I've twice posted spreadsheets with information on UM and the NFL draft. I decided to do it at least once more this year.
In 2012 I looked at four-year intervals; this year I extended them to five years. My thinking: In any year the team could have players from five classes playing ... true freshmen up through 5th-year seniors. Here are the extremes that are captured in the most recent five-year interval:
* 2004 recruits who played a fifth year, like Morgan Trent ('09 draft)
* 2009 recruits who did not redshirt, like Denard ('13 draft)
So, part of the '04 class, part of the '09 class, and everything between them ...
In the most recent ('09 to '13) five-year interval, UM had twelve picks. That's the lowest number since '83 to '87 (also twelve). No other interval was worse in the modern era.
Taking a closer look at the high (rounds one to three) end, there were three such picks from '09 to '13. This has never happened in the modern era. In all other five-year intervals there were at least _twice_ that many. The '07 and '06 drafts (four apiece) had more high-end picks in single years.
At least by one measure (a decent one, I think), the "program" has clearly been lacking NFL talent (especially at the upper end). It will be interesting to see what happens in '14 and beyond. Needless to say, a couple of lean recruiting years ('10 and '11) might not bring high numbers. '09 looks a little better.
- Data is from CBS Sportsline.
- Next to the first draftee for each year you'll see four columns: * Total number of picks for that year. * Total number of picks for that year and the five prior years. * Total number of "high" picks for that year. * Total number of "high" picks for that year and the five prior years.
- Because the draft is currently seven rounds, I ignored all picks past that round in old drafts.
- I did not account for expansion (Bucs and Seahawks in the mid-'70s, Panthers and Jags sometime after that), so the numbers from (say) the early '70s, which are already impressive, should be considered in that light. (Being drafted in the first round with fewer teams is a rarer achievement.)
- For obvious reasons, I didn't count Ryan Mallett (a "high" pick), Toney Clemons (7th-rounder), or Mike Cox (ditto) in the recent years.
[Ed (Misopogon): Bumped to diary for general diary-worthiness]
If, like me, you've heard "So and so is too small for the Big Ten" and wondered if that statement could be supported by data, you might find the following information interesting.
At the expense of some tedious data entry and time, I looked at the depth charts on the Rivals site for teams from several conferences. Shown here are the average weights for the O- and D-lines. (I thought those would be a reasonable proxy for overall team size.)
- Notice that our conference doesn't have the biggest offensive linemen. That would be the SEC.
- Our defensive linemen are noticeably bigger than those of other conferences (SEC excepted). I suppose that might be a reflection of the SMASHMOUTH football favored by Wisconsin, MSU, et al. Not sure, though...
- You have to go to the Sun Belt (!) conference to get relatively small offensive linemen. The Mountain West and WAC conferences are right there with the big boys.
Anyway, the numbers show that the Big Ten isn't anything special size-wise.
Another of my favorite myths or areas of silliness is this remark, which you often hear in pre-game shows: "X's offensive line outweighs Y's defensive line by Z pounds!!!" Of course it does. Any reasonable person understands that offensive linemen have a bigger average size. For the conferences, the average difference ranged from 21.9 to 35.6 pounds. Why state the obvious?
While we're on the subject of myths, one other thing:
The Badgers have just four offensive linemen in the NFL.
For all the glowing praise that Wisconsin's trained mastadons get, you'd think they'd have more players at those positions in the NFL. Four? Not overly impressive ...