What is TEF?
Last year we put together a formula (detailed here) based around Tom Cable’s self-confessed ‘ideal’ physical profile. We called it TEF (Trench Explosion Formula).
What exactly does it calculate?
Cable stated two years ago that a prospect would ideally achieve a 31-inch vertical, a 9-foot broad jump and 27 reps in the bench press. TEF uses these numbers to create an overall score for each individual offensive lineman:
1. Vertical ÷ 31
2. Broad ÷ 9, then cube the result
3. Bench ÷ 27
4. Results added together = TEF
Here’s what the ideal (31 — 9 — 27) would look like using this formula:
1. Vertical: 31 ÷ 31 = 1
2. Broad: 9 ÷ 9 = 1, cubed = 1
3. Bench: 27 ÷ 27 = 1
4. Overall score = 3.00
How do you judge an ‘ideal’ explosive athlete?
A prospect achieving the exact Cable ideal (31 — 9 — 27) will score a 3.00 in TEF.
How do you know it’s a worthwhile exercise?
When we went back and put Seattle’s recent draft picks through the formula, this is what we found:
Mark Glowinski: 3.34
Terry Poole: 3.12
Kristjan Sokoli: 3.75
Justin Britt: 3.00
Garrett Scott: 3.27
Ryan Seymour: 3.10
Jared Smith: 3.35
J.R. Sweezy: 3.13
Gary Gilliam (UDFA): 3.09
The Seahawks also passed on a collection of players scoring below the 3.00 threshold.
If explosive athleticism is so important, why did they reach for Justin Britt?
I’m glad you asked, because TEF perfectly explains the Britt pick in 2014. He was one of the last ‘explosive’ offense lineman on the board when the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks picked at the very end of round two:
#64 Justin Britt 3.00
#66 Morgan Moses: 2.69
#67 Billy Turner: 2.83
#140 Cameron Fleming: 2.45
#149 Kevin Pamphile: 2.96
#199 Garrett Scott: 3.27
Despite their greater name recognition and reputations, Seattle passed on Moses and Turner and selected the unknown Britt — the considerably more explosive athlete.
The next explosive O-liner to leave the board, Garrett Scott, was also drafted by the Seahawks 135 picks later. They passed on all of the names in-between Britt and Scott, none of which had the 3.00 score.
Remember, the Seahawks didn’t have a third round pick in 2014 because of the Percy Harvin trade. They needed a right tackle and were willing to reach to make sure they got an athlete matching their ideal physical profile.
You mocked Germain Ifedi to Seattle a year ago, so what did TEF tell us?
Ifedi, for what it’s worth, scored a 2.97 in TEF. He didn’t hit the 3.00 mark but let’s put this into context. In the bench press he achieved 24 reps. With 25 reps, he would’ve scored a 3.00. You’re not deciding whether or not to draft a player based on one bench press rep.
Why else did they take Ifedi if he scored a 2.97 and not a 3.00?
Size matters and for that, we have ‘weighted TEF’ (wTEF). Original TEF doesn’t really account for the players who are enormous (Ifedi) and test well for their size.
How does wTEF work?
Here’s the formula:
weight x TEF x 0.1 = wTEF
This accounts for a player at 325lbs (like Ifedi) having an incredible vertical and broad jump performance despite weighing 20-25lbs more than other O-line prospects. Weighted TEF considered Ifedi’s incredible size and suggested he was the third best overall athlete in the O-line class:
Germain Ifedi — 324 x 2.97 x 0.1 = 96.1
Spriggs, Jason — 104.9
McGovern, Conner — 101.4
Ifedi, Germain — 96.1
Shell, Brandon — 94.4
Vaitai, Halapoulivaati — 93.8
This helped us determine Ifedi was a distinct possibility for the Seahawks in round one and ultimately they drafted him.
For more on wTEF, click here. When we have the results of Friday’s workouts we’ll put the data for TEF and wTEF on the blog as soon as possible.
Is there anything else to consider?
Arm length, intelligence and grit are also important factors. The Seahawks have only drafted one lineman with sub-33 inch arms — Joey Hunt, a sixth round pick at center. Cable has specifically discussed the importance of intelligence and coachability. We also know they want players that play with an edge.
Are you doing anything different this year?
For 2017 we have tweaked the formula slightly (and made it better).
Because there are 12 inches in a foot, a broad jump of 9’11” was being recorded as a 10.0 in TEF. We were rounding up because we had to.
9’6″ = 9.6
9’11” does not = 9.11 in this formula
9’11” had to = 10
Any player jumping a 9’10” or 9’11” was being credited with a 10’0″ broad jump.
To overcome the issue we’re converting the jump to inches and then dividing by 12 (then dividing by 9 and cubing the total as before). Every inch is worth 0.083 instead of 0.1 and provides a more accurate assessment of a broad jump performance (and overall explosive athleticism).
It won’t impact the scores too much but they’ll be more accurate.
Can you use TEF for any other positions?
Because the offensive linemen directly face off against the defensive linemen, we can also use TEF to compare the two groups. Last year we identified only six ‘explosive’ offensive linemen compared to 26 explosive defensive linemen. It was unintentional — but TEF helped emphasise the growing physical disparity between D-line and O-line prospects entering the league.
What is the overall benefit of the formula?
1. It provides leeway. If a prospect scores a slightly less than ideal score in the vertical jump, they can still achieve a +3.00 if they excel in the broad jump and/or bench press. A really explosive broad jumper who doesn’t quite bench 27 reps isn’t being severely critiqued for missing the ideal in one test.
2. We’re comparing a prospect to the self-confessed ideal of Seattle’s offensive line coach. Rather than just adding up a set of numbers, the grade is directly relevant to the Seahawks.
Why cube the broad jump score?
Let’s use Jason Spriggs’ TEF score a year ago to highlight why this is important:
1. Vertical: 35 ÷ 31 = 1.13
2. Broad: 9.7 ÷ 9 = 1.1
3. Broad cubed = 1.26
4. Bench: 31 ÷ 27 = 1.15
5. Added together Spriggs’ score is 3.54
Spriggs’ 9-7 in the broad jump is arguably more impressive than his 35 inch vertical or his 31 reps on the bench press. Without cubing his 1.1 score in the broad it would actually be marked as his weakest test. Instead it is correctly highlighted as his best work.
This is significant given Seattle’s clear interest in explosive measurements in the broad jump (explained here).
Why are you saying the prospect I like isn’t any good just because your formula gives him a low score?
I’m not and you’re getting it all wrong.
TEF is not asserting how good a player is. It is merely a formula to help us determine which offensive linemen physically match-up to Tom Cable’s stated ideals (and therefore are more likely to be drafted by the Seahawks). If a player scores a 2.65 it doesn’t mean I think he’s bad. If a player scores a 3.45 it doesn’t mean I think he’s going to be a regular all-pro. TEF is merely a guide for Seahawks fans to determine who is more likely to be drafted by the team.
TEF didn’t project Rees Odhiambo and Joey Hunt did it?
Their data was never accumulated. Joey Hunt didn’t workout pre-draft and Rees Odhiambo didn’t appear at the combine. He struggled through a pro-day appearance while still recovering from a serious injury. If you don’t have the numbers you can’t project a score.
How did this help a year ago?
Here are the predictions/assertions we made after collecting the 2016 data:
— The most likely offensive tackles to be drafted at #26 are Jason Spriggs and Germain Ifedi
Seattle drafted Ifedi after trading down to #31
— The Seahawks would probably love Sheldon Rankins to fall (but he won’t)
Rankins, commonly linked to the Seahawks at #26, was the #12 overall pick (New Orleans) and the #2 TEF tester in the draft
— Is Jonathan Bullard special enough to warrant a first round pick when there are comparable players in terms of explosion available beyond round one?
Bullard lasted until the third round with the Seahawks passing on him twice
2017 bench press results
The O-liners conducted the bench press today, the first part of the TEF equation:
Antonio Garcia — 24 reps
Garett Bolles — DNP
Dorian Johnson — 21 reps
Forrest Lamp — 34 reps
Taylor Moton — 23 reps
Cam Robinson — DNP
Nico Siragusa — 28 reps
David Sharpe — 19 reps
Ryan Ramcyzk — 25 reps
Ethan Pocic — 26 reps
Chad Wheeler — 15 reps
Zach Banner — 22 reps
Adam Bisnowaty — 23 reps
Julie’n Davenport — 18 reps
Dion Dawkins — 26 reps
Jermaine Eluemunor — 34 reps
Dan Feeney — 26 reps
Isaac Asiata — 35 reps
Aviante Collins — 34 reps
Sam Tevi — 15 reps
Damien Mama — DNP
Roderick Johnson — DNP
The following players have +33-inch arms and achieved at least 27 reps on the bench press: Isaac Asiata, Aviante Collins, Jermaine Eluemunor and Nico Siragusa. Forrest Lamp had an impressive 34 reps on the bench but only has 32 1/4 inch arms.
Asiata is a key name to watch tomorrow. There were a few plays in 2016 where he really flashed surprising athleticism (including one brilliantly executed screen pass to Joe Williams where Asiata led him — sprinting — deep downfield). He also showed plenty of explosion creating running lanes against Washington’s fearsome D-line.
Cam Robinson didn’t take part due to past shoulder issues. Reportedly he will not do the drill pre-draft. It’s unclear why Garett Bolles, Roderick Johnson and Damian Mama did not participate. All four players will receive a projected TEF score using the average number of bench reps for this draft class (24 reps).
The offensive linemen will compete in the vertical and broad jumps tomorrow. We will be live blogging from 6am PST.