PDA

View Full Version : Taking the "Thunder and Lightning" approach to the draft ...........



RockyMtnPhinfan
04-08-2011, 04:49 PM
So a while back i took the time to read about "speed scores" at Footballoutsiders.com which is a metric that can be applied to RB's going into the draft to try and predict if they will succeed at the NFL level. The equation takes into account their weight and 40 times. Here's a link to educate yourself about the metric.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3337822

Here's a link with more links about this metric if you are so inclined.....

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/search/apachesolr_search/speed+score

And finally here is a link to universaldraft.com (CK,Richard,Boomer) which is the information i used to calculate the numbers i came up with. (thanks fellas!)

http://www.universaldraft.com/position-rankings/2011-2/running-backs-2/

So i personally defined THUNDER as a back over or equal to 225lbs and LIGHTNING as a back equal to or under 210lbs. Initially i wanted to use 205lbs but found not many RB's at that weight with good scores. (i wanted more than four with a good speed score)

So here's what i came up with:
Thunder---------------Weight------- 40 Time----Speed Score
Mario Fannin (Auburn)---237-----------4.37---------129.97
Allen Bradford (USC)-----242-----------4.53---------114.9
Alex Green(Hawaii)------225-----------4.45---------114.8
Jamie Harper(Clemson)--233-----------4.53---------110.6
Anthony Allen(GA Tech)-228-----------4.56---------105.5
Mikel Leshoure(Ill)-------227-----------4.56---------105.0

Lightning
Da'Rel Scott(Maryland)--211-----------4.40----------112.6
Jordan Todman(UConn)--203-----------4.40----------108.3
Shane Vereen(Cal)------210-----------4.49----------103.3
Derrick Locke(Ken)------188-----------4.37----------103.1
Noel Devine(WV)--------179-----------4.34----------100.9
Kendall Hunter(OKState)-199-----------4.46----------100.5

According to the articles for which i posted links above, this has been a relatively accurate predictor of success at the next level and only one RB since 1999 has beaten the odds and been productive in the NFL despite a "bad" speed score. That running back is Brian Westbrook. So sticking with the Thunder and Lightning idea..........which of the big boys would you like and which of the Lightning guys would you like us to take?

I left out some guys that i know people are going to mention and i totally understand. Most of those guys are between the weights i listed to qualify. Either that or their speed score was low enough to keep them off of my short list.
If i had my choice of the guys listed above, I would hope the Dolphins take Jordan Todman in the third and then select Mario Fannin or Allen Bradford in the seventh round or possibly as a free agent. Both of those boys are big guys that can haul ***.
I am not knocking ANY of the guys i list in this post, and there are several such as Roy Helu or DeMarco Murray that i would be very happy with.
Here are the rest and their speed scores:

Roy Helu(Nebraska)--------116.8
DeMarco Murray(OK)-------116.8
Delone Carter(Syracuse)----104.5
Daniel Thomas(K State)-----100.1
Bilal Powell(Louisville)-------97.4
Ryan Williams(VA Tech)-----95.5
Mark Ingram(Bama)---------94.4
Taiwan Jones(E. Wash)-----92.1
Evan Royster(Penn State)---90.7
Dion Lewis(Pitt)-------------89.3
Jacquizz Rodgers(OR St)-----88.3


Of course this doesn't take into account division strength, lateral agility, ten yard splits, injury issues, fumbling issues and a ton of other things but i thought some of you here may enjoy the read.

If nothing else i thought it was a fun assessment. Did anyone's speed score surprise you? My biggest surprise was Quizz for sure.
ENJOY!!

foozool13
04-08-2011, 07:20 PM
trade down..pick up a 2nd and draft Mikel Leshoure wiht a late 1st

TrinidadDolfan
04-08-2011, 07:49 PM
I remember that John Avery was pretty quick.

sinPHIN
04-08-2011, 08:09 PM
trade down..pick up a 2nd and draft Mikel Leshoure wiht a late 1st

no thanks. would rather take williams in the second

footsteps_falco
04-08-2011, 08:29 PM
Dion Lewis was a lot lower then i thought, What's ingram's score

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-08-2011, 09:53 PM
Dion Lewis was a lot lower then i thought, What's ingram's score

94.4!! Not very good

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-08-2011, 10:05 PM
John Avery 5'9" 188 and ran a 4.38

His speed score would be 102.16 Which is just above average.

In the article explaining this metric football outsiders states "The average for first-round picks in the NFL Draft is 112.9"

So as a first round pick he'd be considered below average. In retrospect of course :)

SF Dolphin Fan
04-09-2011, 12:28 AM
Great post. There's a lot of "lightning" to like in this draft. I'd be happy with Murray, Todman, Hunter or Devine. As far as "thunder" there is less to like, but my sleeper guy has always been Allen Bradford. If he can figure a way to hold onto the football, Bradford definitely has the skills. I think his game compares to Frank Gore.

jonanthans
04-09-2011, 01:32 AM
So where do you put the Rbs that weigh between 211 and 224?

Is that HAIL???????

just sayin.....

sinPHIN
04-09-2011, 01:33 AM
for how big and fast fannin is why am i not hearing more about him? where is he projected? i just watched some film and he looks like a stud. especially reciving out of the back field.

justdev7
04-09-2011, 03:18 AM
for how big and fast fannin is why am i not hearing more about him? where is he projected? i just watched some film and he looks like a stud. especially reciving out of the back field.

I think Mario fanin is one of the more talented backs in the draft. His issues seem to be fumbling and injuries.

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-09-2011, 10:23 AM
trade down..pick up a 2nd and draft Mikel Leshoure wiht a late 1st
I am not of the opinion there's a first round draft pick in the bunch to be honest.

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-09-2011, 10:25 AM
So where do you put the Rbs that weigh between 211 and 224?

Is that HAIL???????

just sayin.....

Maybe with someone like Helu and Ryan Williams we can "put them" on our team!@! That would be more like a R&R "light" but i would not be opposed to that approach either.

Fannin is blazing fast for his speed. Fumbling issues can be resolved at the next level. I hope we take him late. He played in the SEC and WAS part of the national champs.

j-off-her-doll
04-09-2011, 10:25 AM
How would E. Smith and B. Sanders do according to your chart? How about W. Payton? L. Tomlinson? Hell, M. Faulk?

j-off-her-doll
04-09-2011, 10:27 AM
I appreciate the effort - don't get me wrong. I just find the approach faulty.

Judging players on paper rarely works. R. Moss and C. Johnson are great 'paper' players, but then you have J. Rice.

TedSlimmJr
04-09-2011, 10:39 AM
A 5th year senior like Mario Fannin should already know how to carry the football without fumbling..

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-09-2011, 10:47 AM
How would E. Smith and B. Sanders do according to your chart? How about W. Payton? L. Tomlinson? Hell, M. Faulk?

"Smith never ran better than a 4.5 40-yard dash, but it was his ability to change direction on a dime without losing speed that made him so special. Football isn't played on a straight line and that's why it's not a given that a 4.3 40-yard dash will translate to great rushing numbers."
5-9 210 and his best time being 4.5 his speed score would be 102.42 (Emitt Smith)
5-10 211 (Marhsall Faulk) and 4.35 forty time = 117.86
5-8 203 and 4.37 for Barry Sanders = 111.33
5-10 200 and a 4.40 (some say he ran an unoffical 4.21) Walter Payton = 106.72

J I know what you mean, i know its not hard science. But there are some undeniable parallels. As i stated in the post i am just foolin around with it. If the pro scouts can't get it right i am sure i will do no better.
At least those guys above scored above 100 :) I know its a long read. The longest post i have put out.

Here's the equation body weight x 200, and then divide that number by the forty time to the forth power
(4.50 x 4.50 x 4.50 x 4.50)

---------- Post added at 08:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:47 AM ----------


A 5th year senior like Mario Fannin should already know how to carry the football without fumbling..
Just as a professional like Tiki Barber should as well right?

TedSlimmJr
04-09-2011, 10:55 AM
Tiki Barber had to learn how to carry the ball high and tight, which is what Coughlin taught him how to do.

Fannin's fumbling issues aren't due to him carrying the football carelessly, or out away from his body.. it's because he doesn't understand how to run in traffic, protect his midsection, or see a hit coming. He's not very coordinated with his hands, which is why he's always dropping easy passes that hit him in the hands in addition to his fumbling...


There's a reason why he was Auburn's 3rd string tailback behind a true freshman and a 165 pound scat back by the end of September. You have to watch these guys play...

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-09-2011, 11:07 AM
Tiki Barber had to learn how to carry the ball high and tight, which is what Coughlin taught him how to do.

Fannin's fumbling issues aren't due to him carrying the football carelessly, or out away from his body.. it's because he doesn't understand how to run in traffic, protect his midsection, or see a hit coming. He's not very coordinated with his hands, which is why he's always dropping easy passes that hit him in the hands in addition to his fumbling...


There's a reason why he was Auburn's 3rd string tailback behind a true freshman and a 165 pound scat back by the end of September. You have to watch these guys play...

I would have to agree with you. But how would this guy NOT be worth a 7rd pick? Or even possibly a FA pick up? I guess it depends on how coachable they feel he is. Foster went undrafted and worked out well. If he is around in the 7th or after i would love to see us take him and try and make something of him. How strong of a hold does Hilliard have on his spot? I'm a SC fan so i have seen Auburn play, just haven't taken the time to dig deep.

TedSlimmJr
04-09-2011, 12:09 PM
I think he's easily a draftable prospect....there are things he does do well, and he has a unique blend of size and speed. No problem at all with a team using a late round draft pick on Fannin. He's just not a very natural runner or football player in my opinion.

where's th'fish
04-09-2011, 12:17 PM
I appreciate the effort - don't get me wrong. I just find the approach faulty.

Judging players on paper rarely works. R. Moss and C. Johnson are great 'paper' players, but then you have J. Rice.

Like all the stuff on Football Outsiders, this is not supposed to be the be-all-end-all. It's just another tool in evaluating players. And they do have rather nice tools indeed on that site.

X-Pacolypse
04-09-2011, 01:24 PM
I think Leshoure and Powell would make for a good backfield duo.

j-off-her-doll
04-09-2011, 02:06 PM
Like all the stuff on Football Outsiders, this is not supposed to be the be-all-end-all. It's just another tool in evaluating players. And they do have rather nice tools indeed on that site.

Football players who move well for their size tend to do better than those that do not. For me, that's where it ends. There are exceptions because there are different ways to gauge a player's ability to movement and because there are ways a player can compensate for certain deficiencies (football IQ, etc). Dressing it up in any other way is silly.

miamiron
04-09-2011, 02:53 PM
Game film is more important than any pseudo stats

phinfan33
04-10-2011, 11:01 AM
I think Leshoure and Powell would make for a good backfield duo.I wouldn't mind Leshoure&Vereen as our backfield duo.

where's th'fish
04-11-2011, 01:20 PM
Game film is more important than any pseudo stats

Only actual NFL coaches can watch real film, I assume you're aware of that. FO is a serious site making a real effort to advance the usefulness of football stats. It's a shame so few people on this forum can appreciate that.


So then, is the combine worthless? Is it safe to throw out all the data and just look at how a player performed on Saturdays against inferior competition? No one has bothered to actually go back and check whether what happens at the combine bears any relationship to NFL performance -- besides us, that is.
The answer is that, well, it depends on the position and the player. One place where a bit of combine data can actually go a long way in predicting a player's viability in the NFL is at running back, where we've come up with a metric known as "speed score."

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-11-2011, 04:11 PM
I thought it to be an interesting tool...............I liked it and it's easy to calculate once you know how to do it.
Deangelo Williams scored like a 105.4 (or something close to that)

The hard part is finding a guy, past or present, that scored poorly and STILL had a good career. (Westbrook was the one guy they mentioned that somehow found his way around it)

RockyMtnPhinfan
04-13-2011, 10:40 AM
I appreciate the effort - don't get me wrong. I just find the approach faulty.

Judging players on paper rarely works. R. Moss and C. Johnson are great 'paper' players, but then you have J. Rice.

Jerry Rice was a WR and this metric is very specific to RB's. As the article explaing the metric states, RB 40 times are one of the more useful tools to gauge how well a RB will do at the next level. Nothing is foolproof in the NFL, we all know that, but if you take the time to understand the metric and also take the time to apply it to past RB's you will see that it holds up pretty well. With all of the RB's i have applied it to it has been pretty consistent.
I'm not saying it's the final word on anything, but i'd bet you my left arm SOME team out there is using it as a portion of their assessment. If not then they are just turning a blind eye to something that may be helpful.
Name a RB that we KNOW has been successful or heck even NOT successful and lets run the numbers. (Westbrook excluded)