By Greg Peshek
March 29, 2013
The first tier of this analysis focused on some of the pass rushing prospects that could go in the first round. However, given the depth of this draft, prospects picked in the second and third rounds could be just as important. Unlike some of the first tier players who have very clean statistical profiles, each of these prospects has at least one minor flaw. We’ll delve into those flaws and the positives as well in this piece. Remember, none of these statistics are gospel. Stats are always best utilized as a complement to film study, so use them as such.
All of the data was collected and retrieved from the STATS ICE system, which has a large selection of data charted from every BCS game this past year. Knowing that, you can be confident the data is solid and we can focus more on the analysis.
A little explanation here.
Pressures are considered hurries + knockdowns to give the total effect on the QB. The first stat in the chart is labeled “SPP” and that stands for Snaps Per Pressure. What that tells us is how many pass rush snaps it takes for each player to get to the QB. That is, a lower number means that the pass rusher affects the QB more often and is more efficient. SPP combines sacks and pressures, but isn’t weighted towards one or the other.
The stat below, EPG stands for Extra Pressures Per Game. It incorporates how often each pass rushers’ teammates affected the QB, the number of average rushers on their pressures, and a few other minor factors. The goal is to describe how much help each player got from their teammates. A lower number means their teammate’s provided less pressure and that the pass rusher did more on their own. Avg Rush is the number of rushers each team brought on each play. The number in the bottom row “%Blitz” tells how many of each rusher’s pressures came when their team blitzed.
Listening to pundits and perusing blogs, you always hear that this guy went up against the best competition or that guy had an easy time. I’ve created a strength of schedule that combines Sagarin ratings and sacks allowed by opposing offensive lines to quantify this. A higher number means they gained their pressures against stronger competition.
I tried to develop a “clutch” stat to find out which player was a better rusher in important moments in the game. I tried using scoring margins, quarters, and downs, but every combination came out to be relatively similar for every player. So I’m just going to put this chart down that shows what percentage of pressures and sacks came on third and fourth down without comment. You can form your own opinion and if it means anything to you.
Percentage of sacks on 3rd and 4th downs