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No-Bust Playmakers


Every year before the draft, I try to identify which defensive playmakers I consider low bust risks. Not necessarily the players  I would automatically take with a 1st round pick -- but the players who will almost certainly develop into solid, if not elite, NFL starters. So who are this year's no-busts....

My way of picking these players is simple. Look at the top 50 TFL (tackle for loss) players v BCS teams with winning records - for this year, last year, and the previous year. If they are on two of those lists, they are a no-bust. I don't use sacks because that is too much a function of specific position and the stats get a bit fluky because of the "shared" sack totals. I don't use tackles because that doesn't tell me whether they are an impact player at/behind the line of scrimmage. This TFL tends to eliminate too many DT's and 3-4 D-line -- but they don't tend to be drafted for pure playmaking reasons anyway but for their ability to handle double-teams.

Here are this year's no-busts:

3 year top-50:

Jeremy Beal - Sr - Oklahoma - 6'3" - 267 lbs - DE/LB

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 14 61 15.5 8.5 4 6 3 0 0
2009 13 69 19 11 3 8 3 0 1
2010 14 71 19 8.5 7 1 3 0 0

 

2 year top-50:

Justin Houston - Jr - Georgia - 6'3" - 240 lbs - DE/LB

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 13 19 4.5 2.5 2 2 0 0 0
2009 10 38 14.5 7.5 1 1 1 0 0
2010 13 67 19.5 11 2 2 2 0 1

 

Ryan Kerrigan - Sr - Purdue - 6'4" - 263 lbs- DE/LB

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 12 56 11.5 7 4 2 2 0 1
2009 12 65 17 11 2 0 6 0 0
2010 12 70 26 12.5 1 0 5 0 0

 

Von Miller - Sr - Texas A&M - 6'3" - 243 lbs - LB

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 12 44 7.5 3.5 0 0 2 0 0
2009 13 48 21.5 16.5 5 1 4 0 0
2010 13 68 17.5 10.5 6 6 3 0 1

 

Cameron Heyward - Sr - Ohio St - 6'5" - 288 lbs - DT/DE

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 13 36 4.5 3.0 1 1 1 0 0
2009 13 46 10 6.5 0 2 0 0 0
2010 13 48 13 2.5 1 3 0 0 1

 

Mason Foster - Sr - Washington - 6'2" - 242 lbs - LB

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 12 105 12 1 2 1 0 0 1
2009 12 85 7.5 2 6 1 6 0 1
2010 13 162 14 6.5 3 2 1 1 0

 

J.J. Watt - Jr - Wisconsin - 6'6" - 292 lbs - DT/DE

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2009 13 44 15.5 4.5 5 4 0 0 0
2010 13 61 20.5 7 7 10 3 3 1

 

Karl Klug - Sr - Iowa - 6'4" - 270 lbs - DE/LB/?

Year G Tackles TFL Sacks PBU QB Hurry FF K/P Blk INT
2008 11 17 5 2 0 0 1 0 0
2009 13 64 13 4 5 4 2 0 0
2010 13 57 13 5.5 3 5 1 0 0

 

 

I'm always surprised how few draft picks make this cut each year. Karl Klug is clearly the late-round sleeper here. At least, I've never heard of him. The only two players who have a chance to make the 3 year top-50 for 2012 are Sean Spence (Miami) and Julian Miller (West Virginia)

So -- if these really are the no-bust playmakers in this draft -- which of them have the most upside? Which player do you think will have the most significant NFL career? If any of them make it to the 2nd round or later, will the Broncos pick them?

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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