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Relative Athletic Scores Support Some, Not All, of the GM’s Draft Picks

As many of you know, I’m a confirmed believer that good athleticism is critical for those participating in athletic endeavors. I and many others have also been finding that the Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) system is a useful tool, though hardly an infallible way of rating a player’s athleticism. Having said that, let’s get to it.

Here are the RAS’s of the Pack’s new crop of rookies:

Round 1, Pick 29, CB Eric Stokes: 9.37

Round 2, Pick 62, Center Josh Myers: N/A

Round 3, Pick 85, WR Amari Rodgers: 5.37

Round 4, Pick 142, OG Royce Newman: 8.72

Round 5, Pick 173, DT Tedarrell Slaton: 7.96

Round 5, Pick 178, CB Shemar Jean-Charles: 4.27

Round 6, Pick 214, OT Cole Van Lanen: 8.49

Round 6, Pick 220, LB Isaiah McDuffie: 7.33

Round 7, Pick 256, RB Kylin Hill: 7.31

To generalize: in relation to when these players were chosen in the draft, I’d say Stokes, Newman, Slaton (barely) Van Lanen, McDuffie, and Hill all had better than expected RAS’s. Six out of eight (not counting Myers) ain’t bad at all. Interestingly, however, the Packers front office appears to be especially thrilled at acquiring both Rodgers and Jean-Charles, who arguably are relatively non-athletic.

We can dig a little deeper into these numbers, because RSA also computes composite scores for one’s size, speed, explosion, and agility.

Eric Stokes has one “poor” grade, agility, though perhaps his elite speed can make up for the deficiency.

Rodgers’ composites reveal no particular strengths or weaknesses – all four composite scores are rated as just “okay.”

Royce Newman’s overall RAS is due in large measure to his “elite’ speed, while he has no poor composite marks.

Tedarrell Slaton, who stands 6’4” and weighs 330, is ranked as having great size; not surprisingly, however, he lacks agility.

The RAS methodology is very critical of Shemar Jean-Charles, as it rates him as “poor” regarding his size, speed, and agility.

Cole Van Laten comes out all good or great, except for his size, which at 6’4” and 305 pounds is well below average for current offensive tackles.

McDuffie is plainly undersized for an inside linebacker, at 6’1” and 227 pounds, but his great speed (4.61 dash time) might be enough to counter it.

Kylin Hill gets good composite marks in all except agility, where he grades out as “poor.” Still, an overall RAS of 7.31 is above expectations for one chosen third from last in this draft.

While we lack data on Myers, we do know his size, which is over 6’5” and 310 pounds, is very satisfactory for a center.

Green Bay Packers GM Gutekunst

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is shown before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
Packers21 6 Hoffman

Summary

The above numbers are pretty self-explanatory. I think we can conclude that, in his fourth year as GM, Brian Gutekunst continues to value athleticism highly, and much more so that did his predecessor, Ted Thompson.

By this methodology, the Packers’ top “bargains” appear to be guard Royce Newman and tackle Van Lanen. Surprisingly, the only RAS “underachievers,” and each by a good amount, are wide/slot receiver Amari Rodgers and cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles. I say this comes as a surprise because following the draft Gutekunst and his scouting team seemed particularly thrilled at both of these selections.

Unlike last season, when every player drafted by the Pack remains connected to the team, there doesn’t appear to be nearly as much room on the roster for that to happen again.

At the same time, however, many believe that at least three of the new draftees might become starters during the course of the season. Among those that I’m hearing are the most likely candidates are: Josh Myers at center, Eric Stokes at cornerback, Amari Rodgers as a slot receiver (and kick and punt returner).

Others who might be in store for some significant playing time this season, primarily due to the team’s lack of depth at their positions, are: DT Tedarrell Slaton (on likely running downs), ILB Isaiah McDuffie, and CB Shemar Jean-Charles.

First though, these new guys need to make it onto the roster – and it’s a roster that almost every player from last year is currently still with the organization.

Tags:
Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.

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6 Comments

  1. PF4L May 10, 2021

    “First though, these new guys need to make it onto the roster – and it’s a roster that almost every player from last year is currently still with the organization.”

    That’s true, but…..of those 3 projected starters, Stokes has to beat out King, who arguably is a bench player …at best.
    Stokes 2020 college season had him graded 72.5 by PFF
    Kings highest grade in 4 years according to PFF is 62.5.
    The other years, 51.0 – 56.6
    .
    Meyers is looking to fill a roster spot of a starting center we lost. The problem is, even if he wins that spot, it’s a downgrade from last season.
    .
    Amari Rodgers has maybe the easiest route to the starting position. Who does he have to beat out?
    Lazard is his biggest hurdle. I still wonder if Funchess makes the roster or even shows up. History tells us where we can find ESB….on the injury list or IR.
    .
    So if Amari and/or Stokes works out, those could possibly be some improvement area’s.
    By how much…time will tell.
    ******************
    I don’t know if that all translates to improving enough to get past the NFCCG
    Besides all those RAS track meet scores above.
    The bigger issue maybe how much the defense can improve, or will it regress before it improves?

    What did Capers do his first year? (2009)
    .
    Sanders…2008 season…5,349 yards given…23.8 PPG
    .
    Capers…2009 season…4,551 yards given…18.6 PPG (Championship caliber)

    (5.2 PPG improvement = substantial)
    .
    Capers…2010 season….4,945 yards given…15 PPG…(ELITE)
    **************************************
    Today…..
    .
    Pettine….2020 season….5,334 yards given…23.1 PPG
    .
    Barry….2021 season….TBD
    ******************
    For kicks….
    .
    McCarthy….2018 season….5.905 yards gained…23.5 PPG….6-9-1
    .
    LaFluer…..2019 season…5,528 yards gained….23.5 PPG….13-3
    .
    LaFluer….2020 season….6,224 yards gained…31.8 PPG…13-3

  2. Big B May 10, 2021

    Tarzan had an RAS of 10, but couldn’t shed blockers or fill the gap.

    1. Mick May 11, 2021

      Right on BigB; Analytics is just another small tool in the larger tool box of evaluating players. Coaches like Belichick and Saban evaluate talent by eye test. If they don’t pass the eye test, they’re not starting on the 1st team. They’re relegated to backup or developmental status——— no matter what the RAS, height, weight, bench press, 40 times, etc. Good talent evaluators and coaches look at players who can block, tackle, pass, run, scheme fit, and football intelligence. Makes me wonder how much the RAS score would have been valid in evaluating players like Tauscher, (which the so-called experts said he wouldn’t cut it in the NFL); (Bulaga, whose arms were too short) and (Gilbert Brown, too fat). Those 3 would have rated below the mendoza line on the RAS sheet; but; they were damn good football players. Yes, RAS is a quality asset, but it’s no where near the —–be all; end all.

      1. PF4L May 11, 2021

        2019 Draft…
        .
        2nd highest RAS…Rashan Gary..9.95
        .
        20th highest RAS…Yosh Nijman…9.81
        .
        38th highest RAS…Ty Summer..9.71

        1. PF4L May 11, 2021

          I’m not afraid to say i have high hopes for one of these super athletes to start this season.

  3. icebowl May 21, 2021

    “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.” – Vin Scully
    “Whatever…” – icebowl