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Evaluating Anthony Davis, Bruce Campbell, Trent Williams

Pretty interesting set of articles from KC Joyner on the three OTs. He ranks Campbell No. 1, Davis No. 2 and Williams No. 3 among the three. I like the statistical nature of his analysis, though he often only analyzes a subset of the season.

Here are portions of his analysis for each player:

DAVIS:

In the Cincinnati game, Davis didn't look NFL-ready; in fact, he looked like he should be benched. He gave up four splash plays (defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play) and was defeated on two of the five blocks he made at the point of attack (POA) of a run.

Now contrast that to his performance against South Florida defensive end George Selvie. Selvie received a preliminary TFS seal of approval in his Draft Lab review and ranks No. 5 in Scout's Inc's. 2010 draftable senior DL list (he currently has a scouting grade of 93), but Davis completely dominated him. He did not allow a single splash play in the 15 one-on-one pass rush situations between these two. Selvie tried eight different pass rush moves or move combinations and Davis was able to neutralize every one of them. This performance was more indicative of Davis' overall play in the other four contests where he gave up only four splash plays.

This inconsistency also showed up in Davis' run blocking metrics. The plus side is that Scarlet Knight runners gained 5.5 yards per carry when Davis was among those blocking at the point of attack. The minus side is that if penalties and blocking mistakes are included into the total, Davis had nine POA losses in only 55 blocks. That equates to an 83.6% POA win percentage, a total that would have ranked 17th among NFL left tackles last year. If Davis can only manage that mark in college, it stands to reason the percentage could drop at the professional level.

The scouting eye indicated a significant issue with Davis' ability to block downfield. Rutgers play calls often had Davis releasing to engage a linebacker at the second level and he was very quick to get to where he needed to be. Once he got there, however, Davis had a bad habit of not moving his feet. He would run to get in front of the linebacker and then plant himself and the linebackers would often get around him quite easily because of this.

That weakness can be coached out of him, but it's really a microcosm of Davis' entire game. He has the ability to be a truly great player but he's inconsistent in some ways and raw in others. Pair him up with the right offensive line coach and he could be the next Ryan Clady. Pair him up with the wrong coach and he could be a complete bust.

CAMPBELL

Campbell allowed three splash plays (defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play) in the five Terrapin games I broke down (at California, vs. Clemson, vs. Virginia, at Florida State and vs. Boston College).

As noted in the Trent Williams Draft Lab (read that here), the best professional pass rushers allow four or fewer splash plays in a season -- so this isn't a dominant number. Having said that, it does compare favorably to Williams' splash play totals (four in five games) and was much better than the number tallied in Anthony Davis' Draft Lab (eight splash plays in five games).

Going on those numbers alone, I would have considered Campbell a solid professional left tackle prospect, but his stock shot up considerably when reviewing the run metric totals. Campbell was at the Point of Attack (POA) of a running play 38 times and won 35 of his blocks. That equates to a 92.1% POA win percentage, which, as detailed in the Peters analysis, would be an elite number in the NFL. In addition, Campbell received double team blocking help on only 11 of those plays, so his one-on-one POA win percentage was a superb 88.9%.

The scouting eye notes on Campbell's run blocking weren't quite as good as numbers, but they were still almost entirely positive. One bright spot was that he was used as a pulling tackle quite often, which is an underrated skill that many NFL teams would take advantage of. His biggest issue is that he didn't consistently finish his blocks. That would be a problem if it were due to a lack of effort, but in Campbell's case it was inconsistent technique, so it is something that should be able to be coached out of him.

From a pass blocking viewpoint, the major scouting eye concern is that Campbell received a lot of help from other blockers; this made me look back at the numbers, which showed Campbell received some kind of assistance from another blocker on 31 out of 120 dropback pass plays. That is a bit higher than one would expect from an elite pass blocker, but it is probably more due to Maryland's heavy use of zone blocking and facing two teams with 3-4 schemes than it is a sign that Campbell has blocking issues.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: If I were to grade the three left tackles reviewed thus far in the Draft Lab series, I would rate Campbell No. 1, Davis No. 2 and Williams No. 3. I plan to focus on Oklahoma State Cowboys OT Russell Okung in an upcoming edition as well. Campbell is just as -- if not more -- adept at guarding the blindside as the other two and there is every reason to think he could develop into a dominant NFL run blocker. That doesn't seem to be the consensus perception of his skills and that disparity means that he receives a TFS seal of approval.

WILLIAMS

In the five-game series I broke down on Williams (at Miami, versus Texas, at Kansas, versus Kansas State, at Nebraska), he gave up four splash plays. There were two sack plays and one offensive holding play, so three of the four splash plays were direct impacts and not simply judgement calls.

As bad as four splash plays in five games is, Williams was lucky that total wasn't higher. He was beaten quite badly on an inside spin move in the Nebraska game that was very nearly a hurry or sack, but a quick reaction by OU quarterback Landry Jones saved Williams from splash play No. 5.

That wasn't the only time Williams struggled with an inside pass-rush move. He was pushed completely off his feet with an inside shoulder club move in both the Kansas State and Nebraska games. Miami also ran 10 inside moves against Williams, which is such a high total that one has to figure the Hurricanes saw a similar inside pass-blocking weakness.

Those woes would be enough on their own to consider Williams overhyped, but his run blocking is actually worse than his pass blocking. Williams blocked at the point of attack on a running play 41 times and won the battle 33 times. That equates to an 80.5 percent POA win rate. To put that in perspective, an 80.5 percent POA rate in 2008 would have ranked 28th among NFL left tackles.

Williams' POA win rates are worse than that if the 10 plays on which he had double-team blocking help are removed. He had zero POA losses on those plays, so his POA win rate on one-on-one blocks was 74.2 percent.

Williams also has issues with penalties. There was the aforementioned offensive holding penalty, two false starts, a personal foul/leg whip penalty and a personal foul/late hit.

The late hit might show an additional weakness. It came not long after Nebraska defensive lineman Barry Turner beat Williams on a POA run block. Williams beat Turner on a run block a few plays later and wouldn't stop blocking him until well after the play was over. His extra pushing eventually led to the penalty, and it looked to my scouting eye like he was mad about having been beaten and was trying to send a message to Turner.

That could be a strength in that if a coach can find a way to tap into it, it might be used to his team's advantage. The problem is, though, NFL defenders know when someone reacts poorly to having his buttons pushed, and if they sense that weakness in Williams, he'll have someone trying to goad him in every game he plays.

The Football Scientist lab result: Had I not known before watching video of Williams that he was considered a first-round prospect in many circles, it wouldn't have occurred to me to even consider ranking him that high. He might go in the first round because he is a left tackle, but the metrics say he will be a mediocre pro player, and that stamps him with the TFS overhyped label.
This is a great analysis and breakdown of these players.. Do you have the 411 on Bulaga and Iupati??
Originally posted by DaveWilcox:
This is a great analysis and breakdown of these players.. Do you have the 411 on Bulaga and Iupati??

nope, he hasn't evaluated them yet. It looks like he does one per week
Everything I've seen and heard about Williams screams "Don't draft him"! I pray we don't! Unfortunately, Campbell and Davis will likely be gone by our pick.
  • smileyman
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Originally posted by alburns:


DAVIS:

That weakness can be coached out of him, but it's really a microcosm of Davis' entire game. He has the ability to be a truly great player but he's inconsistent in some ways and raw in others. Pair him up with the right offensive line coach and he could be the next Ryan Clady. Pair him up with the wrong coach and he could be a complete bust.

I think Davis is probably one of the top three tackles to come out and completely agree with this summary. He needs further coaching to really develop into an elite talent.

Quote:

CAMPBELL

The Football Scientist Lab Result: If I were to grade the three left tackles reviewed thus far in the Draft Lab series, I would rate Campbell No. 1, Davis No. 2 and Williams No. 3. I plan to focus on Oklahoma State Cowboys OT Russell Okung in an upcoming edition as well. Campbell is just as -- if not more -- adept at guarding the blindside as the other two and there is every reason to think he could develop into a dominant NFL run blocker. That doesn't seem to be the consensus perception of his skills and that disparity means that he receives a TFS seal of approval.

Campbell has been fairly well regarded by most draft experts and has rated very high. What keeps him from being rated higher is his nagging health injuries. No team wants to spend a high first round pick on a guy that might miss 3 or 4 games a season.


Quote:

WILLIAMS


The Football Scientist lab result: Had I not known before watching video of Williams that he was considered a first-round prospect in many circles, it wouldn't have occurred to me to even consider ranking him that high. He might go in the first round because he is a left tackle, but the metrics say he will be a mediocre pro player, and that stamps him with the TFS overhyped label.

Williams' rankings as a tackle were based on his dominating play at RT from 2008. He was moved to LT for the first time in 2009, where of course he wasn't as dominating. He also was asked to play center. He'll be just fine as a RT in the league, and I think that with some familiarity with the position he'll become a decent LT as well.
I am sure there is enough tape of Williams at RT to warrant first round consideration. It is known that he had difficulty on the left side so I don't expect a seal of approval for the left side.

The right is an entirely different matter.

Great analysis... So Campbell does look to jump into the OT mix after all. We better hope that both QBs become top 10. If not, we may not get a chance on these OTs. I still expect Seattle to draft one of the OTs and therefore would highly want a LT at #14.

We just may have to reach at #13 if we do want that RT. Damn, this is exciting!

This is the most exciting draft in years!
This guy isn't the only person that thinks so lowly of Williams. Even McShay hinted he won't be a first rounder. I personally agree.
  • smileyman
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Originally posted by kronik:
This guy isn't the only person that thinks so lowly of Williams. Even McShay hinted he won't be a first rounder. I personally agree.

I completely disagree. Williams won't go high in the first round but he'll still go in the first.

(And I don't trust anything McShay says).
Originally posted by smileyman:
Originally posted by kronik:
This guy isn't the only person that thinks so lowly of Williams. Even McShay hinted he won't be a first rounder. I personally agree.

I completely disagree. Williams won't go high in the first round but he'll still go in the first.

(And I don't trust anything McShay says).

You're probably right and I agree with your comment about McShay. I just wouldn't be surprised if he drops out of the first due to his inability to play LT and having alot of "bad film"
This is a great read. OL is probably the hardest position for non-experts like us (and maybe even experts) to evaluate. Last year, Brian Orakpo made Phil Loadholt look like my grandmama in the UT/OU game, so I dropped Loadholt off my radar screen, but he turned into decent nfl player this year, so it's hard to judge on a small sample of games. The combine and workouts will tell more. With Okung, Iupati and Balaga, it seems that there are at least 6 legitimate 1st-round OL prospects this year, and good depth in subsequent rounds, which is great for us. We just got to scout like crazy to try and get the right one, or really, ones.
  • TX9R
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Does he say which position Williams played in each of those games, because he played all over the line all year due to other guys getting injured. Basically he took one for the team and is now being punished for it. I'll take the previous seasons when he wasn't playing out of position and was the best lineman on a line that produced a few NFL players.
  • DVDA
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Originally posted by smileyman:
Originally posted by kronik:
This guy isn't the only person that thinks so lowly of Williams. Even McShay hinted he won't be a first rounder. I personally agree.

I completely disagree. Williams won't go high in the first round but he'll still go in the first.

(And I don't trust anything McShay says).

I would hate to see the 49ers take him with either of their picks. If the team traded down or up to the end of the first round then I would be ok with it but I just don't see him as value in the first round.
I've been screaming all along for the Niners to ignore Trent Williams. I watched every college game he played. He played for my team, and I want him no where near SF. He's a terrible OT.
I've been screaming all along for the Niners to ignore Trent Williams. I watched every college game he played. He played for my team, and I want him no where near SF. He's a terrible OT.
I agree with his assessment of Davis as I've said many of the same things.

Campbell is someone I haven't looked at closely mainly because I've been busy lately.

Williams- I like him as a RT and only as a RT. There's video of every pass from Sam Bradford in the Florida NC game and Williams looked amazing. Yes, he has been disappointment at LT, but the transition from RT to LT is a lot harder than you think. Footwork and the initial kick/slide step are completely backwards when you switch sides. If you don't believe, then just look at how well Barry Sims played at LT (his natural position) this season vs how bad he played as a RT in '08.