News: BTB: NFL Draft 2019: Finding playmaking pass rushers for the Dallas Cowboys

Discussion in 'Newsfeed Zone' started by NewsBot, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot New Member

    89,539 Messages
    2,643 Likes Received
    [​IMG]
    Is there a pass rusher in the 2019 draft that could provide an upgrade for the Cowboys defensive line?

    Last week we looked at the Production Ratio of defensive tackles in this year’s draft class. Today we switch our focus to defensive ends.

    Pass rushers may not be quite as high on the Cowboys’ list of needs as, say, tight ends or safeties, which makes it even more important to find the hidden jewels in the later rounds of the draft. And even then, would a late-round pass rusher be an upgrade over last year’s fourth-round pick, Dorance Armstrong?

    To find out, we turn to the trusty Production Ratio. We’ve established in previous years that the Production Ratio looks like a solid indicator for how good a college player could be at the NFL level. If you are unfamiliar with the Production Ratio, follow the link above and read up on it. Here’s how it’s calculated:

    PRODUCTION RATIO = (SACKS + TACKLES FOR LOSS) / NUMBER OF GAMES PLAYED



    The ratio is usually calculated over the entire college career of a prospect, but that method can be inaccurate because not every prospect has a four-year career in college. To correct for that, we’ll only look at the last two seasons of a player’s college career. For the two-year measure, a number above 1.5 is often indicative of premier talent for a pass rusher, a value above 2.0 can be indicative of elite talent.

    But before we look at the defensive ends in the 2019 draft class, let’s first talk about expectations. If you haven’t yet, odds are you’ll soon read a draft profile in which some writer with a limited understanding of how the NFL works will tout some edge rusher as having “double-digit sack potential.” That term is liberally thrown around in the lead-up to the draft, but just because it’s an over-used term doesn’t make it true. But it does reflect the unrealistic expectations many fans have about pass rushers in the draft.

    Why? Because double-digit sack players are exceedingly rare. Of all the edge rushers drafted in the nine drafts between 2010 and 2018, only nine have managed to average 10 sacks per year. The table below shows the top pass rushers (DEs/OLBs as ranked by sacks per year) drafted between 2010 and 2018 and includes each player’s Production Ratio.

    Top 20 Edge Rushers drafted 2010-2018

    Year
    Rnd (Pick)
    Tm
    Player
    Pos
    Total Sacks
    Sacks/Year
    Prod Ratio
    2011​
    1(2)​
    DEN​
    Von Miller​
    LB​
    98​
    12.3​
    2.52
    2018​
    1(5)​
    DEN​
    Bradley Chubb​
    DE​
    12​
    12.0​
    2.26
    2011​
    1(11)​
    HOU​
    J.J. Watt​
    DE​
    92​
    11.5​
    1.85
    2012​
    1(21)​
    NWE​
    Chandler Jones​
    DE​
    77​
    11.0​
    1.28
    2014​
    1(5)​
    OAK​
    Khalil Mack​
    LB​
    53​
    10.6​
    2.40
    2011​
    1(16)​
    WAS​
    Ryan Kerrigan​
    DE​
    84.5​
    10.6​
    2.77
    2017​
    1(1)​
    CLE​
    Myles Garrett​
    DE​
    20.5​
    10.3​
    2.31
    2015​
    3(88)​
    MIN​
    Danielle Hunter​
    DE​
    40​
    10.0​
    0.98
    2017​
    1(30)​
    PIT​
    T.J. Watt​
    OLB​
    20​
    10.0​
    1.06
    2016​
    3(69)​
    JAX​
    Yannick Ngakoue​
    DE​
    29.5​
    9.8​
    1.88
    2011​
    3(70)​
    KAN​
    Justin Houston​
    LB​
    78.5​
    9.8​
    2.28
    2016​
    1(3)​
    SDG​
    Joey Bosa​
    DE​
    28.5​
    9.5​
    2.06
    2011​
    1(24)​
    NOR​
    Cameron Jordan​
    DE​
    71.5​
    8.9​
    1.34
    2015​
    2(63)​
    SEA​
    Frank Clark​
    DE​
    35​
    8.8​
    1.54
    2011​
    1(14)​
    STL​
    Robert Quinn​
    DE​
    69​
    8.6​
    2.31



    As usual, the mandatory caveat that applies to any stat-based assessment: There are a multitude of factors that determine how well a prospect will do in the NFL. College production is just one of them.

    The top players in the table above have remarkably high production ratios over their last two college years. But not every successful NFL pass rusher necessarily had prolific college production. Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter had 40 sacks over his first four NFL seasons, yet only had a two-year production ratio of 0.98 in college. Chandler Jones also entered the league with a modest production ratio (1.28), yet he leads the 2012 draft class with 77 total sacks over seven years. In Hunter’s case, his exceptional athleticism and physical potential trumped his lack of college production, in Jones’ case, a knee injury severely limited him in his final college season, thus his lack of elite-level production in college.

    Similarly, not every draft prospect with a high college production ratio will automatically turn into an All Pro pass rusher in the NFL. In 2014, Jackson Jeffcoat had the highest production ratio of his draft class with 2.47, but went undrafted and to this day has only started in one NFL game, though he’s currently playing well with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

    The Production Ratio, like every other stat-based projection tool, is not going to be a perfect predictor of how successful college players are going to be in the NFL. But it does give you something to think about as you evaluate these players and their potential, and it may be one building block in identifying who this year’s playmakers will be - and who won’t. The NFL Combine will provide us with even more metrics, giving us an even bigger data base from which to assess players, and we’ll look at those in due time, but today we’re talking Production Ratio.

    2019 Edge Rusher Prospects

    The two tables below show the 36 potential edge rushers invited to the NFL Combine (with their Combine designation either “Edge” or “DL”). The first table shows the prospects more likely to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, the second table shows the players more likely to play OLB in a 3-4 scheme.

    The tables are sorted by the player ranking on draft website Great Blue North (GBN), with each player’s ranking on Draftcountdown (DC) added for further reference. For your convenience, the tables are sortable (just click on the blue column headers).

    2019 Defensive End Prospects



    Rank GBN
    Rank DC
    Combine
    POS
    First
    Last
    School
    Ht
    Wt
    Sacks
    TFL
    Games
    Prod. Ratio
    1​
    1​
    DL​
    DE​
    Nick​
    Bosa​
    Ohio St.​
    6040​
    263​
    12.5​
    22.0​
    17​
    2.03
    2​
    2​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Clelin​
    Ferrell​
    Clemson​
    6040​
    265​
    21.0​
    37.5​
    29​
    2.02
    3​
    3​
    DL​
    DE​
    Rashan​
    Gary​
    Michigan​
    6050​
    283​
    9.0​
    19.5​
    22​
    1.30
    4​
    6​
    DL​
    DE​
    Zach​
    Allen​
    Boston College​
    6050​
    285​
    12.5​
    30.5​
    25​
    1.72
    5​
    7​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Jaylon​
    Ferguson​
    Louisiana Tech​
    6050​
    262​
    24.5​
    35.5​
    25​
    2.40
    6​
    14​
    DL​
    DE​
    Charles​
    Omenihu​
    Texas​
    6060​
    275​
    13.5​
    25.0​
    27​
    1.43
    7​
    10​
    DL​
    DE​
    Joe​
    Jackson​
    Miami (FL)​
    6050​
    265​
    15.5​
    26.0​
    26​
    1.60
    9​
    9​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Austin​
    Bryant​
    Clemson​
    6060​
    280​
    16.5​
    29.0​
    29​
    1.57
    10​
    16​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Carl​
    Granderson​
    Wyoming​
    6050​
    261​
    11.5​
    23.5​
    24​
    1.46
    13​
    13​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Ben​
    Banogu​
    T.C.U.​
    6040​
    249​
    17.0​
    34.5​
    27​
    1.91
    14​
    12​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Jordan​
    Brailford​
    Oklahoma St.​
    6030​
    250​
    14.0​
    27.0​
    26​
    1.58
    16​
    8​
    DL​
    DE​
    Anthony​
    Nelson​
    Iowa​
    6070​
    271​
    17.0​
    23.0​
    26​
    1.54
    17​
    40​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Cece​
    Jefferson​
    Florida​
    6010​
    252​
    5.5​
    19.5​
    22​
    1.14
    18​
    18​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Shareef​
    Miller​
    Penn St.​
    6050​
    260​
    12.5​
    26.0​
    26​
    1.48
    19​
    20​
    DL​
    DE​
    Byron​
    Cowart​
    Maryland​
    6040​
    293​
    3.0​
    5.5​
    15​
    0.57
    20​
    19​
    DL​
    DE​
    Jonathan​
    Ledbetter​
    Georgia​
    6040​
    280​
    3.5​
    12.0​
    29​
    0.53
    21​
    11​
    DL​
    DE​
    L.J.​
    Collier​
    T.C.U.​
    6040​
    276​
    10.0​
    16.0​
    25​
    1.04
    22​
    15​
    DL​
    DE​
    John​
    Cominsky​
    Charleston​
    6050​
    275​
    5.5​
    20.5​
    20​
    1.30
    23​
    25​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Darryl​
    Johnson, Jr.​
    N.Carolina A&T​
    6050​
    240​
    17.0​
    34.5​
    24​
    2.15
    24​
    17​
    DL​
    DE​
    Maxx​
    Crosby​
    Eastern Michigan​
    6050​
    247​
    18.5​
    35.5​
    24​
    2.25
    33​
    29​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Malik​
    Carney​
    North Carolina​
    6030​
    250​
    12.0​
    24.5​
    20​
    1.83
    - -​
    26​
    EDGE​
    DE​
    Wyatt​
    Ray​
    Boston College​
    6030​
    255​
    11.5​
    15.5​
    25​
    1.08​



    It’s still early February, so you probably shouldn’t attach too much weight to these early rankings. But with the Cowboys picking at the bottom of the second round, the top eight or so guys will likely be gone before the Cowboys are on the clock. That’s a shame, because Jaylon Ferguson looks like he’ll be a great get for whatever team drafts him.

    As we look into the later rounds, four prospects could be of interest for the Cowboys, even if all four of them might be a little too light for what the Cowboys are looking for.

    Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan, 247 pounds, 2.25 Production Ratio

    Crosby may not be a big name yet, but he already finds himself in a nice list of peers, per PFF:


    In the PFF College Era, no edge defender has had a better season than Nick Bosa did in 2017. pic.twitter.com/rMn7QJ2CHG

    — PFF College (@PFF_College) February 4, 2019

    Crosby is from Texas, so he’d be a good fit in Dallas, and was first-team All-Mid-American Conference his last two seasons, as well as Eastern’s team MVP for two consecutive seasons.

    Darryl Johnson, North Carolina A&T, 240, 2.15

    An even better fit for Dallas, at least in terms of his name, Johnson was the MEAC defensive player of the year, a fact that may bode well for his NFL future given who the previous three winners of the award were:

    • LB Darius Leonard won the award in 2016 and 2017 and had an All-Pro season as a rookie with the Colts last year.
    • DT Javon Hargrave (’14 and ’15) was somewhat of a Cowboys fan favorite in the 2016 draft and has started 39 games with 10.5 sacks in three years for the Steelers.
    • LB Joe Thomas (‘13) initially signed with the Packers but is now with the Cowboys.

    Ben Banogu, TCU, 249, 1.91

    Our own Cole Patterson did a write-up of Banogu in September last year, and Banogu then put up 18 TFLs and 8.5 sacks in his senior season.

    Malik Carney, North Carolina, 250, 1.83

    Carney started his college career as a linebacker, but then moved to defensive end for the Tar Heels. Carney was invited to the Shrine Game, where he was listed as a linebacker, and that may be where he ends up in the NFL.

    2019 OLB Prospects

    Some college edge rushers may lack the size and bulk to play DE in a 4-3 defense, others may have played only very limited snaps with their hand on the ground, others yet again may have more value as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. The table below lists the prospects either GBN or DraftCountdown listed as OLBs.



    Rank GBN
    Rank DC
    Combine
    POS
    First
    Last
    School
    Ht
    Wt
    Sacks
    TFL
    Games
    Prod. Ratio
    1​
    1​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Josh​
    Allen​
    Kentucky​
    6050​
    260​
    24.0​
    32.0​
    26​
    2.15
    2​
    4​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Montez​
    Sweat​
    Mississippi St.​
    6060​
    245​
    22.0​
    29.5​
    26​
    1.98
    3​
    2​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Jachai​
    Polite​
    Florida​
    6020​
    242​
    13.0​
    23.0​
    20​
    1.80
    4​
    3​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Brian​
    Burns​
    Florida State​
    6050​
    235​
    14.5​
    29.0​
    25​
    1.74
    6​
    5​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Oshane​
    Ximines​
    Old Dominion​
    6040​
    255​
    20.5​
    32.5​
    24​
    2.21
    7​
    4​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    D’Andre​
    Walker​
    Georgia​
    6030​
    245​
    13.0​
    24.5​
    28​
    1.34
    8​
    6​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Chase​
    Winovich​
    Michigan​
    6030​
    255​
    13.0​
    35.5​
    26​
    1.87
    9​
    13​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Sutton​
    Smith​
    Northern Illinois​
    6010​
    237​
    29.0​
    46.0​
    27​
    2.78
    10​
    7​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Christian​
    Miller​
    Alabama​
    6040​
    224​
    9.5​
    13.5​
    18​
    1.28
    12​
    10​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Jalen​
    Jelks​
    Oregon​
    6060​
    245​
    10.0​
    22.5​
    25​
    1.30
    12​
    12​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Porter​
    Gustin​
    USC​
    6050​
    260​
    10.0​
    13.0​
    10​
    2.30
    13​
    30​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Jamal​
    Davis II​
    Akron​
    6040​
    240​
    7.5​
    31.5​
    26​
    1.50
    18​
    14​
    EDGE​
    OLB​
    Justin​
    Hollins​
    Oregon​
    6050​
    242​
    10.0​
    26.0​
    26​
    1.38
    28​
    24​
    EDGE​
    DE/OLB​
    Gerri​
    Green​
    Mississippi St.​
    6040​
    255​
    8.5​
    17.5​
    26​
    1.00​



    The clear standout here is Sutton Smith, but he may not have the size to play the edge in the NFL.

    There are some guys on here whose playing weight may make them more suited to play pass rushing OLBs in a 3-4 scheme, just as there are players on the first list whose NFL teams may chose to move them inside to 3-technique. But if the Cowboys are looking for pass rushers in the draft, this is the talent pool available.

    Overall, the 2017 draft class looks like a good draft class for pass rushers, and it doesn’t matter too much that the Cowboys likely won’t pick a pass rusher before day three, as there are bound to be quality pass rushers available even there.

    My early favorites outside the first round are Jaylon Ferguson and Maxx Crosby, but that may change as we get deeper into the draft season. What the Cowboys need to do is figure out which of the many prospects available can be the most productive in the Cowboys’ scheme, and that may be an entirely different question than whether a guy was highly productive in college or can run a fast 40-yard dash.


    Here’s a look at the Production Ratios for the pass rushers the Cowboys have drafted since 2012:



    Player
    College Stats

    Year
    Round (Pick)
    Player
    School
    Sacks
    TFL
    Games
    Production Ratio
    2014​
    2(34)​
    DeMarcus Lawrence​
    Boise State​
    19.0​
    34.0​
    23​
    2.30
    2015​
    2(60)​
    Randy Gregory​
    Nebraska​
    16.5​
    24.5​
    24​
    1.71
    2018​
    4(116)​
    Dorance Armstrong​
    Kansas​
    11.5​
    29.0​
    24​
    1.69
    2017​
    1(28)​
    Taco Charlton​
    Michigan​
    15.5​
    22.0​
    24​
    1.56
    2012​
    3(81)​
    Tyrone Crawford​
    Boise State​
    13.5​
    27.0​
    26​
    1.56
    2014​
    7(231)​
    Ben Gardner​
    Stanford​
    12.0​
    22.0​
    23​
    1.48
    2016​
    4(101)​
    Charles Tapper​
    Oklahoma​
    10.0​
    17.5​
    26​
    1.06
    2015​
    5(163)​
    Ryan Russell​
    Purdue​
    4.5​
    11.5​
    24​
    0.67​

    Continue reading...
     

Share This Page