Just how important is the draft order?
We all know of the classic story of a superstar who is over-looked only to be picked up at an unlikely low pick in the national draft, (Hird (79), Goodes (43), Grant (105)) but overall what does a young draftee’s number suggest to their likely career success?
In a bit of data visualisation, I’ve plotted out the every single draft pick since 1986 and how many games they were able to play throughout their entire career.
What we are about see is how the draft has increased in importance, and higher draft picks are certainly making a large impact in today’s competition.
More importantly though, I think what is shows is that lower picks can definitely achieve a successful football career, and career games aren’t always linked to the number at which a prospect in taken in the draft.
Much of it seems to be random, some years (1997) being a lot more successful than others (1996).
Real footy geniuses can play a game and try to guess some of the players in the map – let me know how you go!
This project took me quite a long time, so I’d appreciate some feedback or thoughts on what this data suggests.