2013 Denver Broncos: Replacing Dumervil's Production Part 2

Andy Lyons

In here you will see the raw numbers that Dumervil produced, identify a baseline of production that needs to be replaced, and see a side to side comparison of possible FA replacements Dwight Freeney and John Abraham.

In part 1 of this series, I looked to dispel myths and half truths that people are using when discussing this situation. In this part, I'm going to identify exactly what replacing Elvis Dumervil looks like on paper, and compare that production with the production of both Dwight Freeney and John Abraham--two possible FA replacements that have been tied to the Denver Broncos.

The data pooled and presented in my own tables came from Pro Football Focus with some added percentages by me. I am not going to present their advanced grades or anything like that here, just give you snap totals and other pertinent information. Again, credit for this data belongs to them.

Dumervil 2009-2012

Year

Snaps

Run

%

Rush

%

Cover

%

% of total

Snaps

2012

1037

420

40.5

559

54.0

58

5.5

87.1

2011

986

414

41.9

562

56.9

10

1.2

86.3

2010

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

2009

880

386

43.9

419

47.6

75

8.5

83.7

*Note that all totals include playoff games

- For the last to years, Doom played about 87% of all defensive snaps. Of those, he was asked to rush the passer about 55.5% of the time. Back when he was playing 3-4 OLB in 2009, he covered a pretty decent percentage of the time 8.5%. We also see the difference between Del Rio and Allen in that Doom was almost never asked to cover under Allen and was asked to cover much more last season.

- As you will see he has played a ton of snaps and will play a many more rushing play snaps than the other two potential replacements.

Freeney 2009-2012

Year

Snaps

Run

%

Rush

%

Cover

%

% of total

Snaps

2012

768

276

35.9

467

60.8

25

3.3

76.1

2011

697

262

37.6

435

62.4

0

0.0

62.3

2010

859

328

38.2

530

61.6

1

0.2

76.4

2009

710

237

33.4

470

66.2

3

0.4

60.0

- Pretty consistent snaps throughout, almost never asked to cover including last year as a 3-4 OLB.

- His split in pass rush to run support is more like 67-33 when compared with Doom's 55-45 split over the last couple of years (throwing out coverage snaps).

- Overall he's played about 65% of the overall snaps over that 4 year period compared to Doom's 85% of overall snaps.

Abraham 2009-2012

Year

Snaps

Run

%

Rush

%

Cover

%

% of total

Snaps

2012

806

307

38.1

463

57.4

36

4.5

69.2

2011

690

241

34.9

394

57.1

55

8.0

67.7

2010

659

210

31.9

390

59.2

59

8.9

64.8

2009

703

244

34.7

421

59.9

38

4.4

66.4

- Abraham has played about 67% of all defensive snaps over a four year period. Slightly higher than Freeney, but still far short of Dumervil.

- His ratio looks like 57-36, he's played far too many snaps in coverage consistently to ignore that part of his game.

Now let's compare their results against the run:

Player

Run

Snaps

Tackles

%

2012

---

---

---

Dumervil

336

28

8.3

Abraham

225

21

9.3

Freeney

227

9

3.9

2011

---

---

---

Dumervil

335

29

8.7

Abraham

199

19

9.5

Freeney

240

8

3.3

Totals

---

---

---

Dumervil

671

57

8.5

Abraham

424

40

9.4

Freeney

467

17

3.6

Again, Dumervil had many more snaps against the run over the course of the last two years. Percentage wise though, John Abraham exceeds his production. Freeney is nowhere close to either--it doesn't appear as if the position change affected his output here. Very similar numbers in both years.

Finally, here are their pass rushing numbers:

Player

Pass

Snaps

P. Rush

Snaps

P. Rush %

Sack

Sack

%

Press

Total

%

2012

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

Dumervil

540

489

90.6

12

2.6

48

60

12.3

Abraham

453

417

92.1

10

2.3

46

56

13.4

Freeney

436

414

95.0

5

1.2

42

47

11.4

2011

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

Dumervil

469

464

98.9

12

2.9

35

47

10.1

Abraham

395

343

86.8

10

2.9

43

53

15.4

Freeney

412

412

100.0

8

1.9

41

49

11.9

Totals

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

Dumervil

1009

953

94.4

24

2.5

83

107

11.2

Abraham

848

760

89.6

20

2.6

89

109

14.3

Freeney

848

826

97.4

13

1.6

83

96

11.6

- Let's use 11.2 %, call it 11% as our benchmark since that is what we are losing with Dumervil. We want to see a pressure of some kind on 11% of the pass rushing snaps. Forget sack numbers for a minute here. Though sacks are shiny, sparkly numbers, a pressure affects the play whether a sack is registered or not, so instead lets look at the aggregate numbers (sacks+pressures). Abraham outperforms both. Freeney has a slightly higher percentage of pressures.

- When we examine sack % (think TD % or INT % for QB's) Dumervil and Abraham are dead even. Freeney lags behind here and it is a significant number.

- Freeney and Dumervil the last couple of years had the highest % of rushing the passer in passing situations. Abraham is lower and again it's due to how much he was put in coverage.

Conclusions

Production wise, Abraham would replace Dumervil's production better than Freeney. In fact he exceeds Dumervil on a percentage basis in all three facets of the game (pass rush, run support, coverage). He would also give the Broncos flexibility in nickel defense to rush three and drop back in coverage. As far as total snaps, both Freeney and Abraham fall short of Dumervil's contributions.

I would feel fine about Freeney in this defense even though his production in the pass rush department looks bad due to a lower sack number in 2012. Bottom line he still disrupted the play at a high percentage due to hits and hurries.

If we get Freeney, he's situational, which is also why the Broncos shouldn't (and won't) give him 6 million per year. If we get Abraham, he'll be on the field much more.

In Part 3, Big Pete is going to take a closer look at some possible in-house replacements.

GO BRONCOS!!!

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