Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, and more: Breaking down the analytics of the New York Jets’ top defensive tackle targets in the 2022 NFL draft
It’s time to continue our series that compares some of the top 2022 NFL draft prospects at each position in a few different advanced metrics.
After looking at edge rushers, wide receivers, cornerbacks, safeties, offensive tackles, and linebackers, it’s time to do the same for the defensive tackle position, which is another spot where the New York Jets could possibly look for help early in the draft.
Here are the seven prospects we’ll be comparing today:
- Jordan Davis, Georgia, age 22.2 (#14 overall prospect on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board)
- Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, age 24.0 (#26)
- Logan Hall, Houston, age 21.9 (#39)
- DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M, age 21.0 (#45)
- Travis Jones, Connecticut, age 22.4 (#47)
- Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma, age 21.6 (#53)
- Phidarian Mathis, Alabama, age 23.9 (#69)
These are the seven defensive tackles who rank among the top 100 overall players on the consensus big board at NFL Mock Draft Database.
All of the rankings seen below are among 332 qualified FBS defensive tackles (400+ snaps).
Pass-rush win rate
Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush win rate statistic gives us an idea of how consistently a player wins his battles in the passing game. Essentially, a “win” is a rep in which the pass-rusher defeats his blocker within a short amount of time.
When a player earns credit for a win, it does not necessarily mean that he ended up sacking, hitting, or even pressuring the quarterback.
That’s what makes the stat such a good tool. Pass-rush win rate tracks the lone thing that a rusher can fully control. While a rusher has no control over whether he is given enough time to get home for a sack, hit, or pressure, nothing is stopping him from beating his man.
A player’s pass-rush win rate is calculated by dividing his number of pass-rush wins by the number of snaps in which he rushed the passer.
Here is how the group fared when it came to pass-rush win rate:
- Logan Hall: 16.5% (98th percentile) – 45 wins on 272 rushes
- Perrion Winfrey: 13.7% (91st) – 37 on 270
- Devonte Wyatt: 13.1% (88th) – 33 on 252
- DeMarvin Leal: 12.7% (85th) – 50 on 394
- Travis Jones: 11.5% (76th) – 34 on 296
- Phidarian Mathis: 11.2% (75th) – 34 on 304
- Jordan Davis: 8.3% (48th) – 18 on 216
2021 FBS defensive tackle average: 8.4%
What stands out the most here is Davis’ lack of pass-rush prowess.
Davis is the most highly-regarded defensive tackle prospect in the class thanks to his record-breaking athleticism (4.78 forty at 6-foot-6 and 341 pounds). However, he is the only player out of these top-seven prospects who failed to rush the passer at a top-25% level in 2021. Not only that, but he wasn’t even an average pass rusher among FBS defensive tackles.
While Davis’ physical tools give him an otherworldly ceiling, he clearly has a lot of technical refinement to do before he can make the most of them.
Hall is the best pass rusher of the group by a wide margin. At 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, a lot of people in the draft community project him as an edge rusher in the NFL, but he played almost all of his snaps on the interior last season (94.7%).
Leal’s pass-rushing numbers should be adjusted downward a bit since he played slightly over half of his snaps on the edge, where it’s easier to collect pass rush wins. However, many evaluators project Leal to play on the interior in the NFL even though he’s the same size as Hall (283 pounds).
Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade
PFF’s pass-rush grade provides some context to a player’s raw pass-rushing stats.
Since PFF’s grades are based on analyzing the film of every single play, they give less credit for wins that aren’t very impressive and more credit for wins that are extremely impressive. This helps us get a better understanding of whose production is legitimate and whose production might not be so legitimate.
Grades will also knock players for making negative plays.
Here is how the group fared when it came to PFF’s pass-rush grade:
- Logan Hall: 84.9 (98th percentile)
- Devonte Wyatt: 84.0 (97th)
- Perrion Winfrey: 79.3 (93rd)
- Travis Jones: 78.8 (92nd)
- Phidarian Mathis: 76.7 (90th)
- DeMarvin Leal: 74.9 (86th)
- Jordan Davis: 68.0 (69th)
2021 FBS defensive tackle average: 65.5
Ranking at the 69th percentile, Davis’ pass-rush grade of 68.0 is much more encouraging than his pass-rush win rate, but it still ranks far behind the rest of the crew. Every other prospect in our group placed in the top-14% in pass-rush grade among FBS defensive tackles.
Hall, Winfrey, and Wyatt proved their win rates are legitimate with excellent pass-rush grades. Jones and Mathis fared even better in this category than they did in the win rate department.
Run stop rate
A player’s run stop rate (run stops ÷ snaps played vs. the run) is a good measure of their playmaking ability in the run game.
Per Pro Football Focus, a run stop is any tackle in the run game that creates a “failure” for the offense. Typically, these are tackles short of the first-down marker on third or fourth down, or tackles for a short gain on first or second down.
Here is how the group fared when it came to run stop rate:
- Jordan Davis: 12.2% (99th percentile) – 19 stops on 156 run defense snaps
- Devonte Wyatt: 11.5% (98th) – 18 on 157
- Phidarian Mathis: 9.4% (93rd) – 20 on 215
- Logan Hall: 9.3% (92nd) – 20 on 216
- DeMarvin Leal: 8.3% (87th) – 23 on 278
- Travis Jones: 7.8% (82nd) – 21 on 270
- Perrion Winfrey: 6.1% (57th) – 11 on 180
2021 FBS defensive tackle average: 5.7%
This is the area of the game where Davis should not have much trouble adjusting to the NFL. He was an absolute beast against the run at Georgia. His 12.2% run stop rate ranked fourth-best among qualified FBS defensive tackles and was the best rate among Power-5 defensive tackles.
Davis’ teammate, Wyatt, was also dominant, ranking eighth among FBS qualifiers and fourth among Power-5 qualifiers with an 11.5% rate.
Impressively, Hall backs up his outstanding pass-rushing with great run-stuffing to boot. Mathis was also an elite run-stuffer while Leal and Jones were very good as well.
Winfrey is the one player in this group who was not incredibly active when it came to making key tackles against the run.
Pro Football Focus run-defense grade
Just like in the passing game, PFF’s run-defense grade helps contextualize the raw statistics. Players get more credit for great plays than they do for routine ones, and they are knocked for making mistakes.
PFF’s run-defense grade is also useful for capturing some of the hidden elements of run defense, such as gap-filling, edge-setting, and missed tackles.
Here is how the group fared when it came to PFF’s run-defense grade:
- Travis Jones: 86.8 (98th percentile)
- Devonte Wyatt: 81.9 (97th)
- Jordan Davis: 81.8 (97th)
- Logan Hall: 78.0 (92nd)
- Phidarian Mathis: 77.5 (91st)
- DeMarvin Leal: 67.5 (59th)
- Perrion Winfrey: 49.6 (9th)
2021 FBS defensive tackle average: 62.6
The Georgia duo remains elite in this category, with Wyatt taking a tiny edge over Davis.
Interestingly, it’s Jones taking the top spot here despite ranking sixth among the seven players in run stop rate. This tells us that Jones is likely very good at the fundamental aspects of run defense – in other words, he provides a ton of off-the-stat-sheet impact.
Hall checks in with a fantastic number yet again while Mathis establishes himself as a top-notch run-stuffing prospect.
Leal earned a mediocre grade despite racking up run stops at a high rate. This could be due to his total of seven missed tackles against the run.
Winfrey was slightly above average when it came to making stops but earned an abysmal grade. Like Leal, this probably had a lot to do with his tackling. Winfrey missed five tackles against the run. His 26.3% missed tackle rate in the run game was 18th-worst among defensive tackles (5th percentile).
Finally, here’s a roundup of each player’s percentile rankings in the four categories above, listed from best to worst based on their average percentile ranking across the four stats.
|Player||Pass Rush Win %||Pass Rush Grade||Run Stop %||Run D Grade||Average|
The New York Jets have an underrated need at this position. Their defensive tackle unit combined to provide poor production in both phases last season.
Outside of Quinnen Williams, the Jets’ only other effective defensive tackle was Foley Fatukasi, who is now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The lone player that New York has added to this unit in the offseason is Solomon Thomas.
New York particularly needs help in the run game. The unit has plenty of pass-rushing upside in Williams, Thomas, Sheldon Rankins, and possible edge-to-interior convert John Franklin-Myers, but Williams is the only player in that group who is also a strong interior run defender. With Fatukasi gone, Williams is arguably the only good run-stopping defensive tackle on the entire roster.
Perhaps the Jets will select one of the many excellent run-stuffers in this year’s defensive tackle class.
Is there someone in the class that the Jets deem worthy of a selection in the first round? Time will tell. There seems to be a real chance that someone like Davis, Wyatt, Jones, or Hall will end up donning green and white.
2022 NFL Draft Analytical Comparisons: