32 Observations, Week 9
This week's 32 Observations by Nathan Jahnke focuses on a sophmore player from each team and highlights how they are doing in 2014.
32 Observations, Week 9
Each year there is a new rookie class to take the attention from the previous year’s rookie class. This week’s 32 Observations puts the spotlight back on the rookie class of 2013 to see how they are performing in their sophomore season compared to their peers. Recently, the PFF Premium section added new filters, so if you wanted to compare players from any class you could now easily do so. As always, here is an interesting tidbit about 32 players who were drafted 18 months ago.
Buffalo Bills: Receiver Robert Woods has 188 yards from the slot which is the most for second-year receivers. He has by far the most routes from the slot at 220.
Miami Dolphins: Of the 4-3 outside linebackers, Jelani Jenkins hasn’t just been one of the best of his class but one of the best in the league. His Run Stop Percentage of 13.4% is fifth best of the position.
New England Patriots: The only sophomore tight end with at least 10 catches and not a single drop is Tim Wright. He has 17 catches and no drops this season.
New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson has been the best second-year 3-4 defensive end in both stopping the run and pass rushing. He has 13 run stops while no other sophomore tackle has more than five, and he has 25 pressures while no other second-year 3-4 defensive end has more than eight. He is also in first place in terms of both Run Stop Percentage and Pass Rushing Productivity.
Baltimore Ravens: The second-year offensive tackle that has the best Pass Blocking Efficiency is Ricky Wagner at 96.9. He has allowed one sack, no hits and 13 hurries on 342 pass blocks.
Cincinnati Bengals: Running back Giovani Bernard has five rushing touchdowns which is the best for second-year backs, and tied for sixth most for all running backs.
Cleveland Browns: The most effective sophomore 3-4 outside linebacker in pass rushing has been Barkevious Mingo. He has ten hurries on 137 pass rushes. His Pass Rushing Productivity has been 11.2.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Running back Le’Veon Bell has 380 yards after contact which is the third most for all running backs. No other second-year running back has more than 300.
Houston Texans: Receiver DeAndre Hopkins has the most Yards Per Route Run of second-year receivers at 2.36. No other wide receiver has more than 2.0.
Indianapolis Colts: Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner has 21 pressures on the year which is the most for second-year 3-4 outside linebackers. He has the most from the left side at 11 as well as the most from the right side at 10.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Demetrius McCray leads all second-year cornerbacks in Yards Per Coverage Snap at 0.89. He has allowed 167 yards on 14 catches from 188 coverage snaps.
Tennessee Titans: The only middle/inside linebacker with at least 25 snaps and a perfect Tackling Efficiency is Zaviar Gooden. He has made 14 solo tackles and no drops.
Denver Broncos: Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams has 10 pressures which are tied for the fourth most among all second-year defensive tackles despite having just 131 pass rushes which is seventh most for the category.
Kansas City Chiefs: Tight end Travis Kelce leads not only all second-year tight ends in Yards Per Route Run at 2.85, but all tight ends regardless of experience.
Oakland Raiders: The best pass blocking tight end of the sophomore class has been Brian Leonhardt. He has allowed no sacks or hits, and just one hurry on 22 pass blocks this season. He has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 96.6. The next best for second-year tight ends are 94.0.
San Diego Chargers: Receiver Keenan Allen has had six players miss tackles on him from his catches which are the most for any sophomore wide receiver. He also has the most targets at 72 and receptions at 47.
Dallas Cowboys: When Cowboys quarterbacks throw to Terrance Williams, they have an NFL Passer Rating of 123.7, which is the highest for any second-year receiver. They have completed 27 of 44 attempts for 426 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
New York Giants: Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins has been the most effective sophomore pass rusher among the tackles while Damontre Moore has been the most effective of the 4-3 ends. Hankins has a Pass Rushing Productivity of 8.7 which is 1.9 higher than any other second-year tackle, while Moore has one of 12.1.
Philadelphia Eagles: Zach Ertz leads all second-year tight ends in both yards from the slot at 175 and yards on deep passes with 138.
Washington: Tight End Jordan Reed has a Yards Per Route Run of 2.13, which puts him in the top five for all tight ends. If he keeps this up for the rest of the year, he will be in the Top 5 for back-to-back years to start his career.
Chicago Bears: The Bears have the top two second-year guards in Pass Blocking Efficiency. Kyle Long leads the league with no sacks or hits allowed and just seven hurries resulting in a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 98. From his four games at guard, Michael Ola allowed just five pressures which led to a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 97.4 which is the second best for second-year guards.
Detroit Lions: When quarterbacks have thrown to a player Darius Slay is covering, they’ve had an NFL Passer Rating of 73.2. That is the lowest for all second-year cornerbacks.
Green Bay Packers: Running back Eddie Lacy has been the most elusive sophomore back with an Elusive Rating of 78.6. He’s had 38 players miss tackles on him so far this year, and averages 2.59 yards after contact per carry.
Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback Xavier Rhodes has eight passes defended this season which is tied for the most among all cornerbacks, and is the best among second-year cornerbacks.
Atlanta Falcons: The second-year cornerback with the highest PFF Coverage rating is Desmond Trufant at +2.5. He also has the second-best rating against the run at +1.5, and tied for the best penalty grade at +0.8.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have both the third and fourth best defensive tackles in terms of total pressure this season among sophomores. Kawann Short has 15 pressures on the year while Star Lotulelei has 10.
New Orleans Saints: Only three second-year centers have seen significant playing time this year, but of them Tim Lelito has been the best in pass protection. He hasn’t allowed a sack, and has allowed five pressures for a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 97.5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: William Gholston has been the best run stopping 4-3 defensive end from the sophomore class with a Run Stop Percentage of 12.0. He has 17 run stops on 142 run snaps. That is the fourth best for all 4-3 defensive ends regardless of experience.
Arizona Cardinals: Running back Andre Ellington leads all sophomore backs in Yards Per Route Run at 1.86. He had 313 yards on 32 catches from 168 routes.
St. Louis Rams: Safety T.J. McDonald has 12 run stops which is the most for all second-year safeties.
San Francisco 49ers: There have been 12 different sophomore safeties with at least 175 coverage snaps. Of those safeties, Eric Reid has the lowest Yards Per Coverage Snap at 0.33.
Seattle Seahawks: Tight end Luke Willson has had three players miss tackles on his eight catches. That is the second most missed tackles caused by a second-year tight end.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke