Stats, the full aspect of backs and draft homework

Stats. Entertaining, but only numbers.

Many things brought me to write this post and my reasoning is simple, stats are flawed because they can tell you something that really isn't there. And I'll give you 3 examples:

Stephen Bowen graded as a Top 5 3-4 DE.

That's according to Pro Football Focus.

Is that really true? Did he make that many plays? He didn't pass my eye test. His simple stats of tackles and sacks aren't a testament of such a lofty position, either. So what did he do in the eyes of PFF for them to grade him so highly?

I dunno, what I can tell you is that I would take both starting DE's from Baltimore ahead of Bowen (Ngata and Redding) and at least one DE from pretty much every other 3-4 teams... And I've got the stats of Advanced NFL Stats to back my case:

3-4 DE
Darnell Dockett, Ari. 1.58
Haloti Ngata, Balt. 1.5
Shaun Ellis, NYJ 1.24
Kendall Langford, Mia. 1.14
Cory Redding, Balt. 1.1
Glenn Dorsey, KC 1.02
Kenyon Coleman, Cle. .91
Justin Bannan, Den. .86
Brett Keisel, Pitt. .85
Calais Campbell, Ari. .84
Cullen Jenkins, GB .78
Randy Starks, Mia. .70
Ryan Pickett, GB .64
Ziggy Hood, Pitt. .58
Mike DeVito, NYJ .49
Jason Hatcher, Dal. .48
Tony McDaniel, Mia. .47
C.J. Wilson, GB .44
Kevin Vickerson, Den. .43
Jacques Cesaire, SD .41
Stephen Bowen, Dal. .40
Igor Olshansky, Dal. .27
Marcus Spears, Dal. .17

+WPA is the crown of Advanced NFL Stats and they explain it this way:

It measures each play in terms of how much it increased or decreased a team’s chances of winning the game.

Every situation in a game gives each opponent a particular chance of winning, and a WP model estimates those chances. The model created here at Advanced NFL Stats uses score, time, down, distance, and field position to estimate how likely each team will go on to win the game.

We have 2 sites, they saw the same games, they should have the same stats and they arrived at such a different conclusion?                    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Cowboys have a good OLine.

No, don't give me that stern look, no need for a straight jacket, that's not my opinion. Pretty much every Cowboys fan knows that they have to do something, that it's becoming urgent and if things work out well for the Cowboys 80% of the starters for the 2013 season should be replaced.

That's what stats tell you.

Again, I can't exactly quote Pro Football Focus, but I know that they were ranked in the top 15 in their OLine rankings, but I can quote Advanced NFL Stats and it goes like this:

Type of stat
OLine -WPA .24 11th
Run -WPA
.08 14th
Pass -WPA
.17 14th

And still, we want to replace pretty much the whole team... Oh, Cowboys Nation... How spoiled art thou... Again, no stern look.

In this case stats are deceiving because the Cowboys and Garrett called for a lot of 3 and 4 step drops that decreased the chances for DLineman to teeth on the QBs. And the running game was another example of lots of famine some feast. The run blocking continues to remind me of the Detroit Lions with Barry Sanders, with one major problem, the Cowboys don't have Sanders.

You should want better, even if the better isn't reflected with an 11th position in some stat site ranking.                     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cornerback YPA is the best way to measure the performance of a CB.

I agree, it's right there with targets and completion percentage. When I draw the line is when people try to compare CB "X" with CB "Y" because "X" has the better YPA.

Why? Because not one CB faces the same competition.

There's the left side CB, who's matched up with who usually is the number 1 WR.

There's the right side CB, matched up with number 2s.

There's the Nickel CB, matched up with number 3s, number 1s and number 2s.

And there's the difference in schedules, so Newman didn't get to play exactly the same competition as Asante Samuel.                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's the problem with stats, Football as a sport is too complex for simple stats to do it justice.

There's nothing sexy in taking the Full side of a Back.

But, how much is serviceable worth?

This Draft has talent at the position, you would have to go back to 2003 to find a Draft with such talent, with B.J. Askew, Jeremy Johnson, Justin Griffith and Ovie Muhelli getting selected in the 3rd and 4th Rounds.

Yeah, investing a 3rd or 4th Round pick in a Fullback is a possibility.

Look at the Cowboys, look at Jason Garret's fundamentals, the Offense that he runs has heavy packages in close to 50% of the snaps, probably more.

Look at how much times Jason Witten had to lineup in the backfield because he was the better blocker back there. I know that John Phillips should be back from injury and that he was developing quite nicely as a blocker, but can you really expect that he's going to be a Daryl Johnston?

Think about what Jason Garrett could do with a Daryl Johnston type. I want one. Even if it's worth a *gulp* 4th Round pick.

What's a Daryl Johnston type?

1. Someone that can block.

2. Someone that can catch the ball.

3. Someone that can run with the ball in his hands.


Draft homework.

  • Beware of Justin Houston DE/OLB, if he has the numbers that I think he can produce at 250+ pounds, his stock is going to go up. As a 3-4 team, I would take him before Von Miller. His College was Georgia and they run a Pro style 3-4 under Todd Grantham.
  • If you like trades in your mocks you should take note of this, I've seen a lot of this from many sources and the other day Rafael mentioned that someone (a source) told him that "the draft is solid through 4 rounds" and that "there will be some dart throwing in the last rounds". So, teams won't want more 5th, 6th and 7th draft picks than the ones that they already have. Close to reality mocks should have their trade meat inside the top 4 Rounds.
  • Want the best Draft Board? Don't go to just one site, not one writer or staff is right in all of his/their opinions. For that I've seen extremely good Composite Boards, in which they take the Rankings from PFW, Sporting News, Bunting, etc., and the combination makes for a board that will look a lot like the one from Gosselin a week before the Draft. It's a lot of work, though.

Something to add?

  • Another stat that lies?
  • No love For a FB?
  • More Draft homework?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.