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Analytics suggest Landry a reach, won't succeed

A lot has been made about Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey intending to make use of analytics as part (not all) of his regimen for evaluating and selecting Dolphins talent. I assume if this is a serious venture the Dolphins will hire someone or several people to comprise an analytics department.

Well, they better get on the ball because I already have an analytics department up and running.

It is a one-man, volunteer, unsolicited department run and manned by Dr. Peter Lawrence Smith who is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for Clincal Sciences at St. Georges University of London.

Sounds impressive, right?

I'm paying this guy a mint (with a mint in this case being defined as nothing).

Anyway, Dr. Smith is extemely interested in the Dolphins' selection of Jarvis Landry in the second round of the recent draft. Landry, you should know, played and thrived at Louisiana State University. He was a favorite of LSU coach Les Miles. His performance on tape suggest he is definitely an NFL talent. And Landry did much of his damage against respected Southeastern Conference Competition.

But ...

Landry, 5-11 and 205 pounds, ran a disappointing 4.77 time in the 40-yard dash at the Indianapolis Combine. Hickey said he saw that as "an opportunity." Landry then ran a 4.61 twice at his Pro Day.

Well, the analytics suggest this was not an opportunity and this was not a very good pick in the second round.

Consider from Dr. Smith, who studied 1999-2012 drafts, with 2013 being eliminated because one year and a rookie year at that provides little for a complete evaluation:

"I did some analysis of WRs taken in the last six drafts (and some undrafted free agents). My dataset was composed of 284 WRs.

"Of these 284, only three ran the 40-yard dash slower than 4.70. Landry ran 4.77 at combine. This is slower than any of the 284 receivers in the data set.

"Landry ran 4.61 at his pro day. This is equal to or slower than 254 receivers in the data set. Only 34 ran equal to or slower than 4.60.

"Eighteen of these "slow" receivers were undrafted while 16 were drafted. So 53 percent of these 34 slow WRs were not drafted at all.

"Of the 16 slow receivers drafted, the median selection position was 93rd overall. Only three receivers were drafted higher than Landry at 63rd overall: Mohamed Massaquoi (50th overall), Dwayne Jarrett (45th overall), and Malcom Kelly (51st overall)."

Jarrett, Kelly and Massaquoi are all currently out of the NFL.

"A number of these 34 slow receivers had a productive final college year as Landry did. Three of these receivers played for SEC colleges with similar production to Landry.

"But only three of these slow receivers have had production in the NFL for even one year:  Massaquoi in  2008, Mohammed Sanu in 2012 and Devone Bess, who was undrafted 2008 but produced for several years.

"There are plenty of examples of WRs with similar production either having success or failing in the NFL. College production alone isn't a good indicator of NFL success. Landry's production is similar to Armon BInns, who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash. went undrafted and is currently a Dolphin.

"As Landry was drafted in the second round it bears noting the average 40-yard dash time of WRs drafted in the second round is 4.48.

"Landry could be the slowest second-round pick by as  much as .17 seconds.

"Landry's 4.77 combine time is slower than any of the 284 receivers in the data set.

"Depending upon how you determine value the second round isn't a particularly good time to draft WRs. The first round is better, as you would expect, and the third round is as good as the second.

"According to my analysis Landry is unlikely to have success and drafting him in the second round is a reach."

Dr. Smith's data is quite comprehensive. Have at it:


Download 1999-2012 NFL receiver data





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why not just say "I don't he's going to be any good" why bother with those dumb numbers.

f4l, Texas

At first blush the profiles with Ward and Landry appear similar

But keep in mind Ward's metrics are 20 years old.

May not be relevant anymore - or at least as relevant

And still Ward's profile was better.

OK guys, i'm out.

Love to talk this out further as this is one of my favourite topics...

The Dolphins should outsource the GM responsibility when it comes to drafting a WR LOL. They have been clueless in this NFL offensive era where the rules favor the receiver.

blah, blah, blah...the analyst also said Tom Brady was a nobody along with Warren Moon, Kurt Warner & Cameron Wake...all of whom are either in the HOF or will be.

Total BS Mando, you should be ashamed.

I think all his receivers hate Tannehill. I know Wallace and Keller do.

go back and look at what anquin boldins 40 time was

Cadillac is back...with the dark cloud hanging over his head.

These guys disagree with you Mando and they love the last two picks on top of the Landry pick.


Posted by: odinseye | May 13, 2014 at 04:13 PM

Glad you came to the Party! With the others already here we got a full house let the debate build up a few notches! Me I'm on the side of this pick!

The most ridiculous garbage I have ever read by this hack. Ever heard of Wes Welker? Where does he fit on the scale of successful receivers? He ran a 4.65 at his combine... and he didn't have a pulled hamstring! This clown is the biggest nay-sayer in the history of Florida football!
I predict that Landry will be the biggest WR success of this year's draft and that NONE of the first round receivers from this year's draft wlll be in any serious conversation next year.

Mark @4.45,

I agree that other measures are important in predicting NFL productivity. The analysis doesn't state that 40 time predicts success but that it predicts failure.

The analysis indicates that >4.60 represents a general limiting factor (unless you're Boldin). So >4.60 makes it highly likely the receiver will fail (65% of these receivers don't play a snap at WR). Of course 4.60 is better than 4.65 which is better than 4.7 but as you know one use of metrics is to be able to make general predictions and >4.6 is a simple and decent marker.

Marshall ran a 4.52. Altough receivers who run that time sometimes fail as NFL receivers, when they do its because of something other than their speed. Clearly Marshall also has a number of other qualities. The question is - if he was >0.08 seconds slower would these qualities have been enough?

It makes me wonder how Gibson's recovery is going? And even then, why the high pick on a contingency plan in the event Gibson isn't ready or never fully recovers?

Posted by: odinseye | May 13, 2014 at 04:15 PM

Everybody forgets that when Ireland signed Gibson he came in with concerns given he'd never finished an NFL Season without injury (Must be something in the water in St. Louis given neither did the QB or Amendola)

I think Gibson and his CAP# are on the bubble this Yr. and he will be one of those Bigger names on our ct list. JMHO!

By the way I did catch your post last night when you doubted that was me anyways. You and I have been here to long and have always been part of the late night crew and while we've never met in person I consider you my friend!

Sam @4.45

ever heard of an outlier?

You know why this blog is dumb? The guy took a subset of a subset of the data set (amounting to 3 players) and compared them to Landry. Shouldn't the analysis be if fast 40 times correlate to NFL success (1,000 yard seasons, pro bowls etc.)? Whether or where slow WRs are drafted is irrelevant when projecting whether a player will have success. I guess Armando got what he paid for in terms of analysis.

People like to point out the anomolies like Vernon Gholston and Wes Welker but I don't know if people understand how rare these anomolies are... according to the model I use (pretty much what I posted at 4:13), these are the elite scores first round picks achieved during the last five years...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 13, 2014 at 04:31 PM

I read it the 1st time you put that list up the other day and won't dispute your point and do have one aprehension given I really liked M.Bryant. However the pick was made and given level of production in College in Top Flight Div. while taking into account work ethic I think he's a player that produces. you use the word anomoly to describe him and I get why but to me he's a Football player and one that will pay dividends.

The bottom line here is other than Wallace the Dolphins are slow at WR. Quickness can work at creating separation but the Dolphins need more speed at the position. I'm a fan so I hope for the best but the Dolphins are not strong coming into the season at QB or WR.

Has anyone here ever watched the game of football? A middle receiver doesn't have to have blazing speed. He has to catch the ball in traffic. This guy has sure hands and is a big piece of insurance if Gibbons is still hurt. It also tells a lot about what this upcoming season is going to look like. We have a strait away speed guy. Wallace. We have a 10 yard outside hook guy. We need a guy that can catch in the middle of the field.
Also to speed. A lot of these guys can't catch very catchable balls. They don't fight for possession. Ted Ginn's name has been mentioned here. I hated that guy. He ran out of bounds on nearly every play when he could have got 10 more yards. He made some huge drops when he was open.
This guys name is Landry, not Boldin and shouldn't be compared to anyone. I seen Landry make some great freakin catches in coverage. So if he was slow in college he still caught the ball. Yep measurables are important. But for a receiver, more important than catching the ball? C'mon.

I still think landry will shock the world

chris Rodgers makes a good point. what about welker?

Is Brock Jensen starting yet?

EXACTLY! Hartline has kept a zillion drives alive by converting 1st downs. I believe he led the league in 2012 in making catches that resulted in first downs.

Hartlines a pretty good No. 2 and MIT's post above really hits the nail on the head.

Shammy has just had it out for Hartline for quite a few years now.

Posted by: odinseye | May 13, 2014 at 04:05 PM




Still LMAO!

Promichael @ 5:10

You left off OL/DB/LB from the list of positions we are not strong in.

Personally I don't buy it for 1 second that the OL is fixed. LT is fixed and C is good but beyond that I don't believe that any 3 of the remaining OL are better than Jerry/Martin/Incogs.

I have nothing against Juwan James or Billy Injun but no one else believes these guys are first round talent so I don't even know if they are NFL starting quality.

Yes Mark in Toronto, LETS STICK TO THE FACTS:

Keenan Allen clocks 4.71 in 40; Mayock doesn't 'care'


The Dolphins need more speed to compete in today's NFL. The receivers are more of a stretch than their first round pick at RT James. Look around the league and you will see why Miami is lacking.

Sorry Armando, but the title should have been "Single Analytic Suggests Landry a Reach". A single stat can always be twisted to tell any story you want to tell. Doesn't take into account route running or pass catching ability.

The only way Landry would have been more of a steal would have been to have him seriously injured on draft day. I am very pleased to see that even though Jeff Ireland is no longer with the Dolphins, that his drafting strategy is intact.

Landry will be a starter by mid-season. The guy's a football player!

We drafted a <4.6 receiver in one Clyde Gates...he was supposed to 'blow the top' off the defense.

Problem is the guy could not catch a freakin cold...and now he's a Jet .... HA!

I'll take sure hands over speed any day...and it's my understanding that Laundry has some huge hands!

6-10 season coming up

JJ Landry will be a starter game 1

This researcher is disingenuous. How many times did he cite the 4.77 time yet not mention he pulled-up with a hamstring? Only the pro day time should have been considered.

As well, straight line speed is not the same os football speed, getting in and out of your routes, how crisp you run them and fighting for the ball. Ginn and Gates taught use this much.

Honestly seems like a dumb topic Mando. Football time and time again it's about more than numbers some things you just have to go on instinct Mando. No one can measure heart, guts and determination. We'll just leave it at...we'll see.

Ireland's Republican Army,

Yes great strategy, the same strategy that has the Dolphins not in the playoffs year after year....

11-5 here we come

Seth...or 10-6.

Did you expect us to beat the Colts, Chargers, Steelers & Pats last year? I would not have predicted that.

Any given Sunday my friend and we will compete every week this year.

last years SOS was 3rd thoughest and we weren't suppose to go 8-8, maybe 6-10. this years SOS 1th hardest. and we will go 11-5. MARK IT DOWN!!!


Landry will be a decent possession guy, like Bess but its criminal that we passed up on Carlos Hyde for Jarvis. Turner could be a starter, Aikens is a potential starter too, but we still have no power back.

Wes Welker appears to buck the trend. But Welker had far better 20 yrd shuttle and 3 cone drills which are possibly very important for a slot receiver. He also had a good wonderlic score which may reflect an ability to run complex routes.

So some WRs can succeed despite a slow 40: Boldin, Welker, who else? Its the very scarcity of productive WRs with slow 40 times that makes Landry's success unlikely.

That doesn't mean Landry can't be great only that he will have to possess some exceptional intangibles to do so.

If he does Hickey will have made a great pick.

Marco...Moreno has some power?

Dolphins have one of the fastest wr's in the game in Wallace. Tannehill 100% overthrows him deep everytime.

As long as Tannehill is our starting qb, whats it matters how fast they are?

Short to intermediate route, getting separation from defenders is more about "QUICKNESS COMING OUT OF HIS BREAKS" not pure speed. Doesn't matter how fast a wr is if he doesn't have quickness coming out of his breaks. He may as well be a 4.8 wr even if he runs a 4.3 forty.

If a wr is craft(knows how to set db's up), can sell his routes, and has GREAT QUICKNESS getting into and out of his routes. He can be very successful on the nfl level. No analytics can measure this.

marco, I feel your pain as I wanted hyde as well. but perhaps with an improved line our rb's rip it up this year with 1-2 punch of miller and Moreno.

There was once a college WR who ran a 4.71 at the combine and his fastest time ever was 4.62 in the 40. His name: Jerry Rice. Analyze that Mando.

3 of the greatest, while also being the slowest wr's of all time, are HALL OF FAMERS:

1. Jerry Rice
2. Steve Largent
3. Fred Bilitnikoff

Not saying Landry is any of these, just proof analytics can be very deceiving. A great many NFL speed merchant wr's have also been bust too.

Brock Jensen will be a starter game 1.

I think many bloggers hearts are in the right place, with the Fins & want this pick to be bang on.
Many like myself are rooting for our team & I tend to be one who cheers for the underdog.

We all want Landry to be dominant
A: Because Dolphins picked him
B: He's a high pick
C: we're rooting for Hickey to be successful
D: we've seen him on film
E: Hear guys like Mayock and we get excited!

These metrics that are used more and more don't lie. It's mathematics from test scores based on probabilities.
MIT has used examples time and time again to show they work, they're real and increase the PROBABILITY of success. Doesn't mean anyone is saying Landry WILL fail. It's saying his ceiling ISN'T LIKELY high based on figures.
MIT I'm sure will still cheer for Landry but doesn't like the pick at that spot Because based on the #'s there were guys with HIGHER CEILINGS available.

When a GM selects a guy with low #'s it decreases the ODDS of success. I'm not saying the Dolphins got the pick wrong BUT it says it will be an uphill battle. If any of us were GM and had access to PROVEN DATA , why not USE it over the coarse of 7 picks for EVERY draft.

It would increase the ODDS of building a winner over time..it's probable & logical, a no brainer, I don't get why anyone would not want to use it.

Good post salguero.

Agreed. The Landry pick was a headscratcher. All the picks except B.Turner and his QB were headscratcher.

I only have to disagree with you and the Great Doctor on line thing.

Wasn't analytics about things you do on the field, not what you do at the combine.

You know, PFF, The "Best Analytic Website about Pro Football". +/-, how they grade out for the game. How many game did Landry have a positive grade on? That is analytics. Not what was his slowest 40 time.

Marco, listen to Coyle eH?, You tube Brock Jensen and check out his technique eH? THE PHINS FINALLY HAVE THERE MAN Eh?

*on one thing.

anyone remember Orande Gadsen. He made plays wasn't fast either.

Posted by: Promichael | May 13, 2014 at 05:10 PM

Another lame post by Michelle the Pro Wantker

Little Boy Dashi,

I missed your mock, did you get 95% right?

Brock Jensen, looked pretty sweet in highlghts. and had 10 seconds to throw the ball. I wonder how he would compare at nfl faster pace. hmmm we will see

You know like the Movie Moneyball. Oakland wasn't looking for the fastest or biggest guy. But the guy with the best average, the lowest ERA. On base percentage.

I guess on a WR, analytics will be. Pct of passes caught. Pct of 50/50 passes won. Run block grade. Stuff like that. Not his track speed.

My only problem with Hickey is that he might be using to much analytics and not enough Physical Potential. Most of the players Hickey drafted have already reached their full potential. Except B.Turner.

You need to strike a Happy medium. You need good football players. But in Rookies you prefer them to be better athletes than football players. Since they will develop into better players, than they could into better athletes.


Get the Fkkk of my Dick!!!

* Get the Fkkk OFF my Dick!!!!

When Ireland wasted a 2nd round pick on a WR, he got B.Marshall.

When Ireland drafted a linemen at #19 he drafted M.Pouncey.

Come on guys...Landry's 4.77 is slow for a WR but Hickey drafted him as a pulling guard!!! We now have the fastest guard ever baby!!!!!!

Probabilities are based on mathematical permutations. In this case athletic test scores.

So if at the end of the day your numbers suggest
if you pick player A: you're 60% more likely to be successful

And if you chose player B: is only 30%

Why chose player B?

You might hit your JACKPOT

But THIS IS WHY THE CASINO/HOUSE WINS over the long haul

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