21 Jan 2008
Jason Paradise: I was reading Dr. Z on SI.com tonight and on his All-Pro team he talks about taking Will Allen at CB for the Dolphins. He goes on to write 3-4 paragraphs defending his pick. He says that he was impressive in all the games he charted of him. This got me curious to see what his numbers look like from the game charting project. I don't remember reading anything from you or anyone else at FO, so I was curious on your thoughts about him.
Yeah, we sort of missed Dr. Z's All-Pro team in Extra Points this year. He did make surprising choices at cornerback, skipping Champ Bailey, Asante Samuel, and Antonio Cromartie to go with Terence Newman of Dallas and Will Allen of Miami.
Based on our charting stats (generally complete through Week 15), Allen is a pretty good choice. In the data collected so far, Allen has a 60 percent Success Rate (12th among the top 75 cornerbacks) and allows 5.6 yards per pass (10th). He comes out dramatically better than the other Dolphins corners. Matt Lehan has a 53 percent Success Rate and 7.1 yards per pass, which is actually pretty reasonable, but Travis Daniels allowed 11.9 yards per pass, while Andre Goodman had a dismal 37 percent Success Rate.
If we go by the charting stats, the mistaken choice here was actually Newman. Newman is listed with a 50 percent Success Rate (48th) and 5.8 yards per pass (12th), which means he wasn't getting beat deep but he was giving up a lot of third-down conversions.
Skipping nickelbacks and guys who allow a low number of yards per pass because of Cover-2 schemes, we can still find some much better choices than Newman for the title of "best cornerback in 2007." For starters, Bailey would have been a better choice. He was 30th in yards per pass, but first in Success Rate with a very low number of targets for a first-string cornerback. Asante Samuel is 14th in Success Rate and third in yards per pass, Mike McKenzie is third in Success Rate and 13th in yards per pass, and longtime FO favorite Roderick Hood is sixth in Success Rate and fourth in yards per pass. Those guys all had better years than Newman, and they have track records that tell us this was no fluke. Finally, there's Nnamdi Asomugha. He would have been in the top ten for both Success Rate and yards per pass but teams were so busy avoiding him that he doesn't even have enough passes to qualify for my lists. The Pats may have avoided Antonio Cromartie in the AFC Championship game, but over the whole season, evidence is pretty strong that the only cornerbacks who actually scare quarterbacks away are Asomugha and Bailey. Those are my All-Pro corners.
18 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2008, 9:16am by steve
As actual NFL football returns to our lives, we have observations on good quarterback play in Dallas, bad quarterback play in Denver, the Olympics, baseball, taxes, and mermaids.