Thursday, October 30, 2014

Talent selection

How good is high school talent scouting for football? The star system used in college recruiting seems to have good validity in predicting an NFL career.
SBNation: ... The chance of a lesser-rated recruit being drafted in the first round is nowhere close to what it is for a blue-chipper.

Consider this: While four- and five-star recruits made up just 9.4 percent of all recruits, they accounted for 55 percent of the first and second round. Any blue-chip prospect has an excellent shot of going on to be a top pick, if he stays healthy and out of trouble.

For those who don't like percentages, here are some more intuitive breakdowns based on the numbers from the entire 2014 draft:

A five-star recruit had a three-in-five chance of getting drafted (16 of 27).
A four-star had a one-in-five chance (77 of 395).
A three-star had a one-in-18 chance (92 of 1,644).
A two-star/unrated recruit had a one-in-34 chance (71 of 2,434).
Compare to standardized testing and intellectual achievements later in life:

Success, Ability, and all that: ... In the SMPY study probability of having published a literary work or earned a patent was increasing with ability even within the top 1%. The "IQ over 120 doesn't matter" meme falls apart if one measures individual likelihood of success, as opposed to the total number of individuals at, e.g., IQ 120 vs IQ 145, who have achieved some milestone. The base population of the former is 100 times that of the latter!
In other words, if you find similar numbers of IQ 120 and IQ 145 individuals achieving some milestone (e.g., CEO of tech-focused startup or STEM research tenure; roughly speaking, 120 and 145 might be equally likely for those populations), then the odds ratio at an individual level is ~ 100 to 1 in favor of the 145s.


efalken said...

So, while finding 5 stars is very useful, so is the mechanism by which non-5 stars can be identified later.

steve hsu said...

Players can develop a lot between the age of 17 and 22. Some blossom physically, get really good technique coaching; others not so much.

By the time the NFL combine and scouting process take place, the rank order of players in a cohort may have changed considerably.

The same could be said for 13 year old kids growing up to become scientists or technologists.

Talent selection is noisy, but signal is not zero...

Blog Archive