Football Outsiders has just published their SackSEER piece on some of the defensive ends in the 2011 NFL Draft class. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with SackSEER, but it's a methodology to predict the success of pass rushers at the NFL level. In it's short life span, it's been fairly accurate.
Here's a mini rundown of how it works:
SackSEER is composed of four metrics: the prospect's vertical leap, short shuttle time, per-game sack productivity in college (with certain adjustments), and missed games of NCAA eligibility. This particular blend of the prospect's athleticism, production, and the injury concerns and/or off-the-field issues, represented by the missed games metric, would have identified edge rushing superstars such as Mario Williams and Shawne Merriman and busts such as Robert Ayers and Jarvis Moss.
After the jump, we'll look at some of the 2011 projections.
First, here is an explanation for SRAM, or the "Sack Rate as Modified".
The third variable in SackSEER is a metric called SRAM, which stands for "Sack Rate as Modified." This measures sacks per game with a few important adjustments. First, sack rates are adjusted to compensate for the fact that college edge rushers as a whole become more productive as they progress through their college careers. A three-year starter who comes out as a junior will be a better prospect than a three-year starter with the same sack rate who is coming out after his senior year. SRAM also attempts to fill in the gaps for players who spent part of their college careers at positions that are less conducive to pass-rushing success, such as defensive tackle (Tamba Hali), 4-3 linebacker (Clay Matthews), or tight end (Ebenezer Ekuban).
There are some defensive ends that are excluded from SackSEER, as well. It's limited to 4-3 edge rushers and 3-4 outside linebackers. This means that players like J.J. Watt, Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan, Allen Bailey, and Cameron Heyward are not included. As for the others, here is how they stacked out:
Von Miller, Texas A&M: Vertical: 37.0", Short Shuttle: 4.06, SRAM: 0.76, Missed Games: 4
Projection: 36.4 Sacks by Year 5
Justin Houston, Georgia: Vertical: 36.5", Short Shuttle: 4.37, SRAM: 0.61, Missed Games: 3
Projection: 26.0 Sacks by Year 5
Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue: Vertical: 33.5", Short Shuttle: 4.39, SRAM: 0.70, Missed Games: 1
Projection: 24.7 Sacks by Year 5
Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson: Vertical: 34.5, Short Shuttle: 4.45, SRAM: 0.60, Missed Games: 2
Projection: 22.0 Sacks by Year 5
Aldon Smith, Missouri: Vertical: 34.0", Short Shuttle: 4.50, SRAM: 0.62, Missed Games: 3
Projection: 20.0 Sacks by Year 5
Robert Quinn, UNC: Vertical: 34.0", Short Shuttle: 4.40, SRAM: 0.56, Missed Games: 13
Projection: 15.5 Sacks by Year 5
Brooks Reed, Arizona: Vertical: 30.5", Short Shuttle: 4.28, SRAM: 0.34, Missed Games: 5
Projection: 15.1 Sacks by Year 5
Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh: Vertical: 31.5", Short Shuttle: 4.65, SRAM: 0.39, Missed Games: 5
Projection: 10.6 Sacks by Year 5
There are also two sleepers they list, but one of them I don't really consider (and they acknowledge) a sleeper pick. The other sleeper pick is someone the Jacksonville Jaguars have shown interest in. Again, it's not an exact science, but it's been fairly accurate in the past. It was first publicly introduced last year, but they do give some internal results from the formula dating back to the 2000 NFL Draft.