The draft is upon us! While this year’s draft will be a little different, perhaps we can achieve a better outcome in our drafts. Running Back Vision (RBV) is here to help us value running backs from a different perspective. For all positions, ‘fit’ is paramount to reach a prospects ceiling, and RBV can give dynasty players a way to look at RBs and their fit.
As you probably heard in the video, we watched 1300+ carries across 18 different RB prospects. We charted the consistency of their vision and burst, while tracking the run blocking scheme and offensive line performance. While this system has it’s own overall score, NerdScore is a more comprehensive look at the total running back. Running Back Vision provides you with an RBV Score for each prospect within each of three run-blocking schemes: Inside Zone, Outside Zone, and Gap blocking schemes.
‘Fit’ is extremely important to success. Knowing where a prospect fits best gives us a ‘leg up’ as the NFL draft unfolds. Scores in these schemes may help us make sense of surprise selections in the draft.
- RBV Score – A score representing a prospect’s value adjusting for offensive line performance and defensive competition
- Success – A results based metric grading the outcome of the run based on down and distance
- Vision – A measure of vision consistency (not quality) of vision
- Burst – A measure of how consistently a prospect took advantage of vision with burst
- OLine – A measure offensive line performance
RBV Score Data
NFL running games will feature some combination of Zone and Gap play. Though, most teams will favor one of the schemes mentioned above over the others. These tendencies, when paired with RBV data, can identify scheme fits based on where our prospects succeed.
Zone Blocking Scheme
Starting with Inside Zone, we can see some of the standouts immediately. Be sure to take a look at the ‘OLine – IZ’ score to get a feeling of what the prospect had to deal with in their 2019 season. A score of ‘0’ is indicative of neutral offensive line play, meaning, on average, they neither hurt nor helped the runner. Negative scores indicate a more frequent occurrence of blown blocks or re-establishing the line of scrimmage by defensive line. A more positive number shows a line that got more frequent positive push or open lanes for our prospect.
Running Back Vision - Inside Zone
|Michael Warren II||58.83||42.68||70.73||34.48||9.76||41|
|Anthony McFarland, Jr.||58.55||37.5||58.33||42.86||25||12|
When we look at these data sets, it is important to understand the sample size evaluated within each scheme. A minimum of 15 reps is a good point of reference, but still, pay attention to those that are close to this bar in sample size. A score associated with a sample size of 10 or less should be taken with a serious grain of salt.
Running Back Vision - Outside Zone
|Anthony McFarland, Jr.||80.85||66.67||74.07||65||3.7||27|
|Michael Warren II||63.93||45.24||66.67||64.29||28.57||21|
Gap Blocking Scheme
As we transition to the Gap scheme data set, we start to see some other prospects rise to the top. This highlights the difference in mental processing requirements from Zone to Gap blocking. It is arguably harder to read Zone blocking because it is very dynamic by nature. Where as Gap blocking is often a simpler read.
Running Back Vision - Gap
|Michael Warren II||65.81||55||75||53.33||40||20|
|Anthony McFarland, Jr.||61.00||38.89||61.11||63.64||22.22||18|
To the earlier point on sample size, it is advisable to set aside Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s score in Gap runs. While he could be a monster in Gap, it would be irresponsible to make that claim based on this data.
Next is the NFL Draft, and it is advised you use the excellent work already done in the NerdScore, draft profiles, and other rookie articles on DynastyNerds.com to build your personal draft boards. After the NFL Draft, fine-tune the running backs on your board with Running Back Vision to get that edge!