2013 NFL Draft: Pass rushing 'sabermetrics'

USA TODAY Sports

How long does it take some of the top pass rushers to get to the quarterback?

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking for a pass rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft, as the team has been one of the worst teams at putting pressure on the opposing team's quarterback the past few years. One thing that's important to new head coach Gus Bradley in his defensive scheme is speed, especially from the pass rusher spot.

"The main thing is Gus will never sacrifice speed and aggression for scheme," Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said at the NFL combine on Friday. "It’s going to be a fast and very aggressive defense. That’s the main thing and the fact we can plug in and play with young talent."

Outside of 40-yard dash times and some of the other measurements at the combine it's tough to get a real good gauge on how quickly a pass rusher actually gets to the quarterback, as the sack totals don't always tell the whole story. Greg Peshek of Second Round Stats however has taken a bit of a "sabermetric" approach to looking at some of the top pass rushers and calculated how long, in seconds, it actually took the pass rusher to sack the quarterback.

Here are his results so far:

Related: Combine Measurements | NFL Combine 2013

Player Sacks Avg. Time to Sack
Barkevious Mingo 4.5 3.63
Jarvis Jones 14.5 4.45
Damontre Moore 12.5 4.51
Bjoern Werner 13 3.91
Dion Jordan 5 3.87

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As you can see based on his data, Mingo and Jordan are the quickest at getting to the actual quarterback among the group, but their data set is a bit limited as they didn't actually rush the passer nearly as much as some of the other players. In Oregon's defense, Jordan would often drop back into zone or man coverage and a lot of people felt he wasn't used nearly enough as a rusher.

Mingo on the other hand saw his sack total drop from the 2011 season, but as he explained at the NFL combine when asked about his lack of production, the defensive scheme for LSU changed a bit in 2012 to accomodate playing so many mobile quarterbacks.

"I don't know about overall stats. I know I had more sacks last year. Like I said, we kind of contain rushed a lot of teams to not let them get outside the pocket," Mingo told the media at the NFL combine on Saturday. "It kind of took away from what we wanted to do, but it helped the team and helped us win."

Guys like Demontre Moore and Jarvis Jones however seemed to get a lot of "work hard" sacks, including two coverage sacks for Jones which took over 7 seconds to get according to Peshak. If you remove those two outliers from Jones' average, it drops him to be tied with Bjoern Werner at 3.91 seconds per sack. Peshak also notes however, Jones' play style is quite a bit different than the other rushers in the draft.

These numbers really don't tell you anything definitely however, but it's just something else to look at when considering which pass rusher might be the best fit in the Jaguars new defensive scheme if they decide to go defensive end with the second pick in the draft. The guys we thought would be fast were fast, and the guys we thought were more work-hard type sack artists clocked in slower than the speed guys.

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