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Does roster makeup pre-determine outcome?

Lee Caz posted an article the other day that looked at our secondary and the round at which they were drafted.  It got me thinking, is there any correlation with the Bucs in terms of talent and draft position?  So I took the two deep roster of the Bucs, ignoring special teams and looked at their draft position, how we acquired them, and who acquired them (front office). The who acquired them was just for historical purposes, in case that argument ever gets brought up.

I also will look at two other nameless teams and chart their draft positions only to see if there is any rhyme or reason to the outcome of a season and player draft position.  For those teams I'll go two deep where available and use just the round they were drafted in.

Onwards we go.

First up, we'll look at the Bucs.  Remember, I'm only looking at the two-deep chart here, meaning I'm only looking at starters and backups.  I'm also looking at our expected starting line up, meaning Tanard Jackson and Phillips will be in the lineups.  Same for the two teams below. 

Here's the Buc's two deep roster

Player Year Drafted Round how acquired
Byron Leftwich 2003 1st free agent (Dominik)
Josh Freeman 2009 1st drafted (Dominik)
Cadillac Williams 2005 1st drafted (Allen)
Derrick Ward 2004 7th free agent (Dominik)
Earnest Graham 2003 undrafted free agent (Allen)
B.J. Askew 2003 3rd free agent (Allen)
Antonio Bryant 2002 2nd free agent (Allen)
Michael Clayton 2004 1st drafted (Allen)
Kellen Winslow 2004 1st free agent (Dominik)
Jerramy Stevens 2002 1st free agent (Allen)
Donald Penn 2006 undrafted free agent (Allen)
Jeremy Zuttah 2008 3rd drafted (Allen)
Marc Dile 2009 undrafted free agent (Dominik)
Jeff Faine 2003 1st free agent (Allen)
Sean Mahan 2003 5th free agent (Dominik)
Davin Joseph 2006 1st drafted (Allen)
Marcus Johnson 2005 2nd free agent (Dominik)
Jeremy Trueblood 2006 2nd drafted (Allen)
Demar Dotson 2009 undrafted free agent (Dominik)
Jimmy Wilkerson 2003 6th free agent (Allen)
Kyle Moore 2009 4th drafted (Dominik)
Ryan Sims 2002 1st trade (Allen)
Roy Miller 2009 3rd drafted (Dominik)
Chris Hovan 2000 1st free agent (Allen)
Dre Moore 2008 4th drafted (Allen)
Gaines Adams 2007 1st drafted (Allen)
Stylez White 2002 7th free agent (Allen)
Geno Hayes 2008 6th drafted (Allen)
Matt McCoy 2005 2nd free agent (Allen)
Barrett Ruud 2005 2nd drafted (Allen)
Niko Koutouvides 2004 4th free agent (Dominik)
Quincy Black 2007 3rd drafted (Allen)
Adam Hayward 2007 6th free agent (Allen)
Aqib Talib 2008 1st drafted (Allen)
Torrie Cox 2003 6th drafted (Allen)
Ronde Barber 1997 3rd drafted (McKay)
Elbert Mack 2008 undrafted free agent (Allen)
Jermaine Phillips 2002 5th drafted (McKay)
Will Allen 2004 4th free agent (Allen)
Tanard Jackson 2007 4th drafted (Allen)
Sabby Piscitelli 2007 2nd drafted (Allen)

We have a TON of early round talent on offense with a few later round or undrafted players thrown in there.  We can sport about 7 first rounders on offense on any given play.  But first round status doesn't mean they are/were elite players.

On the defensive side, it's a hodge podge of players.  Seems we have guys from just about every round possible. 

Looking at the other two teams let's see where their players were drafted. (When reading this, the starter is listed first, then back up.  For positions like Tackle or End, it is listed as left/right)

Position Team 1 Team 2 Bucs
Quarterback 1st/2nd 6th/1st 1st/1st
Running Back undrafted/1st 1st/undrafted 1st/7th
Fullback 5th 5th 3rd
Wide Receiver 3rd/1st 2nd/3rd 2nd/1st
Tight End 1st/3rd 4th/undrafted 1st/1st
Tackle 3rd/4th 1st/1st undrafted/2nd
Guard 6th/3rd 5th/3rd 3rd/1st
Center 6th 4th 1st
Defensive End 4th/7th 1st/3rd 6th/1st
Defensive Tackle 1st 5th/undrafted 1st/3rd
Outside Linebacker undrafted/2nd 7th/3rd 6th/3rd
Middle Linebacker 1st/1st 2nd 2nd
Cornerback 5th/4th 2nd/3rd 1st/3rd
Safety 1st/undrafted undrafted/3rd 4th/5th

 When I look at the first two teams, I don't see any drastic differences.  They are fairly similar in make up across the board.  Offensively, the 2nd team has higher picks and defensively, it's pretty close.  So no real difference right?

Looking at the Bucs, we seem to have more talent (based on draft status only) on the offensive side of the ball and are close to being in line on the defensive side of the ball.  No real variance between the three teams.  Of course, we are only looking at three teams, so there could be some variance with the rest of the league.

I look at this set up and don't see any difference, but yet I see three separate paths in terms of each team.  Looking at a team based on draft status of starters doesn't show us anything.  Three different teams, three different records, three different histories, but very similar roster make up when looking at only draft position. 

It leads me to the conclusion that draft status means virtually nothing outside of pay grade.  The real emphasis and what not only gives a roster character, but what defines it and ultimately decides which way it goes is coaching, system and scouting.  Proper scouting and making the right selection at your draft slot plays a much more integral role than what round your pick comes from.  In theory, every team has a pick in rounds 1-7, so there shouldn't be any differentiation.  Obviously each team picks at different slot, but it's what you do with that pick that matters.  Properly scout it, determine strengths and weaknesses in your system and make your pick.  Or blindly pick a player and expect success due to draft status.  I feel pretty good in saying that the above charts show draft status at position alone don't mean anything, it's the work done before and after the pick that makes the difference. 

By the way, Team 1 is the Pittsburgh Steelers and Team 2 is the St. Louis Rams