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This study says NFL teams would be crazy not to draft players with criminal records

A professor has crunched the numbers…

Bad boy: New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Bad boy: New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Image: Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images

AN ECONOMICS PROFESSOR from Hamilton College says NFL teams should stockpile criminals in the draft, the AP reports.

Fine, he doesn’t say that exactly.

But he found that players who have been arrested in college performed (based on career starts) just as well in the NFL, and are selected 15 picks later in the draft on average.

Stephen Wu, the professor who ran the study, separated all draftees from 2005 to 2009 into four groups:

  1. Players with no suspensions or legal problems in college
  2. Players suspended one game or more for violating team or university rules
  3. Players arrested and charged with a crime
  4. Players arrested, but not charged

He found that the only group that performed worse on the field, was Group 2. Group 3 — players who were arrested but not charged — faired just as well as Group 1, despite being taken later in the draft on average. And Group 4 — players who were arrested by never charged — actually has a better track record than Group 1.

Therefore, teams that pass on prospects based on their criminal records are doing it wrong.

Intuitively, this makes sense.

Good coaches, including Bill Belichick, draft based on value and don’t fall in love with any single player. So if a player’s stock drops because of a frivolous off-field incident, their value goes up.

Read more at Business Insider

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