The Cleveland Browns desperately need a quarterback, so they commissioned a $US100,000 analytics study to help them with the No. 4-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
According to CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, the study looked at “decades” of quarterback play to determine the factors that correlate to success in the NFL.
Ultimately, the study concluded that the QB prospect with the highest chance to succeed in the NFL was Teddy Bridgewater — the Louisville quarterback whose draft stock has fallen dramatically in the last few months.
As recently as last October, Bridgewater was considered the consensus No. 1-overall pick.
He follow up a breakout year at Louisville in 2012 with a solid year in 2013. He completed 70% of his passes and threw 31 TD passes compared to four interceptions.
He came into the 2013 season as the projected No. 1 pick, and came out of the season the same way.
But then, in a bizarre twist, he got ripped apart completely during the NFL Draft evaluation process.
At his Pro Day — a practice session where prospective NFL players do drills in front of scouts — he performed horribly. That hardly seems like something that would send a quarterback prospect plummeting, but that’s exactly what happened.
The draft evaluation process is full of things that seem to have nothing to do with football. Those things killed Bridgewater’s stock For example, he got criticised for his TINY HANDS:
He went from a top-three pick at least in October to a late-1st, early-2nd round pick on draft day.
The analytics, though, don’t take into account bad Pro Days, which is why the Browns study still has him as the best QB in the draft.
Cleveland has been the most dysfunctional team in the NFL over the last few months. They lost their coach, GM, and CEO in a series of strange moves after the 2013 season.
But they deserve some praise for spending the money on data to help them make an informed decision on who to pick. Now the question is whether or not they will use it.
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