I find the connections between RAS and draft picks very interesting. I have done a number of articles relating to the Green Bay Packers and their connection to RAS and their draft picks. So I decided to do an article about it for other teams.
For those that do not know what RAS is it means Relative Athletic Score. Created by Kent Lee Platte. You can find his site at: https://ras.football/
I am only using teams whos GM/front office have been in place for at least three drafts. Its basically impossible to find correlations with only data from a couple drafts to work with. I feel like we can identify some trends with these teams. I like to take averages at each position so it give you an idea of where teams prioritize athletes.
Now I know everyone will say “well all you are going to find is that teams like to draft athletes”, “teams always want to get more athletic”. Which can be true. But there is more to it than that. Maybe its because its numbers and they don’t understand numbers? I am not sure. I am actually a film guy myself, but like I said earlier I still find it interesting.
Now that that is out of the way. First off we will start with the Indianapolis Colts.
Since being hired in January of 2017 Chris Ballard has only drafted two quarterbacks. Also as we all know athleticism in quarterbacks is generally not seen as important. Even still it is interesting to look at the scores. With Jacob Eason scoring a 3.46 and Sam Ehlinger a 6.82 they average out to a 5.14
With running backs Ballard has drafted four. With all their scores averaged out it comes to a 7.95. From the looks of it unless you have a special skill set(like Hines who can play all over), Ballard really likes his running backs to be athletic. If you take him out the average goes up to a 8.7.
Now when it comes to receivers Ballard definitely has a type. Outside of Campbell all have been 6’1+ and even Campbell is close at just under 6’0. Their average RAS score comes out to a 8.26. Also of interest is it seems the Colts do not prioritize agility testing. All of them have been between poor to average in agility scores. Although Campbell had a good short shuttle score of 4.03 he does not have a 3 cone number on file. They all are also over 200 pounds. Three of them being 225+
With tight ends there is not much there to work with. Ballard has only drafted one tight end in his time. Kyle Granson in 2021 in the 4th round. Kyle has a score of a 7.72. He looks more like an h-back at 6’1 1/2 240lbs.
Since 2017 Ballard has drafted seven offensive linemen. three offensive tackles and four offensive guards. Their RAS average score was a 7.81. So pretty good, not super athletic, but up there. Now there is one guy dragging that score down. Zach Banner. He was drafted in the 4th round in Ballard’s first draft. His score was a 1.44. Which is really bad. If his score is removed the average shoots up to 8.87. So that tells us that Ballard really likes athletic offensive linemen. He also likes to draft linemen that are over 300. The lightest was Danny Pinter at 306. Five of them were 310+
Similar situation to tight end. Ballard in his time has only drafted two interior defensive linemen. Grover Stewart in the 4th round in 2017 and Robert Windsor in the 6th round in the 2020 draft. Both scored well athletically. Stewart had a 7.79, and Windsor scored at 8.68. They also have Tyquan Lewis who plays both end and tackle. If he were to be listed as an interior linemen his RAS would be a 9.69. So it seems they like relatively athletic interior linemen. Both Stewart’s and Windsor’s size and athletic testing vary so there is not much that can be gleaned from it, other than like like guys who are relatively athletic. It may be a position that he does not value as much draft wise.
Here is where we get some interesting information. Ballard has drafted six edge defenders in his time. Their average ras score is a 9.22. This means he really values major athletes at this position. The lowest score was Terell Basham in 2017 with a ras of 8.2, the others are 9.3 or above. All have been between 250-270 when they were drafted. Ballard seems to like a range of sizes. Some smaller and some bigger. He likes fast guys. All have a 40 time of 4.7 or faster. Most importantly is overall a high level athlete.
Another position of interest with the Colts. Ballard has drafted eight linebackers in his time. Seems as if it is a position he puts a lot of value in. As far as the RAS scores they have averaged a 7.3 which is pretty athletic. Even more interesting their top linebacker Darius Leonard didn’t test all that well. His RAS was a 4.9 which is basically average. If you remove his score the average goes up to a 8.2. So outside of Leonard who they must have saw something on tape that told the front office he was more athletic than he tested. They like to bring in really athletic linebackers. They also seem to like their linebackers 240 or under which kind of follows with their preference of uber athletic linebackers.
Now this position is pretty interesting in regards to their RAS scores. So they have drafted nine defensive backs in the Ballard era. Nothing too crazy about that. One of the interesting parts is that four of them have no RAS scores. I do believe Julian Blackmon and Malik Hooker were coming off injury and that’s why they have no workout numbers. The other interesting thing is that the average score of the guys they do have RAS for is a 6.91. So a little above average. That in itself is really interesting. It tells me that athleticism is not a priority for this front office. At least not as the level it is for a number of other teams. For example Marvell Tell had a 9.2 RAS all the others are 7.35 or lower. All their db’s are of relatively average size as well.
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