PFF Breakdown of FA Signings

So I am a big proponent of advanced stats in any sport so I recently decided to sign up for the premium stats on the website and it has been fun looking into the Free Agents available and seeing what they have done in the past. While there is no projection system like in baseball it is helpful to get a base for what we have done in the past. I want to first start by pointing out how absolutely awful we were last year and then follow it up by good news on the FA Signings. Keep in mind this is a long post due to the amount of pictures. First off here is a summary of the offense and defense by PFF Grades:

I sorted this from highest to lowest Overall grade and SURPRISE OUR OFFENSIVE LINE WAS TERRIBLE! I know that is such a surprise for some of us but man does it hurt to see that red. Maybe our defense is better?

You asked for more red well here is more red! The one thing that surprised me personally however is our run defense. While yes it is still negative, if you take out Peria Jerry it immeadiately comes out to a positive 3.1 while still bad its not awful. Also a lot of the reasons our overall numbers are bad is because we were forced to use players where they arent meant to be used due to a lack of options. A fine example is Joplo Bartu who was just awful in coverage last year. One the bigger things we may have accomplished this offseason is moving to a base 3-4 with lots of hybrid looks in 4-3 and 4-2-5. That being said here is the breakdown of the FA additions we have made thus far:

Gabe Carimi

Here is the PFF Profile for Carimi during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Some things of note here are that Carimi graded poorly as a OT in 2012 but graded average to tad above average as an OG. This signing was a depth signing to begin with so I am not worried but he seems to be an average backup to both Asamoah and Blalock when we need to make a substitution. I am sure Tice will be able to improve him a little bit but I am not hoping he will be anything more than depth.

Jon Asamoah

Here is the PFF Profile for Asamoah during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

WE ACTUALLY HAVE A VERY GOOD RG NOW! Asamoah is a huge addition and immediately fills a hole on the offensive line. All of his stats look good but he is definitely more of a Pass Blocker. We may have paid a little more than expected for him but the FO definitely knew what they wanted in FA and they went after it.

Mike Johnson

Here is the PFF Profile for Johnson during the 2012 season:

Mike Johnson suffered a freak injury that any player involved would have suffered if they were in that situation. In preseason last year he was projected to be our starting RT. His injury had a chain affect that led to a very bad line situation. Mike is an average OL that can play both OT and OG. I expect him and Holmes and Schraeder to compete for the RT job but in the season I bet there will be an active rotation. Due to the fact that we have so many Tackles on the roster at the moment and the fact that the FO has said Baker will be our LT I personally dont expect a Matthews/Robinson pick but if we do go that way I wont be too disappointed. A 1st round OT will add depth for a potential Baker injury.

Joe Hawley

Here is the PFF Profile for Hawley during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Hawley got paid a little more than I expected at $3.25M/yr but at the same time he is solid depth and has been average at C and RG. Something I saw consistently is that any team that played Buffalo or Carolina had bad PFF grades. I am not only talking about Falcons OL but most teams had a negative grade against their Front 7. As a result I try to look past the awful games and Hawley is solid depth and he will most likely fight Konz for the starting C spot but I wouldnt be surprised if he was just a backup OG/C this season. That being said average OL depth is good and helpful in case we deal with the injuries we suffered last year.

Tyson Jackson

Here is the PFF Profile for Jackson during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Some of the biggest parity I saw in our FA signings was between T-Jax in 2012 and 2013. Jackson is a 3-4 DE that is solid at the run. He fits the role that the FO wanted to fill in being mean on the line and he is only 27 but will turn 28 this year. I really like this signing as further proof of a move to a 3-4 but these signings all show the FO is making a big push to not let us get run on. This signing plus the resigning of Babs and Peters really make me think that we will not add a 4-3 DE to the roster in the draft but rather someone that can be a hybrid 3-4 DE/OLB. Everbody knows Nolan loves these guys but Jackson will be primarily a DE in the scheme.

Jonathan Babineaux

Here is the PFF Profile for USS Babs during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Good ol' Babs is back for what is most likely the rest of his career! Babs is getting on up there in age but he is still a solid Defensive Lineman. There is a lot of disparity between Babs' pass and rush defense over 2012 and 2013 and I am not sure exactly why and is something I will look into but bringing back Babs is a good move and he will provide solid production on defense but will probably begin to let less and less time on the field as his contract goes on.

Corey Peters

Here is the PFF Profile for Peters during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Peters was another re-signing that will be depth more than anything. I am assuming that Soliai will be our starting NT going forward and Peters will be the one to give him a rest on 3rd downs. Peters is an above average DT and while he had a bad year in 2012 he improved in 2013 and will more than likely improve this year as well. He is solid at stopping the run and a tad below average at pass rush but his primary use will be to backup Soliai and he will fill that role nicely.

Paul Soliai

Here is the PFF Profile for Soliai during the 2013 season:

And the 2012 season:

Soliai is the HUGE NT that many Falcon fans have been clammering for. At 340 pounds he will command double teams from the offensive line and plug the center of our defense. While he is not a pass rusher he has the ability to get into the backfield and has a powerful bull rush. His primary use though will be to be the NT he has the size and power to be and stop the run. Both him and Asamoah seem very excited to be Falcons and fully expect them to be impact players on the defense.

Hope this info was useful to some and definitely more than welcome to do a more intense breakdown of the PFF Grades and such in the future on a more detailed and position specific basis. These grades really seem to give us a solid view out side of just watching the players and the talking heads on various news outlets. Keep in mind I am an engineer not a writer so I apologize if it is poorly written. Feel free to add your comments to what you think these numbers tell you. I am learning as I go along as much as everyone here with the PFF Grades. Heres to a very good Falcons season and hopefully a spot in the Playoffs or even a Super Bowl!

<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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