Falcons: The curious case of Paul Worrilow

| 3 years ago

Falcons: The curious case of Paul Worrilow

PFF-headlinesA simple glance at our inside linebacker rankings will suggest that Paul Worrilow is struggling.  His -16.2 overall grade puts him at 57th out of 60 ILBs, and his -9.5 coverage grade is 58th. Despite this, Worrilow has been a virtual ever-present on the Falcons defense. He’s only missed three snaps all season, and only missed 18 altogether since assuming the starting role as a rookie in Week 7 last year.

Worrilow’s greatest difficulties have come in coverage where he’s Atlanta’s second-most targeted defender, allowing 50 completions on 57 targets. The high completion rate is no surprise – Worrilow will often cover backs and tight ends on short, high-percentage routes.

The problem is when those catches start turning into big plays, and Worrilow has given up a fair share, including four touchdowns, a load of first downs and an average of 7.06 YAC. Tackling Efficiency has played a factor where he’s missing one tackle for 5.6 attempts—a rate that ranks near the bottom among his peers.

Worrilow’s stats look much better against the run, yet aren’t translating into a positive for his run defense grade (-5.7).  It’s a good example of how our grading often provides a more complete picture than stats alone.

Worrilow is making a stop on 10.7% of his run defense snaps, the eighth-best mark among ILBs. His tackling is also much surer – missing only one tackle for every 22.0 attempts, good for seventh-best.

The vast majority of Worrilow’s stops, however, have been the “unblocked” variety and aren’t grading as high in our system as would defeating a blocker to make the play.  Also, when he does find himself taking on blockers, especially at the second level, our analysts have determined he’s losing that battle much more often than he wins.

Perhaps Worrilow is miscast as an every-down linebacker where his coverage skills can be exposed. Instead he would be better suited as a run stuffer, particularly if the defensive line can keep him free from blockers.


  • Realistic Ryan

    Worrlilow is a prime example of how number of tackles made by a player is a completely useless stat.

  • Pete

    My Packers vs. Falcons prediction is Packers 60 to Falcons 10 a epic beat down.

    • eYeDEF

      You had that much confidence in your defense to hold Atlanta to 10 points eh? The packers defense is atrocious.

  • DLane

    this is just another example of how poor of a job Dimitroff has done to make this team better. that front 7 is atrocious.

    • Phantom of the Oprah Winfrey

      Yeah, he really dropped the ball taking a 4-12 team to 4 playoff appearances and counting. And signing an UDFA that’s struggling, dayum, that’s just unforgivable.

      • DLane

        Ok? look at this team the past 2 years and the moves hes made to mae them better?? Steven Jackson? Tyson Jackson ? Osi Umenyiora? the Offensive line??? i actually liked the Jake Matthews pick and i think he will get better but hes been garbage this year and the other side of the line has been a revolving door, not a good way to protect your most prized possession. The fact that Paul Worrilow and players like Kroy Bierrmann are starting doesnt look good he did nothing to address the teams needs IMO and its obv showing, I think you are just stating the 4 playoff appearances for the sake of making an argument. The offensive weapons at WR and a franchise QB makes this team Playoff caliber every year only if you add the right pieces and boy has he swung a missed in doing that.

        • Phantom of the Oprah Winfrey

          Josh Wilson, Eric Weems, Jon Asamoah, DiMarco, Joplo Bartu, just a few good signings.
          In the draft Trufant’s played at a pro bowl level two years in a row, Shembo’s shown spark (earlier in the year was one of PFF’s top 10 ILBs grade wise), Hageman’s been blocking kicks, making some splash, Southward’s been a solid gunner, Freeman was the highest graded RB in preseason.

          • DLane

            Only player u said worth of a mention here is Trufant. Asamoah was a decent signing but thats it. this team is not good and it was not a long shot to think they would repeat another losing year after the offseason in which he actually spent a nice chunk of change.Just curious are u a Falcons fan?

          • DLane

            Well what do you know?? Scott Pioli must have agreed with me hahahaha come on baby Oprah get wit it

  • Vince

    How stupid must fans be for this guy to be one of the leaders in votes for the Pro Bowl?