NFL 2013 Preseason Week 3 Football Notes

Notes and Updates from Week 3 of the 2013 NFL Preseason are below:

  • As mentioned in the NFL Preseason Week 2 Notes, Michael Vick had played excellent football in the short sample size, but had mixed results when given a larger sample. QB Nick Foles is probably the first Quarterback in history to lose a QB job with an 84% completion percentage with a  QB Rating. Bill Parcells was once quoted, “You all act like you can dial 1-800 and get a quarterback.” To that, I say he is literally correct. Right now, that phone number starts with a Philadelphia area code.
  • So who was the highest graded offensive player by Pro Football Focus for the Green Bay Packers in the third preseason game? It was none other than RB Alex Green, who had 2 carries for 31 yards and finally showed the burst that makes him an NFL Data Consultants favorite. He is in a crowded backfield now, but there is no doubt he can play and be an effective running back when healthy. With RB Johnathan Franklin ineffective and RB DuJuan Harris battling a knee injury, the door is opening for Alex Green.
  • New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith finally got back on the field after returning from an ankle injury. The quote in my Preseason Week 2 Notes says it all. QB Geno Smith threw three interceptions and accounted for a safety by running through the back of the endzone. To top that off, QB Mark Sanchez entered the game in the 4th quarter behind a backup offensive line and injured his right shoulder. The New York Jets is an organization in disarray, and the only way out of that is to take a long term analytical approach.
  • Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, OG Jonathan Cooper is going to be potentially out for the season. Guard is a position of lesser value, but what how can this injury affect QB Carson Palmer? Remember pressure on the Quarterback will drop the QB Rating by 25% or more.
  • QB Mike Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers demonstrated the Jekyll and Hyde persona of his analytical profile. He completed only 3 of 9 passes for 44 yards, but had a TD and no interceptions.
  • Defensive End Margus Hunt delivered his first preseason sack for the Cincinnati Bengals. Hunt also had two solo tackles, an assist, and a tackle for loss. With DE Michael Johnson playing the season on a franchise tag, DE Margus Hunt is likely going to be filling the position next year so he needs to develop and be ready by year two. Relatively new to the game of football, he still has a way to go in development; however, the ceiling remains high.
  • TE Luke Willson continues to run with the Seattle Seahawks first team offense. Willson had 2 receptions for 21 yards and continues to make rapid improvement, especially in his run blocking.  He will continue to make it difficult for the Seattle Seahawks Coaching Staff to get keep him off of the field.
  • Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball showed more of why he should get more opportunity over Ronnie Hillman at running back. Ball had 70 total yards, 43 rushing and 27 receiving and added a touchdown. Ronnie Hillman had 6 carries for 34 yards, but once again turned the football over with a fumble.
  • WR Quinton Patton made his first preseason appearance, which was referenced in the NFL Preseason Week 2 Notes. Patton led the San Francisco 49ers in receptions and receiving yards, catching 4 passes for 35 yards. For having a road bump in his rookie year development due to a fractured finger, the prediction that WR Quinton Patton would be better than A.J. Jenkins is practically in the bag after A.J. Jenkins had a horrific offseason and was traded away. Patton remains destined for a good future at wide receiver.

NFL 2013 Preseason Week 1 Notes and Updates, Volume 1

Volume 1 of Notes and Updates as it pertains to Week 1 of the 2013 NFL Preseason is below:

  • After missing two games with an undisclosed injury to his knee, Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Rishard Matthews has returned to practice, running a vertical route and making a fantastic catch down the sideline on a Ryan Tannehill pass; it was described as the play of the day.
  • Atlanta Falcons Cornerback Desmond Trufant had a nice start to his career, playing well in his NFL debut. As quoted from Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith, “I was impressed with the way that they [Desmond Trufant / Robert Alford] handled it, not only their production on the field but their grade sheet when we graded it on Friday.” 
  • Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson demonstrated his elite skills in the return right off the bat, with a 50 yard return on the opening kickoff. Despite less than ideal route running skills, he was also able to produce in the passing game with 4 receptions for 54 yards

More to follow on Week 1 of the 2013 NFL Preseason later in the week.

How Much Of An Upside Does Chicago Bears DE Cornelius Washington Have?

The Chicago Bears selected DE Cornelius Washington in the 6th round with the 188th pick overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has been an intriguing prospect based on some of his analytics, and therefore is a good draft pick for NFL Data Consultants to weigh in on.

Physically, Cornelius Washington meets thresholds that are rarely seen. The physical metrics just jump right off the page and should be intriguing to anyone evaluating him analytically. He physically compares to defensive ends that have performed well in the league. He also compares analytically to DE Vernon Gholston, who was selected 6th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Jets and did not last long in the league. Gholston had 14 sacks in his final season, which was more sacks than Washington had in his whole collegiate career. For this study, Vernon Gholston is a good comparison case.

Vernon Gholston had warning flags, not because of his athletic gifts, but when you look at the production. He had good production in raw number form with 8.5 and 14 sacks in his final two seasons. However, he played in less than 5 games that would be classified as games that would meet our standards for inclusion out of his 27 total games. That is a very low number and would raise questions on much of the production from his fantastic raw numbers.

Cornelius Washington played in about 5 times as many included games as Vernon Gholston, thus his production metrics will hold more validity. On a per game basis, he was challenged slightly less than Vernon Gholston. Cornelius Washington flashed early with production, but has been in a drought since 2010 in terms of production. Despite his fantastic physical metrics, the odds are stacked against him to break 4 sacks in a single season.

The objective is to do a risk analysis and look at it from a probabilistic standpoint.  Can he break 4 sacks? Physically, he should be able to net double figures in a single season, but his overall risk analysis places a much lower upside. Without further data and information that an organization may have available to analyze, it would be difficult to answer the question: Why does Cornelius Washington have such a dichotomy between his physical and production metrics? What can be said is that unlike Vernon Gholston, Cornelius Washington was drafted much closer to his long term market value as a defensive end.

What Is The Outlook On The Detroit Lions 2013 NFL Draft Class?

The Detroit Lions 2013 NFL Draft lacked any arbitrage opportunities and the class is also at a high risk of not producing any pro bowl players. Having volunteered with an organization that deals heavily with International Students, I have been told directly from an individual that came from the same region as Ansah on how easy it was to doctor his birth certificate as well as the purposes behind why he did it.  In addition of the reports of scouts questioning his age, this tidbit of information does not give me any confidence in the age of DE Ziggy Ansash matching that on his birth certificate, adding further risk on his selection. It is quite possible that even if Ansah is the real deal, that his career has a high risk of being shorter than the typical defensive end.

CB Darius Slay is likely to be a solid, but unspectacular cornerback once his knee heals. As long as he returns to full health, he holds the highest probability of making a pro bowl. The odds are against him, but it is not out of the realm of possibility for that to be his ceiling.

The 2013 NFL Draft for the Detroit Lions has all the makings of finishing in the bottom third of the league in long term production since the first two round picks have a bit of risk, and the rest of the picks have analytical profiles of very little upside and arbitrage opportunity.

Should the New Orleans Saints Start Terron Armstead At LT?

The left tackle position remains wide open between OT Charles Brown and OT Terron Armstead heading into training camp. Armstead ran the fastest time ever for an offensive lineman at the combine, but that is not why this third round pick and 75th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft should be starting.

Terron Armstead should be starting because his analytical profile shows that he has the capacity to handle quality pass rushing defensive ends off the edge. Pressure by way of the LT has the highest overall impact on the team’s quarterback rating. Although he came out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he started 32 games and played in 37 of them and added validity to his analytic profile with a good Senior Bowl effort. The projection is that over the next 3-5 years, Armstead is going to blossom into one of the better left tackles in the league and will be a long time starter for the New Orleans Saints.