32 Teams, 32 Observations – Free Agency 2011 Edition

| August 1, 2011

NFL Free Agency has seen some big moves, some small moves, and some false moves. But with us approaching the one week mark, we figure it’s time to start looking back on a period that can only be described as “frantic”.
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So we’re bringing you back one of our feature pieces from last year. We’ll be looking at every team, and following up with a significant observation on what they’ve done. We’ll even throw in some unique PFF stats and analysis.
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So here’s 32 observations on one guy each team has brought in.
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AFC EAST
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Buffalo – It’s going to be interesting to see what Buffalo does with Brad Smith. We’ve already shown he was the most productive guy using the wildcat, so can Buffalo take advantage of that?

Miami – It will be interesting to see what Miami does with their third down defense. Last year they left Dansby on the field, but with Burnett being such an effective blitzer he should see some action. He picked up six sacks, two hits and six hurries on 59 pass rushes.

New England – Even though Albert Haynesworth’s move to Washington never really worked out, he was still productive. Over the past three years, he’s been the second most productive defensive tackle rushing the passer.

New York Jets – As good as Santonio Holmes is, he’ll be hoping to catch more than the 57.1% of balls thrown his way that he did last year. Mark Sanchez needs to step up so the Jets get their money’s worth in Holmes.

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AFC NORTH
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Baltimore – Well, the Ravens haven’t actually brought many new guys in, instead focusing on resigning and extending their own guys. One of them was Marshal Yanda who finished the year our second ranked right tackle.

Cincinnati – New Bengals cornerback Nate Clements added seven pass breaks up to go with his three interceptions last year.

Cleveland – Getting big up front, the Browns have brought in a real run stuffer to give them another guy who can occupy two gaps if needs be. Brodrick Bunkley was our seventh rated defensive tackle over the past three years.

Pittsburgh – In bringing back Willie Colon, the Steelers brought back one of the best pass protecting right tackles in the league. Ben Roethlisberger likes this.

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AFC SOUTH
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Houston – Safety Danieal Manning didn’t allow a single touchdown, broke up six passes (along with one interception), and only missed three tackles all year. Cue tears of joy in Houston.

Indianapolis – Although many see his true value in what he does in pass protection, Joseph Addai did force 16 missed tackles on 116 carries. He ended the year with a strong +5.9 grade for his pure rushing.

Jacksonville – New starting safety Dawan Landry missed just six of 99 attempted tackles in 2010.

Tennessee – Former Bronco tight end Daniel Graham spent more time pass protecting than any tight end last year, and gave up the third lowest amount of pressure on a per snap basis.
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AFC WEST
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Denver – The Broncos brought in David Anderson and it’s easy to see what his top attribute is. In three years he dropped just three of 72 catchable balls.

Kansas City – On the other side of the scale, Steve Breaston dropped eight of 55 balls thrown his way in 2010. He needs to up this because Matt Cassel needs all the help he can get.

Oakland – The last season that potential starter Khalif Barnes actually started (2008 in Jacksonville), he gave up eight sacks, eight hits and 34 hurries. That could be something to watch.

San Diego – Situational pass rusher Antwan Barnes was the second most productive pass rusher on third down last year.

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NFC EAST
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Dallas – Credit to Dallas for making Doug Free their top priority. We didn’t give any tackle a higher grade for their run blocking in 2010.

New York Giants – Over the past three years Mathias Kiwaunka has been the fifth most productive pass rusher on third downs.

Philadelphia – What’s left to say about Asomugha? He’s allowed 50 receptions the past three years. 32 cornerbacks allowed more than that in just 2010 alone.

Washington – Quarterbacks had a rating of 67.8 when throwing at Josh Wilson.

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NFC NORTH
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Chicago – New Chicago defensive end Vernon Gholston has picked up just 17 quarterback disruptions on 322 pass rushes since entering the NFL (one pressure for every 18.94 plays). That’s not great.

Detroit – We measure tackles retrospectively. Nobody made more of them than Stephen Tulloch (128). He only missed nine as well.

Green Bay – John Kuhn converted 58.8% of his runs in short yardage situations on third down. That was the eighth highest percentage of all backs in the league.

Minnesota – New receiver Michael Jenkins didn’t drop a single pass last year and brought in 59.4% of all balls thrown his way.

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NFC SOUTH
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Atlanta – Chronically underappreciated defensive end Ray Edwards has been one of the most consistent performers over the past three years.  Using our pass rushing productivity formula he was the 11th most productive pass rusher over the past three years.

Carolina – You know this already, but Charles Johnson is awesome. Our number two ranked defensive end picked up more quarterback disruptions (81), and more defensive stops (48) than any defensive end.

New Orleans – Lance Moore dropped just 4.11% of balls thrown his way. You see why Drew Brees likes him so much, when the next best percentage of a Saints receiver (Robert Meachem) was 7.84%.

Tampa Bay – Guard Davin Joseph didn’t exactly earn his big deal. Over the past three years, Joseph has the lowest rating we gave to a guard with a -49.8. His run blocking was exceptionally poor.

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NFC WEST
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Arizona – Cornerback Richard Marshall was 98th in our cornerback rankings last year. Marshall allowed 75.3% of throws his way to be completed.

St. Louis – Safety Quintin Mikell had more combined defensive stops, interceptions and passes defensed than any other safety with 47.

San Francisco – Though he didn’t have any sacks, Ray McDonald had 32 quarterback disruptions on 396 pass rushes (mainly in sub packages).

Seattle – Back in 2009, Sidney Rice caught 11 balls thrown over 20 yards for 477 yards. Can you say ‘deep threat’.

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