2012 Combine - Using the Production Ratio to Find Linebackers for the Broncos

During the offseason last year, I wrote a piece using the Production Ratio from Pat Kirwan's book, "Take Your Eye Off the Ball." The Production Ratio is used to measure the playmaking potential for the Front 7 players on Defense coming out of college. There are many aspects to scouting -- Character, Work ethic, Intelligence, Football instincts, Competitiveness and Developmental upside to name a few, but this formula can be used to narrow down the players to focus on during the National Scouting Combine that will be held this week in Indianapolis.

The formula goes like this:

(SACKS + TACKLES FOR LOSS)/NUMBER OF GAMES PLAYED = PRODUCTION RATIO

What we are looking for someone who scores a 1.0 or better. As a point of reference, other players drafted by the Broncos last year, Nate Irving and Mike Mohamed, had scores of 1.4 and .54 respectively. 7th round pick Jeremy Beal had a 1.62 score and we will see if he can transition from Linebacker to Defensive End.

With special thanks and a Mile High Salute to Lars (One.Cool.Customer) over at Blogging the Boys for this next table and living up to his handle, here's a look at the 2011 standout OLB rookies and their college Production Ratio:


NFL College Production
Draft Round / Pick Player Team Sacks 2011 Sacks TFL Games Production Ratio
Round: 1 / Pick: 7 Aldon Smith SF 14 17 29 23 2.00
Round: 1 / Pick: 2 Von Miller DEN 11.5 33 50.5 47 1.78
Round: 1 / Pick: 16 Ryan Kerrigan WAS 7.5 37.5 55.5 48 1.94
Round: 2 / Pick: 43 Brooks Reed HOU 6 17 25 46 0.91
Round: 3 / Pick: 70 Justin Houston KC 5.5 20 38 36 1.61
Round: 2 / Pick: 39 Akeem Ayers TEN 2 14 29.5 37 1.18


I took the latest speculated placements from CBS Draft Rankings. No doubt the spots are fluid, since the draft is still three months away, but we have to begin somewhere. Here are the projected Outside Linebackers and how they rate.

Note: Players with an asterisk are Juniors declaring for the draft and Adrian Robinson was not invited to the Combine.

OVR Name School Hgt Wgt 40 Tm Sks TFL Gm P. Ratio TTKL PD INT
109 Bruce Irvin (DE) West Virginia 6'2" 245 4.50 22.5 29.0 25 2.06 61 1 0
61 *Jonathan Massaquoi (DE) Troy 6'3" 250 4.66 19.5 31.0 25 2.02 125 0 0
38 LaVonte David Nebraska 6'1" 225 4.62 11.5 28.0 27 1.46 285 12 2
285 Miles Burris San Diego St. 6'2" 235 4.73 19.0 47.0 50 1.32 235 1 0
154 Kyle Wilber Wake Forest 6'4" 249 4.70 13.5 35.5 43 1.14 195 6 0
257 Adrian Robinson Temple 6'1" 250 4.73 22.5 33.5 50 1.12 156 4 2
64 Shea McClellin (DE) Boise St. 6'3" 248 4.74 19.5 32.0 49 1.05 129 0 0
113 *Terrell Manning N. Carolina St. 6'3" 225 4.63 10.0 27.5 36 1.04 193 9 5
148 Brandon Lindsey (DE) Pittsburgh 6'2" 255 4.68 22.5 23.5 45 1.02 112 3 1
167 Emmanuel Acho Texas 6'2" 245 4.79 8.5 39.0 48 0.99 262 9 2
20 Courtney Upshaw Alabama 6'2" 265 4.76 16.0 35.5 53 0.97 140 4 1
213 Darius Fleming Notre Dame 6'2" 255 4.65 15.5 32.5 50 0.96 158 7 2
53 *Ronnell (Travis) Lewis Oklahoma 6'2" 244 4.63 10.0 28.5 34 0.90 118 0 0
363 Brandon Marshall Nevada 6'1" 245 4.76 6.0 33.5 52 0.76 359 16 3
210 Danny Trevathan Kentucky 6'0" 232 4.68 5.0 31.5 51 0.72 372 7 4
293 Tahir Whitehead Temple 6'1" 228 4.70 7.0 22.5 50 0.65 163 5 1
233 Tank Carder TCU 6'2" 236 4.67 5.5 25.0 50 0.61 228 19 4
266 Demario Davis Arkansas St. 6'2" 232 4.60 7.0 22.5 48 0.61 230 7 4
95 Nigel Bradham Florida St. 6'2" 249 4.67 9.0 21.5 53 0.57 306 11 3
132 Keenan Robinson Texas 6'3" 240 4.68 5.5 22.5 51 0.55 297 10 2
33 Zach Brown No. Carolina 6'2" 230 4.45 5.5 19.0 47 0.52 230 4 7
86 Josh Kaddu Oregon 6'3" 235 4.65 3.5 10.0 26 0.52 58 2 0
383 Ryan Baker LSU 6'0" 236 4.77 9.5 13.5 50 0.50 174 2 0
426 Steven Johnson Kansas 6'1" 241 3.76 3.0 11.5 35 0.41 229 5 1
478 Nathan Stupar Penn St. 6'1" 239 4.77 5.0 14.5 52 0.38 205 10 4
194 Tyler Nielsen Iowa 6'3" 235 4.54 1.0 8.5 44 0.22 134 5 1

You have probably noticed that there are 4 players in this chart designated as Defensive Ends. You will find them listed at that position during the Combine also. I believe their size projects them as pass rushing Linebackers. Of course I could be mistaken, but let's just say the jury is still out. Still, there will likely be about 10-12 Defensive Ends, who when they finish working out with the rest of their position group, will go do some work with the Linebacker coaches and run 4 or 5 drills at the Combine. Also of note is that Bruce Irvin and Jonathan Massaquoi are both JUCO (Junior College) transfers. Irvin spent two seasons at West Virginia and Massaquoi has two years with Troy.


Here are the Inside Linebackers and how they rate.

Note: Jerry Franklin, Adrien Cole, D.J. Holt and Chris Marve were not invited to the Combine.

OVR Player School Hgt Wgt 40Tm Sk TFL Gm P.Ratio TTKL TPG PD INT
253 Shawn Loiseau Merrimack 6'0" 241 4.68 11.0 36.5 38 1.25 382 10.05 2 1
57 Sean Spence Miami 5'11" 224 4.58 10.5 47.0 47 1.22 318 6.76 12 1
16 *Luke Kuechly Boston College 6'2" 237 4.80 2.5 33.5 38 1.00 532 14.0 10 7
150 Mychal Kendricks California 5'11" 240 4.72 13.5 36.5 51 0.98 258 5.06 7 4
318 Chris Marve Vanderbilt 6'0" 242 4.86 10.0 36.0 49 0.94 397 8.10 5 1
115 Audie Cole N.C. State 6'4" 239 4.84 14.0 32.0 51 0.90 276 7.46 8 1
131 James-Michael Johnson Nevada 6'2" 240 4.68 7.5 37.5 54 0.83 295 5.46 11 3
88 *Vontaze Burflict Arizona St. 6'3" 250 4.67 7.0 22.5 37 0.80 228 6.16 11 1
176 Jerry Franklin Arkansas 6'1" 241 4.60 10.0 31.0 51 0.80 369 7.24 14 5
244 Adrien Cole Louisiana Tech 5'11" 250 4.78 6.0 27.0 43 0.77 324 7.53 6 1
46 Bobby Wagner Utah St. 6'0" 232 4.69 4.5 29.5 48 0.71 466 9.29 9 4
298 D.J. Holt California 6'0" 242 4.84 5.0 28.0 50 0.66 218 4.36 8 0
30 *Dont'a Hightower Alabama 6'4" 260 4.78 5.0 21.0 44 0.59 235 5.34 7 1
269 Najae Goode West Virginia 6'0" 245 4.76 8.0 22.5 52 0.59 157 3.02 7 2
370 Caleb McSurdy Montana 6'1" 251 4.83 4.5 17.0 56 0.38 293 5.23 6 3
191 Chris Galippo USC 6'2" 250 4.74 1.5 15.5 51 0.33 166 3.25 12 5

This does not take into account whether these players come from a 3-4 or a 4-3 system, but a Middle Linebacker in a 4-3 needs to be primarily a Tackling machine. If he can accumulate Sacks and Tackles For a Loss, it's a bonus. Luke Kuechly's production numbers show why he is the top ranking Linebacker this year.

A few things to keep in mind here are that John Fox's ideal Linebacker will be around 6-1 to 6-2 in height and weigh about 235 to 245 pounds. And the faster the better, but the player also had to have outstanding instincts

75% of all Linebackers from 1994-2003 who made at least 56 starts in their first five seasons, were drafted in the top ten spots. From 11-20, that number drops to 63.6%. Picks 21-50 drop to a 48.4% rate. 51-80, 30.2% and 81-120, 15%. This does not mean they had success, an impact or outstanding Pro Bowl seasons, merely that percentage of return (in playing time) for their draft position.

The Broncos first three picks are the 25th, 57th and ~88-89th in the 2012 NFL Draft. As things stand from this point, Sean Spence looks pretty attractive with that 2nd pick. I like Bobby Wagner's production too. His Production Ratio number isn't the highest, but he is quick and racks up Tackles. James Laurenaitis had similar numbers a few years back, though he went to Ohio State. He has averaged over 100 Tackles all 3 years he's been in the league and that's the kind of guy I'd like playing the MIKE. However, this is just the first step of the journey. We can revisit this next week after the Combine, along with a new set of numbers. So stay tuned.

Go Broncos!


Latest News

In This Article

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker