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ZWK

ZWK's 2020 Prospect Analysis

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This thread is for my analysis of the 2020 draft class (and other college players). Previously threads: 2019 draft class, 2018 draft class, 2017 draft class, 2016 draft class, 2015 draft class, 2014 draft class.

Much of the content of this thread is based on my player stats spreadsheets. WR, RB, QB, and pass rusher spreadsheets are up and running (though missing some stats like WR targets), and TE should get added at some point (perhaps not till after the season). Also: birthdates, VBD by draft pick (for generic rookie rankings), and dynasty rankings.

My main source of data is cfbstats, and I also get some things from PFF, Football Study Hall, and other sources (with some stats not coming in until after the season is over).

My thoughts on players at the end of last year:

On 5/21/2019 at 2:27 AM, ZWK said:

Looking at future draft classes.

My formulas are designed for players who are entering the draft, but several players already have the production and estimated size/speed to match strong prospects entering the draft:

Top Prospects:
RB: Travis Etienne (Clemson), Elijah Mitchell (La-Lafytte)
WR: Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado), Justyn Ross (Clemson)
QB: Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), D'Eriq King (Houston)
TE: Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

Within each position these are ranked from best to worst. QB evaluation depends more on scouting so I'm less confident of them. I may be missing some TEs since I only ran the numbers on a few non-draft-eligible TEs.

Continuing down the list at each position, here are guys whose numbers were already good enough to be okay/borderline prospects in this year's draft, and who are candidates to emerge as top prospects in a year or two.

Decent Prospects:
RB: Trey Ragas (La-Lafytte), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), D'Andre Swift (Georgia), Kennedy Brooks (Oklahoma), Jermar Jefferson (Oregon St), Michael Warren II (Cincinnati), Scottie Phillips (Miss), Trey Sermon (Oklahoma), Zack Moss (Utah), Benny LeMay (Charlotte), Ke'Shawn Vaughn (Vanderbilt), J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), DeAndre Torrey (N Texas), Joshua Kelley (UCLA)
WR: Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), Tyler Johnson (Minnesota), Tylan Wallace (Okla St)
QB: Alex Hornibrook (Florida State), McKenzie Milton (UCF), Ian Book (Notre Dame), K.J. Costello (Stanford), Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Shea Patterson (Michigan), Alan Bowman (Texas Tech), Zac Thomas (App St), Sam Ehlinger (Texas)
TE: Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt), maybe others

For WRs entering the draft I'm pretty aggressive about the production cutoff, but since we're looking a year ahead I'll include the next batch here as players to keep an eye on.

Keep An Eye On:
WR: Jalen Reagor (TCU), CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma), Darnell Mooney (Tulane), James Proche (SMU), JD Spielman (Nebraska), Collin Johnson (Texas), Rondale Moore (Purdue), Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon St), Denzel Mims (Baylor)

To see how these advance lists panned out in the past, you can see the posts from one year ago, two years ago, and three years ago.

On 5/22/2019 at 1:20 AM, ZWK said:

One thing that seems worth adding: the difference between the top 2 tiers of WRs all comes down to size. All 5 of these guys have the production to be in the top tier. Jeudy, Johnson, and Wallace are undersized according to the last estimates that I looked up from draftscout (with BMI below 26.0), which is what puts them behind Shenault & Ross. To join the top tier they don't necessarily have to show more on the field, they could just step on a scale 10 months from now (and weight often goes up over a player's college career). If I was putting effort into devy projections (rather than just plugging numbers into the formulas that I use for rookies) then I would try to adjust more for that.

Similarly, from the third tier, Mooney, Lamb, Reagor, and Moore have the production to make the second tier and are just missing the (estimated) size. Though Moore is reportedly short as well as skinny, which it's harder to improve on.

 

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I'm not following CFB very closely at all these days, but keep an eye on Alabama WR Henry Ruggs. He's mocked as a first rounder most places. He will draw some Tyreek Hill comparisons because of his elite speed, but he's taller, leaner, and not as shifty. I've compared him to TY Hilton because of his vertical ability and natural hands. With vertical speed being valued highly in today's NFL, he will be coveted. Some say Alabama has three first round WRs in this draft (Jeudy, Ruggs, and DeVonta Smith). I see Smith as the least talented of the three though even though he's currently leading the team in receiving yards. The third eventual first rounder (for 2021) might actually be their standout sophomore, Jaylen Waddle. He looks like an NFL talent in his own right. Alabama is so ridiculously loaded at WR right now that he's their #4 even though he'd be the #1 at most programs. I don't know what goes into your statistical analysis, but when you look at these Alabama WRs, I'd try to account for the fact that their depth chart is unusually stacked. It's much like the RB depth chart they've had at times when people like Lacy, Drake, and Kamara were on the fringes to some extent because there was so much talent on the roster. They are canceling each other out from week to week.

A player I liked more than most when I was getting ready for my only dev draft was Houston WR Marquez Stevenson. I didn't see him on any boards for 2020, but I thought he maybe had day two potential. I could see him as a third rounder if he runs well and if teams like his tape.

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Great thread every year ZWK, I'll be following along for sure.  

Curious though, do you cap your spreadsheets on a certain number of players or do you list all college players and then only post about guys that "pass" your formula?  

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2 hours ago, Zyphros said:

Great thread every year ZWK, I'll be following along for sure.  

Curious though, do you cap your spreadsheets on a certain number of players or do you list all college players and then only post about guys that "pass" your formula?  

Most of the spreadsheets have about 100 players, because they are primarily based on stats from cfbstats.com and cfbstats caps their tables at 100 players.

When I post here, I usually talk about fewer guys because the bottom half or more of the 100 guys rarely do anything in the NFL, and I imagine that people don't want to see lists of 100 names here, and I don't want to spend much time learning about guys who have mediocre production and no NFL buzz. But you can follow the links to the spreadsheets to see everyone (some people prefer the formatting if you remove "pubhtml#" from the end of the url).

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Here are the guys with huge production ratings over the first half of this season (ignoring other factors like previous seasons' production):

QB: Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Joe Burrow (LSU), Justin Fields (Ohio State)
RB: Trey Ragas (La-Lafytte), Brenden Knox (Marshall), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), Kenneth Gainwell (Memphis), Jason Huntley (NMSU)
WR: Omar Bayless (Ark St), Sage Surratt (Wk Forest), Seth Williams (Auburn), Tylan Wallace (Okla St), Brandon Aiyuk (Ariz St), CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)
Edge Rusher: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. (Oregon St), James Lynch (Baylor), Chase Young (Ohio State), Chris Orr (Wisconsin), Terrell Lewis (Alabama)

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20 hours ago, EBF said:

I'm not following CFB very closely at all these days, but keep an eye on Alabama WR Henry Ruggs. He's mocked as a first rounder most places. He will draw some Tyreek Hill comparisons because of his elite speed, but he's taller, leaner, and not as shifty. I've compared him to TY Hilton because of his vertical ability and natural hands. With vertical speed being valued highly in today's NFL, he will be coveted. Some say Alabama has three first round WRs in this draft (Jeudy, Ruggs, and DeVonta Smith). I see Smith as the least talented of the three though even though he's currently leading the team in receiving yards. The third eventual first rounder (for 2021) might actually be their standout sophomore, Jaylen Waddle. He looks like an NFL talent in his own right. Alabama is so ridiculously loaded at WR right now that he's their #4 even though he'd be the #1 at most programs. I don't know what goes into your statistical analysis, but when you look at these Alabama WRs, I'd try to account for the fact that their depth chart is unusually stacked. It's much like the RB depth chart they've had at times when people like Lacy, Drake, and Kamara were on the fringes to some extent because there was so much talent on the roster. They are canceling each other out from week to week.

The Alabama WRs are probably going to break my system, at least a little. It's not as extreme as Dominator Rating, but my WR formula puts a lot of weight on volume, market share, and similar. If targets are being split among 3-4 different guys, and none of them has per-target production that is much better than the others because they're all really good players, then they won't stand out as unusually productive college WRs and my formula won't rate them that highly. This is all somewhat speculative - I can't just look at my current formula and be sure - because I'm currently missing target data for this year and YPT is one of the main stats where a receiver can shine with efficiency rather than volume (or team-adjusted production). I'd bet that the Alabama WRs have good YPT (what with Tua throwing for 11.2 YPA), but they aren't getting credit for that yet in my spreadsheet, so their current rankings are underrating them compared to what my formula will end up saying. (Right now DeVonta Smith is the highest-rated Alabama WR in my spreadsheet for 2019 production, ranking 19th among all WRs; if he has 12.0 YPT that would move him up to 11th and 13.0 YPT would put him in 7th.)

Jeudy managed to partially dodge this problem by having a big enough 2018 so that my formula will like his career production (although it still may underrate him some). And Waddle has a good chance to dodge it by putting up big numbers in 2020 after the other guys have left. So it will mostly be Ruggs & Smith who suffer in my formula.

I think this is a flaw in my formula which rarely comes up as strongly as it does in this case, and I will probably wind up liking these guys more than my formula does.

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I have college QB stats going back to 2008, and these are the best 11 seasons on record by my formula:

Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    2018
Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2019

Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2018
Joe Burrow    LSU    2019
Russell Wilson    Wisconsin    2011
Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2016
Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019
Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2017
Jameis Winston    FSU    2013
Sam Bradford    Oklahoma    2008

My formula doesn't have any era adjustments (and QB production has improved over the years), but I'm pretty sure that these would still be the top 11 seasons even if I added era adjustments (they'd just get reshuffled a bit).

It is easier to put up huge production over 7 games than over a complete season so it remains to be seen how many of these guys will keep it up, but right now we're looking at 4 QBs putting up the kind of elite seasons that used to happen less than once per year.

There are some negative things that could be said about each of these 4 guys. Hurts is leading an offense that elevated its QB to this list each of the past 3 years. Tagovailoa is throwing to a ridiculously talented receiving corps. Burrow is pretty old for a college QB (he turns 23 in December) and had middling numbers before this season. Hurts, Burrow, and Fields all transferred after losing the competition to start at their previous school (Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia respectively).

And I'm not sure what to make of the fact that there are 4 of them - it might tell us something about the importance of offensive scheme & the extent to which there's concentrated talent at a few top schools.

But on the whole, when I see production this good my inclination is to just give the guys a thumbs up as prospects.

We'll see what they do on the field over the next half season (or season & a half), and what the scouts have to say about them, and what the various analytics folks can show, and so on. My guess is that, after all of that, I'll wind up liking all four of them more than the typical QB with the same draft position.

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Burrow has already broken LSU's passing TD record with 29 and we still have a half a season to go. Watching him disect a defense has been a thing of beauty. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR NOVEMBER 9th it can't come fast enough.

Tex

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3 hours ago, BigTex said:

Burrow has already broken LSU's passing TD record with 29 and we still have a half a season to go. Watching him disect a defense has been a thing of beauty. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR NOVEMBER 9th it can't come fast enough.

Tex

yeah, but it is in Birmingham!  Should be exciting any way you look at it! 

 

On to the QB discussion...  how many are a "product of their system" like Wash St or Texas Tech high volume passing schemes?

The 2 that stand out to me as not in this scenario are LSU is #2 in passing yards but #27 in Attempts & Oklahoma is #6 in yards but #48 in attempts

This to me is a good sign of the WR quality and QB skill!  

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Here are production ratings from a larger set of quarterbacks - 16 guys who either have good numbers or who are getting some draft buzz. I have included every season where they were in the top 100 in passing attempts, and bolded each QB's best season. On this rating scale, 0 is average for a college QB, 5 is very good, and 10 is amazing.

14.6    Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
12.4    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2019

12.0    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2018
11.9    Joe Burrow    LSU    2019
11.0    Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019
8.2    Brady White    Memphis    2019
7.7    Tanner Morgan    Minnesota    2019
7.6    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2018

6.7    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2017
6.5    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2019
5.9    Trevor Lawrence    Clemson    2018
5.7    D'Eriq King    Houston    2018
4.8    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2019
4.7    K.J. Costello    Stanford    2018

4.5    Jalen Hurts    Alabama    2017
3.7    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2018
2.9    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2018
2.6    Jordan Love    Utah State    2018
2.5    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2019
2.5    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2018
2.3    Trevor Lawrence    Clemson    2019
2.1    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2017
1.9    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2016
1.9    Jalen Hurts    Alabama    2016
1.5    Brady White    Memphis    2018
1.4    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2019
1.2    Jacob Eason    Washington    2019
0.6    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2019
0.5    Joe Burrow    LSU    2018
0.0    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2018
-1.3    Jacob Eason    Georgia    2016
-1.6    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2017
-2.1    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2017
-3.8    Jordan Love    Utah State    2019
-5.5    Jordan Love    Utah State    2017

For comparison, here is the best season of every FBS quarterback that has been drafted in the first 2 rounds over the past decade. The first number is the rating in their best college season, and the year is the year of that season.

14.6    Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    2018
11.0    Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2017
10.6    Jameis Winston    FSU    2013
10.1    Sam Bradford    Oklahoma    2008
9.6    Johnny Manziel    Texas A&M    2013
9.4    Marcus Mariota    Oregon    2014
8.9    Robert Griffin III    Baylor    2011
8.8    Andrew Luck    Stanford    2010
8.0    Dwayne Haskins    Ohio State    2018
7.8    Sam Darnold    USC    2016
7.3    Cam Newton    Auburn    2010
7.0    Drew Lock    Missouri    2017
7.0    Tim Tebow    Florida    2008
6.9    Matthew Stafford    Georgia    2008
6.4    Brandon Weeden    Okla St    2011
5.9    Mark Sanchez    USC    2008
5.9    Jared Goff    California    2015
5.7    Teddy Bridgewater    Louisville    2013
5.2    Deshaun Watson    Clemson    2016
5.1    Lamar Jackson    Louisville    2017
5.1    Geno Smith    WVU    2012
5.0    Patrick Mahomes    Texas Tech    2016
4.8    Andy Dalton    TCU    2010
4.8    Ryan Tannehill    Texas A&M    2010
4.8    DeShone Kizer    Notre Dame    2015
4.5    Colin Kaepernick    Nevada    2010
4.1    Mitch Trubisky    N Carolina    2016
3.3    Jimmy Clausen    Notre Dame    2008
3.2    Christian Ponder    FSU    2009
3.2    Paxton Lynch    Memphis    2015
2.9    EJ Manuel    FSU    2012
2.7    Blake Bortles    UCF    2013
2.6    Josh Rosen    UCLA    2017
2.3    Josh Allen    Wyoming    2016
1.4    Brock Osweiler    Ariz St    2011
1.4    Jake Locker    Washington    2009
0.5    Daniel Jones    Duke    2016
0.3    Derek Carr    Fresno St    2012
0.0    Josh Freeman    Kansas St    2008
-0.7    Christian Hackenberg    Penn State    2013
-0.7    Pat White    WVU    2008
-1.3    Blaine Gabbert    Missouri    2009

You can see in this list that NFL success is somewhat spotty even near the top, and it really thins out in the bottom 40% of the list (below a rating of 5 or so). There are some great QBs in the middle of the list with a rating right around 5 (Mahomes, Watson, maybe Jackson) so we shouldn't think of that as a hard cutoff. QBs can easily move up or down a few tenths of a point based on things outside their control like dropped passes or dropped interceptions.

Justin Herbert's current season is right around that 5.0 borderline range. It is better than what he has done in previous years, but still lagging behind his reputation. It's low enough to make me nervous, but not low enough for him to go on my "definitely avoid" list at this point.

Lawrence and Fromm are the other 2 guys who have the most buzz, outside of Herbert and the guys with the elite production. They have both put up very good numbers in the past but are struggling so far this year.

Jacob Eason and Jordan Love are in bad company with their low production scores (although some later round QBs like Nick Foles, Jacoby Brissett, and Gardner Minshew have done something in the NFL despite college production in that range). A few people are talking about them as potential 1st or 2nd rounders but they're guys that I would avoid at that price.

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Here are some passing leaderboards.

Instead of just giving the top performers from this season, I've decided to include the top 20 individual seasons from 2016-19. That includes about 10 seasons from 2019 for each stat, I think mainly because it's easier to put up big numbers over a smaller number of games. In addition to the guys on the leaderboard, I have also listed the 2019 stats for the rest of the 16 QBs in my previous post.

These are all rate stats, which only include plays with a pass attempt. So sacks, scrambles, and designed runs are ignored.

Data from cfbstats, mostly from here, here, and here.

First Down Rate (non red zone) 
57.4%    Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
52.1%    Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    2018
48.6%    Joe Burrow    LSU    2019
48.4%    Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2016
47.7%    Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2017
47.3%    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2018
46.9%    Jack Coan    Wisconsin    2019
45.6%    Mike White    Western Ky    2016
45.3%    Tanner Morgan    Minnesota    2019
45.1%    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2019

44.7%    Mason Rudolph    Okla St    2017
44.6%    Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019
44.4%    Brock Purdy    Iowa State    2019
43.8%    Tyler Huntley    Utah    2019

43.7%    McKenzie Milton    UCF    2017
43.6%    Jack Abraham    USM    2019
43.5%    Dwayne Haskins    Ohio State    2018
43.2%    Will Grier    WVU    2018
42.7%    Logan Woodside    Toledo    2017
42.5%    Brett Rypien    Boise St    2016
Not on the leaderboard:
40.1%    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2019
39.5%    Brady White    Memphis    2019
39.2%    Jacob Eason    Washington    2019
38.7%    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2019
38.5%    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2019
38.3%    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2019
35.2%    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2019
[34.6%    average]
33.3%    Trevor Lawrence    Clemson    2019
32.7%    D'Eriq King    Houston    2019
32.4%    Jordan Love    Utah State    2019
28.6%    K.J. Costello    Stanford    2019

 

Adj 3rd Down Conversion Rate
74.4%    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2019
67.9%    Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019

63.5%    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2018
63.2%    Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    2018
63.2%    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2019
62.9%    Patrick Mahomes II    Texas Tech    2016
62.5%    Tanner Morgan    Minnesota    2019
62.1%    Jack Abraham    USM    2019
61.9%    McKenzie Milton    UCF    2018
61.3%    Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
60.9%    D'Eriq King    Houston    2018
60.5%    Trace McSorley    Penn State    2017
60.5%    Zac Thomas    App St    2019
60.0%    Max Duggan    TCU    2019

59.9%    Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2016
59.6%    Logan Woodside    Toledo    2016
59.6%    Hank Bachmeier    Boise St    2019
59.0%    Jack Coan    Wisconsin    2019
59.0%    Will Grier    WVU    2018
58.5%    Brady White    Memphis    2019
Not on the leaderboard:
56.5%    Joe Burrow    LSU    2019
47.9%    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2019
[44.1%    average]
43.6%    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2019
42.9%    Jordan Love    Utah State    2019
42.2%    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2019
42.0%    Trevor Lawrence    Clemson    2019
41.4%    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2019
37.3%    Jacob Eason    Washington    2019
34.6%    K.J. Costello    Stanford    2019
34.6%    D'Eriq King    Houston    2019

 

Red Zone TD Rate        
55.6%    Brady White    Memphis    2019
52.0%    Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019
50.0%    James Blackman    FSU    2019
48.5%    Justin Herbert    Oregon    2019

48.1%    K.J. Carta-Samuels    CSU    2018
46.7%    Alex Hornibrook    Wisconsin    2017
46.2%    Joe Burrow    LSU    2019
45.8%    Logan Woodside    Toledo    2016
45.5%    Chris Reynolds    Charlotte    2019
45.1%    Sam Darnold    USC    2016
44.7%    D'Eriq King    Houston    2018
43.8%    Cole McDonald    Hawai'i    2019
43.8%    Brandon Peters    Illinois    2019
43.5%    Kyle Trask    Florida    2019

43.3%    Nathan Peterman    Pittsburgh    2016
41.7%    Tanner Morgan    Minnesota    2019
41.7%    McKenzie Milton    UCF    2018
41.4%    Andre Nunez    La-Lafytte    2018
41.4%    Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2017
41.2%    Drew Lock    Missouri    2017
Not on the leaderboard:
40.0%    Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
36.4%    Trevor Lawrence    Clemson    2019
32.4%    Sam Ehlinger    Texas    2019
31.8%    Jake Fromm    Georgia    2019
30.0%    Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2019
30.0%    Nate Stanley    Iowa    2019
[26.5%    average]
18.2%    Jacob Eason    Washington    2019
18.0%    Kellen Mond    Texas A&M    2019
16.7%    D'Eriq King    Houston    2019
10.5%    Jordan Love    Utah State    2019
10.0%    K.J. Costello    Stanford    2019


Two active players make all 3 leaderboards: Justin Fields and Tanner Morgan (so do Baker Mayfield, McKenzie Milton, and Logan Woodside). Two other players come close but miss one of the leaderboards by 1-2 percentage points: Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow. One active player has his name on the leaderboards 4 times: Tua Tagovailoa (so does Baker Mayfield).

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Some receiving leaderboards (more stats here)

Yards per Team Attempt  
6.14    Geraud Sanders    Air Force
3.88    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
3.78    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
3.70    Rashod Bateman    Minnesota
3.66    Omar Bayless    Ark St
3.62    Quez Watkins    USM
3.60    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota
3.59    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
3.56    Austin Watkins Jr.    UAB
3.55    Chatarius Atwell    Louisville
3.41    Gabriel Davis    UCF
3.32    Brandon Aiyuk    Ariz St
3.30    Sage Surratt    Wk Forest
3.14    Warren Jackson    CSU
3.07    Marquez Stevenson    Houston
3.02    Jauan Jennings    Tennessee
2.98    Isaiah Hodgins    Oregon St
2.96    Ja'Marr Chase    LSU
2.83    Justin Jefferson    LSU
2.82    Kendall Parham    UAB
2.81    Seth Williams    Auburn
2.79    DeVonta Smith    Alabama
2.72    JD Spielman    Nebraska
2.71    Reggie Roberson, Jr.    SMU
2.68    Michael Pittman Jr.    USC
        
25+ Yard Receptions per Game
1.88    Reggie Roberson, Jr.    SMU
1.86    Sage Surratt    Wk Forest
1.83    Quez Watkins    USM
1.75    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
1.63    Omar Bayless    Ark St
1.63    Gabriel Davis    UCF
1.57    Austin Watkins Jr.    UAB
1.50    Antonio Gandy-Golden    Liberty
1.43    Ja'Marr Chase    LSU
1.38    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
1.38    Michael Pittman Jr.    USC
1.29    Seth Williams    Auburn
1.25    Charleston Rambo    Oklahoma
1.17    Warren Jackson    CSU
1.14    Tyquan Thornton    Baylor
1.14    Scotty Washington    Wk Forest
1.13    Darrell Stewart Jr.    Mich St
1.13    Keylon Stokes    Tulsa
1.13    David Bell    Purdue
1.13    Tre Nixon    UCF
1.13    JoJo Ward    Hawai'i
        
Market Share of Passing TDs   
67%    Geraud Sanders    Air Force
65%    Seth Williams    Auburn
56%    Isaiah Hodgins    Oregon St
55%    Omar Bayless    Ark St
54%    Jauan Jennings    Tennessee
53%    Tylan Wallace    Okla St
50%    Warren Jackson    CSU
46%    CeeDee Lamb    Oklahoma
46%    Marquez Stevenson    Houston
45%    Sage Surratt    Wk Forest
45%    Brandon Aiyuk    Ariz St
45%    James Proche    SMU
44%    Chatarius Atwell    Louisville
44%    Bryan Edwards    S Carolina
44%    Elijah Moore    Miss
43%    Trishton Jackson    Syracuse
42%    Randal Grimes    UNLV
40%    Kendall Parham    UAB
40%    Kobe Smith    SDSU
40%    T.J. Vasher    Texas Tech
39%    Michael Pittman Jr.    USC
39%    Tyler Johnson    Minnesota

Making all 3 lists: Omar Bayless, CeeDee Lamb, Tylan Wallace, Sage Surratt, Warren Jackson, Seth Williams, Michael Pittman Jr.

Making no lists: Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Laviska Shenault, lots & lots of other players

I'd like to share the YPT leaderboard, but as far as I know target data is only available behind paywalls (such as Rotowire). I have found some very limited target data and figured out that the 10+ YPT club includes Omar Bayless (11.8), Antonio Gandy-Golden (>11.4), Sage Surratt (>10.6), Tylan Wallace (10.5), and Gabriel Davis (10.2) among a bunch of other players. So at least Bayless, Wallace, and Surratt would make all 4 lists.

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Here are rushing efficiency numbers for 30 RBs who maybe have some shot as NFL prospects (including ones who aren't draft eligible this year). The stat is (first downs + touchdowns + 20-yarders) per carry; average is about 0.36. First, career stats (data from cfbstats).

FD+TD+20/att (career stats)
0.52    Travis Etienne    Clemson    (434 att)
0.50    Kennedy Brooks    Oklahoma    (167 att)
0.47    Elijah Mitchell    La-Lafytte    (303 att)
0.45    Master Teague III    Ohio State    (103 att)
0.42    Trey Ragas    La-Lafytte    (420 att)
0.42    Javonte Williams    N Carolina    (175 att)
0.42    Chuba Hubbard    Okla St    (360 att)
0.42    D'Andre Swift    Georgia    (379 att)
0.41    Najee Harris    Alabama    (286 att)
0.40    Trey Sermon    Oklahoma    (338 att)
0.40    Scottie Phillips    Miss    (278 att)
0.39    J.K. Dobbins    Ohio State    (578 att)
0.39    Jonathan Taylor    Wisconsin    (783 att)
0.39    Kenneth Gainwell    Memphis    (162 att)
0.39    Brenden Knox    Marshall    (259 att)
0.38    Zack Moss    Utah    (614 att)
0.37    Clyde Edwards-Helaire    LSU    (270 att)
0.37    Kylin Hill    Miss St    (371 att)
0.36    AVERAGE RB
0.35    Patrick Taylor    Memphis     (485 att)
0.35    Salvon Ahmed    Washington    (293 att)
0.35    Eno Benjamin    Ariz St    (476 att)
0.35    JaTarvious Whitlow    Auburn    (263 att)
0.34    Zach Charbonnet    Michigan    (117 att)
0.34    Darius Anderson    TCU    (384 att)
0.34    CJ Verdell    Oregon    (320 att)
0.34    J.J. Taylor    Arizona    (546 att)
0.33    Joshua Kelley    UCLA    (401 att)
0.33    Ke'Shawn Vaughn    Vanderbilt    (525 att)
0.32    Cam Akers    FSU    (551 att)
0.32    AJ Dillon    BC    (759 att)
0.29    Lamical Perine    Florida     (468 att)

And for just this season:

FD+TD+20/att (2019 season)
0.56    Trey Ragas    La-Lafytte    (71 att)
0.53    Travis Etienne    Clemson    (123 att)
0.50    Elijah Mitchell    La-Lafytte    (116 att)
0.46    Najee Harris    Alabama    (108 att)
0.46    J.K. Dobbins    Ohio State    (154 att)
0.46    Clyde Edwards-Helaire    LSU    (115 att)
0.45    Master Teague III    Ohio State    (86 att)
0.43    Trey Sermon    Oklahoma    (53 att)
0.42    Javonte Williams    N Carolina    (132 att)
0.42    Kennedy Brooks    Oklahoma    (48 att)
0.41    Jonathan Taylor    Wisconsin    (177 att)
0.41    Chuba Hubbard    Okla St    (236 att)
0.40    Brenden Knox    Marshall    (164 att)
0.39    Zack Moss    Utah    (137 att)
0.38    Kenneth Gainwell    Memphis    (158 att)
0.38    Kylin Hill    Miss St    (176 att)
0.37    Cam Akers    FSU    (196 att)
0.37    AJ Dillon    BC    (232 att)
0.37    D'Andre Swift    Georgia    (135 att)
0.36    Darius Anderson    TCU    (105 att)
0.36    AVERAGE RB
0.36    CJ Verdell    Oregon    (118 att)
0.35    J.J. Taylor    Arizona    (107 att)
0.35    JaTarvious Whitlow    Auburn    (113 att)
0.34    Salvon Ahmed    Washington    (128 att)
0.34    Zach Charbonnet    Michigan    (117 att)
0.33    Ke'Shawn Vaughn    Vanderbilt    (151 att)
0.32    Joshua Kelley    UCLA    (176 att)
0.30    Scottie Phillips    Miss    (125 att)
0.29    Eno Benjamin    Ariz St    (153 att)
0.26    Patrick Taylor    Memphis     (27 att)
0.25    Lamical Perine    Florida     (107 att)

This Etienne guy looks pretty good.

My overall RB ratings currently have Jonathan Taylor rated even higher than Etienne, primarily because of the speed that Taylor showed by running a 10.49 100m in HS. We'll have a better sense of players' athleticism after the combine (and maybe this will be the year where we get enough on-field MPH data to make good use of that).

Edited by ZWK

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11 minutes ago, ZWK said:

My overall RB ratings currently have Jonathan Taylor rated even higher than Etienne, primarily because of the speed that Taylor showed by running a 10.49 100m in HS. We'll have a better sense of players' athleticism after the combine (and maybe this will be the year where we get enough on-field MPH data to make good use of that).

Miles per hour seems like a metric that is a really poor indicator of a players speed. At least as a descriptive statistic, it falls short of actually differentiating the players. Someone being .03 mph faster than than another doesn't tell me much. It is completely out of scale.

They do not need to run for a mile and the game only lasts one hour, so what difference does it make how far the player can run from the stadium before its over?

A better metric would be feet per second. Pain to have to convert mph into something that might actually be descriptive of the differences in players speed without having to do conversions from mph to fps.

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2 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Miles per hour seems like a metric that is a really poor indicator of a players speed. At least as a descriptive statistic, it falls short of actually differentiating the players. Someone being .03 mph faster than than another doesn't tell me much. It is completely out of scale.

They do not need to run for a mile and the game only lasts one hour, so what difference does it make how far the player can run from the stadium before its over?

A better metric would be feet per second. Pain to have to convert mph into something that might actually be descriptive of the differences in players speed without having to do conversions from mph to fps.

Nextgenstats looks at the fastest speed that a player reaches with the ball during a game. They express that in "miles per hour", but the player only needs to move at that speed for a short period of time (less than a second). The units don't really matter, they just involve multiplying all the numbers by a constant.

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8 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Miles per hour seems like a metric that is a really poor indicator of a players speed. At least as a descriptive statistic, it falls short of actually differentiating the players. Someone being .03 mph faster than than another doesn't tell me much. It is completely out of scale.

They do not need to run for a mile and the game only lasts one hour, so what difference does it make how far the player can run from the stadium before its over?

A better metric would be feet per second. Pain to have to convert mph into something that might actually be descriptive of the differences in players speed without having to do conversions from mph to fps.

1 mph is 5280 feet in 3600 seconds, which is 1.467 feet per second or 17.6 inches per second.  

40 yards is 120 feet or 1440 inches.  A 4.4 40 is 1440 inches in 4.4 seconds or 360 inches in 1.1 seconds or 327.27 inches per second.  

Running a 4.4 40 means averaging about 18.6 mph, but that includes the time it takes you to get off the blocks. 

You really need to examine ten yard splits. And Jeffrey Epstein didn't commit suicide.  But as a rule of thumb, averaging 20 mph for an extended period of time is good speed. 22 mph and change is usually the peak speed you'll see in an NFL game.  

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14 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Nextgenstats looks at the fastest speed that a player reaches with the ball during a game. They express that in "miles per hour", but the player only needs to move at that speed for a short period of time (less than a second). The units don't really matter, they just involve multiplying all the numbers by a constant.

Yes I know.

However miles per hour does not give the person using that information context about how much faster one player was than another because of the scale it is being described in.

Player A reached 20.23 mph

Player B reached 20.26 mph

It isn't a large enough margin for me to discern any significant difference.

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4 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Yes I know.

However miles per hour does not give the person using that information context about how much faster one player was than another because of the scale it is being described in.

Player A reached 20.23 mph

Player B reached 20.26 mph

It isn't a large enough margin for me to discern any significant difference.

Those two speeds are about the same. That's not a problem with mph, it just means that the two players are basically equally fast (as far as we can tell from their on-field max speeds). That can happen with any measurement, e.g. if one player does the 3 cone drill 0.01 seconds faster than another that means that they both showed roughly equal agility in the drill - it's not a problem with the drill or with reporting results in seconds (to the nearest hundredth).

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I would have assumed Taylor was higher on this list, but I guess having double as many carries as some of those others is even more descriptive of his skill

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20 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Those two speeds are about the same. That's not a problem with mph, it just means that the two players are basically equally fast (as far as we can tell from their on-field max speeds). That can happen with any measurement, e.g. if one player does the 3 cone drill 0.01 seconds faster than another that means that they both showed roughly equal agility in the drill - it's not a problem with the drill or with reporting results in seconds (to the nearest hundredth).

Yes the speed is the same regardless of what scale you use to describe it.

The point I am trying to make is that miles per hour is not a good way to describe the speed in relation to the football field.

Player A 

20.23 mph or 29.67 feet per second or 9.89 yards per second

Player B 

20.26 mph or 29.72 feet per second or 9.9  yards per second

To me using more discrete metrics such as fps communicates the information in a way that is better than describing it as miles per hour.

Maybe I am completely alone in that and they use mph as they have determined that would make more sense to more people.

Edited by Biabreakable
Sorry decimal points

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For comparison, here are career college FD+TD+20/att numbers for some of the top NFL backs:

0.48    Melvin Gordon    Wisconsin    (631 att)
0.43    Todd Gurley    Georgia    (510 att)
0.42    Ezekiel Elliott    Ohio State    (592 att)
0.42    Dalvin Cook    Florida St    (687 att)
0.41    Kareem Hunt    Toledo    (782 att)
0.40    Alvin Kamara    Tennessee    (210 att)
0.40    Nick Chubb    Georgia    (758 att)
0.37    Saquon Barkley    Penn State    (671 att)
0.36    AVERAGE RB
0.36    Christian McCaffrey    Stanford    (632 att)
0.30    LeVeon Bell    Mich St    (671 att)

Edited by ZWK
added a few more players
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On 11/7/2019 at 6:04 PM, ZWK said:

For comparison, here are career college FD+TD+20/att numbers for some of the top NFL backs:

0.48    Melvin Gordon    Wisconsin    (631 att)
0.43    Todd Gurley    Georgia    (510 att)
0.42    Ezekiel Elliott    Ohio State    (592 att)
0.42    Dalvin Cook    Florida St    (687 att)
0.41    Kareem Hunt    Toledo    (782 att)
0.40    Alvin Kamara    Tennessee    (210 att)
0.40    Nick Chubb    Georgia    (758 att)
0.37    Saquon Barkley    Penn State    (671 att)
0.36    AVERAGE RB
0.36    Christian McCaffrey    Stanford    (632 att)
0.30    LeVeon Bell    Mich St    (671 att)

One thing that you can see from this is that a career mark of 0.39 FD+TD+20/att (which is what Jonathan Taylor & JK Dobbins have) is pretty solid and close to what a lot of great NFL backs do.

Another thing you can see is that being below average on this stat is a bad sign, although it's not a perfect indicator as LeVeon Bell showed.

A third thing you can see (even that's not what this list is organized by) is that great NFL backs usually got a big workload in college - 9 of these 10 guys had 500+ carries (with Kamara stepping in as the exception this time). Though I think that total college attempts is not the best way to look at workload since it's also a good sign if a player enters the draft as soon as he's eligible.

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You can probably look at Cam Akers for example and just excuse him a little for his horrid o-line right?  His career up until now has been running behind a horrendous offensive live, and this year he's improving upon his career to date.  Seems like a better indicator of future success to me than meeting a certain threshold.  

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We seem to have entered a new era for college passing offenses.

The powerhouse schools are now concentrating talent with an emphasis on the passing game, including coaching talent, and the result is huge efficiency numbers at quarterback.

3 of the top 10 passing seasons by my numbers (going back to 2008) belong to quarterbacks this season, and all 3 are at powerhouse schools which are going to the college football playoff (Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow). And the top 10 quarterbacks this season, who all have very good numbers (or better) by my formula, heavily overlap with the larger set of top schools:

Top 10 QBs of 2019
Justin Fields    Ohio State
Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma
Joe Burrow    LSU
Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama
Tanner Morgan    Minnesota
Trevor Lawrence    Clemson
Jack Coan    Wisconsin
Kedon Slovis    USC
Brady White    Memphis
Tyler Huntley    Utah

Oklahoma's recent years were apparently an early indicator of this trend, as 3 more of the top 10 seasons belong to Oklahoma 2018, 2017, and 2016.

This doesn't seem to be an idiosyncrasy of my formulas - by passing efficiency rating this year's QBs stand out even more.

The amazing efficiency numbers of this year's top QBs are also not just a result of a rising tide lifting all boats as the college passing game steadily improves. College passing efficiency has been steadily improving (since 2008, where my dataset begins), but I just started era-adjusting to account for that and the numbers I adjusted quoted about the top 10 QB seasons since 2008 are still true after applying those era adjustments (3 of the top 10 are from this year, 3 more are from Oklahoma 2016-18).

Instead, it seems like the steadily improving passing efficiency over the years has reached a tipping point so that now the top schools are emphasizing the passing game rather than the running game. Oklahoma was an early adopter, but now the coaches are schools like Alabama, LSU, and Ohio State are also scheming primarily for the passing game (and in some cases QB runs) and recruiting elite receiving talent.

This might make it trickier to evaluate QB prospects. Historically, QBs drafted outside the first 2 rounds have rarely hit (despite occasional exceptions like Prescott, Cousins, Wilson, and Brady), which meant that we could mostly count on scouts to weed out the QBs who put up big numbers thanks to small school system magic (like Kellen Moore) or ridiculously good receiving talent (like Zach Mettenberger) or odd happenstance (like Brandon Allen) rather than talent. Then looking at college production, while limiting our attention to QBs drafted in the first 2 rounds (or the first 45 picks or the first 3 rounds or whatever), was pretty informative. But if QBs with the big school pedigree and enough talent to get drafted in the first 2 rounds are increasingly benefiting from surrounding talent & scheme in putting up big passing numbers, then college production might tell us less in evaluating QBs. I still think it tells us something, and am worried about guys like Herbert who don't have the numbers to match their reputation, but I'd still guess that it tells us a little less.

But we'll see; maybe part of what's happening is that we're just looking at an unusually good crop of college QBs.

Since I mentioned this list earlier, here are the top 10 QB on record by my numbers (with era adjustments).

Top 10 QB Seasons, 2008-2019
Kyler Murray    Oklahoma    2018
Russell Wilson    Wisconsin    2011
Justin Fields    Ohio State    2019
Tua Tagovailoa    Alabama    2018
Jalen Hurts    Oklahoma    2019
Sam Bradford    Oklahoma    2008
Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2016
Jameis Winston    FSU    2013
Baker Mayfield    Oklahoma    2017
Joe Burrow    LSU    2019

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