Relative athletic score (RAS) was developed by math geeks to help compare football athleticism within position groups. The formula looks at all of the measurables from the combine (or Pro-Day) and then generates a value on a scale of zero to ten. Of course, this is just a tool and used without film study, it can lead to some very dubious draft decisions, but we’ll get into that later.
Players that opt out of too many drills at the combine don’t get RAS scores, because you have to do most drills to get one.
Over the last ten drafts the Denver Broncos have selected 69 players who have done enough of the drills to get a RAS score. The RAS for all 69 is contained in the table below. The two best RAS values were obtained by Quinn Meinerz and Baron Browning. Both got 9.98. That is not to say that Browning and Meinerz tested the same. Remember Meinerz is compared to other IOL guys while Browning was compared to other linebackers. Both men tested extremely well relative to their position group, hence the RELATIVE part of RAS.
|1||Quinn Meinerz||OC||2021||Wisconsin Whitewater||9.98||98|
|2||Baron Browning||LB||2021||Ohio State||9.98||105|
|3||Patrick Surtain II||CB||2021||Alabama||9.96||9|
|7||Bradley Roby||CB||2014||Ohio State||9.83||31|
|8||Courtland Sutton||WR||2018||Southern Methodist||9.81||40|
|15||Bradley Chubb||DE||2018||North Carolina State||9.51||5|
|17||Marvin Mims Jr.||WR||2023||Oklahoma||9.41||63|
|18||Justin Simmons||FS||2016||Boston College||9.38||98|
|23||Jeff Heuerman||TE||2015||Ohio State||9.17||92|
|25||Marquiss Spencer||DT||2021||Mississippi State||9.03||253|
|29||Javonte Williams||RB||2021||North Carolina||8.78||35|
|30||Derrek Tuszka||DE||2020||North Dakota State||8.65||254|
|35||DaeSean Hamilton||WR||2018||Penn State||8.09||113|
|39||Dalton Risner||OC||2019||Kansas State||7.66||41|
|40||Jonathon Cooper||DE||2021||Ohio State||7.61||239|
|42||Lloyd Cushenberry III||OC||2020||Louisiana State||7.36||83|
|43||Lamin Barrow||LB||2014||Louisiana State||7.34||156|
|47||Eyioma Uwazurike||DT||2022||Iowa State||6.58||116|
|50||Dre'Mont Jones||DT||2019||Ohio State||6.13||71|
|51||Isaac Yiadom||CB||2018||Boston College||6.12||99|
|52||Ty Sambrailo||OT||2015||Colorado State||5.89||59|
|53||Carlos Henderson||WR||2017||Louisiana Tech||5.75||82|
|56||De'Angelo Henderson||RB||2017||Coastal Carolina||5.66||203|
|59||Sam Jones||OG||2018||Arizona State||4.87||183|
|60||Matt Paradis||OC||2014||Boise State||4.85||207|
|64||Kary Vincent||FS||2021||Louisiana State||4.10||237|
|66||Justin Strnad||LB||2020||Wake Forest||3.83||178|
|67||Demarcus Walker||DE||2017||Florida State||3.19||51|
Only five Bronco draft picks over the last ten drafts have had a RAS below 4. Those five are Darius Kilgo, Justin Strnad, Demarcus Walker, Will Parks and Lorenzo Doss.
Kilgo played 325 defensive snaps during his 3-year NFL career. Doss played 88 over four seasons. Strnad is somehow still on the Broncos despite his terrible defensive snaps when he was forced to play. Demarcus Walker is still playing. The incredibly stiff and slow DE had a career year last season with the Titans, generating 17 QB pressures and 7.0 sacks. He now has 19.5 career sacks, about half of which came in his four years on the Broncos. I’m so glad we used the 51st overall pick on him.
Will Parks has been much travelled since he left the Broncos in 2020. He has been on the Chiefs, Eagles, Dolphins and Jets. He signed a vet min deal to play for the Jets in 2023. While he has almost 2600 defensive snaps in his career, he has only accrued about 300 of those over the last two+ seasons since the Broncos released him.
Some other players that the Broncos have drafted who have had “poor” RAS scores make sense after the fact: David Williams, Keishawn Bierria, Sam Jones, Shane Ray, Carlos Henderson, Ty Sambrailo, Corey Nelson, Isaac Yiadom and Jamar Johnson. All of them were bad players in the NFL (if they played at all). Our front office was swayed by film to draft them despite their poor combine performances.
Other guys who are still on the roster with poor RAS scores include:
- Trell Washington (4.32)
- Josey Jewell (5.67)
- Eyioma Uwazurike (6.58)
- Jerry Jeudy (6.76)
Not all of the “poor” RAS draft picks were wasted picks though. Parks was a solid piece of the last years of the NFZ. Matt Paradis was an above average center until his hips gave out. Kary Vincent was traded for draft capital. Corey Nelson was a solid special teams player. Dre’Mont Jones is an above average DE/DT and we already talked about the niche the Walker has created for himself in the NFL as the only slow-footed pass rush specialist in the league.
I had forgotten that Jerry Jeudy performed as poorly as he did at the combine. His relatively slow short shuttle dragged his RAS down. Jeudy’s ten yard split was the same as Thomas Incoom who weighs 70 more pounds.
Jeudy tested so poorly possibly because he knew he was going to be a first round pick. This is why so many guys who know they are going in the first round, skip many of the drills at the combine - those drills can only hurt them.
Seeing Cody Latimer’s score also goes a long way to explain why the Broncos
wasted used the 56th overall pick on him. We know now, that Latimer has nowhere near Jeudy’s ability as a receiver in the NFL. Hence the need for more than just combine data. Anyone with eyes could tell you that Jeudy was a much better receiver coming out of college than Latimer.
RAS values also explain why the Broncos traded up to get Riley Moss. Why we got a steal in Connor McGovern and Baron Browning and why we used day three picks on Caden Sterns, Luke Wattenberg, Justin Hollins, Tyrie Cleveland, Matt Henningsen and Marquiss Spencer.
Moss has the RAS and the tape as did Browning in college.