CFF Sig Stats: Safeties, Part 1
As we wade into our massive pool of College Football Focus data, we’ll be sharing with you some of the highlights from our Signature Stats in position-by-position looks.
So, over these couple weeks you can expect daily dives into the best and worst that the full FBS schedule produced in all of the same categories you’ve come to know from our NFL coverage.
On the defensive side we’ve already shared looks at the edge defenders, defensive interior, linebackers and cornerbacks, so that means the safeties are up next and we’ll have a pair of posts splitting out their numbers.
A tough group to get a handle on as the nature of the position lends itself to many buckets for players to fit into, but they’ll all be treated as a single safety group here. In this first Sig Stat look at the safeties, we’ll focus on the leaders in run stops and tackling among this season’s draft-eligible class:
Run Stop Percentage
(min 100 snaps of run defense)
NFL leader in 2014: Kam Chancellor, SEA, 8.7%
– The Arizona duo of Tra’Mayne Bondurant and Jared Tevis playing the ‘spur’ and ‘bandit’ positions in that unique 3-3 defense are particularly well positioned to show in this look, each getting plenty of chances to make plays near the line of scrimmage. Tevis led draft-eligible safeties in run stops and was second in tackles against the run to South Alabama’s Terrell Brigham.
– Louisville’s James Sample, a prospect I think should slot in well among those drafted this year, puts his knack for getting involved in the run game on display, by sliding into the Top 10 here with a 6.4% Run Stop Percentage.
Run Stop Percentage, lined up within 8 yards
(min 100 snaps of run defense)
It’s worth its own look to see the players who are collecting run stops when starting from a more favorable position, closer to the line of scrimmage rather than from a deep safeety spot. Here are the leaders when lined up in more of a strong safety alignment at the snap:
NFL leader in 2014: Reshad Jones, MIA, 13.0%
– Virginia Tech’s Kyshoen Jarrett shows up in this slice as well as he joins Bondurant as one of the safeties most commonly seen lined up within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage. Bondurant’s 92.4% of his snaps was the leader in that category while Jarrett’s 80.2% had him sixth.
– Demarkus Perkins from Florida International shows up again, too, with 10 of his 25 run stops coming from the 104 snaps of run defense he spent closer to the line.
– We see Landon Collins make his first appearance here, sneaking into the Top 10 by notching nine run stops on his 114 run D snaps while playing an ‘up’ position. Worth noting that for a prospect pegged as a pure box type, Collins spent nearly 77% of his 916 snaps last season lined up either as a high safety or over a slot.
Tackling Efficiency vs. the Run
NFL leader in 2014: Dawan Landry, NYJ, 38 total tackles without a miss
– Three qualifying safeties managed to go the season without missing a tackle against the run. USC’s Gerald Bowman topped the bunch by getting in on 22 successful tackle attempts.
– Fresno State prospect Derron Smith just missed this list, coming in at No. 11 with 15.5 attempts per miss.
Tackling Efficiency Overall
– With pass plays included, Missouri’s Braylon Webb jumps to the top of the heap, adding just one more miss to the two he suffered in run defense.
– Collins shows up here while not in the Top 10 against the run alone, on the strength of a 42-tackle, 10-assist, 2-miss season against the pass. He carries concerns in coverage, but tackling after the catch isn’t one of them. His 52 total tackles in the passing game tied for second at the position with Arizona State’s Damarious Randall, three behind Oregon’s Erick Dargan.
– Coming in lowest on the list with a mark of 3.1 attempts per miss, Emmanuel Johnson of Southern Miss wasn’t far behind his teammate. Johnson and fellow Golden Eagle safety, Jacorius Cotton, earned the two highest miss totals at the position with 31 and 24, respectively.
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