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Apollo Stallion

Final PFF Ratings

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Was going to put this in the roster thread, but it's so chock full of juiciness it need's its own. 

Sit back and appreciate the culmination of 11 years of Rick Smith roster building...

QUARTERBACK
Deshaun Watson (75.1, 29th out of 40)*  see next post
Tom Savage (71.1, 32nd out of 40)

RUNNING BACK
Lamar Miller (77.9, 24th out of 61)
Andre Ellington (56.6, 51st out of 61)
Alfred Blue (73.4, NR)
D'Onta Foreman (56.3, NR)
Jay Prosch, FB (45.2, 9th out of 18)

WIDE RECEIVER
DeAndre Hopkins (90.6, 4th out of 120)
Will Fuller (73.0, 55th out of 120)
Braxton Miller (47.0, 97th out of 120)
Andre Ellington (46.7, 99th out of 120)
Chris Thompson (61.6, NR)
Tyler Ervin (55.7, NR)
Cobb Hamilton (53.0, NR)

TIGHT END
Ryan Griffin (53.6, 36th out of 72)
Stephen Anderson (47.1, 49th out of 72)
C.J. Fiedorowicz (63.4, NR)

CENTER
Nick Martin (44.9, 30th out of 38)
Greg Mancz (39.0, 37th out of 38)

GUARD
Jeff Allen (38.4, 73rd out of 82)
Xavier Su'a-Filo (35.8, 80th out of 82)
David Quessenberry (51.0, NR)
Kyle Fuller (48.1, NR)

TACKLE
Chris Clark (37.7, 80th out of 86)
Breno Giacomini (32.7, 85th out of 86)
Kendall Lamm (53.6, NR)
Julien Davenport (47.6, MR)

DEFENSIVE LINE
D.J. Reader (84.2, 22nd out of 125)
Brandon Dunn (71.5, 89th out of 125)
Carlos Watkins (71.3, 90th out of 125)
Joel Heath (44.6, 118th out of 125)
J.J. Watt (89.3, NR)
Christian Covington (83.2, NR)

EDGE RUSHER
Jadeveon Clowney (88.3, 13th out of 109)
Brennan Scarlett (55.2, 91st out of 109)
Whitney Mercilus 75.1, NR)
Ufomba Kamalu (48.3, NR)

LINEBACKER
Zach Cunningham (80.6, 21st out of 88)
Bernardrick McKinney (79.7, 26th out of 88)
Dylan Cole (78.0, NR)
Brian Peters (61.6, NR)
Brian Cushing (52.0, NR)
Jelani Jenkins (43.7, NR)

CORNERBACK
Johnathan Joseph (75.7, 67th out of 121)
Kareem Jackson (52.2, 95th out of 121)
Kevin Johnson (32.0, 121st out of 121)
Marcus Williams (63.6, NR)

SAFETY
Andre Hal (78.5, 43rd out of 87)
Marcus Gilchrist (77.2, 51st out of 87)
Eddie Pleasant (77.3, 47th out of 87)
Corey Moore (79.2, NR)
Ibrahim Campbell (75.8, NR)
Treston Decoud (72.6, NR)
Kurtis Drummond (60.5, NR)

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11 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Johnathan Joseph (75.7, 67th out of 121)
Kareem Jackson (52.2, 95th out of 121)
Kevin Johnson (32.0, 121st out of 121)
Marcus Williams (63.6, NR)

This is flat out depressing. There are two first round picks and a priority FA on this list. 

What makes it hurt more is that AJ Bouye is top 5. 

11 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Zach Cunningham (80.6, 21st out of 88)
Bernardrick McKinney (79.7, 26th out of 88

Good to see these two rate out this high. A young ILB tandem such as these two can be cornerstones for years to come. McKinney should get a good chunk of change this off-season.

13 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Jadeveon Clowney (88.3, 13th out of 109)

Speaking of chunk of change - Clowney didn't play well enough for "highest paid defensive player in football" but he's earned a moderate payday. 

15 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

J.J. Watt (89.3, NR)

Not going to lie, don't know where this came from. I wasn't overly impressed with Watt during his three game run, but I guess this is good news. I'd surmise that recovering from his knee injury would be an easier path than recovering from a back injury.

17 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

D.J. Reader (84.2, 22nd out of 125)

Pleasantly surprised by Reader, really glad he's developing.

18 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Nick Martin (44.9, 30th out of 38)

I thought Nick looked good in his time so surprised he's in the bottom part of the rankings...

19 minutes ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Greg Mancz (39.0, 37th out of 38)

He was top 5 last season, so a considerable regression from him.

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Ok - the Watson stat sticks out (along with Kevin Johnson's rating as worst in the NFL, and the worst o-line ever assembled).

The Watson thing seems off and I've been a critic of these ratings before (remember Fred Bennett as #2 CB) so I did some digging.  First off, their ratings seem to really suffer with low sample sizes such as Fred Bennett's high ratings as a rookie which were based upon 1/2 season of work sitting back in a soft nickel/dime zone (once Dunta got hurt) and getting a bunch of opportunities in a short amount of time for ints and knockdowns.  Watson's ratings are quite negatively affected by the 2nd half vs. Jacks (removing just that one half ups him to 16th overall).  The Bengals game wasn't real pretty either.  

Here's where his PFF ratings seem to divert from his other positive stats.

  • Fourth-highest percentage of negatively graded throws (adjusted comp % was 66% which was 33rd of 34 when he went down)
  • Ninth-highest percentage of turnover-worthy plays (gotta admit - he got pretty lucky on some dropped ints / only had one "unlucky int" on a hail mary)
  • Lowest drop rate in the league by receivers, only two drops (aka Hopkins made him look good)
  • Charged with four sacks, tied for seventh among quarterbacks (took 4 "unearned" sacks - whatever - would love to see how many more pressures he avoided or "earned" sacks he turned into huge gains

Our memories certainly remember the great plays and tend to be pretty forgiving with a rookie who always seemed primed to make the next spectacular play, but reality was that there were plenty of plays that were rookie mistakes that he made up for later (pretty much had at least one REALLY bad play each game).  PFF ratings are done by humans with biases and I suspect "evaluators" would give Watson more credit for things like "smart incompletions" and I'm not sure their methodologies quite know what to do with a guy like Watson, yet.   If ever there was a more direct example of "stat x against replacement" it's Watson who's performance vs. other QBs with same coach, o-line, receivers, RBs might be the most spectacular difference EVER by a QB. 

Still PFF shows it is worth pumping the brakes just a bit as we are still talking about a stretch of 6 good games & 3 wins.  Alex Smith was MVP thru week 7 and had one of the best playoff half's ever and Chiefs fans are practically burning jerseys.  Remember, Vince Young and RG3 were rookie's of the year for playoff teams and Texan fans recall Slaton or Cushing's spectacular rookie season's were never replicated.  Really, just saying we need to look at the rest of this roster and the limited sample of Watson and not project we're going from 4-12 to 12-4 or that we can project weeks 3-7 over the course of a full season as it assumes health we've never had at the position and eliminates the inevitable downturn after DC's start adjusting and exploiting the "holes" in his swing.  Let's go with "guarded optimism" and if wholesale o-line and secondary improvements don't happen, top 10 in draft is more likely than top 10 in league.

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I know Vrabel's playcalling is rightfully getting ripped (sticking with cover 4 so long with this group of safeties was insane), but in terms of player development, linebacker is one of the only areas of this team to actually show improvement attributable to coaching the past few seasons.  Clowney has developed into one of the most complete LBs around when there were legit concerns that he'd just be another guy who got by on being physically dominant at the college level and short on technique.  Simon and Mercilus had career years last year.  This year Clowney got even better, but Cunningham showed amazing growth over the course of the season and with some extra time in the weight room, he might actually become one of the top cover LBs around.  McKinney's play had me concerned last year as he absolutely lost his mojo over the 2nd half, but this year was a solid consistent improvement and he's due a nice extension as well.  Cole played like a vet from day 1 and I'd like to see us flip him outside and get a crack outside opposite Mercilus.  Scarlett is a limited player best used as quality depth, but he has been developed into a passable NFL player as a UDFA.  That's some pretty solid work from a position group which just so happens to be Vrabel's specialty.  Dude needs to hit the books and figure out coverages this offseason, but along with Reader & Covington, we've shown decent ability to coach up the front 7.

BTW - I'm ready to move on from Brian Peters.  Dude had a great first few games as a Texan, but I don't recall much at all the past 2.5 seasons+.  O'Brien names different "captains" every week, but Peters is pretty much the de-facto captain of coverage teams that have been consistently terrible and will be on his 3rd coach because of it.  Considering coverage teams mainly consist of LB's and S's and we seem to always have talent at LB, kinda seems like Peters and our garbage safeties are the weak links (Drummond made some plays tho).

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I think it's important to note to take PFF grades with a huge grain of salt. Even factoring in rookie mistakes Watson made or whatever the case may be, there were most certainly not 28 QBs better than him this season. They have guys like Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, Eli Manning, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton and Mitchell Trubisky ahead of him, all of which he's inarguably better than, and that's not even bothering to get in to the guys he could arguably be over.

According to PFF we're also apparently experiencing the greatest defensive line talent group the NFL has ever seen. They have 8 guys listed in the elite category at DL. Jurrell Casey and Cameron Heyward are just .3 and .4 respectively off from being listed as elite as well.

They have 20 total people listed as at least very good(85+) or better.

They have 48 listed as good or better.

It's similar at edge rushers.

They have 10 elite edge rushers.

21 very good or better.

41 good or better.

And apparently center play in the NFL is at an all-time low, there's only 6 guys graded at 80+.

Their stats are great and grades are uh..interesting, but they have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. I watched most of Watson's season and can attest that putting him 29th is about as awful as it gets. There's just no way there's 28 QBs better than him.

It is worth noting I think(at least it's something I noticed), if PFF gives you an awful grade, it takes forever to bounce back from it in their ratings. Jack Conklin had an awful grade in week 1 and he stayed at the bottom for a good 4 weeks, despite after week 1 bouncing back to his usual high level of play. He came back and finished the year as their 10th highest graded tackle but if they didn't sandbag him off 1 awful game for 5-6 weeks he'd probably be closer to top 5 if not in the top 5. Jurrell Casey had a similar situation. Awful week 1, but bounced back after, but he stayed in the bottom for several weeks before one week they went from having him ranked like 60th to having him in the 20s.

I truly do not understand how that's supposed to work, but it is what it is.

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22 hours ago, Apollo Stallion said:

Here's where his PFF ratings seem to divert from his other positive stats.

  • Fourth-highest percentage of negatively graded throws (adjusted comp % was 66% which was 33rd of 34 when he went down)
  • Ninth-highest percentage of turnover-worthy plays (gotta admit - he got pretty lucky on some dropped ints / only had one "unlucky int" on a hail mary)
  • Lowest drop rate in the league by receivers, only two drops (aka Hopkins made him look good)
  • Charged with four sacks, tied for seventh among quarterbacks (took 4 "unearned" sacks - whatever - would love to see how many more pressures he avoided or "earned" sacks he turned into huge gains

I think they also mentioned that he was so bad in Week 1 that it really dragged down his overall grade.

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