You know why I love snap counts?
No, it’s not for the optic nerve-frying that takes place every week with the rewinding and rewinding. Though that’s fun, too.
I like the fact that I can go back through the past five years of data and compare players on a snap-by-snap basis.
Which brings us to Marcell Frazier. Missouri, if you haven’t heard, has a pretty illustrious recent history when it comes to sending defensive ends to the NFL. Five drafted in the past four years, to be exact, all but one of them going in the first and second rounds.
Frazier, a fourth-fifth roundish guy according to NFL.com, gets his big showcase in front of scouts along with the rest of the draft-eligible Tigers at pro day Thursday.
So how does his college production look compared to Missouri’s drafted pass rushers of recent vintage? And what testing numbers should he shoot for if he wants to try and be upwardly mobile on draft boards?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Frazier played 1,523 snaps during his Missouri career, or 55.5 percent of the defense’s total snaps. He recorded a solo tackle once every 28.7 snaps, a total tackle (the Bill Connelly definition — solo plus one-half assisted) once every 21.2, a sack once every 92.3 and a tackle for loss once every 50.8.
I created something I’m calling “Activity%,” the percent of snaps in which the player does something. I’m defining it as total tackles plus QB hurries, passes defended and forced fumbles. Frazier had a 6.57 Activity% during his time at Missouri.
I also ripped off Bill’s “Havoc Rate” and did something called “Carnage%,” the percent of snaps in which the player does something destructive. I’m defining that as tackles for loss plus QB hurries, passes defended and forced fumbles. Frazier had a 3.81 Carnage% during his Missouri career.
So now let’s look at how those numbers stack up with Charles Harris, Markus Golden, Shane Ray, Kony Ealy and Michael Sam. It’s hard to compare career numbers, though, because I only have total snap data on Harris and Frazier. I’m missing one year for Golden and Ray, two years for Ealy and three for Sam.
So I’m only going to stack up these guys’ years as “starters,” in which they played more than 50 percent of snaps, in the past five seasons.
% of Total Snaps
- Harris (2015): 82.8
- Harris (2016): 76.7
- Frazier (2017): 75.1
- Golden (2014): 71.3
- Ray (2014): 70.2
- Ealy (2013): 66.2
- Sam (2013): 60.5
- Golden: 10.4
- Ray: 9.25
- Harris (2016): 8.54
- Harris (2015): 8.24
- Sam: 7.43
- Ealy: 7.41
- Frazier: 6.63
- Golden: 5.18
- Harris (2015): 4.55
- Ray: 4.48
- Frazier: 4.35
- Ealy: 4.34
- Sam: 4.28
- Harris (2016): 3.58
Snaps per Total Tackle
- Golden: 12.5
- Ray: 12.6
- Harris (2016): 15.1
- Harris (2017): 15.7
- Sam: 16.5
- Ealy: 19.9
- Frazier: 22.6
Snaps per Sack
- Ray: 48.5
- Sam: 56.8
- Golden: 71.4
- Harris (2016): 80.7
- Ealy: 89.4
- Harris (2015): 98.9
- Frazier: 103.4
Snaps per Tackle for Loss
- Ray: 31.2
- Sam: 34.4
- Golden: 35.7
- Harris (2015): 37.4
- Frazier: 46.7
- Ealy: 51.1
- Harris (2016): 60.5
So Frazier doesn’t match up all that great on overall activity, but it gets better when you start talking negative plays and other disruptive acts such as quarterback hurries, passes defended and forced fumbles.
On a snap per TFL basis, Frazier’s 2017 was actually better than Ealy’s 2013 and Harris’ 2016. They became second- and first-round picks, respectively, after those seasons. Their complete bodies of work were better than Frazier’s...but still...
If you want to take a gander at all the numbers, go ahead:
(Sidebar: Can we talk for a second about how ridiculous Golden’s 2013 season was? I mean, come on. He was only in on 35 percent of snaps, true, but in those, he notched a total tackle every 8.22 snaps, a sack every 57.5 and a tackle for loss every 28.8. His Activity% was 13.8. Once every 7.25 snaps, he did something. That’s nuts.)
What Numbers Should Frazier Be Shooting For?
Let’s begin to answer this question by consulting a list of the top edge rusher prospects in the 2018 draft. Sports Illustrated has a top-100 prospect list (which would get you through three rounds), and on it are 12 edge rushers.
Here is what they averaged in testing at the combine in February. All 12 got readings for height, weight, hand size and arm length. For the other tests, the number in the parentheses next to the drill name is how many participated.
And, for an added bonus, in parentheses next to the results, I’ll put the Missouri end from the past whose testing was closest to the average of those 12 ends.
- Height: 6’4 (Ealy and Aldon Smith: 6’4)
- Weight: 257 (Golden: 256) (Frazier was listed at 6-5, 265 at Missouri last year)
- Hand: 9 7/8 in.
- Arm: 33 3/4 in.
- 40-Yard Dash (10): 4.69 seconds (Golden: 4.70)
- Bench Press (5): 23 reps (Ealy and Stryker Sulak: 22)
- Vertical Jump (10): 34.5 inches (Smith: 34)
- Broad Jump (11): 120 inches (Ray and Ealy: 120)
- 3-Cone Drill (6): 7.10 seconds (Smith: 7.19)
- 20-Yard Shuttle (7): 4.30 seconds (Jacquies Smith: 4.31)
- 60-Yard Shuttle (3): 11.59 seconds
So all Frazier has to do is test like Golden, Ealy and Aldon Smith. No biggie, right?
Here are those combine numbers from this year, too, if you’re into that: