Pass Rushing Slugging Percentage

Who’s the NFL’s best Slugger?

In baseball statistics, slugging percentage is a measure of the productivity of a hitter, weighting extra-base hits to more accurately portray a batter’s value in base hits. In football, up until only recently, sacks were the only statistic that measured a pass rusher’s production. Since many companies, like SIS, have started to track hurries, hits and knockdowns as well, we now have more robust data to determine a pass rusher’s value. We thought it would be interesting to take a look at what pass rushers stats would look like through the lens of a “slugging percentage” weighting each aspect of a QB pressure as slugging percentage does with bases.

Image result for tj watt
TJ lists as the 2020 Pass Rush Slugging Leader

The formula is very simple: 1 point for a hurry, 2 points for a hit/knockdown and 5 points for a sack all over pass rush snaps. Here is how the top 25 in the 2020 season, through 13 weeks has shaped up. We have broken it down into 3 groups: Edge/LB, Interior DL and “Blitzers”, who come from any position, but rush the passer < 50% of pass snaps.

Top 25 Sluggers: Edge/LB (min 100 pass rush snaps)

RankPlayerTeamPos.PSRHsHURsHITsKDsSk.sSLG %
1T.J. WattSteelersLB322314122120.674
2Matt JudonRavensLB19120221340.576
3Shaq LawsonDolphinsDE25924311340.510
4Joey BosaChargersDE2882622157.50.477
5Tyus BowserRavensLB16114151020.460
6Trey HendricksonSaintsDE2721720710.50.454
7Uchenna NwosuChargersLB152121543.50.444
8Kerry Hyder49ersDE284292097.50.438
9Markus Golden2 teamsLB2311923112.50.431
10Romeo OkwaraLionsLB2932425870.427
11William GholstonBuccaneersDE26517261520.411
12Andrew Van GinkelDolphinsLB11851052.50.403
13Bradley ChubbBroncosLB330222887.50.398
14Carl LawsonBengalsDE3141724174.50.387
15Jaylon FergusonRavensLB10178320.386
16Bud DupreeSteelersLB3422226980.386
17Leonard WilliamsGiantsDE3461821158.50.383
18Chase WinovichPatriotsDE255321953.50.382
19Brian BurnsPanthersLB33025241160.379
20Za’Darius SmithPackersLB36624201110.50.378
21Stephon TuittSteelersDE31720191080.372
22Jerry HughesBillsDE272262154.50.369
23Derek BarnettEaglesDE224141375.50.364
24DeMarcus LawrenceCowboysDE240261544.50.360
25Emmanuel OgbahDolphinsDE3582922780.355

Top 25 Sluggers: Interior DL (min 100 pass rush snaps)

RankPlayerTeamPos.PSRHsHURsHITsKDsSk.sSLG %
1Chris JonesChiefsDT3143127145.50.447
2DeForest BucknerColtsDT33823311450.408
3Aaron DonaldRamsDT414332513110.396
4Tim SettleFootball TeamDT12175150.364
5Malik JacksonEaglesDT205111781.50.334
6David OnyemataSaintsDT2661215860.331
7Quinnen WilliamsJetsDT2991318660.304
8Bilal NicholsBearsDT2251213530.280
9Grady JarrettFalconsDT40518261430.279
10Akiem HicksBearsDT3531919113.50.273
11Adam ButlerPatriotsDT1931411320.269
12Vita VeaBuccaneersDT12968120.264
13Ed OliverBillsDT2551716420.263
14Bravvion RoyPanthersDT12676410.254
15Ndamukong SuhBuccaneersDT39118201040.251
16Sheldon RankinsSaintsDT1575851.50.245
17Jerry TilleryChargersDT317817930.237
18Zach KerrPanthersDT16467420.232
19DeShawn WilliamsBroncosDT14475320.229
20Jacob Tuioti-MarinerFalconsDT128104310.227
21Fletcher CoxEaglesDT332191035.50.218
22Dalvin TomlinsonGiantsDT2289971.50.213
23Javon HargraveEaglesDT21581012.50.198
24Dexter LawrenceGiantsDT23798330.194
25Kingsley KekePackersDT19073140.184

Top 15 Sluggers: Blitzers (min 40 pass rush snaps, pass rush < 50% of pass snaps)

RankPlayerTeamPos.PSRHsHURsHITsKDsSk.sSLG %
1Jamal AdamsSeahawksS71191767.51.444
2Demario DavisSaintsLB841416640.929
3Fred Warner49ersLB481210600.917
4Deion JonesFalconsLB598953.50.907
5Bobby WagnerSeahawksLB791513730.886
6AJ KleinBillsLB6195350.820
7Vince WilliamsSteelersLB4054130.750
8Devin WhiteBuccaneersLB86109550.733
9Malcolm JenkinsSaintsS4695120.674
10Eric WilsonVikingsLB5536330.655
11Daniel SorensenChiefsS5087300.560
12Foyesade OluokunFalconsLB71107220.535
13Kyle Van NoyDolphinsLB1461811460.534
14Eric KendricksVikingsLB44124100.500
15Jerome BakerDolphinsLB799432.50.449

*Note all numbers are through 12/10/2020

A few notes

  • There is a very big (relative) drop-off on the Edge/LB list after Watt, clearly the king of edge pressure.
  • Not many surprises on the Interior DL List, running as a “who’s who list of notable DL” with the lone exception (in the top ten at least) being Tim Settle of the Washington Football Team. We bring this up because on a front 7 filled with first rounders, Settle, the former 5th rounder,  is the only Footballer on ANY of these lists.
  • Between the “Blitzers Chart” and the 2019 rankings, Jamal Adams ability to get to the QB extends beyond team, scheme and season. 

2019 Leaderboard

Rk.PlayerTeamPos.PR SnapsHur.sHitsKDsSacksSlugging %
1Jamal AdamsJetsS81161556.51.074
2Neville HewittJetsLB6497530.781
3Deatrich Wise JrPatriotsDE1041312920.692
4Joe SchobertBrownsLB6498320.656
5Bobby WagnerSeahawksLB7088230.600
6Matt JudonRavensLB3774436239.50.592
7Demario DavisSaintsLB1491916640.570
8Za’Darius SmithPackersLB50666432413.50.549
9J.J. WattTexansDE29838271640.523
10T.J. WattSteelersLB47447402114.50.523
11Shaq LawsonBillsDE2643023126.50.523
12Patrick OnwuasorRavensLB7566330.520
13Shaquil BarrettBuccaneersLB51055371919.50.518
14Aaron LynchBearsLB1351612720.511
15Nick Bosa49ersDE46163401890.505
16Carl LawsonBengalsDE25620181750.496
17Joey BosaChargersDE45349361711.50.481
18Robert QuinnCowboysDE37037291211.50.478
19Devin WhiteBuccaneersLB674622.50.478
20Trey FlowersLionsDE42247381470.457
21Cory LittletonRamsLB707413.50.457
22Cameron WakeTitansDE171181382.50.456
23Dont’a HightowerPatriotsLB254282275.50.453
24Jamie CollinsPatriotsLB167199370.443
25Vinny CurryEaglesDE2422520750.438

From a high level, the Pass Rusher Slugging Percentage is a production stat that measures how well a pass rusher gets to a QB, and how efficient he is at converting those pressures along the “pressure chain”. Being fully transparent, there’s likely not much predictive value in these numbers relative to EPA/other pressure stats, but we thought we’d have some fun. Please enjoy and debate wholeheartedly.

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