When draft season comes around people always talk about positional value, with the consensus being that the premium positions are LT, QB, CB, and pass rushers. So it stands to reason that these positions are more valuable because they teams that are great here should be the top teams in the league right? Well these are some interesting things I found after looking at the site that provides the closest you can get to hard data for football on the internet: Pro Football Focus.
The table is at the bottom, and here are three things first before they get asked:
1) If a team had an injury at one of these positions or a new starter took over the job mid-season the player with the most snaps was used.
2) This is a reflection of last year's teams that means players that scored exceptionally low or high may no longer be with the teams.
3) The list is sorted from worst final scores to the best with San Diego having the worst players at key spots and Denver leading the league, and the numbers besides their names are indicators of where they ranked based on wins. For example Baltimore won the SB so they are 1, and KC drafted first so they are 32.
Interesting fact #1: 13 teams managed to play the year without a bad starter at any of the key positions and they are: St. Louis, Dallas, Oakland, Carolina, Washington, Tennessee, NYG, San Francisco, Atlanta, New England, Seattle, Houston, and Denver.
Interesting fact #2: J.J. Watt personally is rated higher than any other individual, and he is ranked higher than 30 of the teams final scores, with his team and Denver being the exceptions.
Interesting fact #3: Baltimore made won the Super Bowl and only managed to scrape together a final score of 10.2, the fourth worst on this list. This is possible because the Ravens utilize an efficient ground game, and their best pass rusher was hurt for most of the year.
Interesting fact #4: San Diego managed to be the only team to get a negative in EVERY category. The Chargers were bad at all the key positions and still managed to escape drafting in the top ten thanks to a weak division and a few above average performances at home.
Interesting fact #5: In these rankings Indianapolis is the lowest rated AFCS team thanks to very good play by the Jaguars LT and Austin Lane their best pass rusher.
So what does it all mean?
All piece says to me is that the Titans have a very good roster where it counts and they just underperformed. Giving Jake Locker better protection will boost his score, and life should only get easier for the Titans best DE (Derrick Morgan) and their best CB (Jason McCourty) since the Titans have upgraded talent at DT and S.
If the Titans manage to play up to their rosters capability then the playoffs aren't out of reach considering the bottom 10 teams on this list play the Titans a combined seven times next year (SD-once, ARZ-once, NYJ-once, IND-twice, JAX-twice) and the Titans will have home field advantage against all five of those teams at some point.
|TEAM||LT||QB||CB||Pass Rush||Final Score|