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Widely Received: Payoffs to Player Attributes in the NFL

By Julianne Treme and Samuel K. Allen


We examine wide receivers drafted into the NFL to assess what attributes explain draft rank and correspond to high salaries and performance in their first year in the league. We find that tangible measures of player quality are valuable signals. Consistent with expectations, faster and more accomplished college receivers are drafted earlier and earn more. However, we find no significant relationship between 40-yard dash times and first year performance for wide receivers. In addition, media exposure received by players prior to the draft is positively related to draft placement and higher earnings even after controlling for measured physical attributes.Sports Economics, NFL, Draft, Media

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