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Karnage84

ANATOMY OF A CHAMPION

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Because I am a nerd, I wanted to get an of idea of how Super Bowl winning rosters are comprised vs the Lions. I looked at the past ten Super Bowl winners (2010 - 2019) and broke them down by years of experience. The numbers will be based off of the actual number and percentage of total roster. The rosters were directly pulled from Pro Football Reference without any adjustments. 

  • Rookie (R)
  • 1 - 2 Years
  • 3 - 4 Years
  • 5 - 7 Years
  • 8 - 9 Years
  • 10+ Years

These are the average figures; Minimum and Maximum

  • Rookie (R) - 10 (16.23%); Min. 7 (10%); Max 14 (22.22%)
  • 1 - 2 Years - 17 (27.54%); Min. 10 (16.67%); Max. 26 (39.39%)
  • 3 - 4 Years - 14 (21.93%); Min. 9 (15.0%); Max. 17 (28.81%)
  • 5 - 7 Years - 14 (22.56%); Min. 9 (15.0%); Max. 19 (30.0%) 
  • 8 - 9 Years - 4 (6.07%); Min. 2 (3.13%); Max. 7 (10.0%)
  • 10+ Years - 4 (5.68%); Min. 0 (0.0%); Max. 6 (10.0%)

The 2019 Lions breakdown is as follows:

  • Rookie (R) - 18 (25.715) > +8 from avg (+9.48%)
  • 1 - 2 Years - 20 (28.75%) > +3 from avg (+1.03%)
  • 3 - 4 Years - 13 (18.57%) > -1 from avg (-3.36%)
  • 5 - 7 Years - 14 (20.00%) > 0 from avg (-2.56%)
  • 8 - 9 Years - 1 (1.43%) > -3 from avg (-4.64%)
  • 10+ Years - 4 (5.71%) > +1 from avg (0.04%)

Two key issues from this analysis are: over reliance on young players, primarily rookies. We all know about the injury issues the Lions dealt with, so that has to have played a role. The other issue is the lack of longer term experience (8-9 years). It looks like we need to add a couple veteran players to help balance out the inexperience. 

I do plan on looking at how the positions breakdown with these numbers, where guys are drafted, in house players vs free agents. 

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22 minutes ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

It's a lot of work and clearly interesting analysis.

It wasn't a ton of work. At least not compared to my draft worksheet with every combine player results from 2011 - 2020. 

I'm most interested in the draft picks and their respective positions. Ex. do you need to invest heavily in OL in early rounds? How much of a championship roster is homegrown vs acquired talent? 

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Is it bad that two of our 10+ year players are a kicker and a long snapper?  

IMO, it seems like having guys that are 4 years or less would be beneficial given they are usually much cheaper and easier to build around.  However it really helps if your QB is in that range (or you have Bill Belichick) to allow you to spend more on the rest of the team.  Thanks for the different look at things.  

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56 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

Is it bad that two of our 10+ year players are a kicker and a long snapper?  

IMO, it seems like having guys that are 4 years or less would be beneficial given they are usually much cheaper and easier to build around.  However it really helps if your QB is in that range (or you have Bill Belichick) to allow you to spend more on the rest of the team.  Thanks for the different look at things.  

I haven't quite gotten into those details yet. Just breaking down the draft picks and homegrown vs fa. So far you're looking at a ton of UDFA guys making up 20 - 30% of rosters but that doesn't mean they're playing key roles or anything. 

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Posted (edited)

Karnage is over here playing money ball on the forum while I'm over here derping away on the keyboard.  Nice work. Interested in seeing how this plays out.

 

Edited by LionArkie

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1 hour ago, LionArkie said:

Karnage is over here playing money ball on the forum while I'm over here derping away on the keyboard.  Nice work. Interested in seeing how this plays out.

 

It's really just a lot of cut and paste. Answering my own questions and then clogging the forum. 

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HOW DRAFT ROUNDS BREAK DOWN

This is the amount of players drafted in a particular round on each roster. They may have been drafted in a particular round by another team and is on the winning teams roster. The breakdown of players drafted and developed vs free agents is HOMEGROWN vs FREE AGENTS. With all of the crisscrossing of UDFA players, they aren't factored into any of this. 

AVERAGES

Round 1 - 8 (13.32%)

Round 2 - 9 (14.04%)

Round 3 - 6 (9.69%)

Round 4 - 6 (10.03%)

Round 5 - 5 (8.56%)

Round 6 - 6 (9.02%)

Round 7 - 4 (6.44%)

UDFA - 18 (28.91%)

HOMEGROWN: 28 (63%)

FREE AGENTS: 17 (37%)

 

LIONS

Round 1 - 5 (7.14%) > -3 from avg (-6.18%)

Round 2 - 5 (7.14%) > -4 from avg (-6.89%)

Round 3 - 4 (5.71%) > -2 from avg (-3.97%)

Round 4 - 7 (10%) > +1 from avg (-0.03%)

Round 5 - 12 (17.14%) > +7 from avg (+8.59%)

Round 6 - 4 (5.71%) > -2 from avg (-3.30%)

Round 7 - 3 (4.29%) > -1 from avg (-2.15%)

UDFA - 30 (42.86%)> +12 (13.95%)

HOMEGROWN: 27 (67.50%)> -1 (+4.73%)

FREE AGENTS: 13 (32.50%) >-4 (-4.73%)

 

Compared to Super Bowl winning teams, the Lions are lacking 7 quality round 1 - round 2 players, which are typically guys that would be starters on your roster. 3rd rounders are often brought into the mix as well, so we're looking at 9 players (-17%) of quality players on the roster. We are fairly strong in the middle with rounds 4 -5. This year we vastly relied on UDFA's (rookies and/or veterans) with a difference of +12 from the average. Basically this boils down to, not enough good players and plenty of not great to mediocre players. 

Surprisingly, we are actually right at the average when it comes to Homegrown players vs Free Agents. For the trouble we all give Quinn, that's not terrible to see. We just need to start getting some better players that stick around in the earlier rounds. 

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14 hours ago, Karnage84 said:

HOW DRAFT ROUNDS BREAK DOWN

This is the amount of players drafted in a particular round on each roster. They may have been drafted in a particular round by another team and is on the winning teams roster. The breakdown of players drafted and developed vs free agents is HOMEGROWN vs FREE AGENTS. With all of the crisscrossing of UDFA players, they aren't factored into any of this. 

AVERAGES

Round 1 - 8 (13.32%)

Round 2 - 9 (14.04%)

Round 3 - 6 (9.69%)

Round 4 - 6 (10.03%)

Round 5 - 5 (8.56%)

Round 6 - 6 (9.02%)

Round 7 - 4 (6.44%)

UDFA - 18 (28.91%)

HOMEGROWN: 28 (63%)

FREE AGENTS: 17 (37%)

 

LIONS

Round 1 - 5 (7.14%) > -3 from avg (-6.18%)

Round 2 - 5 (7.14%) > -4 from avg (-6.89%)

Round 3 - 4 (5.71%) > -2 from avg (-3.97%)

Round 4 - 7 (10%) > +1 from avg (-0.03%)

Round 5 - 12 (17.14%) > +7 from avg (+8.59%)

Round 6 - 4 (5.71%) > -2 from avg (-3.30%)

Round 7 - 3 (4.29%) > -1 from avg (-2.15%)

UDFA - 30 (42.86%)> +12 (13.95%)

HOMEGROWN: 27 (67.50%)> -1 (+4.73%)

FREE AGENTS: 13 (32.50%) >-4 (-4.73%)

 

Compared to Super Bowl winning teams, the Lions are lacking 7 quality round 1 - round 2 players, which are typically guys that would be starters on your roster. 3rd rounders are often brought into the mix as well, so we're looking at 9 players (-17%) of quality players on the roster. We are fairly strong in the middle with rounds 4 -5. This year we vastly relied on UDFA's (rookies and/or veterans) with a difference of +12 from the average. Basically this boils down to, not enough good players and plenty of not great to mediocre players. 

Surprisingly, we are actually right at the average when it comes to Homegrown players vs Free Agents. For the trouble we all give Quinn, that's not terrible to see. We just need to start getting some better players that stick around in the earlier rounds. 

This is pretty much what I expected.  Its tough to miss so many times on first round players.  Also tough to keep many of them after their first contract.  Same with second rounders.  Our second rounds have been bad either due to injury or just flat out the wrong player.  

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12 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

This is pretty much what I expected.  Its tough to miss so many times on first round players.  Also tough to keep many of them after their first contract.  Same with second rounders.  Our second rounds have been bad either due to injury or just flat out the wrong player.  

Second round from Millen to Mayhew has killed this team the past two decades, or at least that's what I have always believed.

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20 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

This is pretty much what I expected.  Its tough to miss so many times on first round players.  Also tough to keep many of them after their first contract.  Same with second rounders.  Our second rounds have been bad either due to injury or just flat out the wrong player.  

Yup. It's one thing to expect it after seeing us miss on guys like Teez Tabor. It's another thing to see it in the hard numbers. I haven't looked at our 1st rounders vs bringing in other teams first rounders. Joshua Garnett technically counts in that "1st rounder" number but no one is expecting him to really make the roster let alone be an integral part. He could surprise us which is why he's worth the risk. 

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13 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

Yup. It's one thing to expect it after seeing us miss on guys like Teez Tabor. It's another thing to see it in the hard numbers. I haven't looked at our 1st rounders vs bringing in other teams first rounders. Joshua Garnett technically counts in that "1st rounder" number but no one is expecting him to really make the roster let alone be an integral part. He could surprise us which is why he's worth the risk. 

Agreed.  I think getting average producing first rounders and turning them into solid players is important.  Its like when we sell Kyle Van Noy for a pack of skittles and then he finds the system that works for him.  

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17 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

Agreed.  I think getting average producing first rounders and turning them into solid players is important.  Its like when we sell Kyle Van Noy for a pack of skittles and then he finds the system that works for him.  

Yup. I remember liking him pre-draft as a prospect and I was very happy that we could land him in round 2. However, I'm not a coach that is having to determine how this guy is going to fit into my system. That pick says a lot more to me about a mis-evaluation on the scheme/player fit than making a poor evaluation on a talented player. It is easy to rag on Quinn for trading him away but that was a full two years before Patricia was brought in. Up until that point, he hadn't demonstrated he was worth anything more than a 5th rounder on the field. 

It's a bit of a "chicken vs the egg" conundrum, but I wonder if the pick was made by Mayhew and he just assumed "good players can be made to fit into any scheme" or if Austin thought he could make it work and championed to draft him. I remember mocks that had KVN as a 1st rounder, so I can imagine there would be coaches banging the drum to get him as they figure he's a 1st round guy available in round 2. 

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I'm only halfway through this breakdown but it has generated some interesting notes already. 

Round 1 Players

Homegrown: Lions: 5; Avg: 4 (+1) > Lions: 100%; Avg: 47.71%

Free Agency: Lions: 0; Avg: 4 (-4) > Lions: 0%; Avg 52.29%

Round 2 Players

Homegrown: Lions: 4; Avg: 4 (+0) > Lions: 80%; Avg: 51.50%

Free Agency: Lions: 1; Avg: 5 (-4) > Lions: 20%; Avg 48.50%

We've already established that the Lions are lacking in high-end talent. While we all understand that being a round 1 guy doesn't guarantee anything, it does mean that at least one team (if not several) valued the player as one of the 32 best available in their draft class. There were traits at the time that led a team(s) to believe this person was worthy of that spot. 

Compared to all of these championship teams, the Lions have done a relatively decent job in drafting and retaining their 1st and 2nd round picks. The issue is bringing in other former 1st and 2nd round picks from other teams, either through trades or in Free Agency. 

I still have to break down 2010 - 2014 (5 teams) but at the halfway point, it's pretty evident that the Lions are doing just fine with the lower end of talent but are lacking in the top end (rounds 1-3). 

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With all of the FA signings, our roster make up has changed a bit. I was curious to see how it shakes out so far. 

  • Round 1: In(+2) - Out (0) + Draft (+1) = Net Change = +3 (0 from Avg SB roster)
  • Round 2: In (+1) - Out (-2) + Draft (+1) = Net Change = 0 (-4 from avg)
  • Round 3: In (+1) - Out (-1) + Draft (+2) = Net Change = +2 (0 from avg)
  • Round 4: In (0) - Out (0) + Draft (+1) = Net Change = +1 (+2 from avg)
  • Round 5: In (+1) - Out (-2) + Draft (+2) = Net Change = +1 (+8 from avg)
  • Round 6: In (0) - Out (0) + Draft (2) = Net Change = +2 (0 from avg)
  • Round 7: In (+2) - Out (0) + Draft (+1) = Net Change = +3 (+2 from avg)

With FA and the draft, we are increasing our overall number of 1st round guys on the roster. This theoretically is an increase in our overall talent level. We still need to hit on 2nd rounders, which is a clear discrepancy in our recent drafting. We are still too heavily weighted towards the 5th round. This is fine if you're winning games and finding diamonds but it's not a good look if a good chunk of your losing roster is made up of late round picks. 

 

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