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28. EDGE CARL LAWSON

 

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals — four years, $55 million ($30 million guaranteed)

Like he did with William Jackson III, head coach Zac Taylor made it known that he’d prefer if Lawson remained a Bengal for 2021 and beyond. That makes sense considering he was the only formidable pass-rusher on the roster last season. Lawson produced an 84.9 pass-rush grade in 2020 that ranked ninth among qualifying edge rushers, yet Cincinnati still ranked second-to-last as a team in pass-rush grade.

 

PFF currently predicting 13.75 per 

Why is his value so high he averages 5 sacks 

 

I really don't follow him 

This isn't meant to be negative 

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43 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

28. EDGE CARL LAWSON

 

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals — four years, $55 million ($30 million guaranteed)

Like he did with William Jackson III, head coach Zac Taylor made it known that he’d prefer if Lawson remained a Bengal for 2021 and beyond. That makes sense considering he was the only formidable pass-rusher on the roster last season. Lawson produced an 84.9 pass-rush grade in 2020 that ranked ninth among qualifying edge rushers, yet Cincinnati still ranked second-to-last as a team in pass-rush grade.

 

PFF currently predicting 13.75 per 

Why is his value so high he averages 5 sacks 

 

I really don't follow him 

This isn't meant to be negative 

Lawson is one of those guys that isn't getting the credit he deserves because his recorded stats that people often see aren't nearly as impressive as his overall impact.

 

He generates pass rush and disrupts plays.

 

In 2020 he ranked:

 

- 1st in QB knockdowns (27....one more than TJ Watt and 7 more than third place Chris Jones)

- 4th in QB Pressures (defined as knockdowns + sacks+ hurries)  (44 total.....TJ Watt was first with 61 but second was a tie between Joey Bosa and Aaron Donald with 45)

 

He also was charted with only 2 missed tackles on the year and his 5.3% missed tackle percentage would have finished 7th among the top 50 players in terms of QB pressures behind only:

 

Leonard Williams

Aaron Donald

Myles Garrett

DeForest Buckner

William Gholston

Jonathan Allen

 

In summary, his sack total isn't impressive but he is a game changer who applies pressure and does so consistently. I would love to get him and add him to this front. 

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I feel the hype about Carl Lawson is from a combination of people who haven't really watched him play, and who overrate "pressures" by assuming that all pressures are equally disruptive. 

 

Lawson is a tough, physical, high effort guy, he tackles well, plays the run reasonably well, he has decent size, and he would fit nicely as a DE for us. He's not a dynamic pass rusher, and I don't think he ever would be a dynamic pass rusher.

 

He has some quickness and speed, good speed to power, but he's not the kind of explosive pass rusher that blows up the other team's blocking schemes. He has below average bend and closing speed, and he takes a lot of steps, which explains his tragically poor three cone. He also has below average length, and gets neutralized by good blockers. This is all obvious on his tape, it was obvious on his college tape, and it's why he went in the 4th round.

 

TomDiggs mentioned Lawson's knockdowns/hits and hurries. PFF recorded six edge rushers with at least QB 15 hits; despite the fact that Lawson had 24 hits, he only had five sacks, which is the least sacks among those six players. In fact, there were ten edges with fewer than 15 QB hits, but with at least ten sacks. PFF has 24 edges with at least 30 pressures; Lawson had 34 hurries, but was tied for fifth fewest sacks among those 24 players. In fact, there were five edges with fewer hurries than Lawson, but at least ten sacks.

 

My point is that QB hits and pressures only show a player that manages to get near the QB at some point during the play. Without context, they don't necessarily show a player that makes a definite impact on the play. That's why I value PFF's pass rush productivity (PRP) stat, because sacks are weighted more heavily than hits and pressures. And that makes sense because a sack ends the play. A QB can be pressured, even hit, and still make a positive play. Recognizing a sack as nearly always a negative play for the offense, PRP shows the difference between a guy who gets near the QB, and a pass rusher who makes plays for the defense. Sometimes the overlap is not as great as you might think.

 

Lawson's PRP was 8.5, tied for #18, well separated from guys like Bosa (10.6) and Watt (9.7). In general, a player with a bunch of total pressures, but low sack numbers, like Lawson, is a guy who gets a bunch of pass rush snaps but doesn't have the length, bend and closing speed to get home often enough. This is why guys like Trey Hendrickson and Leonard Floyd can have a third fewer total pressures, but twice as many sacks as Lawson (Hendrickson also had 80 fewer pass rush snaps). And Lawson gets a ton of pass rush snaps because he plays for a bad team with no other good edge rushers, so as long as he's healthy he'll have a lot of pressures, but he'll probably never be a big sack guy.

 

He's Trey Flowers. Better 40, same agility, not as long, mid level edge rusher who is well rounded and a good guy to have on your team, but not a dominant pass rusher. I can't see offering him $14m/year to not sack the QB. Any projection that has him as a big time sack guy is unrealistic, IMO.

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While I agree with @Supermanthat his skillset doesn't lend itself to finishing, I think disruption on its own is worth something and he does provide disruption. He would probably be our best EDGE player if we signed him. He's a bit like Trey Flowers, but the player he reminds me more of is actually Brandon Graham. They are very similar to me and are similarly disruptive without having great finishing ability. They also are similar body type and length-wise(namely short). They both lack elite bend and closing speed, but have some speed and speed to power element combined with solid technical ability. 

 

The length BTW is one reason I kind of feel like excludes us from the discussion on Lawson. Ballard loves long athletes on defense. Just look at the players he's drafting and signing. 

 

Basham - 34 1/4" 

Turay - 33 3/8"

Lewis - 33 6/8"

Banagu 33 5/8" 

 

Lawson is on the other end of the spectrum = 31 4/8" 

 

If we got Lawson he would be not just the shortest DL Ballard has taken, but also shorter than even the CB's threshold Ballard seems to be following. 

 

Either way... I wouldn't mind Lawson on the Colts, I just hope we don't break the bank for him. 

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8 hours ago, stitches said:

While I agree with @Supermanthat his skillset doesn't lend itself to finishing, I think disruption on its own is worth something and he does provide disruption. He would probably be our best EDGE player if we signed him. He's a bit like Trey Flowers, but the player he reminds me more of is actually Brandon Graham. They are very similar to me and are similarly disruptive without having great finishing ability. They also are similar body type and length-wise(namely short). They both lack elite bend and closing speed, but have some speed and speed to power element combined with solid technical ability. 

 

The length BTW is one reason I kind of feel like excludes us from the discussion on Lawson. Ballard loves long athletes on defense. Just look at the players he's drafting and signing. 

 

Basham - 34 1/4" 

Turay - 33 3/8"

Lewis - 33 6/8"

Banagu 33 5/8" 

 

Lawson is on the other end of the spectrum = 31 4/8" 

 

If we got Lawson he would be not just the shortest DL Ballard has taken, but also shorter than even the CB's threshold Ballard seems to be following. 

 

Either way... I wouldn't mind Lawson on the Colts, I just hope we don't break the bank for him. 

 

Brandon Graham is another good comp. Good all around player who gets a lot of pressures, but doesn't have the finishing ability of a great pass rusher. He's never had a double digit sack season, and even in the years when he's close, he still has an average PRP. 

 

I used Trey Flowers as a comp because of his three cone (Graham 7.01; Flowers 7.34; Lawson 7.46). And because he was the hot commodity when he was a free agent a couple years ago, and there was talk of his being able to produce more sacks in a different situation, and that hasn't been the case. I wanted Flowers, but I wouldn't sign a player with this profile for big money. Lawson might be the best edge on the roster, but that's more a reflection of the lack of good edges on the roster. He'd be a 7-8 sack guy.

 

Just coming back to pressures/disruption, I think it's very dangerous to not account for the wide range of outcomes on plays where the QB is pressured. In general, QB performance drops when the QB is pressured, but the results are very scattered. Some games, the QB is under a lot of pressure, but is still very productive and makes a lot of plays. 

 

Look at all the plays Watson made against our defense, and his biggest plays came when he was pressured. We got a ton of pressure on him, and actually converted a good percentage into sacks, but in two games there were 30 plays on which he was pressured, but wasn't sacked. He completed 64% of his pressured attempts for 12 yards per, and passer rating of 89. Watson is a special playmaker, but it illustrates the point that not all pressures are negative plays for the offense. In fact, a pressure that doesn't get finished can easily hurt the defense.

 

On the other hand, a player who has a lot of sacks but a relatively low amount of pressures is probably a fluke. No one is going to convert 40% of their pressures into sacks over an extended period of time, so if a guy has 25 pressures and 12 sacks, that's probably an outlier. Justin Houston and Denico Autry don't get enough pressures to expect them to be 8-9 sack players every year. 

 

If you could provide context on all 64 of Lawson's pressures in 2020, you'll probably see a good half of them were hits right after the QB released the ball, or he got a step on the blocker and maybe a hand on the QB, but the QB moved and Lawson couldn't bend/change direction enough to finish the play. Probably five are unblocked reps. 

 

And in general, when you have a guy with a lot of pressures, but low sacks, it's because he can't finish consistently. And that guy doesn't become a good finisher in Year 5. Maybe there's an outlier 10 or 11 sack season here or there -- Erik Walden had an 11 sack season at one point -- but he's not going to transform into a really dangerous pass rusher out of the blue. If you pay big money for that guy, you're going to be disappointed.

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1 minute ago, Superman said:

 

Brandon Graham is another good comp. Good all around player who gets a lot of pressures, but doesn't have the finishing ability of a great pass rusher. He's never had a double digit sack season, and even in the years when he's close, he still has an average PRP. 

 

I used Trey Flowers as a comp because of his three cone (Graham 7.01; Flowers 7.34; Lawson 7.46). And because he was the hot commodity when he was a free agent a couple years ago, and there was talk of his being able to produce more sacks in a different situation, and that hasn't been the case. I wanted Flowers, but I wouldn't sign a player with this profile for big money. Lawson might be the best edge on the roster, but that's more a reflection of the lack of good edges on the roster. He'd be a 7-8 sack guy.

Yep, agree... we need a lot of help at EDGE... I almost feel like we must get one of the best FA EDGE players that hit the market. Otherwise we've seen how hard it is to hit on them in the draft, especially when you don't have premier picks. 

 

1 minute ago, Superman said:

 

Just coming back to pressures/disruption, I think it's very dangerous to not account for the wide range of outcomes on plays where the QB is pressured. In general, QB performance drops when the QB is pressured, but the results are very scattered. Some games, the QB is under a lot of pressure, but is still very productive and makes a lot of plays. 

 

Look at all the plays Watson made against our defense, and his biggest plays came when he was pressured. We got a ton of pressure on him, and actually converted a good percentage into sacks, but in two games there were 30 plays on which he was pressured, but wasn't sacked. He completed 64% of his pressured attempts for 12 yards per, and passer rating of 89. Watson is a special playmaker, but it illustrates the point that not all pressures are negative plays for the offense. In fact, a pressure that doesn't get finished can easily hurt the defense.

Yeah, there are pressures and PRESSURES. Definitely different types of impact depending on what types of pressures the player is getting. Since we are talking about PFF... AFAIK part of their grades include that - namely, they grade quick, good pressures on decisive wins higher than slow pressures that barely affect the play. Lawson in this regard actually grades well but not exceptionally well. I don't have their package so I don't know if you can see what his types of pressures are compared to other pass-rushers. 

1 minute ago, Superman said:

On the other hand, a player who has a lot of sacks but a relatively low amount of pressures is probably a fluke. No one is going to convert 40% of their pressures into sacks over an extended period of time, so if a guy has 25 pressures and 12 sacks, that's probably an outlier. Justin Houston and Denico Autry don't get enough pressures to expect them to be 8-9 sack players every year. 

Yeah... that's why it's good to combine both disruption(pressures) and production(sacks + TFL+PDs). Unfortunately, those rarely hit FA. 

1 minute ago, Superman said:

If you could provide context on all 64 of Lawson's pressures in 2020, you'll probably see a good half of them were hits right after the QB released the ball, or he got a step on the blocker and maybe a hand on the QB, but the QB moved and Lawson couldn't bend/change direction enough to finish the play. Probably five are unblocked reps. 

Again - no idea if PFF has some stats about his pressures - at the very least stats about time to pressure? This might be useful information.

1 minute ago, Superman said:

And in general, when you have a guy with a lot of pressures, but low sacks, it's because he can't finish consistently. And that guy doesn't become a good finisher in Year 5. Maybe there's an outlier 10 or 11 sack season here or there -- Erik Walden had an 11 sack season at one point -- but he's not going to transform into a really dangerous pass rusher out of the blue. If you pay big money for that guy, you're going to be disappointed.

Yep, agree. And with that said... what's the type of contract you'd be willing to give someone like Lawson? 3/30? 4/45?

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11 minutes ago, stitches said:

Again - no idea if PFF has some stats about his pressures - at the very least stats about time to pressure? This might be useful information.

Yep, agree. And with that said... what's the type of contract you'd be willing to give someone like Lawson? 3/30? 4/45?

 

Yeah, PFF doesn't have a time to pressure/sack stat for pass rushers, just for QBs. 

 

Lawson just doesn't fit into my team building ideal. I don't think he's going to live up to whatever he gets, unless he takes an extremely team friendly deal. I'm not thrilled with any of the FA pass rushers, maybe Okwara would be somebody I'd think about long term, but he's nothing special. At least he fits the mold a little better, has more length and a little more wiggle on tape. But I think Turay has the potential to be better than almost every FA edge rusher. 

 

I haven't really analyzed this, but my inclination would be to double down on lower cost veterans along the DL, and hope we can generate more pressure across the entire front. Taking a flier on Von Miller intrigues me, but he's going to want a ton of money. But realistically, I don't see FA as the answer to our pass rush issues in 2021.

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7 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Yeah, PFF doesn't have a time to pressure/sack stat for pass rushers, just for QBs. 

 

Lawson just doesn't fit into my team building ideal. I don't think he's going to live up to whatever he gets, unless he takes an extremely team friendly deal. I'm not thrilled with any of the FA pass rushers, maybe Okwara would be somebody I'd think about long term, but he's nothing special. At least he fits the mold a little better, has more length and a little more wiggle on tape. But I think Turay has the potential to be better than almost every FA edge rusher. 

 

I haven't really analyzed this, but my inclination would be to double down on lower cost veterans along the DL, and hope we can generate more pressure across the entire front. Taking a flier on Von Miller intrigues me, but he's going to want a ton of money. But realistically, I don't see FA as the answer to our pass rush issues in 2021.

At this point IMO we need to raise the floor for this pass-rush. Right now we are risking being bottom 5 unit in the league next year. If we are going for it we need at least some solid pass-rushers, even if they are not ideal long-term...

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Ballard is looking for a complete DE and Carl Lawson fits that mold. He gets pressures, hits, is one of the best defensive ends in the league at containing and stopping the run, plus he's just 25 years old. He only scratching the surface of what he can do. Those 5.5 sacks couple easily turn into double digit sacks. 

 

Playing defensive end is not only about sacks. Its about doing more at that position. He is the only DE I would consider going after in free agency. He's going to cost less than someone like Shaq Barrett who's AAS is projected at $19.7 million or Bud Dupree who's AAS is project at $18.2 million. Carl Lawson's projected AAS is $8.8 million per season. 

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On 3/5/2021 at 9:27 PM, TomDiggs said:

Lawson is one of those guys that isn't getting the credit he deserves because his recorded stats that people often see aren't nearly as impressive as his overall impact.

 

He generates pass rush and disrupts plays.

 

In 2020 he ranked:

 

- 1st in QB knockdowns (27....one more than TJ Watt and 7 more than third place Chris Jones)

- 4th in QB Pressures (defined as knockdowns + sacks+ hurries)  (44 total.....TJ Watt was first with 61 but second was a tie between Joey Bosa and Aaron Donald with 45)

 

He also was charted with only 2 missed tackles on the year and his 5.3% missed tackle percentage would have finished 7th among the top 50 players in terms of QB pressures behind only:

 

Leonard Williams

Aaron Donald

Myles Garrett

DeForest Buckner

William Gholston

Jonathan Allen

 

In summary, his sack total isn't impressive but he is a game changer who applies pressure and does so consistently. I would love to get him and add him to this front. 

 

 There are many posts that follow yours that condemn him for not getting guys to the ground often enough. As you point out, with his numbers the Bengals were bad as a team. Put with other good pass rushers that are hurrying the QB and they could Easily have flushed him into a number of more sacks.

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45 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 There are many posts that follow yours that condemn him for not getting guys to the ground often enough. As you point out, with his numbers the Bengals were bad as a team. Put with other good pass rushers that are hurrying the QB and they could Easily have flushed him into a number of more sacks.

 

Pressure up the middle(Buckner) will do that.

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19 hours ago, stitches said:

At this point IMO we need to raise the floor for this pass-rush. Right now we are risking being bottom 5 unit in the league next year. If we are going for it we need at least some solid pass-rushers, even if they are not ideal long-term...

 

I don't think signing average pass rushers to replace our average pass rushers will raise our pass rush floor. If we're going to sign someone, I'd want them to have the potential to be better than the guys we already have. 

 

I'm almost ready to embrace your approach -- improve the secondary and hope it helps contain good passing attacks, while giving the pass rush a little more time to get home. And focus on the offense this offseason. That might put the pass rush in more favorable situations. 

 

Ideally, that's not how I would build my team, but I don't see a lot of pass rush help coming in FA this year. I think we could add a good WR and TE, and if Wentz can still play, our offense could be top five. And keep Rhodes and add another corner, and I think the defense can maintain 10-15ish range.

 

1 minute ago, #12. said:

 

Pressure up the middle(Buckner) will do that.

 

That's why you pay Buckner $21m/year. He's the difference maker. You don't pay Lawson big money to be the beneficiary of Buckner's great play, IMO.

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1 hour ago, Superman said:

 

I don't think signing average pass rushers to replace our average pass rushers will raise our pass rush floor. If we're going to sign someone, I'd want them to have the potential to be better than the guys we already have. 

Lets put aside the evaluation of our EDGE rushers as average(which I disagree with especially on the EDGE). The problem is that those are now gone, so what we have now is not average even in your evaluation - it's the substitutes for the average ones that are FAs now(Houston, Autry, Muhammad).

 

So now our options are several really :

 

First, try to resign those and hope the aging of Houston and Autry don't deteriorate their play even more(they don't have the potential we are looking for either way... at this point of their careers they are what they are and it's more likely they go down than up in production and play). So... maybe we kick the can down the roat with them... so what are we willing to pay for them, then? 

 

Second option - trade for someone with good potential... or already good? Would you give up #21 for Von Miller or someone of the sort? 

 

Third option - get someone from the FAs. IMO the average ones available will likely be improvement over what we had last year. But are they worth the money they will command? 

 

Fourth option - just run with what we have and draft a DE high hoping he will be useful player early with potential for more down the road? 

 

I think I like some combination of 3 and 4 the most. I don't want us to go into the draft NEEDING to draft a DE. This IMO is a recipe for disaster and for reaching on prospects(or for teams to jump us for specific player knowing we need to address the position). So what I would do is ... get one of those average-ish DEs on the market. All they cost is money... and this is money in a depressed market. Maybe they turn into bargains? Then play it by ear and if you find good value in the draft - add more pieces there.

 

What would be your plan for DE? I really, REALLY don't like going just no. 4. Maybe 1+4 with short term deals on Autry and Muhammad can be a good option too...

 

1 hour ago, Superman said:

 

I'm almost ready to embrace your approach -- improve the secondary and hope it helps contain good passing attacks, while giving the pass rush a little more time to get home. And focus on the offense this offseason. That might put the pass rush in more favorable situations. 

 

Ideally, that's not how I would build my team, but I don't see a lot of pass rush help coming in FA this year. I think we could add a good WR and TE, and if Wentz can still play, our offense could be top five. And keep Rhodes and add another corner, and I think the defense can maintain 10-15ish range.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't mind that but then again - I still want us to try to address DE somehow... with some players that can at least be average-ish... Would you go into the draft or god forbid the next season with just Kemoko, Banogu, Lewis and Kameron Cline? What would your expectation be for that type of rotation? 

1 hour ago, Superman said:

That's why you pay Buckner $21m/year. He's the difference maker. You don't pay Lawson big money to be the beneficiary of Buckner's great play, IMO.

Agree here, but again... you still need at least some base level of quality of pass-rusher. Otherwise Buckner will just get doubled every damn snap and even his production and disruption will be diminished. 

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We were one of the least blitzing teams in football. Our guys would have had some good to great numbers with a slight increase in pressures. Setting an edge or containment is also an undervalued trait. With the rise in scrambling QBs I think we need to evaluate these DEs better. Lawson is more complete than the.numbers show.

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10 minutes ago, stitches said:

Lets put aside the evaluation of our EDGE rushers as average(which I disagree with especially on the EDGE).

 

My approach would be to put together an expected average edge rush group with a combination of keeping our guys and signing some veterans at lower cost. Like I said, double down on lower cost vets across the DL. 

 

Quote

So what I would do is ... get one of those average-ish DEs on the market. All they cost is money... and this is money in a depressed market. Maybe they turn into bargains? Then play it by ear and if you find good value in the draft - add more pieces there.

 

Basically the same approach. Start with Von Miller (if he gets released), then Dunlap, and work my way down the list.

 

But we need to be drafting edge rushers every year.

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8 minutes ago, TimetobringDfence! said:

We were one of the least blitzing teams in football. Our guys would have had some good to great numbers with a slight increase in pressures. Setting an edge or containment is also an undervalued trait. With the rise in scrambling QBs I think we need to evaluate these DEs better. Lawson is more complete than the.numbers show.

 

To the bolded, I don't agree. I think people are overstating how good he is because he's a young edge hitting FA, and we're desperate. He's not a very good pass rusher.

 

And I don't want to commit big money to a good edge setter who lucks into six sacks a year.

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3 hours ago, DownHillRunner said:

Ballard is looking for a complete DE and Carl Lawson fits that mold. He gets pressures, hits, is one of the best defensive ends in the league at containing and stopping the run, plus he's just 25 years old. He only scratching the surface of what he can do. Those 5.5 sacks couple easily turn into double digit sacks. 

 

Playing defensive end is not only about sacks. Its about doing more at that position. He is the only DE I would consider going after in free agency. He's going to cost less than someone like Shaq Barrett who's AAS is projected at $19.7 million or Bud Dupree who's AAS is project at $18.2 million. Carl Lawson's projected AAS is $8.8 million per season. 

I'm sure Lawson will get more than 8.8

 

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Just now, Superman said:

 

To the bolded, I don't agree. I think people are overstating how good he is because he's a young edge hitting FA, and we're desperate. He's not a very good pass rusher.

 

And I don't want to commit big money to a good edge setter who lucks into six sacks a year.

That's my biggest issue. I'm sure CL is great in some aspects but not worth the big check he is about to get.

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

 

 

 

That's why you pay Buckner $21m/year. He's the difference maker. You don't pay Lawson big money to be the beneficiary of Buckner's great play, IMO.

 

With Buckner's great play, no one else was cleaning up off the edge.  You need some type of infusion at the position. 

 

When you add it up and look at how the pieces might work together, I could see Lawson.  No, to date, he hasn't exactly jumped off the screen, but under the circumstances, I could see it.   It's not one where you look at it and think, no, Ballard would never do it.  It's possible.

 

 

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@stitches

 

ESPN+ and Seth Walder just posted a piece on "expected sack rate," which combines a bunch of factors that provide context on a player's sacks. 

 

Quote

 

That's why we're introducing a new metric we're calling expected sacks. The idea is to determine the likelihood of an average pass-rusher recording a sack on each play, based on the factors around him. The factors for each pass-rusher on every play are:

What position he played

Whether he was double-teamed

Down and distance

What the season sack rate of the quarterback he was facing was

How many players rushed the passer on that play

How many of his teammates earned a pass rush win on that play

What the season pass rush win rates of his teammates were

The game's win probability

The sack expectations produced for every play can then be added up for the season, allowing us to see which players had better opportunities than others, and who beat (or fell short of) their expectations. Double-teams and pass rush wins are ESPN metrics powered by NFL Next Gen Stats data.

 

 

Romeo Okwara and Trey Hendrickson look good. I don't see any mention of Carl Lawson, but I assume he's not high on this metric.

 

Also, not presenting this as anything other than additional information. It's not conclusive, but I found this approach interesting. It would be nice if they would make their full data available.

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2 minutes ago, Superman said:

@stitches

 

ESPN+ and Seth Walder just posted a piece on "expected sack rate," which combines a bunch of factors that provide context on a player's sacks. 

 

 

Romeo Okwara and Trey Hendrickson look good. I don't see any mention of Carl Lawson, but I assume he's not high on this metric.

 

Also, not presenting this as anything other than additional information. It's not conclusive, but I found this approach interesting. It would be nice if they would make their full data available.

Yeah, it's interesting, but I'm not sure how useful it would be?! For example, Houston I think was one of the players with relatively high sack numbers but low pressure rates... so what would that system tell us about Houston's pass-rush that we don't already know? Are all those other factors enough to overwhelm the simple fact of him having disproportionately high number of sacks for the level of play he had? Or is it just going to track closely some type of a sack/snap stat? I'm just not sure how those other factors will be incorporated in order to provide useful information, because a lot of this IMO is noise in small samples. This to me looks like it can be useful on the very margins, but I want to see what type of results it produces and how exactly are those factors taken into account. 

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4 minutes ago, Superman said:

Walder tweeted Lawson's expected vs actual

 

 

 

 

Yah, this is what I mean... it tells us what we already know. He's producing less sacks than expected. But we already knew that. More interesting thing to know is... from the times he didn't produce sacks - how useful were his pressures? 

 

For the same thing - if you asked him about Houston, I bet the stat will say he's producing more sacks than expected... but does that tell us anything? Does that mean Houston was good pass-rusher and Lawson wasn't? I don't think so. 

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2 minutes ago, stitches said:

Yeah, it's interesting, but I'm not sure how useful it would be?! For example, Houston I think was one of the players with relatively high sack numbers but low pressure rates... so what would that system tell us about Houston's pass-rush that we don't already know? Are all those other factors enough to overwhelm the simple fact of him having disproportionately high number of sacks for the level of play he had? Or is it just going to track closely some type of a sack/snap stat? I'm just not sure how those other factors will be incorporated in order to provide useful information, because a lot of this IMO is noise in small samples. This to me looks like it can be useful on the very margins, but I want to see what type of results it produces and how exactly are those factors taken into account. 

 

1 minute ago, stitches said:

Yah, this is what I mean... it tells us what we already know. He's producing less sacks than expected. But we already knew that. More interesting thing to know is... from the times he didn't produce sacks - how useful were his pressures? 

 

The idea is, how much is the pass rusher being helped by his teammates, the opposing QB, and the situation? It accounts for screen plays, double teamed teammates, quick passers who don't get sacked, etc. 

 

They also have a pass rush win rate, and Justin Houston was tied with Brian Burns and Joey Bosa for 6th among edge players at 25% win rate. Makes me want to take a second look at Houston in 2020 to see if he played better than I've given him credit for.

 

Neither of these metrics are designed to determine how useful each pressure was; someone needs to put that online for us. And we already have sacks/pressures to determine how often a player gets home. 

 

Where this differs is that it doesn't just take sacks/pressures and say 'his rate of sacks is lower than expected.' It attempts to analyze how many sacks are produced on average in certain situations, and how the player's sacks compare. So when people say 'Lawson had no other pass rushers on his team and was doubled all the time,' this stat basically says that even with his circumstances considered, he didn't produce as many sacks as you would expect. That's not surprising to me, because I think the reason he lacks sacks is due to his traits, not his situation. But others would argue that with a high volume of pressures, you could expect his low sack numbers to rise to the mean, especially on a better team.

 

Without seeing all the data, or even a comprehensive list, it's not entirely useful, just a snapshot. And there could be noise in small samples, but we're talking about a season's worth of analysis, so I don't know if that's the case here. There's also some subjectivity, but we can assume that pass rush win rate is applied evenly across the board.

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19 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

 

The idea is, how much is the pass rusher being helped by his teammates, the opposing QB, and the situation? It accounts for screen plays, double teamed teammates, quick passers who don't get sacked, etc. 

 

Where this differs is that it doesn't just take sacks/pressures and say 'his rate of sacks is lower than expected.' It attempts to analyze how many sacks are produced on average in certain situations, and how the player's sacks compare.

This is the thing. My intuition is that the sample is so small and noisy that it will be useless to actually determining this type of information with much more precision than simply looking at the sack rate and pressure rate. 

 

But I'm open to be proven wrong here. I will wait for them to publish their results and judge for myself whether I feel it adds something or not. 

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So when people say 'Lawson had no other pass rushers on his team and was doubled all the time,' this stat basically says that even with his circumstances considered, he didn't produce as many sacks as you would expect. That's not surprising to me, because I think the reason he lacks sacks is due to his traits, not his situation. But others would argue that with a high volume of pressures, you could expect his low sack numbers to rise to the mean, especially on a better team.

Oh I don't disagree here with you. I think it's due to his traits that he's not finishing more... but again - to me sack number is NOT anywhere close to the most important stat. I would take pressure numbers over sacks any day of the week as a standalone indication of a pass-rusher's play. And it's not an ideal indicator either, but IMO it's more descriptive of the level of play than just sacks or hell - even "expected sack rate", simply because sacks by their nature are very rare. You are practically talking about somewhere in the single digits % of the snaps. To me it's much more important what happens in the other 90%+ of the snaps and how disruptive you are in more than just those 0.5 or 1 plays a game.  Hell, you know what... this gives me an idea - I would be much more interested to see an "expected pressure rate" than "expected sack rate".

 

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Without seeing all the data, or even a comprehensive list, it's not entirely useful, just a snapshot. And there could be noise in small samples, but we're talking about a season's worth of analysis, so I don't know if that's the case here. There's also some subjectivity, but we can assume that pass rush win rate is applied evenly across the board.

 

Yeah, I don't know. Lets see them publish their work and we can judge then. 

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5 minutes ago, stitches said:

Yeah, I don't know. Lets see them publish their work and we can judge then. 

 

I don't know that they will publish, seems proprietary and they only intend to release samples for clicks. If you read the piece, you'll see a lot of references to other data they have/use, but haven't published.

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6 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I don't know that they will publish, seems proprietary and they only intend to release samples for clicks. If you read the piece, you'll see a lot of references to other data they have/use, but haven't published.

Fair enough, they've done the work and should profit by it the way they see fit. Too bad we likely won't see it then. 

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Tons of good replies in this thread. Way too many to comment back on. But i appreciate everyone weighing in and giving some insight and differing views. All have some solid merit. My point initially was to answer the "what's the hype?" aspect. Not to say he is a world beater. But to give reasons why he will be sought after. That said, 

 

I will say the following things:

 

1. I like Carl Lawson and would love to have him (at a slightly inflated but not egregious price)

 

2. I think he is underrated. I also think he isn't a "measurables" guy. He just plays hard and creates pressure.

 

3. Agreed that all pressure is not created equal, however.

 

4. I would not want to pay top dollar for him. He is a guy I would pay as a tier 2 edge. If he costs tier 1 money then that's a no. For me up to $12M a year is OK. $15M+ is a no.

 

5. There are other guys I would prefer and would pay more for if necessary. Namely Yannick Ngakoue and Shaq Barrett. For a little less I'd prefer Romeo Okwara and Haason Reddick (if there is a price difference). I'd even take a chance on Clowney for less money if that were an option. Even older guys like 

 

6. There are a few guys I really, really hope we shy away from on the Edge....namely: Ingram, Judon, Dupree. I originally thought i wanted Dupree. Seeing more of him, I am not sure how well he would fit at 4-3 DE. Not everyone can do what Justin Houston did seamlessly. 

 

I will say this: Robert Mathis seems to be a fan of Carl Lawson. Not saying that means the world, but it means something to me.

 

Getting excited for a week from now. 

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