Introducing: The Trench Explosion Formula (TEF)

Jason Spriggs attempts the vertical jump at the combine

Last week we looked at a basic formula devised by Pat Kirwan to determine explosion and athleticism. Kirawn, who is close to Pete Carroll, added a players broad jump, vertical and bench press statistic together to create an overall ‘explosion’ score.

For example:

Jason Spriggs
Vertical: 35
Broad: 9.7
Bench: 31
Overall score: 75.7

Anything over 70 was considered explosive.

The problem with the formula is it diminishes the broad jump. If you jump a 9-7 like Spriggs you’re only 0.6 points better off than a prospect that jumps a 9-1.

Spriggs’ score with a 9-7 broad jump: 75.7

Spriggs’ score with a 9-1 broad jump: 75.1

Clearly the broad jump is disproportionately represented.

We needed to create a new formula that shows greater value to the broad. This is especially important because as we noted last week — the Seahawks appear to place an extra special emphasis on the broad jump when drafting offensive linemen.

Here’s how describes the test and how it compares to the vertical jump:

“The broad jump expresses horizontal power, which is more specific to football motions than vertical power. Vertical power helps you go up for a ball, bat down passes or hurdle defenders; horizontal power helps you cover the full 5300 square yards of the ironed grid. A pure acceleration step expresses horizontal power.”

Tom Cable admitted a year ago that the ideal athletic profile for a Seahawks offensive lineman is as follows:

Vertical: 31 inches
Broad: 9-0
Bench: 27 reps

I refer to this ideal as ’31 — 9 — 27′.

We can use the following calculation to compare any offensive lineman to Cable’s ideal:

1. Vertical ÷ 31
2. Broad ÷ 9, then cube the result
3. Bench ÷ 27
4. Add the results together

I cubed the broad jump to give it greater emphasis. This is explained later in the piece.

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. Added together the ideal score is 3.00

What is the 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’ score 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.

Does the formula have a name?

It tests the explosive physicality of players competing in the trenches. Let’s go with the ‘Trench Explosion Formula’ or ‘TEF’ for short.

How does every Seahawks offensive lineman drafted since 2012 score?

Here’s the first revealing bit. Every single player tested at or beyond Seattle’s ideal of 3.00:

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

Only Glowinski, Sokoli and Smith actually achieved Cable’s ideal of 31 — 9 — 27 in all three tests (vertical, broad, bench). Yet when we put every prospect into our new TEF formula, they all test cumulatively above the ideal.

Justin Britt, the weakest tester of the group, still scores a perfectly ideal 3.00. The formula also represents Kristjan Sokoli’s incredible athleticism (no player in the entire 2016 draft class comes close to Sokoli’s 3.75).

We have no way of knowing for sure — but it might be that while the Seahawks are willing to concede a lower than ideal 31 inch measurement in the vertical jump or a few reps below 27 in the bench — they might insist on a cumulative ideal of the three key tests plus at least a 9″ broad jump.

So what about the 2016 class of offensive linemen?

When I put every offensive lineman through the formula, only six players hit the ideal mark of 3.00:

Jason Spriggs: 3.54
Connor McGovern: 3.29
Alex Redmond: 3.10
Joe Haeg: 3.06
Joe Dahl: 3.05
Joe Thuney: 3.04

Shon Coleman hasn’t performed the necessary tests due to injury and wasn’t included.

The defensive linemen in this class performed significantly better than the O-liners (we’ll come onto that in a moment). However, only two players (Sheldon Rankins, Dean Lowry) got close to Jason Spriggs’ score of 3.54.

Tony Pauline reported today that Spriggs is expected to go in the last third of the first round. He looks like a very realistic option for the Seahawks at #26 based on these findings.

With a growing discrepancy between offensive and defensive players in terms of athleticism — Spriggs is the offensive lineman best equipped to compete physically with the best defensive players in this draft and the league in general.

It’s not unrealistic that the Seahawks have a similar shortlist of only a handful of names. In 2014 the Seahawks ‘reached’ for little known Justin Britt in round two. People wondered why they made that pick — with the perception it was just down to Britt’s wrestling background and a healthy dose of Tom Cable admiration.

Britt scored an ideal 3.00. If the Seahawks in 2014 were working from a small target pool of 4-6 players that achieved their ideal explosive rating, Britt might’ve been the last prospect available they were willing to select. Put into this context, it arguably makes Seattle’s thought process much more understandable (even if you don’t agree with their philosophy to focus on explosive athleticism on the O-line).

What about the players grading below the ideal?

Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 2.97
Germain Ifedi: 2.97
Brandon Shell: 2.91
Ryan Kelly: 2.84
Jake Brendel: 2.83
Joshua Garnett: 2.83
Christian Westerman: 2.82
Isaac Seumalo: 2.81
Tyler Johnstone: 2.81
Jack Conklin: 2.77
Le’Raven Clark: 2.74
Nick Martin: 2.67
Graham Glasgow: 2.66
Evan Boehm: 2.51
Taylor Decker: 2.50
Cody Whitehair: 2.47
Sebastien Tretola: 2.16

What stands out?

— While Cody Whitehair jumped a 9-2 in the broad, his weak efforts in the vertical and bench hammered his score. He is well beneath the physical standard of Seattle’s drafted offensive linemen since 2012.

— Taylor Decker is marginally better than Whitehair. His combination of tests were mediocre across the board and like Whitehair, it would be a major departure from their previous draft habits if they were to select him at #26 this year.

— Germain Ifedi didn’t hit the ideal mark because he managed 24 reps on the bench instead of the ideal 27. I suspect the Seahawks would be completely satisfied with a score of 2.97 due to his size. Ifedi does have unusually long 36 inch arms which is probably worthy of the extra bench reps to get him to 3.00. He jumped a 32.5 inch vertical at 324lbs.

— Ryan Kelly and Jack Conklin, two big name prospects that are widely considered ‘athletic’ offensive linemen, both tested well below Seattle’s cumulative ideal for explosion. Only four defensive linemen at the combine tested worse than Kelly using our formula and only three worse than Conklin. The reality is neither player is that athletic compared to the players they’ll be competing against in the trenches — and they aren’t among the most athletic offensive linemen in this draft either.

Is size a factor?

It’s difficult to incorporate size into the equation. We know the Seahawks have certain physical ideals at other positions. They haven’t drafted an outside cornerback, for example, with sub-32 inch arms.

Equally they haven’t drafted an offensive lineman under Carroll and Schneider with sub-33 inch arms. That could equally be an important marker. Of the six names above who scored higher than 3.00 — only Joe Thuney has sub-33 inch arms (32 1/4 inches). That could rule him out.

If a prospect has unnatural size and length (Germain Ifedi) that could also factor in if they fall just short of the 3.00 ideal.

What can we deduce from all of this?

We’ll find out later this month but of the combine attendees, the Seahawks might be picking only from the following offensive linemen:

Jason Spriggs
Connor McGovern
Alex Redmond
Joe Haeg
Joe Dahl
Germain Ifedi

Shon Coleman could be added to the list in the future, plus any pro-day/VMAC standouts that didn’t perform at the combine.

Is there a wildcard?

We know they like a defensive convert project. Michigan State’s Joel Heath is an ideal candidate at 6-5, 293lbs with 34.5 inch arms. He scored a 3.21 which would’ve put him third on the list of offensive linemen behind only Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern.

How do the defensive prospects compare?

It often gets said that the best athletes are choosing to play defense in college. This isn’t always easy to prove. People look at Jason Spriggs’ athletic profile and wonder how a prospect like Sheldon Rankins can even begin to compare.

After all, does this guy really look like one of the most explosive athletes in the 2016 draft?

Actually, that’s the perfect way to describe Rankins.

Yes he’s 6-1 and 300lbs. He also scored superbly in the three explosive tests. His score is a 3.52 — second only to Dean Lowry among defensive linemen and outscoring every offensive linemen apart from Jason Spriggs.

Rankins is much more explosive than Robert Nkemdiche, Shawn Oakman and Emmanuel Ogbah. Looks, in this case, can be deceiving. This is why he is without a shadow of a doubt going in the top-15. This formula gives us evidence to argue that case now.

But what about the defensive group overall?

Six offensive linemen reached Seattle’s ideal explosive score of 3.00 using TEF.

Twenty-six defensive linemen scored 3.00 or higher.


That’s even without the likes of Kevin Dodd completing the necessary tests.

If you were sceptical about those league-wide concerns about overmatched college offensive linemen — here’s the proof you were waiting for. This is also the argument for the Seahawks focusing on explosion and upside when drafting their offensive lineman.

Defensive line grades using TEF

Dean Lowry: 3.54
Sheldon Rankins: 3.52
Robert Nkemdiche: 3.47
Noah Spence: 3.46
Yannick Ngakoue: 3.44
Shaq Lawson: 3.43
Shawn Oakman: 3.36
Ronald Blair III: 3.35
DeForest Buckner: 3.33
Javon Hargrave: 3.33
Charles Tapper: 3.32
Lawrence Thomas: 3.32
Joey Bosa: 3.29
Emmanuel Ogbah: 3.29
Romeo Okwara: 3.28
Matt Judon: 3.27
Connor Wujciak: 3.25
Shalique Calhoun: 3.24
Andrew Billings: 3.23
Joel Heath: 3.21
Jason Fanaika: 3.19
Jonathan Bullard: 3.18
Hassan Ridgeway: 3.11
Matt Ioannidis: 3.09
Willie Henry: 3.08
Anthony Zettel: 3.05
Bronson Kaufusi: 2.98
Giorgio Newberry: 2.93
Carl Nassib: 2.92
Maliek Collins: 2.91
James Cowser: 2.89
Kenny Clark: 2.86
Vernon Butler: 2.85
Kamalei Correa: 2.84
Sterling Bailey: 2.79
Chris Jones: 2.75
A’Shawn Robinson: 2.65
Sheldon Day: 2.62
Austin Johnson: 2.55

For comparisons sake, J.J. Watt is a 3.82. Which is hardly surprising.

What stands out?

— Is this an important test for defensive linemen and the Seahawks? Maybe. Jordan Hill scored a 3.10 when I put his numbers through TEF. Seattle spent a third round pick on Hill — their biggest investment on a defensive tackle so far under Carroll and Schneider.

— They also seem to value the short shuttle at defensive tackle. Their two highest picks at DT (Hill, Jaye Howard) both tested very well specifically in the shuttle.

— Jonathan Bullard tests well — but he’s not on Sheldon Rankins’ level of freaky athleticism. Bullard is a good athlete but not exceptional in terms of explosion compared to the overall D-line class. The options at #56 (Willie Henry? Hassan Ridgeway?) are comparable using TEF. It’s also worth noting Bullard has value elsewhere — he plays with great gap control (vital in Seattle), grit and he had a good 10-yard split (1.66). He also has tremendous character. You still have to ask whether he’s truly special enough for the Seahawks in round one? He might be — but it’s a no-brainer with Rankins.

— Ronald Blair III, according to the TEF formula, tested better than DeForest Buckner and several others. His 3.35 is 0.17 above Jonathan Bullard and 0.17 below Sheldon Rankins. All three play DE-DT and Blair III exactly splits the two big name prospects. He also ran a 4.53 in the short shuttle — 0.02 seconds slower than Jordan Hill. That said, his 10-yard split is only OK (1.75) and his three cone was poor (7.95). He’s explosive but doesn’t appear to have great short-area quickness bizarrely.

— A’Shawn Robinson has been mocked to the Seahawks on several occasions by the national media and is often praised for his athletic upside and potential. He not only scored very poorly compared to his defensive line peers, he’s also less explosive than nearly all of the offensive linemen. This vindicates the distinctly average tape we saw at Alabama. He’s not an explosive player.

— The Seahawks seem unlikely to draft a run-stuffer or one-technique early in the draft. I suspect the testing of players like Kenny Clark and Austin Johnson using this formula likely rules them out in the first two rounds. There are more explosive options available elsewhere.

— Bronson Kaufusi’s rare agility is freaky and unique. He’s 6-6, 285lbs and ran a 4.25 in the short shuttle which is incredible. His 2.98, however, doesn’t really indicate either way how well he fits as a DE-DT. If he was a 3.20 — watch out NFL.

Here are some of the best combinations of TEF + agility. Most prospects seems to have a flaw — such as Blair III’s three cone of Shilique Calhoun’s 10-yard split.

Ronald Blair III
TEF: 3.35
Short shuttle: 4.53
Three cone: 7.95
10-yard: 1.75

Jonathan Bullard
TEF: 3.18
Short shuttle: 4.56
Three cone: 7.31
10-yard: 1.66

Joey Bosa
TEF: 3.29
Short shuttle: 4.21
Three cone: 6.89
10-yard: 1.69

DeForest Buckner
TEF: 3.33
Short shuttle: 4.47
Three cone: 7.51
10-yard: 1.77

Shilique Calhoun
TEF: 3.24
Short shuttle: 4.25
Three cone: 6.97
10-yard: 1.77

Jason Fanaika
TEF: 3.19
Short shuttle: 4.39
Three cone: 7.06
10-yard: 1.68

Willie Henry
TEF: 3.08
Short shuttle: 4.53
Three cone: 7.57
10-yard: 1.75

Matt Judon
TEF: 3.27
Short shuttle: 4.52
Three cone: 7.67
10-yard: 1.66

Shaq Lawson
TEF: 3.43
Short shuttle: 4.21
Three cone: 7.16
10-yard: 1.64

Dean Lowry
TEF: 3.54
Short shuttle: 4.38
Three cone: 7.26
10-yard: 1.70

Noah Spence
TEF: 3.46
Short shuttle: 4.35
Three cone: 7.21
10-yard: 1.62

What does all this tell us about Seattle’s potential draft plans?

— The most likely offensive tackles to be drafted at #26 could be Jason Spriggs and Germain Ifedi. We might be able to add Shon Coleman to the list.

— The Seahawks would probably love Sheldon Rankins to fall (but he won’t).

— Is Jonathan Bullard special enough to warrant a first round pick when there are comparable players in terms of explosion available beyond round one?

— Connor McGovern, Joe Haeg and Joe Dahl could be possible targets in rounds 2-3 for the offensive line.

— Willie Henry could be interesting to Seattle — and he’s close to Frank Clark (if that means anything).

— Keep an eye on Joel Heath as the next possible D-line to O-line convert on day three.


  1. Nathan

    I still think the bench is making the waters murky on this.

    I know we can’t use info we don’t have, but how does 24 reps instead of 27 make a difference in explosive output?

    It’s a stamina excercise, and what’s more guys train for it prior to combine’s and pro days. As soon as that testing is over, they never train like that again.

    Great piece though Rob.

    Do you feel like you’re getting closer to cracking the seahawks code with this stuff?

    • Rob Staton

      “I know we can’t use info we don’t have, but how does 24 reps instead of 27 make a difference in explosive output?”

      There has to be a marker — I’m not sure why they arrived at 27. It might be a certain amount above the average. That’s probably likely.

      I agree 100% that the bench is a stamina exercise and IMO an outdated test that could be modified for better more accurate results of power. However — if Cable is going to namecheck it among his ideal, I’d be daft not to include it in the formula.

      • Nathan

        Don’t get me wrong, you’re doing the right thing if you’re basing things off Cables quotes.

        I wonder if we can somehow come up with a formula qhich works in that score, the 10 yard split and weight.

        • Rob Staton

          I wonder if they might do a similar formula to this — then just crosscheck the 10-yards.

          “Hey — this guys scores well and he runs a 1.72 too”

        • LantermanC

          It’s the only upper body strength measurement to go off of. It’s like you want great sprinters for the 100m dash, but they only test on 800m. Sure a guy could have crap stamina but be great at the 100m, but you still want to see a good number in the 800m run.

        • Nathan

          Alright, how’s this?

          subtract TEF from 3.80(considered exceptional)
          Subtract 1.5 from 10 yard split(considered exceptional)

          Add the 2 together and multiply by 10

          Divide by weight in kilos.

          Sheldon Rankins = 0.37
          RB III = 0.54

          • Nathan

            Aaron Donald = 0.21

          • Phil

            And then multiply the result by the guy’s IQ …..

            • amocat

              And divide by the number of letters in his mother’s maiden name…

      • Kip Earlywine

        I could be wrong but aren’t most of the OL acquired by Cable guys who benched less than his “27” number? Not that I would accuse him of being dishonest, but it seems like a goal he doesn’t reach all that often for something he considers a priority. Jumping ability and arm length seem pretty consistent though.

        • Kip Earlywine


          Above is the full list of Cable-era OL and their measurements. (Be sure to also factor Sowell and Webb, while excluding Unger and Okung).

          Of the 23 OL acquired by Tom Cable in Seattle, only 8 posted 27+ on bench. Of those 8, only one, Mark Glowinsky, was drafted before the 6th round (or two, if you count Paul McQuistan in Oakland).

          With that in mind, here’s the bench press of Seattle’s current starting line (Gilliam, Britt, Lewis (Nowak), Glow, Webb): 19, 26, 30 (17), 31, 17

          What’s interesting is that Cable seems to follow these explosiveness rules almost religiously in the draft but ignores them in FA. For example, J”Marcus Webb’s trench score would be abysmal and Seattle basically just signed him to be their starting RT.

          But even in the draft, bench press seems to be totally random. The results are all over the place. Vertical jump seems decently consistent. Broad jump is extremely consistent, especially among draft picks.

          • Robert

            Nowak with only 17 in the BP. Yet coaches were constantly lauding his phenomenal strength.Apparently, “strength” has little to do with bench press reps.

            • Nathan

              That’s correct, it’s a stamina excercise.

              Anything over 12 reps in not a strength excercise.

              Look at an example of a powerlifting workout.

              5 x 5

              Are the sort of rep progressions they use.

      • RugbyLock

        If we’re going to geek out on these types of formulas then why aren’t we accounting for the increased work it takes to bench press 225lbs when you have longer arms? Work in physics is defined as moving a weight through a distance (W=x*d). It takes approximately 10% more work for a person with 36 inch arms to move that weight in a bench press than it does someone with 33 inch arms (36/33=1.091). Since we all seem to agree that the bench is more of a stamina test then it make sense to normalize it to the amount of work required to reach that result. This in turn would mean that Germain would have an equivalent Bench of 24*1.091=26.2 which is not that far from the 27 threshold and not something that Cable would worry about as you can always add strength in an NFL weight room combined with their training table but you can make someone’s arms get longer. The other issue I have is why are we cubing the broad jump result? So a 9′-6″ broad jump is weighted as 1.52 (1.15^3=1.15*1.15*1.15=1.52) in this formula? You are already normalizing it when you divide the Jump by the idea 9ft that Cable mentions so why cube it? This makes no sense to me. Where are you getting the idea to cube the broad jump? Overall I think that the reasoning behind this TEF formula is quite sound but I think it needs some minor tweaking to nail it down. Good work Rob!

        • RugbyLock

          Oops… W=w*d

          • RugbyLock

            Too early for math… 9′-6″ broad jump is actually weighted as 1.18 (1.06^3=1.06*1.06*1.06=1.18)

        • Rob Staton

          I cubed the broad jump to give it slight superiority because the Seahawks appear, based on recent history, to place a greater emphasis on it than other tests for OL’s.

      • Ben-Ft. Worth TX

        Is it theoretically plausible that the Seahawks could trade back into the 1st half of the 2nd round acquiring an extra pick, and then select “their” guy. Then use that extra pick or one of our 3rd round picks to move up from #56 to ensure that we in fact do come out of this draft with McGovern?

        How far would you be comfortable trading back, and what kind of compensation could we get, is there anybody in the top half of the 2nd worth targeting for our 1st overall pick?

    • Lewis

      You have to keep in mind that what Rob is attempting to do here is basically reverse engineer how they rate guys based on who they have selected and what their measurable a were. From that, we can make some educated guesses as to why they might value this or that. In the end, unless it were to be validated by someone from the team, it’s guesswork. (albeit extremely cool guesswork!)

      Really interesting, Rob. Gives us something to chew on. You might consider simply deducting three from the final score so the ideal is the zero point.

      • GeoffU

        I kind of like the deducting three thing. Gives players a positive or negative so it’s clear if they’re above or below the requirement and you wouldn’t have to state every time that 3 is the ideal (may help for those not familiar with the formula, you know, in case this goes big :)). Or is that too similar to how PFF’s grades? I suppose if you put +0.35 TEF though you’re good.

    • J

      Plus arm length plays a role as well.

  2. bobbyk

    Wow! Amazing post.

    I have to read it again to wrap my head around it all.


  3. JT

    Great analysis Rob. Being able to break it down and show that the Hawks have a clear pattern when it comes to the players they draft is what this blog is all about. While we all may like OLs not on 3.00 list, the Hawks clearly require that level of explosion/power. If every past OL draft pick meets that criteria, it would take other special attributes (like Ifedi’s length) for the Hawks to likely value the OL enough to draft him before another team.

    There’s a great chance the Hawks draft at least 2 of your list of 6-7 names for the OL. I kinda hope Coleman can’t test before the draft and the Hawks are able to get him at the end of round 2 or later.

  4. Timothy

    Great piece! I like that you placed more emphasis in Broad Jump in the equation, especially for the OL. But when it comes to the defensive line, why don’t we just use SPARQ? It seems to me that the Seahawks really do value agility (such as 3-cone) for DL just as much as they value Broad jump for OL. Also, is it just me or Ronald Blair III has some Frank Clark in him? I see it in his game against Clemson.

    • Rob Staton

      SPARQ might be better for judging RB, WR, TE, CB, S, LB. I’m not sure on DL, maybe. But I think this might be a better way of grading OL’s for Seattle.

  5. LantermanC

    Awesome stuff as always.
    One small nit to pick; as you mentioned arm length and weight should adjust for things.
    One guy is 325 and broad jumps 9’5″, one guy weighs 295 and broad jumps the same, the 1st guy is more explosive, no? Sliding scale, like the 40.
    And as mentioned for Ifedi, 36 inch arms benching 27 times and 33 inch arms are a big difference. Would there be a rough estimate of scaling it? Every inch above 33 inches add 5%. So 36 inches is 27*(1+(.05*3)) = equates to 31 reps.

    Frank Clark: Chris Conley WR Byron Jones
    38.5 45 44.5
    19 reps 18 reps 18 reps
    9’10” 11’7″ 12’3″
    3.25 4.25 4.6
    Obviously this is an extreme example, but if weight were factored in, their broad jump factor wouldn’t be quite so high.

    I’m convinced as I was before.
    Ifedi/Spriggs, Kaufusi, McGovern, Ervin, or
    Bullard, pray for Coleman, McGovern, Ervin, with a Dahl or Haeg if possible later (or instead of McGovern should there be someone else we MUST get).

    On another note, I know people were discussing good drills for the Combine a few weeks back, and my gym just got a new sled where you put on weight and push it for 5-40 yards (or whatever you feel like). Obviously traction is an issue in that its hard to measure just how hard it is depending upon friction between the sled and the ground (basketball court, grass, turf), but I think it’d be an interesting exercise. How fast can you push 300 or 400 pounds 20 yards. It’s not so much upper body strength as it is leg strength and explosion.

    • Rob Staton

      I tried to think of a way to factor in weight but couldn’t. I think it’s just one of those things you have to crosscheck, for example:

      “This guy is a 3.15 at 325lbs so he has incredible size and explosion”

      • Rik

        One way to factor in weight is to multiply the TEF score by a ratio of a player’s weight to the average weight of a lineman:

        Adjusted TEF = TEF*(Actual weight/300 lbs)

        That way heavier players would be given a bonus for the increased work they do. Ifedi’s number would rise, while players below 300 lbs would see their numbers drop. Maybe just scale the broad jump and vertical jump for weight, since it doesn’t affect the bench press in the same way.

        We could also scale the bench press for arm length, assuming an average length of 32″ for linemen.

        Adjusted bench press = (BP/27)*(actual arm length/32″)

        Players with longer arms have scores that adjust upward, while players with shorter arms have scores that adjust downward.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      They did a variation of this on the cable show “sports science” some years back.. involving Marshawn Lynch pulling 2 tractor tires on a sled. They timed how long it took him to go 10 yards and did a calculation based upon it. Let’s just say, there is a reason why he is called “beast mode”. The amount of power he could generate from a zero start was ridiculous. They even mentioned during the show, he was one of the highest they have ever tested any position and any sport.

      • matt

        Sports Science was a great show! Haven’t seen it around in awhile…still running? Not too surprising that Lynch’s stop/start power is off the charts. Going to miss seeing Beast Mode imposing his will against defenses.

  6. GeoffU

    Awesome work, Rob. Can’t wait to see who we pick on draft day to put your TEF through it’s first real test! (watch, we don’t pick a single offensive lineman, ha!)

    I’m also interested in the Justin Britt draft, might try and run the numbers of the other O-lineman that were available to see how the TEF did. Also curious about the Carpenter draft to see where others around him ranked. Looking good though, really feels like you’re onto something.

    • Charles

      I was hoping for exactly this. It would be interesting to see how many offensive linemen in the draft above a 3.0 score or left on the board when Justin Britt was picked. If all of the offensive linemen with 3.0 scores were gone, we would understand why Britt was taken where he was.

  7. JT

    Off today’s topic, but the Hawks face a dilemma at LB heading into the draft. We’re all in agreement that they’ll draft one to compete to replace Irvin, but who? We’ve discussed Feeney and Deion Jones as the type of elite athletes the Hawks covet for the WILL position in their base defense, but for reasons I’ll save for another post, I think the Hawks are just as likely to draft a larger SAM LB and keep Wright at WILL (where he played at a pro-bowl level last year).

    Despite his success at WILL, Wright was pretty much the ideal SAM when he played there. Great size & length, solid athleticism, strong against the run and in coverage. Irvin was great at SAM as well for his size, athleticism and run/coverage versatility. Here are how some potential SAM’s stack up to them in this draft:

    Wright 6’3” 246, 35” arms, 4.71 40, 1.66 10, 10’0” broad, 34 vert, 7.21 3-cone, 4.35 shuttle
    Irvin 6’2” 245, 33.5” arms, 4.5 40, 1.58 10, 10’3’” broad, 33.5 vert, 6.70 3-cone, 4.03 shuttle

    Floyd 6’6” 244, 33” arms, 4.60 40, 1.59 10, 10’7” broad, 39.5 vert, 7.18 3-cone, 4.32 shuttle
    Fackrell 6’5” 245, 33” arms, 4.72 40, 1.61 10, 10’1” broad, 34.5 vert, no agility yet (pro day 04/06)
    Perry 6’4” 254, 34” arms, 4.68 40, 1.64 10, 10’4” broad, 33.5 vert, 7.21 3-cone, 4.35 shuttle
    Jenkins 6’3” 259, 34” arms, 4.80 40, 1.58 10, 10’3” broad, 38 vert, 7.39 3-cone, 4.32 shuttle

    • JT

      Notice a trend? All of these players have awesome size and length. 6’2”, 245 with 33” arms at a minimum. Irvin and Floyd are also elite athletes. Wright, Perry, Fackrell and Jenkins have solid athleticism across the board. All except Wright and Perry can pass rush from DE in nickel.

      Leonard Floyd – would require a 1st round pick which is extremely unlikely. However he is the only player in this group that can match Irvin’s size, length, explosive athleticism, and versatility against the run, coverage, and as a pass-rusher.

      Kyler Fackrell – would require a 2nd round pick. Has all the versatility of Irvin, but without the top-end athleticism. Still tested as a solid athlete and could improve on that at his pro day this week.

      Joshua Perry – would require a 2nd round pick. Very similar to KJ Wright from an athleticism/size standpoint, and also his play-style. Good instincts against the run and in coverage.

      Jordan Jenkins – would require a mid-round pick. I don’t know if he dropped into coverage much at Georgia or if he was just a pure pass rusher. His explosion and excellent 10 yard split are intriguing, as is his size. Can he cover and contain the run in base sets?

      I haven’t looked into any late round candidates to play SAM yet. Perhaps Aaron Wallace of UCLA?

      • Timothy

        I would choose Kyler Fackrell over any of those in terms of just what we get for the Round/pick we get him. I think one way to help you would be to go back to what PCJS said before. Bruce Irvin is a crazy athlete that’s like once in 10 years or something like that. It’s really hard to find another athlete like him any time soon. So what they plan to do is just split his SAM role into 2 people. One for rushing the passer in sub-packages and another person for dropping into coverage. I see Fackrell as the best guy to do both. But if ever they don’t get him, getting someone like Travis Freeney later on as someone who could drop in coverage is good. We can lots of people who can rush the passer in sub-packages.

        • JT

          I agree for the most part. They have already prepared to split Irvin’s old role by having Clark drop weight to rush from Irvin’s nickel DE position. A guy like Feeney is probably too small to play SAM based on the Hawks’ size ideals. This post was just to bring up some guys who match the Hawks ideal SAM. I think if they do draft an LB on day 2, it would have to be someone who could play both roles (base SAM + nickel DE) , even if the snaps wouldn’t be there as a nickel pass rusher the next couple seasons.

      • 503Hawk

        Nice write up. You make some valid points.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        Huge Fan of Floyd. He will be solid in the NFL. I’m thinking he will be gone by about pick #22.

    • GeoffU

      I really love Fackrell as a SAM, but I’m not convinced Seattle values that position enough to draft him as high as I think he’ll go.

      • GeoffU

        I think any SAM linebacker would have to be round 4 or later, unless someone truly special is available.

    • JustMeMyself&!

      Any idea on if Alex McCalister is being looked at? His numbers compare favorably.

      6’6″ 239, 36″ arms, 4.8 40, 1.68 10, 10’8″ broad, 34.5 vert, 7.01 cone, 4.00 shuttle

      Florida booted him off of the team for unspecified violations. Seems like a good 5-7th round pick.

      • JT

        His length and size are insane. I’m pretty sure he predominantly played DE with his hand in the ground, and has looked stiff in coverage drills at the combine/pro day. Still, taking an athlete like that late in the draft is definitely possible.

        • JT

          That reads a lot like Bruce Irvin’s scouting report coming out of college, except his elite trait is the freaky length (Irvin’s being speed and agility). The similarity is that they both played DE and were better pass rushers than run defenders, and were pretty untested in coverage. A lot of teams are going to have doubts about him due to the lack of strength and fluidity, but that could make him a nice SAM candidate on day 3

          • JustMeMyself&!

            Per, the player he most closely resembles – Obum Gwatcham.

      • Steele

        It remains to be seen how urgent JSPC views OLB. Do they believe they already have the pieces in place to comfortably replace Irvin, and without adding high draft picks?

        I think Leonard Floyd is closest to a single propspect who is a one for one replacement for Irvin. But there is no way he will be there at #26.

        I have been intrigued by McCalister for a while. Hell of a pass rusher. Wouldn’t mind seeing him as a pick after rd.4. Jenkins—gritty, tough, like him too.

        Josh Perry is more inside.

        I like Fackrell the least in terms of where he projects (too high) and what he offers (not enough pass rush, lacking in things like lateral quickness).

        I am really hoping Clemons makes the team and makes an impact, so that they do not have to reach for a pass rusher early.

        • JT

          They won’t have to reach for a pass rusher regardless, they have tons of talent and depth in Bennett, Avril, Clark and Marsh. Any SAM who could rush the passer would be seen as a bonus, and may tempt the Hawks on day 2. I’m with you in that I’d rather they wait until day 3 and bring in a high upside rookie to compete for snaps at SAM. The Hawks already have KPL and Morgan to play WILL if they need to switch Wright back over to SAM.

          I want to learn a bit more about McCalister and Jenkins. There don’t appear to be many LB’s fitting the athletic standards we require at LB in this class

  8. Sam Jaffe

    Absolutely fascinating stuff. I think there’s a fundamental problem with the assumptions: normalizing for body weight. We know the Seahawks prefer a heavier LG and a lighter RG. So when judging a LG candidate who is 320 vs. a RG candidate who is 305, how do you account for the extra weight that will penalize him on the vertical? (In the same way that long arms penalize you on the BP). And what about James Carpenter? What was his TEF?

    • GeoffU

      Not all that good. From combine: 23 reps on bench. From pro day: 8’10” broad, 28.5″ vertical. Not sure he missed the others at the combine? Injury?

      Anyhow, if my math is any good (and usually it isn’t), I get a TEF of 2.72

      • jdtjohnson

        Carpenter was drafted pre-Cable if I’m not mistaken.

        • Morgan

          He was a Cable pick, in fact, he said that year that his dream draft would be to have James Carpenter and John Moffitt.

          I’ve questioned his ability as a talent evaluator ever since.

          • J

            Moffit failed for off field reasons.

            Carpenter also had the injury skew his career. Turned out pretty good for the jets. How do we know how good he would have been without injury?

            Hard to knock Cable on these guys when there has been non-football issues.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Body weight was always my concern with comparing combine numbers for the secondary/LB group. That guy who is zipping through the exercises at a fast pace will usually be lighter then the average of the group. And everyone looks at their scores and say oh yeah he will be a great tackler. But he may not be able to tackle, and probably won’t tackle as hard as a heavier player.

      If broad jump equals explosion – which can equal hard tackles – then sign me up for that measure.

      I’m not as worried about the weight difference affecting scores in the middle of the line. They all have to do similar duties, whether penetrating the line, blocking while holding their spot, or aggressively blocking to clear paths. Either you can hold up to those tasks or not.

      I’m still not sure if these quick measurements of abilities is accurate for a linemen’s duties. Lets say they have to block 40 times at maximum power in a game. Maybe the cross fit model of repetitions with increasing weights is a better judge of stamina and strength for the game.

  9. Greg Haugsven

    Very very neat piece. I love all of these analytic type posts. Did you have a chance to do Aaron Donalds numbers? It would be interesting to put his up against Rankins.

    • LantermanC

      Aaron Donald, 32 vert, 35 bench, 116 broad. 3.57 score.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Thanks, almost identical to Rankins.

  10. LantermanC

    That reminds me, back when we drafted Britt, we admittedly reached a bit on Britt in Round 2 because he was the “last guy” we felt comfortable with that we felt could play tackle. I wonder if TEF confirms this (If there are only 6 guys we’re comfortable with in this draft, maybe there were only a small number in 20014 as well). Scores seem to back that up.

    #35 Bitonio has a 3.02 score.
    #44 C Kouandjio 2.36
    #59 Mewhort 2.7
    #64 Britt 3.0
    #66 Moses 2.64 assuming 27 bench
    #67 B Turner 2.83
    #95 M Schofield 2.41 assuming 27 bench
    #140 C. Fleming 2.45
    #149 K Pamphile 2.96
    #199 Garrett Scott 3.28

  11. Michael M.

    Awesome article.

    Man, I want Sheldon Rankins… So that means the Rams will somehow end up getting him.

  12. Aussie Al

    Awesome work, Rob.
    I cannot wait for draft day to see how this actually plays out. Interesting how the formula actually highlights a bunch of guys you’ve already mocked to the Hawks.

  13. Lewis

    So with 32 inch vert, 9’9 jump and 44 reps, Justin Zimmer would be above 3.9…

    • CHawk Talker Eric


      I hope his sub-32″ arms aren’t a disqualifier for SEA.

      • david ess

        I think the arms length will drop him off the board for them. The hawks are very particular with their formula so I am also believing Zimmer wont be a hawk.

      • Richard aka DesertSeahawk

        Where did you get the appendage measurables from? Also, would sub 32″ arms exclude him from o-line, d-line and linebacker? He was a linebacker prior to his switch to the D-Line. He just seems like such an excellent candidate.

    • matt

      Higher than JJ Watt!?! Freak show status.

    • Nathan

      Massively pumped up by his bench score though.

      • Lewis

        Yup, but still interesting. In the end, all these measures are just a way of identifying guys that have certain characteristics, that might be interesting. In this case, a guy that could have tremendous potential that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

  14. CHawk Talker Eric

    Fantastic and fascinating!

    The thing about Kaufusi is I expect he could have bettered his numbers at his pro day (like most prospects) but he chose to rest on his Combine performance. How much better would he score if he could add a couple of bench reps and an inch or so to his vertical? Maybe he would’ve tried had he known about TEF. Maybe SEA invite him to VMAC to see if he’s got that little extra.

    What’s Frank Clark’s TEF?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Frank Clark = 3.31 (low BP hurt his score).

      How do you account for a broad jump of 9-10 and 9-11?

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I know this means nothing, but if Kaufusi had tested at his pro day, and he had the usual modest performance bump (+2 reps BP, +1.5″ vertical, +1″ broad), he’d score 3.16, at 6’6″ 285lbs and crazy agility.

      • Robert

        That’s why I was thinking the solution began with converting BJ to inches…to avoid the whole base 10 to base 12 conundrum.

        • matt

          Agree with Robert. Converting the BJ to inches then dividing by 108″(9′) is the most accurate and easiest way to calculate TEF.

  15. Nathan_12thMan

    Oh look, nothing new for me to say… :/ lol. You know this articles are good and right on the money when they aren’t breaking any new info, they are just focusing more and more on what you thought all alone Rob, the evidence you write about is highly compelling and I love the new metric for DL & OL athleticism.

    >Seahawks might be picking only from the following offensive linemen:

    Jason Spriggs
    Connor McGovern
    Alex Redmond
    Joe Haeg
    Joe Dahl
    Germain Ifedi

    >(Also potentially Le’Raven Clark and Shon Coleman).

    Ummm…yes please, I’ll take a Ifedi, McGovern and Dahl to go, thank you very much.

    I really hope the decision the FO will be making is between Bullard and a OT (Spriggs, Coleman, Clark or Ifedi). I really don’t like the idea of us targeting any other position group.

    Really all that is on my mind is if we come away from this draft with a quality R1 D-linemen or O-linemen I will be happy, and if in rounds 2-4 we come away with McGovern and Dahl I will be extremely happy. Throw in Ervin (RB) and I will be so pumped.

    Basically: Acquire 2-3 quality OLinemen, getting McGovern is a must, getting Dahl is second to that, and getting a quality OT who can compete and potentially beat Webb at RT would be great. Let’s upgrade our interior OL and find a quality rotational pass rushing DT.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Ridiculously solid draft, if these are truly guys meeting their ideals.

      1st Round Ifedi
      2nd Round McGovern
      5th Round Dahl

      • D-OZ

        Dahl won’t make it to the 5th round, no way.

        • Nathan_12thMan

          Agreed. If the FO goes hard at OL and likes the guys we are talking about, and IF they are there by the time we pick it will go a certain way, the only problem is it is hard to imagine us pushing our DL need down to the 4th round or lower.

          So if we go OT in R1, and we want McGovern, Ervin and Dahl, how does that play out?

          R1: Ifedi
          R2: Defensive Line
          R3A: McGovern
          R3B: Ervin
          R4: Dahl

          To me that is possible, but only if the guys last that long. I think that is my ideal draft, but the question is does McGovern last until the 90th overall pick? And does Ervin last until 97th overall? Is Dahl there at 124th overall?

          If so then that is my dream draft. The Hawks would have 5 picks in the top 4 rounds and all 5 have strong potential to be starters on our 53 man roster. Ifedi at RT, DL pick as a rotational player, McGovern at C, Ervin our RB3, and Dahl our LG.

          From R5 on the Hawks can do w/e they want. Grab a LB, a CB, a WR and a Safety? W/e they want to do. Then they can attack undrafted FA.

  16. RWIII

    Rob: Two questions. 1st question. On a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being only a 1% change. And 100 being 100% chance. What are the odds that Connor Mc Govern will still be on the board at 56.

    2nd question. What round does Dean Lowery on this draft?

    • Rob Staton

      There’s a decent chance McGovern is there at #56.

      I haven’t studied Lowry but Tony Pauline says R6-7.

      • RWIII

        Thanks Rob.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Lowry has 31″ arms (at 6-06, 296lbs). Probably why he was able to put up 30 reps bench.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I think it is 88% he will be there at #56……. I think he is still under the radar compared to many other OL in the 2016 draft. That is a good thing.

  17. Mike B.

    Hey Rob – there’s a slight error with the math. Because you’re measuing the broad jump in feet and inches–and not just inches–and calculating as a decimal, it should be expressed as follows:

    9’7″ (e.g. Spriggs jump) = 9.58 (decimal figure)

    So (9.58/9)^3 = 1.21

    Also, let me introduce you to Vanderbilt’s center Spencer Pulley, the only “true” center I’ve come across in the draft who exceeds the 3.0 mark:
    Vertical = 28 reps
    Broad = 9.33′
    Bench = 28 reps
    Score = 3.06

    It’s been tough finding much info on Pulley, but he seems like a priority UFA type of player. He’s known as a very good run-blocking center who’s quite athletic (5.1 40, 1.75 10 split, 4.48 ss, 7.39 3c) in addition to being explosive trenchwise.

    • Rob Staton

      I just used the 1-9 scale for simplicities sake (and time as it’s 4:21am here now!).

      I may adjust it don’t the like to calculate as a decimal — but I think it still provides a nicely accurate portrayal of the class for us to discuss.

      • Mike B.

        Okay, thanks for the explanation, and cheers for all the hard work and long hours!

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        You could measure broad jump in inches, just like vertical. Simply divide the measurement by 108 instead of 9.

      • Robert

        Mike B suggested converting BJ inches to a decimal because of base 12. Another way that seems cleaner to me is to convert entire broad jump into inches and adjust your modifier to 108 because 9 feet x 12 inches.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        The draft grades for players are on a 7 point (?) scale with decimals…. 6+ being an exceptional talent. The decimals shouldn’t belay the underlying truth you have uncovered, how they quantify prospects from the hundreds or thousands they might have in their database.

        Have you tried looking at OL across the NFL? Haw does Ryan Clady stack-up according to this metric… or other FA OL of possible interest to Seattle???? Could be mighty interesting.

    • Timothy

      I don’t think the PCJS era have ever drafted a C. Remember last year when everyone was saying we should draft Hroniss Grasu? I think we would want to draft OL who can play in multiple positions, not just C.

      • Mike B.

        Thus the “priority UFA” notion. I think that they might consider drafting an amazing, polished, athletic center, just as they might bring in an underappreciated undrafted center to compete.

        • mwstretch

          Thanks for pointing out Pulley. I think after the Nowak mistake last year, the Hawks may have shifted their position on valuing a true center. Way to go finding one that fits Rob’s profile!

    • Willyeye

      I wish JS would work out a trade with the Vikings for C Nick Easton. He was the #2 O-Line Sparq beast behind Sokoli befire the 2015 draft. His TEF score would be 3.17. Way more athletic than any Center in this year’s draft. I bet JS could get him for a 7th round pick.

  18. Nathan

    Rob one question.

    How do you differentiate between a 9 ft 1 broad jump, and a 9 foot 10?

    Should it not be divided in 12, then added back up?

    So a 9 foot 1, should calculated as 9.083

    • Rob Staton

      Anything above 9-9 I rounded up to 10 for simplicity’s sake.

      • GeoffU

        You should just set up an excel sheet (or similar program) and set the formula’s up in them. That way, once you have that, you can just type in the three numbers and it’ll spit out all your answers. Could save you a lot of time.

  19. RWIII

    Rob. I have two more names to thow out.. Bucky Brooks mentioned Kolby Listenbee. He had a 4.39 at the combine. But just as .important he average 19.9 yards per catch on 30 catches which included 5TDs.

    2nd. Todd McShay mentioned Joshua Perry as a possible candidate to Seattle. What round do you think Perry goes?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Perry is R2. Really good player. I think if Seattle didn’t have K.J. Wright he’d be an option. I think he’ll go to Washington in R2.

  20. Cysco

    Fantastic article Rob. I love the idea of trying to take a formulaic look at a player’s athletic ability. One conversation point to throw out there…

    Shouldn’t a player’s weight be factored into the formula? What if you take your score, multiply it by the player’s weight, then multiply the total score by .1 to get a friendly number? In the case of your top OL in the draft the numbers would look like:

    Jason Spriggs: 106.554
    Connor McGovern: 100.674
    Alex Redmond: 91.14
    Joe Haeg: 93.024
    Joe Dahl: 92.72
    Joe Thuney: 92.416
    Joel Heath: 94.053

    I think it’s worthwhile to factor in just how much mass the player is moving when discussing how explosive the player is. For contrast, Justin Britt would have scored a 97.5 in the above formula as he weighed in at 325lbs at the combine.

    It also helps even out some of the D-line scores since they tend to weigh less than the O-line guys. A guy like Joey Bosa who weighs in at 269 getting him an adjusted score of 88.501. Noah Spence who weighs “only” 251lbs doesn’t look as impressive coming in at 86.846

    Kristjan Sokoli is a freak. He weighed 300lbs at the combine. That would have put his adjusted score at 112.5!

    • Cysco

      Oh, and I forgot to include Germain Ifedi. He weighs 324. Adjusting his score puts him at 96.228. That puts him in a much brighter light, especially considering his arm length.

  21. James

    Probably your best work ever, Rob… outstanding and original analysis, targeted specifically to all you have learned covering the Seahawks the past years.

    Only one thing worries me, you have perhaps “proven” how the Seahawks grade their board, and is it possible there are forces of evil in the NFL that would use it against us?

    I have been promoting Spriggs the past month based simply on the eyeball test, that he is obviously a remarkably nimble and explosive athlete at OT, a talent that almost never falls to #26 R1, and so our lads need to run to the podium and put in his name; but now you have statistically proven this opinion, so we have to hope that this is only so much “noise” outside of the great northwest, and no one is paying attention!

    • Timothy

      If both Spriggs and Bullard are already taken, who do we pick at #26? Interesting scenario right there. I say we trade down. That way, we get more ammunition.

      • James

        …the good news is that Germain Ifedi is darn close to Spriggs as a “Seahawky” offensive lineman, per Rob’s analysis. Though Spriggs’ explosion is superior, Ifedi does remarkably well for a guy 25 lbs heavier, and with much longer arms (making bench press far more difficult). Given the natural advantages for a guy 6-6, 324, with 36″ arms (Ifedi) over a guy 6-6, 301, 34 1/8″ (Spriggs), they may be rated about even, all things considered, on both the TEF scale and the Seahawks draft board? Both are likely to be there at #26, and almost certainly one of them will be; therefore the draft looks like it is falling the Seahawks way.

    • Josh emmett

      The problem with that is you have to coach them up, haha, pretty much what this analysis says: if you are drafting spriggs, you know Tunsil is better right now. Spriggs has the ability to be Tunsil athletically but you(the coaches) have to get him in the right state of mind and technically up to Tunsil. Even still if you are really good at coaching them up and have him on the right track, he compares to some of the best in the business athletically. So A: do you have the coaches? B: do have time in your contract for a project? C: do you need results from this player immediately and what are the expectations? So do you want the guy with the high floor or high ceiling? What’s the situation where you are drafting from early? So like everyone says spriggs isn’t a beast…….yet. That’s why he will go later on to a team that doesn’t necessarily need the immediate results from guys like Tunsil and Whitehair who are prospects with perceived high floors. kawww

  22. vrtkolman

    Awesome post Rob! Rankins is the ideal 1st round pick for me. Agree that there is no way he makes it close to 26. It’s scary how close he is to Aaron Donald. Rob, for comparisons sake do you know Dominique Easley’s score?

    I would be much happier with Spriggs than Ifedi. I think just think Spriggs is further along as a player and would be a safer pick. His upside is just as tremendous as well.

  23. Milwaukee hawk

    I still think Shawn Oakman would be an incredible d-line to o-line convert. Why try to break bad habits with LaRaven Clark than give new fundamentals to an athletic monster?

  24. Darnell

    Also worth considering for those who may fall below the 3.0 threshold is the benefit of NFL strength, conditioning and performance coaches. A player will theoretically enter his 2nd training camp with a higher TEF than what was gleaned from the combine/pro day.

  25. RWIII

    Here is my theory. I would absolutely love to go Jonathan Bullard or a pass rusher in the first round. Here is the problem. The Hawks options are pretty limited in the 2nd round. Suppose Connor McGovern is off the board. Who do the Hawks take at 56? If the Hawks go offensive tackle in the 1st round they will have plenty of options at Defensive line in 2nd round.

    If the Hawks went Defensive line in the first and Connor McGovern is off the board at 56 the Hawks will have to REACH for a lineman that is probably a third round grade on their board.

    Two years ago John Schneider gambled and lost. He was hoping that Joel Bitonio would be still on the board. But Cleveland snatched Bitonio up and the Schneider was FORCED to grab Justin Britt.

    • vrtkolman

      If they wanted Bitonio I doubt they would have traded out of the first round. He went only a few picks later after all.

    • Timothy

      If the Hawks went Jonathan Bullard on the first round and Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern are both off the board, we could just trade down. If not, just select another value position like OLB or WR. I doubt both Joe Haeg and Joe Dahl are taken when it’s our turn to pick in the 3rd Round.

  26. Jeff

    Rob I love the work. Fantastic research. This isn’t meant to criticize you at all but I strongly disagree with the logic behind what you’re saying and believe Seahawks are setting themselves up to fail if this is how they evaluate O linemen.

    They are limiting themselves to way too small a group. This line is so bad in terms of talent compared to the rest of the league, especially the top OLs. Only viewing OL which is position that requires so much more through athletic testing is not a stupid approach in my opinion

    It’s exactly the process that led them to pick Justin Britt over Gabe Jackson, who is one of the best guards in the league.

    • James

      Rob is basing his analysis on his observations of how John and Pete grade players, and Rob has concluded that the Seahawks look for a very specific set of unique athletic abilities tailored for each position. They know exactly what they want and know how to find it, and close observers such as Rob are beginning to see the patterns. John and Pete are sometimes wrong, but are right more often than any other team over the past five years, and they are not about to change now.

    • Josh emmett

      Not limited to these players. They are the ones on the top of the list. Where do you think Gilliam was on the list 2 years ago? 20th? Rob is showing the cream of the crop athletically. Experience and versatility also factor in. I’ve heard they like a wrestling background. There are other factors for sure.

    • RealRhino2

      Of course. I almost spit out my Cheerios when I read James, above, concerned that other teams would find out our secret and use it against us. I’d bet they’d happily let us go on making poor OL decisions based on these kinds of metrics.

    • amocat

      RE: “this line is so bad…compared to the rest of the league…” This attitude in Seattle is too extreme and too pervasive. True, the first half of 2015 season looked rough–but the Oline was not the Only issue, and the losses, while painful, were still close. And we know things improved massively. Meanwhile, what happened with the teams with “great” Olines? Dallas: couldn’t keep Romo healthy, couldn’t win a game without him. Cleveland, Greenbay: allowed more sacks last year than Seattle. Meanwhile, the Hawks have consistently had one of the best run games in the league, and their QB has one of the highest career passer ratings of all time.
      Yes, the Oline needs to get better. I must admit I’m a little nervous myself about next season. But we shouldn’t freak out about the situation. It was depressing this past season how quickly people in Seattle wrote the team off. Buck up! We’re watching the most consistently competitive team in NFL history. If they have problems, they tend to figure them out. Go hawks.

      • STTBM

        Again and again, folks want to lump the line’s performance with the offense or team as a whole. Its as if some react to any criticism of the line as if they were their kid sister and heard someone call them fat, ugly, and stupid.

        But thats not what anyone is saying. The fact remains Seattle’s line was simply awful the first half of the year, and the D kept the score close. Seattle’s O couldnt get a first down on a bunch of fourth quarter drives with a lead in Cincy, yet everyone blames the D for the loss. The second half of the season showed a marked improvement, but that all went up in smoke vs Minny and Carolina in the playoffs. Seattle scored a total of 10 points on offense vs non-prevent defense in those two games. Vs good defenses, Seattle’s line wasnt good enough to win more often than not last year. And we lost our best linemen in Okung, as well as Sweezy. That doesnt bode well, at least on paper, for this year.

        No one has said we either have a line like last years, or else an All Pro unit like Dallas. There are more than 25 teams with varying levels of competence between those two extremes. We dont need the Worlds Greatest O-line, just a serviceable, middle of the pack one. Which we dont have, and havent since the second half of 2013.

      • HI Hawk

        It’s entirely possible this Seahawks draft is highly dedicated to OL prospects, but not at the expense of what they’ve always done – draft difference makers/freaks at the top. Spriggs might be one of those difference maker/freaks, his athleticism is very unique among all OL prospects. I would venture that other than him though, there isn’t an OL player that they would value higher than whatever uniquely gifted defensive prospect drops in their lap.

        Overall, this draft is defense heavy, by a wide margin. The talent on defense is generationally good and it would be smart to look beyond just 2016. The way I see the Seahawks philosophy is that they aren’t looking for “starters” in 2016, they’re looking for “superstars” in 2017 and beyond. They want to win forever.

        • STTBM

          I agree, Seattle likely will take the best player with their first and maybe second picks–and one of those two picks is likely to be defense, if not both, due to the Draft being heavy with Defensive studs and light on baddass offensive players.

          And I totally support that; I dont want them taking a player like Ifedi or Spriggs in the first round if they have a shot at a defensive player they feel will be a better player long-term. Or vice versa–taking, say, an inside-out D-linemen like Bullard if they have a guy like Spriggs rated much higher, based on positional need.

  27. Steve Nelsen


    This is fantastic original work. You have converted Cable’s “ideal” into a simple metric that allows us to quickly evaluate O-line prospects for Seattle. Extraordinary.

  28. Jeff

    Jason Spriggs is a perfect example of why i think this is a terribly limiting approach. He’s soft. He’s a finesse player. He’s a super athlete who doesn’t at all fit the bully mold the team has been so successful building elsewhere.

    Having a bully in the trenches is especially important. You need that mentality there. Where’s the chip on his shoulder that built this team into a contender? Getting athletes rather than tough, mean guys is why they’ve become so soft up front and got dominatedb y every DT worth a damn.

    I loved your idea, Rob, a few weeks ago to build up the interior. Get nasty there again. Instead, it looks we’re going with smooth athletes that cant pass protect. Great. Russell better get ready for another year of punishing hits.

    • James

      I would counter that it is not Spriggs who is soft, but rather the woeful spread offenses infecting the college game. Spriggs was forced to play always in retreat, never in attack. The problem is, so was Ifedi, and so were almost all the other OLs of late. That is why it is so darned difficult to find OL who can match the athleticism and aggression of NFL DLs. But Pete, John and Cable keep trying, and they have clearly indicated that they need a superior athlete to mold into their type of player, and either Spriggs or Ifedi appear to fit the bill. A nasty “mauler” is fine for the run game, but they are little more than a speed bump against the pass rushers in today’s game. ‘Always compete’ means always adjust and keep at it until you get it right.

    • Ground_Hawk

      Indiana’s run game ranked top-10 nationally versus ranked opponents, so it’s doubtful that a LT coming out of that system is soft. Seattle is still a run first team, and until that changes they will continue to build around that philosophy.

    • nichansen01

      I wouldn’t call Spriggs soft. Neither would I call sweezy, and he was god awful.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Not sure if Spriggs lasts till our pick. Eagles might take him, honestly.

    • Timothy

      I wouldn’t consider Spriggs soft at all, after watching tape. I agree that it’s the effect of the spread offense. We don’t necessarily need “nasty’ in LT anyway. Just look at Gary Gilliam at RT. He’s not “nasty” but he gets the job done. If we had to be “nasty” somewhere, it would be the middle 3, most especially LG where Britt keeps whiffing blocks. We need to be maulers in those areas because the Rams and Panthers who have a strong front keep kicking us from the behind.

      • Kenny Sloth

        He is about as physical as you could want. Blocking guys to the ground. Not sure if he can play guard for us though

  29. coachmattson

    I love it Rob – great work!

    It almost looks like trading down might be a good option where we can get say an extra 4th if we trade into the top half of the second and then our draft might look something like this:

    2) Willie Henry DL or Kenny Clark DL
    2) McGovern OL or L. Clark OL
    3) Ervin RB
    3) Charles Tapper DL or Joe Haeg OL if we really want to go OL
    4) Joe Dahl OL


  30. Josh emmett

    i love this, I’ve been hearing a lot on the blog that using this kind of system is foolish because you can miss out on talented guys that don’t meet the teams cut points. True but so does drafting anybody under the sun. There are tons of swing and misses. Everybody remembers curry, he was on the other side of the spectrum and everybody knows Brady. For specific athletic traits they were drafted where they went. The Seahawks are big on character as well, they have most every avenue set with good guidelines to draft players, shit, most of their cuts get signed by other teams. I love this system because it’s like giving a guitarist a 59′ Les Paul. You can do amazing things with this guitar and it will more then likely be able to get you into any kind of band you want, hard to find and rare(like the athletes Seattle drafts) but it’s up to you to get good and make that axe scream. The Hawks love drafting the athletic guys thinking everything is here we need and now it’s up to us(the coaches) to coach them up and make them champs. Just like it’s up to the guitar player to work on his chops to be able to play “tush” by Billy’s gibbons from ZZ Top. So keep on keepin on Hawks and coach them studs up! I love the algebraic equation rob, lots of money is spent on this game and a lot of really smart guys are paid a lot to figure these ways to pick players because when you think about it, cut points like these drastically reduces the sheer volume of prospects way down and you can spend more time on guys you know you want without wondering if this guy from middle Tennessee has 32″ inch arms or not, haha, Gotta poke fun at us a bit, haha. They have proven they know their shit and have unorthodox but effective methods. There is a certain flow to a perennial contender and it’s the ability to dig out the 5 or 6 legit prospects at a position of need, drafting one, and hitting a home run that keeps the good teams good. I enjoy everything you have written rob and really appreciate you spending as much time as you do talkin shop with us yahoos!

  31. lil'stink

    Great work, as always. I understand why the Seahawks would use metrics like this to help guide who they choose in the draft, but I can’t help but feel that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. I would love to see the scores of all the all-pro and pro bowl linemen the last few years.

    Relying on measurables like this certainly makes sense in the middle and lower rounds of the draft. But in the first and second rounds? I dunno. Britt is the perfect example of someone who meets the criteria, but he looks flat out awful on the field. It makes perfect sense for a guy taken on day three of the draft like Sweezy, Sokoli, or Garrett Scott. But do you take Spriggs over Ifedi or Decker in round one? Conklin’s modest score of 2.77 compared to Britt and Sweezy?

    It will be interesting to see how this draft falls for us, regardless. I just don’t want to see us limit our options as a result of certain metrics when it come to guys slated to go in the first couple of rounds, at least when it comes to the offensive line.

  32. Madmark

    Thxs rob, I was having withdrawals since there hadn’t been any new articles this weekend.

  33. Jon O

    Hey Rob, how did Charles Tapper score? I think outside of Bullard, Willie Henry and Hargrove that he will be up there on the Hawks board. Cable can turn athletes into lineman, but can never have enough pass rush.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      The problem with Tapper is he hasn’t tested in the agility drills. Sure, he has linear explosion, but can change direction quickly and explosively, can he bend the edge?

    • Rob Staton

      Tapper is listed in the piece — he did well.

  34. Troy

    Rob you have created yet another master piece article. It feels like you have just about broken the code on figuring out exactly how and why the Seahawks front office drafts as they do. I was waiting and waiting for a new post since your last and you delivered. Bravo.

    The more I read your site, the more I get a feeling I am reading about future seahawks players, which is really the coolest feeling possible for a fan. Reading your piece on Clark last year before he was drafted really helped to get to know the player and become more invested very early on.

    I just wanted to add that I get so much entertainment value out of your posts, I would like to donate if possible. Do you have a paypal or venmo that could act as a way to support the site/your articles? I would gladly throw in $5 to help you do what you do. Also I think others who constantly refresh the site as I do would be glad to pitch in to the greatest seahawks draft mind there is on the planet (other than the people who work for the Hawks of course).

    • Rob Staton

      Hey Troy, thanks for the offer.

      I do not ask for donations and never have done. Maybe one day someone will pay me to do this as a full time job (haha, I can but hope) but until then I will keep this as a free blog for people to talk Hawks and the draft.

      • Nate

        “And for that, we thank you” – Tosh.0

  35. nichansen01

    My ideal first five picks:

    1. Jason Spriggs
    Gilliam can remain on the right side, gives us potentially great left tackle… If he falls.
    2. Jonathan Bullard
    I don’t see him as a first rounder like some do. If he is there is the second run to the podium.
    3. Willie Henry
    Also unlikely to be avaliable here, but Henry is my favorite Mebane replacement. I would gladly draft him in the second.
    3c. Connor Mcgovern
    After the success of Mitch Morse, Mcgovern is… almost the perfect center candidate for Seattle.
    4. Tyler Ervin
    Could add a percy harvin element to the offense.

    My dream top five picks, however, these may be unlikely.

    • Timothy

      I don’t see why everyone wants to draft Willie Henry, especially in the 2nd to 3rd Round. If ever I would draft him, it would be in the 5th-6th Round. I do agree that Spriggs would help solidify the left side while having Gilliam stick with the right side would help in continuity and also for his learning. Tyler Ervin or Leontee Carroo for me would definitely add some spice to our offense. No Fackrell?

  36. bankhawk

    Rob, once again kudos for a really thought provoking piece! You explained your rationale so clearly that even an old social science major like myself (only took bonehead stats at uni) can follow with no problem. I do believe it is critical to our discussions to have some way of quantifying and looking at what it is that JS/PC are seeing as they sort through the prospects.
    Also, I want to ask the help of the collective brain-trust here at SDB. As an sidebar to a discussion with a friend on the Clemons signing, I was trying to recall a vet CB brought in for training camp a few years back.
    He may have been cut from the Lions and it may have been 2011, or thereabouts. He was a player who earned considerable accolades in his prime, which he was at that point well past. It was envisioned that he would compete for the slot corner spot but he didn’t stick-was beat out by a younger player (WT III?).
    I apologize in advance for the off-topic part of my post, but my memory is failing me. I may have some of the particulars wrong, but hopefully enough to jog another poster’s memory on this one.
    And again Rob! Burning the midnight oil and coming up with this gem! How do you continue to do it? the mind boggles.

    • Max

      Antoine Winfield?(vikings not lions)

    • Brandon

      Antoine winfield – cut from the vikings i believe (-:

      • bankhawk

        Brandon-Yeessss! That’s it. It has really been bugging me. Now I can get back to my friend and say ‘see’1
        A million thanks!

  37. Josh emmett

    For those of you who haven’t gone on 3sigma in a bit, the non combine, smaller schools pro days have been peppered in. Couple prospects that caught my eye for sure. A few Marshall players stood out. How about getting DJ hunter into camp?

  38. Kenny Sloth

    Really disappointing numbers for Evan Boehm, I thought he was the more physical blocker of the Missouri duo. Went back to the tape thinking I was going to see McGovern pulling most of the weight, but I was surprised to find that Boehm was the mauler while McGovern is an exceptional pass blocker that sometimes fails to get much push. Boehm was always looking to get to the second level, but his sub 32″ arms were very apparent. He does hold the Missouri record for consecutive starts “He’s tough as nails. He’ll play with pain and he’s the kind of guy who can command a locker room. I always look for talent first, but leadership might be just as important from your center and he has that.” ­ — NFC West executive via Lance Zierlein

    He plays much more athletic than he tested. Maybe that gives way to a big fall?

    Shawn Oakman had a 4.83 40 at his pro day 6’7, 287, 35 3/4″ arms put up 23 reps, 35″ vert, 10’03” broad, middling agility drills. Has his well documented weaknesses on the field. Will likely always struggle with his center of gravity, but it’s a classic Pete Carroll profile (background/athleticism/leader) up 41 14 against MSU he was pissed to give up a 3rd and goal running td Jack Conklin unleashed some demons within Oakman in that game. He really turned it on when it got close towards the end. That’s some fun tape to watch. Him vs. LeRaven Clark back in 13 is good, too. Has the highest SLA in this draft.

    Dadi Nicolas jumped a 41″ Vertical at 6’2″ and only 236 lbs. Those 34 1/4″ arms only put up 12 bench reps of basically his body weight. 10 3/4″ hands. Jumped 10’05 at his pro day had a 1.65 split and actually lowered his combine numbers in the agility drills on his home field.

    Two sides of the same coin, really. Both have obvious deficiencies and intriguing potential. Not sure if either would be in play, just some food for thought.

  39. Mike B.

    Let me point that Vernon Butler, whom I believe the Hawks have real interest in, fared much better in his pro day and greatly improved his 40, his vertical, and his broad.

    Updated figures and TEF:
    33.5″ VJ (was 29.5″)
    26 reps (didn’t lift at pro day)
    9’3″ BJ (was 8’8″)

    Combine-based TEF: 2.85
    Pro day-based TEF: 3.13, which is just below Bullard

    I’d put Butler on a very short list of possible DL picks for Seattle in the first round.

    • Robert

      Relying on Siliga to replace Mebane or Rhubin if he slides to !T is scary. VB might be very high on our board!

      • Mike B.

        Also, the Seahawks (not sure exactly who of course) had dinner with Butler the evening before his pro day. His athleticism, skills, potential, and character seem like such a Seahawky combo.

    • STTBM

      Nice! He seems like a guy Seattle might target in the second round. They could conceivably trade down and get him in the top half of the second round, saving some money and picking up an extra pick. That would also give them ammo to trade up a bit in the bottom of the second or third or fourth rounds, if they need to get a specific player later.

      Bullard just doesnt seem like a good deal at 26, Ive been vacillating wildly over getting on board with them taking him so high, despite evidence that Seattle is a)Desperately seeking an inside/out pass rusher and 2) really likes him. Butler could be a much less costly version (Draft Slot, cash, Cap) without sacrificing much in performance.

      I like it!

    • Nate

      Trade down for ammo to trade #56 up.
      Rd.2 Butler
      Rd.2 McGovern

  40. Mark


    Have you considered adding something to the formula to indicate a players wrestling background? Players like Britt get a little more favor from Cable due to that.

  41. Josh emmett

    Travis Feeney 6’03.5″ 230lbs arms:33.3″ 40: 4.5split1.58 SS:4.42 tc:7.2 vj:40″ BJ:10.83′
    Brandon Browner 6’03.4″ 221lbs arms:32.8″ 40:4.68split1.67 SS:4.24 tc:7.2 vj:36.5″ BJ:10.03′
    Ladies and gentlemen, the Hawks next RCB? Haha, wow

    • STTBM

      The telling stat there is the Short Shuttle; Browners time blew Feeney’s away. Feeney could conceivably play a Hybrid SS/LB role, but I dont see him playing Corner in the NFL, even for the Hawks. But thanks for the comparo, the numbers are pretty insane!

      • Josh emmett

        A lot of people would say that about browner too, haha, I just don’t think Feeney is a OLB. I think he played safety at first for the huskies. Like you said a safety/Corner/ OLB of sorts. I think if Seattle got him and he is able to stay heathy they will find a spot for him. Maybe he falls to like the 5th or 6th round because of his tweener size and injury history. We will shall see in a couple weeks! It’s crazy to say that the draft is in a couple weeks. Haha, bout time!

        • STTBM

          Dont count on the injury making him fall too much. Look at Kikaha last year–teams are desperate to find guys with speed they can teach to pass-rush, and Feeney fits the bill, tweener or not.

          Yes, Draft cant get here fast enough! Its better than Christmas for me….

  42. Nathan

    Rob, one thought I had while listening to the podcast, have you considered looking at numbers for tight ends who might be convert possibilities?

  43. Trevor

    Another fantastic write up Rob. The key thing I take from this piece is that by doing some reverse engineering you have found away to identify the 6-8 OL prospects the Hawks are likely to target from a physical / athletic perspective.

    What makes this ideal for the SDB community is that now that we have a reasonable # of OL prospects to look at you can really deep dive into the tape of those 6-8 guys to see who / what you like and form and opinion on who make the most sense.

    I am really hoping that Coleman tests well on his personal pro day but that seems a little unlikely if he is rehabbing from an MCL.

    If not from the “Group of 6” as I will call them going forward I prefer Ifedi in Rd #1 and Dahl in Rd #3-4. I realize that Spriggs has the better testing #s but Ifedi brings an level of toughness that I just don’t see in Spriggs game. Think Gilliam will make a fine LT and prefer an RT with a nasty streak who can excel in the run game and Ifedi just seems like a better choice. Once again Coleman would be my first choice but he may not even be on the target list.

  44. Jeff M.

    If you instead take Z-scores on the three stats and add them up, the top OL at the combine 2012-2015 (the dataset I grabbed didn’t have this year’s…):

    Lane Johnson
    Terron Armstead
    Mitch Morse
    Reid Fragel
    Taylor Lewan
    Mark Glowinski
    Laurence Gibson
    Greg Robinson
    Donald Stephenson
    Eric Fisher
    Terry Poole
    Donovan Smtih
    Jonathan Cooper
    Joel Bitonio

    Other than high first-rounders it’s mostly guys the Seahawks were rumored to be interested in or actually drafted, so there’s certainly something there. Britt on the other hand grades out as below-average (he has a negative Z-score on each of the three tests) but maybe Rob is using pro-day data for him that looked better than his combine.

    • dawgma

      I like this scheme much better, personally. I don’t know that I’d include the bench z-score, though – they seem very willing to draft much lower performers there. It doesn’t even look like a pass/fail metric, like arm length, and isn’t measuring explosiveness at all.

      I think developing the z-score method and incorporating a scalar for size (possibly simply multiplying by z-score for weight in the OL group?) might be a very solid method.

  45. D


    Coming up with a method that fits the empiric results this well is NOT an easy feat. Well done! SDB just keep on keeping on….

  46. Ben-Ft. Worth TX

    Is it theoretically plausible that the Seahawks could trade back into the 1st half of the 2nd round acquiring an extra pick, and then select “their” guy. Then use that extra pick or one of our 3rd round picks to move up from #56 to ensure that we in fact do come out of this draft with McGovern?

    How far would you be comfortable trading back, and what kind of compensation could we get, is there anybody in the top half of the 2nd worth targeting for our 1st overall pick?

    • Lewis

      Was looking at this the other day, because I heard Denver might be interested in moving up. You could swap picks, send them a fifth and get a third back, and still be in the first round (which is nice since you can keep a guy an extra year).

      • Sea Mode

        I like the idea of moving up in R3, but I think part of the benefit of trading down is also getting out of a R1 salary. So we would want to move down into R2.

        Per Overthecap our pick at #26 is estimated to cost around $1.7m whereas if we move down to the top 10 of R2 it is around $1.1m.

        $0.6m may not be a lot in itself, but if you do this over several years it can start adding up.

        The fifth year option is usually only worth it for QBs or superstars anyway I think, and the superstars usually get a long-term deal instead. For other positions, even for good players we like (Bruce Irvin), it is usually just too much for a team with a well-managed cap to pay, unless they really have no other options at the position.

        You can see the fifth-year cap hits by position here if interested:

  47. 503Hawk

    Rob, I think you are on to something here. Really amazing analysis you continue to come up with. As some of the comments indicate, there might be room for tweaking your TEF formula. Maybe next year TEF 2.0 will be out. Right now though it serves a useful purpose in narrowing the field of potential linemen for the Seahawks, they way they look at players. (Obviously different than some other teams.)

    It wouldn’t surprise me that the Hawks are already using a similar formula to help them scout their players. Carroll has said many times that this organization is trying to revolutionize football programs, using the “whole athlete” concept. From nutrition, to sleep analysis, to sports psychology, to the up and coming genetic / DNA testing that I’ve read about.

    BTW; a couple of the reasons why the bench press remains a measuring stick 1) As pointed out by a previous comment, it is one of the few tests for upper body strength. 2) In football their is a lot of extension / “punching” that goes on with the arms (using the pecs and triceps).

    I have always been a draft geek (really started in 1982), but you bring a whole new level of excitement and anticipation for us long time TRUE BLUE fans. Thanks again!

  48. NathanM

    This is great work Rob! As an engineer I really appreciate quantifying and standardizing all this collected data for easy comparison.

    Lots of questions and suggestions to include consideration of ‘X’ in the formula but I don’t think you can ever reduce all the qualities of a player to a single number. This pulls together explosiveness but things like mental or physical toughness, technique, and others would be a different ranking system.

    I’m also reminded of a comment made by Zach Whitman of 3sigma on a recent podcast interview – basically he said when it comes to analytics like SPARQ (or TEF in this case) its not as simple as just drafting the #1 ranked guy on your metric but it will eliminate guys who rank poorly in your system.

    • Rob Staton

      “basically he said when it comes to analytics like SPARQ (or TEF in this case) its not as simple as just drafting the #1 ranked guy on your metric but it will eliminate guys who rank poorly in your system.”

      Absolutely this, 100%.

      It doesn’t mean Spriggs will definitely be the pick at #26, but it means guys like Ryan Kelly and Cody Whitehair are less likely than we originally thought.

      • 503Hawk

        Bang! There you go. That’s the point.

      • matt

        Great stuff Rob! TEF really clarifies who the likely targets are at OL for the Hawks. Thanks for the hard work!

      • Robert

        Agree and I think a big part of the challenge is projecting how a prospects game will translate to the next level. Many successful college players are not good enough to be NFL players because the way they win in college will not translate well. The other side is after all the mathematical and scientific analysis…Tom Brady! Some prospects just win despite numbers analysis. Russ is like that too AND he has all the numbers except height.

  49. Sea Mode

    Just thanks, Rob. Hope you enjoy putting these together as much as I do reading and thinking over them!

    Even though, as some commenters pointed out, the decimal technically is off on the broad jump, besides simplifying calculations, it actually turned out to give the BJ just the perfect amount of value within the formula, as shown by applying it to Hawks draft picks. Hats off to you!

    I also wonder what TEF might show us put up next to SLA scores in some way…

  50. McGruff

    Rob . . . here are some other names from Pro Days to consider . . . numbers are BP, Vert. Broad and TEF Score

    Vi Teofilo OG Arizona State 43 29.5 9.67 3.78
    Brian Bobek C Minnesota 36 31 9.17 3.39
    Sebastian Johansson OG Marshall 26 32.5 9.42 3.16
    Spencer Pulley C Vanderbilt 28 28.5 9.33 3.07

    And some players just barely on the outside . . .

    Givens Price OG Nebraska 24 32 9.17 2.98
    Anthony Fabiano OT Harvard 25 32.5 9 2.97
    Germain Ifedi OG Texas A&M 24 32.5 9.08 2.96
    Joe Gore OT Clemson 28 27.5 9.08 2.95
    Halapoulivaati Vaitai OT TCU 23 29 9.42 2.93
    Brandon Shell OT South Carolina 22 30.5 9.33 2.91
    Jordan Swindle OT Kentucky 22 29 9.42 2.90

    • Mike B.

      Good finds. Teofilo and Pulley could certainly be round 7 or priority UFA guys.

    • Rob Staton


    • NathanM

      I was about to search out those numbers… thanks for doing the work!

      I looked for some arm measurements too but its tough to find… it looks like Teofilo and Pulley are both <32", others I'm not sure

    • Kenny Sloth

      Nice work McGruff

  51. Trevor

    If the Hawks were willing to trade the 2nd round pick they have how high could they move up in Rd #1? I think Rankins would be the perfect addition to this defense and most likely you would have to get in front of NO at #12. Would #26 and #56 be enough to get to #11?

    If so is that a trade you make?

    Then use the two 3rd round picks on a combination of Dahl, Haeg, Mcgovern.

    I think Rankins is the one defensive player in the draft who could truly have a big impact in year #1 and provide something we have not had on this roster under PC a dominating 3 down penetrating 3 Tech.

    That being said we really do need to fix the OL and that likely needs to be the focus in round #1.

    • Sea Mode

      If they see Rankins as a notch below Donald and the final missing piece of the puzzle on defense, maybe they try to move up. I would imagine though that they would have to give more than just 26 and 56 to get that far up, maybe a day 2 pick from next year as well.

    • Willyeye

      According to most draft trade value charts, moving up from pick #26 to pick #11 would cost the Hawks their #56, #90, and #124 picks. So the #11 pick would cost them their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round native picks. That would leave them with Pick #11 (1st round), #97 (3rd round comp), #171 (5th round comp), #215 (6th round comp), #225 (7th round pick for Michael), and #247 (7th round native). So they would have only 6 picks left…only 2 picks out of the first 170 picks. No way they’d do this.

      • Trevor

        For that much I would not do it either.

    • matt

      If the trade up to get Rankins was as simple as; 26 and 56 for Rankins, I still wouldn’t do it. Think he’d be a great fit for the Hawks, but I’d rather pick Coleman/Spriggs/Ifedi at 26 then take Hargrave at 56.

  52. Jarhead

    Wow, what an in depth analysis. Breaking it down to the detail. Awesome! I think it just goes to show that Spriggs then McGovern and then one of Dahl/Haeg/maybe Heath are the only real options for the Hawks. It’s as clear as day. I throw in Coleman right up there with Spriggs based on length/tape but I couldn’t say if the Hawks also view him that highly. If Spriggs and Coleman are both there at #26 it would be a hell of a choice but in the end we would end up getting someone who can be a solid RT and let Webb play LG for a while. That would be awesome. We have had enough 320+ pounders who can’t block a lick and are totally useless so instead of adding another one we could get the RT spot locked up for 5 years. I am all in

  53. J

    Might I suggest dividing by three? I’m no mathematician but that would make comparison easier.

    • Sea Mode

      Or subtracting 3?

  54. sdcoug

    Reported the Hawks will bring in Rees Odhiambo for a visit.

    If I did my math correctly (no guarantees), his TEF would be about 2.5. Can anyone confirm? Perhaps he improved on his numbers?

    • Volume12

      There will always be outliers.

      He was hurt at his pro day, so that could affect his score.

      They also privately worked out Rutger WR Leonte Carroo.

      • Trevor

        I was waiting to here about Carroo as he seems more like a Hawks receiver than anyone else in the draft to me on tape at least. Glad to hear they are taking a look.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Keep an eye on Carroo. He’s a very interesting prospect.

        • Volume12

          Yeah- that’s what I said the other day, and as usual, no one responded.

          Been keeping an eye on Carroo all season long my man.

  55. STTBM

    Wow, Rob! Pretty awesome analysis!

    One thing to keep in mind is that Bench Press is likely not weighted as highly by the Seahawks (or other teams) in any ratio for several reasons: 1) Because those with really long arms are actually lifting the bar higher, they often have less reps but just as much, if not more, real-world strength than shorter-armed guys with more reps…and 2) You can build a young college players strength up–and their bench press numbers–much more easily than you can improve their explosion, agility, etc. Seattle is actually really good at bulking players up and improving their strength, but explosion and agility can be improved only so much–a lot of that is fast-twitch muscles etc, which youre either born with or without. Some improvement is possible, but much of it is innate, and a good reason why Seattle likely has their own version of your formula that weighs the Broad Jump and Vert far more heavily than the Bench Press.

    If you look at the linemen–especially those drafted to play in a ZBS–who were drafted the last few drafts, you will see that Seattle passed over some guys who have dramatically outperformed their own choices (see Britt, Justin). This leads me to believe that whatever their formula for judging prospects, its seriously flawed, not working all that well, and needs adjusted ASAP.

    While its true their offense soared at times, especially in the second half of the regular season, they failed to win a SB in 14 partially because late in the game they couldnt sustain drives to put the game away (a familiar occurrence the past couple years), and they couldnt do much vs Minny in the cold, or at all vs Carolina, until they were down by 31 points and facing a prevent-defense: they couldnt muster a single point vs Carolina until they faced a defense designed to give up yards but milk the clock. And it gets worse if you analyze specific players performance play to play, and game to game. The line just isnt performing at an acceptable level vs Good Teams.

    Regardless, I think its amazing you’ve been able to come up with stats and formulas like this to identify what Seattle likes and who they may be targeting. Ive thought for a long time that Dahl is a guy Seattle would like, and Im even more convinced they will look at him in the second or third (I originally expected him to go third/fourth round). Haeg and Spriggs do indeed seem like guys Seattle would target. And while Ive been slow to jump on the Ifedi At 26 Bandwagon, Im now convinced Seattle likes him and is at least considering taking him if available. He just fits, and his overall score being kind of low can be explained away by his freakishly long arms (artificially lowering his Bench reps despite his obvious massive strength), his brutish size, and the obvious need for training not just in football technique, but in agility training. He’s got the raw talent that makes Cable drool for a chance to mold into his own player…

    Rankins is a guy a few have mocked to Seattle, and I was really hoping he’d be our guy at 26, but I also think he’s a lock in the top 15, and likely wont get past NO at 12.

    • Robert

      Good thoughts. I would add that a 324 pound man with BJ and VJ similar to 300 pound man packs a much greater punch because of all that extra weight, which is a significant factor in overall power.

      • dawgma

        Yeah, leaving a scalar for size out of this is a pretty major flaw. F = ma, after all. Explosion is essentially sudden acceleration, and it’s simply easier for smaller bodies to produce.

  56. James

    Rob, is it possible to “weight” the TEF for weight? By that I mean, don’t you have to account for a 330# OL being necessarily less explosive than a 305# OL? Also, arm length is penalized if you are factoring bench press, but arm length should actually be a positive, not a negative, in a ranking system?

    With a TEF grading system, if you compare the top twenty athletic OL prospects, you are almost always going to see a 300# OL rate higher than a 330# guy? Maybe that is what the Seahawks want, and our days of the road grader are over, but isn’t Walter Jones the ideal, and with his weight around 325#, he probably would have had a lower score than Spriggs or Sokoli, but I think I would probably take Big Walt over either of them.

    • Jarhead

      To be fair, Walter was the best offensive lineman of all time. He was the once in a lifetime guy. There isn’t a player in the league that comes close to Big Walt. And we shouldn’t be so concerned with a guy’s weight. It doesn’t necessarily heed them an statistical advantage. Everyone wants to compensate for a guy being heavier, but why should we? A 325 lber only blocks better than a 305 lber if he actually blocks better. Aaron Donald is unblockable at 290 something pounds. Having a 325 lber who is still less explosive than the 305 lber doesn’t give the heavier guy an advantage because he is bigger. The only place it gives them an advantage is in the bull rush game, where physically i is tougher to move a heavier guy. But then you have toaccount for the physics like force,impact, momentum and all these other things. So the compensating for weight is a bit needless.

      • Rik

        A 325 lb lineman who has equivalent broad jump numbers to a 300 lb lineman has a horizontal advantage in the trenches due to momentum (mass*velocity). So weight is an important factor that should be accounted for.

        • Jarhead

          They are even at least. But the posts above point more towards a bigger guy with a shorter jump should be given a more impressive score because he is moving more mass. That is not the case. Honestly a lot of it seems forced in order to shoehorn a particular prospect they want to see drafted back in to the group of possibilities even though their score is not in the applicable range. Yes if the heavier of the two players broad jumps just as far that is impressive, but that still doesn’t necessarily mean the heavier guy will have more force and power at the point of attack JUST because he is heavier

  57. LantermanC

    Seen a lot of “what does this player score” questions:

    It’s an easy enough equation, but for the lazy, here’s a google doc where you put in: VJ, BJ, and BP.

    Just input the numbers into the white. And the light green box will have the score. Note: BJ is in inches.

    One thing I noticed is that Justin Britt Scores a 2.3 or something from his NFL Combine, but upped all his numbers substantially at his pro day to score a 3.0.

    This surprised me, as I thought VJ and BJ would be more natural explosion, and not as easy to move (at least not in 1 months time), whereas Bench Press could conceivably go from 10 to 25 in the span of a year easily.

  58. Steele

    Rob, this is among your most astute and brilliant pieces. You are zeroing in on important clues that I have not seen anywhere else.

    If JSPC is reading this, they might be wincing. “Sssshhhh! Don’t give away our formula!!!”

  59. Rik

    I was interested to see Ronald Blair’s numbers. His tape is great, but he didn’t seem to test that well at the combine. His TEF score is great, though, which I hope makes him a potential Seahawk’s target in the draft.

    • Nate

      Same here.
      Almost seems a no brainer unless his 40 is a turnoff/cant play DT

  60. Kenny Sloth

    Call all those 8 potential draftees Rob’s TEF Guys

  61. Mr. Offseason (Miles)

    I was curious to discover what Chris Clemons score was after reading …

    VJ: 1.12
    Br: 1.29
    Be: .67+

    • STTBM

      And since he obviously got a LOT stronger from his first game in Seattle through his exit to Jax, I think his score when he was a Hawk would have been ridiculous. His bench was the only score below 1.o…

  62. Turnagaintide

    Well done Rob. I love numbers and looking at this analyticly. I would love to see weight added to your formula somehow.

    A quick thought about outliers – if all other tests indicate that a draftee is an explosive or non-exclusive athlete and they had one bad or good event it probably means we should take the outlier event with a grain of salt. I think we sometimes place too much weight on an outlier.

    Another thing is that tape is probably more important thing and the athletic tests just confirm a players potential (just like your analysis of A’shawn Robinson’s tape put together with his combine numbers)

  63. 12thManderson

    Rob, first and foremost your articles are great, but what has IMO brought you to a new height. Is that you’re a sports writer, that made your readers imaginations run wild with a form of focused creativity, beyond publishing 3-4 articles weekly, if that makes sense. Haha, Cheers!

    So recently I’ve (and i’m positive others have as well), had to say aloud a few times. When we are in that short yardage, need to push the pile and move the chains scenario… Who are we running behind? And after that Schneider interview today with him speaking about knowing that we need to protect our QB and the shelves being more consistent this year than others (whether it was due to lack of talent, higher need in other areas, or not having a 3rd Rd pick and forcing hand, or purely talent oriented). The thought of him acknowledging we need to protect our QB and the Philosophy of being a Run First/Oriented team. Brought me to My Hopeful 1st Round Selection…

    Joshua Garnett, he Does test below your TEF, and I acknowledge he is a Pure Guard, and that his lack of athleticism isn’t a “positive” for our ZBS. But anytime anyone brings up the Seahawks draft and them going against Conventional Wisdom… WHAT IF, this year’s surprise is going against their own prior preference in drafting Multi-positioned “Versatile” OL? Who would you draft? I’d say This year’s Top Run Blocking Mauler. I trust Gilliam in PassPro, especially with an offseason, truly training on a set position, then you put a Mauler/Gap Eater next to him.. I predict match made in heaven. IMO if it wasn’t for Garnett I dont think Kyle Murphy (Stanford’s LT) would even be viewed as a mid-round option…

    To answer the question of who we’re running behind to pick up the Down and Distance… I’ll take Gilliam and Garnett…. Thoughts Anyone??

  64. Phil

    Rob – reading all the suggested improvements to how TEF might be improved to come up with the best metric for evaluating players makes me think that what might be missing from the calculation is the inclusion of Finagle’s Constant (FC). For those who have forgotten this universally accepted mathematical concept, FC = the correct answer / your answer.

    So, if I think that player X is the best prospect I have ever seen, but his TEF is “only” 2.9, then FC has to represent some unmeasured variable — for example, arm length, weight, or phase of the moon.

    + + + + +

    I’m only half joking. TEF looks like a great metric to separate players into those who deserve greater scrutiny and those who don’t.

  65. Ignorant

    For a more precise measure, I think you should always convert the broad jump value to centimeters or meters.

  66. Rick

    MAybe someone said this already, but 1.1 cubed is 1.33, not 1.26

    • schuemansky

      Probably I am missing the joke but 1.1 cubed is 1.21

      • j

        1.1 squared is 1.21.

        1.1^3 = 1.1 x 1.1 x 1.1
        = 1.21 x 1.1

        • j

          1.1 squared is 1.21.

          1.1^3 = 1.1 x 1.1 x 1.1
          = 1.21 x 1.1 = (1 x 1.21) + (0.1 x 1.21)
          = 1.21 + 0.121 = 1.331

          • schuemansky

            Sorry, got squared and cubed mixed up

  67. JakeB

    Thanks for another outstanding article, Rob.

    JS said on the radio today that they drafted Britt where they did because they felt like there was a huge drop off for OL talent after him. I might dig into this myself later, but I would be interested to see the TEF numbers for the O-linemen drafted after Britt.

    • JakeB

      There were 11 more offensive linemen drafted between where Britt was taken and the end of the third round. Gabe Jackson had the highest TEF at 2.94. Jackson had the 9′ broad jump and 30 reps on the bench but only had a 29″ vert at 336 lbs. To me, this suggests that weight may not be much of a factor unless the Seahawks had ruled him out for some other reason

      • Volume12

        The Seahawks never ruled out Gabe Jackson. They had him on the phone ready to make the selection, but for whatever reason didn’t.

        • JakeB

          Interesting. I would like to have been a fly on the wall for that decision

      • LantermanC

        Was it a huge dropoff in OL talent, or OT talent?

        • JakeB

          That’s a good question, he could have been talking about tackles specifically.

  68. SeventiesHawksFan

    The Seahawks FO is going to start paying you soon to not publish certain hypotheses and formulations on the internet, Rob. Fascinating write up, reasoning and analysis.

  69. Nate

    Spriggs was the first OL I heard about when first hearing draft news.
    It’s interesting that he had been tossed aside sort of, and now we are back to him full circle.
    My bet though is the Hawks don’t draft him, and do something out of the blue.
    Like draft Keanu Neal or other intriguing position/trade down small amount and then go with McGovern as safe pick in 2nd.
    If Jared Stanger is right, and they want Sokoli at LG…I just have always felt McGovern is a must leave draft with.
    Then get Dahl in 3rd, Odhiambo 4-6.

    • Rob Staton

      Carroll has never said anything other than Sokoli at center.

      Stanger is probably wrong.

      • SeventiesHawksFan

        Agreed. Sokoli has been slated as Center of Future. And unless Sokoli himself blows it, that remains on an expected timeline.

        • H M Abdou

          I don’t know. I want to believe Soko can do it, but that’s a big jump, going from DL to playing – not one of the guard positions – but center. That is a position which requires a LOT of knowledge, technique, savvy, and mental strength.

          The coaching staff and front office know more than anyone if Sokoli can do it, but if he will make the jump successfully, it sure will take some time. It may not be worth it in the end. I hope Sokoli makes it, as I am intrigued by his crazy athleticism, just like everyone else.

  70. badjujus

    Using the formula for Brandin Bryant DT FAU

    I got these number via DM on twitter from him

    38 bench reps
    28″ Vert
    9′ 11″ broad jump @ reigonal combine

    1. Vertical ÷ 31
    2. Broad ÷ 9, then cube the result
    3. Bench ÷ 27
    4. Add the results together


    3.626869994337909 TEF (trench explosion formula)

    I am so F’ING HIGH ON THIS GUY. WE need him, with the right coaching I think he will be the interior pressure we need and because of his injury history we can grab him in the 4/5.

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑