Critiquing the B/R NFL 1000 Project: Tight Ends and Running Backs

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 – is 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 just started releasing this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.

In our fourth installment, we look at their rankings for the tight end and running back positions. To look back at the previous updates go here, here and here.

For the tight ends, they rank Jeff Cumberland in 27th place. Kellen Winslow was in 21st. In terms of running backs, Bilal Powell is 76th and Chris Ivory 33rd.

Their analysis of Cumberland’s hands says this:

The New York Jets were expecting a breakout season from Jeff Cumberland (6’4”, 260 lbs, four seasons), but it didn’t turn out that way. He has good hands but will struggle extending his arms and high-pointing the ball. At times, he will lose concentration and turn to run before securing the pass, which leads to drops.

Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

As we’ve worked our way through this series, aside from the pattern of Jets players being poorly ranked, I’m increasingly finding examples within the analysis of evaluations I either disagree with or which are indisputably incorrect. For example, I was particularly surprised to read their description of Breno Giacomini – a player notorious for having shorter than usual arms for an offensive tackle – as a long-armed wall at right tackle. Still, the sheer scale of the project should not be underestimated and it does provide is with interesting discussion fodder over the offseason, so I will persevere with sharing and critiquing their evaluations.

I do completely agree with the analysis of Cumberland’s hands and that was the one area where the veteran Winslow was clearly more accomplished than Cumberland. I’d like to see him improve in that area, along with his awareness in hot-read situations.

Where I disagree with the analysis is that they’ve only given Cumberland a score of 1/10 for his blocking. Cumberland isn’t a consistently dominant blocker by any means, but he had certainly improved last season, as Rex Ryan pointed out on more than one occasion. Winslow, on the other hand, was hardly ever employed as a blocker and did the bare minimum whenever he was. Winslow’s blocking score was 3/10 and his overall score was only two ahead of Cumberland, so that accounted for the difference between them.

If we therefore attribute not noticing Cumberland’s improvements as a blocker to an oversight, you could probably make a case for Cumberland to be in the top 20, which is surprising. The most surprising thing was that Heath Miller was only 37th, just ahead of players like ex-Jets Matthew Mulligan and Ben Hartsock.

Turning to the running back position, I would say their analysis of both Powell and Ivory is fair. It’s worth noting, however, that Ivory scores a 1/10 for receiving, on the basis that they hardly use him in that role. This means he scores 75/91 for all non-receiving aspects of being a running back. This is actually better than Ray Rice, who ranked 11th overall. This underscores how even a minor improvement and some modest contributions as a pass catcher could improve his reputation so that many analysts will rate him among the top players in the league. That will also have a knock-on effect of making the Jets offense less predictable when he is in the game. The Jets ran the ball just under two-thirds of the time with Ivory in the game.

As noted, we’ll continue to keep an eye on this project over the offseason. The next installment tomorrow will bring us up to date by looking at wide receivers and safeties.




12 comments
Aaron Franklin
Aaron Franklin


@Bent

"I do completely agree with the analysis of Cumberland’s hands and that was the one area where the veteran Winslow was clearly more accomplished than Cumberland. I’d like to see him improve in that area, along with his awareness in hot-read situations."


http://wp.advancednflstats.com/playerstats.php?pos=TE


I am curious as to the discrepancy. AdvancedNFLStats says JC was the 12th Best TE in the NFL last year in 12 games, and sharing time with another TE. On a per snap basis, he was the best TE in the NFL who was in more than 10 games or more than 20 receptions. 


ANS is pretty good when it comes to offensive players (rather than D where it is hard to know what didn't happen). 

metsfan130
metsfan130

They gave Antonio Allen like a 20/40 in pass coverage. That's ridiculous, he should be at least a 30/40 IMO.

levi
levi

Reading down through the TE list you can see this is a very hard task to take on and I dont think it can be accurately done.

twin
twin

Also very smart of the Jets organization to sign Vick on Friday to let the media circus not to overhype and critique the signing of MV...

twin
twin

We will be a good team this year... I just feel our young players are working hard this off-season......

harold
harold

Jets Basis in the media?  It can't be I refuse to believe that, it is simply not true.  :)

a57se
a57se

Kibbles and bits.

Freddough Jean
Freddough Jean

Bent, you know their value is underappreciated when the player wears green and white with the jets logo on their helmet.

Aaron Franklin
Aaron Franklin

Ah I see they wrote this: 


"One of the fastest players at his position, Cumberland has as much speed as most wide receivers in the league. He has the ability to make defenders miss and can score from anywhere on the field. He finished this past season near the top in yards per reception."


So maybe they just didn't like the blocking. But would it go up that much if he was even avg.? Seems they are not giving enough credit to simply being a catch capable TE.

twin
twin

Put my "not" in the wrong place. Oopppssss