Futures at Football Outsiders: The Knife, the Pencil, and Rookie Rankings

Looking for a scout? The pencil might be your key. Photo by Yeongsang.
Looking for a scout? The pencil might be your key. Photo by Yeongsang.

I hate rookie rankings. You love rookie rankings. It’s a beautiful relationship.

Seriously, I hate rookie rankings. It’s a black-and-white expression of 18 to 24 months of research and analysis that has more than 500 shades of grey. Why in the hell would I want to distill it to a “yes-he’s-good”/”no-he’s-not” proposition?

Because as much as I hate it, you love it, and when it comes to you reading my work I (begrudgingly) like what you love.

There is a one caveat. You must (begrudgingly) follow me down the rabbit hole and take my tour of the shades of gray that I call “context.” Think of it as eating your rankings vegetables.

You hate vegetables. I love vegetables. It’s a beautiful relationship.

Informative prospect rankings require context:

  • Who is the client?
  • How much of a gap is between players or groups of players?
  • Why is a list not as simple as high-better, lower-worse?

My client is you. Some of you are in the NFL. Most of you are in an office, a classroom, or your living room reading from a screen avoiding work for a few minutes (or hours).

Most of you don’t represent a team. You’re a vast collection of fans, draftniks, and fantasy owners who care about talent and fit with one of 32 teams.

Let’s face it, you really don’t care about fit, either. You say you do, but . . .

Read the rest at Football Outsiders

2 responses to “Futures at Football Outsiders: The Knife, the Pencil, and Rookie Rankings”

  1. Dear Rookie Sensei,

    Would it be possible for you to give a thought to Duron Carter for the post-draft RSP addendum? In MyFantasyLeagues D. Carter is a rookie on account of never being signed to an NFL roster, never playing an NFL snap. So he’s going to be in our rookie draft. How would Duron Carter stack up against this year’s crop of rookies, or rookie WRs?

    I know this is well out-of-scope because who knows if CFL tape is available. And you are plenty busy already. And you need a break! Enough is enough what do these people want from me! I know. Well, if it is something that is feasible and something interesting to you I am bringing it up now in case it’s something you can do.

    Yours Faithfully,


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