2013 PFF Defensive Rookie of the Year

Playing defense is hard in today's NFL and doing so as a rookie is even tougher. Khaled Elsayed offers PFF's top defensive rookies and presents the 2013 winner.

| 3 years ago
2013-DROY

2013 PFF Defensive Rookie of the Year


2013-DROYAll year long I’ve been producing a weekly piece entitled The Race for Rookie of the Year. In that I’ve looked at all the rookies and determined just who is the top guy out there. Well now I’ve invited some fellow analysts into the discussion to help name the PFF awards.

So now we’re going to look at how is the 2013 PFF Defensive Rookie of the Year, with a countdown from three runners up to the eventual winner.

 

3rd Runner Up

Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers

If you’re looking at a big reason as to why the Panthers’ defense has looked so much better this year we’d advise looking up front. In particular, take a gander at the ample frame of first round pick Star Lotulelei who has been a beast against the run.

2013-DROY-inset-lotuleleiOf all defensive tackles he tied for the sixth-highest grade against the run, and it owed a lot more than just occupying blockers. No, the Panther ended up with 30 stops against the run on his 233 run defense snaps, good for a Run Stop Percentage of 12.9%. That was second-highest of all defensive tackles and showed just how much of a force he was.

Sure he could rush the passer a little better, but his production this season was exactly what the team was hoping for.

 

2nd Runner Up

Tyrann Mathieu, SCB/S, Arizona Cardinals

In the eyes of some of our staff Tyrann Mathieu deserved to win it all. Why? Well it’s not easy playing well at one spot in the NFL. Let alone playing well at two and doing it as a rookie.

2013-DROY-inset-mathieuLooking like a natural from Day 1 the part safety/ part slot cornerback graded positively in all but one game. He did that by getting more pressure than all but two defensive backs, picking up 20 tackles against the run and ending the year with a healthy two picks and six pass break-ups.

Get well soon, Honey Badger, the league was better for your presence.

 

1st Runner Up

Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets

He led my Race for Rookie of the Year all the way through the season, but when push came to shove he narrowly missed out in the tightest of tight votes.

2013-DROY-inset-richardsonThere’s an awful lot to like about Richardson who finished second behind J.J. Watt with a +34.0 run defense grade. Ultimately he fell short in part because of the numbers he put up rushing the passer where his Pass Rushing Productivity score was only 17th out of 22 qualifying 3-4 ends.

Still, it was a tremendously impactful rookie year and if he can make the kind of leap in this regard that Muhammad Wilkerson made from Year 1 to Year 2, then you should be very scared about what that Jets defense might do.

 

2013 PFF Defensive Rookie of the Year

Desmond Trufant, CB, Atlanta Falcons

He snuck up on us, lost a little in a horrible year for Atlanta but shining brightly enough by the end that nobody could miss it.

Trufant looked a little lost in preseason but we’re now convinced he was just rope-a-doping us because once the regular season started he looked like exactly the player the Falcons needed from the draft. He ended the year with a league-leading 15 pass break-ups to go with his two picks, allowing just 53.4% of balls thrown his way to be completed.

2013-DROY-trufant
That earned him the eighth-highest coverage grade of all cornerbacks and what makes that so special and him the Defensive Rookie of the Year, is just how hard that is to do as a rookie.

Look, for example, at how long it took Dee Milliner to show up and you see just how rare a feat Trufant achieved in a team with ranked as our worst pass rushing outfit.

 

Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

 

  • a57se

    You guys have lost all credibility with me after this bad joke.

  • Brendan

    Was this just PFF wanting to shake things up since Boss Hogg led the way the entire year and it would be very anti-climactic to just hand the DROY to the best defensive rookie?

    I realize what Trufant accomplished as a rookie is extremely difficult, but Sheldon was an elite player at his position from Week 1 on.

  • Ummm

    +30.4 v +12.2. 5th ranked 3-4 DE versus the 7th ranked CB.

    • Mike Renner

      It bears repeating that grades can’t be compared across positions. Oline vs Oline, Dline vs Dline, and ILB vs 4-3 OLB can have some correlation, but even then a RG is asked to do different things than a LT and a 3-4 DE has different responsibilities compared to a 4-3 DT. So comparing the overall grades of a 3-4 DE and a CB is meaningless.

      To your second point only 15 teams ran a 3-4 this last season while every team has two cornerbacks(and most use 3 frequently). So Richardson was 5th out of 30 while Trufant was 7th out of 64. The latter would appear more impressive.

      • TheeLidman

        Mike,

        I can get your point on ‘grading’, but how can you explain how a guy who was rated #1, in your weekly ‘Race for Rookie of the Year’ from weeks 4 to week 16, finishes 4th overall behind 3 players, who never ranked higher than he did? In your Defensive Rookie of the Year, he gets edged out by a player who didn’t maker your top 10, in 11 of the 16 weeks he played (he did have 1 one bye, and you didn’t have week 17 column)? Think about that Richardson was top rated rookie 13/16 weeks and never lower than 7. Trufant never ranked higher than 5, and wasn’t even ranked in 11 weeks.

        It’s baffling and it’s not a grading thing.

        • Abouthat

          I have to agree here. I mostly comment purely to point of fallacies of those who rail against what PFF says (I serve as there unofficial defendant a lot when they say nothing). You can see that in the other comments on this board. But I don’t understand the last minute switch. It;s not like they even made it seem close between the two in weeks 16 and 17. The grading disparity I’m fine with, but they needed to do a better job explaining their last-minute change.

        • Mike Renner

          I guess it’s as simple as the weekly articles being one analysts opinion while this article is a collective one.

          I’ll just ask, as I assume you’re a Jets fan. Which would you have rather had this season, an elite run stuffing defensive end that is fairly one dimensional or one of the top 10 cover corners in football?

          • TheeLidman

            Mike,

            First off, I love your site’s stuff. I’m a fan and arguing sports is half the fun of it. So, my argument is strictly light hearted.

            Second, yes I am a NYJ fan, but that’s really not the basis of my argument. In fact, in one of the comments I say, I can’t really argue the Warford overall pick, because he did rank high all year too. I see your point on the one analyst vs a consortium. However, you have to admit when 1 guy isn’t even ranked until week 12 and the other guy is on top basically all year, I could argue he should win on consistency alone.

            Finally, I think, as NYJ fan, I have a very good perspective on your last question. We had arguably the single greatest cover CB whoever laced them up. I don’t think that is hyperbole either, because of how dominant Revis was in an era where the rules were stacked against him in a way Sanders, Bailey, Haynes or others ever had to deal with. Short answer I’d rather have a disruptive defensive lineman because he can simply have more impact, on more plays. As great as Revis was for the NYJ, teams could simply avoid him, and they did.

            You describe Richardson as an ‘elite run stuffing DE that is fairly one dimensional’. I will agree that to become truly dominant, he needs to become a more consistent pass rusher; one who generates pressure. That said, I disagree with your claim that he is one dimensional. He is an elite run defender. The NYJ defense ranked 26th, vs the run, in 2012. This year they ranked 3rd. As a rookie this guy had 11 TFL, as a 3-4 DE, he’s the second coming of Sapp. While he may not have generated as much pass pressure as you would have liked, is it a coincidence that both Wilkerson and Pace had career highs, in sacks (which isn’t a perfect stat..I know) when he arrived? He might not get the pressure, but he often blocks up the blocking scheme, w/his quickness, leaving others left unblocked, or in 1on 1 situations.

            I can’t comment on Trufant’s effectiveness. First, I didn’t see many Atl games. Second, even if he was great, Atl gave up 31 TDs through air. I’m thinking Atl didn’t leave him on an island to allow the Safeties to double elsewhere. If he’s truly elite, like Revis, his presence allows the defense to protect in other places. Atlanta’s defense was putrid, and his top 10 coverage skills weren’t difference making. Agree?

            Fun argument….

          • Mike Renner

            Thanks for the kind words about the site and I agree that the debate is half the fun.

            Let me say this first, I have no dog in this fight and I cannot definitively state which one had the better season as they were that close. I didn’t bring up a Jets fan because of bias, but more to your second point that you’ve seen number 1 run and pass defenses over the last 5 seasons. This year was the Jets best season against the run, yet they gave up the most points of any of the last 5. Disruptive lineman are great yes, but disrupting the run only does so much.

            I won’t disagree with you on Richardson’s talent. Pass rushing rarely translates from college to pros year 1. He could make the type of year 2 jump JJ Watt and Mo Wilkerson did before him. I do disagree about his ‘disruptiveness’ though. This year though he just wasn’t much of a threat rushing the passer. The correlation between Wilkerson and Pace’s sack totals and Richardson’s presence is guesswork at best. I’d even argue that there is a more likely correlation between the arrival of a double team eating nose tackle and Richardson’s run performance, but both are conjecture and don’t explain either his lack of pressure or his superb run play.

            I think the key point in your last paragraph about Trufant is ‘If he’s truly elite, like Revis…’. The thing is no one playing corner right now is on that level. That is pretty far above even elite level corner play. No corner in the league is currently carrying a secondary like that, and Trufant was playing with a deck stacked against him with his defensive line. I agree that it didn’t ‘transform’ the Falcons defense, but trying to speculate how each team would have done without their respective players is trivial.

            Jet’s fans be too upset over Richardson getting 2nd here though. They hit and absolute home run on the 13th pick and the Jets are going to have about the perfect 3 man front next year and it will be scary.

          • TheeLidman

            Be interesting if you calculated the mean score for each position group, and then you could compare players, playing different positions, by how many standard deviations they graded above, or below the mean.

            Babe Ruth was one of the greatest HR hitters of all time, we all know that. However, irrespective of PEDs, when you realize that when he retired he had more than double the HRs of #2 Gehrig, you get a better illustration of just how much more dominant he was.

          • Abouthat

            You brought up this point in your other response to me. I don’t know if that’s a perfect system, but that sure seems great. That’s a really good idea. How would you avoid an issue like this: top grade for a corner in a given year is +20, lowest is -20. Top for a DL is +50 (not counting watt and quinn) and lowest is -50. Assuming equal distribution, both would average to zero, showing an equal stat for two clearly different things. How would you avoid that? Cuz it seems like a really good idea otherwise

          • TheeLidman

            Remember you’re comparing guys v their own position group. It’s a mean, not average, so you take out outliers, who skew the data. In most cases, for this site, it would be taking out players like Watt, who are light years better than everyone else playing their position. Watt would artificially set the mean higher for his position group. Once you have the mean-the average of the mean group-you use your numerical values to establish standard deviation, from the mean, and you compare position groups.

            There is no way to perfectly compare CBs to Tackles, or WR to CBs. However, if CB ‘A’ performs 5 standards higher than the mean, and nobody else, at any other position, is more than 3.5 standards higher, you can reasonably argue that regardless of position, CB ‘A’ is the best player in football.

            It’s like the Babe Ruth argument I gave Mike. When Ruth hit 60 homers, he outhomered all, but 2 teams, by himself. When Maris hit 61 homers, I don’t believe he outhomered any teams and he had a teammate, Mantle, who hit 54 homers himself. So, while Maris did hit 1 more HR, in total, than Ruth did, the standard deviation between Ruth and his peers illustrates a level of dominance the raw numbers don’t. I think you could compare Ruth to Darelle Revis, using this too.

      • Biebs

        This may be true, but I find this to be unbelievably misleading. If you are going for context, seems like you could go a little deeper. That 12.2 was pushed by a 2.7 score the final week against a team that was severely depleted at WR. In fact, he only had 2 coverage games that would be considered “great”, otherwise he was solid for 2 games, and average for most other games (except for 2 games where he was terrible). By comparison, using your own rating system. Richardson graded out at 2.0 or higher in 9 games, and never worse than -.2.

        Also, For some reason Trufants grade is pushed higher because of a +3.4 penalty grade despite being among the league leaders in Defensive Pass Interference (4, T-7) and Coverage Penalties (6, T-6).

        I’m not emotionally invested, and while I like the data that is provided, I often question some of the numbers that arise from it. But, giving the award to Trufant because he played okay for most of the year and had a great game in week 17, vs Richardson because he was outstanding for 14 weeks, and closed at just average seems incredibly strange

  • a57se

    Ironically, I was actually thinking of subscribing for the Premium Stats……
    Now? I think I’ll pass.

    • Bilal

      You know you can use their stats to make your own analysis. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it.

      • a57se

        Why would I use stats from PFF when their own people don’t believe in them?

        • Bilal

          Bc it’s useful data. Of course their is a subjective element to their data but not nearly as subjective as their season ending award articles.

          • a57se

            How useful is the data if PFF’s own analysts’ don’t trust the results it comes up with?

          • Bilal

            Lol you just said the same thing twice basically. I get you’re mad at this absurd result. I’m just saying that the premium section is much different than these freebie articles that are much more subjective.

  • Antijetsbias

    What? Your ranking system has no credibility if you are just going to use personal bias to pick who you want rather than using the cumulative grades the players have received.

    • Abouthat

      Grades can’t be compared across position. This has to be repeated constantly.

  • a57se

    Let’s review the facts:
    Dee Milliner only gave up a 51.5% completion percentage vs. Trufants’ 53.4%…..
    Dee Milliner had 3 INT’s to Trufant’s 2 INT’s…….
    Dee Milliner had 11 passes defensed to Trufants 15…….
    Exactly How GOOD was Trufant????????
    Stats courtesy of PFF

    Where is PFF/Pete on this thread????

    • stanleybostitch

      They each had 17 PD’s I believe. A very solid case can be made that Milliner is the better prospect. And to give Trufant the edge over Richardson? Ludicrous. Is it April 1st already?!

    • 4-12 Brew Deez

      millner may have had a smaller number of targets??
      the 2013 falcons and jests are just 50 yards away from each other in pass defense but every other stat its cleat ATL was worse. Trufant had a much worse team defense so what he did do is even more impressive.

      • Bent

        Milliner had 15 more targets. However, his QB rating against was much worse because he gave up seven touchdowns and Trufant only gave up three.

        Truth be told, Milliner’s percentage is lower than it should be because he got lucky a few times and I’m sure that’s reflected in his inferior coverage grade.

        • TheeLidman

          You could be right. How many times did Trufant get lucky?
          In Atlanta’s scheme how many times was Trufant left all alone without Safety help?
          Picking Trufant over Richardson simply put, is misguided.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            Or maybe, just maybe, he values the contributions of the best cornerback from this class more than the contributions of the best defensive lineman of this class. Opinions are opinions. He thinks that what Trufant did, in an all-around terrible defense and secondary, was more impressive than what Richardson did on an already stacked line. Neither player would’ve been a bad pick and he never acted like it was a landslide victory for Trufant.

          • 4-12 Brew Deez

            basicly, what I’m attempting to argue. ^^^

          • mrignorant

            I would imagine being the best corner in a terrible secondary probably makes your life easier since the qb can just focus on your struggling teammates. A similar argument can probably be made for Richardson since the Jets D line was stacked, making his life presumably a littler easier as well, but I think this debunks the idea that Trufant’s season was more impressive since he played on a bad D.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            Well, yes and no. Trufant was arguably the best player on defense this season for his team. I think a case could be made that Richardson isn’t even in the top two linemen on his team with the play of their NT. Like I said, both players are good and deserving of the award in my opinion. I think the edge goes to Trufant because, historically, it’s harder to come in and play corner than DL.

          • a57se

            Actually if you look at run stops, Harrison (the NT for the Jets) was one of the league leaders yet Richardson also was one of the league leaders. You could easily argue Richardson lost opportunities due to the strong players around him, same for sacks and pressures.

          • TheeLidman

            I’m not that upset over it. I just don’t think it makes much sense. PFF has a weekly piece: ‘Race for Rookie of The Year’. From week 4 through week 13 we were under the impression that Richardson was leading, in their view.
            So, after week 17, Desmond Trufant who didn’t make the top 10, until week 12, and who’s highest rank was 5th, is named PFF’s Defensive Rookie of the Year? He must have had some week 17. Further, Richardson, again the guy PFF had as the top rookie from week 4 until week 16, gets leap frogged by Allen, Trufant and Warford for overall rookie of the year?
            Look, I get different positions can be weighted differently; but, if you label a weekly column ‘The Race for Rookie of The Year’, and one guy, Richardson, is the number 1 guy for the final 13 weeks and then comes in 4th overall, and behind a guy who wasn’t worthy of ranking, in the top 10, for 11 of the 16 games he played, you either trying to be too smart/cute, need to reevaluate the way you rank players because the final conclusions illustrate no consistency with your weekly rankings, or should change the weekly article to: “Top 10 Rookies of Week…”.
            At least with Warford PFF could argue he was top 3 for the majority of the year. Neither Allen or Trufant were ever as high as 2, and Allen reached 3 in week 16. In fact, their rankings would have suggested Lacy was well ahead of Allen too.
            But, I get it. It’s all about creating a reason to go to these comment boards, so PFFs advertisers see the high number of hits,and PFF increases add sales and revenue. You tell us Sheldon wins and you get nothing, because you’ve been telling us that all year.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            I understand what you’re saying/where you’re coming from. My only argument was that it’s not entirely preposterous to think Trufant should win Rookie of the Year. Richardson was more of a one-trick pony compared to Trufants seemingly solid all-around play(don’t have premium stats to back that up, just assuming so I could be dead wrong!) I don’t really get the system either though if you crown a guy all year then bump him down at the end. According to Monson in that article though he states his case that, “we felt that he was put in a more favorable position than some other rookies, and the downside to his game was significant enough to count against him in the end.” But again, why so high for so long? It’s not like he magically got worse rushing the passer from week 4-17. He was consistently below average at that, so, to an extent, I agree with you lol

          • a57se

            Atlanta fans should know the reason Richardson’s sacks and pressures were not that high. When the Jets played the Falcons, Matt Ryan got rid of the ball a half second faster then he was averaging all year to that point. That is what most teams who played the Jets did…….get the ball out of the QB’s hand fast to avoid the pressure.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            That’s an extremely vague excuse that could literally be used by any defensive line/defense in general. That is arguably the main goal of almost every pass play is to get the ball out fast. Sorry, Jets aren’t the only defense that teams do that to.

          • Bent

            If only PFF tracked time in the pocket and time to throw so that this was an accurate excuse rather than a vague one.

            Oh, wait, they do and it is.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            Then I’m wrong. I don’t have premium stats therefore did not know. However, without looking at numbers, it can’t be that much more different week in week out. Since teams treat them with so much respect you would think that it would still reflect in richardsons grade, not stats, but grade as a pass rusher.

          • #83_Algie_2CrystalClear

            Lets not do the standard..I’ve seen some nfl countdown and heard the words “0 coverage” thrown around so I will toss it around my self to look informed..Even with WAR (William Moore) our best safety one would not dare say Atlanta’s corners benefit from safety help..especially not with “Thomas–missed tackle, blown coverage, missed tackle, fuck were you thinking Decoud” back there

            The kid ended up getting less targets cause in this game of football that’s a sign of respect “Oh so you can cover huh?…I bet the guy on the other side can’t” The fact Milliner played less games, was benched and still got more targets meant QBs saw the tape and started salivating

        • 4-12 Brew Deez

          wait so you just found out millner allowed a better QB Rating as well as giving up 4 more touchdowns than Trufant and are perplexed as why to he was graded better??

          • Bent

            I’m not perplexed as to why he was graded better. Wherever did you get that idea?

          • 4-12 Brew Deez

            i made a mistake i was thinking of the original post by @a57se:disqus where he highlighted the areas where millner did beat trufant statistically, while ignoring what’s behind the numbers

          • Bent

            Okay. I don’t think that’s his point though. I think we all accept that Milliner was disappointing for most of the year, but at the end of the day some of his numbers were pretty close to that of the rookie of the year, which is surprising is it not?

          • 4-12 Brew Deez

            Jets D as a whole is miles better than atlanta’s for starters. while their numbers maybe be pretty similiar, considering that millner was drafted more than 10 higher than Trufant i think it might just be a matter of production/value. Trufant NEEDED to play lights out with no asante samuel pretty much the entire year. 16 starts for Trufant to 13 for Millner. wonder how Millner racked up more targets in less starts?

    • jzt4

      He also gave up more yards and TDs on less snaps but please continue to cherry pick stats.

      • a57se

        I am not the one who cherry picked the stats, complain to PFF for that….I just used the ones they showed.
        If you also notice, they downplayed Richardsons’ strengths while not even mentioning the other candidates weaknesses…….

        • Hannah Hayes

          (facepalm) Your focus on those stats while ignoring of the yards/TD allowed stat is the definition of cherry picking.

    • PFF_Pete

      I’m right here. First off, thanks for reading, love the passion.

      In regards to Trufant vs. Milliner, the comparison isn’t even close. Despite his strong (and encouraging) finish, Milliner earned a -7.4 coverage grade versus Trufant’s +8.3. Milliner got lucky on a number of occasions (poor throws, dropped passes) that won’t show up in the final stats but do hurt his grade.

      The stats we have are a nice byproduct of all the film that we watch, but remember that the grades are the best indicator of overall performance. Steve Palazzolo does a good job of explaining why our stats don’t always match up with our grades here (coincidentally using Milliner as an example):

      https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/10/25/palazzolos-pitch-blueprints/

    • #9458248

      Something tells me if the Jets had drafted Trufant, you’d be blowing your horn for him.

  • stanleybostitch

    I’m with a57se here…was thinking of subscribing, but this just eviscerates your credibility.

    • TheeLidman

      I don’t think it does. I think it just highlights how the cumulative grading values, between position groups, isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

      • Abouthat

        Now to hell with it I decided to reply to all you most recent posts haha. This one’s just to say thank you for being a rare reasonable commenter who sees why PFF does certain things. Most people are just ranting.

  • jamez

    No kiko? Explain…

  • a57se

    Ironically, PFF went with the lineman in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race over the Flashy guy. I think a lot of folks would argue it is a lot tougher for a WR to transition to the Pros then an OG. Especially a 3rd round WR.

    • TheeLidman

      Allen was 1rd talent and injuries lead to lower measurables at his pro-day. Had he come out the in ’12, he’d have been a 1st rounder.

  • ryan

    no sheldon or kiko as 1# is unbelievable. great site for numbers and then to ruin the credibility by going for shock value instead is ridiculous.

    • Abouthat

      It is not a numbers website. It is a tape-evaluating website, which uses numbers to supplement. Difference.

      • TheeLidman

        It doesn’t use numbers to ‘supplement’, it uses numbers to grade. The problem is they haven’t come up with a formula that can weight those numbers, so you can compare apples to apples.

        As a defensive lineman, Sheldon Richardson has the opportunity to make an impact, positive or negative, on every play. At CB, Trufant isn’t going to be able to have as much of an impact on every down. In theory, his positive and negative plays probably need to be weighted more heavily simply because a big mistake at CB is more likely to lead to an opponent scoring, and his positive plays are also going to stand out as they will likely change possession, or stop a big play.

        • Abouthat

          No it isn’t a numbers site. Numbers are derived one way or another from raw data. This isn’t. The “numbers” (grades) are based off of film study. While technically they are numbers, this is not, and never has been, a numbers site. The grades are from film and the statistics (what I, and most people mean by numbers) supplement that. Also, the grades themselves don’t take into context opposition, and, to an extent, assignment. The statistics even moreso ignore opposition and assignment. The analysts themselves, however, do not. Hence disparities between grades and what the analysts actually think. For example, the all-pro team is NOT just a list of top players at each position by grading. It’s grading, mixed with the analysts’s context.

          • TheeLidman

            I’m in the 50th percentile, at best, when it comes to brains, but I have no idea what you’re saying. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. I just don’t get your point.

            I never said it was a numbers site. I just don’t see how numbers supplement anything here. I think they represent grades. Most grading systems have a uniform scale, so you can objectively compare two, or more variables. For instance, Joey is an ‘A’ student and Jesse is a ‘B’ student, or Joe’s Clam Shack is a 2 star restaurant and Le Circque is a 5 star restaurant.
            As I understand it, this site assigns numerical values based on each individual player’s performance, as viewed on tape, by a subjective grader. The issue I see here is: unlike Joey and Jesse who are graded on the same exact work, or 2 restaurants being graded on the same categories, grading the individual positions, within individual team schemes makes it nearly impossible to grade a D Lineman vs a CB, numerically.

            So, I believe PFFs point is: numbers tell the whole story when comparing players within the same position group, because the scale is the same. However, when comparing position groups, against one another, the numbers are simply a guide, not an exact comparison. Ultimately, they can weight their subjective film review heavier than the numerical grades they’ve assigned, which it appears is the case here. I think a possible resolution would be calculating the mean grade for each position. Then you could say Trufant’s score is 4.5 standard deviations higher, than his peer group, and Richardson’s is 4.2. So, while Richardson had the greater sum total, Trufant’s performance, relative to his position group, illustrates him having a bigger impact between the two (I created fictional values and the scenario to fit the current argument).

          • Abouthat

            The two of us are actually on the same page here. I said the site uses numbers to supplement because I was responding to the comment before by Ryan. He said it was a great site for numbers. This site gets a reputation as a “numbers site” because it has fantastic signature stats that you can’t get elsewhere, but it is at its core a film-evaluating site. That was my point in my original post. Then I said statistics supplement simply meaning that the site uses the advanced statistics to back up the claims they make in grades and such. See what I mean?

            We, as it turns out, are on the same page. You misinterpreted my original post, and i misinterpreted THAT post and we ended up arguing opposite sides of the same coin.

            One clarification, though you seem to agree with me here, yes, grades are comparable to each other within a position group and not across groups. I agree with you everywhere except where you say that the numerical grades tell the whole story within a given position group. It is probably as close to a definitive number as there is in football evaluation, but its not perfect. Ultimately, things that are not weighed in grade (scheme, quality of surrounding player, quality of coaching, quality of opponent, etc.) are weighed by the analysts when they make lists, so even WITHIN a position, lists are not simply rewrites of the top four guys on the PFF cumulative grade list. See what I’m getting at?

            For example, one guy earns one point every play for defeating a single team, but the other team rarely doubles him due to surrounding players, but when they do, he is destroyed. Player B is consistently doubled, and he wins more than he loses, and earns more points due to the increased difficulty, but not enough to take the lead in total points. Player B proves himself to be the better player, but never attains the top spot on the list. He would be #2 on the total grades list, but #1 on a season award list because of the analysts use of context.

            I hope all that makes sense. My questions weren’t just to be obnoxious, I’m actually hoping I made some sense this time.

          • TheeLidman

            Wasn’t taking it that way…I’m not an applied math guy, but I use standard deviation to determine rich/cheap analysis in my everyday life.

            Because of different scheme philosophies, individual game plans, injuries forcing guys to play out of position, I could go on…you will never truly have an equal playing field to grade even position players. However, you’d think that over 16 games and 900+ snaps those anomalies would smooth one another out.

            Mean values aren’t necessarily averages, so your example of 4 guys netting to zero wouldn’t apply. To get the ‘mean’ or ‘median’ value, you would remove outliers that might skew the data one way or another. For instance, JJ Watt and Darelle Revis had years that were so much better than their nearest competitor, they actually skew the data higher than it should be. So, maybe your ‘median’ group leaves out the low 10% and high 10%, and only includes players who play a certain % of snaps. Then when you calculate standard deviations, it more accurately measures players vs their immediate peer group.

            I’m sure there are ‘math guys’ who could come up with a more accurate formula. I just have the broad idea.

  • TheeLidman

    I’d be interested to know what Trufant’s season long snap count was. As most NYJ discovered, with Dee, CB is probably the position with the most physical adjustment rookies see. However, overall, a D Lineman has a grueling physical battle on every single play. CBs don’t face that same challenge. Would love to know who had more total snaps.
    Second, Atlanta had the 31st worst run defense in the NFL this year. Consequently, they saw the 5th fewest pass attempts, 516. Teams didn’t have to throw to beat Atlanta, though they did give up 31 TDs. Conversely, to beat the NYJ, you had to throw.
    Third, Richardson’s presence was a major factor in the NYJ going from 26th, in rush yards allowed, in 2012, to 3rd in 2013. And, while you highight your rankings having him only 17/22 for Pass Rush Productivity, for 3-4 ends, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Wilkerson and Pace had career high sack totals in his rookie year. He was disruptive and often blew up the blocking scheme.
    I’m sure Trufant had a very good year. It wouldn’t surprise me if it were better than Milliner. But, illustrating he had 15 pass break ups and 2 picks indicates, to me, 17 impact plays. Richardson had 11 TFL, as a 3-4 DE, this doesn’t take into account all the plays that resulted in a 1 and 2yd gain.
    Finally, you tell us Trufant only allowed 53.4% of the balls thrown his way to be completed. So, how many ball were thrown his way, say compared to Milliner? If he had 100 thrown at him, then he allowed 53 completions. If he only had 40 thrown at him, that tells me QBs didn’t choose to target him. What was the QB rating of balls thrown at him?
    In 2010, Darelle Revis showed everyone how difficult it is for CB to win DPOY. There simply isn’t the same number of opportunities to make an impact. I have a hard time believing Trufant made the same impact on each game the way Richardson, Loutelei or Kiko did.

    • Bent

      Trufant missed just 42 snaps all year.

      He was targeted 88 times.

      • TheeLidman

        Thanks Bent. So, by that count he had 47 completed passes against him this year, for roughly 3 a game and ATL gave up an average of 21 completions per game.
        What was the QB rating?

        • Bent

          75.2

          • TheeLidman

            That’s solid, but not spectacular. Khaled, you can’t use numbers to simply make your case look better. You need to give us all the data.
            Bent, how does Milliner compare to Trufant in those 2 measures, targets and QB rating?

          • Bent

            15 more targets, much higher rating because he gave up seven TDs to Trufant’s three.

          • TheeLidman

            Thx..so, I can make an argument that Milliner, who many were calling ‘a bust’ in November, had similar numbers, but just got beat for 4 more TDs. Any NYJ fan, or astute follower, can tell you Richardson’s weekly play was ‘lights out’.
            You know how a judge has the right to over turn a guilty verdict if he believes the jury concluded without evidence beyond a reasonable doubt? Whoever runs PFF needs to reevaluate this. How can a player who wasn’t listed in the top 3-4 for the entire year wind up winning an award, without being able to illustrate indisputable proof he was that much better than his peers, at his position, let alone those at all the other positions.

    • __fense

      Revis taught us that number of targets isn’t a good measure of CB play. Every time Trufant wasn’t thrown at, there could be a number of reasons. He could be covering the opponents worst performance and the QB didn’t trust the WR to not drop the ball, or it could be the best WR in the league that he’s covering, but he’s covering him so well that the QB isn’t even going to try to throw it to him.

    • John

      Trufant played 1,022 snaps

      • a57se

        and out of those 1,022 snaps he defensed only 15 passes and had 2 picks?
        I am not impressed by his impact on the game.

        • John

          Are you stupid or just don’t know football? Playing 1,022 snaps doesn’t mean you were thrown at that many times. Please don’t respond until you actually understand football and what these stats mean

          • a57se

            No, you are a moron if you think anyone doesn’t know that.
            15 passes defensed means he averaged slightly less then one pass defensed per game and he averaged one interception every 8 games. that isn’t very much production to me.
            Especially when a CB who graded out much worse then Trufant, namely Dee Milliner, had 11 passes defensed and 3 interceptions in his last two games of the season.

          • John

            I realize you’re some Jet fan. But what arguing for makes no sense. His 15 PD’s were the most in the NFC, rookie or not. So what you’re saying is guys like Revis, Cromartie, And everybody else were bad thisyear because they were under him. Interceptions don’t tell the whole story as well. If you watched Trufant, which you haven’t, you would’ve saw of those 15 pd, he dropped 5 of them, which would’ve gave him 7 int’s. That’s just something he’ll work on. So please, once again, don’t point out stars that’s only affirmative for your argument.

          • Ciroc_NesBoogie718

            Revis was the best DB this year…. According to PFF

          • John

            Read before you respond. We were talking about passes defended, not ratings. It says in the article Trufant was the 8th best cover corner, so I already knew who the first 7 were.

          • Ciroc_NesBoogie718

            I’m agreeing w/ you. Des isn’t DRoy IMO, but I agree w/ what you said.

          • a57se

            I realize you are some Falcons fan but the main point you are missing is that the PFF Grading system made Sheldon Richardson the Rookie of the year, not just the defensive Rookie of the year.
            It is PFF;s analysts’ who decided to give the award to Trufant and Warford.despite what their own system showed.

          • Abouthat

            What do you mean when you say PFF’s grading made Richardson ROY? Are you referring to the grade disparity or their week-to-week ROY lists?

          • a57se

            I am referrig to the fact that Richardson led the Rookie race through week 16 and Trufant was 6th after week 16.

            Their grading system clearly had Richardson in the lead.

          • Abouthat

            Yeah I can’t quite get it either. There is one line in either this article or the overall ROY list that gives some explanation, though they’re wrong either way. Hear me out. They say at some point that they only realized that Trufant had such a strong case when they looked back. Theoretically, it could mean that Trufant had no games to catapult himself into the top, but viewing it more holistically, his impact is more clear. It’s purely conjecture, but when you think about what could happen if you did it yourself it is possible. Either way they were wrong at some point, but food for thought.

        • Abouthat

          Um who is a quarterback going to throw at? An open guy, not a covered guy. Ergo, more attempts in your direction implies worse coverage UNLESS there is an increase in plays made comparable to the increase in attempts in your area. Or maybe more attempts means you’re always covering the top target on the opposing team, giving you some benefit of the doubt where all would agree you are a superior player despite worse performance, such was the difference in opposition. And for the record Dee milliner definitely didn’t cover the top guy since Cromartie is on the team. Or maybe more attempts in your area should be considered an advantage due to an increased amount of opportunities to make plays. Point is, you don’t know unless you go through each passing play of Milliner and Trufants season. The amount of snap or passes thrown in an area isn’t really a valid argument either way. It’s really irrelevant. You can spin that stat anyway you like.

          • __fense

            Actually, Milliner covered the best receiver (Gordon and Wallace) the last two games, where he had 11 passes defensed and 3 INTs. His two best games came at the end of the year against the top guys.

          • Abouthat

            Sadly, defensive rookie of the YEAR not last few games. And as a fin fan, you can not call Wallace a true “top target” he barely broke 1,000 (if he did at all?) and hartline was out and the dolphins were flat out terrible. And his int he did play it very well, but Wallace also slipped. And I remember an incredible “touchdown defense” that was blatant PI, though I don’t remember if it was him. Hell, maybe it was the bills game. Getting away from my blatant homerism (I can admit it), PFF always values consistency over fits and starts. I don’t care if he had 5 in each of the last 2 games, the start ensured that Trufant was more deserving, even if milliner salvaged a higher grade (in said hypothetical). I think PFF shares that idea with me. Two games does not a season make.

          • __fense

            I’m sorry, we got caught up in a tangent. In no way do I think Milliner should be rookie of the year, and I also know that a57se doesn’t think that either. He shouldn’t be on the list, and rightfully isn’t. I think he’s a good corner that showed a lot of skills at the end of the season, but DROY is about being good as a rookie, not finally starting to get the hang of it at the end of the year. It’s just that we were already talking about him and you assumed something because you probably weren’t paying close attention to a rookie CB who was struggling for most of the year on a different team, so I jumped in with what knowledge I had.

            The real point is that Richardson should be rookie of the year, and that a lot of Trufant’s stats that were used to support the notion that he’s suddenly better than Richardson after being worse all season before now are comparable to the stats of Milliner, who we can all agree should not be considered. Milliner’s name was brought up as an example of how those stats aren’t very impressive, not as a nomination for the award.

        • Nate Olbon

          Snaps mean nothing In that context.
          See,out of 88 targets 17 were defended/intercepted.
          Thats 20%

  • beerfinger

    Khaled Elsayed, you’re a twit.

  • My Pet Goat

    So, I take it you were swayed by the rushing td’s? Nice try, Rex.

  • juunit

    “In the eyes of some of our staff Tyrann Mathieu deserved to win it all.
    Why? Well it’s not easy playing well at one spot in the NFL. Let alone
    playing well at two and doing it as a rookie.”

    Yes, exactly. And that’s why Sheldon Richardson is clearly the….. WHAAAAAA?

  • Johnny’s Autograph

    “You didn’t pick the guy I thought should have won so now you have no credibility! I’m never coming to this site again!” Boo hoo.. leave…

    • John

      Exactly. People assume you are dead wrong because your opinion is different from theirs. Hello people, there have been different opinions from the beginning of time. Deal with it

      • Brendan

        This is not it, at all. The very site that this is posted on shows Richardson far-and-away better than any other rookie. And the stats that are cited as reasons for Trufant winning the award are comparable to stats Dee Milliner compiled.

        It seems that this was a last-week swap, and if it was to generate traffic it certainly worked. But to act like this is just people whining for no reason is untrue, the reason is very real and can be found on this very site.

        • Johnny’s Autograph

          But there you are using the stats part of it. It’s not all about stats. It’s about the grade. I understand Richardson is very deserving of the award, but that doesn’t mean truant isn’t as well. I think the biggest issue is their ranking system all year didn’t correllate with what they posted today. Not the actual selection.

          • Brendan

            The grade? You mean the one where Sheldon Richardson had a +30.4 and Trufant had a +12.2?

            Or are you talking about some other grade that makes your comment true?

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            Brendan.. I feel it’s been stated 87 thousand times on this forum alone that you can’t cross grading position to position. DL are/should be around the ball all the time where as Cbs may see the ball 8 times a game. I don’t have premium so this is a serious question. Where does Richardson rank among other 3-4 ends compared to where Trufant ranks among other CBs?

          • Bent

            Richardson is 5th, Trufant is 7th.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            So Trufant is the 7th best player at the the most populous position in the game(and WR). Compared to a position that only about half of the league runs? Still in trufants favor IMO

          • Bent

            Well, you could include ALL defensive ends (so 4-3 ends too). That only drops Sheldon to #6.

            Also, it was kind of a down year for corners. The same grades last year would have had Sheldon #4 and Trufant #10.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            Either way, that’s still a top ten corner that is an all around player in a “passing league” compared to a still top 5 DE that can only do one thing. Regardless of how well he does it.

          • TheeLidman

            The top 10 corner didn’t allow his DC to isolate him and rotate coverage to make up of for deficiencies elsewhere. If he did, maybe Atl wouldn’t have given up 31 TD passes.

          • __fense

            Also it’s not like the Jets actually run a base 3-4 defense. Boss Hogg played plenty of snaps in a 4-3. Calling him just a 3-4 and only comparing him to some of the league is like calling Revis a Zone Corner this year and only comparing him to other guys in schemes labeled as zone coverage schemes.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            That’s not fully accurate. Comparing formation to scheme isn’t apples to apples. But if you took the number of snaps he played most, which they have, he is a 3-4 end

          • Bilal

            Not true. If you look at the number of snaps he played the most, he’d be a DT in a four man nickel package. He just happened to play more 3/4 end then 4/3 DT in base sets. Rex loves playing Nickel defense.

            And if we really want to get technical, he’s listed as a DT on the Jets base set because the Rush LB (Coples) is basically a right end for the Jets. Unlike Mo, who plays the strong side and actually got more opportunities to go one on one against a tackle.

          • Brendan

            Sheldon wasn’t just “around the ball all the time.” He was a force. He disrupted countless running plays that he didn’t make the tackle on by crashing the backfield and forcing the runner to cut before he hit the LOS. He was one of the best players on Football Outsider’s 2nd rated rush defense (a defense which ranked 15th last year, something Sheldon helped change).

            Trufant was the best player on the worst passing defense in the league (again, per FO). From what I saw (and I will admit I didn’t see every Falcons game this year, but I saw at least half of them), Trufant was not exceptional.

            Richardson was 5th among 3-4 DE’s, Trufant was 7th for CB’s.

          • Johnny’s Autograph

            But, in all fairness, you are always going to think your player is this best. Everything you said that he does is reflected in that amazing grade. I think he’s a stud and would love to have him, but that doesn’t mean he’s better than a top 7 corner in the league. I guess thats a preference of mine, but I’d take a top flight corner that do it all over a DL thats one dimensional, no matter how outstanding he is at that dimension.

    • Bilal

      This joke usually works when fans come on here citing regular NFL stats, like all the Kuechly fans were doing when he wasn’t on any of their award lists. The difference here is that the (Jets) fans aren’t citing regular NFL stats, they are citing PFF’s own stats and PFF’s own weekly rankings. Do you not see the difference?

      • Johnny’s Autograph

        Oh no. I see why you would be upset. What I don’t understand is why you would whine to the site you apparently enjoyed coming to and say that their stats are now stupid. There is a discrepancy for sure that was just explained by Mike Renner.

        • Bilal

          Some people are just really emotional at times. I love this site and still do.

  • Big Chris

    Boss Hogg leads start to finish and still goes number 2? I don’t see how you guys can watch all the tape and still decide Trufant deserved this over Richardson. I thought this site swayed away from the so called “popularity contests” but that’s apparently not the case.

    • Big Chris

      and by swayed I mean stayed

    • PFF_Pete

      Not sure how you can say Trufant winning is a “popularity contest.” If he’s getting buzz anywhere else for ROY consideration, I haven’t seen it.

      • Bilal

        Yea this comment was weak, not sure why you even responded to this one. Not sure why you even got involved in the trufant vs milliner discussion. How about providing some insight on Sheldon Vs. Trufant?

      • BearDown

        Hipster PFF

  • JayM

    He led my Race for Rookie of the Year all the way through the season

    WHAT A JOKE!!!!!

  • JayM

    This is the same guy who ranked the Giants over the Jets in the week 17 Power rankings

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/01/02/power-rankings-week-17-2/

    This shows what he doesn’t know. This site is a joke

  • Brandon Matthew Jackson Sr.

    They Mad LMFAO

  • #83_Algie_2CrystalClear

    You know the funnest thing about this post is if all you OBVIOUS jets fans all in a tissy actually came on this site you would see most post never get this much comments (and 46 is not much still) but boy are yall mad bout this whole your guy losing thing lol

    Yall see the hat though and the name (only legit Birds get the tag) so HAHAHAHAH we got a victory over you bums after all MUAHAHAHA

    • LIMetfan22

      How do you know they don’t actually visit this site? Perhaps their just choosing to comment this time in defense of their snubbed player who
      Clearly should have been droy.

      And while technically Richardson did lose the all the jets fans comments are doing a good job of showing why he’s the true winner.

      • #83_Algie_2CrystalClear

        wait so your logic is because a bunch of fans get up in arms about a choice made by the very same people Im sure these same fans were directing all their friends to ( or at the very least frequenting themselves because the opinions coincided with their fandom) this proves those choice makers are wrong?

        Since I think we all come here because of the tagline “Every player, every play” lets stick with that assumption..then it follows they have a much better bases for making choices…ESPECIALLY if it goes contrary to what they had ALL year..this isn’t ESPN, membership is $26 for a whole year, their based in UK for got sakes.I don;t think this is to stir up ratings

        • Brendan

          Yes, I am a Jets fan.

          I have been coming to PFF since its inception, I love the work they do, I read all their articles, but this is maybe the second or third time I’ve ever posted.

          Do I truly care about who PFF awards their DROY to? Of course not. PFF was the first place to really put a spotlight on Richardson in the first place, the national media took until midseason to say what PFF was saying about him.

          It’s just odd that the guy is far and away the best defensive rookie on the PFF grades and led the ENTIRE year in the “Race For Rookie Of The Year” series, but still doesn’t get the “award.”

        • LIMetfan22

          My logic? my logic is that PFF’s own numbers back up my and my fellow Jet fans statements that he should have been given the “award”, if one would call it that. That whole essay you wrote really wasn’t necessary.

          • #83_Algie_2CrystalClear

            Yea like I said logic..how can you state you and ” your compadres ” are gonna be more correct or more importantly less biased because you watched.. What all the jets games?( assuming you even mustard that feat) How many falcons games did you see? How many jags games? STOP QUESTIONING PEOPLE WHO DO THIS FOR A PROFESSION let me guess last year you were a better Qb than Sanchez? Lol gtfoh

    • Bilal

      If PFF ran a poll of subscribers favorite teams, jets fans would easily be in the top 5.

      If you came on to this site more often you’d notice that when articles like this come out with “snubs” they always get this many foments. See keuchly this year and Jamal charles last year .

      • #83_Algie_2CrystalClear

        You do recognize a snubb is the exclusion of someone with out grounds or reason and generally results from year long snubbing..they gave dude props all year, all they said was upon further review you boys a cock blower haha.. I’m kidding I really don’t care I just like upsetting crazy fans..I ain’t talked this much football all year

  • JewBaca

    Damn, Jet fans are extremely butthurt about this.

    • LIMetfan22

      Very insightful comment

      • JewBaca

        the simplest thoughts mean the most almost every time, half the time.

    • juunit

      Not really. Just think it’s off base. Don’t really care though. I know how good Richardson is whether a subjective analysis made by people I’ve never met before agree or not. Just like I don’t care that Mike Piazza didn’t make the HOF. The best thing about Cooperstown is the pizza place down the street.

      • __fense

        There’s a Chinese place in Cooperstown called ‘Foo Kin John Chinese’. I’ve never actually eaten from there, but I went in and asked for a Foo Kin menu. Best part of my trip.

      • Bilal

        I bet PFF spread the false rumor that piazza was on steroids too.. damn PFF!

  • a57se

    PFF’s system declares Sheldon Richardson the Rookie of the Year but it’s analysts give that award to Larry Warford, Desmond Trufant and Keenan Allen over Richardson.
    I find it very informative as to what PFF’s own people really think of their system.

    • PFF_Pete

      Ask any analyst here and they’ll tell you that they don’t think our grades are the end-all-be-all of football analysis. Schemes, assignments, situations, opponents, teammates…all of these must be taken into account when you’re judging a player. We don’t think our system is the perfect one for evaluating player performance, just the best one.

  • Ciroc_NesBoogie718

    This isn’t official lol. The logic behind doesn’t add up, but it is what it is. lol

  • ice cold beer

    Don’t Be Hating (B-RAD Voice) lol #RISEUP

  • Johnny’s Autograph

    Just for the sake of fun jets fans. . If both were the same age and you could pick only one. Would you rather have JJ Watt or Darelle Revis? You know, best 3-4 end vs best cb. Just wondering

    • juunit

      Watt. And it’s really not even a question.

  • Zippo

    Perhaps lost in all this Trufant vs. Richardson discussion is that there were times when the Falcons had 7 rookies on defense at the same time.Seven! (For reference, Motta, Goodman, Maponga, Worrilow, Bartu, Alford, Trufant I believe all saw the field together at times, and all of those except Maponga saw significant playing time)

    I don’t know much about the Jets, but the fact that Trufant was able to post the grades that he did in spite of the revolving disaster/youth movement that was the Falcons’ D at times makes what he did more impressive to me.

    That’s not to take away from what Richardson did. I saw plenty of highlights of him and honestly I didn’t even realize he was a rookie until recently, but CB is one of those positions where the less you hear, sometimes that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • ilikeike29

      The Jets had:

      1 defensive starter drafted in 2011
      4 defensive starters drafted in 2012
      2 defensive starters drafted in 2013

      None of the 2012 rookies were full-time starters in 2012. So, the Jets had 6 first-year starters this season on the defensive side of the ball.

      • Nate Olbon

        7 rookies for falcons on D.
        First year starter total was 10 (omar gaither,chase thomas,johnathan massaquoi)
        Tell me if any other teams did that.

  • Danny Fayau

    Elsayed, on Trufant: “He snuck up on us…”

    Monson, on Trufant: “Desmond Trufant was a player that slipped under the radar for most of the year in the race but when we went back and looked at just what he had done we realized how impressive he has been.”

    No, PFF! That’s a bad PFF! The whole selling point of your website is that you watch “every player, every play.” You should be immune to “snuck-ups.” “When we went back and looked…” should never be a phrase used by a site that claims to meticulously evaluate every player, every play, week in, week out.

  • #9458248

    I AM OUTRAGED!

    I am a fan of Team ‘X’ and my team’s rookie wasn’t chosen.

    Because of this you have lost all credibility. If you knew anything, you would have picked my team’s first 4 picks in the draft as your top 4 rookies.