State of the Broncos Roster: Defensive Ends

Doug Pensinger

2013 Roster and 2014 Status:

Here is a quick look at the Broncos roster from 2013 and what their future holds for the 2014 season. I didn't include Malik Jackson in this list since he spent more time at DT than he did at DE this season, but don't forget he could be moved to DE in 2014 or could remain inside.

*This is a sortable table, click on the heading to sort*

Name 2014 Status Snaps % of Total Season Snaps
Ayers, R FA 514 41.9%
Davis, H
Roster 0 0.0%
Mincey, J FA 61 5.0%
Phillips, S FA 784 63.9%
Smith, Q Roster-IR 0 0.0%
Wolfe, D Roster-IR 566 46.1%
Youboty, J
Roster 0 0.0%

The Broncos are losing two of their most active defensive ends in Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips while also not retaining Jeremy Mincey, who played in 46.9% of the snaps in Denver during the two weeks he was here in the regular season. Derek Wolfe and Q. Smith do return from Injured Reserve though.

2013 Total Production:

This table looks at how often a player rushed the passer and how many sacks, hits and hurries they generated along with the number of holding penalties they drew on passing plays. Now my numbers come from 5 sources:

- ESPN
- Pro Football Focus
- Football Outsiders
- The NFL's official data
- My own count


I then average them together so one source doesn't bias the sample and we get a better picture, especially when it comes to hurries since those are very subjective. Also sacks may be a bit off from what many think but this is because all half sacks are converted into a whole sack and other players either gain or loss sacks since the NFL is well known for give players who never touched the QB sacks and ignoring those who actually help bring the QB down. Finally I've include each players average time to sack.

*This is a sortable table, click on the heading to sort*

Name Pass Rushing Snaps Sacks Hits Hurries
Drawn Holds
Total
Avg. Time to Sack
Ayers 330 7 6
33 2 48 3.82
Davis
0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Mincey 38 0 0 5 0 5 -
Phillips 478 11 5 32 4 52 4.10
Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Wolfe 370 4 4 27 0 35 4.33
Youboty
0 0 0 0 0 0 -

2013 Per Snap Production:

Now Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP) is created by taking total pressures divided by total pass rushing snaps to get a percentage. An example is that if Phillips has 10 pressures on 97 snaps meaning he got pressure on 10.31% of his snaps. Weighted PRP on the other hand takes in the factor that whiles pressures, hits and forced holds are valuable, sacks are more valuable. The value for a sack is 1.2, hit is .8 and pressure is .7 while a holding penalty is worth .6. This may seem arbitrary but it’s created by looking at how many yards are lost and completion percentage going down in each situation and is supported by what many NFL teams already do.

On a side note I'm ranking those who had zero pressures as 100 because it's arbitrary, puts them at the bottom and I want to.

*This is a sortable table, click on the heading to sort*

Name Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures
PRP% Rank
Weighted PRP
Ayers 330 48
14.6% 2
11.4%
Davis
0 0
0.0% 100
0.0%
Mincey 38 5
13.2%
4
9.2%
Phillips 478 52
10.9%
9
8.8%
Smith 0 0
0.0%
100
0.0%
Wolfe 370 35
9.5%
24
7.3%
Youboty
0 0
0.0%
100
0.0%

Wrapping Up:

The Broncos had a very good group this season due in Phillips and Ayers, both ranked in the top 10 on a per snap basis when it came to rushing the passer but both are set to be free agents. Mincey was productive in his very limited time here, but the key word with him is "limited". Wolfe returning will be nice but he was on the low end of productivity compared to Ayers and Phillips but could improve during the off-season. The Broncos also have Smith potentiall returning but has been rehabing his injury from college and could potentially work his way into rotation. But taking away Ayers, Mincey and Phillips, the Broncos are in serious need of more defensive ends, either re-signing one they had in 2013, through the draft or adding talent in free agency.

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