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Finding Playmakers For The Broncos Using The Production Ratio

As part of my off-season Homework, I've been reading a book titled "Take Your Eye Off the Ball" by Pat Kirwan. In one chapter, he talks about a statistic he calls the Production Ratio. It is used to measure the playmaking potential for the Front 7 players on defense coming out of college. It is not the be all and end all of statistics, but it is a useful tool when discussing the merits of players on a team's draft board. Read on and I will show you what I found.


The formula goes like this:


What we are looking for someone who scores a 1.0 or better. As a point of reference, the Broncos DE Robert Ayers had a score of .84 coming out of college two years ago. Last years highest drafted DE, Tyson Alualu had a .81 ratio. I have assembled the current top ranked Defensive Ends according to the CBS Draft Rankings. Here is what I found:

OVR Player Pos School SKS TFL Games P. Ratio
3 Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson 19.5 43.5 37 1.7
6 Robert Quinn DE No. Carolina 13 25.5 25 1.54
13 Cameron Jordan DE California 17.5 34 50 1.03
17 Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa 19 37.5 51 1.11
20 Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue 37.5 55.5 48 1.94
22 J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin 11.5 36.5 40 1.2
27 Cameron Heyward DE Ohio St. 15.5 37.5 52 1.02
41 Jabaal Sheard DE Pittsburgh 19.5 35.5 46 1.19
44 Christian Ballard DE Iowa 12 21.5 49 0.68
61 Allen Bailey DE Miami (Fla.) 20 30 61 0.82
70 Sam Acho DE Texas 20 40 49 1.22

The OVR is the overall ranking or the perceived draft position of the player. Obviously it is a speculation, but we must start somewhere right? You can see that Da'Quan Bowers has a nice number and it shows that he gets into the backfield quite a bit to break down and disrupt the opposing offense. what really stands out is Ryan Kerrigan. His numbers indicate that over the course of 48 games, he was in the backfield an average of 2 plays per game. That's not bad at all.

While I was at it, I went ahead and did the Defensive Tackle projections as well. with the Broncos having the #2 pick in the draft and have needs on the defensive line, perhaps they will select a Tackle. For reference with these players, last years #2 pick Ndamukong Suh scored 1.53 over his college career and he just collected the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Gerald McCoy, who was selected after Suh, had a 1.19 Production Ratio score. Here are the top-ranked Defensive Tackles:

OVR Player Pos School SKS TFL Games P. Ratio
2 Nick Fairley DT Auburn 13 27.5 27 1.5
5 Marcell Dareus DT Alabama 11 20 33 .93
23 Corey Liuget DT Illinois 8.5 25.5 36 0.94
37 Stephen Paea DT Oregon St. 15 30.5 38 1.2
42 Phil Taylor DT Baylor 5.5 16 37 0.58
45 Drake Nevis DT LSU 12 29.5 45 0.92
49 Muhammad Wilkerson DT Temple 17 26 36 1.94
65 Marvin Austin DT No. Carolina 9 13.5 38 0.59
68 Jurrell Casey DT USC 8 22 38 0.79
79 Kenrick Ellis DT Hampton 7 37.5 43 1.03
90 Jarvis Jenkins DT Clemson 4.5 23.5 48 0.53
97 Jerrell Powe DT Mississippi 6 24 37 0.81

Now if you're thinking about the comparative number between Suh and Fairley here, I must tell you that Ndamukong's numbers were held through 53 games. Muhammad Wilkerson has a nice number, but you may want to consider the conference he plays for. If you discount the 8 games that Dareus played as a Freshman, his number raises to 1.24 as a starter.

The Denver Broncos currently hold draft picks at numbers 2, 36, 46 and 66. The other three picks remain to be determined at a later date. Now correlate this data with the other measurables and character traits. Then add the numbers for the Combine next month and you will have a better idea who will be worth drafting. After the Combine numbers come in, I will revisit this post with another formula for you to consider.

Go Broncos!