Talent acquisation is central to the organizational development and success of any sport that is played as a team. This paper seeks to discuss a study on acquisation of new talent in the National Football League.The study evaluated the success of National Football League (NFL) teams acquiring new talent through drafts. NFL teams acquire new through trades, free agency and drafts. To this end, the study developed four objectives. Firstly, to evaluate team draft success among NFL teams. Secondly, to evaluate which playing positions provided the worst and best value for NFL teams. Thirdly, to evaluate wether success of NFL players corresponds to the agreed draft value. Lastly, it sought to determine wether age influenced field performance of a draftee.
The participants were 1440 players from 32 teams: 45 players were drawn from each team. The study used more than one metric for both cost and success. The study used salary and development time of a player as cost metrics. The study also used the round in which a player is drafted as a cost metric. 7 draft points was assigned to first-round pick, 6 draft points for second-round pick, 1 draft point for seven-round pick and zero draft points was assigned to all undrated free agents who were signed by a team. The study used approximate value and apperance score as success metrics. Approximate value assigned a value to each NFL player’s performance for an entire season. Appearance score was based on a player’s recognition during the season and playing time. The study collected and tabulated data on the defined cost and success metrics from the year 2000 to the year 2011. It then used descriptive statistics, ratio analysis and correlation analysis to analyse the data.
The study found out that if costs are ignored, Green Bay team drafted the best players since 2000. It is followed closely by New England and San Francisco. On the contrary, Washington performed the worst in acquiring talent through drafts. However, if acquisation costs of players are incorporated, Pittsburgh was the most cost-effective team. It had the player success to cost ratio. It was followed by Indianapolis and Green Bay. The least cost-effective team was St. Louis.
Based on players positions, the study revealed that safeties provided the highest success on average. However, teams spend the most on acquiring defensive ends, quarterbacks and offensive tackles. It also revealed that guards, kickers and centers are undervalued while on average cornerbacks are overvalued.
The study showed that the draft pick (DP)table do not accurately reflect the success of drafted players in a given round. The DP table overvalues first-round drafts relative to other rounds. Although the average success for draftees in subsequent drafts reduces gradually, it is much higher than the DP table’s prediction. It also revealed that the success of all undrafted players is higher than all other drafted played with the exclusion of the first round draftees.
The youngest 25 per cent of players had the lowest average success. This could be attributed to the limited time they spend playing as they spend most of their time in their career. The average player success increases with age upto roughly 30 years. After 30 years most players reach a plateau. However, only 20 per cent of all NFL players are more than 30 years of age. Therefore, it is important to develop new players to ensure team sustainability and only retain old players who are still productive.
NFL teams invest huge sums of money and time in acquiring new talent for thier team at the end of each season. The findings of this study will improve cost-effectiveness of acquisation of new talent and improve the quality of talent acquired. NFL teams can impliment the findings of this study to minimize their talent acqusation costs and improve the overall success of the team by acquiring the right talent. Lastly, to ensure continued success it is important to develop new players and only retain old players who are still productive.
Reaction to the Study
I learnt that it is important to rely on several parameters of a players success to determine their success. This is because the draft pick table do not accurately reflect the success of drafted players in a given round. Similarly, in any organization it is important to use several parameters in reviewing employee performance.Secondly, it is important to perform a cost-benefit analysis before acquiring any new player. Lastly, I learnt that it is important to allow succession in any organization if the organization is to remain relevant and successful. Therefore, deliberate mechanism to nurture and develop new talent must be put in place.
Barney, C., Caravella, A., Cullen, M., Jackson, G., & Wills, C. (2012, May 15). Evaluating Talent Acquisition Via the NFL Draft. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://web.cs.wpi.edu: http://web.cs.wpi.edu/~cew/papers/nfldraft13.pdf