This is a continuation of this post, http://jklisk.blogspot.com/2007/03/building-team-right-way-early-in-draft.html. To start, here are the results of looking at teams drafting QB's and OL's in the first 12 picks of the NFL draft, since 1978.
Year N-1 represents the year before the player was drafted. We would expect the records this year to be poor, because the team would not be drafting in the top 12, barring a trade. Year N represents the rookie year immediately following the draft. Year N+1, N+2, N+3 and N+4 are the next 4 seasons following the rookie year of the drafted position in question.
The numbers presented are as follows for each year: the first number is the number of qualifying teams who drafted a player in the top 12 at that position; the second number is the team combined winning percentage for that year; the third number is the average number of regular season wins for the teams in question, assuming a 16 game schedule; the fourth number is the number of subject teams who qualified for the playoffs in the year in question; and the fifth number is the number of subject teams who advanced to the conference championship game or Super Bowl.
So, if you look at the Teams drafting QB's in Year N, that tells you that there were 41 teams who have drafted a QB in the top 12 since 1978, they combined for a 0.371 winning percentage in the first season following the draft (5.9 wins on average), and that 4 out of 41 made the playoffs, and 1 out of 41 advanced to at least the conference championship (Pittsburgh 2004).
One minor problem did present itself. There were 4 expansion teams who had no record the year before the player was drafted. However, to account for the general quality of these teams, I treated them as a "2-14 team" the year before the draft in question, which I think is a good approximation of the talent level on the expansion roster at the time the position in question was drafted.
Here are the numbers:
YEAR N-1: 40 . . . 0.286 . . . 4.6 . . . 3 . . . 3
Year N: 40 . . . 0.379 . . . 6.1 . . . 5 . . . 1
Year N+1: 37 . . . 0.470 . . . 7.5 . . . 11 . . . 4
Year N+2: 36 . . . 0.486 . . . 7.8 . . . 12 . . . 2
Year N+3: 33 . . . 0.485 . . . 7.8 . . . 12 . . . 7
Year N+4: 31 . . . 0.474 . . . 7.6 . . . 8 . . . 4
YEAR N-1: 49 . . . 0.362 . . . 5.8 . . . 2 . . . 0
Year N: 49 . . . 0.402 . . . 6.4 . . . 4 . . . 1
Year N+1: 48 . . . 0.404 . . . 6.5 . . . 7 . . . 3
Year N+2: 47 . . . 0.455 . . . 7.3 . . . 13 . . . 6
Year N+3: 47 . . . 0.472 . . . 7.6 . . . 17 . . . 3
Year N+4: 46 . . . 0.513 . . . 8.2 . . . 16 . . . 6
For baseline comparison, the chances of a randomly selected team making the playoffs over this entire time period is about 39%, and the chances of a team making the conference championship is about 14%.
Teams drafting QB's were worse on average the year before the draft in question. The OL teams won slightly more games in the rookie season, but the QB teams showed more improvement. The QB teams outperformed the OL teams in years 2-4 in terms of winning percentage, percentage of teams making playoffs, and percentage of teams advancing to the conference championship. The OL teams were better in terms of winning percentage in year 5, and slightly better or roughly equal in terms of playoff teams and championship teams that year.
The conventional wisdom is that teams that draft QB's are in for a rebuilding project. This appears true for the first year, but after that, it is actually the teams drafting OL that have taken longer to build to respectability and competing for championships.
Next up will be the RB and WR teams.