During the week prior to this year's NFL Combine, I wowed and amazed you by Using the Production Ratio to Find Defensive Linemen for the Broncos. The Production Ratio helped us narrow down our watch list and identified traits that either stood out or were inefficient to upgrade the team we all love. I also said we would revisit this Post-Combine with the Explosion Number to further look under the microscope. We should be able to determine whether a player is a speed or power rusher simply by looking at the numbers.
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
|OVR||Name||Exp. #||Comb. 40||Bench||Vertical||Broad||20-Yd Shut||3-cone||P. Ratio|
|76||Mike Martin (NT)||80.75||4.88||36||33.5||11'3||4.25||7.19||0.71|
|378||Christian Tupou (NT)||63.12||5.42||30||24.0||9'2||4.87||8.07||0.18|
Teams have been testing and recording prospects with these drills since the early 1960s. Likewise, most of them have been doing it long enough to know what "good measurables" look like. It's true that some players will blow people away with an amazing 40 time or put up a, impressive amount of reps in the Bench Press. But it's more important to identify the target numbers that indicate a prospect is worthy of further evaluation.
These are the target numbers for Defensive Linemen and are from 2008, so if anything, they might be a touch low.
|10-yard Split (40)||Quickness||1.81|
|20-yard Split (40)||Burst||3.01|
|225 Bench Press (Reps)||Upper body strength||26|
|Vertical Jump||Explosiveness,leg strength||30"|
|Broad Jump||Explosiveness,leg strength||8' 9"|
|20-yard Shuttle||Flexibility and burst||4.55|
|60-yard Shuttle||Flexibility and endurance||N/A|
I just have one more thing for your comparisons.
Last year, their were a lot of Incomplete grades because too many players missed one part or another during the Combine. Marvin Austin, who was drafted by the New York Giants, tore a Pectoral muscle in the preseason, but won a Super Bowl Ring anyway, scored a 77.9 Explosion Number and had a Production Ratio of 0.79. Since that is nothing to compare to, here are the Defensive Tackles from 2 seasons past (along with a few Broncos) for a clearer picture.
|Player||Bench||Vertical||Broad||Expl. No.||40 Time||P. Ratio|
|Kevin Vickerson||20||35.5"||9'0"||64.5||5 sec.||0.75|
I'm looking forward to your feedback and hopefully I can get the next position up soon. Until then...