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A metric to evaluate front seven players.

  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 9,538
"The Production Ratio was initially proposed by NFL.com's Pat Kirwan in his book titled "Take Your Eye Off the Ball", and is really a very simple formula that adds up sacks and tackles-for-loss and divides them by number of college games played. The resulting ratio is one tool among many - albeit a pretty good one - that measures the playmaking potential of front seven players coming out of college."

The Production Ratio is calculated as follows:

(SACKS + TACKLES FOR LOSS) / NUMBER OF GAMES PLAYED = PRODUCTION RATIO

What you want in a Production Ratio is a score of 1.0 or better. Effectively, a score of 1.0 says that a player recorded one splash play in the defensive backfield per game; the higher the number, the better.

The production ratios of the dynamic trio from the 2011 draft are:

Aldon Smith 2.00

JJ Watt 1.85

Von Miller 1.78

Cowboy standout DeMarcus Ware had a production ratio of 1.96.

"This formula, like every other stat-based projective tool, is not going to be a perfect predictor of how successful these players are going to be in the NFL. But it does give you something to think about as you evaluate these players and their potential, and it may be one building block in identifying who this year's playmakers will be - and who won't. "

One weakness that I see with the metric is that it does not take into account the importance of quarterback hurries, which, as was recently pointed out to me, can be as important as sacks.

In addition, the existing formula does not place on value on blocked kicks, extra points, or punts. These blocks like sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries also happen in the opponents backfield. And in this year's draft there are players who have a substantial number of blocks.

So, I have altered the formula. I have the sum of sacks, tackles for loss, quarterback hurries and blocks divided by the number of career games.

Any number over 1.00 is good and the higher the number, the better.



Here are the production ratios from some players I have as possible picks.

edit: I moved K Short to the list of the defensive ends, because he only weighed 308 lbs at the Senior Bowl weigh in.

Defensive Tackles

Brandon Williams 2.27
Sylvester Williams1.60
John Jenkins 1.00
Jessie Williams 0.62

DE

Kawann Short 1.49
Margus Hunt 1.33
*Sharrif Floyd 1.07
Kapron Lewis-Moore 0.99

OLB

David Bass 2.36
Quanterus Smith 1.52
Caleb Schreibeis 1.48

Link to the quoted to article

http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2012/1/20/2720486/finding-playmaking-outside-linebackers-in-the-2012-draft-ingram

I hope you find this interesting.
[ Edited by buck on Jan 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM ]
I've been using the production ratio.It has its flaws, like not accounting for hurries and not accounting for quality opponents or the type of protection a defensive player is facing (ie double teamed players are going to take a hit).

I think its most useful in watch lists and identifying prospects.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 9,538
Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
I've been using the production ratio.It has its flaws, like not accounting for hurries and not accounting for quality opponents or the type of protection a defensive player is facing (ie double teamed players are going to take a hit).

I think its most useful in watch lists and identifying prospects.


I added in quarterback hurries and blocks in my numbers.

I agree it is only one tool.
Yes double teams, hurries, throws blocked are all things that should be taken into account. I don't know if quality of opponent is quantifiable unless you rationalize win-loss record.
Also i think tackles are important because they represent a players abilitu to.cover his gaps which in its simplicity is all the front seven do.
If that metric was absolute then we need to get Brandon Williams, and David Bass
I guess that the competition they played against is also a factor.

Thanks for the post - It is very interesting.
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
I guess that the competition they played against is also a factor.

Thanks for the post - It is very interesting.

Agreed. Some of the small school guys kill lower tier competition, but may struggle to keep the same numbers against the Division One studs.
I love different metrics used to evaluate players. Anyone can see height and weight, but time after time some players who do not fit the "eye test" from the underwear olympics (combine) have become stud players.

This analysis makes me pause on the zone favorite DT from Florida. It also gives me hope for Darius Fleming from ND who is on PUP>
Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
I've been using the production ratio.It has its flaws, like not accounting for hurries and not accounting for quality opponents or the type of protection a defensive player is facing (ie double teamed players are going to take a hit).

I think its most useful in watch lists and identifying prospects.


also doesnt account for things like justin smith does to free up aldon smith to get to the qb
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
I guess that the competition they played against is also a factor.

Thanks for the post - It is very interesting.

Agreed. Some of the small school guys kill lower tier competition, but may struggle to keep the same numbers against the Division One studs.
But a lot of those guys that KILL the lower level competition end up dominating in the big leagues as well (Ware, Moss, Jared Allen, Jahri Evans, Iupati, Strahan, Larry Allen... the list goes on).
So with all things considered what is the possibility of Brandon Williams, and David Bass being seriously evaluated by the Niners? Are they in the Senior Bowl?
Originally posted by hofer36:
Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
I've been using the production ratio.It has its flaws, like not accounting for hurries and not accounting for quality opponents or the type of protection a defensive player is facing (ie double teamed players are going to take a hit).

I think its most useful in watch lists and identifying prospects.


also doesnt account for things like justin smith does to free up aldon smith to get to the qb

Was thinking about this as well. These metrics are tools though that have to be taken in the context of the team and situations...level of play, etc. If a NT is given the job of anchoring and is the key to holding the line of scrimmage he will likely have lesser numbers than a NT who is given Carte Blanche to aggressively pursue the QB. Sopoaga gets too little respect in my opinion for being able to hold the middle and take on two blockers, allowing the LBs to make tackles. Or an OLB who has no coverage responsibilities will have greater chances to build numbers.

It might be interesting to take only obvious passing downs versus all other downs and apply the formula.