Friday, May 26, 2017

Looking at the Pass Rushers of 2016: Finishers vs Disruptors (OC)

Pass Rushing is an art and DL is a premier position. The position does not gain many statistics though, making it hard to really judge who is and who isn’t making a consistent impact. Sacks have become the stat to have but they rarely tell the whole story, pressures and hits are a bit more advanced stat that also help paint a picture. When it comes to pass rushing there are two different ways to be effective (I made these up):

Finishers: High sack number guys. Getting to the QB is impressive and crucial but every sack is different. Guys who finish but aren’t consistently getting hits and pressures will be considered finishers.

Disruptors: These guys get less credit because they don’t have the shiny sack total other guys gets. Disrupters are generally your interior lineman or 4-3 DEs, these are the guys that continuously push the pocket but don’t quite get to the QB. High pressures and hits without the sacks.

Pure Pass Rusher: There’s nothing wrong with being either and finisher or disruptor, they both serve a great purpose. The guys who can do both though, consistently push the pocket and have the sacks to go with it, those are your premier guys.

So I took the basic pass rush stats and divided some of the league’s best into the three categories so we could get a better picture of what guys excel at what.

Sack Leaders:

  • Vic Beasley – 15.5

  • Von Miller – 13.5

  • Lorenzo Alexander -12.5

  • Markus Golden

  • Danielle Hunter

  • Cliff Avril

  • Cameron Wake – 11.5

  • Erik Walden

  • Ryan Kerrigan

  • Chandler Jones

  • Nick Perry

  • Khalil Mack – 11.0

Pressure Leaders:

  • Brandon Graham – 40

  • Oliver Vernon – 37

  • Geno Atkins – 36

  • Aaron Donald – 31

  • Vic Beasley Jr – 30

  • Von Miller

  • Carlos Dunlap

  • Jerry Hughes

  • Melvin Ingram – 29

QB Hit Leaders:

  • Aaron Donald – 31

  • Khalil Mack – 27

  • Bruce Irvin

  • Cliff Avril

  • Geno Atkins – 25

  • Markus Golden

  • Cameron Wake – 24

  • Von Miller

  • Oliver Vernon

  • Everson Griffen

  • Cameron Jordan

Pressure + Hits Leaders:



  • Brandon Graham = 62/5.5/765/
  • Oliver Vernon = 61/8.5/1040/
  • Everson Griffen = 60/8/888/
  • Von Miller = 53/13.5/933/
  • Khalil Mack = 52/11/949/

  • Carlos Dunlap = 50/8/838/

  • Vic Beasley = 49/15.5/671/

  • Cameron Wake = 48/11.5/589/

  • Melvin Ingram = 48/8/959

  • Cameron Jordan = 46/7.5/965

Interior DL

  • Aaron Donald = 62/8/828/
  • Geno Atkins = 61/9/779/
  • Leonard Williams = 39/7/896/
  • Malik Jackson = 38/6.5/717
  • Ndamukong Suh = 38/5/973

Best Disruptors (Consistent pressures + hits, low sack total)

Brandon Graham, Eagles 62/5.5/765/
Eagles fans and other services like PFF live and swear by Brandon Graham, and they aren’t fooled by his low sack number of 5.5. Pretty much the term ‘disruptor’ himself Brandon Graham led the league in hits + pressures while not even coming close to the top 10 in sacks. Graham lives in the enemy’s backfield and his snap count of 765 shows he’s a capable run defender as well.

Everson Griffen, Vikings 60/8/888/
The Vikings defense is one of the best in football, and it helps when they have important positions like DE and S locked down with some of the best, Griffen was a measly 2 total hits and pressures from Brandon Graham while adding 2.5 sacks. In 888 snaps it took him longer to get there but he still proved to be a consistent presence to the offense.

Oliver Vernon, Giants 61/8.5/1040/
Oliver Vernon finishes our list of edge rushers to get to the 60 total pressures mark, so if you’re wondering if the Giants super aggressive free agency last year worked, it looks like it did. Vernon’s 1040 total snaps showed that he was pretty much on the field all the time and availability is a great asset, sure he took longer to his numbers but he was a reliable force at all times.

Carlos Dunlap, Bengals 50/8/838/

Cameron Jordan, Saints 46/7.5/965

Melvin Ingram, Chargers 48/8/959
Honorable mentions to those three guys who all had the highest total pressures without double digit sacks. Carlos Dunlap manages to remain an enigma as his stats show he’s still a top end DE. Cameron Jordan is a piece that keeps the Saints defense from total mediocrity, he’s done well enough to have the Saints refrain from drafting a pass rusher early. Melvin Ingram sheds the bust label with a well performance at a great time, he was hit with a franchise tag and can cash in as early as next off-season.

Best Finishers (High sack total with less pressures + hits)

Cliff Avril, Seahawks 43/11.5/830
Cliff Avril stays as one of the main reasons Seattle’s defense has been so consistently good, he continues to rack up sacks to a deadly Seahawks DL.

Cameron Wake, Dolphins 48/11.5/589/
Having under 600 snaps shows the Wake is pretty much a pass rusher exclusively, but his 11.5 sacks also show that he’s really, really good at it.

Chandler Jones, Cardinals 40/11/938
The Cardinals decision to get a key edge rusher at a high price looks to pay off, and with 938 snaps he was consistently on the field. He marks one of two impressive Cardinals edge rushers.

Markus Golden, Cardinals 39/12.5/761

Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins 39/11/788

Lorenzo Alexander, Bills 37/12.5/788

Danielle Hunter, Vikings 38/12.5/598

Joey Bosa, Chargers 42/10.5/563
There’s a lot of guys who did very well that you want to give credit but there was no shortage of 10+ sack players. Markus Golden was effectively just as good, even possibly more efficient than Chander Jones. Ryan Kerrigan remains underrated as the only consistent pass rush on a dry defense, Lorenzo Alexander has a breakout season at age 33. Danielle Hunter is a pass rush specialist who put it very effective numbers in under 600 snaps, and Joey Bosa managed to push all that pre-season drama behind him and put up equally impressive numbers as a rookie and in under 600 snaps.

Best Pass Rushers (Both)

Von Miller, Broncos 53/13.5/933/

Khalil Mack, Raiders 52/11/949/
These guys are similar in a lot of ways, even though they get it done very differently. The Defensive Player of the Year vote was decided by just one voter, that would end up going to Mack but it’s easy to see why it’s so close. They are only separated by 1 total pressure, 2.5 sacks on 16 snaps. The AFC west is just filled with talented pass rushers and the two best are apart of two rival teams. We may watch these guys trade DPoYs for the next couple of seasons.

Vic Beasley, Falcons 49/15.5/671
Beasley and his teammate Jake Matthews are why you don’t give up on players after one season, if that wasn’t obvious enough already. Leading the league in sacks with 15.5, I expected him to end up in the ‘finisher’ category before I got this started, but with 49 total pressures and in 671 sacks, Beasley was not only a true pass rusher but an efficient one as well. It will be fun to watch if Beasley can keep up and be one of the better pass rushers in this league, was certainly was last year.

Aaron Donald, Rams 62/8/828/

Geno Atkins, Bengals 61/9/779/
Another interesting thing I learned writing this article, when it comes to interior defensive lineman, it’s Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins, then everyone else. Only five players had over 60 total pressures, Donald and Atkins were two of them at an arguably harder position. They were so far ahead of everyone else third place in total pressures is Leonard Floyd, who finished with 39, or 22 less than Atkins. Impressive barely describes it, when it comes to pass rushing period, these two are at top of the class.

I went through a lot of names to find out who the best where.. to see the full list click here:

If I missed anyone, let me know and I'll edit it accordingly! Thanks for reading!

Submitted May 26, 2017 at 10:32AM by DTHFootball
via reddit

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