You’ve seen it mentioned here before and anyone that follows me on Twitter (@MathBomb), the RAS. It stands for Relative Athletic Score, and I use it to show either a present NFL player or a NFL draft prospect’s measurements in relation to their position group. The simple explanation for RAS is that it is a relative score that can show any measurement on a scale of 0-10 where 5.00 is always the average for that position group. We’ve already shown that the Detroit Lions have the smartest fan base, however, so you probably want more explanation than that, so here is some detail of how I developed the RAS and how it works.
Why Do It? Are 40 Times Not Good Enough?!?!
The short answer to this is no, no they are not. A longer answer is that I developed this score as a way of showing the difference between a 4.52 40 time for a cornerback and that of a defensive end. If you tell a layman that a player ran a 4.52, most won’t know what that means. Common rebuttal is “Is that good?” And what’s the answer? “Well, yes, I mean for some positions, but it’s kind of average for others and not so great for others.
RAS makes it much easier to explain this disparity by position. That same 40 time, 4.52, is a 4.21 out of 10.00 for a receiver, or slightly below average. It’s an 8.00 out of 10.00 for a tight end, clearly well above average. It’s a 9.82 for a defensive end, or downright elite. Most fans can’t recite the average for every position off the top of their head (And if you can, bravo!), so answering whether a score is good or not based on 40 time requires some googling to know for sure. With RAS, it’s simple to understand that 5.00 is average, below that is bad, above that is good. Easy.
It isn’t just 40 time, though, I did this for every measurement I could. In its present incarnation, RAS encompasses ten different measurements. Height and weight to cover physical makeup; 40 yard dash and the 20/10 yard splits to cover speed and acceleration; vertical and broad jump to show burst; shuttle and 3 cone to show agility; and bench to show upper body strength. But wait, that still doesn’t give us the whole picture! We can’t be expected to explain 10 different scores just to know whether we should call someone a good athlete or not! That’s right, which is why we have to find that one number to do all that. That’s where the RAS Grade comes in.