What is RAS? Everything you need to know about the draft metric

What is RAS? Everything you need to know about the draft metric originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Football is a game of inches, and that starts with the draft.

In a pool full of talented prospects, each team is trying to get the competitive edge and successfully predict future stars and impact players for their franchise. In the past decades, analytics have boomed into professional sports as number-crunchers attempt to find the magic formula to yield results.

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One of the most popular metrics of the past decade is RAS, which seeks to quantify a players athleticism compared to their relative position.

Here's a look at what RAS is and how the Bears measured up in the most recent draft.

What is RAS?

Relative Athletic Score (RAS) is a metric that combines the various categories measured at the NFL Combine -- height, weight, wingspan, drill exercises -- into one aggregate number that's then contextualized against other athletes of the same position.

The algorithm includes results dating back to 1987, but acknowledges that data from before 2000 is a relatively small -- and incomplete -- sample.


What is the origin of RAS?

RAS is the brainchild of Kent Lee Platte, a "lifelong Detroit Lions fan who also has a passion for math and metrics in general."

According to Platte's website, he first started to consider how draft prospects are evaluated back in 2012 while living in Texas. He was messaging online with some friends about potential Lions' targets when he realized many of their observations -- rife with pundit-terminology such as "explosiveness" and "strength" -- were actually inaccurate upon further evaluation.

For example, Platte said he would comment about a player's athleticism only to find out that while their speed or strength was impressive for the NFL at large, it often wasn't as impressive when compared to others in that respective position.


Who are some players with notably high RAS?

Five different players ascended atop the standings of their respective positions this past draft.

Florida's Anthony Richardson, Old Dominion's Zack Kuntz, Maryland's Deonte Banks, Louisiana Tech's Griffin Hebert and Ferris State Mohamad Amen all scored 10.0 to claim the top overall spot.

Richardson and Banks both went in the first round, while Kuntz went in the seventh round.

Which team had the highest average RAS in the 2023 NFL Draft?

The New York Jets claim the best overall draft by Platte's standards, with an average RAS of 9.64.

Followed closely behind them was the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints with scores of 9.48 and 9.44, respectively. Rounding out the top-five were the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.