I’m scratching my head, Who Dat Nation. I’ve attempted to let this digest a little, but the more I think about it, the more I think that these NFL Rankings are getting a little ridiculous. If you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, NFL Network recently started their 2014 rankings of the Top 100 Players. Cam Jordan came in at #99.
The ‘Top 100′ rankings are based on an off-season poll organized by the NFL. Players vote on their fellow peers based on the previous season performance, the vote goes to how the player will perform in the upcoming season.
Before you say anything, let me state that if you are automatically going to say that I’m biased, then shame on you. This has nothing to do with bias. Why do I feel the way I do? Simply look at the facts, folks!
Exhibit A – Overall Sack Leaders
|Robert Mathis (IND)||19.5|
|Robert Quinn (STL)||19.0|
|Greg Hardy (CAR)||15.0|
|Mario Williams (BUF)||13.0|
|Cam Jordan (NO)||12.5|
|Junior Galette (NO)||12.0|
Jordan (and Galette) finished among the top sack leaders in his first year with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. I guarantee you won’t see Junior Galette on the Top 100 list. At any rate, Jordan’s sack production earned him (righftully so) his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Exhibit B – Overall Yards Lost from Sack
|Robert Mathis (IND)||145|
|Robert Quinn (STL)||121|
|Cam Jordan (NO)||102|
|John Abraham (ARI)||100|
|Greg Hardy (CAR)||98|
Mathis and Quinn had more sacks than everyone in the league, but when you look at the impact of how many yards lost per sack, Jordan is at the top.
Exhibit C – Overall Effectiveness
I’ve used the snap count charts courtesy of the Sporting Charts. I’ve added my own formula in to determine the overall production of sack per number of plays with the top leaders of 2013.
Snaps Participated / Actual Sacks = Sack per Plays
Robert Mathis: 840/1058 snaps (79.4%) – Sack every 43 plays
Robert Quinn: 831/1065 snaps (78.0%)- Sack every 44 plays
Greg Hardy: 873/1014 snaps (86.1%) – Sack every 58 plays
Cameron Jordan: 898/975 snaps (92.6%) – Sack every 72 plays
Mario Williams: 1001/1145 snaps (87.4%) – Sack every 77 plays
What more can be said about Jordan? He finished as the fourth ranked 3-4 defensive end from Pro Football Focus behind J.J. Watt, Kyle Williams, and Calais Campbell. As far as pass rushing goes, Jordan finished only behind J.J. Watt.
From Bleacher Report’s NFL 1000 rankings, Jordan is rated as the 5th ranked defensive end. He scored a 48/50 on pass rushing.
One of the best pass-rushing 3-4 defensive ends in the league, Jordan has the movement skills of a much smaller man. He’s able to knife through blockers and gaps and get into the backfield. Once there, his length and speed make it tough for quarterbacks to get away. Jordan is productive, impactful and still has room to grow. He’s scary good.
Based on all of this information, I’ve come to the conclusion that this ‘ranking’ means diddly poo. Sure, the nomination alone and fact that Jordan did make the top 100 is special, but remember, this was the same series that didn’t put Jimmy Graham in the top 100 last year. We’re talking about one of the best turnarounds in league history going from the worst ranked defense to fourth.
The bottom line? If you see any defensive ends that aren’t in the previously mentioned paragraphs appear in the NFL’s Top 100, then you should declare erroneous. Jordan should be ranked a bit higher than the #99 he received.
As always, we thank you in advance for the motivation (see Jimmy Graham).
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