In a previous article I mentioned how Nike developed the SPARQ rating to assess explosiveness in players. I thought I would evaluate some Jet's players. I was going to make a spread sheet with all their stats but...
Things to remember:
This kind of stat evaluation was literally made for Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, Running Backs, and Linebackers. It's a measure of strength, speed, horizontal movement, and leaping ability. What it doesn't do a good job factoring in is: football IQ, agility, pure size vs short burst, and pass rushing/defending technique.
- Score Below 100 - Likely below average for many NFL Athletes
- Score Between 100-110 - Average for many NFL Athletes
- Score Between 110 - 115 - Good for many NFL Athletes
- Score between 116-130 - Very Good NFL Athlete
- Score Above 130 - Elite NFL Athlete
All numbers taken from Combine or Pro Day. Liable to have changed.
- Kellen Winslow Jr. - 136.23
- Antwan Barnes - 135.57
- Jeff Cumberland - 129.87
- Dee Milliner - 123 (Estimated..no bench/power ball test)
- Stephen Hill - 121
- Mike Goodson - 121
- Quinton Coples: 116.64
- Chris Ivory - 114
- Joe McKnight - 113
- Sheldon Richardson - 111.12
- Muhammed Wilkerson - 110
- Josh Bush - 100.86
So as you can see two of our best players, Wilkerson and Richardson (hopefully), scored rather low. The explanation for this has a lot to do with weight and position, and SPARQ's lack ability to account for them. Both Wilk and Sheldon were brought down by their scores in the vertical jump, 40 yard dash and twenty yard shuttle. They made up for it in bench press/adjusted ball throw. I have to repeat. The reason why Wilk and Richardson tested so low is because this test was not designed for them. It demonstrates why they are playing DT rather than a DE/LB hybrid like Coples for instance.
This brings us to perhaps the most interesting statistic. Quinton Coples adjusted SPARQ rating is 116.64.
|40 Yard Dash:||4.69 seconds|
|Bench Press:||25 reps (225 lb)|
|Vertical Leap:||34.5 inches|
|20 Yd Shuttle:||4.78 seconds|
Coples rating is limited by his vertical leap and 20 yard shuttle. SPARQS emphasis on the vertical leap is a bit overdone in my opinion, but the 20 yard shuttle is telling for projecting Cople's promise in the Predator role. Here is a spreadsheet of the top SPARQ rated players for Linebacker/LEO from the Seahawks and the 2013 draft.
So you can see that from a pure measurables perspective Cople's doesn't match up too favorably. It also gives some credibility to the notion that he is a better fit as an inside rusher. Antwan Barnes, on the other hand, is a tank on paper. I was quite surprised to find out he put up 31 reps of a 225 bench press at his 2007 pro day. Weighing 40 pounds less that's six more than Coples, add on that he is .2 faster in the 40.
What is similarly surprising is McKnight's score. Considered our top threat in space, McKnight only amassed a score of 113. This is also due to a rather poor performance in the vertical leap and the bench press. This could give some indication why the FO has doubts about McKnights as a 3rd down back; it seems he lacks the power to break tackles. Ivory only scored one point better. Now before we lose our heads, it's worth noting that Marshawn Lynch only has a score of 112.25 and we all know how much of a beast he is. Here is another chart of Seahawks players.
All in all all this information doesn't mean much. But it's definitely fun to look at. It shows from a purely physical standpoint where some our explosiveness is located. Winslow, Cumby, and Hill are, as we know physical specimens, but whether their play can match their talent is the real story. These types of statistics and measurement are always ancillary to tape. Perhaps where it is more useful is for finding elite Undrafted and Free Agent athletes so you have explosive and young depth throughout the team. With a good coaching and a strong Practice Squad/Special Teams competition, you never know who your next break out star could be.
All credit goes to the guys at Fieldgulls for first writing about this system. Here is the SPARQ calculator if anyone is interested: http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/usnikefootball_mobile/en_US/combine_visualizer?leaderboard=true&snsc=131.07&fname=CONNER&lname=CROWELL