Data Nerd: Grading Our Players

Everyone has an idea of the Falcons' weak positions and where the draft focus should be. Some young players are still trying to break into the mold of the NFL, while some older players are making their way out. In light of the unfortunate events surrounding this season, I wanted to devise a way to grade each player on the team to evaluate positional needs.

First, below is the general methodology for ranking each player. I won't include every minor detail of the formula, but here's a simple explanation behind my rankings:

  • The overall PFF performance grades are downloaded for all players in the NFL, separated by position.
  • Each grade is weighted based on the number of snaps played. This is to account for injuries, games played, and the productivity achieved when on the field.
  • A player is only graded if he has played more than 150 snaps to remove players with limited exposure.
  • Each player is then compared to all others at that position and ranked. This rank is compared against the total population to get a percentile ranking. Higher is better. For example, if a player is in the 90th percentile, they are better than 90% of the group.
  • Then, the Falcons team is sorted from best to worst player based on the positional percentile rank.

The results are below. I also did not grade Matt Bosher or Bryant since the information comes in differently from PFF. I hope it's not too much information, but I wanted to include snap counts and the current PFF rating for your reference.


I'm also including an ancilliary chart to show other players that have received a decent number of snaps. Just to show their limited impact, I included them in the ranking by lowering the 150 snap minimum (only for Atlanta). Any Falcon left off these lists has played under 35 snaps this year.


One ranking really did jump out at me - Jacquizz Rodgers - so I was looking at detailed grades. He's 5th ranked in passing, and 3rd for blocking. He has only allowed 1 hurry on 47 pass blocking snaps, which is good for 2nd behind Maurice Jones-Drew (no pressure allowed). His run grading is neutral, but he also hasn't had much of an opportunity behind this offensive line. He has not fumbled the ball, at least.

Anyways, what do you think? Are there any positions or players that jump out? Since we are looking to the future, does this expose any draft needs you may have overlooked?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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