Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tight ends and wide receivers -- draft order.

Draft order for the top tight end and the top wide receiver

Question:  What position is likely to be selected first in the NFL draft – a tight end or a wide receiver?   How large is the difference between the draft number for the first tight end picked and the first wide receiver picked?  Does it appear as though the relationship between the first tight end picked and the first wide receiver picked has changed over time?

Data:   The data from this problem was obtained from an NFL web site that allows for convenient sorting of NFL drafts by several variables including player position.




I copied down the draft number for the first tight end and for the first wide receiver in each draft over the 1967 to 2014 period.   The raw data is below.



Draft Pick Number for First Tight End Picked and First Wide Receiver Picked
First Tight End Picked
First Wide Receiver Picked
Difference Wide Receiver - Tight End
Dummy 1 if Tight End Picked Before Wide Receiver
2014
10
4
-6
0
2013
21
8
-13
0
2012
34
5
-29
0
2011
43
4
-39
0
2010
21
22
1
1
2009
20
7
-13
0
2008
30
33
3
1
2007
31
2
-29
0
2006
6
25
19
1
2005
30
3
-27
0
2004
6
3
-3
0
2003
24
2
-22
0
2002
14
13
-1
0
2001
31
8
-23
0
2000
14
4
-10
0
1999
42
6
-36
0
1998
40
16
-24
0
1997
13
7
-6
0
1996
9
1
-8
0
1995
9
4
-5
0
1994
61
17
-44
0
1993
20
7
-13
0
1992
14
4
-10
0
1991
30
10
-20
0
1990
21
26
5
1
1989
40
13
-27
0
1988
13
6
-7
0
1987
62
20
-42
0
1986
91
18
-73
0
1985
15
10
-5
0
1984
20
1
-19
0
1983
12
18
6
1
1982
47
11
-36
0
1981
14
10
-4
0
1980
7
2
-5
0
1979
13
5
-8
0
1978
7
3
-4
0
1977
22
25
3
1
1976
28
11
-17
0
1975
16
7
-9
0
1974
18
7
-11
0
1973
6
15
9
1
1972
5
4
-1
0
1971
29
4
-25
0
1970
16
10
-6
0
1969
7
6
-1
0
1968
54
9
-45
0
1967
32
8
-24
0



Some Simple Statistics:  A quick glance reveals typically a wide receiver is much more likely to be picked prior to a tight end being picked.   (One should remember there are more wide receiver slots on a team than tight end slots.)   The first tight end was picked prior to the first wide receiver in only 7 of the 48 years covered in this study.


Descriptive statistics for the draft number for the first tight end, for the first wide receiver and the difference in draft numbers are presented below.


Descriptive Statistics for Draft Number on First Tight End and First Wide Receiver Picked
Draft Pick Number for First Tight End Chosen
Draft Pick Number For First Wide Receiver Chosen
Difference in Draft Number Tight End Minus Wide Receiver
Minimum
5
1
-73
Maximum
91
33
19
Median
20
7
-10
Average
24.3
9.7
-14.7
Standard Deviation
17.5
7.5
17.0
Skew
1.6
1.3
-1.0
Kurtosis
3.5
1.1
1.7


The median draft number difference is -10 (wide receiver minus tight end number.)

The mean difference is -14.7.

All three variables exhibit some positive skew.

My glance at these numbers does not reveal a trend towards or away from one position but look at caveats below.

Caveats:   This post does not test whether differences are significant.  The variable draft number of top tight end pick and top wide receiver pick is not the best measure of player demand.    Total number of tight ends/wide receivers picked in the draft or in the first round might be much more interesting.



More on tight ends and wide receivers will follow.  

#Tight Ends
#Wide  Receivers
#NFL DRAFT

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