FanPost

What Might Best Predict A DE's NFL Success?

A couple of days ago I posted "The Key Predictor Of A DT's NFL Success", and it was sparked by former Broncos GM Ted Sunquist that key number for DT's was their 3-cone drill time. I checked the top DT's from the last 2 drafts, and except for Marcell Dareus low of 7.83, it seemed to work. Well, that got me wondering if it might also work for DE's, so let's see if it did.

I've picked 5 of the top DE's from the last 2 drafts, based upon their draft position, and their performance. Sunquist said the 3-cone drill best represents a DT's lateral movement ( believe it represents their ability to change direction while running), I've chosen to add their 20-yard shuttle (it simulates their movement down the line, and reverse of direction on a cutback run), 10-yard split time (the distance to a QB on a pass rush), and 40 yard time (it represents chasing down plays, and I don't have a 10-yard split for some players).

40 Time - !0-Yard Split - 3-Cone Drill - 20-Yard Shuttle - Name - Size - "unofficial" 40

2011 Draft:

4.68 - 1.54 - 7.11 - 4.28 - Brooks Reed (6-3 7/8, 263), an "unofficial" 4.66-40

4.70 - 1.61 - 7.13 - 4.26 - Robert Quinn (6-4 3/8, 265), "unofficial" 4.59-40

4.78 - 1.66 - 7.19 - - NA - Aldon Smith (6-4 1/4, 263)

4.78 - 1.64 - 7.07 - 4.37 - Cameron Jordan (6-4 1/8, 287), "unofficial" 4.71-40

4.83 - 1.61 - 7.30 - 4.13 - Adrian Clayborn (6-3 1/8, 281)

The best rookie production came from Smith, Reed, Quin, and Clayborn, in that order.

2010 Draft:

4.71 - 1.61 - 7.21 - 4.61 - Carlos Dunlap (6-5 3/4, 277), "unoffical" 4.61-40

4.72 - 1.65 - 7.18 - 4.67 - Jason Pierre-Paul (6-4 3/4, 270), "unofficial" 4.64-40

4.78 - 1.60 - 7.12 - 4.43 - Derrick Morgan (6-3, 266)

4.88 - 1.68 - 7.61 - 4.71 - Lamarr Houston (6-2 7/8, 305), "unoffical" 4.85-40

4.96 - 1.75 - 7.13 - 4.64 - Greg Hardy (6-4 281), "unofficial" Pro Day 4.79-40, he was still recovering from an injury at the Combine.

This group is much bigger than the others, and thus less athletic. Lamarr Houston is really a DT who's played 3-4 DE for the Raiders his first 2 years.

2012 Draft:

4.64 - 1.57 - 7.25 - 4.66 - Nick Perry (6-2 3/4, 271), "unofficial" 4.50-40

4.68 - 1.56 - 7.03 - 4.49 - Whitney Mercilus (6-3 5/8, 261), "unoffical" 4.63-40

4.70 - 1.56 - 7.19 - 4.25 - Andre Branch (6-4 1/4, 259)

4.78 - 1.63 - 7.57 - 4.78 - Quinton Coples (6-5 3/4, 284)

4.79 - 1.72 - 6.83 - 4.18 - Melvin Ingram (6-1 7/8, 264)

4.81 - - NA - 7.73 - 4.6- - Courtney Upshaw (6-1 5/8, 279), "unoffical" 4.78-40

4.98 - 1.68 - 6.90 - 4.40 - Vinny Curry (6-3 1/8, 266), "unoffical" Pro Day 4.64-40 & 1.58-10 yard split.

This is generally the most athletic group of DE's, with 3 running faster 3-cone drills (Ingram 6.83, Curry 6.90, and Mercilus 7.03) than anyone in the 2010 or 2011 groups. Only 2 of this years DE's ran under a 4.40 20-yard shuttle (Branch 4.25 and Ingram 4.18), and both were faster than the 3 under 4.40 times in the 2011 group, but none in the 2010 group were able to run under a 4.43 shuttle. Nick Perry is the fastest of the DE's, but from his 3-cone (7.25) and 20-yard shuttle (4.66) times, it seems to be mostly straight line speed. While Ingram's straight line speed is just average, he has great change of direction speed, the fastest of all the DE's in the 3 groups. The gaps between Curry's Combine (4.98 and 1.68) and Pro Day (4.64 and 1.58) numbers is huge, but which player is he? I'm a fan of Mercilus 4.63, 1.56, and a 7.03 are great numbers, but his 4.49 shuttle is only average at best. Quinton Coples has the straight line speed (4.78 and 1.63), Charles Johnson only ran a 4.82-40, but his slow 3-cone drill (7.57) and 20-yard shuttle (4.78) are very disapointing.

This is just an off the wall thought, what if I add the 4 colums together, then see how they rank, and see if it might be a useful ranking tool.

2012 Draft:

17.52 - Melvin Ingram

17.70 - Andre Branch

17.76 - Whitney Mercilus

17.96 - Vinny Curry

18.12 - Nick Perry

18.76 - Quinton Coples

- NA - Courtney Upshaw (missing a 10-yard split)

2011 Draft:

17.61 - Brooks Reed

17.80 - Robert Quinn

17.86 - Cameron Jordan

17.87 - Adrian Claiborn

- NA - Aldon Smith

2010 Draft:

18.00 - Derrick Morgan

18.14 - Carlos Dunlaop

18.22 - Jason Pierre-Paul

18.31 - Greg Hardy

18.88 - Lamarr Houston

We all know that workout numbers aren't everything, so use them as you will. Do you think Sunquist might be onto something about the 3-cone drill for DT's, and do you think it might also work for DE's, or that the 40, 10, and 20 yard shuttle should also be included?

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