In Phase One, we measured athleticism with the Combine Score.
In Phase Two, we contextualized college productivity with the Production Score.
Combining these two elements completes the Pre-Draft Analytical Model.
At the outset of this Prospect Modeling project, I had one goal: Build a tool that is better than Draft Capital. Every single one of the Pre-Draft Models has a higher correlation to NFL Fantasy Points Per Game than the actual NFL Draft. Here's the rundown:
Running Back Model
Draft Pick Correlation to NFL PPG: -0.556
Running Back Pre-Draft Score Correlation: 0.585
Top Prospects in the Running Back Pre-Draft Model
It's important to note that both Production and Combine components are required to make the Final Pre-Draft Score. Players that missed the necessary athletic testing phase (Todd Gurley, JK Dobbins, etc.) are not included, although they may score well in the Productivity Model. Every single player in this group hit at least one RB2 season and 10 of 15 prospects have finished a season as a Top 5 fantasy RB.
Wide Receiver Model
Draft Pick Correlation to NFL PPG: -0.509
Wide Receiver Pre-Draft Score Correlation: 0.609
Top Prospects in the Wide Receiver Pre-Draft Model
Of this group, only 2 players have not had a WR2 caliber season during their career: Christian Kirk and James Hardy. There is a clear premium on early breakouts from elite college programs. The inclusion of arm length and hand size with your other typical athleticism scores helps boost the hit rate of the Combine Score and reveals high upside outside WR prospects.
Tight End Model
Draft Pick Correlation to NFL PPG: -0.505
Tight End Pre-Draft Score Correlation: 0.630
Top Prospects in the Tight End Pre-Draft Model
As with the other positions, the Tight End Model possesses an impressive list of names at the top. Only Garrett Mills, Jace Amaro, and OJ Howard have failed to find relevance.
The top end names that the Pre-Draft Models produce are exciting, but here's a closer look at some other interesting numbers:
2020 Rookie Breakdown coming next...