Senior Bowl Prospects – Wide Receivers

The Reese Senior Bowl is this Saturday 1/25. Today I look at seven wide receivers that produced very good team market share percents for the receiver position for at least one season in their college career. Team market share percents of over 30% reception yards are indicative of potential Pro-Bowl player based on historical data. Here are the seven wide receivers from the Reese Senior Bowl roster that excelled in receiving yards team market share.

James Proche, SMU

James Proche made 2018 and 2019 All AAC First Team. In 2019 his 1,225 receiving yards was good for a 30.5% team market share. He was exceptionally good on 3rd and 4th down where 76% of his 33 receptions made first down. Proche was fourth in the nation in receiving touchdowns (15) and second in receptions per game (8.5).

Chase ClayPool, Notre Dame

Claypool was on Phil Steele’s 2018 All Independent Conference Second Team and his 2019 First Team. In 2019 his 1,037 receiving yards was good for a 31.6% team market share. Claypool was tie at fourth in the nation in receiving plays of 20+ yards with 23 plays. Forty-two percent of his receptions were for 15+ yards and 67% made first down.

Denzel Mims, Baylor

2019 All Big-12 First Team. In 2017 his 1,087 receiving yards was good for a 31.5% team market share. Forty-two percent of his 66 receptions in 2019 were for 15+ yards and 73% made first down.

Devin Duvernay, Texas

2019 All Big-12 First Team.  In 2019 his 1,386 receiving yards was good for a 36.9% team market share. He had the third most receptions and fifth most receiving yards in the nation. He had the fourth most receptions of 10+ yards with 54. on third and fourth down 86% of his 29 receptions made first down. Pro Football Focus rates Duvernay as one of the five best slot receivers. Among all FBS receivers, he ranked in the top five in yards after contact, yards after the catch and broken tackles forced.

Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

A 2019 All Pac-12 First Team selection. In 2019 his 1,192 receiving yards was good for a 36.8% team market share. He had nine receptions of 40+ yards which was tie for fifth in the nation and two of those were for 80+ yards. Aiyuk has amazing speed and runs good routes. As reported on PFF, Aiyuk had 10.9 yards after the catch per reception which was tops in the Pac-12.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

In 2019 Antonio’s 1,396 receiving yards was good for a 37.2% team market share. He also had a 33% team market share of receiving yards his other year in 2018.  He was fourth in the nation in receiving yards and third in receiving plays of 10+ yards with 56. Seventy-six percent of his 79 receptions went for first down. Pro Football Focus graded Gandy-Golden as one of the top ten wide receivers. Great ability to high-point the catch and has a tremendous catch radius.

Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

In 2019 his 969 receiving yards was good for a 33.7% team market share. Of his 20 third and fourth down receptions 19 went for first down and seven of his ten red zone receptions for a touchdown. Jennings is a competitive receiver full of fight that come thru in big moments.

 

Senior Bowl Prospects – Linebackers

The Reese Senior Bowl is this Saturday 1/25. Today I look at four linebackers that produced very good team market share percents for the linebacker position for at least one season in their college career.  Team market share percents of over 11.8% solo tackles are indicative of potential Pro-Bowl player based on historical data. Here are the only two linebackers from the Reese Senior Bowl roster that excelled in solo tackle market share values and two exceptions included.

Evan Weaver, California

The 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All Pac-12, also the 2018 All Pac-12 Second Team. In 2019 Weaver had a whopping 103 solo tackles for a 19.6% team market share. His solo tackles were first in the NCAA. In addition his 11.5 tackles for loss was good for a 15.5% team market share which is Pro-Bowl indicative level for an edge rusher. In 2018 Weaver had just 8% missed tackles on 159 total tackles. That percent was the lowest in the Pac-12.  Weaver has a high motor and energy. He has great ability to diagnose plays and be at the right place. He is advanced in shredding blocks and getting to the ball carrier.

Logan Wilson, Wyoming

Wilson was 2017 All Mountain West Second Team, 2018 Honorable Mention and 2019 First Team. After making the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All Freshman Team, Logan went on to record over 12% solo tackle team market share in each of his next three years. His 76 solo tackles in 2017 was good for a 13.3% team market share. In 2019 he had 62 solo tackles (12.1%) and 4 interceptions (33.3%). Wilson has had an interception in every year of his four year career. He is one of only three linebackers since 2000 to have 8+ games with an interception and 4+ solo tackles. Interesting that one of the other three linebackers was former Giant Mark Herzlich who was seven years a Giant and a rookie on the 2011 Super Bowl team. Wilson made the Pro Football Focus 2019 All American First Team – “…he was the only defensive player in the country to field elite grades against the run, in coverage and when blitzing the passer.”

Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Baun was a 2019 All Big Ten First Team selection.  In 2019 he had 52 solo tackles which was an 11.2% team market share. he also had 19.5 tackles for loss (21.4%) and 12.5 sacks (25%). At Senior Bowl practice Baun has moved to off-ball and has made it clear that’s where he wants to play in the NFL. Baun made NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 draft prospects at number 44. Baun has a high motor and never gives up on a play.

Davion Taylor, Colorado

Taylor was a 2019 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention. His 57 solo tackles in 2019 was good for 11.2% team market share. Davion is a track athlete and ran a 10.51 in the 100 meter dash. Continental records in that race are in the 9.58 to 10.0 range. Davion has good explosion and ability to dart sideline to sideline. He also had a respectable 12.1% team market share in passes defensed (4) in 2019.

 

Senior Bowl Prospects – Edge Rushers

The Reese Senior Bowl is this Saturday 1/25. Today I look at five edge rushers that produced very good team market share percents for the edge position for at least one season in their college career.  Team market share percents of over 6.3% solo tackles, 15.3% tackles for loss and 25% sacks are indicative of potential Pro-Bowl player based on historical data. Here are the only four  edge rushers from the Reese Senior Bowl roster that excelled in all three market share values and one exception included.

Bradlee Anae,  Utah

2018 and 2019 All Pac-12 First Team. Anae’s 2019 stats and team market share percents were 30 solo tackles (6.8%), 14 tackles for loss (17.7%) and 13 sacks (41.9%). As of the end of November only Ohio State’s Chase Young and Michigan’s Josh Uche had higher PFF pass-rushing grades than Anae’s 90.5. Anae made NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 draft prospects  at 48.

Zack Baun, Wisconsin

2019 All Big Ten First Team. Baun’s 2019 stats and team market share percents were 52 solo tackles (11.2%), 19.5 tackles for loss (21.4%) and 12.5 sacks (25%).  At Senior Bowl practice Baun has moved to off-ball and has made it clear that’s where he wants to play in the NFL.  His solo tackles team market share is also indicative of future Pro-Bowl potential for an off-ball linebacker. Baun has a high motor and never gives up on a play. Baun made NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 draft prospects  at 44.

Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

2017 All Big Ten Third Team, 2018 First Team and 2019 Media First Team and Coaches Second Team. Willekes 2019 stats and market share percents were 31 solo tackles (6.7%), 15.5 tackles for loss (16.8%) and 10 sacks (25%). Willekes won the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy given annually to the most outstanding FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on. He is a versatile tough player and is looking to transition from defensive end to outside linebacker at the senior Bowl.

Carter Coughlin, Minnesota

2018 and 2019 All Big Ten Second Team. His 2018 stats and team market share percents were 34 solo tackles (6.5%), 15 tackles for loss (21.1%) and 9.5 sacks (42.3%).  In 2018 Coughlin earned a 92.2 pass-rush grade from PFF, ranking second among the 311 returning FBS defensive linemen with 200 or more pass-rush snaps. Coughlin is a high effort player from snap to whistle.

Trevis Gipson, Tulsa

2019 All AAC First Team. His 2019 stats and market share percents were 25 solo tackles (5.7%), 15 tackles for loss (25%) and 8 sacks (61.5%). His solo tackles were lower than the target of 6.3% but other numbers were good. Gipson has good size at 6’3″ and 259 lbs. however he still has real good bend for a big guy. Gipson had a good first day at senior Bowl practice showing off his high motor and relentlessness. He has a good combination of speed and power.

 

Senior Bowl Prospects – Defensive Backs

The Reese Senior Bowl is this Saturday 1/25. Today I look at five defensive backs that produced very good team market share percents for the defensive back position for at least one season in their college career.  Team market share percents of over 6% solo tackles, 15% passes defended and 25% interceptions are indicative of potential Pro-Bowl player based on historical data. Here are the only five defensive backs from the Reese Senior Bowl roster that excelled in all three market share values with one exception included.

Kindle Vildor, CB, Geogia Southern

In 2018 Vildor had team market share values of 6.8% solo tackles (31) , a 26.7% of interceptions (4) and a 29.3% of passes defended (12). His passes defended were first in the Sun Belt and his interceptions was second. He made the All Sun Belt First Team in 2018 and 2019. He also had no penalties against him in 2018.  Pro Football Focus graded him following the 2018 season as the second highest graded returning cornerback in the FBS. Going into 2019 he was voted as the Preseason Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by other coaches and media members throughout the conference. Vildor elevated his play against top-tier competition. He plays aggressive yet had zero penalties in 2018. Vildor is quick and has good ball skills. He is shoter than generally sought at 5’11”. Is good at turning his head as the ball arrives, a skill that would help limit penalties in the NFL.

Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa

Ojemudia was selected to the 2019 PFF All Big Ten First Team. Of his 35 catches allowed, only one went for 20-plus yards, and he never allowed more than 55 yards in a single game all season. He was selected to the All Big Ten Coaches Third team and Media Second Team. His 2019 stats and market share percents were 41 solo tackles (8.6%), three interceptions (25%) and nine passes defended (19.6%).  His interceptions was second in the Big Ten and Passes defended was fifth. Ojemudia is a long physical corner.

Darney Holmes, DB, UCLA

Holmes made All Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2018 and 2019. His 2018 stats and market share numbers are 36 solo tackles (6.6%), three interceptions (27.3%) and eight passes defended (19%). Holmes is quick in long or short distances. In 2018 he covered Marquise Brown (Ravens WR) and was able to match him stride for stride.  Holmes displays good ball skills. He is a smaller cornerback listed at 5’10” but shows good ability to elevate for jump balls.

Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska

Lamar Jackson was 2019 All Big Ten Second Team.  His 2019 stats and market share percents were 30 solo tackles (6.4%), three interceptions (27.3%) and 12 passes defended (27.9%).  Jackson is a physical long corner. Jackson is one of only seven players that over the last two seasons had 5+ interceptions and 19+ passes defended. Of those seven Jackson is tie with  Aashari Crosswell for the most forced fumbles with three.

Khaleke Hudson, DS, Michigan

In 2017 as a defensive back Hudson’s stats and market share numbers were 46 solo tackles (10.9%), two interceptions (20%) and nine passes defended (18.8%). Hudson is just outside of the targeted 25% team market share on interceptions. He would be a developmental pick with special teams upside. This is what Jim Nagy, executive director of the Senior Bowl, had to say about Khaleke Hudson – Hudson is a “good football player” who is caught in between playing linebacker, although he may be undersized for the NFL, and safety. “There’s some questions about where he fits at the next level, but the bottom line is he flies around and makes plays and he’s done that for a long time at Michigan” . Hudson has played the “viper” role at Michigan where he plays multiple roles of linebacker, safety and corner. He also displays ability to rush the passer and has 10 career sacks. Khaleke Hudson was one of 39 players that over the last three season had one season of 2+ interceptions, 9+ passes defended and 45+ solo tackles. In that group Khaleke had the most sacks with 7.5.

Here is a spreadsheet of all the defensive backs at the Reese Senior Bowl – Defensive Backs – Sr Bowl. Their market share percents are shown for Solo, Interceptions and Passes Defended. Also a column oh Yr denotes the year the stats were taken from if not 2019. The columns with a Year heading show the All Conference Team they made that year – First, Second, Third or Cx for Coaches Team and Mx for Media Team or HM for Honorable Mention.

 

 

 

Can the Giants be a Super Bowl Contender in 2020?

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst and a former player and scout. In his article  What makes a Super Bowl contender? from April 2019 he and Daniel Jeremiah list how many “blue” players a team needs to make the Super Bowl. They also list a roster composition for a Super Bowl contender.  Daniel Jeremiah is also an NFL analyst and former college quarterback and NFL scout.

A “blue” player is defined as a team difference maker and a top 10 player at their position. The article says a team should have eight to ten “blue” players. Their roster composition is as follows:

1 franchise quarterback
3 offensive linemen
3 offensive playmakers
2 pass rushers
3 defensive playmakers

So how do the Giants map out for this criteria? I will take a little liberty on the “blue” definition and include potential shown and high level of play. With a more liberal definition the Giants could meet the criteria of having eight “blue” players.  Here is my take on how their roster composition for a Super Bowl Contender would fill out.

1 franchise quarterback Daniel Jones
3 offensive linemen Nick Gates Kevin Zeitler ?????
3 offensive playmakers Saquon Barkley Evan Engram Darius Slayton
2 pass rushers Markus Golden Lorenzo Carter
3 defensive playmakers Dalvin Tomlinson Leonard Williams Dexter Lawrence

One Franchise Quarterback

Daniel Jones is the heir apparent to the Giants franchise quarterback succeeding Eli Manning. Jones had a record breaking rookie season. Here is a list of his accomplishments with the total number of rookies all time that also achieved the mark which includes Jones.

⇒ three games with 4+ passing touchdowns (3 rookies),
⇒ five games of 300+ passing yards (3 rookies),
⇒ five games with 2+ passing TDs and 0 interceptions (5 rookies).
⇒ one game of 300+ passing yards, 5 TDs and 0 interceptions (1 rookie)

This season Jones has the second highest 1st down conversion percentage (47.6%) for rushes among quarterbacks with over six rushes.

Jones is one of only nine rookie quarterbacks all-time to have 25+ total touchdowns and Jones accomplished it in the least amount of games.

Daniel Jones is one of only three quarterbacks all-time that in their rookie season had a 60% completion percentage, 3000+ passing yards, 24+ passing touchdowns and an 85+ passer rating. The other two are Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield.

The Giants have hired Jerry Schuplinski, the former Dolphins Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, as the new Giants quarterback coach.  Schuplinski has worked to help develop Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett as an offensive assistant three years on the Patriots.

Sure one year is not much to base future projections on but so far all things look positive.

Three Offensive Linemen:

Nick Gates played in all 16 games in 2019 and made three starts. He was an undrafted free agent signing in 2018 but was injured and did not play in 2018. Pro Football Focus graded gates with a 75.1 overall grade in 2019 which is a good grade. In college Gates started in all 35 games in which he played before forgoing his senior season to join the NFL. He started 25 straight games at left tackle during his sophomore and junior season. As a junior in 2017, Gates started all 12 games at left tackle and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches and media.

Kevin Zeitler was ranked as the 17th best offensive lineman and ninth best guard  through week 15 of this season by Pro Football Focus. In 61 combined pass-blocking snaps this season, Zeitler allowed just one quarterback hurry.  He finished the season with a 76.4 overall grade.

Third offensive lineman is lacking based on ratings by Pro Football Focus of the rest of the Giant offensive line.

Three Offensive Playmakers

Saquon Barkley is one of only six running backs all-time that in their first two seasons had  3400+ yards from scrimmage, 2300+ rushing yards, a 4.8+ average yards per rush attempt and 23+ touchdowns. He is the first to accomplish this since 2009.

Darius Slayton is one of only 12 wide receivers in 2019 with 40+ receptions, 700+ receiving yards, 8+ receiving touchdowns and 8.0+ yards per target.  Slayton and A.J. Brown are the only rookies among the twelve.

Evan Engram is one of only eight tight ends since 1992 that in their first three seasons had 1750+ receiving yards, 12+ receiving touchdowns and a 7.0+ yards per target average. Engram achieved this tie with Jordan Reed with the  least amount of games.

Two Pass Rushers

Markus Golden is one of six players in 2019 that had 10+ sacks, 35+ solo tackles, 10+ tackles for loss and 25+ quarterback hits.  Of the six Golden had the most total tackles. Golden had the ninth most pressures in 2019 in the league.

Lorenzo Carter is one of only 13 players over the last five seasons that in their first two years had 8+ sacks, 55+ solo tackles, 10+ tackles for loss and 20+ quarterback hits.

Three Defensive Players

Dalvin Tomlinson is one of only ten defensive tackles in 2019 that had 3.5+ sacks, 23+ solo tackles, 7+ tackles for loss and 9 quarterback hits. Dalvin Tomlinson is the Giants highest graded player on defense for 2019 by Pro Football Focus with a 78.1 overall grade. That ranks 11th among all interior DL with at least 500 snaps and makes his 3rd consecutive season grading above 78 overall.

Leonard Williams had the seventh most pressure among defensive tackles in 2019.  At the end of October 2019 PFF reported that Leonard Williams :

  1. Had the Third most run stops among interior defensive linemen since 2016.
  2. Had the Third most tackles for loss among interior defenders since 2016.
  3. Since 2016 Had 38.7% of his run tackles go for a loss or no gain, which is second only to Aaron Donald.

Dexter Lawrence was named to PFF’s 2019 NFL All-Rookie Team. He racked up 38 tackles (24 solo), 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and nine quarterback hits. He also recorded one forced fumble and one pass defended while playing in all 16 games. Lawrence’s 76.3 run-defense grade was tops among rookie defensive tackles and ranks 21st among 117 qualifying interior defenders this season. His 30 total pressures on the year were tied for the most among first-year players at the position as reported by PFF.

In Conclusion

The Giants need to add a “blue” offensive lineman either draft, free agency or one of the existing players steps up. Their three defensive playmakers are all concentrated at one position. That appears a little one dimensional for a Super Bowl contender. They also need to add a “blue” player at some other defensive position.

In regard to the draft and aspirations for a Super Bowl contender team the Giants are set at quarterback, running back, interior defensive line and tight end. They should look to bolster the offensive line with a draft pick. The other positions of wide receiver, linebacker, edge rusher and defensive back should go best player available.

The players listed here need to continue to have a productive season in 2020. If that happens, this team with say two “blue” player additions or existing players stepping  up can have a huge one season turnaround and achieve a Super Bowl contender roster.

Giant Head Coach Joe Judge Admires Vince Lombardi

The Green Bay Packers hired coach Vince Lombardi from the Giants in 1959. The Packers had just come off a 1-10-1 record season. The prior ten seasons were all losing records with two seasons at .500.  Things were so bad that their 1959 top draft pick opted to play in the Canadian League rather than on the Packers. Lombardi took them to a winning record his first season of 7-5.  In his nine seasons as head coach he never had a losing record. Lombardi won five championships for the Packers in those nine seasons. He is tie with Bear coach George Halas for the second most championships by a head coach.

” I’d start in the football realm, coaching-wise. I’d say Coach [Bill] Belichick and Coach [Nick] Saban. Obviously, Vince Lombardi is someone I’ve studied, obviously I’ve never worked with him….” – Joe Judge when asked who are leaders you admire.

It would appear Vince Lombardi is someone that Joe Judge looks up to and has built some of his football philosophies around. Here are some quotes from Joe Judge and similar quotes from Vince Lombardi.

We’ll punch you in the nose for 60 minutes. We’ll play every play like it’s a history in a life of its own with a relentless, competitive attitude.” – Joe Judge

“We shall play every game to the hilt with every ounce of fiber we have in our bodies.” – Vince Lombardi

“The only culture we’re gonna have in that building, period, is a winning culture.”- Joe Judge

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

“I’m about caring for the players in the locker room. Let’s not forget there’s a human element to this game. Let’s not think that in professional sports that paying a pay check to somebody makes it absent of empathy. We need to make sure that we take care of the players in our locker room, that we treat them the right way, that we teach them the correct techniques, and that we put them in the right situations to be successful. “  – Joe Judge

“Our single most important public is our own employees—our team,” he said. “For without a skilled, coordinated group of talented people behind us, we haven’t a chance in the world of attaining success.” – Vince Lombardi

“It’s a contact sport, you can’t get around that. It’s meant to be a physical game. It’s for tough people. We will practice with a physical attitude. We will practice in pads, we will practice live tackling…” – Joe Judge

Lombardi ran physically grueling practices

“I’ve done 2 boot camps in the marines. And those didn’t even come close to how hard Lombardi’s practices were. We couldn’t believe it, we just thought this guy was crazy.” Said Gary Knafelc, one of the star Green Bay players.

“Guys would lose consciousness right there on the field. There was vomiting and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a guy just keel over,” said Gary Kramer, another player on the team. “He wanted every once of ability you had, and he would not relent until you gave it to him.”

We’re going to ask these men to come in and give everything they have every day. We’re going to demand it, and we appreciate everything they give us.” – Joe Judge

“Football is just one of the things we do in life, but it is what I do and what my players do, and so we must do it as best we can. There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give everything, I do and I demand that my players do.” – Vince Lombardi

“The same things win football games that have always won football games. It’s fundamentals. Those fundamentals will start for us in the classroom. They’ll start with being in meetings on time, they’ll start with being on the field on time in the proper dress.” – Joe Judge

Vince Lombardi insisted that players would adhere to a strict dress code and be on time for everything.

We’re going to start by showing up on time, by having a plan, for executing that plan. It’s going to be fundamentals.” – Joe Judge

Lombardi speaking to his team at the start of training camp in 1961: “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

Without going into too many details about the interview, I would say when we spoke about discipline on the team, that’s something very important to me. I think you need to have the fundamental foundation of discipline on your team, that you hold players accountable. ” – Joe Judge

“There is only one kind of discipline, and that is the perfect discipline. As a leader, you must enforce and maintain that discipline; otherwise, you will fail at your job.” – Vince Lombardi

That is blue collar, it’s hard work, it’s in your face. We’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to come to work every day and grind it out the way they do in their jobs every day.” – Joe Judge

“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.” – Vince Lombardi

You come in, you put the team first. We’re going to ask our players at times to do things that necessarily may not be what they have in mind for themselves. But if it’s best for the team, they have to be willing to go forward with it, because that’s what a winning culture is.” – Joe Judge

“Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.” – Vince Lombardi.

“...it’s important to address everybody, not only on the what they have to do, but how it should look, what we’re going to do to get there, and why it’s important, And what you find out when you’re coaching players. They’re not robots and if they understand what the end result is supposed to look like and why it’s important”.- Joe Judge

“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons.” – Vince Lombardi

Some of the principles of Lombardi’s coaching philosophy included:

  1. Find the strengths of your players and work that into the game as he did with running back Paul Hornung.
  2. Lombardi had an attention to detail. He kept extensive files on every NFL team and did the same on his players when he was hired.
  3. He strove for perfection and expected the same from players and coaches but also realized it is not attainable.
  4. Look for players that have intelligence and versatility. Get players that play with heart and put the team before personal desires.
  5. Lombardi believed in practicing the fundamentals until they were second nature. “Football is two things. It’s blocking and tackling. I don’t care anything about formations or new offenses or tricks on defense. You block and tackle better than the team you’re playing, you win.”
  6. His practices were tough and demanding.
  7. Lombardi had high ideals and would not tolerate prejudice or dishonesty.
  8. He was big on running the ball.

Joe Judge has some of the best coaches ever in the list of who he admires – Belichick, Saban and Lombardi. Judge will be his own man but would be wise to learn from these leaders to formulate his style of coaching. Judge’s introductory press conference and subsequent interviews indicate that he has incorporated many of the philosophies that made Lombardi one of the best if not the best coaches in NFL history.

 

 

East West Shrine Game Players To Watch

The annual East West Shrine game is on this Saturday (1/18) on NFL Network at 3:00 PM ET.  Based on college production here are some participants  and potential draft targets to keep an eye out for.

Quarterbacks

Mason Fine, North Texas

Over the last three seasons Mason Fine is fourth in the number of games with a passer rating of 140+  with 24 games. Of the 98 players with 10+ games  Fine’s 61.5% of total games is 29th.

Tyler Huntley, Utah

In 2019 Huntley was second in the NCAA in Pass Completion Percentage (73.1%),  third in Passing Yards per Attempt (10.3 yards) and fifth in Passing Efficiency Rating (177.6).

Malcolm Perry, Navy

Perry was second in the NCAA in rushing yards (2,017). He averaged 6.8 yards per attempt and was tie for third in rushing touchdowns with 21. According to PFF, he broke more tackles than any player in the country this season with 88. Perry is working out as a receiver at the Shrine Game.

Running Backs

Levante Bellamy, Western Michigan

Bellamy was tie for first in the NCAA in rushing touchdowns with 23.  He got a first down on 25% of his rush attempts. On fourth down he was six of seven for a first down and averaged 10 yards. Bellamy had eight games in 2019 in which he rushed for 100+ yards, averaged 4+ yards per carry and had at least one rushing touchdown.  Only five players had that many games.

Benny LeMay, Charlotte

LeMay was one of only three players to have 1000+rushing  yards, 200+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns in each of the last two seasons.

Tight Ends

Giovanni Ricci, Western Michigan

Ricci was first in the MAC conference in receiving touchdowns with eight. He was deadly in the red zone where he had seven touchdowns on nine receptions.

Mitchell Wilcox, South Florida

Reliable hands, fearless over he middle, large catch radius; Each of his four years over 50% of his receptions were for first down. In 2018 it was 65%.

Place Kicker

Dominik Eberle, Utah State

One of only two current kickers to be perfect on over 160 career extra points.

Offensive Line

Darryl Williams, Mississippi State

Lot of dog in him late in plays and chases down opponents for pancakes and finishes (thedraftnetwork.com). As of mid-October 2019, Williams had started 31 of the prior 32 games and only surrendered one sack over that span. Williams had made 303 snaps by mid-October and only allowed three quarterback pressures.

Kevin Dotson

2017 All Sun Belt Second Team, 2018 First Team and 2019 First Team. A bulldozer in the run game.

Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon

An All Pac-12 Honorable Mention for each of the last four seasons. He has played tackle (both sides) guard and center. He allowed only one sack the last three years. Throckmorton has started 52 games. For the 2018 season he had PFF‘s third highest graded pass-blocking grade in the country.

Edge Rusher

Alex Highsmith, Charlotte

A 2018 and 2019 All C-USA First Team. A walk-on at Charlotte, Highsmith has improved every year. As graded by PFF he went from a 60.9 pass-rushing grade in 2016 to 71.2 in 2017 to 75.6 in 2018 to 91.4 as of the end of November 2019. In 2019 Highsmith is number two in the nation in tackles for loss with 22 and number three in sacks with 15.

Joe Gaziano, Northwestern

Gaziano improved each season going from All BigTen Third Team in 2017 to Second Team in 2018 to First Team in 2019. Joe had outstanding teammarket share percents in 2019 with 7.3% in solo tackles,  24.6% in tackles for loss and 39.1% in sacks.  In addition he had 3 forced fumbles and 5 passes defended.

Casey Toohill, Stanford

2019 All Pac-12 Second Team. One of twelve finalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy  which is awarded to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. It is considered by many to be the “Academic Heisman”. In 2019 Toohill had team market share percents of 7.9% solo tackles (37), 16.2% tackles for loss (11.5) and 29.6% sacks (8). All percentages indicative of a potential Pro-Bowl player based on historical data.

Mike Danna, Michigan

In 2018 Dana had the following stats with team market share –  36 solo tackles (6.7%), 14 tackles for loss (18.3%) and 8.5 sacks (35.4%). All market share percents indicative of a potential Pro-Bowl player.  Selected to the  2018 All MAC First Team.

Khalil Davis, Nebraska

A 2018 All Big Ten Honorable Mention (Media) and a 2019 Third Team (Coaches) and Honorable Mention (Media). His eight sacks this season was tops in the Big Ten among defensive tackles. Word is he has dominated the entire week at the Shrine Game practice.

Linebacker

John Houston, USC

2019 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention.  One of only twelve players to have 5+ solo tackles in nine games this season. His 11.99% team market share of solo tackles is indicative of a potential Pro Bowl player.

Kyahva Tezino, San Diego State

Tezino’s 69 solo tackles in 2018 was a 14.7% team market share of solo tackles.  Tezino was a 2018  and 2019 All Mountain West Conference First Team.

Cornerback

Elijah Riley, Army

2018 and 2019 Phil Steele’s All Independent First Team; Proven himself against elite wide receiver prospects for the past two seasons, while dominating against lesser teams. (thedraftnetwork.com) In 2018 Riley had a 45.4% completion percent allowed and only 0.62 yards per cover snap. (PFF) In 2019 had 55 solo tackles (12%), 3 interceptions (43%) and 6 passes defended (27%) showing team market share percents. One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football

Luq Barcoo, San Diego State

2019 All Mountain West First Team; One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football. In 2019 his stats and market share are – he had a league high 9 interceptions (50%) and 16 passes defended (27%) to go with 43 solo tackles (9.9%). Excels at the catch point with experience at wide receiver and solid hands. Always seems to be in the proper position. Aggressive player and was third on the team in total tackles.

Parnell Motley, Oklahoma

2019 All Big 12 Second Team.  A PFF All Big 12 First Team. In 2019 on 44 targets he allowed just 10 first downs and two touchdowns.

Lavert Hill, Michigan

2018 and 2019 All Big Ten First Team.  2017 All Big Ten Second Team (Coaches). Hill had good market share percents in 2019 with a 33.3% for interceptions (3) and a 22.5% for passed defended (9).

Nevelle Clark, UCF

2018 All AAC First team.  One of only five players over the last two seasons to have 4+ interceptions and 24+ passes defended.

Safety

David Dowell, Michigan State

In 2017 Dowell led Big Ten defensive backs with a 34.5 passer rating allowed when targeted in the slot as reported by PFF. A 2017 All Big Ten First Team (Media), a 2018 Third Team (Coaches) and Honorable Mention (Media) and a 2019 Honorable Mention (Media).

Myles Dorn, North Carolina

2019 All ACC Honorable Mention. One of only nine players in 2019 to have 2+ interceptions, 6+ passes defended, 45+ solo tackles and 80+ total tackles.

Enjoy the Game!

Update: The Giants met with the following players at the Shrine Game listed in this post

Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah
Kevin Dotson, G, La.-Lafayette
Casey Toohill, LB, Stanford
Michael Danna, DE, Michigan

 

 

 

2019 Playoff Divisional Winner’s And Key Objectives

Here are some key objectives teams strive for to win games and how the playoff winners have fared with those objectives.

The winning teams in the playoff games provided some performances that rank high among all-time post season games. In the NFL since 1940 there have been over 560 post season games. Here are where this weeks winners ranked in some key objectives.

1 Win the Turnover Battle

Titans were 1st among 2019 playoff games in turnover margin with +3 against the Ravens. The next 2019 playoff team was at +1. The plus three turnover margin is tie for 85th to 173rd among all time playoff teams. Among all-time playoff games in which a team threw zero interceptions the Titans turnover margin is tie for 16th.

2 Run the Ball, Stop the Run and Play Strong Defense

The 49ers had +165 in rushing yards margin against the Vikings. That was tie for 43rd among all-time post season games. They had a 38.5 to 21.5 time of possession which was 38th among all-time post season games. The 49ers had 47 rush plays to 19 pass attempts. (Rushing yards margin is a team’s rushing yards minus the opponent’s rushing yards.)

They held Vikings Dalvin Cook to 9 attempts for 2.0 yards per attempt. In the regular season Cook averaged 4.5 yards per attempt for 1000+ yards. Holding an opponent to 2.1 yards per rush attempt is 66th among all-time post season.

49ers tops in the 2019 playoff games with a 3.27 yards per play allowed. The next team was at 4.77.  The 3.27 yards per play allowed is 72nd among all-time post season games. The 49ers were second during the regular season in defensive yards allowed per play with 4.66.

In the Titan’s game against the Patriots the Titans had 13 rushing first downs. That was tie for ninth among all-time post season games.  The number of playoff teams that rushed for 13 first downs in a post season game hold the 9th to 19th slot all time.

3 Efficient Error Free Quarterback Play (TD% And Int %)

The Titans had a Touchdown percentage of 20% against the Ravens which was tie for seventh best among all-time post season games. This with a 0% interception percent. The Chiefs had a 14.3% Touchdown Percent which was tie for 27th among all-time post season games. They also had a 0% interception percent. The touchdown percentage is touchdowns per pass attempt.

4 Convert on 3rd Down

Packers were tops in 3rd down conversions in the 2019 playoffs with 64.3%. Six of their nine 3rd down conversions were on their four touchdown drives.  Another two kept the ball away from Seattle with 2.5 minutes left to play. The Packers elevated their play in the playoff game as during the regular season they were 23rd in the league in 3rd down conversions with only a 36%. Green Bay’s 2019 playoff game 3rd down conversion percent against the Seahawks is tie for 17th all time for a postseason game

Enjoy the Conference Championship Games!

2020 NFL Draft Prospects For the Giants

Now that the Giants season is over and they have a new head coach it is time to start looking forward to the NFL draft. Today I look at position needs for the Giants and interesting prospects that could fill those needs.

1. An off-ball three down linebacker.

a. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (Day 1)

⇒ Has a 12.3% of team market solo tackles
⇒ 2019 ACC Defensive Player of Year and Dick Butkus Award
⇒ Excels in pass coverage and has 3 interceptions and 6 passes defended in 2019.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (Day 1)

⇒ Has a 12.4% team market share solo tackles
⇒ Fast with great sideline to sideline pursuit
⇒ Three down LB. Can play the pass or run.
⇒ One of only five players since 2000 to have two seasons of 65+ solo tackles, 4+ sacks and 12+ tackles for loss. The other four include Pro Bowl players Steeler Ryan Shazier and Buccaneer Lavonte David.

c. Troy Dye, Oregon (Day 2)

⇒Had a 12.0% team market share of solo tackles in 2017 and 11.5% in 2018.
⇒ Athletic 3-down back that can get into the backfied
⇒ Seventh among active career leaders in total tackles for loss with 44 and 160 yards lost.

d. Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (Day 2)

⇒ Has a 12.3% team market share of solo tackles
⇒ Nine weeks thru the season Brooks allowed only 81 yards in coverage on 199 plays he dropped back.
⇒ One of only 15 players since 2000 to have 60+ solo tackles and 20+ tackles for loss in a season.

e. Evan Weaver, California (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Number 1 in the nation in solo and total tackles.
⇒ Has a 19.6% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ Good instincts, quick processing, always around the ball, great run coverage and high motor.
⇒ One of 10 finalists for the 2019 Senior Class Award given to FBS student-athletes who excel both on and off the field.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

f. Logan Wilson, Wyoming (Day 3)

⇒ Has a 12.1% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ PFF 2019 All-American 1st Team, the only defensive player in the country to field elite grades against the run, in coverage and when blitzing the passer.
⇒First linebacker to have 60+ solo tackles, 4+ interceptions and 7+ passes defended in a season since Danny Trevathan did in 2011.

g. Ben Holt, Purdue (Day 3/UDFA)

⇒ a 12.6% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ Number 2 in the Big Ten in Solo and Total Tackles.
⇒ In 2018 at W. Kentucky Holt was targeted 37 times as the primary coverage defender, gave up only 0.77 yards per cover snap and didn’t allow a touchdown.

2. An offensive tackle.

a. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (Top 10)

⇒ Started all 15 games as a true freshman in 2017;
⇒ Aggressive play, powerful brute strength.
⇒ Excels in run blocking
⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team
⇒ Allowed all of 35 pressures in three years as a starter (PFF)
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (Top 10)

⇒ Number 1 on Bruce Feldman’s 2019 college football Freaks List.
⇒ Matt Miller’s Best Day 1 Starter among offensive tackles
⇒ Only allowed multiple pressures in two games this season, and he only allowed one total pressure over his last six games. (per Pro Football Focus)
⇒ 2019 Big-Ten First Team and Big Ten Rimington–Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year

c. Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama (Day 1)

⇒ Allowed 11 pressures all season but only 1 in his last 5 games (PFF)
⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team.
⇒ Excellent in the run game.
⇒  Mauler Road-Grader.

d. Mekhi Becton, Louisville (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All-ACC First Team.
⇒ Powerful huge lineman (6’7″, 369 lbs) that displays great power and strength at the point of attack.  Yet quick in pass sets.
⇒ Had second-most big-time blocks of any OT in the FBS (PFF).

e. Trey Adams, Washington (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All PAC-12 First Team
⇒ Mentioned as a potential draft prospect three years in a row for the Giants (2017, 2018, and 2019) and here’s one for the 49ers in 2018.
⇒ Tough, relentless and plays to whistle. Road-Grader. Very good in pass protection. Can play against all types of pass rushes.
⇒ History of injuries.

f. Alex Taylor, South Carolina State (Day 3)

⇒ Huge at 6’9″ and 305 lbs, a former basketball player with great length
⇒ Dominated small school competition
⇒ Good movement skills, good leverage, dominant run blocker

3. A Free Safety.

a. Grant Delpit, LSU (Day 1)

⇒  In 2018 Delpit was a Consensus All American and had team market share totals of 11.1% solo tackles, 29.4% interceptions and 13.8% passes  defended. All indicative of a potential Pro-Bowl player.
⇒ Can play any backfield position. Instincts, ball skills and tackling are top of the class.
⇒ 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner, awarded to the top defensive back in college football.

b. Xavier McKinney, Alabama (Day 1)

⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team and had team market share totals of 12.6% solo tackles, 17.6% interceptions and 10.0% passes  defended.
⇒ tough aggressive tackler, dynamic range with fast closing speed, versatile player can play all backfield positions.
⇒ 2019 ESPN All-America Team, McKinney had 3 interceptions,  5 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 3 sacks, 59 solo tackles and 95 total tackles. The forced fumbles was fourth in the nation.

c. Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year and All Big-Ten First Team.
⇒ Had team market share totals of 12.9% solo tackles, 50.0% interceptions and 2.0% passes  defended.
⇒ A playmaker usually going for the pick and his punt return experience helps him take it to the house. Seven interceptions in 2019 and one for a touchdown,
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

d. Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All ACC Second Team and had team market share totals of 11.1% solo tackles, 25.0% interceptions and 5.9% passes  defended.
⇒ Versatile having played safety and linebacker; FSU 2019 Defensive MVP
⇒ ACC Player of the Week for recording 22 tackles in a game. Had at least 17 tackles in two games in 2019.

e. Douglas Coleman III, Texas Tech (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All Big-12 First Team
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ In 2019 Coleman had 50 solo tackles (9.3%), 8 interceptions (57%) and 2 passes defended (6.7%).
⇒ A former high school receiver who in his senior year had had 62 receptions, 1,482 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, while averaging 23.9 yards per catch and 98.8 yards receiving per game.

f. Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh (Day 3)

⇒ Team market share totals of 12.0% solo tackles, 11.1% interceptions and 14.5% passes  defended.
⇒ 2018 All ACC Honorable Mention
⇒ Versatile, good range, aggressive in coverage and run support

g. B.J. Edmonds, Arkansas State (Day 3/UDFA)

⇒ Had team market share totals of 9.1% solo tackles, 16.7% interceptions and 21.7% passes  defended.
⇒ 2019 All Sun Belt Second Team and 2017 All Sun Belt Honorable Mention.
⇒ Number 1 in the Sun Belt Conference for punt return yards per return (10.8)

4. A Center

a. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Day 1)

⇒ 2017 All Big-Ten Third Team,  2018  and 2019 All Big-Ten First Team
⇒ Excels in run blocking; Wisconsin was top ten in the nation in yards per rush attempt the last two seasons.
⇒ Biadasz has allowed just two total pressures in 2019 and is the only center with elite grades in both the run game and the passing game. (PFF)
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Nick Harris, Washington (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All-America Second Team (Sports Illustrated), 2018 and 2019 All-Pac-12 First Team
⇒ Gave up just five quarterback pressures on the season on 361 snaps in pass protection (PFF All Pac-12 First Team)
⇒ Great work ethic. Good in pass and run blocking. Excels at blocking in space.

c. Jake Hanson, Oregon (Day 2)

⇒ Excellent in pass protection
⇒ Can read defenses and alter blocking assignment calls
⇒ Four year All Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention
⇒ Going into the 2019 season, Hanson had allowed 12 total pressures but not allowed a single sack in 3 years as starting center.

d. Darryl Williams, Mississippi State (Day 2)

⇒ Lot of dog in him late in plays and chases down opponents for pancakes and finishes (thedraftnetwork.com)
⇒ As of mid-October 2019, Williams had started 31 of the prior 32 games and only surrendered one sack over that span. Williams had made 303 snaps thus far in 2019 and only allowed three quarterback pressures.
⇒ Williams made PFF SEC team of the week in week 10 this season. He was the highest-graded run-blocking lineman for the Bulldogs and helped pave the way for the team’s over 450 yards on the ground, Williams did not allow a single quarterback pressure on his 22 pass-blocking snaps.
⇒ Twice named SEC Offensive Lineman of the week in 2019.

e. Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team
⇒ LSU won the 2019 Joe Moore Award that goes to the Most Outstanding Line in College Football.
⇒ First offensive lineman to be awarded the No. 18 jersey which is given to the player that best represents what its means to be an LSU football player – on and off the field.

5. A Wide Receiver

a. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (Day 1)

⇒Third in the nation in yards per reception (21.4)
⇒ A 32% receiving yards team market share
⇒ Good hands, tough to tackle, great ball tracking & adjustment

b. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota (Day 2)

⇒ Seventh in the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns
⇒ Over 40% receiving team market share each of last two years
⇒ tough, strong, physical; good in crowds & contested catches

c. Devin Duvernay, Texas (Day 2)

⇒ #2 in receptions in the nation
⇒ A 37% team market share of receiving yards
⇒ can make strong catches through traffic up and over defenders

d. Omar Bayless, Arkansas State (Day 3)

⇒ #1 Receiving Yards and #3 Receiving touchdowns in nation
⇒ A 40% team market share of receiving yards
⇒ red zone threat and can create yards after the catch

e. Gabriel Davis, UCF (Day 3)

⇒ In 12 games had 98+ yards in 7  and 2+ TDs in 5
⇒ A 30% receiving yards team market share
⇒ good route runner and adjusts to the ball

6. A Cornerback

a.Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State (Day 1)

⇒Was allowing a 37.6 passer rating when targeted heading into the final game of the season per PFF.
⇒ One of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Luq Barcoo, SDSU (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All Mountain West First Team
⇒  One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ In 2019 had a league high 9 interceptions (50%) and 16 passes defended (27%) to go with 43 solo tackles (9.9%).
⇒ Excels at the catch point with experience at wide receiver and solid hands. Always seems to be in the proper position. Aggressive player and was third on the team in total tackles.

c. Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All AAC First Team
⇒ Fifth in Passes defended with 17 (31%), 17th in Interceptions with 4 (60%) to go with 26 solo tackles (6%); (showing team market share %s).
⇒ Tied for ninth among active career leaders in passes broken up (34).

d. Isaiah Rodgers, U Mass (Day 3)

⇒One of two players in the last 6 years to have career totals of 125+ solo tackles, 11+ interceptions and 34+ passes defended.
⇒ 2019 Phil Steele’s All Independent Second team and 2017 Phil Steele’s all-Independent First team
⇒ In 2019 had 29 solo tackles (6%), 4 interceptions (36%) and 9 passes broken up (45%).
⇒ PFF 2019 All American First Team for Kick Returner. The only returner to eclipse 1,000 yards. and still finish near the top in kick return average among qualified returners.

e. Amik Robertson,  Louisiana Tech (Day 3)

⇒ 2017 All C-USA Second Team, 2018 and 2019 All C-USA First Team
⇒ The only player since 2017 to have career 130+ solo tackles, 10+ interceptions and 30+ passes defended.
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ Can cover tight without drawing penalty. Led his team in solo tackles 2 of his 3 years.

f. Elijah Riley, Army (Day 3)

⇒ 2018 and 2019 Phil Steele’s All Independent First Team
⇒ Proven himself against elite wide receiver prospects for the past two seasons, while dominating against lesser teams. (thedraftnetwork.com)
⇒ In 2018 Riley had a 45.4% completion percent allowed and only 0.62 yards per cover snap. (PFF)
⇒ In 2019 had 55 solo tackles (12%), 3 interceptions (43%) and 6 passes defended (27%) showing team market share percents.
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football

7. An Edge Rusher

a. Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State (Top 5)

⇒ #1 in country in sacks and forced fumbles/game
⇒Team market share for solo tackles, TFLs & sacks in All-Pro range
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Curtis Weaver, Boise State (Day 1-2)

⇒ Mountain West First team every year – 2017, 2018, 2019; The 2019 MWC Defensive Player of Year
⇒ Led team in Sacks and Tackles for Loss all 3 years. Had Pro-Bowl level team market share percents in sacks and TFLs in every year with the exception of 2018 which was only 0.7% off.
⇒ Great burst off the snap, violent hands, tough and a high football IQ.

c. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (Day 1-2)

⇒ 2018 All Big Ten Second Team and 2019 First Team.
⇒ Had Pro-Bowl indicative team market share in 2018 and 2019 in sacks (30%, 36%) and tackles for loss. (23%, 21%).
⇒ Strong hands with great usage, vast number of rush moves, hot motor and great timing.

d. Bradlee Anae, Utah (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 consensus All-American; 2018 and 2019 All Pac-12 First Team; winner of 2019 Morris Trophy recognizing the Pac-12 best defensive lineman as voted by Pac-12 starting offensive linemen.
⇒ Athletic, strong, competitive, great hand technique and with astrong blue-collar work ethic.
⇒ As of the end of November only Chase Young and Josh Uche had higher PFF pass-rushing grades than Anae’s 90.5 for this season.

e. Zack Baun, Wisconsin (Day 2)

⇒2019 Consensus All American; 2019 All Big Ten First Team.
⇒ One of seven draft eligible players to have 19+ tackles for loss and 12+ sacks in 2019. Below we see the players sorted by solo tackles with Baun having the most. His team market share percents were 11% solo tackle, 21% tackles for loss and 25% interceptions.
⇒ Versatile player. Great pass rush moves, quick first step off snap, sure tackler, can also drop back in coverage. PFF gave him a 90 grade in coverage in 2019.

 

f. Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (Day 2)

⇒2018 and 2019 All C-USA First Team.
⇒ A walk-on at Charlotte, Highsmith has improved every year. As graded by PFF he went from a 60.9 pass-rushing grade in 2016 to 71.2 in 2017 to 75.6 in 2018 to 91.4 as of the end of November 2019.
⇒ In 2019 Highsmith as number two in the nation in tackles for loss with 22 (25% team market share) and number three in sacks with 15 (40% team market share). He also had the second most solo tackles on the team with a 9% team market share.  He has the fifth most solo tackles in the nation for players with double digit sacks.

8. A quarterback on day 3.

a. Sam Ehlinger, Texas (Jr)

⇒ One of 11 players since 2000 to have 25 passing TDs and 15 rushing TDs in a season.
⇒ One of 8 players sine 2000 to have 2 seasons of 25+ passing TDs, 3000+ passing yards, 450+ rushing yards and a 145 passer rating.
⇒ good accuracy/ball placement on short/intermediate routes; good arm strength but tends to underthrow deep routes.

b. Brady White, Memphis (Jr)

⇒ Fourth in Passing Yards. (4,014)
⇒ Fifth in Passing Yards per attempt (9.5)
⇒accurate, smart, poised

c. Anthony Gordon, Washington State (Sr)

⇒ Top passing yards per game in the nation
⇒ Second in passing touchdowns
⇒ good accuracy and zip, good anticipation in throws, pretty fearless

d. Shane Buechele, SMU (Jr)

⇒ Sixth in the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns
⇒ 9.6% of his pass attempts completed as 25+ yards. That is higher than the average of the top 7 ranked quarterbacks.¹
⇒ Can hit small windows, football smart, clutch, good at deep passing
⇒ ” Shane Buechele is the most engaged, he’s the most prepared, he’s the most positive coaching backup quarterback I’ve ever been around in my life and I’ve been around some really good ones, really, really good ones,” – Texan head coach Tom Herman

e. Nate Stanley, Iowa (Sr)

⇒Career percentage of 28% TDs in red zone per attempt. Compares favorably to 2019 averages for top 7 quarterbacks of 29.8%.
⇒ In 2019 he made 1st down on 37.8% of his 3rd and 10 attempts. The average for the top 6 quarterbacks was 34.1%.
⇒ smart, accurate short to mid-range, good arm strength, good leadership

¹ (Burrow, Tua, Herbert, Love, Eason, Fromm, Hurts)

9.  A Place Kicker Day 3 Or Sign As UDFA

a. Dominik Eberle,  Utah State

⇒ One of only two current kickers to be perfect on over 160 career extra points.

b. Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

⇒Winner of the Lou Groza Award presented to the top college football placekicker in the nation.
⇒ Scored second most points among draft eligible kickers.

c. Jet Toner, Stanford

⇒  Toner’s 82.5% career field goal percentage is tie for best among draft eligible players.

d. Jonathan Song, TCU

⇒Song’s 95.8% field goal percentage on 24 attempts is the best among draft eligible kickers with over 13 attempts.

In Conclusion

The Reese Senior Bowl is less than two weeks away. Some of the players presented in this post have accepted invites. They are

Tulsa Reggie Robinson II DB AAC
Utah Bradlee Anae EDGE Pac-12
California Evan Weaver ILB Pac-12
Wyoming Logan Wilson LB MWC
Washington Nick Harris OC Pac-12
Wisconsin Zack Baun OLB Big Ten
Washington Trey Adams OT Pac-12
Georgia Rodrigo Blankenship PK SEC
Washington State Anthony Gordon QB Pac-12
Texas Devin Duvernay WR Big 12

Here is a spreadsheet of the prospects in this post – Draft Prospects.

The other interesting development will be the assembly of Joe Judge’s staff. Even though the head coach position is filled here is an older post that also looked at potential Coordinators for the Giants.

Enjoy the rest of the playoffs and the Giant  staffing developments!

The East West Shrine Game is this Saturday 01/18/20. Here are the players listed in this post that have accepted invitations

The East West Shrine Game 01/18/20 Saturday
San Diego State Luq Barco CB
Utah State Dominik Eberle PK
Pittsburgh Damar Hamlin DB
Charlotte Alex Highsmith DE
Army Elijah Riley DB
Mississippi State Darryl Williams OL

Some Notes On the Division Playoff Game Teams

Running the Ball Is Important to these teams

  1. Six of the eight remaining playoff teams were in the top ten in percentage of run plays and four were the top four teams.
  2. Only one of the remaining playoff teams was in the top ten in passing percentage and that team, the Chiefs, was tenth.

The First Seed Teams Really Excelled in 2019

Baltimore Ravens

  1. First in number of RPO plays by almost 100. They also have the highest percentage of run plays out of an RPO for teams that run 50+ RPO plays.
  2. First in yards per scramble (11.1). Their 40 scrambles was fifth highest in the league.
  3. First in first downs.
  4. First in passing touchdowns.
  5. First in rushing yards.
  6. First in rushing yards per attempt.
  7. First in rushing 1st downs.
  8. First in percentage of drives ending in a score (51.8%)
  9. The only team to have over 50% rushing play selection.
  10. Tie for 2nd in 3rd down conversion percent with 47.1%.
  11. First in 4th down conversion percent with 70.8% on 24 tries.
  12. First in Total Yards margin with + 1712 yards.
  13. First in Rushing Yards margin by almost 1300 yards over the 2nd team.
  14. First in points scored.
  15. First in points differential.
  16. First in second half score margin.
  17. First in average drive time, plays and points.
  18. Second in total yards, defense 1st downs allowed, defense passing TDs allowed, Offense rushing TDs and offense average drive yards.

San Francisco 49ers

  1. First in yards after the catch per completion (5.9 yards) .
  2. First in rushing touchdowns.
  3. First in opponents yards per offensive play allowed (4.7 yards).
  4. First in opponent passing yards.
  5. First in opponents net passing yards per attempt.
  6. First in opponents passing 1st downs.
  7. Second in Points scored, opponent total yards,  rushing yards, average starting position and opponent average drive yards.
  8. Fifth in 3rd down conversion% with 45%.
  9. Third in passing yards margin, first among remaining teams. Kansas is close at 130 yards less. But then among the remaining teams the next is Baltimore at 1045 yards less than Kansas with a -90 yards.

Teams Knocking On the Super Bowl Door

Minnesota Vikings

  1. The Vikings had the highest pocket time (2.7 secs) before passing or the pocket collapsed.
  2. Second in percentage of opponent drives that result in a turnover (17.7%)
  3. The Vikings have been to 4 Super Bowls and won zero. Over the past decade they have been to the playoffs three times and lost in the wildcard twice and the Conference once. Prior to this season quarterback Kirk Cousins had started in one playoff game which was a loss.

Kansas City Chiefs

  1. First in 3rd down conversion percent with 47.6%.
  2. Second in least interceptions thrown, net yards gained per pass attempt, percentage of drives ending in offensive score and average points scored per drive.
  3. The Chiefs have been to two Super Bowls and won one. Over the past decade they have been in the playoffs six times, losing 3 Wildcards, 2 Divisional and one Conference. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to the Conference Championship last year in his first year as the starting quarterback.

Green Bay Packers

  1. First in least number of interceptions thrown and second in team turnovers lost.
  2. The Packers have been to 5 Super Bowls and won 4. In the past decade they made the playoffs seven times and won a Super Bowl (2010 season), lost 2 Conference games, lost 3 division games and lost one wildcard game.

Don’t Let these Underdogs Hang Close.

Three of the four underdogs have performed well in game winning drives either this season or over the last 5 seasons. For 2019 regular season among remaining quarterbacks in the playoffs these three have the three highest game winning drives per game. If the game is close going into the fourth quarter these teams can definitely pull off the upset.

Tennessee Titans

  1. Second in 4th quarter score margin in 2019 regular season.  First among remaining teams. Ryan Tannehill has three game winning drives this season in only 10 starts. Tannehill is tie for ninth among quarterbacks for game winning drives over the last 5 seasons and he did not play in 2017. Among the remaining teams Tannehill has the third highest game winning drives per game for 2019.
  2. Second in rushing touchdowns,

Seattle Seahawks

  1. Russell Wilson is tie for first in game winning drives and 4th quarter comebacks with 5 and 4 respectively this season. Wilson has the second highest game winning drives per game among remaining quarterbacks for 2019.
  2. Second in defensive fumbles lost,

Houston Texans

  1. Deshaun Watson has the highest game winning drives per game among the remaining quarterbacks over the last five seasons. He has the highest 2019 game winning drives per game among remaining quarterbacks.

Enjoy the Games!