Thursday, 21 January 2010

Brian Price in the draft lab

By Rob Staton
I'll be publishing an updated mock draft tomorrow in which we'll look at some of things discussed on the blog this week (namely, the prospect of Seattle drafting a quarterback in the first round). There's a new poll which can be located on the right hand side bar asking whether the Seahawks need to take a signal caller early in the 2010 draft - please check it out and cast your vote.

I've often linked to K.C. Joyner's brilliant draft lab series on ESPN and this week he takes a look at UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. For those who aren't aware, Price is believed to be a good friend of current Seahawks lineman Brandon Mebane and the Bruins tackle allegedly uses Mebane as a role model for future NFL success. It's no surprise then that both players are pretty similar in the way they play the game. So what's Joyner's assessment?

"He is one of those prospects who is graded quite high in some circles but who is perceived as having less value in others. That means he could end up on either side of the defensive tackle run that is almost certain to happen in this year's draft.

"Price's run-stopping metrics in the five games I broke down are very impressive. He won 18 of the 57 point of attack run blocks directed his way and also drew two holding penalties. Put the two together and it equals a 35.1 percent POA win rate; that is almost equal to Ndamukong Suh's 35.3 percent POA win rate.

"Price was also comparable to Suh in his POA win rate when blocked by a single defender. He won 16 of the 36 single-team POA blocks, or 44.4 percent, versus Suh's 14 wins in 32 POA blocks (43.8 percent win rate).

"Where Price doesn't match up with Suh is in splash play volume (a splash play being defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play -- sacks, tipped passes and hurries being chief among these). Suh had 36 of these in seven games versus Price's 13 in five games, but Price did have a higher splash play percentage on pure pass-rush plays (15.5 percent versus Suh's 13.6 percent).

"That shows Price's potential upside -- but it also illustrates part of his downside. Suh's splash play rate was achieved in 272 pass-rush attempts. Price's came in only 97 attempts. Part of that is due to my having broken down seven of Suh's games versus five of Price's, but that still doesn't account for the huge gap in play volume.

"To look at that from another angle, Price was on the field for 234 of the 318 defensive snaps the Bruins faced in those contests, or 73.5 percent of the time. Suh was in 496 of the 508 Cornhusker snaps, or 97.6 percent of Nebraska's plays. Price's on-field percentage total is one of the lowest of any of the defensive tackles in the Draft Lab series, and that suggests durability could be something of a concern.

"Another concern is that Price is a two-trick pony from a pass-rush move perspective -- and only one of those tricks seems to work well. Eight of his 13 splash plays came as a result of a very effective "rip" move, but he gained only one splash as a result of the bull rush that serves as his primary pass-rush technique. If he didn't see much success with his power move at the collegiate level, it stands to reason that he'll see even less success with it in the NFL, so developing other moves should be high on his offseason training list.

"Any favorable comparison to Ndamukong Suh is obviously very noteworthy. The durability and pass-rush move concerns may keep him from cracking the top 10 on draft day, but overall, it looks like Price should land on the positive side of the value point scale. He gets a TFS seal of approval." - K.C. Joyner, ESPN


CLanterman said...

Good stuff Rob, I love Price and I would love to see the Hawks take him at #14. Obviously he's no Suh, who many call the best defensive prospect in 30 years, but the fact that he even compares to him to me signals that he is worthy of a #14 pick. With him and Mebane (two good buddies), I think the Hawks can form a Williams wall of their won.

Rob Staton said...

The Seahawks certainly need a greater presence in the middle to aid Mebane. I think we missed Rocky Bernard this year and Mebane's play suffered as a consequence. Clearly, just putting a big body alongside the top DT on this team doesn't equal success.

At the same time, this team needs a much greater edge rush. It's a catch 22, because if Seattle gets better in the middle, does that help Tapp or Jackson off the edge? I'm not sure they're good enough to capitalise. At the same time, does a top drafted DE get flushed out too easily because the pressure up the middle isn't coming from Cole and Mebane? It just goes to show the type of questions this franchise has to ask leading into free agency and the draft.

brainyhawk said...

Hey Rob, love the blog. My question to you revolves around Price but also on one of our free agent players. Historically rookie DT's don't make that big of an impact so what would your thoughts be about re-signing Cory Redding and using him as a DT? His best season came as a DT and with a monster like Mebane(moved back to the NT) he could be very successfull. With Redding at Under Tackle it would give a guy like Price a chance to learn a bit, and be a rotational player, with out having to through him in as a starter too quickly. Thoughts?

Rob Staton said...

Hey brainyhawk,

I think it's a very sound idea. I didn't Redding looked at his best playing DE, but then he's predominantly a three technique DT. Putting him back at his natural position and moving Mebane back to the one technique where he started his career makes sense, particularly with limited options in free agency.

Anonymous said...

Clearly we can't fix every problem in one draft, particularly with only 7 picks. If we had 3 more picks in the 2nd-3rd, we probably could address everything and get younger accross the board. I don't like the idea of reaching to fill needs when we can't address them all anyway. My hope is for Haden (CB), Morgan (DE) and Best (RB) with our first 3 picks, followed by Chancellor (SS), Atkins (DT), Angerer (ILB)and Kopa (OT). I know, I know, only one O-lineman in the 7th round. Unless Brown or Iupati fall to #40, the value just isn't there for me. I can't see reaching for Capers at #40 if Best is on the board. Kopa broke his foot in early September ending his senior season, and may get drafted earlier than 7th round, but injured players stock typically drops, so I'm hoping.

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