Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Qi Ge


In the National Football League (NFL), teams with the worst record in the previous season are given the first opportunity to acquire the most talented players from college football through the reverse-order draft. Teams’ correct identification and selection of talent is vital to the effectiveness of the draft in attempting to competitively balance the league and allowing teams who struggled in previous seasons to compete for the title in the following year. This study analyzes all major positions independently and finds that first round draft choices on average do outperform later round choices, though there is a large amount of variability in each round which indicates inefficiencies throughout the process. Furthermore, findings indicate teams fail to consider many variables that effectively predict future success. This study is the first football related paper to utilize advanced analytics as a measure of productivity, though difficulties in measuring a players’ true productivity independently from his teammates illustrate the dilemma teams face when drafting players.

Included in

Economics Commons