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goldfishwars

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So I looked at the projected starters and backups for all 32 teams for a thing and it was really interesting to see which teams came out on top. This isn't a ranking of which teams I think will fare best next season, because it strips out positional value and the impact of coaching and scheme. But it's an attempt to work out which rosters are better equipped at each starting position, plus the value of their back-up (i.e would there be a significant drop-off if the starter was injured?) in order to work-out which teams have the most talent and the most number of spots. 

I did this by scoring each position (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, Edge, Off LB, CB, S - rookies were marked conservatively) like this:-

Starters: 

1 - A low-level starter

2 - A below average starter

3 - An average or ascending NFL player

4 - A potential future Pro Bowl calibre player

5 - A Pro Bowl calibre player

Depth:

1 - Fortunes of team would be severely hit if starter was unavailable

2 - A significant drop-off in talent from starter to back-up

3 - Drop-off in talent from starter to back-up could be managed

4 - Slight drop-off, but capable contributor backing up

5 - No noticeable drop-off

 

Obviously, it's not an exact science (and others would score very differently, probably) - but just a bit of fun to get familiar with every team's roster. The Eagles look insanely stacked in their depth and the strength of their current starters, scoring far beyond the next team. A couple of surprises were the Ravens and Bengals, both in the top ten. But when you look at those rosters, they might be lacking in headliners - but man have they done a good job of filling the depth at almost every spot. Both look particularly resilient to injury, the Ravens just need some better luck there. Some creative coaching might be able to realise the talent that is there on those teams, given there are so many maybes. 

At the bottom of the list, there are some teams who have performed well of late and have some excellent starters in place - but don't look particularly far away from a few struggles if they hit an injury wave. The Cowboys fall into that category, although there are some units on that roster they need to work through. Some other teams I thought were deep, have a few questionable spots on their team when you run down the roster - the Saints would be in that category. Elsewhere, the Buccaneers I would say have done the most to turn around a roster by instilling depth at a number of spots during the the off-season. 

Overall Scoring:    

  1. Philadelphia Eagles     -     78 
  2. Green Bay Packers     -     72
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars     -     72
  4. Atlanta Falcons     -     71
  5. Baltimore Ravens     -     70
  6. Cincinnati Bengals     -     69
  7. Minnesota Vikings     -     68
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers     -     67
  9. Los Angeles Rams     -     67
  10. Los Angeles Chargers     -     66
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers     -     66
  12. New England Patriots     -     66
  13. Denver Broncos     -     65
  14. Washington Redskins     -     64
  15. Tennessee Titans     -     64
  16. New Orleans Saints     -     63
  17. Carolina Panthers     -     62
  18. Cleveland Browns     -     61
  19. Miami Dolphins     -     60
  20. Kansas City Chiefs     -     59
  21. New York Jets     -     59
  22. Seattle Seahawks     -     58
  23. New York Giants     -     58
  24. Indianapolis Colts     -     57
  25. Oakland Raiders     -     57
  26. Dallas Cowboys     -     56
  27. Chicago Bears     -     55
  28. Detroit Lions     -     55
  29. Houston Texans     -     55
  30. Buffalo Bills     -     54
  31. San Francisco 49ers     -     54
  32. Arizona Cardinals     -     49

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, goldfishwars said:

So I looked at the projected starters and backups for all 32 teams for a thing and it was really interesting to see which teams came out on top. This isn't a ranking of which teams I think will fare best next season, because it strips out positional value and the impact of coaching and scheme. But it's an attempt to work out which rosters are better equipped at each starting position, plus the value of their back-up (i.e would there be a significant drop-off if the starter was injured?) in order to work-out which teams have the most talent and the most number of spots. 

I did this by scoring each position (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, Edge, Off LB, CB, S - rookies were marked conservatively) like this:-

Starters: 

1 - A low-level starter

2 - A below average starter

3 - An average or ascending NFL player

4 - A potential future Pro Bowl calibre player

5 - A Pro Bowl calibre player

Depth:

1 - Fortunes of team would be severely hit if starter was unavailable

2 - A significant drop-off in talent from starter to back-up

3 - Drop-off in talent from starter to back-up could be managed

4 - Slight drop-off, but capable contributor backing up

5 - No noticeable drop-off

 

Obviously, it's not an exact science (and others would score very differently, probably) - but just a bit of fun to get familiar with every team's roster. The Eagles look insanely stacked in their depth and the strength of their current starters, scoring far beyond the next team. A couple of surprises were the Ravens and Bengals, both in the top ten. But when you look at those rosters, they might be lacking in headliners - but man have they done a good job of filling the depth at almost every spot. Both look particularly resilient to injury, the Ravens just need some better luck there. Some creative coaching might be able to realise the talent that is there on those teams, given there are so many maybes. 

At the bottom of the list, there are some teams who have performed well of late and have some excellent starters in place - but don't look particularly far away from a few struggles if they hit an injury wave. The Cowboys fall into that category, although there are some units on that roster they need to work through. Some other teams I thought were deep, have a few questionable spots on their team when you run down the roster - the Saints would be in that category. Elsewhere, the Buccaneers I would say have done the most to turn around a roster by instilling depth at a number of spots during the the off-season. 

 

  1. Green Bay Packers     -     72

Interesting that the Packers are so high considering that this stripped out positional value. Normally the Packers are thought to be one of the  less talented teams when not account for Aaron Rodgers. I will say the Packers have a roster full of good to average players. What they truly lack is blue chip elite talent on both sides of the ball. Since you only separate between pro-bowlers and potential pro-bowlers it lessons the impact of the Packers just not having that many elite blue chip talents. 

Edited by Spartacus

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The Browns at #18 prove yet again that: 

1. Hue Jackson is a horrific coach

2. They have a bunch of lower tier to average starters, creating depth strength, while majorly lacking in play makers

3. They have a LOT of youth that could BOOM or BUST

4. We won't know until 2020 whether or not this last 3 year process was a complete failure or an NBA Tank job done correctly at the NFL level

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I still think alot of people are sleeping on the Bengals this year. But they usually strive in the underdog role, so I'm not complaining. 

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what does this say about Rodgers if he cannot get it done with the 2nd best roster in the NFL?

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8 minutes ago, SBLIII said:

what does this say about Rodgers if he cannot get it done with the 2nd best roster in the NFL?

Probably that he was hurt last year and some career special teamer couldn't figure out how to recover an onside kick a few years ago. Throw in a decimated WR corps and an average at best defense, all while having a sub par running game, and that should explain a lot.

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1 minute ago, MWil23 said:

Probably that he was hurt last year and some career special teamer couldn't figure out how to recover an onside kick a few years ago. Throw in a decimated WR corps and an average at best defense, all while having a sub par running game, and that should explain a lot.

not that I agree with the ranking but if Rodgers has the 2nd best roster in the NFL around him for 2018, he should get it done.

 

As for the past, I agree with you. There is always the worry that Rodgers is not the guy from 3-4 years ago because of injuries. His last 3 years have been very good but not 2011-14 like.

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2 minutes ago, SBLIII said:

not that I agree with the ranking but if Rodgers has the 2nd best roster in the NFL around him for 2018, he should get it done.

 

As for the past, I agree with you. There is always the worry that Rodgers is not the guy from 3-4 years ago because of injuries. His last 3 years have been very good but not 2011-14 like.

We'll also see how their pass rush is this year. That has been a very big concern for their defense as a whole.

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Posted (edited)

The problem with this scoring system is that it weighs each position individually, when the unit's play is very much affected by key gaps.

DEN's inclusion as 2nd in the AFCW doesn't reflect the fact that our pass-blocking was awful and remains highly questionable, and we have only 2 guys who can catch the ball with serious threats.   That type of combination is deadly to a pass game.   Likewise, while our D looks great for pass coverage and did amazingly well in run D last year,  the inability to have a legit 2nd pass rusher to take double/triple-teams off Von Miller, and our absolute inability to cover RB/TE's, made what looked like a strong D in fact really easy to beat.   

LAC's weaknesses, as a contrast, and even KC's - are confined to areas where their strengths in other areas can hide their weaknesses.    For a team like DEN's, we're not built that way - weaknesses compound other weaknesses.   

The other issue is of course how players are rated - and whether they are in the progression or decline phase.   But that's a matter of evaluation.   The weaknesses created with specific units is a more systematic flaw that I don't know this formula captures.   It's a good way to evaluate player selection in a vacuum, albeit one that requires effective impartial evaluation.

Edited by Broncofan

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45 minutes ago, SBLIII said:

not that I agree with the ranking but if Rodgers has the 2nd best roster in the NFL around him for 2018, he should get it done.

 

As for the past, I agree with you. There is always the worry that Rodgers is not the guy from 3-4 years ago because of injuries. His last 3 years have been very good but not 2011-14 like.

So, the reasons for the high Packers ranking were mostly to do with what they did in the off-season. Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson are Pro Bowl additions at their respective positions, Deshone Kizer helps give them better depth at QB back-up than most teams have (Hundley and Kizer have played significant minutes in the league). There was also huge draft capital spent at corner and a number of picks made at receiver. That whole roster goes deep throughout. 

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I don't disagree with the Texans being so low - the staring 22 is good, with a few elite level players (Hopkins, Clowney) as well as a few "could be elite/might be elite" kinda guys (Watson, Watt, Mathieu, Mercilius, McKinney).

But that depth...man, that depth is downright horrible.

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3 hours ago, Spartacus said:

Interesting that the Packers are so high considering that this stripped out positional value. Normally the Packers are thought to be one of the  less talented teams when not account for Aaron Rodgers. I will say the Packers have a roster full of good to average players. What they truly lack is blue chip elite talent on both sides of the ball. Since you only separate between pro-bowlers and potential pro-bowlers it lessons the impact of the Packers just not having that many elite blue chip talents. 

Because this is as much about depth, than roster talent - the Packers score high in this because there is good depth at nearly every spot on the roster. That said, there aren't many teams with 11 players who have played in a Pro Bowl and can field a defensive line more talented than Wilkerson - Clark - Daniels next year. There also aren't many teams that can name six cornerbacks who are capable of starting a game (Williams, King, Rollins, Alexander, Jackson, House). 

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6 hours ago, johndeere1707 said:

I still think alot of people are sleeping on the Bengals this year. But they usually strive in the underdog role, so I'm not complaining. 

Generic statement is generic. Every team says/feels that way.

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26 minutes ago, Danger said:

Generic statement is generic. Every team says/feels that way.

True. But until Cleveland proves themselves, and Baltimore separates, I believe we will be a wild card team.  Definitely don’t see the Bengals finishing with a top 5 pick like I’ve seen in a lot of predictions. 

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12 hours ago, goldfishwars said:

So I looked at the projected starters and backups for all 32 teams for a thing and it was really interesting to see which teams came out on top. This isn't a ranking of which teams I think will fare best next season, because it strips out positional value and the impact of coaching and scheme. But it's an attempt to work out which rosters are better equipped at each starting position, plus the value of their back-up (i.e would there be a significant drop-off if the starter was injured?) in order to work-out which teams have the most talent and the most number of spots. 

Depth:

1 - Fortunes of team would be severely hit if starter was unavailable

2 - A significant drop-off in talent from starter to back-up

3 - Drop-off in talent from starter to back-up could be managed

4 - Slight drop-off, but capable contributor backing up

5 - No noticeable drop-off

Quick clarifying question, here. The bold, and the bullet points there, make it seem as though you're grading depth as a measurement of the gap between the starter and the depth. Would that not favor a team that has two mediocre players at one position, as opposed to a team that has a great player and a mediocre one? Because the former would have it's starter graded lower, but there'd be no drop off in event of injury. The latter would have a more highly graded starter, but they'd be punished for the fact that their backup, while good depth, is nowhere near as good as the guy ahead of him on the depth chart. Wouldn't it make more sense just to grade the quality of backups as opposed to grading it as a function of the difference between starter and backup? Otherwise, a team with a top tier starter and mediocre backup might be 5 at starter and 1 at depth, while a team with a mediocre starter and a mediocre backup might be 3 at starter and 5 at depth. Putting them higher. And I'm all for praising depth, but at several positions I'd rather one star than two mediocre guys. And this may not be how you've done it, it's just kind of the impression I get from the sections I quoted.

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