View Full Version : Applying a metric of the NFL's best passrushers to the 2012 draft.

03-31-2012, 01:26 PM
Great post (http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2012/3/30/2910234/how-to-draft-a-pass-rusher) on Arrowhead Pride yesterday, comparing the best passrushers in the league and drawing some basic conclusions on scouting.

Obviously these are not fool proof (the author himself says Hali would have been a massive exception to the rule), but the research is convincing. It's profoundly exhaustive (http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2012/3/30/2910234/how-to-draft-a-pass-rusher), so check it out.

In it, the author draws several rules:

Rule 1. Look for producers in college. (One-year wonders aren't concerning here, according to analysis.)

Rule 2. Look for players as close to 6'3, 260 as possible

Rule 3. Wingspan 32:

OK - 32"
Good -33"
Great- 34"

Rule 4. Know how to deviate:

If you're going to deviate from the 6'3, 260 formula, there is a way to go about it. On height, deviate up, not down. If you like a shorter player you should only draft them if they pass the wingspan test and pass it comfortably. This could actually get you a value pick later in the draft since the undersized guys tend to slip. Robert Mathis is a good example of this. He's undersized but has 34 1/2 inch arms. On weight one should deviate in as small a percentage as they can, either way, from the 260 mark. If the player is in the 250s or 260s you're fine. If you crack 270, now you need to check their 40 time. Basically if they're going to have the weight, it can't be dead weight. They need to prove they can move it well. The big boys, who are really more 4-3 players, had very good relative 40 times: J. Peppers - 4.68; M Williams - 4.70; J P-Paul - 4.71. If they're nearing of clearing 4.7 at 280lbs, they can be considered.

Rule 5. Know where to look:

The basic takeaway is that you can get a run pass rusher in the mainline BCS conferences. There is no go to well to find these guys. The other big thing has to do with small school guys. This is where Rule 1 and 5 dovetail. If a player at a small school has a ridiculous sack total, they're draftable. When they're over-performing don't hold the level of competition against them, so long as they measure up well otherwise. The best example here is Jared Allen.

Using this analysis, how do the 3-4 passrushers in this draft stack up?

Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
Quentin Coples, North Carolina (3-4?)
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
Nick Perry, USC
Vinny Curry, Marshall
Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
Andre Branch, Clemson
Jack Bequette, Arkansas (3-4?)
Shea McMellin, Boise State
Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy
Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
Brandon Lindsay, Pitt
Mike Burris, San Diego State
Kyle Wilbur, Wake Forest
Julian Miller, West Virginia
Cordarro Law, Southern Mississippi
Jacquies Smith, Missouri
Darius Fleming, Notre Dame
Frank Alexander, Oklahoma
Kentrell Lockett, Ole Miss
Darius Nall, Central Florida

Producers in college:

Ingram -- 48 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, two interceptions and two passes batted away
Coples -- 55 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles
Upshaw -- 52 tackles with 9.5 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, an interception and two forced fumbles
Mercilus -- 57 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles
Perry -- 54 tackles with 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and two passes batted
Curry -- 77 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, three blocked kicks and seven forced fumbles
Lewis -- 59 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, five passes batted, one forced fumble and one interception
Branch -- 77 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and one forced fumble
Bequette -- 28 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles
McMellin -- 50 tackles, seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble and a blocked kick
Massaquoi -- 52 tackles with six sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss
Irvin -- 40 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles
Lindsay -- 54 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles
Burris -- 78 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and one pass broken up
Wilbur -- 70 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumble
Miller -- 57 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles
Law -- 64 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles
Smith -- not a producer
Fleming -- not a producer
Alexander -- 54 tackles with 8.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, eight passes broken up, three forced fumbles and one interception
Lockett -- not a producer
Nall -- not a producer

6'3", 260 or close
--too big is allowed, but only if athletic
--too small is allowed, but only with great wingspan

Ingram -- Height: 6-1. Weight: 264.
Coples -- 6-6. Weight: 284. (4.7 40 yard dash)
Upshaw -- 6-2. Weight: 272. (4.7 40 yard dash)
Mercilus -- 6-4. Weight: 261
Perry -- 6-3. Weight: 271. (4.5 40 yard dash)
Curry -- 6-3. Weight: 266.
Lewis -- 6-2. Weight: 253 (not great wingspan) OUT
Branch -- 6-4. Weight: 259.
Bequette -- 6-5. Weight: 275. (4.7 40)
McMellin -- 6-3. Weight: 260.
Massaquoi -- 6-2. Weight: 264.
Irvin -- 6-3. Weight: 245. (very good wingspan)
Lindsay -- 6-2. Weight: 254. (not great wingspan) OUT
Burris -- 6-3. Weight: 246. (poor wingspan) OUT
Wilbur -- 6-5. Weight: 249 (very good wingspan)
Miller -- 6-3. Weight: 256. (outstanding wingspan)
Law -- 6-2. Weight: 261
Alexander -- 6-4. Weight: 270. (4.7 40)


Ingram -- 31" OUT
Coples -- 33"
Upshaw -- 32"
Mercilus -- 34"
Perry -- 33"
Curry -- 32"
Branch -- 34"
Bequette -- 32"
McMellin -- 32"
Massaquoi -- 34+"
Irvin -- 33"
Wilbur -- 33"
Miller -- 34+"
Law -- ???
Alexander -- 35" (!)

BCS Conferences: (small schoolers w/ gaudy stats excepted)

Curry, non BCS with huge stats
McMellin, non BCS but only good stats -- OUT
Massaquoi, non BCS but only good stats -- OUT
Law -- non BCS, meh stats -- OUT

Based on all this: ideal players for passrushing.

Coples (big but fast)
Upshaw (big but fast)
Perry (big but fast)
Curry (small school but huge stats)
Bequette (big but fast)
Irvin (small but long)
Wilbur (small but long)
Miller (small but very long)
Alexander (big but fast)

There are other variations you can take, too, but the two players that fit this analysis the best: Whitney Mercilus and Andre Branch.

03-31-2012, 01:29 PM
Bequette (big but fast)
Irvin (small but long)
Wilbur (small but long)
Miller (small but very long)
Alexander (big but fast)

Maybe this will cut down on Pioli's late-round WTF picks.

03-31-2012, 02:51 PM
Looking at that list, based on stats alone, it's a wonder more people aren't looking at Mercilus as a better prospect. I have him top 20, but some team might take a chance a little earlier than that. He looks like a better fit for a 4-3, but could possibly be an OLBer in a 3-4.

03-31-2012, 05:00 PM
Bequette is very intriguing. I didn't realize he had those measurables.

He had his hand in the dirt at Arkansas. I don't know about him standing up.

03-31-2012, 10:08 PM
Rule 3. Wingspan 32:

OK - 32"
Good -33"
Great- 34"

Can you just talk a little bit further about wingspan? And also, are you talking about 1/2 wingspan?

Jason Pierre-Paul: His wingspan is 81-inches long.


Hammock Parties
03-31-2012, 10:16 PM
I bet Reggie White shits all over this metric.

I bet Tamba Hali is the prototype for it, though.

03-31-2012, 10:18 PM
Can you just talk a little bit further about wingspan? And also, are you talking about 1/2 wingspan?

Jason Pierre-Paul: His wingspan is 81-inches long.


In this case, wingspan is the length (or average length) of the person's arm(s) only.

04-01-2012, 10:11 AM
Thanks, Delano!

04-01-2012, 11:03 AM
For what it's worth, Pioli shows an affinity for players whose teammates get more accolades, but they themselves are strong prospects.

2010's Cameron Sheffield and 2011's Jalil Brown.

That implies that West Virginia Julian Miller and his 34" wingspan seems like a classic Pioli selection.

04-01-2012, 12:46 PM
I would add 10 yard split and 3 cone into the analysis.

As well as "lean" on pass rush.

04-02-2012, 11:28 PM
So where is Justin Houston in relation to this metric?

6'2 7/8" tall
270 lbs
34.4" arm length
4.68 Secs 40 time

As good of prospect to rush the passer as any of the guys in this draft?
Looks that way to me.