"How Does a Player's Draft Position and Compensation Affect Rookie Performance in the NFL?" An Economic Analysis of the Various Factors That Directly Influence Player Performance

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Pignocco, Justin
Romano, Nicole
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Scholarship Sewanee 2020 , Sports economics , Economics , Draft status , Success of rookies
We analyze the impact of draft status and rookie contract value on ranked performance for NFL rookies in their first season. Examining the position groups: quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defensive-backs/corner-backs, we include factors such as draft status, team rankings, honors received, and players’ positional statistics within the model. Through four separate regressions, we aim to find the effects of each factor on the success of the rookies. Our results have proven that aspects such as team ranking illustrate that players who are drafted by worse teams will receive better positional rankings than rookies on better teams. In addition, our pick variable from our first regression shows that players taken later in the draft, will generally earn a worse ranking than those taken earlier. That said, our results from later regressions illustrate that pick is only statistically significant for wide receivers. All things considered, our results demonstrate that rookie season ranking for all three position groups is greatly impacted by player compensation and draft status.