FanPost

3-4 Linebacker/LEO Defensive End Sabermetrics

I'd like to share this post that I found at footballsfuture.com. All credit goes to poster Waldo. The data is a little old, as this was originally posted preceding the 2011 draft, but it covers 3-4 linebacker type players that were drafted from 2005-2011, and places them into tiers based on how they perform in formulas based off of their pre-draft workouts. I think this is worth taking a look at, because of the implementation of the LEO position means that we will inevitably be seeking a 3-4 linebacker type of player as a pass rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft.

(I removed the total copy+paste job, you can follow the link for it. -Alfie)

What I'd like to draw everyone's attention to are the Low Risk 1 and 2 groups. Low Risk 2, in particular, is full of a significant number of successful defensive ends. Mark Anderson and Connor Barwin are both just a year removed from ten-sack seasons. Moch had ten sacks just this year. Houston seems to be the only miss. Low Risk 1 is a little riskier, but has more all-pro type pass rushers.

I posted this article because of the players that fit into these categories this season. All of the hype has gone towards players like Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo and Ezekial Ansah in terms of being high-level 3-4/LEO candidates. But they do not grade out very well according to this system. Strictly based on their combine numbers, Ansah is a mid-low risk player, Jordan is a moderate risk, and most interestingly, Mingo is a high risk.

There are only three players that grade out in the low risk categories this year, again strictly according to combine numbers. In low risk category 1, the category defined by outstanding agility, falls Devin Taylor. And in the low risk category 2, the category defined by a combination of explosiveness and ideal size, falls Jamie Collins and Cornelius Washington.

So, you know, metrics can be good and bad, but I thought it was interesting. Might cast some light on some guys the Jaguars might be interested in acquiring in the mid-rounds, because I'm sure Tony Khan has his own formula like this. The main takeaway I had from it, besides the fact that it doesn't grade out the top prospects very well, is that Jamie Collins is a prospect no one is talking about who is really enticing. Very productive, good physical specimen, but he played at Southern Mississippi in the C-USA so I'll brace for the Gene Smith jibes now.

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