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Old 04-05-2011, 11:28 PM    (permalink
metafour
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Default Interesting 3-4 OLB Sabermetric Analysis

All credit goes to the poster Waldo from FootballsFuture. Check the original thread and discussion here:

http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB...=asc&st art=0

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By now I'm sure all of you know that I'm a numbers person.

A thread in the draft forum prompted me to go back over my #'s, update them, redo some of them, and adjust the sorting. So here it is, my numerical analysis of the OLB's in the draft.

I added them all to my database. My database is simple yet complex. It uses all of the basic combine measurements and a few simple formulas to analyze those numbers. My database encompasses every 3-4 OLB drafted in the last 5 drafts, plus notable UDFA's. I try to be as complete as possible. Some players are missing, (notably Elvis Dumervil), unfortunately those players do not have useful numbers available.

All the players are rated via a simple rating system. Overcomplicating the rating is a waste of time. Here is the key:



Obviously I had to choose a starter for some teams. I didn't bother to make "he's a backup but should be starting" or "he's starting but he sucks" assumptions. But I did have to assume the starter for some teams. The 2010 guys in red are obviously not injury busts, but they couldn't be evaluated because of injury, so they get lumped into that group.

A couple other minor matters, gray text are assumed values. Dark violet text is pro day data. All other data is combine data (I used combine data wherever possible).

The basic methodology is to sort the players into various groups, to concentrate the good ones. After adding another draft and more prospects, I got to thinking that the way I had it was a bit too complex, and wasn't necessarily telling me the right things, nor was it portraying things as I think they should.

Therefore I've gone through and questioned all of my assumptions, and redone the sorting. Why I try to capture, what the numbers are saying, is the degree of risk invovled with each player, as the numbers see it.

Formulas used:
Mass = weight/height
Explosive Power = (vert+3.5*broad)*(weight/height)/3000
Speed 10 = 100*(1-(10 Split/(0.0114*(weight/height)+1.1785)))
Speed 40 = 100*(1-(40 time/(0.0397*(weight/height)+3.092)))
Speed Avg = (Speed 10 + Speed 40)/2
Agility = 100*(1-(3 Cone/(0.0573*(weight/height)+4.8403)))
Twitch = Shuttle - 2*10 yd split - (1.60 - 10 yd split)

Explosive power is a general measure of the amount of force the player can generate coming out of their stance.

The 10, 40, and agility measures come from graphing the drill vs. mass for all players, and finding the equation of best fit linear trendline of the data. It is a grade vs. the average of the drill for a given player mass.

Twitch something that I came up with similar to the fairly well known 40 time minus the shuttle time, that uses a 10 yd split instead of the 40. Since it is a 20 yd vs. 20 yd comparison, guys that can change directions fast will have a lower number, and they will appear sudden on tape. The bit at the end is a modifier that rewards fast guys and penalizes slow guys as it is meant to approximate how sudden a player looks with their movements. Lower is better.

High Risk:



First things first, I went and filtered off every player that scored higher than a 1.05 in the explosive power formula. Those players don't seem to be affected by doing well or poor in other drills. Probably an incorrect assmuption, but lacking a test case of a guy that does terrible otherwise, it will have to stick for now.

Other than that, I sorted guys by the twitch measure, the first group here are guys that scored 1.20 or worse in the twitch formula. It is sorted by draft position. This is a very high risk group, draft with extreme caution. Wimbley is the only one to amount to anything thus far (even though he isn't' with the team that drafted him any longer), but overall he is probably the best across the board in this group workout-wise.

One thing to note about Wimbley, guys that run a 3 cone under 7 typically will have a scouting report that reads that they have an outside speed rush in their arsenal. The drill isn't all that bad at approximating the movements required for the rush. While that is but a facet of OLB play, it is one, and can go a long way to explaining why Wimbley is the lone bright spot pretty much in this group (Ayers is a yellow too, but aside from technically being a starter, he hasn't shown much).

Moderate Risk:



These guys all measured between 1.10 and 1.19 in the twitch formula. The group is sorted by draft position. There area only a limited number of sub-7.0 3 cone guys, so I didn't split them out.

Success has gone up markedly here over the last group, however noone in this group is beating down Canton's door. Players in this group seem to have a very definite ceiling, and though they make make good complimentary players, you probably are not looking at a pass rusher to be feared.

Still, players are worth a draft pick. Like I said, moderate risk, no notable busts, however keep your expectations in check with these guys if you want to be happy. Solid has to be good enough.

Mid-Low Risk:



You can see a trend developing. These are all the guys that scored under a 1.10 in the twitch formula, however that also ran slower than a 7.0 3 cone. Again sorted by draft position. Babin will forever be considered a bust by the team that drafted him, however he did record double digit sacks and go to the pro bowl this year as a DE. Laboy has always been pretty good at getting to the QB. He's just always banged up. Mid round guys are defeintely worth taking a flier on.

One thing that holds true for this group, of the ones that got it going, it took them all a while to do so. None of them really did much early in their careers.

Low Risk 1:



This is the other half of the last group, all the guys that both had a score of less than 1.10 in the twitch formula, and had a 3 cone time of under 7.0. Again sorted by draft position.

One thing to take note of is how most of the lesser players are slow. Show up in this group and a guy has a good chance of working out for you. Draft players in this group with confidence.

Low Risk 2:



Every player that scored above a 1.05 in the power formula.

Sort of unbeleivable, isn't it. Maybe Anderson and Barwin will buck the trend and struggle. Maybe Moch will bust.

Draft with confidence in this group.

Last edited by metafour : 04-05-2011 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:52 PM    (permalink
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Brad Jones should still become good for the Packers.
Maybe they won't take an OLB high again.... they drafted NONE last year, counting on Jones.

I know Waldo. That site sucks and should not be promoted, but he's a pure numbers guy. A little arrogant though.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:53 PM    (permalink
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Well, I have been saying Sam Acho looks like a much better pass-rusher than he's generally given credit for.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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Nice! Roderick Green has the highest "Twitch."

He was an effective speed rusher for the 49ers a few years back. Can't seem to play football very well though.

Don't know how he is listed as a "fringe" roster guy. Hasn't played since 2008.



Great read.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:19 AM    (permalink
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its real cool propostition but i doubt it can be put to any use. interesting how ryan kerrigan who is considered one of the safest picks is a "moderate risk". good read
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:43 AM    (permalink
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its real cool propostition but i doubt it can be put to any use. interesting how ryan kerrigan who is considered one of the safest picks is a "moderate risk". good read
Kerrigan is considered a very safe pick, as a 4-3 DE. Any time you ask a guy to convert to a different position than he played in college, there's risk. Since most 3-4 OLBs will be guys who played DE in college, it's just a somewhat risky proposition. Bust rate is fairly high for OLB conversion projects, which is borne out by the numbers.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:44 AM    (permalink
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its real cool propostition but i doubt it can be put to any use.
Well; the purpose is to see if you can see continual trends...the early analysis tends to show that there is some sort of trend forming. Look at the first grouping and see how many highly drafted busts you see there. He also forgot to include Quentin Groves who also "failed" the critical metrics and also busted.

It is interesting how Cameron Wake is absolutely elite in both explosive power AND "twitch"...and that is a guy that went undrafted and NFL teams completely missed on. He went to Canada where he absolutely dominated and then put up 14 sacks in his 2nd NFL season.

If anything; an analysis like this one should confirm a guy like Von Miller as an elite talent. On the flip-side; it should also open some eyes for people who want to try and peg guys like Robert Quinn as 3-4 linebackers when you really may be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:48 AM    (permalink
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im not a math wiz and I've heard other math wiz say this dude waldo puts the cart before the horse... something about how coorelation does not equal causation

all that being said I love the Waldo threads. He also breaks down 3-4 DE and 3-4 NT. it's shocking how good JJ Watt's workouts were. He's in the Mario WIlliams tier of 3-4 DE prospects.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM    (permalink
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im not a math wiz and I've heard other math wiz say this dude waldo puts the cart before the horse... something about how coorelation does not equal causation.
Well, correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation in every context. Models are not reality, but they are potentially useful tools. If you're going to try this approach, "pass rushing on the edge" is probably the best way to look at it since it's simplest to model: you have to be able to go through a wall or around a wall.

It's important to note that at most Waldo is modeling effectiveness at rushing the passer and playing the run. It's entirely conceivable that an OLB who's great at getting after the QB and strong at the point will be so woefully incompetent in coverage that he's not a 3-down player. That wouldn't show up here.

But ultimately, it's as foolish to discount numerical modeling in prospect evaluation as it is to rely exclusively on it. We sometimes forget this, since there aren't really any numbers guys in the draft media, but NFL teams are looking for any tool that gives them strong correlation with success in their draft evaluations. There are probably a lot more numbers-drafters in the league than people realize, most of the other ones doing it less obviously than the Raiders.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:44 PM    (permalink
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Kerrigan is considered a very safe pick, as a 4-3 DE. Any time you ask a guy to convert to a different position than he played in college, there's risk. Since most 3-4 OLBs will be guys who played DE in college, it's just a somewhat risky proposition. Bust rate is fairly high for OLB conversion projects, which is borne out by the numbers.
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Well; the purpose is to see if you can see continual trends...the early analysis tends to show that there is some sort of trend forming. Look at the first grouping and see how many highly drafted busts you see there. He also forgot to include Quentin Groves who also "failed" the critical metrics and also busted.

It is interesting how Cameron Wake is absolutely elite in both explosive power AND "twitch"...and that is a guy that went undrafted and NFL teams completely missed on. He went to Canada where he absolutely dominated and then put up 14 sacks in his 2nd NFL season.

If anything; an analysis like this one should confirm a guy like Von Miller as an elite talent. On the flip-side; it should also open some eyes for people who want to try and peg guys like Robert Quinn as 3-4 linebackers when you really may be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
touche and touche
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:06 PM    (permalink
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great post, I will check out that website for sure.

Very interesting post.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:53 PM    (permalink
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For anyone wondering what the updated results are for Robert Quinn after he blew up his pro day. I can't find 10 yard splits for him so I left that the same.

Explosive power = .99 that is .04 up from the combine
Twitch = 1.06 down from 1.19

That is why the top 3 rumors are starting to come up. Remember mass isn't a variable for twitch...so Miller still outperforms him in twitch...but Quinn has 25lbs on him.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:39 PM    (permalink
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Interesting read. I think 3-4 OLB is an excellent position to sbuject to this kind of numeric analysis, because it seems to be more dependent on sheer athleticism than any other position on the field; it is not nearly as technical.

It is interesting how I keep hearing more and more analysts saying Houston fits better as a 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB, yet he ranks among the ultra-elite in this formula.

Like a poster above said, you would have to adjust Quinn's status now that his pro day measurables match what shows up on tape more than his combine numbers do.

Also, I don't see Aldon Smith included anywhere. Where is he? Are we counting him as strictly a 4-3 DE? I still think he is the second best prospect at 3-4 OLB behind Von.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:43 PM    (permalink
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Aldon Smith isnt in there anywhere but it isnt hard to work out in excel using his formulas and widely available Combine data

EDIT: Twitch = 1.26
Explosive Power = 0.93

Those numbers land him in the 'High Risk' group and are closest to Aaron Maybin, Antwan Barnes, Sergio Kindle and Chris McCoy

Last edited by drd23 : 04-06-2011 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:55 PM    (permalink
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Aldon Smith isnt in there anywhere but it isnt hard to work out in excel using his formulas and widely available Combine data

EDIT: Twitch = 1.26
Explosive Power = 0.93

Those numbers land him in the 'High Risk' group and are closest to Aaron Maybin, Antwan Barnes, Sergio Kindle and Chris McCoy
Kindle is only a concern so far because he may never play due to injuries.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:11 PM    (permalink
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Kindle is only a concern so far because he may never play due to injuries.
I wasnt trying to say that Aldon Smith will be a bust at OLB by comparing him to those 4 players. They just happen to be within 0.02 in each formula of Smith's numbers.

Player - Exp Pwr; Twitch
Maybin - 0.97; 1.21
Kindle - 0.95; 1.28
Barnes - 0.93; 1.22
McCoy - 0.96; 1.26

Smith - 0.93; 1.26

Being a Ravens fan, I do know that Kindle's concern is medical, not necesarily his skill.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:26 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by descendency View Post
Kindle is only a concern so far because he may never play due to injuries.
Well, no actually. Kindle is in the high risk group because his explosive power number is <1.05 and his twitch number is more than 1.2. Bins are determined transparently by numerical scores in certain categories. That implies that there are concerns about Kindle's ability at 3-4 OLB in the NFL that are separate from the medical ones, and honestly these were concerns I shared going into last year's draft. I thought he was consistently overrated by most draftniks but was drafted around an appropriate slot, though higher than I would have taken him at.

We may just never get to find out if these concerns and the high risk designation are warranted due to the medical issues.

Last edited by PossibleCabbage : 04-06-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:40 AM    (permalink
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it's funny how underrated Dontay Moch is. He worked out like an absolute beast. he's got 27 career sacks, 3rd behind Kerrigan and Von Miller in this draft class. It would not surprise me at all to see him sneak into the late 1 conversation. Looking at his workout numbers, he seems like a very good bet.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:19 AM    (permalink
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What excites me as a Texans fan is that we are switching to the 3-4 and have Connor Barwin and Mark Anderson...If these formula's are as accurate as they show, we could have a lethal combo right there..
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:26 AM    (permalink
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By Waldo's formulae, based on the combine numbers, only Devin Taylor falls into the low-risk 1 group, and the low-risk 2 group consists of Jamie Collins and Cornelius Washington.

The 3-4 OLB guys that everybody seems to like high in the draft are riskier (Ansah grades out as a mid-low risk, Jordan is a moderate risk, and Mingo is a high risk.)
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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THe better bigger athlete you are, the greater likelihood you'll be a decent 34 OLB.


Not that hard.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:19 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Mike88 View Post
Brad Jones should still become good for the Packers.
Maybe they won't take an OLB high again.... they drafted NONE last year, counting on Jones.
But Brad Jones is an ILB...a back up one at that.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:17 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
THe better bigger athlete you are, the greater likelihood you'll be a decent 34 OLB.


Not that hard.
You missed the whole point.

The hypothesis is that there is much more going on under the hood than just that basic explanation. Otherwise, why was Vernon Gholston such a huge bust? He is clearly very big (266 pounds) and on the surface appears to be a very good athlete: 4.65 forty, 42" vertical (Pro-Day) and 10-5" broad jump. However; once you run his numbers more closely you see that he actually fails in a metric which this theoretical study deems to be very important (the "Twitch" rating). In other words, his "basic" athletic numbers play a fool.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:53 PM    (permalink
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Really, i literally JUST posted this like a week ago, and it got no responses......

But i ran the numbers for it and set up a google doc for all the guys at the combine...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...EE&usp=sharing
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:00 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PossibleCabbage View Post
By Waldo's formulae, based on the combine numbers, only Devin Taylor falls into the low-risk 1 group, and the low-risk 2 group consists of Jamie Collins and Cornelius Washington.

The 3-4 OLB guys that everybody seems to like high in the draft are riskier (Ansah grades out as a mid-low risk, Jordan is a moderate risk, and Mingo is a high risk.)
THe one thing i dont like about this metric is that Mingo basically got punished .1 on the twitch score because he ran a really fast 10 yard split.
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