The Jacksonville Jaguars will undoubtedly be looking to upgrade their pass rush in the 2016 NFL Draft, be it with the No. 5 overall pick, the No. 38 overall pick or otherwise. It's an area they attempted to address in free agency, but weren't able to get some of their targets. A lot of fans have pointed to using the draft to fill that need, but as many experts have seemed to project and as Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said last year, it's not a great draft for pass rushers.
Football Outsiders SackSEER projects would seem to fall right in with that thought process.
For those unfamiliar, SackSEER is a pass rushing projection tool that has been fairly accurate in predicting next level production for players in the NFL Draft. Here is the criteria for the SackSEER methodology:
SackSEER expresses its thoughts on each drafted edge rusher through two outputs: SackSEER projection and SackSEER rating. SackSEER projection and SackSEER rating contain the following common elements:
- An "explosion index" that measures the prospect's scores in the 40-yard dash, the vertical leap, and the broad jump in pre-draft workouts;
- The prospect's score on the 3-cone drill;
- A metric called "SRAM" which stands for "sack rate as modified." SRAM measures the prospect's per-game sack productivity, but with adjustments for factors such as early entry into the NFL draft and position switches during college;
- The prospect's college passes defensed divided by college games played; and
- The number of medical redshirts for which the player either received or was eligible.
The projection isn't the end-all-be-all, but as mentioned it has been fairly accurate and has quite a few more hits than misses. It still remains to be seen if it was accurate on Dante Fowler, Jr. though, as it wasn't too kind for him last season projecting him to have just 21.7 sacks through his first five years. He's already lose a year on that track, but here's hoping he can average more than 5.425 sacks per season the next four years. To be fair, Football Outsiders did mention that Fowler brings a lot of versatility to the table and is a lot more than just a pure pass rusher.
For the 2016 NFL Draft, their top 10 players using the SackSEER projection falls out as such:
As mentioned, the article notes that the draft is average, comparatively to past drafts, in regards to pass rushers at the top of the draft. They do also note however, that there should be some "underrated" pass rushers available later on because as a whole the class is pretty close to average all around and there's not much difference from the top to the middle of the pack.