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Thread: Zach Ertz vs. Tyler Eifert: A Metrics Breakdown

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    NUGap's Avatar
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    Zach Ertz vs. Tyler Eifert: A Metrics Breakdown

    Since I've noticed a few disagreements here about whether Ertz or Eifert is the best TE in the class, I thought I'd post a breakdown. It seems like the Dolphins have needed a tight end forever and given that big, receiving TEs are en vogue now, it's probably good to look at the top 2 in this class. I have a bit more on my site, just the summary and a few extra charts that you can see here: http://secondroundstats.com/2013/02/...ics-breakdown/

    Where Did They Catch the Ball?

    This is only where they caught the ball, excluding YAC. Last year I worked up some of Coby Fleenerís stats, so Iíll be comparing them.





    • Despite Ertz and Fleener playing in the same offense, we actually see different distributions of completions. Ertzís are weighted more heavily towards shorter passes, with 68% of his passes coming within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He did have a higher 12% come on deep balls. This is a solid thing if we see enough yards after the catch from him.
    • Eifertís distribution resembles Fleenerís much more closely. They both have a large amount of receptions within the 1-5 yard range then a large amount of receptions within the 11-20 range. I believe this shows an aptitude for catch both dump off passes and big gaining intermediate receptions. Of course, again this depends on the TE's YAC ability. Unfortunately, I don't have that data on Fleener.
    • Neither is the deep threat that Fleener was. Almost 17% of Fleenerís receptions were past 20 yards. Eifert had nearly half of that and Ertz only reached 12%. I'll be curious to see their 40 times at the combine/ pro-days to see how it compares to Fleener and if we see a reason for this.


    Where Did Their Yardage Come From?



    (For this I charted yards after contact, which means as soon as a defender contacted the TEs, I noted it)


    • Eifert in general caught the ball slightly further down the field, 10.4 yards to 9.64 yards for Ertz. However, there's not a huge different there and that's not something we can really cite as a huge win or loss for either player.
    • Both Ertz and Eifert had similar total yards after the catch (before contact + after first contact) at 3.94 yards and 3.6 respectively. They came in different manners though. The majority of Ertzí yards after the catch came before contact, with only 1.24 yards after first contact on average. Eifertís was much more divided with 1.96 yards coming after contact.
    • Now this doesnít seem like a big difference, but I believe this is a larger indicator for projection into the NFL. We see Eifert with more effort and strength after the catch compared to Ertz. The players wonít get smaller in the NFL, so the stronger the better.


    How Do They Compare in Other Aspects?


    • We have to examine drops. This is probably the most glaring difference. Ertz had almost double the drops of Eifert at a drop rate of 10.68% to only 5.26% for Eifert. That drop rate would give him the second best hands out of this wide receiver class behind only Keenan Allen. This is pretty impressive for a TE, especially if you're looking for someone to make tough catches in the red zone.




    • Both of their catches came from very similar pre-snap alignments. Neither one has more experience or an advantage in a particular alignment. Anyone who tells you one has more experience from the outside or slot is misinformed.


    • Both of them converted a similar amount of third downs. From my sample, 64% of both of their passes were caught for 1st downs. I also calculated whether they picked up their first downs through the air or after the catch and the numbers were nearly identical. Neither player has a particular advantage in this category, but it's a positive that both TEs gained so many first downs in general.


    Hope y'all enjoyed and it helped you figure out who you like a little more. I'm sure for most people it'll just reinforce what they thought already, but it can never hurt to have a little bit more data for when you watch film or discuss prospects. I'll be doing a 2nd tier with Kelce, Escobar, Reed and Otten a little bit closer to draft time, so be on the lookout for that.
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    j-off-her-doll's Avatar
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    Eifert's strong hands are apparent, but I didn't realize his drop % is that low. Good stuff. I can see the staff liking him at 42 - if he's there. 12 is still too rich. I was a big Fleener fan, but I'm not a big Ertz guy.
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    i love these threads NU. thanks!
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    I should note that of course Fleener's numbers down field will be a little bit better because he had Andrew Luck throwing to them. Ertz' QB missed something like 35% of passes to him compared to a 28% miss rate for the ND QB. However, it's hard to normalize on a 2 person sample, so I won't even be pretending like that's an option.
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    I have a hard time buying into the metrics of football. I do know that I like Ertz better and Eifert looked overmatched vs. Alabama.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
    I have a hard time buying into the metrics of football. I do know that I like Ertz better and Eifert looked overmatched vs. Alabama.
    That's fair. I always like to make the point to people that I don't advocate using stats as the only measure of a player's ability or even in the majority of your evaluation. I use stats like these to look for trends, positives and red flags on prospects that I can then check out on film. Sometimes they can verify things you see on film (Tyler Wilson underthrows balls frequently), sometimes it can challenge what you see on film (Matt Barkley is a bad deep passer). That can then cause you to recheck what you saw the first time. If you have one more piece of information, you're that much more informed than the next guy.

    This won't sway you much if you don't care for football metrics but I have Eifert picking up the majority of his yards after first contact against Alabama, which is to say he was pushing past defenders on what people would consider one of the strongest defenses in CFB. I like to see that effort and strength in a tough situation.
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    Great analysis as always,NG. I see 100% effort from Eifert and less than 100% from Ertz. That's the most telling metric for me.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. - S. Beckett
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    Numbers can always be useful to highlight a point, but useless in terms of making a point. I don't know of anywhere this holds more true than evaluating football talent.
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    make sure you add in vance mcdonald to your 2nd tier te study...that's a kid that's gonna go higher than people think and i really like...got a lot of gronk in him...

    3rd te off the board...

    i know those rice metrics won't mean squat but i'd still like to see his stuff...
    hoops scoops 2012 season ..."in 2014 ryan tannehill etches his name in stone amongst the games elite qbs"..."ryan tannehill and andrew luck will carry the afc for the next decade plus the way peyton manning and tom brady have this last decade plus"
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    Re: Zach Ertz vs. Tyler Eifert: A Metrics Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
    I have a hard time buying into the metrics of football. I do know that I like Ertz better and Eifert looked overmatched vs. Alabama.
    One on one against the best CB in the draft I felt he gave a very good account of himself against Alabama.
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