 1508 15 5.52
Maurice Morris RB 54 2002 32 153 0 4.78
Ladell Betts RB 56 2002 65 307 1 4.72
Willis McGahee RB 23 2003 284 1128 13 3.97
Dallas Clark TE 24 2003 29 340 1 11.72
Larry Johnson RB 27 2003 20 85 1 4.25
Bennie Joppru TE 41 2003 No Stats Avail
LJ Smith TE 61 2003 27 321 1 11.89
Steven Jackson RB 24 2004 134 673 4 5.02
Chris Perry RB 26 2004 2 1 0 0.50
Kevin Jones RB 30 2004 241 1133 5 4.70
Ben Watson TE 32 2004 2 16 0 8.00
Ben Troupe TE 40 2004 33 329 1 9.97
Tatum Bell RB 41 2004 75 396 3 5.28
Julius Jones RB 43 2004 197 819 7 4.16
Gregg Jones RB 55 2004 62 162 3 2.61
Kris Wilson TE 61 2004 0 0 0
Ronnie Brown RB 2 2005 207 907 4 4.38
Ced Benson RB 4 2005 67 272 0 4.06
Carnell Williams RB 5 2005 290 1178 6 4.06
Heath Milller TE 30 2005 39 459 6 11.77
JJ Arrington RB 44 2005 112 370 2 3.30
Eric Shelton RB 54 2005 8 23 0 2.88
Reggie Bush RB 2 2006 155 565 6 3.65
L. Maroney RB 21 2006 175 745 6 4.26
D. Williams RB 27 2006 121 501 1 4.14
Marcedes Lewis TE 28 2006 13 126 1 9.69
Joe Addai RB 30 2006 226 1021 7 4.52
Lendale White RB 45 2006 61 244 0 4.00
Joe Klopfenstien TE 46 2006 20 226 1 11.30
Anthony Fasono TE 53 2006 14 126 0 9.00
Maurce Jones-Drew RB 60 2006 166 941 13 5.67
Purple Jesus RB 7 2007 238 1341 12 5.63
Mashaun Lynch RB 12 2007 280 1115 7 3.98
Gregg Olsen TE 31 2007 39 391 2 10.03
Zach Miller TE 35 2007 44 444 3 10.09
Kenny Irons RB 44 2007 no stats avail
Chris Henry RB 50 2007 31 119 2 3.84
Brian Lenoard RB 52 2007 86 303 0 3.52

Lets look at some things we know and how it affects the results, along with what is going on in the numbers…

1st- Players drafted later in rounds are being drafted to better teams. If you notice, the majority of the RB’s taken in the top 15 do well, but it is pretty hit or miss after that. Obviously they may have greater success later. Look at Shaun Alexander taken with the 19th pick. However, we all know he was mentored by Ricky Watters that year and really exploded in the coming years. Larry Johnson was another example. You could call this the quality veteran factor. Good teams draft for the future, and if they want to stay good they easy rookies in slowly. The best example of this working quickly is Joe Addai, who started out behind Rhodes but was the better back by the end of the season. This is after Edge left, so Rhodes was closer to Morris than Alexander, if you follow my drift

2nd– It would seem that the first TE off the board is always later than the top RB’s. The one chosen highest was Tony Gonzalez, and everybody knew he was destined for greatness. Now looking closely, you will see that the top one or two TE’s do pretty well their first year. If you notice though, a lot of the 3-10 TE’s are guys who don’t contribute and become busts. The anomaly here is 1999, where the first two TE’s did nothing and the 3rd taken was a valuable contributer. Sometimes even the 2nd TE is a bust. LJ Smith is the one guy who was taken at the end of the second who has somewhat produced. Ben Watson was one of the few TE’s taken first but did not contribute. The Pats had drafted Graham the year before, so call it a log jam atthe position. We know he turned out OK. The Seahawks once used the #25 pick to draft a TE, his name was Jerramy Stevens. He is the only Seahawk in history to score a TD in the Superbowl. He was a also a total dirtbag who may not find a job this year.

3rd- The theory of RB’s being chosen late seems to hit. Plenty of guys taken late in the second do very well and begin contributing in their rookie years. Clinton Portis is one, however many will argue it was the Broncos system. How about Maurice Jones-Drew? Pretty good player from the 60th pick, even though he still isn’t a featured back. His partner and possible HOFer Fred Taylor was taken with the 9th pick in 97′. That same draft, Corey Dillion blew up from the 43 slot. He was pretty good for while wasn’t he. Finally, what have the Hawks done around 55 before? Well, they took Maurice Morris in the second round (after taking Stevens in the first) with #54. Solid player, but not what the Hawks really are looking for this time around.

So here is what I think. I think that if we want to win this year, we need to follow that same strategy we did in 2002. I think to get the most out of the rookies THIS YEAR we do better by taking the top TE in the draft (assuming he is available) and looking RB in the second. This is contingent on the RB splitting time with Morris and hoping to be featured more in the second half of the season ala Joe Addai. Now he was chosen in the late first, but this draft is much deeper at the top for running backs. If our scouting is solid, with a little luck, we could find a Joe Addai at 55. However, the chances of us finding a young Dallas Clark (#24, 03′) at 55 are slim.

The other thing to consider is that it is possible that the top 1 or 2 TE’s fall to 55? Probably at worst the third best TE could still be on the board. This is a deep TE class, but the #’s support the idea that to win NEXT year, we need one of top TE’s

The funny part of this….. This is exactly the opposite of what I thought before looking at the #’s

UPDATE (11:39)- By the way, i have these stats all in a spread sheet. If anybody wants to chime in on what might be interesting ways to break them down, please suggest it. I have access to SPSS which can be used to evaluate the numbers in almost any way.

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