2016 IDP Rookie Linebackers – What does Quad Score Tell Us?

We here at Dynasty Football Fan have been making hay recently by putting together a new measurement system to understand the complex metrics that we look at from the NFL combine and pro days.  The Quad Score, provides a way to look at athletic performance in pre-draft drills and compare them to historical norms for each position.  You can go here for a brief description of the Quad Score methodology.  We’ve looked at Running backs a bit and demystified the notion that Joey Bosa is the next JJ Watt, now it’s time to turn to the drivers of IDP value, rookie linebackers.

The Top 10%

This year’s crop of rookie IDP linebackers has some players that will be solid starters and maybe a few stars.  I would argue that it also has a ton of prospects who may not turn out so great.  To show you what I mean, I’ve put together a few charts.  To start with I filtered Quad Scores for the last 5 years, to provide a historical comparison to the athleticism in this year’s class.  Here is the top 10% of Quad Scores from the last 5 years:

YearNameSpeedAgilityLeg PowerArm StrengthAQ Score
2015Vic Beasley1.961.082.202.938.17
2012Bruce Irvin3.191.430.340.345.29
2014Kevin Pierre-Louis1.541.071.451.115.17
2012Mychal Kendricks2.570.491.520.495.07
2013Zaviar Gooden2.
2012Demario Davis1.87(0.08)1.161.734.68
2015Davis Tull1.412.340.804.55
2014Ryan Shazier1.120.591.970.654.32
2012Luke Kuechly1.330.811.010.964.11
2013Trevardo Williams1.381.081.423.88
2013Jamie Collins1.13(0.03)2.70(0.28)3.52
2015Stephone Anthony1.560.790.790.343.48
2014Khalil Mack1.080.371.600.343.40
2016Darron Lee1.930.251.37(0.59)2.96
2013Ty Powell1.09(0.04)0.791.112.95
2016Travis Feeney1.54(0.47)1.822.89
2016Leonard Floyd1.241.522.76
2013Barkevious Mingo1.
2013Sio Moore0.84(0.67)1.301.272.73
2013Jelani Jenkins1.750.962.71
2012Zach Brown2.81(0.18)2.64
2012Melvin Ingram1.250.80(0.54)1.112.63
2012Miles Burris0.220.791.582.58
2012Bobby Wagner2.462.46
2015Mike Hull0.270.611.582.46

There are some very good linebackers on this list, starting with Vic Beasley and Bruce Irvin (both not elite yet but have shown flashes) at the top and then on down to Kendricks, Kuechly, Collins, Anthony, Mack, Jenkins, Brown and Wagner.  These are all solid starters in the NFL and a few are elite.  So, rookie IDP linebackers are in good company if they make this list ranging in AQ scores from 2.45 at the bottom to 8.17 at the top.  Darron Lee, Travis Feeney and Leonard Floyd all made the cut with scores in the 2.96 to 2.76 range.  Lee showed exceptional speed and leg power for his size with better than average agility and improvement needed in upper body strength.  There is no doubt he is an exceptional athlete and you put that together with solid production at Ohio State.  Feeney is a bit of a sleeper from Washington who will not be drafted that high come late April, he’s probably a day 3 pick.  Be that as it may, he shows exceptional speed and leg power though getting off blocks may be challenging as his agility is lower than average.  He did not bench press at the combine.  Finally you have Floyd who is a bit of an enigma.  He did not live up to his hype at Georgia yet athletically he has all the tools.  Even without an agility score and arm strength score he hit a Total Quad Score of 2.76 with exceptional speed and leg power for his size.  Bottom line on Floyd, he’s a high risk/high reward pick that is not for the weak and weary.

The Bottom 10%

Now that we’ve seen who’s at the top, let’s look who’s at the bottom.  This table is the bottom 10% of linebackers reviewed:

YearNameSpeedAgilityLeg PowerArm StrengthAQ Score
2016Kentrell Brothers(0.98)0.71(1.36)(0.28)(1.90)
2015Lorenzo Mauldin(0.22)(1.35)(0.69)0.34(1.93)
2016Tyler Matakevich(0.67)(0.66)(0.84)0.18(1.99)
2015Martrell Spaight(1.21)(1.78)0.340.65(2.01)
2016Beniquez Brown(0.71)0.13(0.99)(0.43)(2.01)
2015J.R. Tavai(0.98)(0.92)(0.13)(2.02)
2016C.J. Johnson(0.81)(1.26)(2.07)
2016Eric Striker(0.99)(0.74)(0.70)0.34(2.10)
2013Chase Thomas(1.14)(0.12)(0.62)(0.43)(2.32)
2016Steve Longa(0.35)(1.35)(0.40)(0.28)(2.38)
2015Taiwan Jones(1.36)(0.31)(0.47)(0.28)(2.43)
2013Tom Wort(0.56)(1.07)(0.84)0.03(2.44)
2013Keith Pough(1.24)(0.74)(0.10)(0.59)(2.67)
2016Kris Frost(1.64)(1.07)(2.71)
2016Scooby Wright(1.24)(1.00)(0.77)0.18(2.82)
2015Xzavier Dickson0.67(1.38)(1.94)(0.28)(2.93)
2016Jared Norris(0.49)(1.26)(0.92)(0.28)(2.95)
2016Gionni Paul(2.37)(0.77)0.18(2.95)
2016Josh Forrest(0.98)(0.48)(1.52)(2.97)
2015Tony Washington(1.55)(0.18)(0.76)(0.59)(3.08)
2012Vontaze Burfict(1.58)(1.58)(3.16)
2016Steven Daniels(0.84)(1.01)(0.69)(0.74)(3.29)
2013Bruce Taylor(2.06)(0.40)(0.70)(0.28)(3.44)
2015Paul Dawson(1.56)(1.10)(1.51)0.03(4.14)
2015Aaron Davis(2.00)(0.64)(1.51)(0.74)(4.89)
2014Jonathan Brown(2.05)(1.82)(1.13)(0.74)(5.75)

The bottom 10% is littered with 2016 rookie linebackers, and that is not good.  The bottom 10% of Quad Scores here goes from -1.90 to -5.75 and represent significant under performance in athleticism in comparison to their peers.  Now, with all due respect, many of the 2016 prospects on this list are not NFL relevant, let alone dynasty fantasy relevant.  There are however, some that are relevant on this list.  Kentrell Brothers, Tyler Matekevich, Eric Striker and Scooby Wright are all prospects who are thought to be possible starters in the NFL within a year or two of being drafted.  I’m not here to say they won’t be successful, and I wouldn’t be the guy to bet against Scooby Wright for example, but when you look at the historical comparisons there is not one relevant NFL LB in that table.  So, I would say buyer beware when it comes to these prospects.  Not only are they very un-athletic as compared to their peers, their comparison group of NFL LBs is absolutely dreadful.

Others of Relevance in the Middle!

The middle 80% not yet shown constitutes over 170 players so I’m not going to bore you with a huge table.  Here are the rest of the 2016 prospects that fell in the middle 80%:

YearNameSpeedAgilityLeg PowerArm StrengthAQ Score
2016Stephen Weatherly2.12(0.48)0.341.98
2016B.J. Goodson0.39(0.45)0.121.421.48
2016Joshua Perry0.940.41(0.13)1.23
2016Nick Vigil0.031.45(0.55)0.94
2016Devante Bond0.03(0.08)0.790.030.76
2016Deion Jones0.390.040.43
2016DeVondre Campbell0.90(0.10)(0.74)0.06
2016Jordan Jenkins0.150.64(0.74)0.05
2016Reggie Ragland0.340.01(0.47)(0.12)
2016Nick Kwiatkoski0.110.13(0.11)(0.28)(0.15)
2016Montese Overton0.26(0.51)0.41(0.43)(0.27)
2016Kyler Fackrell0.260.34(0.90)(0.30)
2016Blake Martinez0.030.49(1.14)0.18(0.43)
2016Joe Schobert(0.09)0.01(0.54)0.18(0.44)
2016Terrance Smith(0.49)0.27(0.28)(0.51)
2016Cory Littleton(0.08)(0.05)(0.92)(1.05)

These are prospects that have potential athletically and don’t fall so low in the rankings that it’s hard to get excited about them.  The rookie linebackers that stand out for me are BJ Goodson from Clemson, Joshua Perry from Ohio State and Nick Vigil from Utah State. They show much better than average athleticism and enough of a positive speed and leg power score (save for Vigil) to compete.  Not elite athleticism per se but enough to consider them for an IDP slot on your roster if they fall to the right team with the right scheme.  All can be had for a song and dance in rookie drafts, not are currently being drafted above the 70th slot on MFL rookie drafts.

Also of note are Jordan Jenkins, Reggie Ragland, Nick Kwiatkoski and Blake Martinez.  Jenkins and Ragland will be drafted on day 2 and 1 respectively.  Kwiatkoski and Martinez are prospects that may be overlooked a bit but have components of athleticism that can help them succeed.  Both Kwiatkoski and Martinez have better than average speed and agility but they fall apart in their leg power and to a lesser extend arm strength scores.  To me, this just means that they’ll need a year to adjust to the NFL and get stronger and if drafted into the right situations they could be solid IDP sleepers.

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