Sig Stats: PRP, Edge Defenders

Kicking off a glance back over the 2014 season through the eyes of our Signature Stats, Khaled Elsayed looks at the league's most productive edge rushers.

| 2 years ago
2014-Sig-Stats-PRP-ED

Sig Stats: PRP, Edge Defenders


2014-Sig-Stats-PRP-EDWe’ve only just caught our breathe at PFF after a hectic season and an incredible Super Bowl. But before we fully turn our attention to the future (and in particular free agency) this week we’re going to look at the season that has just gone by via our unique PFF Signature Stats.

Where better to start than the stat that started it all, our Pass Rushing Productivity.

For those who don’t know, the PRP looks not only at how many sacks a defensive player gets, but also the hurries and hits and compares that number to the amount of times they actually rushed the passer to see who was the most productive.

Let’s see who topped out at the edge rusher positions.

Rank Name Team Pass Rush Snaps Total Pressure PRP
1 Justin Houston KC 444 85 15.7
2 Robert Ayers NYG 235 46 15.2
3 Pernell McPhee BLT 347 64 14.4
4 Ryan Kerrigan WAS 440 72 13.0
5 James Harrison PIT 209 34 12.9
6 Connor Barwin PHI 349 52 12.2
6 Junior Galette NO 433 67 12.2
8 Cameron Wake MIA 427 65 12.1
8 Ezekiel Ansah DET 416 64 12.1
10 Von Miller DEN 485 71 11.8
10 Charles Johnson CAR 476 72 11.8
10 Elvis Dumervil BLT 389 55 11.8

And the table above makes pretty reading for the agent of Justin Houston who is scheduled for free agency should he avoid the franchise tag. Not only one of the most complete players in football, he’s a dynamic pass rusher who made many a right tackle wish they were elsewhere on a Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps more interesting, though, are two of the guys behind him. Both Robert Ayers and Pernell McPhee aren’t traditional edge rushers in that, in sub-packages especially, they’ll line up all over the defensive line (particularly inside). They owe a pat on the back for how they’ve been used, but also deserve plenty of praise for getting pressure in areas where traffic can really slow you down.

Rookie Watch

While no rookie made the Top 10, one did crack the Top 25. That player? Well it turned out to be Aaron Lynch (though Jonathan Newsome would have made the Top 20 if he had the 200 qualifying snaps rushing the passer). Lynch gave the 49ers a return with the 24th-highest PRP of all edge rushers, a stark comparison to Ahmad Brooks who would finish 79th out of 92 qualifying candidates.

Top on the Team

One last thing to look at is who was the most productive edge rusher on each team and where that ranked.

Rank Name Team Pass Rush Snaps Total Pressure PRP
1 Justin Houston KC 444 85 15.7
2 Robert Ayers NYG 235 46 15.2
3 Pernell McPhee BLT 347 64 14.4
4 Ryan Kerrigan WAS 440 72 13.0
5 James Harrison PIT 209 34 12.9
6 Junior Galette NO 433 67 12.2
6 Connor Barwin PHI 349 52 12.2
8 Ezekiel Ansah DET 416 64 12.1
8 Cameron Wake MIA 427 65 12.1
10 Charles Johnson CAR 476 72 11.8
10 Von Miller DEN 485 71 11.8
12 Cliff Avril SEA 432 64 11.5
13 Aldon Smith SF 213 31 11.2
14 Akeem Ayers NE 219 31 11.1
15 Dwight Freeney SD 372 53 11.0
16 Mario Williams BUF 454 60 10.8
17 Jason Babin NYJ 263 36 10.6
18 Sam Acho ARZ 174 24 10.5
19 Clay Matthews GB 372 48 10.4
20 Erik Walden IND 279 35 10.0
21 Osi Umenyiora ATL 274 35 9.9
21 Jeremy Mincey DAL 395 50 9.9
21 Everson Griffen MIN 514 64 9.9
24 William Hayes SL 296 37 9.8
25 Barkevious Mingo CLV 202 25 9.5
26 Carlos Dunlap CIN 524 62 9.3
27 Khalil Mack OAK 439 52 9.1
28 Derrick Morgan TEN 381 43 8.9
29 Jared Allen CHI 522 58 8.6
30 Whitney Mercilus HST 380 40 8.2
31 Jacquies Smith TB 299 28 7.6
32 Andre Branch JAX 209 17 6.5

The most interesting spots are those at the bottom. Where the need for Jacksonville to find an impact pass rusher is made abundantly  clear with Andre Branch their “stud”, while the Bucs will wonder how their investment in the edge rush position saw them finish with the second-lowest finisher courtesy of an undrafted free agent who they picked up in preseason. Food for thought as we enter free agency and draft season.

As ever with stats, they will not tell the full story. We’d recommend a PFF Premium package that takes more things into account such as nature and speed of pressure and whether it came blocked or unblocked. Find out more about a Premium Subscription here.

 

Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

 

 

 

  • Jaguars28

    This says a lot about our need for an edge rusher. Most Jags fans seem to think that our pass rush is fine because we finished with 45 sacks, but Sen’Derrick Marks was the only one bringing consistent pressure, and that was from the inside.

    Randy Gregory or Leonard Williams, please.

  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    It’s a big surprise to see James Harrison up there again. What was he doing for the Bengals last year?

    • davathon

      He’s up there because he’s got half as many snaps as the big dogs. When you play half the snaps, you’ve got more energy for the snaps you do take.

      If James Harrison got the same number of snaps of say Cameron Wake, he wouldn’t even be in the top 20. It’s hard to play every down. It’s easy to be a 3rd down and long pass rushing specialist.

      Also, since you know the other team is passing the ball on 3rd and long, you don’t have to worry about the run. You can just “pin your ears back” (as they like to say) and just rush the QB.

      An every down DE has other responsibilities besides rushing the QB. So, they don’t immediately go into rushing the QB mode. They might have to play the run first depending on the defense they’re playing. Then, they have to switch into pass rushing mode once they diagnose that it’s a pass. That delay slows their pass rush (and hurts their PFF ranking).

      Harrison’s got the most simple job in football outside of kickers and waterboys.

      • Riffle,Rod&Fly

        Good point. It still doesn’t explain what happened with the Bengals last year. He probably played less snaps with them than he did with the Steelers this year. I think the AFC North likes to send guys on reconnaissance missions.

        • Dildo Baggins

          He was a 4-3 outside linebacker with the Bengals playing primarily on first and second down. Totally different role than what he was doing for the Steelers.

      • John

        Not totally accurate. James Harrisons pass rush attempts were low because he didnt start playing until week 5 and even then he started sharing reps with other guys until he got in football shape. Even when he was playing every snap he was more valuable as a run defender than pass rusher, so he didn’t rush as much as the OLB on the other side.
        And the Steeler’s D is one of the more complex systems in the NFL, so you are wrong again about him having the most simple job.

        But i wouldn’t expect you to know what you were talking about before making a post claiming to know something.

  • Dave

    If I look in PFF Premium, Suggs seems to have a PRP of 14.4, is he categorized as another position or something? I assumed him and Dumervil would be classified the same…

    • LightsOut85

      I’m looking now (on the 3-4 OLB page) & he’s got a 9.4

      • Dave

        Ahh thanks, I was looking at the Cumulative pass rushing score (where Houston has a whopping 37.4).

  • Brent

    Akeem Ayers leading NE in PRP. Not a bad trade…

  • Jefferson

    What’s missing at PFF, unless I am blind, is a metric or two for the defensive line as a whole. Comparable to the Offensive Line Signature Stats (and OL ranking articles).

    It should at least be possible to rank and/or measure comparative pressure rates for the DLs. SI tried to do this for a while last year but no one seems to be doing it anymore.

  • William Griffin

    Why is James Harrison on this list? On premium stats he doesnt qualify for the list when you filter for 50% snaps…

    Also, nowhere on this list does it say that a player has to have played any minimum number of snaps. Otherwise, Brandon Graham would be dominating PPP.