Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 37–49 | Cite as

Catching a draft: on the process of selecting quarterbacks in the National Football League amateur draft

  • David J. Berri
  • Rob SimmonsEmail author


The reverse order college draft gives the worst teams in the National Football League (NFL) the opportunity to hire the best amateur talent. For it to work effectively, teams must be able to identify the “best” talent. Our study of NFL quarterbacks highlights problems with the draft process. We find only a weak correlation between teams’ evaluations on draft day and subsequent quarterback performance in the NFL. Moreover, many of the factors that enhance a quarterback’s draft position are unrelated to future NFL performance. Our analysis highlights the difficulties in evaluating workers in the uncertain environment of professional sports.


Quarterback College Draft Performance 

JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceSouthern Utah UniversityCedar CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, The Management SchoolLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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