Finding the advanced athlete: SPARQ safeties inside the 2019 NFL Draft

This is the fourth post in this year’s advanced athletes collection (on DEs, DTs, and LBs), and with the aid of now, you should realize the drill.

First, we look at the university manufacturing of a specific function organization. For the safeties, we’ll be using a metric based totally on production points (the metric is defined in detail inside the publish on linebackers), which looks at the important thing stats for safeties and weights them with a pointing device that offers you an unmarried range displaying how many manufacturing points a participant averaged per sport.

Then, we fit that with a metric for athleticism, SPARQ, an unmarried wide variety designed to summarize a participant’s athleticism. The quantity is calculated with a proprietary formula that carries player weight, bench press, large leap, vertical jump, forty-yard dash, ten-yard cut up, short shuttle, and three-cone drill (info right here).

Once we have those two metrics, we integrate them to look at which draft prospects grow to be the most efficient AND the most athletic.

All the caveats and provisos from the preceding posts still follow, but there’s one exchange we’ll make for safeties and inside the next, submit for cornerbacks. As opposed to searching at their manufacturing over the last university seasons, we’ll best have a look at every prospect’s remaining and final college season. The reason for that is that plenty of protecting backs on this draft elegance declared after their junior season, with some only becoming starters in their junior seasons.

Three tight ends to track in the 2019 NFL Draft

The subsequent desk summarizes our manufacturing and Sparq records for 22 safeties with a draftable grade in line with The Draft Network massive board. The players are taken care of via their rank on the equal board, and the players highlighted in inexperience are authentic Top 30 pre-draft visitors in Dallas. The desk is portable, so you can see who ranks in which for every class (just click on the blue column headers):


Eleven. 0 or extra manufacturing points for safeties imply a robust music document of university manufacturing, and something above 14.0 is top-notch.

We will observe production factors in isolation but must feature a few contexts to these numbers. We want to aspect inside the form of function every player had in college. Some players played each corner and safety for their university careers. Others performed better in a hybrid linebacker/protection position, and others once more spent more time in deep center discipline than within the container – all these things affect a player’s college manufacturing, and you can’t see all of that employing the best searching at numbers. This is why manufacturing factors and Sparq are tools out of many more that can assist in a prospect’s final evaluation.

That ranking is manifestly pretty a chunk specific than what The Draft Network proposes. Add Dane Brugler’s Top 10, and confusion reigns best:

Nasir Adderley
Taylor Rapp
Johnathan Abram
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Juan Thornhill
Deionte Thompson
Darnell Savage
Amani Hooker
Mike Edwards
Malik Gant
This is why checking production and athleticism markers to complement one’s assessments may not be the worst idea.

Overall, the standout in terms of production points this year is Juan Thornhill (14.Five), to likely please many Cowboys enthusiasts who’ve him pegged as their puppy cat inside the draft. There are seven more prospects, led through Johnathan Abram (13. Eight) and Nasir Adderley (12.8), with above-average manufacturing.

We recognize that the production factors approach is similar to what the Cowboys use to evaluate their protective players, so there is some validity to looking at university manufacturing for the potentialities.


Moving directly to SPARQ, our listing of safeties is reduced from 22 to 20 gamers, as there are no Sparq records to be had for Deionte Thompson, and JoJo McIntosch’s manufacturing is definitely too low for me to bother converting the scales on the graph.

The graph below visually illustrates what occurs while plotting manufacturing points toward the SPARQ rating for the 2019 safety class.

Going clockwise from the pinnacle left of the graph, the C quadrant functions gamers with a sturdy file of manufacturing at the college degree; however, with questions regarding their athletic capacity. The A quadrant (pinnacle proper) incorporates the gamers most likely to be successful at the NFL degree; they have a sturdy tune report of manufacturing and integrate that with the vital athleticism to permit them to compete at the NFL stage. The B quadrant (bottom proper) shows superior athletes whose college production has been sub-par, leaving scouts questioning why this might be the case. The D quadrant (backside left) is a nasty location for a prospect to discover himself; it’s where the guys sit down whose university manufacturing and athletic markers are below their friends.

Overall, I’ll echo Gil Brandt’s sentiment that that is a deep elegance for safeties, particularly thinking that securities tend to get picked fantastically past due in the draft, as they’re typically undervalued relative to a number of the greater surest positions. While only three gamers show up inside the A-quadrant, quite a few greater are borderline A-quadrant gamers, narrowly failing to surpass one of the pink strains within the graph. Keep in thoughts that those traces are incredibly arbitrarily drawn. While they represent the averages at the position, no hard records may confirm that the brink of NFL success is at precisely that point.

If you’re within the Juan Thornhill Fanclub already, take this as a similar validation of your first-rate scouting capability. If you weren’t, this is the time we welcome you to the Thornhill Fanclub.

All signs and symptoms suggest that the Cowboys will take a protection high this year. The question is whether or not they’ll go out and get their man with their 2nd-spherical pick out or wait until the 1/3 spherical and see which of the men they like fall to them. In both cases, there will possibly be an astable prospect looking ahead to them.

The Cowboys may additionally need to invest in two alternatives for protection to take gain of this sturdy safety elegance. A little competition in no way hurt anyone, and investing in an additional past-due-spherical pick in defense is much cheaper than signing an aging veteran.


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