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Football Outsiders - Sack SEER (Long)

Discussion in 'Browns Talk' started by di0p, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. di0p

    di0p Mouse in the house

    May 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    For those who don't know about Football Outsiders, they are a website of stat geeks that use in depth statistical analysis to predict NFL games outcomes and players strengths/weaknesses. They have alot of guys who have been snatched up by NFL and NBA teams and used for statistical analysis.

    Their new little stat anaylzes sacks over the next 5 years for this draft class...needless to say they do not feel it is a great pass rushing class. They especially hate Jason Pierre-Paul, and cite very few guys who come from JuCo ball end up doing much. Its a long read, but worth it IMO. Makes me want Jerry Hughes thats for sure.


    Check out Charts on the link showing best and worst projections from last decade.

    2010 Draft Prospects

    Jerry Hughes, Texas Christian University

    Vertical: 34.5", Short Shuttle: 4.15, SRAM: 0.55, Missed Games: 3
    Projection: 27.7 Sacks through Year 5

    Jerry Hughes separates himself from the rest of the pack by virtue of his elite 4.15-second short shuttle run at the Combine. Not only is Hughes' short shuttle time the best amongst defensive linemen in 2010, but it is also better than any shuttle time run by any edge rusher at the Combine in 2009 or 2008.

    The other interesting factor with Hughes is a huge jump in SRAM between his sophomore and junior seasons. Hughes recorded only a 0.09 SRAM for his first two years but recorded a 1.0 SRAM during his dominant junior and senior years. This type of improvement compares favorably to other top edge rushers of past drafts. Patrick Kerney, Elvis Dumervil, and Dwight Freeney had 1.0, 2.0., and 3.5 sacks in their first two years, respectively, but subsequently exploded once they became full-time starters in their junior and senior years. Hughes' career path is similar. He was stuck for two years behind Chase Ortiz and Tommy Blake at TCU.

    However, Hughes also bears a certain similarity to another prospect who was not quite as successful as Freeney and company: Jason Babin. Babin, like Hughes, recorded a lot of sacks once becoming a full-time starter at a small school, registered a lightning quick shuttle at the Combine and a mediocre vertical leap. Babin, along with Bryan Thomas, is the type of prospect that SackSEER occasionally misses on: a quick, productive, small-school edge rusher who lacks elite explosion. On the other hand, there are plenty of success stories who share Hughes' particular profile, such as Terrell Suggs, Robert Mathis, and Jared Allen. It all adds up to Hughes being a good, but not great, edge rusher prospect.

    Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

    Vertical: 34", Short Shuttle: 4.43, SRAM: 0.59, Missed Games: 1
    Projection: 23.3 Sacks through Year 5

    As a prospect, Derrick Morgan is the polar opposite of former teammate Michael Johnson (now with Cincinnati). Morgan was much more productive in college -- building off of a solid sophomore campaign by recording 12.5 sacks in 13 games as a junior -- but lacks Johnson's athleticism, registering mediocre vertical and short shuttle numbers at the Combine. Conventional wisdom says that Morgan is the "safest" edge rusher in the draft, but SackSEER considers Morgan as a middle-of-the-road talent, basically a 50-50 shot.

    Everson Griffen, University of Southern California

    Vertical: 34", Short Shuttle: 4.36, SRAM: 0.52, Missed Games: 3
    Projection: 22.8 Sacks through Year 5

    Very few followers of the NFL Draft are particularly excited about Everson Griffen. Unlike Hughes, Griffen has never had a "breakout" season. He has never recorded fewer than 4.5 sacks and never more than eight. Although Griffen's year-to-year sack numbers have been bizarrely consistent at USC, he suffered from consistency problems from game to game, and he was benched more than once for poor play. Giffen's benching only led to him missing three games, so SackSEER is at least lukewarm on his prospects for transitioning to the next level.

    Brandon Graham, University of Michigan

    Vertical: 31.5", Short Shuttle: 4.25, SRAM: 0.62, Missed Games: 4
    Projection: 22.1 Sacks through Year 5

    The comparison between Brandon Graham and fellow Michigan alum LaMarr Woodley has been beaten to death by pundits. SackSEER, however, distinguishes Woodley and Graham both by virtue of their prospects for success and by their athleticism. Woodley was an extremely explosive but somewhat "stiff" prospect, recording an excellent 38.5-inch vertical leap and a below-average short shuttle at 4.42 seconds, which added up to a solid 28.2 sack SackSEER projection. Graham, on the other hand, demonstrates good quickness with his 4.25-second short shuttle time, but his 31.5-inch vertical leap raises a major red flag. A more apt comparison for Graham would be Tamba Hali, who shared both Graham’s hustle and lack of jumping ability coming out of college.

    Sergio Kindle, University of Texas

    Vertical: 36.5", Short Shuttle: 4.53, SRAM: 0.48, Missed Games: 7
    Projection: 18.8 Sacks through Year 5

    Kindle had a standout performance with two sacks in the National Championship game against Alabama. Very few people have noticed that Kindle had only four sacks in the Longhorns' other 13 games.

    Kindle played linebacker for his first two years at Texas, so he gets the full benefit of SRAM's adjustment for playing "out of position." That experience leads many to believe that Kindle is an ideal fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but SackSEER is markedly apprehensive due to Kindle's relatively low productivity and missed games. Kindle has suffered multiple minor knee and ankle injuries and, although it is not as fresh in the minds of the football-loving public as Dunlap's DUI, Kindle also served a three-game suspension because of a drunk driving incident.

    Kindle's good 36.5-inch vertical leap improves his projection somewhat, but it is more or less canceled out by his poor shuttle run. The most successful edge rushers drafted between 1999 and 2008 after running a 4.5-second shuttle or slower in were Ray Edwards and Tony Bryant. These players had their best seasons as strong-side defensive ends in a 4-3, often lining up opposite slower-footed right tackles. As a classic 'tweener, whose size limits him to rushing the passer and dropping back in coverage, Kindle will probably not be able to fill a similar role.

    Carlos Dunlap, University of Florida

    Vertical: 31.5", Short Shuttle: 4.61, SRAM: 0.62, Missed Games: 2
    Projection: 16.1 Sacks through Year 5

    Carlos Dunlap may be a victim of his own hype. At Florida, Dunlap was billed as the next in the line of big men -- such as Mario Williams and Julius Peppers -- with the rare combination of size to be stout against the run and speed to rush the passer. However, many who have reviewed Dunlap's game tape have accused him of "taking plays off" and "not playing as fast as he times."

    These critics may be half right, because Combine numbers suggest that Dunlap's total athleticism doesn't match his raw straight-line speed. Compare Dunlap's 31.5-inch vertical leap to those of Mario Williams and Julius Peppers, who leapt 40.5 inches and 36.5 inches, respectively. Dunlap's vertical leap is far more similar to those of the unsuccessful Florida Gators of recent past -- Derrick Harvey and Jarvis Moss. Dunlap also failed to impress with his short shuttle. Ironically, Dunlap's redeeming characteristic is his productivity on the field, where he has received the most criticism.

    Jason Pierre-Paul, University of South Florida

    Vertical: 30.5", Short Shuttle: 4.67, SRAM: 0.44, Missed Games: 26
    Projection: 3.8 Sacks through Year 5

    This projection is not a misprint. Although Pierre-Paul is widely regarded as one of the top edge rushers by draftniks, it is hard to conceive of a prospect that SackSEER would like less.

    Is it fair to say that Pierre-Paul 26 missed games because he spent his first two years in junior college? Yes, because the few recent edge rusher prospects with junior college experience were among the worst defensive draft picks in recent memory. The illustrious list includes Anton Palepoi, Jerome McDougle, Tony Bryant, Lamar King, Erik Flowers, Michael Boireau and most recently, David Veikune, Cleveland's 2009 second-round pick, who did not record a sack as a rookie and was inactive for much of the season. Unless you count Julian Peterson, a 4-3 linebacker who doesn't fit this study, you have to go back to Leonard Little in 1998 to find a former junior college player who panned out in the NFL, and Little spent only one year at junior college. When Tony Bryant is your upside, you're in trouble.

    So why do junior college edge rushers struggle so mightily when transitioning to the NFL? Most edge rusher prospects who play at the junior college level miss two years worth of their NCAA eligibility, and they are understandably "raw" when they enter the professional ranks. Although many coaches believe that such a player can be "coached up," the coaching staff can only devote so much of its valuable coaching resources to a single player. Moreover, many players who go to a junior college have significant or severe academic issues, and expecting them to digest a complicated NFL playbook while also "catching up" on their fundamentals may be unrealistic.

    However, even if we removed the missed games adjustment, Pierre-Paul would still have the worst projection in this class. Although Pierre-Paul's "handflips" video has earned him the distinction as the 2010 NFL Draft's consummate physical "freak," he put up poor numbers in all of the workout metrics that matter to SackSEER. This is certainly not the first time that similar "gimmicky" athleticism has not translated into workout numbers. For instance, just last year, San Diego State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert made waves (pardon the pun) with a widely circulated video depicting Gilbert jumping out of a swimming pool flat footed. Despite his aquatic jumping ability, Gilbert only registered a 35.5-inch vertical leap at the Combine.

    The ability of Pierre-Paul to translate his particular brand of athleticism to pass rushing success is speculative at best. Overall, the general manager who pulls the trigger on Pierre-Paul better be very confident that he has something special -- so special that it will completely buck the historical trends.

    SackSEER Sleepers

    When it comes to sleepers, SackSEER rates two prospects above the rest: South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood and Washington defensive end Daniel Te'O'Nesheim. Eric Norwood's Combine numbers are similar to those of Clay Matthews a year ago, and he had better college sack production. Te'O'Nesheim has been billed as a productive, high-energy player who lacks the athleticism to compete at a high level, but his 37-inch vertical leap and a 4.18-second short shuttle at the Combine are enough to convince SackSEER.
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  2. di0p

    di0p Mouse in the house

    May 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Very interesting considering that Pierre-Paul is supposed to be an "elite" athlete, yet his vertical and short-shuttle times were pretty pedestrian. I am fascinated by this whole sackSeer stat.

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