Zach Ertz vs. Tyler Eifert: A Metrics Breakdown

Discussion in 'NFL Draft Forum' started by NUGap, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    Since I've noticed a few disagreements here about whether Ertz or Eifert is the best TE in the class, I thought I'd post a breakdown. It seems like the Dolphins have needed a tight end forever and given that big, receiving TEs are en vogue now, it's probably good to look at the top 2 in this class. I have a bit more on my site, just the summary and a few extra charts that you can see here: http://secondroundstats.com/2013/02/12/tyler-eifert-vs-zach-ertz-a-metrics-breakdown/

    Where Did They Catch the Ball?

    This is only where they caught the ball, excluding YAC. Last year I worked up some of Coby Fleener’s stats, so I’ll be comparing them.


    [​IMG]


    • Despite Ertz and Fleener playing in the same offense, we actually see different distributions of completions. Ertz’s are weighted more heavily towards shorter passes, with 68% of his passes coming within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He did have a higher 12% come on deep balls. This is a solid thing if we see enough yards after the catch from him.
    • Eifert’s distribution resembles Fleener’s much more closely. They both have a large amount of receptions within the 1-5 yard range then a large amount of receptions within the 11-20 range. I believe this shows an aptitude for catch both dump off passes and big gaining intermediate receptions. Of course, again this depends on the TE's YAC ability. Unfortunately, I don't have that data on Fleener.
    • Neither is the deep threat that Fleener was. Almost 17% of Fleener’s receptions were past 20 yards. Eifert had nearly half of that and Ertz only reached 12%. I'll be curious to see their 40 times at the combine/ pro-days to see how it compares to Fleener and if we see a reason for this.

    Where Did Their Yardage Come From?
    [​IMG]


    (For this I charted yards after contact, which means as soon as a defender contacted the TEs, I noted it)


    • Eifert in general caught the ball slightly further down the field, 10.4 yards to 9.64 yards for Ertz. However, there's not a huge different there and that's not something we can really cite as a huge win or loss for either player.
    • Both Ertz and Eifert had similar total yards after the catch (before contact + after first contact) at 3.94 yards and 3.6 respectively. They came in different manners though. The majority of Ertz’ yards after the catch came before contact, with only 1.24 yards after first contact on average. Eifert’s was much more divided with 1.96 yards coming after contact.
    • Now this doesn’t seem like a big difference, but I believe this is a larger indicator for projection into the NFL. We see Eifert with more effort and strength after the catch compared to Ertz. The players won’t get smaller in the NFL, so the stronger the better.

    How Do They Compare in Other Aspects?


    • We have to examine drops. This is probably the most glaring difference. Ertz had almost double the drops of Eifert at a drop rate of 10.68% to only 5.26% for Eifert. That drop rate would give him the second best hands out of this wide receiver class behind only Keenan Allen. This is pretty impressive for a TE, especially if you're looking for someone to make tough catches in the red zone.
    [​IMG]


    • Both of their catches came from very similar pre-snap alignments. Neither one has more experience or an advantage in a particular alignment. Anyone who tells you one has more experience from the outside or slot is misinformed.
    [​IMG]

    • Both of them converted a similar amount of third downs. From my sample, 64% of both of their passes were caught for 1[SUP]st[/SUP] downs. I also calculated whether they picked up their first downs through the air or after the catch and the numbers were nearly identical. Neither player has a particular advantage in this category, but it's a positive that both TEs gained so many first downs in general.

    Hope y'all enjoyed and it helped you figure out who you like a little more. I'm sure for most people it'll just reinforce what they thought already, but it can never hurt to have a little bit more data for when you watch film or discuss prospects. I'll be doing a 2nd tier with Kelce, Escobar, Reed and Otten a little bit closer to draft time, so be on the lookout for that.
     
  2. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Eifert's strong hands are apparent, but I didn't realize his drop % is that low. Good stuff. I can see the staff liking him at 42 - if he's there. 12 is still too rich. I was a big Fleener fan, but I'm not a big Ertz guy.
     
  3. state06

    state06 A True Fan

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    i love these threads NU. thanks!
     
  4. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    I should note that of course Fleener's numbers down field will be a little bit better because he had Andrew Luck throwing to them. Ertz' QB missed something like 35% of passes to him compared to a 28% miss rate for the ND QB. However, it's hard to normalize on a 2 person sample, so I won't even be pretending like that's an option.
     
  5. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    I have a hard time buying into the metrics of football. I do know that I like Ertz better and Eifert looked overmatched vs. Alabama.
     
  6. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    That's fair. I always like to make the point to people that I don't advocate using stats as the only measure of a player's ability or even in the majority of your evaluation. I use stats like these to look for trends, positives and red flags on prospects that I can then check out on film. Sometimes they can verify things you see on film (Tyler Wilson underthrows balls frequently), sometimes it can challenge what you see on film (Matt Barkley is a bad deep passer). That can then cause you to recheck what you saw the first time. If you have one more piece of information, you're that much more informed than the next guy.

    This won't sway you much if you don't care for football metrics but I have Eifert picking up the majority of his yards after first contact against Alabama, which is to say he was pushing past defenders on what people would consider one of the strongest defenses in CFB. I like to see that effort and strength in a tough situation.
     
  7. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Great analysis as always,NG. I see 100% effort from Eifert and less than 100% from Ertz. That's the most telling metric for me.
     
  8. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    Numbers can always be useful to highlight a point, but useless in terms of making a point. I don't know of anywhere this holds more true than evaluating football talent.
     
  9. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    make sure you add in vance mcdonald to your 2nd tier te study...that's a kid that's gonna go higher than people think and i really like...got a lot of gronk in him...

    3rd te off the board...

    i know those rice metrics won't mean squat but i'd still like to see his stuff...
     
  10. uk_dolfan

    uk_dolfan Founder of the FH Adam Gase fan club Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    One on one against the best CB in the draft I felt he gave a very good account of himself against Alabama.
     
  11. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    The joy of these statistics is that you can choose to use them any way you'd like. You're may also decide to eschew them completely in favor of film study. There is no wrong way to go about it. If you don't enjoy them or find them enlightening, as you have indicated through past posts in similar threads of mine, you are more than welcome not to read. I'm not here to tell people the right way to go about evaluating draft prospects, because everyone having different opinions from different information is half the fun.
     
  12. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    Forgive me for not being more clear.

    To the contrary, I enjoy the statistical/situational breakdowns in your posts. I find them interesting and the data useful to a degree. You are correct in that they can be used in any way of our choosing.

    My point was exactly what my post read. Numbers are always useful to highlight a point, but ineffective in making one.

    I'm experienced in passing up threads that I find useless or irrelevant.
     
  13. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. My "be defensive" ability, if it were a football attribute would be elite. Also "jumps to conclusions" attribute would be 1st round talent. Ok too many draft metaphors now. Enjoy future posts.
     
  14. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    For sure, you're about the third person who has asked about McDonald, so I'll definitely try to include him. Will his numbers be comparable to Eifert's? No, but it'll be something. I have a feeling with the amount of time until the draft, I'll be up to the 4th or 5th tier on some of these positions.
     
  15. finfan54

    finfan54 A True Fan Donator

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    they put milliner on him. why do you think they would put their best cb on a TE? cus he was the man.
     
  16. cane6

    cane6 Well-Known Member

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    Eifert did everything he could against Bama. You can't fault that he had poor QB play due to inexperience of gholston and that they were outmatched in the trenches against a stacked front 7. You put a competent QB in for ND and I bet Eifert double his output. I'm a huge canes fan and hate ND but would love to see Eifert on the Dolphins.

    I do know that the Bears are definitely interested in him with their 1st round pick. Once he runs sub 4.75 at the combine he will lock himself in as a late 1st rounder.
     
  17. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    I thought he was overmatched and a step slow vs. that entire Alabama D.
     
  18. MiamiMuss

    MiamiMuss A True Fan

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    Is Jack Doyle gonna be in the 2nd or 3rd tier?...I like him as a late rd pck or a UDFA.
     
  19. cane6

    cane6 Well-Known Member

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    Hayden Fox, point to specific plays or instances to support your statement that Eifert and not the rest of the ND offense was overmatched and a step slow.
     
  20. Twitches Brew

    Twitches Brew A True Fan

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    I'm not seeing Eifert as overmatched here. I see him going at it with Milliner a bit (both making plays) and taking on tacklers after the catch. And yea, cane6, his QB was a skittish wreck for most of the game, bailing out of the pocket and running around in a game that was a blowout.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UmHweQiUlNA


    Hayden, I find it kind of odd that you're focused so hard on this one game Eifert played in which the competetiveness was out of hand well before halftime. And it's pretty off-putting to come into a metrics thread, say you don't buy into metrics, and just name your guy and refuse to enter discussion or acknowledge the work the OP did. No one here is claiming that metrics alone tell you who the better player is (that's crazy); it's just one of many pieces of evaluation.

    In general I'm torn between the two TEs if I had to pick one. I like them both about the same at this point, so threads like these that give another angle are helpful. Nicely done, NU.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2013
  21. cane6

    cane6 Well-Known Member

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    Twitches Brew thanks for finding this. The video also shows that his blocking is better than people give him credit for.

    Once again, if we could trade down to 20 or 21 and take Eifert I'd be elated. I think he would do wonders for Tannehill.
     
  22. cane6

    cane6 Well-Known Member

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    And people need to get real if they think Jared Cook or Dustin Keller are just as good as Eifert
     
  23. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    eifert was not overmatched...if anything he showed as a pretty good size move athlete running down the field and running routes against a 4.4 corner with a top 15 grade...eifert will be a mismatch player in the pros and a day one contributor... big target good athlete can go up and get the ball away from his body and very fluid...willing blocker as well so he won't embarrass you there and will be able to take the field unlike a lot of guys who are disasters as blockers at the position...large catch radius...i'm thinking he'll run in the 4.6's

    1st te off the board...
     
  24. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Ertz will go ahead of Eifert.
     
  25. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    I am trying not to use the National Championship game too much. However, I was not impressed with his blocking in the run game. Plus, if a corner can shut him down then why would not that happen at the next level? Where are his physical characteristics to "box out" a corner if that happens to be the match up?

    Give me Ertz. Great blocker. Big target. High character guy.
     
  26. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    hayden throws out a really poor evaluation of eiferts bama game and then throws out absolutes...never even realizes most te's in football would look stiff as boards lined up on the boundary in that much space against a top corner prospect...

    whatevs...
     
  27. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    and if you prefer ertz i get that...he's a damn good te prospect who plays smart and can make plays down the seam...i like him a lot myself...but the bama evaluation is a poor one and frankly shows a misunderstanding of the te position in the nfl...most te's are in line or flexed out almost in a slot like position they are rarely and only the real plus athlete ones positioned on the boundary...also most teams on d play their corners or safeties when lined up in man across from a te out wide on the boundary in a off position worried about losing physically if they press and so they play off and rally to the ball after the underneath catch...it's a feather in milliners cap that he was able to cover a big vertical threat athletic te in eifert on the boundary in press man at the los but it's just as much a feather in eiferts cap that he could look so fluid on the boundary in that much space down the field...and it's not like he was getting dominated...it was a great one on one matchup...one that most dcs aren't gonna leave their cb in press on an island against that size and strength in the pros...one that most teams who have that kind of athlete at te on the outside are gonna try and exploit...large catch radius the ability to go up and get the ball and win physically...

    eifert allows you th threaten the field at all levels and run wild with the playbook in how you use him in regards to formations and attacking mismatches against primarily lbs and safeties in coverage...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2013
  28. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Poor evaluation, eh? Well, when Ertz goes ahead of Eifert we can return to this post. Sound good?
     
  29. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    we can return to anything football related you want to hayden...any time

    it's not like you offer any meat in your "evaluations" anyways...you're the one liner king...
     
  30. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Sounds good...totally looking forward to April.

    Sorry I do not have enough "meat" for you. However, I did not think I need to have Mel Kiper write ups in order to have a legit conversation about the draft.

    Hey, seems like Ansah is driving up draft boards again.
     
  31. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    well i guess that means your jumping back on the ansah bandwagon you jumped off of at the senior bowl...as for having a legit conversation about the draft that's fair and i don't think it's too much to ask when someone comes in and makes one liner absolutes to you know explain their position...
     
  32. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    My quotes on Ansah were consistent and followed what most observers were thinking. They loved him coming into the Senior Bowl week, was less than spectacular in the week of practice...probably thinking too much and when the game came, he let it go and was tremendous.

    Check my posts, that is exactly what I thought.

    What I am wondering is when you will get on board?
     
  33. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    you've been consistently all over the map with ansah...check post #3...then check every ansah thread after that pretty much...you're all over the place...

    http://www.finheaven.com/forums/showthread.php?333115-Ezekiel-Ansah-the-next-Jason-Pierre-Paul

    anyways you won't find me on the ansah bandwagon in the 1st round i can promise you that...i stick with my evals on players and i went in to the senior bowl week after watching his tape saying whats the big deal this guys pass rush is one dimensional and raw to boot...this kids jpp comparisons on here were WAY WAY off...he looked like butt in one on one pass rush drills at the senior bowl like i expected only flashed a bull rush pretty much and when he was nullified on his initial move he had no counter...as raw as they come pass rush wise...he doesn't have elite pass rush tools...

    and of course people watch the senior bowl game and he's gods gift to the game all the sudden...nevermind that he whipped up on as stiff and off balance a pro tackle prospect as there is in billy wagner of wisconsin or beat up on as bad a blocking te for his size in kasa as i've seen or destroyed another scrub blocking te in otten...who's a disaster in line...

    his sack forced fumble was about a qb pretty much running right into the sack holding onto the ball too long in nassib and bailing right into ansahs wheelhouse who was nullified on the initial rush...i get it the kids got talent but his rush arsenal and rush game period is as raw as it comes he doesn't possess any elite pass rush qualities on the edge...he moves well and flows laterally and can run down things and there's no doubt he's got some real upside...but pass rush wise as a win consistently player against nfl tackles i'm not seeing it...and it's not gonna change for me...overrated at this stage

    in the game he beat up on guys that are scrubs...
     
  34. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    What you call all over the map, I call adjusting my position on what I am seeing. You on the other hand, seem like your ready to draft today and the process of assessing the players has not even finished.

    To think that I was the only one observing the draft that did not ebb and flow with Ansah is crazy.
     
  35. tay0365

    tay0365 FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I hope so, would love to get Eifert late in the 1st, or better yet, in the 2nd round.
     
  36. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Should be fun to watch over the next few weeks.
     
  37. Gonzo

    Gonzo Widerstand Administrator Finheaven VIP

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    Let's keep it civil please.
     
  38. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Everything is civil. I take no offense to Hoops and I do not think I was over the top on anything.
     
  39. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

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    Back on TEs. If you really like Eifert or Ertz (personally I like Eifert a bit more), would you package 2b and 3a/3b to move to the back end of the first round and pick Eifert/Ertz? At this stage, not knowing anything about FA, I'd be inclined to. However, there are a lot of good 2/3rd round prospects you could miss out on with the one extra pick.
     
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  40. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    how the heck did i just delete nugaps post??? what the heck...

    anyways the question about would you trade up to late round 1 for a te if you need one still for 2b and either 3a/3b...

    tough call...if eifert got into the late 20's i would consider it...ertz may fall in your lap at #42...honestly though it depends what these kids run at that plus size as to how high you have to go to get them...either touches 4.5's better be ready to make a serious move up...in the 4.7's one gets to you at #42 imo

    both these kids are pretty polished though and i think ready to play from the get go...

    if that's a no go and i still need a te i burn my high 3rd rounder on vance mcdonald of rice...
     

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