A look back at the 2013 Combine

Immediately after 2013 Combine ended and well before the draft, I wrote an article (“Wrapping Up the 2013 Combine”) that identified players who had the best (as subjectively determined) overall performance in the measurable Combine drills. This was done for each playing position and ended up including 43 players (“the Group”).

With the Combine upon us, it might be of interest to look back and see how the Group fared, both in the draft and in their rookie seasons. With the limited number of data points there is little useful information to be extracted, but it does provide a “snapshot” of how the best on-field performers in the 2013 Combine class made out.

Unfortunately, the Combine does not exist in a vacuum and it is not possible to make any definitive statements regarding whether the Group’s Combine performance helped or hurts a player. For example, most players participate in a pro day at their college and their performance at those days can mitigate, raise questions about or confirm Combine performance.

Almost 90% (38 our of 43) the Group were drafted, with the other five signed as undrafted free agents. The distribution by draft round is as follows:

• Round 1 - 11 players (4 OL, 1 TE, 1 WR, 1 QB, 3 DE/OLB, 1 CB)
• Round 2 - 5 (1 WR, 1 TE, 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 CB)
• Round 3 - 7 (1 OL, 2 WR, 1 DT/DE)
• Round 4 - 5 (1 OL, 1 WR, 1 LB/DE, 1 CB, 1 S)
• Round 5 - 1 (1 S)
• Round 6 - 5 (2 OL, 1 WR, 1 RB, 1 LB/DE)
• Round 7 - 4 (1 TE, 2 DT/DE, 1 LB/DE)

Of the 38 drafted players, three missed the entire 2013 season due to injury and a fourth retired due to concussion issues.

The Group accounted for over 16% of all games started by rookies and about 34% of the games started by first round draft choices. The table on the next page lists each of the 43 players, the round drafted, the team that drafted or signed them and their level of participation from scrimmage in the 2013 NFL season.

It was interesting to note that all of the five undrafted players were at the so-called skill positions (two were running backs, two were wide receivers and one was a quarterback). It is also notable that none of the four running backs in the Group started a single game.

Does this tell us anything about skill position players? Not really, because of the limited sample size.

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