Grading the NFL Draft Using Twitter

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Grading the NFL Draft Using Twitter


May 1, 2013

With the 2013 NFL Draft finally behind us, it seems like everyone has an opinion on how each of the 32 franchises did over the weekend.  Sports networks, experts, bloggers and even casual fans all have their own ratings and draft commentary.  Which one is the most accurate?  It's tough to decide.

The CSE Analytics team opted to take a different approach and let the collective voice of Twitter determine which teams had the best and worst drafts.  Using Topsy and analyzing the sentiment of over 700,000 tweets during the draft window, we developed our own grading system which scored the teams based on the following:

  • Negative points for all tweets with a negative tone
  • Positive points for all tweets with a positive tone
  • An established baseline for the percentage of tweets that were neutral in nature

What we found was pretty remarkable.  First of all, when teams made what fans thought to be poor decisions, people on Twitter responded accordingly.  For example, the overall reaction of Dallas trading away the 18th pick of the draft to San Francisco was extremely negative. 

Secondly, the overall team grades we calculated using fan tweets aligned pretty closely with many of the experts, showing just how passionate and educated fans are when it comes to the NFL Draft.

For a quick comparison, we averaged the draft ratings published by the experts themselves: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS and Bleacher Report.  Surprisingly, 81 percent of the teams' grades (fans v. experts) were within one grade level of each other. 

Check out how your favorite NFL team fared in CSE's analysis of fan and expert sentiment by clicking on the Team Selector drop-down menu and selecting the team.