Month: September 2019

Its Hard To Tell How Good NFL Teams Are At The Draft

Just as with career length, players taken earlier in the draft are much more likely to be honored as All-Pros. And the distinction between the first round and the remainder of the draft is impressive: About a quarter of all first-rounders who make the NFL find their way on to an All-Pro team, compared with roughly 10 percent for second-round picks. Even within a round, earlier picks tend to do better; for every additional pick in the first 100 selections, a player sees his chances of making an All-Pro team decline by about half a percentage point.7To get the slope of this line, we fit a local regression curve to the pick-by-pick data. This finding is similar to Chase Stuart’s research on the correlation between draft position and Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value metric.When you look at these results by position, however, some players appear to benefit more than others from the reputation that comes with a high draft pick. Linebackers and offensive linemen, for example, are among the positions most likely to see first-rounders named to an All-Pro team, and they’re also among the most difficult positions to judge statistically.8Line play is perhaps the hardest part of the game to judge on an individual level, and a linebacker’s role — and thus his stats — can vary wildly depending on his team’s scheme. (Not to mention the leeway given to league stat-trackers when handing out “assisted tackles” to star linebackers.) It’s possible that teams find it easier to assess the potential of players at those positions, making it more likely that they’ll draft players who go on to become stars. But it’s also possible that players with good pedigrees and name recognition are being given preferential treatment when awards are granted, in the absence of meaningful performance data (like what exists for offensive skill players) to challenge our perceptions.Perhaps tellingly, the one position that doesn’t show a strong tendency for first-round picks to turn into All-Pros is quarterback. That might mean good quarterbacks are especially hard to identify, but it also may not be a coincidence that we have better, more granular performance data for quarterbacks than any other position, even compared with other offensive “skill players.” With more data, the media members who decide All-Pro status are better at differentiating between good and bad performers without having to resort to prior information such as draft position. And it follows that they may not be doing that for positions with less data.With all this uncertainty, teams are increasingly finding roles for players who enter the league outside the orderly stratification of draft day. Although undrafted players rarely persist on NFL rosters for very long — their average career length has declined more severely than drafted players in recent years9In corrected follow-up analyses to that article, we found that average career length fell by 0.5 years from 2008 to 2013 for undrafted players, compared with a decline of 0.3 years for drafted players over the same timeframe. — the league is churning through more players than ever before, and the overall pool of undrafted players has never been larger. According to our research, the number of undrafted players on NFL rosters increased from 497 players in 2005 to 746 in 2014 — a 50 percent increase.10The 2011 collective bargaining agreement expanded maximum training-camp roster sizes from 75 to 90, increasing the number of players a team gets to look at each summer.Criticisms of NFL draft decision-making usually focus on outliers such as Tom Brady infamously being selected with a sixth-round pick, but studies consistently show that teams do a solid job of sorting talent by pick and by round. At the same time, however, that skill varies substantially depending on a player’s position — and therefore the amount of data we have to judge individual performance. In the absence of better data, this means we still don’t really know how much of a crapshoot the draft is, no matter how much we study it.CORRECTION (April 28, 2:40 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article gave an incorrect description of the data. The chart shows players drafted since 1990, not just those drafted since then who retired between 1990 and 2013.Disclosure: Author Zach Binney works as an analyst for an NFL team. From NFL front offices to fan message boards, the amount of time spent arguing over which players teams should draft is mind-boggling. Ahead of the 2016 draft — which begins tonight — the prospect-focused site WalterFootball.com, for example, has compiled 315 mock drafts from across the internet. And apparently it’s been a slow year; in 2013, it collected 618.Such obsessive study would be unnecessary if the right answers were obvious. They rarely are. So some observers have called the draft a “crapshoot,” but things are more complicated than that, too. There’s plenty of data to suggest that the draft acts like an efficient market and that when a player is picked speaks volumes about what kind of career he will have. We studied it ourselves, looking for evidence that teams know what they’re doing. But every step of the way, we also found reasons to believe that many of the measures used to quantify a draft pick’s success contain flaws — some relating to draft position itself — that may be unavoidable for now.For our draft research, we used information from Pro-Football-Reference.com for players who were drafted in 1990 or later, made the NFL1Playing in at least one regular season game. and retired before 2013.2No special reason we picked 1990. To maintain consistency, we excluded players from before 1994 who were drafted in rounds after the seventh. First, we looked at the most basic measure of NFL success — the average length of a player’s career — based on the round in which he was drafted.3Career length was measured from the first year a player appeared in at least one regular season game to the last year he appeared in at least one regular season game, counting both years as full. No surprises here: The higher the draft pick, the longer a player will stick around in the NFL. First-rounders last a year longer than second-rounders, and the same goes for second-rounders compared with third-rounders. The gaps between rounds narrow slightly in the latter half of the draft, but a seventh-round pick like Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick of the NFL draft, can expect a career just under half as long as the average first-rounder.This is evidence that teams are getting better talent in earlier rounds. And these different career lengths can’t be explained away by different positions being drafted in different rounds: Aside from quarterbacks being more common in the first round4They make up about 8 percent of picks in round one, versus 4 percent in later rounds. and special teamers being more common later in the draft,5They’re taken with fewer than 1 percent of picks in the first two rounds and at about 3 percent in rounds six and seven. the positional breakdowns are remarkably similar across rounds.But there are several issues with using career length to measure draft success. One is that it’s undeniable that early-round draft picks are given more opportunities than most players. In addition to whatever real (or perceived) talent advantage allowed them to be picked highly, first-round picks are lavished with extra coaching and playing time not afforded to lower-status players, likely helping their careers last longer. Although NFL teams have a very vested interest in winning, it can be difficult to know when to give up on a highly touted prospect, particularly if the decision makers who selected him are still in place. This, in turn, makes it hard to tell how much of the longevity advantage of higher picks is earned and how much is a consequence of merely being picked so highly.Career length isn’t the only measure whose flaws can hamstring player evaluation. As another proxy for NFL success, we can use appearances on the All-Pro team, which honors the best players at each position in a given season.6While the Pro Bowl is the official All-Star event of the NFL, it suffers from some serious roster inflation, leading to the listing of more than a hundred players per year and watering down the quality of what constitutes an excellent player. read more

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Police Find Gun That Could Link Aaron Hernandez to

Photo by Getty Images.Massachusetts state police have located the gun that could link former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez to the double murder from last year, according to CBS 3 of Springfield, Mass.Police discovered the gun following a June 21 car crash on Interstate 91 in Springfield, Mass., during an inventory of the wrecked car. The car belonged to Jailene Diaz-Ramoz of Bristol, Conn.A .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver was in the car’s trunk inside a briefcase. Ballistics testing matched the gun with the bullets fired in the death of two men in Boston in 2012.Hernandez is already facing a charge of murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, and that case led them to the as-yet-unsolved July 2012 double homicide of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.Hernandez’s possible connection to the murders of Abreu and Furtado remains under investigation. On July 16, 2012, Hernandez and his associates were allegedly involved in a fight with Abreu and Furtado at Cure, a Boston nightclub. Soon afterward, the two men were gunned down in their vehicle when an SUV with Rhode Island license plates pulled up alongside them and opened fire. Police believe that an SUV towed from the home of Hernandez’s uncle was the one used in the homicides.CBS 3 of Springfield reported that the gun belonged to a friend who Diaz-Ramos called “Chicago.” She said “Chicago” is a football player, and that he and his friends wanted to leave the gun with her so that they didn’t have to bring it with them.Diaz-Ramos was arraigned in Springfield District Court on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and was later released on $1,000 bail. read more

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Ohio State softball topped by No 13 Tennessee eliminated from NCAA tournament

The starter for Tennessee, freshman Matty Moss, lasted only one inning and was pulled for senior Erin Gabriel after giving up a single to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Moss was dominant for Tennessee as she delivered four scoreless innings. She allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out eight. Members of the OSU softball team huddle outside the dugout during a game against Maryland. Credit: Lantern File PhotoA day after keeping its NCAA championship hopes alive, the Ohio State softball team was unable to pull off the upset against 13th-ranked Tennessee and has been officially eliminated from the tournament. After delivering a winning complete game performance on Saturday against Marist, Shelby Hursh was unable to replicate the same success in another game facing potential elimination. Hursh lasted only 1.2 innings, surrendering six runs (all earned) on the strength of five hits and four walks while striking out three. Tennessee, however, was not done scoring as it would add a few in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded, senior Lexi Overstreet doubled to straight away centerfield to clear the bases and chase OSU junior starting pitcher Shelby Hursh from the game. After a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases again for the Volunteers, junior outfielder Shaliyah Geathers hit what at first appeared to be an inside-the-park home run that plated three more runs, but she was ruled out after umpires said she did not touch home plate. The first inning started off just the way the Volunteers drew it up. After three of its first four batters reached base safely with a single, Tennessee would plate two runs following back-to-back walks to its fifth and sixth hitters. In the top of the fifth inning, Volunteers sophomore infielder Meghan Gregg hit a two-run home run to left field to put Tennessee above the eight-run run-rule threshold. A scoreless bottom half of the fifth ensured that this game would end at five innings, giving Tennessee the 10-1 victory. The Buckeyes responded quickly as junior Alex Bayne came around to score off redshirt sophomore shortstop Maddy McIntyre’s single to right field. That was the lone run scored for OSU in this one. Ohio State softball finished its season with a 34-19-1 record. read more

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Mens lacrosse Ohio State downs UMass with fourthquarter heroics

Ohio State senior midfielder Johnny Pearson attacks the offensive zone against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen on Feb. 18 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorThe No. 19 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team defeated the University of Massachusetts 8-7 for the first time in school history on Saturday.Tied at six entering the fourth quarter, sophomore attackman Tyler Bogart scored for the Minutemen to take the lead. However, the Buckeyes were resilient, scoring less than a minute later to tie the game on the man advantage. Then, 13 seconds later, senior midfielder Jake Withers won the faceoff and found freshman defender Jeff Henrich who dashed downfield and scored the game-winning goal with 10:39 remaining.Senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh scored the tying goal at seven for OSU.“(This game) shows what we’re capable of,” said senior midfielder Johnny Pearson. “It’s reflective of some of the plays on the field weren’t going our way, but we really rallied behind some of the momentum we got there late and really just proven what we can do.”UMass sophomore midfielder Ben Spencer flustered the OSU defense, earning his first career hat trick with the Minutemen. Spencer scored his final goal in the third quarter, followed by a strike from junior midfielder Jake Lisauskas to take a two-goal lead.But OSU countered again. Pearson and junior attackman Colin Chell scored for the Buckeyes to tie the game at six before the end of the quarter.Pearson had two goals on Saturday and leads the team with six through three games.OSU coach Nick Myers substituted junior goalie Matthew Smidt for the starter, redshirt senior goalie Tom Carey, at the start of the second quarter. Smidt made 11 saves on 15 shots, including two critical ones in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.“In nine years I’ve only made one or two goalie changes,” Myers said. “It’s not something I like to do, but I think it’s a gut feeling. He had a really good week. He made some big stops and I’m excited for him.”OSU trailed at three different points in the match, but not when it mattered when the horn sounded. Smidt was a key component to the comeback victory. He said the moment was not a surprise to him. “I was prepared to start the entire week,” Smidt said. “The coaches knew that I was going to get the opportunity to go in and I made the best of it. And it’s tough staying in that goal, but I think I executed good and I prepared myself to have a good go.” The Buckeyes were 12 for 19 overall in the faceoff circle and outshot UMass 39-29. However, of the 39 shots, only 18 were on frame compared to 19 of the opponent’s 29 shots. Myers said the offense was not the best today, but he’s glad the defense stepped up.“We know we did a lot of things offensively that were out of character for us and you know it was one of those days,” he said.The 3-0 Buckeyes will face the 0-2 Jacksonville Dolphins next Saturday at noon. read more

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Most important Buckeyes for 2014 – No 5 Dontre Wilson

Then-freshman running back Dontre Wilson runs the ball in a game agains Purdue Nov. 2. OSU won, 56-0.Lantern file photoWith the first five already accounted for, The Lantern continues its countdown of the top 10 most important Buckeyes for the 2014 Ohio State football season.No. 5: Dontre Wilson, sophomore H-backEver since the Southeastern Conference began to dominate the college football landscape in 2007, fans from other regions of the country have been reminded that their favorite teams don’t possess enough quickness to beat schools from the SEC.When coach Urban Meyer took the reins at OSU in November 2011, he made it clear that he intended to change that: the Buckeyes were going to get a lot faster. After an undefeated campaign in 2012, the puzzle of constructing a more explosive offense acquired a key piece when four-star recruit Dontre Wilson committed to OSU in February 2013. In Wilson, a speedster who is able to play both running back and wide receiver, Meyer landed a player that epitomized his offensive philosophy. Expectations were high for the then-freshman.Wilson wound up playing in all 14 games in 2013, and although he didn’t adapt to the offensive schemes as much as his coaches would’ve liked, the double-threat still produced some decent numbers. As the team’s primary kickoff returner and a significant threat on the ground and in the air, Wilson finished with 983 all-purpose yards. Only running back Carlos Hyde, quarterback Braxton Miller and wide receiver Corey Brown had more.He showed glimpses of his ability from the first game of the season. In the second quarter against Buffalo he returned a kickoff for 51 yards. A week later he rushed five times for a total of 51 yards and his only touchdown run of the season as the Buckeyes dismantled San Diego State 42-7. Then came the shootout against California that suited his skillset, helping him to season-highs in both rushing (59 yards) and receiving (48 yards).The Big Ten portion of the schedule didn’t quite see the same production out of Wilson. His 26 rushing yards against Indiana were his highest total of conference play, as were his 35 receiving yards against Penn State.What was more concerning was the way Wilson’s impact seemingly disappeared in the team’s crucial three-game run to end the season. The then-freshman’s production was limited to just the return game against Michigan and Michigan State as he gained 16 and 70 yards, respectively. In the Discover Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, Wilson rushed for 24 yards on three carries, had one return of 25 yards and a catch that resulted in a loss of five.While he might not have exploded onto the scene in the way many hoped he would, Wilson is poised to do just that during his sophomore season.Both Wilson and his coaches have admitted over this offseason how he didn’t really understand his role in last year’s offense. But now things have changed, and the expectations of Wilson –– especially from Meyer –– are high.“Last year he was a hybrid guy that really wasn’t great at anything. (He) was not quite strong enough to run inside like you need that hybrid guy to do. (He) was simply an outside running player,” Meyer said on Monday at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. “He’s gained the weight. He’s much stronger. He’s much more prepared for this level of football. He’s always had the talent and he’s always had the effort, so…he’s an impact guy for us in a lot of ways.”One of Wilson’s main roles toward the end of last season was to redirect the attention of opposing defenses toward him and away from his offensive teammates. Now, with the departures of Hyde and Brown to the NFL, Wilson becomes the unit’s most important and dynamic player behind Miller.When Meyer recruited Wilson many analysts were quick to draw comparisons with current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, who succeeded in the hybrid position under Meyer at Florida. If they do turn out to be similar players, Buckeye fans can take heart in the fact that Harvin nearly doubled his yards from scrimmage and total touchdowns from his freshman to sophomore year.If the Buckeyes hope to capture their first Big Ten title in five years, they need Wilson to have a similar improvement.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Aug. 30 when the Buckeyes face Navy in Baltimore, Md. read more

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Accidental text from coachs 4yearold son among 47 Ohio State selfreported Big

Ohio State self-reported 47 minor Big Ten and NCAA rules violations in 2014, including one as the result of an accidental text sent by a football coach’s 4-year-old son.OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith’s son picked up his father’s cell phone when a recruit called on May 27, and accidentally sent an automatic text message in return. The university sent a letter of education to the football coaches after the incident in regards to NCAA texting rules and phone security.The NCAA did not review the case as part of its interpretations philosophy, which allows for flexibility when reviewing rule violations.This information is the result of three separate public records requests submitted by The Lantern.The most recent request spanned from Sept. 1 through Jan. 18. The records request showed 19 self-reported NCAA and Big Ten violations in the final four months of the year.Of those 19 violations, only two involved the OSU football program, and none involved the men’s basketball team.Apart from the accidental text message from Smith’s son, the only other football violation was for “impermissible on-campus contact,” submitted to the NCAA on Sept. 25. That incident involved coach Urban Meyer having “inadvertent contact with a junior college non-qualifier.” That junior college athlete was on campus without the knowledge of the OSU staff, according to the records request.OSU declared the athlete ineligible until he was reinstated by the NCAA. The records did not specify any actions by the NCAA.Eighteen of the final 19 violations of 2014 were for NCAA rules, and only one prompted punishment from the NCAA beyond what was handed down by the university. As reported by The Lantern on Oct. 14, the NCAA imposed two $500 fines on OSU after an ineligible men’s soccer player competed in two matches.Apart from the soccer violation, three violations had monetary consequences.A member of the field hockey team took part in 17 games during the 2013-14 school year even though she was ineligible. The school paid $5,000 in fines and declared the student-athlete ineligible for field hockey going forward.One member of the OSU wrestling team inadvertently received school books during Fall Semester because his name “incorrectly appeared on the institution’s book list.” The NCAA reinstatement staff said the student-athlete must repay the value of the books before being reinstated, which was the same decision made by the university in the case.Members of the women’s tennis team were required to repay $28 after the program provided them with impermissible per diem on two occasions.Since Sept. 1, 12 different OSU programs self-reported violations, with football, men’s soccer, wrestling, field hockey, men’s gymnastics and women’s volleyball reporting two each. The OSU athletics communication staff also self-reported a violation of its own for “impermissible publicity of voluntary summer workouts.”Through Jan. 18, OSU athletics had only self-reported one NCAA violation and no Big Ten violations.The NCAA violation was for impermissible text messages and phone calls, reported by the football program on Jan. 7. The violation was the result of six accidental one-minute phone calls and five text messages over a span of 10 months. The university prevented the football coaching staff from making phone calls for one week as a punishment, and the NCAA decided not to impose any further sanctions.The three records requests submitted by The Lantern showed eight total football violations in 2014, along with the first OSU violation of 2015.The first request was submitted July 8 and fulfilled Aug. 11, the second was submitted Sept. 23 and fulfilled Oct. 14, and the third was submitted Jan. 18 and fulfilled Thursday evening. read more

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Track and Field Ohio States Karen Dennis becomes first woman awarded Mens

Coach Karen Dennis sits front and center during her teams celebration after her team won theBig Ten Championship on Saturday Feb. 24, 2018 at Spire Institute in Geneva, OH. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern ReporterOhio State track and field director Karen Dennis became the first female to win the Men’s Big Ten Indoor Coach of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.Dennis coached the Ohio State men’s team to its first Big Ten Indoor Championship since 1993 on Saturday. Seven Buckeyes earned first team all-conference honors during the indoor regular season.Dennis is not only the director, but she also coached sprinters, including both the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash, which combined for 29 points in the championship. This success includes junior Nick Gray’s Ohio State record-breaking performance in the men’s 200-meter dash of 20.45 seconds. Dennis is currently in her fourth season at Ohio State as director. She was the women’s track and field and cross country head coach from 2006 to 2014. She led the Buckeyes to indoor and outdoor women’s titles in 2011, the outdoor title in 2012 and the women’s team indoor Big Ten Championship back in 2015.Dennis has been with Ohio State for 16 seasons, starting as an assistant track coach in 2003 in sprints. Before coming to Ohio State, Dennis was the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2000 Olympic Games. read more

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Young amputee records dance to wish paralympians good luck

first_imgPollyanna Hope performed this very special good luck message for all paralympians to Lukas Graham’s 7 Years ahead of the Rio games.Pollyanna is an amputee and her dance is dedicated to Andy Lewis, a through-knee amputee who lost his lower leg in a motorcycle accident. Lewis will be participating in the first ever paratriathlon Olympic event.The heart-warming video was shared on Twitter on September 7 by Polyanna’s father with the question, “Who says you need two legs to dance?” in a message of support for Team GB. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Tim Peake has dinner with the Queen at Windsor Castle

first_imgMajor Peake, who returned to Earth from a historic six-month European Space Agency mission in June, corresponded with the Queen while he was in orbit.The astronaut became the first person to deliver a “God save the Queen” message directly to the monarch from space when he addressed the Queen in a video message live from the ISS after she sent him her own wishes. Queen Among others listed in the Court Circular as attending the soiree with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were the Belgian ambassador, the Brazilian ambassador, the former Bishop of London the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, and the head of Eton College Simon Henderson. The Queen takes up official residence at Windsor for a month each spring for Easter Court when she hosts dinner parties – often for famous guests who in the past have included director Tim Burton, actress Helena Bonham Carter, Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Rachel Weisz.Known as “dine and sleep” events, guests are also given a bed for the night. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Major Peake travelled to the International Space Station Credit:Dmitry Lovetsky/APcenter_img British astronaut Tim Peake has dined with the Queen at Windsor Castle.Major Peake, who became the first Briton to form part of the crew of the International Space Station (ISS), and his wife Rebecca joined the monarch at her favourite home in Berkshire on Monday evening. He was also made a CMG – Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George – in the monarch’s birthday honours, making him the first person to be honoured while in space. Major Peake collected the award from the Queen in December. Major Peake The Queen welcomed Major Peake to Windsor CastleCredit:REX/Shutterstocklast_img read more

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Theresa May admits Calais border controls are up for discussion after election

first_imgTheresa May has vowed to fight Emmanuel Macron if he attempts to scrap  British border controls in Calais and said that they benefit France as much as the UK.The Prime Minister said that Mr Macron, the new French President, has secured a “very strong mandate” and urged voters to put her in a similar “strong position” as she negotiates Brexit. She said that if she wins the election she will “sit down” with Mr Macron and discuss the Le Touquet agreement, under which British border officials can carry out border checks in France. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. During his campaign Mr Macron said that the Le Touquet agreement “must be renegotiated” amid concern in France about the “Jungle” camp in Calais.The Prime Minister said: “He has been elected with a very strong mandate. We must make sure that in the UK we also have a strong mandate to take a strong position into our negotiating table.”As for the Le Touquet agreement, actually it works for the benefit of both the UK and France and obviously in the government that’s elected after June 8 we will be sitting down and talking to Mr Macron and others about how that system has worked both to the benefit of France as well as to the benefit of the UK.”During the EU referendum David Cameron warned that the Calais “jungle” could move to Kent if Britain left the European Union.last_img read more

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