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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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Per ESPN and Scouts inc.

What kind of impact will Landry make his rookie year? Let's take an in-depth look at Landry’s scouting report via Scouts Inc.

“Excellent focus and natural hand-eye coordination. Has very good body control to adjust. Comes down with more than his share of 50-50 balls. Excellent job competing for ball in traffic and strong hands to secure. Makes tough catches over his head look easy. … Has slightly above average height and adequate top-end speed. Not an explosive vertical threat or a make-you-miss runner after catch. Will take jump balls away from defenders vertically. Will spring long runs with his downfield blocking.”

I dont know about you but this looks promising. Also at least he will go up and fight to get the ball where as #11 hmm hmm just stands there

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!

Posted by: Garn79 | May 13, 2014 at 05:41 PM

Exactly!!! I do however also agree with the rest of your post. The upside on a player like Martavias Bryant the most glaring for me personally! That said I believe we got a highly functional player who will render this debate mute this very Season.

Most of the players Hickey drafted have already reached their full potential. Except B.Turner.

Posted by: Dashi | May 13, 2014 at 05:53 PM

This is based on what exactly? Little Boy Intuition?

yea I don't agree on that Dashi

The only way Landry would have been more of a steal would have been to have him seriously injured on draft day.

Posted by: Ireland's Republican Army | May 13, 2014 at 05:23 PM

I like the Landry pick but must admit when something is funny! LMAO!! That was a good one!!!

Landry is the slowest receiver on record?

WTF....the phins have been reaching for stuff SINCE ROSS BOUGHT THE TEAM !!!!

They reached WITH THIS GM and REACHED in KEEPING philbin.....WHO OBVIOUSLY has no RESPECT from his players

F4L I do like Landry a lot!! But my logic says the numbers are against him despite my eye test. While Landry may "Buck the trend" this very season the debate will only be put to rest until next yrs crop comes along & at that point I'll again be advocating metrics ;)

oh no, troll police out in full force tonight

YAWN....what a bore! Canyou tell the draft is over?

How about wegive this guy a chance to show what he can do first.

Mark in Toronto,I'm really surprised by you! You're the first guy here to give guys shyte because theycriticize Tannehill after TWO years and Jordan and Taylor after ONE year and yet you'renot even giving Landry a snap inthe NFL before you form an opinion on him. Total double-standard bud....

I have a turtle thats faster than Landry.


Will Landry get Bigger or Faster?

Again. The players Hickey got might be better day 1 players than other players he could have gotten. But will they be better in the long term?

J.Jones, Landry, and a couple others, what you are getting day 1 is the same you will be getting year 4 or 5. They are already good football players. They already are outplaying their Physical skills.

B.Turner is the only player Hickey drafted that still hasn't even scratched the surface on his potential.

Posted by: Craig M | May 13, 2014 at 06:10 PM

Mark is canadien. They're all hypocrites.....and football clueless! Ignore him.

I have a turtle thats faster than Landry.
Posted by: Bob | May 13, 2014 at 06:11 PM

Bring him out, we'll put him in charge of Pouncey's twitter account!

Dashi it is possible he can gain extra 5-10 lbs in the gym, he still possibly could grow an inch. not needed though he's almost 6'1. Faster sure maybe a half second to a second. Oh but he does has the biggest hands out of the recievers. that's good for catching balls. especially rainy days.

then I can say that a lot of folk who comes out of college

Absolute drivel.

This statistical analysis fails to neglect how deep a draft pool is at a position.

Salguero has stooped to the lowest levels imaginable. Publishing some English guy's ridiculous study about 40 times.

Jerry Rice ran a 4.71 and was taken in the first round. He must be awful based on this.


Even many of the homers rate the Dolphin draft a D.

Analytics(sabermetircs) vs Metrics.

That is going to be the discussion from now on.

I understand with going with Sabermetrics when signing Free Agents. Since the stats you are using to make your analysis are Pro Stats.

But when Drafting a player you are projecting potential. And of Course small school kids will have better stats than Big school kids cause of the level of competition. So you better be good at projecting that they will keep similar stats when they jump up in competition.

Landry could be a Great player when you add up that he had good sabermetrics while playing in the best conference in college football.

Posted by: finfan23 | May 13, 2014 at 04:17 PM

He wasn't being hypocritical he was contradicting himself if what you say is true.

I love when people point out someones post (to make fun of them) and end up making themselves look like a dunce. LOL

aHHH Maybe he was being a bit of both but who cares? Only someone with way too much time on their hands that falls in love with the regulars in here because he himself is in here 24/7.

analytics my ass!

The problem is there is no draw. No talent on the team. No player worth buying a ticket to see. No face of the franchise. Attendance will remain pathetic.

Cocoajoe I think a lot of us are feeling the same way now. If this fails I'm putting all of the blame on Ross himself. His pass is done, over. He is the boss, he has made himself a very important part of every interview instead of hiring someone with the know how.

That means he is ultimately responsible. He always says, "well I sign the checks so I want to be involved in who gets hired."

Stupid moron right? He, who has ZERO experience in the game of football is choosing who will pick players and coach the team instead of hiring someone with experience. And it's all about his ego.

He says he wants to win, he pays good money to win. But he can't step back and let the football people do their jobs and it's handcuffing the teams development. So he can interview all he wants, involve himself in matters that are over his head. In the end he will lose customers and more money each year and then sit their scratching his head as to why.

Book smart people have absolutely NO common sense.

This was an "analysis" of a single metric - speed (40 time). That's not really how analytics is done. Any research worth his/her salt knows that there are usually many variables that determine success. Unlike in baseball where the sabermetrics crowd determined OBP to be the key indicator for offensive production, this blog does not provide any support for speed being the analog to that in football. Speed is but one factor among many for a receiver - strength, heart/courage, mental acuity, hands (concentration), etc. And, the fact that Landry's 40 times were clearly affected by his hamstring issue really makes this whole thing laughable. How can anyone seriously make a case for Landry being a bust based on one attribute - speed - when he was clearly hurt at the time his speed numbers were recorded? Just ridiculous. Mando succeeded in getting everyone worked up on this one, but I wouldn't call this his finest hour in journalism.


What I am saying is that it is easier for M.Bryant to become a better football player than it is for Landry to get Bigger and Stronger.

I like the Landry pick. I have warmed myself up to it. Since I have been one of the few that said we needed WRs. But we could have drafted a better WR at the time.

Like we could have drafted a better linemen at #19. Or traded back and still be able to pick J.Jones later in the first.

REACHED in KEEPING philbin.....WHO OBVIOUSLY has no RESPECT from his players

Posted by: va | May 13, 2014 at 06:08 PM

That's not true. There are real reasons to dislike Philbin, no need to make things up.

Rob great post. But I was fired up when the Dolphins took a WR in the second round when we really didn't need one and had other needs. Why no one has done a story on that is baffling.

OT J James #72

WR J Landry # 14

OL B Turner #77

CB W Aikens #35

TE A Lynch #88

LB J Tripp # 57


TE T Fede #78

I didnt like the Landry pick. Not fond of receivers from the run oriented SEC.

Rob and others,


It explains a little what Football Analytics(Saber metrics) are.

Again, Salguero and his incompetent doctor are using Metrics, not Sabermetrics.

PFF. Which Salguero started to use last season. Give you saber metrics on Football. The success of each individual player on certain plays. Was that a positive play or a negative play for that player.

I have seen "Charles in Charge" episodes that were more compelling and intellectually stimulating than this blog entry by Salguero.


They love to trash Ireland. How he "always drafted linemen in the 1st". Or how his 2nd round picks are bust.

Agreed. Why no stories on Hickey.

I see a lot of the reporters are now sucking up to Hickey.

I agree. The 2nd round was Ireland's worst round. But he never reached for a WR he could have gotten in the 2nd.

¿Dónde está mi dulce esposo Oscar Canosa? Te espero en mi rosa perfumado baño de burbujas, mi amor obesos.

Easy to see what's going on here. Hickey REALLY LOVED BILLY TURNER.

"Being from a small school, just couldn't justify drafting him 2ND RD."

That's why he basically traded down to the last pick of the 2nd rd to pick a wr. Then used the 4th rd pick obtained to trade near the top of the 3RD to take Billy Turner.

"He knew Turner would not be there with our 19TH PICK of the 3RD rd."

So, the Landry pick was more about getting Billy Turner than anything else. Folks, at NEXT TO LAST PICK of the 3RD RD, Jarvis far more of a "GLORIFIED 3RD RD PICK" than a "TRUE 2ND RD'ER". Lest not kid ourselves.

Armando, what would those metrics state about Landry being a 3RD RD PICK? For all practical purposes that's what he truly is. Being next to last pick of the 2nd rd.

How can anyone seriously make a case for Landry being a bust based on one attribute - speed - when he was clearly hurt at the time his speed numbers were recorded? Just ridiculous. Mando succeeded in getting everyone worked up on this one, but I wouldn't call this his finest hour in journalism.

Posted by: Rob | May 13, 2014 at 06:31 PM

I agree. The dashi boy's of the blog are easily influenced by nonsense or just looking to stir it up. Route running, discipline, intelligence and great hands are all huge factors in the success of any receiver.

The children want to boil it all down to a ham strung 40 time. How trite is that?

The problem is there is no draw. No talent on the team. No player worth buying a ticket to see. No face of the franchise. Attendance will remain pathetic.

Posted by: Marino 13 | May 13, 2014 at 06:28 PM

You can say that about alot of the teams in the NFL. In fact you can say a faceless team beat out a team with a Franchise Player in the last SB with regards to a "Face of the Franchise" Russell Wilson has in his 1st couple of Seasons gone through stretches of total ineffectiveness. Last yr. after there hot start they went absolutely cold on Wilson's un-even play more than anything were a faceless D led by lower Rd draft picks bailed them out.

The term Face of a Franchise is usually reserved for QB's because it means you'll market that player. So again whose the Face of Seattle?? Richard Sherman?? I think not!! (So I put little stock in that) As far as no draw on the team or talent, I'd just assume disagree!! No player worth buying a Ticket to watch you say? Given it's Yr. 3 I'll be buying a few to watch Tannehill behind an OL.

Could the team fail? Of course but so can 31 other teams just ask the Falcons who went from 13-3 to 4-12 in one shot because their OL sucked as well and Julio was hurt. I get everybody is frustrated none more than me believe it but this team isn't deviod of talent either!! If we improve the run game opening up play action and the pass protection holds I think we'll be alive come Dec.


2nd round, 3rd round, what relevance is that to whether they will be great players? Many HOF'rs come from all rounds.

Some of you guys seriously spend WAAAY too much time over-thinking some of this stuff to the point where you just come up with completely self-fabricated nonsense with no basis in reality whatsoever but talk yourselves into thinking it IS reality.

None of you were in the "war room." None of ever WILL be in one. You have no idea whatsoever who the Dolphins actually had targeted at individual spots, nor do you know what calls were made in regards to trading up or down.

Stop pretending otherwise. And for God's sake do yourself and your sanity a favor and get a breath of fresh air!

This was a pretty pAthetic draft

What part of:


is not computing with you guys?

PLAYER QUALITY wise, there isn't a DIFFERENTIATION between a player selected next to last 2nd rd and top 5 3rd rd.

Quality of pick wise, Landry is a 3rd rd'er. IMO, the quality of a player being true quality of the round he's in has a CUTOFF POINT at or near pick 27 of 32 players selected in that rd.


That makes sense. And agreed. It would have looked weird picking Turner into the 2nd. But he wasn't going to last long in the 3rd.

I believe in the Long run B.Turner will turn out to be a better linemen than J.Jones.

Why didn't the Dolphins draft Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Lawrence Taylor, and Jerry Rice in this draft??? I WANT ANSWERS!!!!

Of corse Russell Wilson is the face of his franchise.


What you say makes no sense at all. These ratings are way too subjective. There is no way to say all 2nd rounders are better or worse than all 3rd rounders, late, early or middle of the round. History has proved it.


I believe this team has a chance to fight for a playoff spot. Not for the division. But Hickey addressed the only need he had to address from last season to make this a playoff contending team. The O-line.

Agreed. With your description of what is a franchise player. Specially, in Football. Where they wear Helmets.

Now the Dolphins might not have "Franchise" guys. They sure as hell played some entertaining games. Even the close minute losses. Those were great games to watch.

Some of the Best Boxing matches I have ever seen are between no-name undercards. While a guy like Mayweather bores you to death with his "Greatness" during the Main Event.

The Bengals vs Dolphins game last year was more entertaining than watching the Superbowl.


Deep down, little boy dashi sees you as a father figure, a mentor, so he agrees with you from time to time to get on your good side, to get you to converse with him and make him feel like an adult, temporarily

All of the trading down in rd 2 was all about Hickey's conviction with and securing Billy Turner. If Billy Turner becomes a PRO BOWLER at LG in the next coming few seasons. Its all a smash even if Landry's only a major contributor.

Obviously, Hickey may have wanted to draft an OG 2nd rd, but did not see the OG he thought was worth the #19 2nd rd pick. Billy Turner, being from the small school, 2nd rd was too high to gamble. So hickey traded down, picked up ammo to trade into the top of the 3rd, then drafted Turner to start at OG there.

While in the same process picking up Landry next to last pick of the 2nd rd. That's saying Hickey definitely did not like what he saw with:


The Bengals vs Dolphins game last year was more entertaining than watching the Superbowl.

Posted by: Dashi | May 13, 2014 at 07:03 PM

You mean better than the most boring game and SB in like 20 years? Yeah, I agree. SUch and astute point LOL

Posted by: fin4life | May 13, 2014 at 06:49 PM

Nice post and agreed. I'm really liking this Oline, just hope Pouncey hasn't F'd it up!!!

Any guesses on a Pouncey suspension? # games?

I'd said a while back I didn't think he'd get much if anything, now I'm not as certain..

Still need a QB and another RB.

Posted by: Dashi | May 13, 2014 at 06:55 PM


Trading all the way down to the "next to last pick of the 2nd rd".

Basically, Hickey traded our #19 pick in the 2nd rd for:

2 3rd's, a 4th, and a 5th rd pick. Because Landry is the "glorified 3rd pick". Think about it.

Pouncey 4 games IMO

O J McDuffie was NEVER irrelevant.

Also, remember pick 171(5th rd) also received in the 2nd rd trade down, was use to select:


So the 2nd rd juggling act by Hickey has chance to go down as best juggling act in Dolphins GM history!

It's netted us:

1. Jarvis Landry
2. Billy Turner
3. Jordan Tripp

It's not about 1 player. It's about 3 players. No metrics can measure the OVERALL VALUE of this!

Of corse Russell Wilson is the face of his franchise.

Posted by: Jay | May 13, 2014 at 06:59 PM

What's he on the cover of?? Going back to the 80's with the explosion of SB exposure QB's deemed worthy of truly being that "Franchise Guy" in the true sense of the term get the cover of every magazine while peddling everything from Hamburgers to Gatorade, Cars on down to Insurance. The point is he's a guy playing QB on a team that won the SB not the QB who won/Led/blew it up en route to being Crowned SB Champ.

No shame in it! There are only a handful of Franchise players in the NFL. I know everybody wants to call this guy or that guy the Face of the Franchise given it's loosly tost around but outside Brady, Manning, Big Ben, Rodgers and Brees there are none with those awaiting to be annointed in players like Luck and Keap. Every team has a Face or Leader but that doesn't make them Franchise caliber Guys! Who the NFL markets along with the team they play for.

If Pouncey doesnt pass his psych testing they wont even have to suspend him

signed defensive end Gannon Conway and running back Orleans Darkwa and waived punter Matt Szymanski, the team announced.

AJ Duhe really likes that UDFA DT LSU JOHNSON

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