32 Observations, Week 9
Each year everyone likes to focus on the rookies across the league and how they are performing. Then once they reach their second year they get less attention – unless they are a quarterback. This week the 32 Observations puts the spotlight back on the 2012 draft class with a statistic about a second year non-quarterback playing significant time for each of the 32 teams. Some players have taken a step forward in their second years, while others are supporting the concept of the sophomore slump.
Buffalo Bills: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore has allowed 2.22 Yards per Coverage Snap which is the second lowest for all cornerbacks with at least 75 coverage snaps.
Miami Dolphins: Defensive end Olivier Vernon had a slow start to the season with no stops, two missed tackles, and a -9.9 overall grade over the first two games. Over the last six games he had 14 stops, no missed tackles and a +9.0 overall grade.
New England Patriots: Defensive end Chandler Jones has 19 combined sacks and hits which is third most for all defensive players behind J.J. Watt and Robert Quinn.
New York Jets: The move to outside linebacker hasn’t been great for Quinton Coples where his 4.9 Pass Rushing Productivity is second worst amongst 3-4 outside linebackers. As a rookie his Pass Rushing Productivity was 8.0 which was fifth best for 3-4 defensive ends.
Baltimore Ravens: Courtney Upshaw had a Run Stop Percentage of 9.9 which was second best for all 3-4 outside linebackers. This year he has a Run Stop Percentage of 3.1, which is fourth worst among the 38 qualifying 3-4 outside linebackers.
Cincinnati Bengals: As a rookie, guard Kevin Zeitler’s strength was in his pass protection where he only allowed 16 pressures over 671 pass blocks. This year he has equaled his 16 pressures allowed, but has done so on just 375 pass blocks.
Cleveland Browns: As a rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz played every snap. There were seven of 16 games where Schwartz did not allow a sack or a hit, and only four games where he allowed multiple sacks/hits. This year he is still playing every down, but Schwartz has allowed a sack or hit in all nine games. There have also already been five games where he has allowed multiple sacks/hits.
Pittsburgh Steelers: From 2010-2012, the Steelers did not have an offensive line with a grade higher than +6.0. In half of a season, David DeCastro has an overall rating of +11.3 which is the second best of all right guards.
Houston Texans: Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus had a strong start to his first year as a starter. He had a Pass Rushing Productivity of 11.7 over his first four games. However over his last three, his Pass Rushing Productivity has only been 6.2.
Indianapolis Colts: Tight end Coby Fleener had a, below average, 10.34 drop rate as a rookie. In his second year, he has only dropped one pass which has led to a 3.85 drop rate which is ninth best among 37 qualifying tight ends.
Jacksonville Jaguars: In 2012 the Jaguars had Austen Lane and George Selvie who did a good job stopping the run while Andre Branch had a below average Run Stop Percentage of 5.0. With Lane and Selvie gone, Branch has taken over as the Jaguars outside run stuffer with a Run Stop Percentage of 9.2 which is sixth best for 4-3 defensive ends.
Tennessee Titans: Wide Receiver Kendall Wright has seen his Yards Per Route Run progressively increase. As a rookie it was at 1.5. Over the first quarter of the 2013 season it was at 1.75, and now over the second quarter of the season it is up to 2.1. Wright’s 2.0 Yards Per Route Run over the 2013 season is the best out of any Titans receiver over the last three years.
Denver Broncos: As a rookie, Derek Wolfe had a Pass Rush Rating of -24.5 which was the worst amongst 4-3 defensive ends. In his second year he has a rating of -11.4, which is second worst amongst 4-3 defensive ends.
Kansas City Chiefs: Nose tackle Dontari Poe is the only defensive tackle in the top eight in both run stops and pressures. Poe has 18 run stops, which is tied for second most, and 23 pressures, which is tied for eighth most.
Oakland Raiders: There isn’t a single member of the Raiders 2012 draft class with more than 100 snaps. The only players from that class to receive any offensive/defensive snaps this year and remain on the roster are defensive end Jack Crawford (92) and wide receiver Juron Criner (64)
San Diego Chargers: In 2012 Kendall Reyes looked like a promising young interior pass rusher. His Pass Rushing Productivity of 8.1 was fourth best amongst 3-4 defensive ends. In 2013 Reyes has yet to equal his production with a below average Pass Rushing Productivity of 5.0.
Dallas Cowboys: As a rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne allowed 11.9 yards per catch which was close to the league average. In his second year, Claiborne has allowed 16.4 yards per catch which is eighth highest for cornerbacks.
New York Giants: Wide receiver Reuben Randle has a Drop Rate of 17.9 which is tied for the eighth worst of 88 qualifying receivers.
Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox has 40 total pressures this year which is second most for all 3-4 defensive ends behind just J.J. Watt who has 41. As a rookie over the entire year, he just had 24.
Washington Redskins: The only running backs this year with at least 50 carries and a 5.0 rushing yards average or higher is Alfred Morris.
Chicago Bears: Defensive end Shea McClellin has a Run Stop Percentage of 4.1 which is fifth worst amonst 4-3 defensive ends. He also has three missed tackles which is tied for second worst.
Detroit Lions: Left tackle Riley Reiff has allowed three sacks this season. The man he replaced, Jeff Backus, allowed three sacks over his last 27 games.
Green Bay Packers: While Nick Perry had a slow start to the season, he showed a lot of improvement prior to his injury. Over his first three games he had a Pass Rushing Productivity of 3.7 which put him amongst the worst 3-4 outside linebackers. In his last two games he played in, his Pass Rushing Productivity was 19.6.
Minnesota Vikings: Left tackle Matt Kalil allowed only 23 total pressures as a rookie which was fifth lowest amongst all tackles. This year Kalil has already allowed 28 which is tied for 14th most in the league.
Atlanta Falcons: Center Peter Konz has the lowest Run Block Rating of all centers at -11.8.
Carolina Panthers: In 2012 Luke Kuechly averaged 4.2 stops per game, and over the first five games of this season that increased to 4.8 stops per game. However over these last three games, Kuechly has averaged just 1.3 stops per game.
New Orleans Saints: Defensive end Akiem Hicks has a Run Stop Percentage of 11.6 which is fourth best amongst all 3-4 defensive ends.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: As a rookie safety Mark Barron had a decent Run Stop Percentage of 4.0. This year it has increased to 6.7 which is the third best for all safeties.
Arizona Cardinals: Wide receiver Michael Floyd has 1.44 Yards Per Route Run which is seventh lowest of 44 qualifying receivers. It is still higher than his rookie year when he had 1.35 Yards Per Route Run.
St. Louis Rams: Over the first six games of the season, Michael Brockers had a decent 5.9 Pass Rushing Productivity which was up from 4.7 last year. However over the last three games, that is down to 1.3 after achieving just one hurry over those games.
San Francisco 49ers: Of the 49ers 2012 draft class, the only one to play an offensive or defensive snap with the team this year is LaMichael James who has 8. The only other player from that draft class still on the 53 man roster is Joe Looney who is consistently inactive on gameday.
Seattle Seahawks: Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin is one of just two 4-3 outside linebackers dynamic enough to have a +1.0 rating or better in run defense, pass rushing and coverage, as well as not committing a penalty yet. The other player is his teammate Malcolm Smith.