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NC State, Dave Doeren, and the NFL Draft

As we gear up for the 2019 NFL Draft, let’s take a look at how NC State has done in the draft since Doeren took over the program

NFL: NFL Draft-Red Carpet Arrivals Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Doeren took over the NC State football program in 2013 (well, okay, late 2012, but he didn’t coach a game until the 2013 season). Since that time, the Wolfpack have had 14 players selected in the NFL Draft.

  • 2014 Dontae Johnson
  • 2016 Joe Thuney, Jacoby Brissett, Juston Burris
  • 2017 Josh Jones, Jack Tocho, Matt Dayes
  • 2018 Bradley Chubb, B.J. Hill, Justin Jones, Nyheim Hines, Kentavius Street, Will Richardson, Jaylen Samuels

A lot of people like to look at the total number of draft picks as a sign of program health/development/what-have-you. But there have been 1,274 players selected in the NFL Draft since Doeren took over at NC State, and not all selections are created equal. Let’s say two schools each have ten players selected each during that time, it’s not fair to put them on the same level if one school had all ten of theirs selected in the first three rounds of the draft while the other school had a bunch of 6th and 7th rounders.

Given that, I decided to take a value approach to looking at it. And given that decision, the most obvious route to go down was using the Pick Value Chart (PVC) that NFL teams use to evaluate trading draft picks. The PVC was created by Jimmy Johnson when he was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys during the late 80’s/early 90’s. This original PVC is vastly outdated now, and I’d bet the ranch that no NFL team currently uses that iteration. There have been numerous studies that indicate Johnson’s original PVC overvalues early draft picks while devaluing later round selections.

For these reasons, we’re going to use the Alternative Pick Value Chart (APVC) created by Michael Schuckers of St. Lawrence University. There are several alternative charts that have been created over the years, but this one is my favorite due to its depth. Seriously, go back and click on that link and take a few minutes to read the paper from Schuckers. It’s fantastic. For purposes of this article, we’re going to refer to APVC as simply ‘Value’.

I don’t have to remind you, the NC State football fan, that the program had to do a complete reset under Doeren in 2013. That brings up the question of whether it’s truly fair to count against him the NFL Draft production of a coach’s first or second year at a program (at least at a program that’s not one of college football’s blue bloods with five-star talent littered throughout the roster). It’s also pretty convenient for purposes of this argument that NC State only had one player drafted during Doeren’s first two years.

For the 2016-2018 NFL Drafts, out of 165 schools with at least one player selected, NC State ranks:

  • Tied for 13th (with Notre Dame, Southern Cal, and Ole Miss) in number of players drafted
  • 19th in Total Value (4,200.00) of selections
  • 45th in Average Value (323.08) of selections

If you eliminate schools that have averaged less than a player per year drafted during that time span, NC State stays at 19th in Total Value, but moves up to 31st (out of 83 schools) in Average Value.

A few quick notes nationally from those numbers:

  • Alabama has had the most players selected in the draft during this time span with 29. Ohio State is 2nd with 26, and Florida and LSU are tied for 3rd with 20.
  • Ohio State leads the way in Total Value at 14,551.00, with Alabama a close 2nd at 14,520.00. Florida is a distant 3rd with 7,893.00. LSU (7,379.00) is the only other school with even half of the Total Value of Ohio State or Alabama.
  • Ohio State is 1st in Average Value of their selections, with 559.65. Notre Dame (13 selections, 521.77 Average Value) is 2nd and Alabama (500.69 Average Value) is 3rd.

Only 24 schools have had ten or more players drafted over the last three drafts. Eight of those are from the SEC, five from the ACC, five from the PAC12, and four from the Big Ten. The other two schools are Oklahoma (Big XII) and Notre Dame (Independent-ish). Among those 24, NC State is 19th in Total Value and 17th in Average Value.

Among ACC schools (data presented below), NC State ranks:

  • 3rd in number of players drafted
  • 4th in Total Value
  • 4th in Average Value
ACC Programs in the 2016-2018 NFL Drafts based on ‘Pick Value Chart’ and ‘Alternative Pick Value Chart’

I’ll update this again in April after the 2019 NFL Draft as it’s sure to change with another handful of former Wolfpack players primed to hear their names called.