Blair Andrews turns to the running back position to examine the effects of draft age. How much of a difference does it make, if any?
Last week I detailed why I am an ageist about rookie wide receivers. It may come as no surprise to discover I’m an ageist about rookie running backs as well. While the benefits of declaring early and breaking out at a young age are not as clear or as well documented for RBs, younger RBs tend to outplay their older counterparts. But how much does this really matter? And is it already accounted for once we know draft position?
Measuring the Effects of Draft Age
For the purposes of this analysis, draft age is a player’s age on December 31 in the year of his final college season. It coincides with the Final College Age metric in the RB Prospect Lab. But how much does this metric really matter? The charts below give an indication of just how big a difference it makes for RBs.