Are Former College Coaches Better Drafters? – Blacker

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

There has been a trend in coaching hires recently NFL, I would guess since about 2009 it has become more popular. Teams hire a collegiate coach straight from the NCAA and make them your head coach.  I think I have noticed a trend with those coaches, the coaches who come straight from a HC job in college to an HC job in the NFL are better drafters and just overall talent evaluators. What I am going to do is look at each of the recently hired straight to the NFL coaches drafting records and see how those players have produced.  Most people look at the amount of hits a coach has but I am going to focus on the misses. What I will call a miss is a player who is not on the team.  I think a good drafter is not just a person who finds home-run value but also finds solid role-playing value as well; for that reason I will not differentiate the hits from this misses.

Another thing to take into account that I will not be noting in this post is the value of the player in reference to the pick that they give.

The first coach I will be looking at is Pete Carroll who took over the Seahawks in 2010

His first draft
1. Russell Okung –
1. Earl Thomas
2. Golden Tate
4. Walter Thurmond
4. EJ Wilson
5. Kam Chancellor
6. Anthony McCoy
7.. Dexter Davis
7. Jameson Konz

In this draft they got both of their starting S in Chancellor and Thomas and arguably the best tandem of S in the league. Golden Tate has shown up this year for them, Walter Thurmond has shown flashes before injury.
Anthony McCoy has been a strong 2nd TE for them. Dexter Davis is on the team not entirely sure about his role

Only Wilson and Konz are not on the team

Misses – 2 

Round 1: James Carpenter, OT
Round 3: John Moffitt, G
Round 4: K.J. Wright, OLB
Round 4: Kris Durham, WR
Round 5: Richard Sherman, CB
Round 5: Mark Legree, FS
Round 6: Byron Maxwell, DB
Round 7: Lazarius Levingston, DE
Round 7: Malcolm Smith, OLB

Carpenter got injured, Moffit is not starting currently but did start 6 games this year. KJ is a stud LB for Seattle. Richard Sherman is arguably the 2nd best CB in the league and was drafted in round 5. Malcolm Smith and Maxwell have both been solid contributes for Seattle. Doug Baldwin was undrafted but has put up numbers for the Seahawks

Legree is no longer on the team the same as Levingston

Misses 2



Round 1. Bruce Irvin DE/OLB West Virginia

Round 2 – Bobby Wagner ILB Utah State

Round 3. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin/ NC State

Round 4. Robert Turbin RB Utah State

Round 4. Jaye Howard DT Florida

Round 5. Korey Toomer ILB Idaho

Round 6 . Jeremy Lane CB Northwestern State

Round 6: Winston Guy DB Kentucky

Round 7 – JR Sweezy DE  NC State

Rounnd 7 – Greg Scruggs DE Lousiville

Bruce Irvin has been essentially a sack ace for the Seahawks coming in on pass rushing situations and lighting it up. Bobby Wagner had a 140 tackles and 3 interceptions, which are literally All-Pro numbers. Russell Wilson well I assume you already know the amazing season he had. Robert Turbin has been a good complimentary back to Lynch.  Jaye Howard played in 2 games.  Korey Toomer is on the practice squad. Jeremy Lane produced with 15 tackles throughout the season, Winston Guys saw minimal PT during the season. JR Sweezy was drafted as a DE and then switched positions to OG. Sweezy struggled with the transition at first but now has a stronghold on the job. Greg Scruggs produced 2 sacks as a 7th round draft pick.

Overall – Carroll only had 4 misses with a few players that still need to prove themselves to show up

I won’t call any players a miss yet because it is still their rookie year, in all honesty the jury is still out as most of them are still under 25.  But in Carroll’s 3 drafts he has found his 2 Pro Bowl  safeties, 2 starting LB’s, an OG, his franchise QB,  a lock down CB , really solid role players, an Ace pass rusher and a few talented lineman that the jury is still out on.

One thing i have noticed is that a lot of the players Carroll made moves after were players that Carroll coached against while at USC. Sherman and Baldwin went to Stanford, Brandon Browner the Offseason FA pick up went to Oregon State, Walter Thurmond for Oregon.

Could seeing those players in person against him and game planning against them given Carroll even better knowledge than the other coaches?  Scouting players to draft is one thing but scouting players to figure out how to beat them is another. The combination of the two could give coaches like Carroll and edge.

This is also a very small sample size, so let’s look at other coaches who was hired from the NCAA. The natural guess would be Jim Harbaugh but I feel that Harbaugh would be skewing the argument  and since he has only coached for 2 season it will be hard to gauge his players. Harbaugh also inherited a really strong D and didn’t have much work to do with that part of the team. Of course Harbaugh did have his share of questionable calls like AJ Jenkins in the first.

Greg Schiano is the only the other coach currently who was hired straight from the NCAA but he was a rookie coach this year but picks like Doug Martin, Lavonte David, Mark Barron could help. Schiano also drafted 2  former big east rival WVU mountaineers in Najee Goode and Keith Tandy, both of them didn’t produce this year but it will be interesting to see them grow and if Schiano knew something most didn’t.

Looking through the rest of the coaches none with any drafting history were straight from College. I thought about using Chan Gailey but he spent 2 years in between GT and a HC job. Nick Saban and Petrino were options but both of their body works were smaller than Carroll’s as well as the fact they drafted 8 years ago.

Overall, Pete Carroll is the only coach that a somewhat fair assessment can be done. This is a very interesting topic and it is one that I would expect to pick up steam as coaches like Harbaugh, Schiano, Kelly and Marrone build their teams through the draft.


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