NFL Draft IDP By the Numbers
1 – CBs drafted in the first round: DeAndre Baker out of Georgia to the Giants. To put that in perspective, the last time only one CB was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft was 1987 and the Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. Woodson went on to play 17 seasons and log 71 interceptions. Since 1987, there has been an average of 3.7 CBs drafted in the first round with 1997 hitting the high water mark of six.
1 – The total number of defensive players drafted by the Eagles. DE Shareef Miller was added in the fourth round to join a deep rotation at DE featuring Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, possibly Chris Long, Vinny Curry, and Josh Sweat. Surprisingly, Philly didn’t address LB where they seem to be replacing Jordan Hicks with some combination of Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, and LJ Fort. The Eagles surely expect improvements in the secondary purely from having positive injury regression.
2 – The total number of interceptions the 49ers caught last season. That ranked 32nd. In a 64-team league, ranking 32nd is very middle of the road. Unfortunately, the NFL is a 32 team league… That was after signing Richard Sherman and drafting three DBs starting with Tarvarius Moore in the third round the previous offseason. San Fransisco didn’t add much firepower in their secondary in this draft. Two of their draft picks match last season’s team interception total though. Fifth-round LB Dre Greenlaw and sixth-round CB Tim Harris each tallied two interceptions last season. The Niners will be looking for development from last year’s rookie class as well as praying for some health after their starting safety duo missed more games than they played last season. Expecting a healthy season from starting SS Jaquiski Tart is likely a fool’s errand though.
3 – The number of DEs the Colts have drafted in the second round in the last two drafts. Ben Banogu was added to the very deep depth chart this season, joining last year’s picks Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis. The Colts also added Justin Houston in Free Agency. Jabaal Sheard led the group last year and will likely do the same this year. Sheard is scheduled to be a UFA after the 2019 season, so this has the looks of a messy rotation this year that should hopefully clear up a little come 2020.
4 – CBs drafted by Tampa Bay in the top three rounds in the last two years. The Bucs added the duo of Sean Bunting and Jamel Dean to 2018’s MJ Stewart and Carlton Davis combo. Brent Grimes is still a free agent, although he doesn’t plan on retiring. Tampa already picked up the fifth-year option on former first-rounder Vernon Hargreaves. That makes five highly drafted CBs still on rookie deals. The Bucs ranked 26th in passing yards allowed per game last season. We’ll see if the shotgun approach works and good luck guessing who will be getting the snaps.
4 – Alabama and Clemson players drafted by the Oakland Raiders. In his first draft as GM, Mike Mayock pounded the College Football Playoff National Championship game rosters early and often. Of the nine players Oakland drafted, four appeared in College Football’s biggest stage, including two of Oakland’s three first-round picks. No other team drafted more than one Alabama or Clemson player.
6.85 – Three-cone time for Eastern Michigan Edge Maxx Crosby. Both Crosby and Iowa EDGE Anthony Nelson broke the sub-7.00 second three-cone threshold which typically signifies a potentially successful EDGE in the NFL. Both EDGEs fell to the beginning of the fourth round, which is just past my personal draft capital threshold making them no more than fliers in very deep leagues. Crosby has a fairly shallow depth chart at DE for Oakland. Nelson will be a 3-4 OLB in Tennessee where he also has some room for vertical movement.
7 – The most defensive players drafted by a team. Both the Colts and the Giants hit the number. The Colts started in round two with CB Rock Ya-Sin and EDGE [profiler]Ben Banogu, drafted LB Bobby Okereke in the third round, and finished up with two safeties, another LB, and another EDGE on day three. New York started strong with DT Dexter Lawrence and CB Deandre Baker in the first round, added OLB Oshane Ximines in the third round, and finished up with a LB, two CBs, and another IDL on day three. Gettleman loves his IDL.
8 – The total number of DBs Green Bay drafted with first and second round picks since 2014 with the first round selection of S Darnell Savage this year. 2016 was the only year of the six that the Packers didn’t draft a DB in the top two picks. That list includes Ha Ha Clinton Dix (2014 first, currently a Chicago Bear), Damarious Randall (2015 first, currently a Cleveland Brown), Quinten Rollins (2015 second, currently a FA), Kevin King (2017 second), Josh Jones (2017 second), Jaire Alexander (2018 second), Josh Jackson (2018 second), and the aforementioned Savage. Over that span, Green Bay has only spent five first and second round picks on non-DBs.
13 – The total number of sacks the Raiders had as a team last year before drafting DEs Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick, Maxx Crosby in the fourth round, and Quinton Bell in the seventh Round. This trio of edge rushers notched 26.5 sacks combined last season in college. Bell is the first player ever drafted from Prairie View A+M.
13 – The number of seasons played by Bills DT Kyle Williams. The former fifth-round pick ended up with 610 tackles and 48.5 sacks. When Williams retired following last season, Buffalo had some serious shoes to fill. They looked to fill them early, using the ninth overall pick on Houston DT Ed Oliver. Williams reached out to Oliver after the draft saying, “Man, if I can help you in any way along the way, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m here for you.” Oliver already has all the athletic measurables, so adding a mentor like Kyle Williams to the mix could push his ceiling even higher.
18.0 – The total sacks between the first two Jets’ draft picks last season in college. Quinnen Williams (18.5 TFLs and 7.0 sacks) was the best player in the draft. Jachai Polite (17.5 TFLs and 11.0 sacks) is a much bigger question mark, and arguably the more important player to the Jets’ defensive success. Polite had a bad pre-draft process, interviewing poorly, not testing well regardless of the speed and athleticism that appear on tape, and admitting he doesn’t watch tape. Last year, Henry Anderson led the Jets with seven sacks. Will one of the rookies take the top spot this season?
159.5 – The number of career sacks logged by the retiring Julius Peppers. The former second overall pick only had a designated pass rusher role upon his return to Carolina. But he still leaves a gaping hole on Carolina’s already shallow EDGE depth chart. The declining Bruce Irvin was brought on after a short stint in Atlanta. The Panthers worked on replenishing the EDGE depth chart in the first round with Brian Burns at the 16th overall pick. There was an expectation that Burns would end up a 3-4 OLB even after bulking up to 249 at the combine without losing speed. There have been rumblings that Carolina could be exploring the switch to a 3-4 front. It’ll be worth watching in the preseason to see how they line up and whether the Burns pick was a step in that direction.
175 – The overall pick the Steelers used on productive Northern Illinois EDGE Sutton Smith, who they hope becomes their version of Joe Schobert. Schobert was taken as the 99th pick. An EDGE in college, Schobert, at 6’-1”, 244 lbs, was too small to play EDGE in the NFL so the Browns worked on transitioning him to off-ball LB. After a rookie season spent learning the new position, Schobert has started every game he’s been healthy for the last two seasons and broke the 100 tackle threshold each year. Smith is slightly more athletic than Schobert, while a touch smaller as well.
Smith / Schobert
Height 6’-0” / 6’-1”
Weight 233 lbs / 244 lbs
40-yd Dash 4.69 / 4.76
Bench 25 reps / 22 reps
Vertical Jump 31.5” / 33.5”
Broad Jump 118” / 111”
3-cone 6.75 / 7.11
180 – Pick used by the Giants to draft Corey Ballentine. GM Dave Gettleman had a bad draft to highlight a bad offseason. The draft was bad because Gettleman just isn’t a good GM. Teams should know that at this point. It got worse when hours after selecting the Washburn University CB, Ballentine was injured in an off-campus shooting. Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery. Sadly, the same can’t be said for his friend who was killed in the shooting.
891 – The number of snaps available on the Rams D-line pending the departure of Ndamukong Suh. Aaron Donald topped 900 snaps last season, so it’s hard to see a big increase there. Michael Brockers hit 683 last season, 50 fewer snaps than the previous season. Brockers will play more, but a majority of those snaps will go to fourth round sophomore John Franklin-Myers and fourth-round rookie Greg Gaines. DC Wade Phillips told Gaines, “We got a place for you. You know Ndamukong Suh left, so you’ve got a spot.”