Originally Posted by Th30ry
Would be interesting to see this metric applied to the backs currently in the league and see if it mattered even a little bit vs success in the NFL. My guess is it wouldn't.
Just for fun, instead of listing the top backs and seeing who failed, here's the scores of the best backs in the NFL. Even if a high score isn't a reliable predictor of success, it may still be that most NFL backs have to be above a certain threshold to succeed at a high level. These scores are going to be as accurate as I can get them, but weights and speeds change, and of course these aren't hard and fast scores. And just for fun, I'm going to modify the score to reflect backs' builds, dividing by their height in inches and then multiplying again by 71 (5'11", average height of an NFL running back) to see if a backs' relative stoutness makes the metric seem more accurate.
Best backs in the NFL (No particular order)
Arian Foster: 94.26 (had a pulled hamstring at the combine, ran 4.71 at his pro day) Adjusted for height - 91.68
MJD: 113.08, Adjusted for height - 121.65
LeSean McCoy: 99.49, Adjusted for height - 100.91
Fred Jackson: 104.86 (couldn't find a combine or pro day, saw 4.5 for him somewhere... just used it.) Adjusted for height - 101.99
Ray Rice: 108.12, Adjusted for height - 112.89
Peyton Hillis (Getting a mulligan for last year. Don't like it, ignore the score.): 110.05, Adjusted for height - 105.59
Rashard Mendenhall: 124.53 (unofficial 40) 114.76 (official time). No adjustment.
Chris Johnson: 118.2, no adjustment.
Jamaal Charles: 112.76, no adjustment.
Darren McFadden: 120.05, Adjusted for height - 115.18
Michael Bush: 116.66, Adjusted for height - 113.43
Ryan Matthews: 111.19, Adjusted for height - 109.65
DeMarco Murray: 112.63, Adjusted for height - 111.07
Matt Forte: 110.2, no adjustment.
Adrian Peterson: 114.75, Adjusted for height - 111.61
Michael Turner: 116.63, Adjusted for height - 118.3
DeAngelo Williams: 115.8, Adjusted for height - 119.16
Jonathan Stewart: 123.84, Adjusted for height - 125.61
LeGarrett Blount: 108.59, Adjusted for height - 107.08
Beanie Wells: 104.48, Adjusted for height - 100.24
Steven Jackson: 117.82, Adjusted for height - 113.04
Marshawn Lynch: 108.67, no adjustment.
Reggie Bush: 114.36, Adjusted for height - 112.77
Now, obviously, this basically gives a bonus for being below average height (presumably more compact, denser, lower center of gravity) and penalizes for height. The differences are typically small, but seems to make some sense; MJD and Beanie Wells were only 9 apart in the original scoring, but the adjustment spaces their scores dramatically - MJD now scores 20 points higher than Beanie Wells, and their production and reputation are more accurately reflected. Given that the original score is essentially a mass/speed metric, it makes sense to consider the shape and density of a player when producing a number which ought to categorize the nature of their ability.