## 2011 NFL Combine: Using The Explosion Number For Broncos Defensive Line Draft Prospects

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive lineman Nick Fairley of Auburn looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

To continue with the Explosion Number formula, this time we will look at the Defensive Ends and Tackle prospects at the 2011 Combine. I had the chance to watch the Linemen run the 40-yard Dash, the Broad Jump and some position drills. I must say that this group is very impressive. The number of linemen running sub 5-second 40 Times this year is amazing. It really is a deep class. Here's hoping the Broncos can pickup a pair to help rush the opposing quarterbacks whenever the CBA mess gets cleaned up and the 2011 season becomes reality. Follow after and we will jump right in.

Once again, I am using an equation derived by Pat Kirwan and noted in his book, "Take your eyes off the Ball." The result of this number shows how explosive an athlete's first step is compared to the rest of the field of candidates. Since the rating systems for NFL teams are so sophisticated, any minuscule measurement can mean the difference in the selection preference between two virtually equal draft prospects. The Explosion Number is one of those measurements that can make that decision easier. Here is the formula:

Bench Press Reps + Vertical Jump + Broad Jump = Explosion Number

A number of 70 or higher will catch a Head Coaches attention. I also thought I would list the Production Ratio number for each prospect as well. If you don't recall what the Production Ratio, I wrote a post on it about a month ago and you can find it here.

A Production Ratio greater than 1.00 combined with an Explosion number over 70 would indicate a player that should be given serious consideration for drafting. Anyway, I listed the top 15 Defensive Tackles and Ends as rated by CBSSports Draft page.

OVR Name Pos. Bench Vertical Broad Expl. No. 40 Time P. Ratio
2 Nick Fairley DT DNP 31" 9'1" INC 4.87 1.5
5 Marcell Dareus DT 24 27" DNP INC 4.93 .93
21 Corey Liuget DT 27 27.5" 8'6" 62.9 4.99 0.94
36 Stephen Paea DT 49 DNP DNP INC DNP 1.2
39 Phil Taylor DT 31 29.5" 8'4" 68.9 5.14 0.58
42 Muhammad Wilkerson DT 27 26" 8'9" 61.9 4.96 1.94
49 Drake Nevis DT DNP 30.5" 9'4" INC 5.06 0.92
64 Marvin Austin DT 38 30.5" 9'4" 77.9 4.9 0.79
69 Kenrick Ellis DT 26 DNP DNP INC 5.28 1.03
76 Jurrell Casey DT 26 27.5" 8'5" 61.9 5.06 0.53
91 Jerrell Powe DT DNP 25" 7'9" INC 5.29 0.81
101 Jarvis Jenkins DT 17 26.5" 7'7" 51 5.08 0.75
119 Lawrence Guy DT 28 29" DNP INC 4.96 0.89
134 Ian Williams DT 31 28.5" 8'2" 67.5 5.25 0.31
141 Sione Fua DT 30 24" 8'5" 62.5 5.28 0.63

Phil Taylor and Ian Williams have low Production Ratios because they spent time as Nose Tackles and weren't charged with rushing the passer, as they were primarily lane clogging wide bodies. The top four will get closer examination and I'm betting their incomplete statistics will prove out. Marvin Austin will move up the board a few spots as well.

I made a list of some other players from the last few years so there would be a contrast. I also listed some Bronco linemen that I could find data for.

Player Bench Vertical Broad Expl. No. 40 Time P. Ratio
B.J. Raji 33 32" 8'7" 73.6 5.12 0.92
Brian Orakpo 31 39.5" DNP 75 4.63 1.17
Peria Jerry 28 31" 9'6" 68.6 4.98 1.3
Evander Hood 34 33" 9'0" 76 4.83 0.76
Tyson Jackson DNP 28.5" 8'6" 57 4.94 0.86
Gerald McCoy 23 30.5" 96"" 63 5.04 1.19
Ndamukong Suh 32 35.5" 8'9" 76.3 5.03 1.53
Jared Odrick 26 29" 8'10" 63.8 5.03 1.86
Tyson Alualu 21 35.5" 9'8" 66.1 4.87 0.81
Brian Price 34 28.5" 8'0" 70.5 5.12 1.63
Lamarr Houston 30 33.5" 9'6" 73 4.84 1.16
Robert Ayers 18 29.5" 8'6" 56 4.78 0.84
Kevin Vickerson 20 35.5" 9'0" 64.5 5 sec. 0.75
Justin Bannan 24 29 8'3" 61.3 4.99 0.68
Marcus Thomas 27 26.5" 8'5" 61.8 5.11 1.05
Ryan McBean 27 28 9'0" 64 4.96 0.94

As you can see, the numbers hold up pretty well as indicators of athletic ability. Now let's look at the prospects at Defensive End.

OVR Name Pos. Bench Vertical Broad Expl. No. 40 Time P. Ratio
3 Da'Quan Bowers DE 22 DNP DNP INC DNP 1.7
7 Robert Quinn DE 22 34" 9'8" 65.7 4.7 1.54
13 Cameron Jordan DE 25 31" 9'11" 65.9 4.78 1.03
17 Adrian Clayborn DE DNP 33" 9'5" INC 4.83 1.11
18 J.J. Watt DE 34 37" 10'0" 81 4.84 1.85*
22 Ryan Kerrigan DE 31 33.5" 9'9" 74.2 4.71 1.94
30 Cameron Heyward DE DNP 30" DNP INC DNP 1.02
41 Jabaal Sheard DE DNP 31" 9'7" INC 4.69 1.19
45 Christian Ballard DE DNP 31.5" 9"3" INC 4.8 0.68
62 Allen Bailey DE 27 36.5" 9'9" 73.2 4.77 0.82
70 Sam Acho DE 23 33.5" 9'4" 65.8 4.68 1.22
103 Pernell McPhee DE DNP 28.5" 8'11" INC 4.93 1.16
115 Pierre Allen DE DNP DNP DNP INC DNP 0.94
124 Greg Romeus DE DNP DNP DNP INC DNP 1.53
146 Ricky Elmore DE 26 31.5" 8'10" 66.3 4.96 0.93

Note: There was a mistake on J.J. Watts'' Production Ratio. He was a Tight End in his freshman year. The number was skewed by an additional 13 games. The PR number went from 1.20 to 1.85 which is even more remarkable.

Those prospects with Production Ratios above the mean will need further input from their respective Pro days. J.J. Watt scored as good as his Combine appearance revealed. He had a great Combine and showed a high motor. Ryan Kerrigan looked good too, but his arm length is shorter than many teams like. Still, if that drives his stock down and he is allowed to drop, some team will end up with a steal, IMO. Look for Watt, Kerrigan and to an extent Allen Bailey, to move up the draft boards after good showings this past weekend.

I will be continuing this study in my next offering using the Linebackers as the subject. It may be a day or two away though, so until then...

Go Broncos!

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