2023 NFL DRAFT: PROTOTYPES VS OUTLIERS INTRO

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Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports (Young); Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports (Stroud)

With the 2023 NFL Draft about two weeks away, football fans are eager to see who their respective teams will end up selecting. Every fan is looking for their team to draft the next superstar, whether it’s the next Patrick Mahomes, or Aaron Donald, just like we don’t like it when our team ends up drafting a player that doesn’t pan out (I will respectfully not mention any names lol). So, in order to assess whether a prospect from this year’s draft has what it takes to be a successful selection, I have built a series called Prototypes vs Outliers. 

This series will serve as a guide to compare this year’s prospects to those drafted in the first round of the last 10 years drafts (from 2013 to 2022) who have made at least 1 Pro Bowl appearance, been nominated to 1 All-Pro selection, or been named rookie of the year. We want to identify the common athletic traits and skills on tape these successful prospects have shown they have commonly met and compare them to this year’s first-round hopeful prospects.

We also want to identify the outlier prospects who are getting first-round hype and identify what about their game we can see will translate to the pros regardless of not meeting all of the common measurables of the prototypes, or if they are missing a particular trait or skillset that makes them currently not likely to succeed in most situations or schemes, even though they are relatively been mocked as first-rounders in a lot of popular platforms. For instance, last year, I was not particularly high on New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson out of Ohio State. However, I did believe that if he was drafted by a team like the Jets, who run a Shanahan-style offense, it would ultimately enhance Wilson’s skill set as a YAC monster. It has shown to be an excellent fit so far, as evidenced by Wilson winning offensive rookie of the Year and breaking 1000 receiving in his first NFL season. All this to say, my series is not here to say that a player will be a boom or a bust. This series is there to identify if the prospect has prototypical traits to be a successful player in most schemes in the NFL, or, if he is an outlier, to specify which type of scheme or situation he needs to be drafted into in order to be successful.

I will also mention where I believe his draft projection would be more favorable. So, in the first article of this series, I will present the prospects’ measurements average, and range of the first-round picks at each position who are deemed successful so far as well as the common traits they usually possess to be successful. A question to ask: to draft player X in the first round, are you drafting a good productive player justifying his skillset over his measurables, or are you selecting a prospect with enough production but the tools necessary to become a superstar at his position with the right coaching in place? I would go with the latter option in the first round, and draft good players that I like in the later rounds. So, without further ado, here are the measurables that I will use in this series for each position:

QB:

Height: 6’3’’ (5’10’’ ⅛  – 6’6’’ ¼ )

Weight: 222 lbs (207 lbs – 237 lbs) 

Speed: 4.77 40 yd dash (4.66s-4.97s)

Explosiveness: 31’’ vert (27’’-36’’)/ 9 ft 7 broad jump (8 ft 7 – 10 ft 3)

Agility: 4.31 sec 20 yd shuttle (4.08s – 4.47s)/ 7.01 sec/ 3 cone drill ( 6.86s – 7.17s)

Experience: 963 college pass attempts (519 – 1568)

Notable prospects from the 2022 NFL Draft who met those numbers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt, drafted 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers / Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, drafted in the 3rd round by the Atlanta Falcons

Notes:

-14 out of 29 first-round QBs since 2013 have been selected to at least 1 Pro Bowl appearance (48%).

 

RB: 

Let’s identify two different groups of RBs: the bell cows, who will be the prototypes, and the scatbacks, who will be the outliers.

The Bell Cows: 

Notable 2022 NFL Draft picks who meet most of these measurements: Breece Hall, Iowa St, 2nd round pick of the New York Jets

Notable 1st-round Pro Bowlers: Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Melvin Gordon.

Height: 6’0’’ (5’10’’ – 6’1’’)

Weight: 225 lbs (215 lbs- 232 lbs) 

Speed: 4.46 40-yard dash (4.40s – 4.52s) 

Agility: 4.16s 20 yd shuttle (4.07s – 4.24s)/ 7.04 3 cone drill

Explosiveness: 36’’ vert (32’5’’- 41’’)/ 10 ft 3 broad jump (9 ft 10 – 10 ft 6) 

Strength: 22 bench press reps (17-29)

 

Scat backs (only 1):

Christian McCaffrey 

Height: 5’’11’’

Weight: 202 lbs

Speed: 4.48 40 yard-dash

Agility: 4.22s 20 yd shuttle/ 6.57s 3 cone-drill

Explosiveness:  37’5’’ vertical/ 10 ft 1 Broad jump

Strength: 10 Bench press reps 

Notable 2022 NFL Draft picks who meet most of these measurements: Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State, 2nd round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks / James Cook, 2nd round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills

Notable notes:

– only 7 RBs drafted in the first round in the last 10 years have made the Pro Bowl vs 8 from Round 2

-7 out of 11 1st round backs have been selected to the Pro Bowl (64%).

– only 7 RBs drafted in the first round in the last 10 years have made the Pro Bowl vs 8 from Round 2.

 

WR:

Height: 6’1’’ (5’10’’ – 6’5’’)

Weight: 200 lbs (180 – 225 lbs)

Explosiveness: 36’’ vertical jump (31 – 41’’)/ 10 ft 2 Broad jump (9 ft 2 – 11 ft)

Agility: 4.20s 20 yard shuttle (3.94s – 4.50s)/ 6.86s 3 cone drill (6.69s-7.08s) 

Speed: 4.45s 40 yard dash (4.34s – 4.57s)/ 1.58s 10 yard (1.53s – 1.62s)

Notable 2022 1st-round draft picks who met most of the measurables: Garrett Wilson (Jets), Chris Olave (Saints), Treylon Burks (Titans), Christian Watson (Packers), Alec Pierce (Colts), George Pickens (Steelers)

10 out of 42 1st round receivers have made the Pro Bowl or been named offensive rookie of the year (24%) (FYI the list excludes Cordarelle Patterson who made the Pro Bowl as a returner and now is a RB)

 

TE:

Height: 6’5’’ (6’3’’ – 6’6’’)

Weight: 246 lbs (234 lbs -251 lbs)

Speed/Quickness off the ball: 1.61s (1.55s-1.65s)/ 4.56s 40 yard dash (4.40s – 4.70s)

Agility: 4.31s (4.18s – 4.45s)/ 7.09s (6.92s-7.49s)

Explosiveness:10 ft 3 broad jump (9 ft 11 – 10 ft 9)/ 35’’ vertical (32’’ – 37’5’’)

Strength: 21 bench press reps (17-24)

-Notable 2022 draft picks who met most of the measurables (given no TEs were drafted in the first round last year): Trey McBride (Cardinals), Jelani Woods (Colts)

-5 out of 9 TEs drafted in the first round since 2013 have made the Pro Bowl (56%).

OT: 

Height: 6’6’’ (6’4’’ – 6’7’’) 

Weight: 311 lbs (304 – 331 lbs)

Speed: 1.76s first 10 yds (1.68s – 1.84s)/ 5.01s 40 yd dash (4.72s – 5.22s)

Arm length: 34 inches (33 – 36)

Strength: 27 reps Bench press (21-34)

Explosiveness: 31’’ vertical (28 – 36’5’’)/ 9 ft 3 broad jump  (8 ft 3 – 10 ft 1)

Agility: 4.59s 20 yard shuttle (4.44s – 4.90s)/ 7.60s 3 cone drill (7.31s – 8.03s)

 

Notable 2022 drafts picks: Ikem Ekwonu (Panthers), Evan Neal (Giants), Charles Cross (Seahawks), Abraham Lucas (Seahawks), Nicholas Petit-Frere (Titans), Braxton Jones (Bears)

-13 out of 36 offensive tackles drafted (36%) made 1 Pro Bowl appearance or 1 All-Pro distinction earned

 

Converted OT to OG: 

Height: 6’6’’ (6’4’’ – 6’7’’)

Weight: 313 lbs (308 lbs – 325 lbs)

Arm length: 34 inches (32 ⅞ – 34 ⅜ )

Strength: 23-29 Bench press reps

Speed: 1.80s-1.81s first 10 yards/ 5.06 40 (4.94s-5.18s)

Agility: 7.67s 3 cone drill (7.18s – 8.01s) 

Explosiveness: 8 ft 10 Broad jump (8 ft 9 – 8 ft 11)- 30’’ vertical (28’’ – 32’5’’)

-4 out 10 college tackles converted to guards in the pros have earned 1 Pro Bowl selection (40%)

 

True Guards

Height: 6’4’’ (6’3’’ – 6’5’’)

Weight: 319 lbs (308 lbs – 325 lbs)

Arm length: 33 ½ inches

Strength: 28 Bench Press reps (25 – 35 reps)

Speed: between 1.69 – 1.89 first 10 yds

Agility: 4.68s 20 yard shuttle (4.54s – 4.87s)/ 7.81s 3 cone drill (7.61s – 8.17s)

Explosiveness: 9 ft broad jump (8 ft 7 – 9 ft 9)/ 29’5’’ vertical (26’5’’ – 31’5’’)

2022 draft picks meeting athletic numbers: Zion Johnson (Chargers), Cole Strange (Patriots)

-3 out of 9  true guards (33%) drafted in the first round in the past 10 years have made 1 Pro Bowl appearance.

 

Centers:

Height: 6’4’’ (6’4’’ -6’5’’)

Weight: 312 lbs (311 lbs-312 lbs)

Speed/Quickness: 1.74s – 1.91 s first 10 yards

Explosiveness: 28’5’ – 33’5’’ vertical/ 8 ft 8 broad jump (8 ft 1 – 9 ft 7)

Strength: 25 bench press reps (21 – 27) 

Arm length: 33 inches (33- 33 ⅝)

Agility: 4.62s 20 yard shuttle (4.51s – 4.76s)/ 7.81s 3 cone drill (7.58s – 8.04s)

-Notable 2022 NFL draft picks who met those measurables: Luke Fortner (Jaguars)

-3 out of 8 first-round centers since 2013 have been selected for the Pro Bowl (37.5%)

EDGE (4-3 DE/3-4 OLB): 

Height: 6’4’’ (6’2’’ – 6’5’’) 

Weight: 261 lbs (249 lbs -272 lbs)

Arm length: 34 inches (32 ½ – 35 ⅛ )

Quickness off the ball/Speed: 1.61s first 10 yards (1.53s – 1.68s)/ 4.64s 40 (4.53s – 4.79s)

Strength: 27 Bench press reps (21 – 35)

Agility: 4.28s 20 yard shuttle (4.13s – 4.73s)/ 7.07s 3 cone drill (6.79s – 7.37s)

Explosiveness: 37’’ vertical (32-41’’)/10 ft 3 broad jump (9 ft 8 – 10 ft 10)

2022 NFL Draft picks who have met those measurables: Travon Walker (Jaguars), Aidan Hutchinson (Lions), Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants), Jermaine Johnson II (Jets), George Karlaftis (Chiefs), Boye Maye (Seahawks), Drake Jackson (49ers), Sam Williams (Cowboys), Dominique Robinson (Bears)

 

IDL (4-3 DT/3-4 DE): 

Height:6’4’’ (6’1’’ – 6’7’’)

Weight: 295 lbs (285-305 lbs)

Arm length: 33 ½  inches

Strength: 29 bench press reps (21-35)

Quickness off the snap: 1.72s 1st 10-yard dash

Explosiveness: 31’’ vertical (28 ½ – 32) / 9 ft 4 broad jump (8 ft 10 – 9 ft 8)

Agility:  7.41s 3 cone drill (7.11s – 7.59s)/ 4.50s 20 yd shuttle (4.39s- 4.59s)

2022 NFL Draft picks who have those measurables: Jordan Davis (Eagles), Devonte Wyatt (Packers), Logan Hall (Buccaneers)

NT (4-3 NG-NT/3-4 NT):

Height: 6’4’’ (6’3’’- 6’5’’)

Weight: 329 lbs (311-347 lbs)

Arm length: 33 inches (32-35)

Strength: 33 bench press reps (27-41)

Quickness off the snap: 1.73s first 10 yds (1.66s-1.76s)

Explosiveness:  8 ft 6 – 8 ft 11 Broad Jump/ Min 28’5 Vertical jump

Agility: Not more than 7.58s 3 cone drill

-2022 NFL Draft picks who have those measurables: Travis Jones (Ravens)

 

LB: 

Height: 6’3’’ (6’0’’ – 6’5’’)

Weight: 243 lbs (234-256)

Speed: 4.49 40 (4.38-4.65)/1.57s (1.56-1.60) first 10

Agility:  4.27s 20 yd shuttle (4.15s – 4.40)/ 6.99s 3 cone drill (6.86s-7.30s) 

Strength: 20 Bench Press reps (15-25)

Arm length: 32 ½ inches

 

2022 NFL Draft picks who have those measurables: Quay Walker (Packers), Devin Lloyd (Jaguars), Troy Andersen (Falcons)

 

DBs:

1-CB: 

Height: 6’1’’ (5’10’’ – 6’3’’)

Weight: 196 lbs (183-210 lbs)

Speed: 4.42 40 yd dash (4.32s-4.53s)

Explosiveness: 38’’ vertical jump (32’’- 44’5’’)/ 10 ft 6 broad jump (9 ft 11 – 12 ft 3)

Arm length: 32 inches (30 ⅝ – 33 ¾ )

Agility: 6.89s 3 cone drill (6.69s – 7.29s)/ 4.15s 20 yd shuttle (3.85s-4.65s)

Strength: 15 Bench press reps (10-19)

2022 NFL Draft picks who have those measurables: Sauce Gardner (Jets), Derek Stingley jr (Texans), Kaiir Elam (Bills), Kyler Gordon (Bears), Andrew Booth jr (Vikings), Tariq Woolen (Seahawks)

 

2-Safeties:

Height:6’1’’ (6’0’’-6’2’’)

Weight: 211 lbs (204 lbs-215 lbs)

Speed: 4.54s (4.46s-4.62s)

Explosiveness: 36’’ vertical jump (31’5’’-40’5’’)/ 10 ft 5 broad jump (9 ft 11- 11 ft 2)

Agility: 7.05s 3 cone drill (6.73s – 7.34s)/ 4.20s 20 yd shuttle (4.13s- 4.34s)

Arm length: 33 inches (31 ¼ – 34)

Strength: 16 bench press reps (11-21)

2022 NFL Draft picks who have those measurables: Kyle Hamilton (Ravens), Nick Cross (Colts)