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Those of you who hate advanced metrics, here's an easy way to tell if an edge rusher is going to be good in the NFL or not.


Kayoh
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Broad Jump 9'9" or better, 3 cone under 7.20. It seems almost too simple on the surface, but check this out.

I'm looking at every player drafted between 2003 and 2012. I'm not including players drafted in 2013/14/15 because they haven't completed their rookie contracts yet.

That said, players who jumped 9'9" or better in the broad jump AND had a 3 cone under 7.20 average almost 21 sacks by the end of their rookie contract, AKA their first 4 seasons in the league. The exact number is 20.84 for those of you who are skeptical about me saying "almost".

Players who fail ONE of those two little checks average 6.8 sacks by the end of their rookie contract. Players who fail both average 5.9.

To look beyond just averages, get this. The odds of a player contributing exactly 0 sacks for a team if they check these boxes are 15.56%. If they fail to check even one of the two boxes those odds go up to 35.85%. Failing to check both boxes raises the odds even more, to 43.18%.

The odds of a player accumulating at least 20 sacks in their rookie contract if they check both boxes? 45.65%. If they fail to check one? 8.49%. Fail both and your odds of accumulating 20+ sacks in your rookie contract are 6.82%.

At the end of the day, it's not COMPLETELY fool proof, but if you like playing the odds, this has gotta be the best combination of ease+accuracy out there.

If you don't like advanced metrics but still want a quick, easy way to tell which edge rush prospects have a good shot at being pretty good, all you need to pay attention to is 3 cone and broad jump. Seems simple enough, right?

Looking at this year's class, here are the players that check both boxes:

  • Joey Bosa
  • Alex McCalister
  • Trent Corney
  • Leonard Floyd
  • Bryson Albright
  • Jonathan Woodard
  • Stephen Weatherly
  • Shaq Lawson
  • Kamalei Correa
  • Tyler Roberts

Players who fail one check, but not two:

  • Shawn Oakman (3 cone 7.53)
  • Bronson Kaufusi (broad jump 9'3")
  • Shiro Davis (3 cone 7.22)
  • Emmanuel Ogbah (3 cone 7.26)
  • Tautvydas Kieras (broad jump 9'8")
  • Shilique Calhoun (broad jump 9'7")
  • Romeo Okwara (3 cone 7.38)
  • James Cowser (broad jump 9'3")
  • Noah Spence (3 cone 7.21)
  • Jason Fanaika (broad jump 9'5")
  • Tyrone Holmes (broad jump 9'5")
  • Dadi Nicholas (broad jump 9'8")
  • Victor Ochi (3 cone 7.24)
  • Yannick Ngakoue (3 cone 7.35)

Players who fail both checks - the only drafted edge rushers since 2003 to fail both checks and still manage 20+ sacks on their rookie contracts have been Carlos Dunlap, Jabaal Sheard, and Ray Edwards. Here are your almost-definitely-busts:

  • Carl Nassib
  • Jonathan Bullard (although I like him as an interior DL)
  • Kevin Dodd
  • Branden Jackson
  • Mehdi Abdesmad
  • Matt Judon

If we ran this little exercise using the 2013/14/15 draft classes, here are the players who would've passed as well as the # of sacks they have so far:

2013: Ezekiel Ansah (30), Devin Taylor (10.5), Jamie Collins (9.5), Armonty Bryant (8.5), Damontre Moore (8.5), Barkevious Mingo (7), Dion Jordan (3), Margus Hunt (1.5), Ty Powell (1), Corey Lemonier (1), Lavar Edwards (0), Joe Kruger (0), and Malliciah Goodman (0).
2014: Khalil Mack (19), Kony Ealy (9), Anthony Barr (7.5), Trent Murphy (6), Dee Ford (5.5), Marcus Smith (1.5), and Tyler Starr (0).
2015: Preston Smith (8), Danielle Hunter (6), Vic Beasley (4), Frank Clark (3), Kyle Emanuel (1), Randy Gregory (0), and Eli Harold (0)

It's worth noting that only 19.08% of all edge rushers drafted from 2003-2012 managed to eclipse the 20 sack mark during their rookie contract. Out of that 19.08% though, 68.97% check both of these athletic boxes. Food for thought. :)

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That said, players who jumped 9'9" or better in the broad jump AND had a 3 cone under 7.20 average almost 21 sacks by the end of their rookie contract, AKA their first 4 seasons in the league. The exact number is 20.84 for those of you who are skeptical about me saying "almost".

That makes me feel better about Vic Beasley's chances of progressing

VB 3-cone 6.91  - broad jump 130"

 

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/vic-beasley?id=2552301

 

Edited by JG2008
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Is the difference if you raise the 3-cone mark to 7.25 that big?

Only wondering since Spence has a 7.21 and is fine in the broad. I know you're not a fan, but that dude has a really good shot at being one of the best pass rushers selected this year imho (though I doubt we're interested tbh).

Ochi sittin with a 7.24 too. I like him a good bit too, albeit not nearly as early. 

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Do you read Justis Mosqueda?  He has an algorithm for EDGE's called Force Players which basically does the same thing you're trying to do.  He's a little bit ahead considering he's run out his formula for all EDGE players going back a decade and his results are pretty impressive.  Also, he's very knowledgeable about football, especially the line positions, so not just a numbers guy.  

 

Anyway, I'm a fan of analytics so keep at it.  I like reading your stuff.

http://playmakermentality.com/2016-force-players

Edited by BC Fan
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These are the two I look at for a quick and dirty.

Broad tells you power

3 cone tells you agility/bend.

If you are good on both, it means you have a variety of ways to succeed, can convert power into speed, speed into power, power into bend, etc.

It's not the end all be all, but it's a good quick and dirty to employ just to see if they're athletic enough to likely make the transition easily.

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4 hours ago, Falcan Moore said:

Is the difference if you raise the 3-cone mark to 7.25 that big?

Only wondering since Spence has a 7.21 and is fine in the broad. I know you're not a fan, but that dude has a really good shot at being one of the best pass rushers selected this year imho (though I doubt we're interested tbh).

Ochi sittin with a 7.24 too. I like him a good bit too, albeit not nearly as early. 

players in my data set who ran under 7.25, but not under 7.2: (RCS = rookie contract sacks)

  • Clifton Geathers - 7.2 - 0 RCS
  • Cam Johnson - 7.2 - 0 RCS
  • David Veikune - 7.2 - 0 RCS
  • Jarvis Moss - 7.21 - 3.5 RCS
  • Carlos Dunlap - 7.21 - 27.5 RCS
  • Victor Butler - 7.21 - 11 RCS
  • Khari Long - 7.22 - 0 RCS
  • Arthur Moats - 7.22 - 5 RCS
  • DeWayne White - 7.22 - 14 RCS
  • Christian Ballard - 7.23 - 1 RCS
  • Jonathan Massaquoi - 7.23 - 6 RCS
  • Brandon Williams - 7.23 - 0 RCS
  • Cameron Sheffield - 7.23 - 0 RCS
  • Brandon Green - 7.23 - 0 RCS
  • D'Aundre Reed - 7.24 - 0 RCS
  • Willie Young - 7.24 - 6 RCS

AVERAGE RCS: 4.625

4 hours ago, Kaptain Krazy said:

Nice data collection, thanks for sharing.

Multiple players still on the board who pass both thresholds. Ogbah at 50 and the best OL at 81 would get close to AB's expectation of 3 starters.

Ogbah doesn't pass the 3 cone threshold

3 hours ago, BC Fan said:

Do you read Justis Mosqueda?  He has an algorithm for EDGE's called Force Players which basically does the same thing you're trying to do.  He's a little bit ahead considering he's run out his formula for all EDGE players going back a decade and his results are pretty impressive.  Also, he's very knowledgeable about football, especially the line positions, so not just a numbers guy.  

 

Anyway, I'm a fan of analytics so keep at it.  I like reading your stuff.

http://playmakermentality.com/2016-force-players

I talk to Justis on twitter quite a bit. He's a good dude. He and I have some very different philosophies. He likes to try to find out how good a player will be in the NFL, whereas I'm more interested in knowing how much value they'll add to the team that drafted them. Rob Ninkovich has had a really good career for the Patriots but the Saints, who drafted him, got 0 value out of him. I'm trying to figure out the best players to draft, not just who the best players will be in general. You know?

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2 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

Impressive what a difference that makes then. Curious, you don't have to post, but what is it from 7.15 to 7.20? It can't all come down to numbers obv but I still find it interesting. 

7.19 alone includes Mario Williams and Aldon Smith. 7.18 has Bobby McCray, JPP and Ryan Kerrigan. 7.17 is only two players, Scott Solomon and Gaines Adams. But Gaines Adams had 13 sacks for Tampa before they traded him. That was in 2 seasons. Nobody in my data set ran 7.16...weird. 7.15 is only two guys again, Jack Crawford and Will Davis, just a couple scrubs.

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How do you measure Heart............or Guts ??

It's easy to put a stopwatch on guys in a Dome, 68 degrees, and the exercise takes all of 8 seconds.........then done. Go have a drink, put your headphones back on, etc.

How do you measure what a guy will do for 60 minutes ? With All Pro players on the opposition slapping him around, half the time being held with the Refs standing 10 feet away.......smiling !! Then your QB throws 3+ picks trying to GIVE the game away. How do you measure a "Take Charge" attitude that says......."I refuse to lose this d.amn game" ??

That's what kind of plastic cone set up I'd like to see........LOL

End of story.

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Just now, Bring It said:

How do you measure Heart............or Guts ??

It's easy to put a stopwatch on guys in a Dome, 68 degrees, and the exercise takes all of 8 seconds.........then done. Go have a drink, put your headphones back on, etc.

How do you measure what a guy will do for 60 minutes ? With All Pro players on the opposition slapping him around, half the time being held with the Refs standing 10 feet away.......smiling !! Then your QB throws 3+ picks trying to GIVE the game away. How do you measure a "Take Charge" attitude that says......."I refuse to lose this d.amn game" ??

That's what kind of plastic cone set up I'd like to see........LOL

End of story.

dude go away, it's impossible to measure intangibles. The word intangibles literally means immeasurable. You sound like FFS70. Not even NFL coaches, who spend time in interview rooms with these players, can fully predict how hard they're going to work. I'm just providing the tools to help us commoners make more educated guesses rather than just throwing **** at the wall and hoping something sticks.

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47 minutes ago, Kayoh said:

dude go away, it's impossible to measure intangibles. The word intangibles literally means immeasurable. You sound like FFS70. Not even NFL coaches, who spend time in interview rooms with these players, can fully predict how hard they're going to work. I'm just providing the tools to help us commoners make more educated guesses rather than just throwing **** at the wall and hoping something sticks.

I'm old school.

Take those d.am cones to a landfill. Let me watch game film on a player then.......more importantly, let me talk with him for 30 min.

Job done. 

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11 minutes ago, Bring It said:

I'm old school.

Take those d.am cones to a landfill. Let me watch game film on a player then.......more importantly, let me talk with him for 30 min.

Job done. 

yeah, except you're a regular person who doesn't get to talk to prospects. So that's purely hypothetical. And watching film is how players like Jarvis Jones, Aaron Maybin and Nick Perry get selected.

8 minutes ago, Hometownfan said:

Interesting hypothesis.  Have you tried working it backwards, ie. picking sack leaders and seeing what time/distances they posted?  Are their any anomalies? 

The biggest anomaly is probably Shaun Phillips. He fails both metrics but still managed 31 sacks in his rookie contract.

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56 minutes ago, Kayoh said:

yeah, except you're a regular person who doesn't get to talk to prospects. So that's purely hypothetical. And watching film is how players like Jarvis Jones, Aaron Maybin and Nick Perry get selected.

The biggest anomaly is probably Shaun Phillips. He fails both metrics but still managed 31 sacks in his rookie contract.

Thanks.

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