Critiquing the B/R NFL 1000 Project: Special Teams

Bloggers, media and sport fans used to heap scorn on Bleacher Report, mainly due to some questionable user-generated content that damaged the site’s reputation in its infancy. However, since their big money deal with Turner 18 months ago, they’ve added some talented and respected names as featured writers and a great deal of their content is now well worth checking out.

One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who — along with several other film junkies — has been spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL’s top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they’ve now completed this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.

In our final installment, we look at their rankings for punters and kickers. To look back at the previous updates go here.

In their top 32 punters list, Miller and his colleagues rank Ryan Quigley 22nd and Robert Malone (who was cut after week two) 28th. In the top 32 kickers list, Nick Folk was ranked 4th.

Here’s what they said about Folk:

The Jets got it right when they brought in Folk, and he rewarded them with top-notch kicking. Given the windy, unpredictable conditions in MetLife Stadium, he has to be applauded.

Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Folk had a terrific season and deserves to be high up in the rankings. However there were a lot of kickers that had amazing years last year, so in some respects, I’m surprised he was that high. You could easily make a case for Stephen Gostkowski (#7) being at least on a par with Folk last season, for example. Folk is the most reliable kicker the Jets have had for years, though, so it’s good that they locked him up long term.

Quigley did reasonably well last year, but was nothing special and a below average grade seems fair. It probably says something about the standard of punting around the league that Malone still made the list despite getting cut after two games.

That brings me to my biggest problem with these lists. Why extend the punter list to the extent that guys who didn’t play in the final 15 weeks of the season are included in the study when the outside linebacker list was too short to include a guy with 10 sacks (Calvin Pace) and two players among the leaders at their position in production (Dimitri Patterson and Kenrick Ellis) were omitted from the study because of insufficient playing time?

Overall, we mustn’t underestimate the scope of this project and the amount of work involved in covering all 32 teams compared with the in-depth coverage we’ve come to expect from people who just cover the Jets. Unfortunately, that’s led us to uncover quite a few generalizations, misrepresentations and contradictions when evaluating their reviews of the Jets players included in the study.

Still, it’s provided us with some good discussion fodder to bridge the gap between the end of the season and the draft, which hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading. Will I do this again next year, though? Probably not…




16 comments
jmactheman
jmactheman

@Disgruntled Jets Fan

The criteria is snaps PER POSITION. If Ellis took all of his 208 snaps at 3-4 NT, he'd make the NT list. Because Rex Ryan is calling the shots, I think they moved Ellis around the formation, because they moved everyone else around too.

Your criticism is absolutely valid though. As __fense points out below, the 1000th best player in the NFL according to the list is probably Spencer Lanning of Cleveland, the 32nd player on the Punter list. Ellis is absolutely better than the 32nd ranked punter in the NFL.

Sorry this isn't a reply to your post. Livefyre. What can I say?

Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

So, their intro article states:


To be eligible, a player was required to participate in a set number of snaps per position. It was 200 for every position other than quarterback and running back. When evaluating those two positions, we did not set a minimum number of snaps.


Ellis had 208 snaps.  What gives?


And obviously they forgot to mention that they had no such criteria for kickers/punters, it seems.

Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

I guess there's one more installment (site says series runs through 24th).  Is that when Tanner gets his due?

Bubby Brister
Bubby Brister

"fodder" is chicken-soup for the off-season football soul...

Know-what-I-mean-Vern?

__fense
__fense

This is what they say about Spencer Lanning, 32nd ranked punter and I hope to god 1000th ranked player on the list: 


It took Lanning three years to make an NFL roster, but he’ll be lucky to last that long in the league. He’s in line to be the Cleveland Browns’ punter in 2014, but they’d be smart to bring in competition to push him for his job.


This man is apparently better than Pace, who had double digit sacks last year.

williamg1
williamg1

Bent got sucked in, and felt compelled to finish. Very admirable. This sums it up perfectly:

"Still, it’s provided us with some good discussion fodder to bridge the gap between the end of the season and the draft, which hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading."

Absolutely. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@Disgruntled Jets Fan  


They goofed up.  Patterson had 241 and was similarly overlooked (not included in the top 100 CBs despite being 18th best in coverage per PFF and among the leaders for INTs.)

Bent
Bent moderator

@Disgruntled Jets Fan  I assume that will just be their final list which is pretty meaningless if they're just going to list out the top 1000 in order.

Bent
Bent moderator

@__fense  Lanning was actually on our roster briefly last year and we cut him, keeping Pace in the process.


WHAT A BLUNDER!

Bent
Bent moderator

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @jmactheman  


I don't believe this is true.  They likely wouldn't have the snap counts at each position.  If they did, they'd have put Coples as a 4-3 DE because 58% of his snaps had him with his hand in the dirt on a four man line.


Also, it would have meant some players qualified for more than one list.


Anyway, Dimitri Patterson was also excluded and he had 241 snaps, 224 at CB and 17 as a SS (because no receiver on his side or matched up with an inline TE).  So, nope, that's not it.