Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top Prospects

by: Michael Steffes

If you are familiar with the roots in the type of statistical analysis being done over at FO(Football Outsiders), and published in the PFP (Pro Football Prospectus), this will be a review. It is based off the famous series of "Baseball Prospectus" written by Bill James. James is considered the grandfather of modern baseball statistical analysis, sometimes referred to as sabermetrics. One of many things that people always liked in the Baseball Prospectuses was Bill James list of the the top 25 prospects.

In baseball this list is very useful, because unless you simultaneously follow all of the tiny minor league baseball leagues, chances are you don't know the names. It is a bit less useful in football, but PFP compiles a list none the same. It is essentially a list of players who they think are likely to break out soon and become good players. The rules are that the player be drafted between 05'-07', were drafted in round 3 or later, have fewer than 5 games started, and are still on their original contract.

Two Seahawks made this years list, albeit fairly low on the list. Care to guess? Find out who after the jump....

#22) Courtney Taylor..."Taylor runs smooth routes and has had one year to digest the Mike Holmgren playbook. He is not fast or explosive, but he's big and can use his body to shield guys away from the ball like a slow version of Randy Moss."

#25) Mansfield Wrotto..."Tim Ruskell loves to draft players whose stock falls on draft day because they are undersized. Mansfield Wrotto is not one of those players."

Taylor is one of two WRS to make the list, Audre Allison at 24 is other. Wrotto is the third of three guards noted, following Josh Beekman of the Bears at 9 and Andy Alleman of the Saints at 11. Alleman is also a converted d-linemen and Wrotto is called Alleman light in his write up. If you are wondering, Beekman is from Boston College and many Hawk fans (including me) were a touch perplexed when Tim Ruskell passed on him in order to take Wrotto. Alleman was taken a few spots after Brandon Mebane in that same draft(07'), who was ineligible for this list because of the number of starts he accrued last year. Else I am sure he would be top 5, as the book goes out their way to praise his play several times.