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The Must-Know Measurable For Evaluating Tight Ends: Weight Adjusted Agility

A year ago Shawn Siegele introduced Agility Scores and it made us all go “woah”, “duh” and “damn, why didn’t I think of that?”  But, hey, I’m not complaining, I used it to land Zac Stacy and Le’Veon Bell in my dynasty league.

That said, I always had this nagging feeling about agility scores, which is “shouldn’t Le’Veon Bell’s 10.99 agility score be seen way more favorably than Giovani Bernard’s 11.03 score, considering Bell weighs nearly 30 pounds more?”  Basically I wanted to adjust agility score by weight, but never got around to it.

Until now.

While my original vision for this metric was related to running backs (more to come on that in the next week) its inclusion in my tight end regressions yielded surprising results, which I am excited to share with you today.

Calculating Weight Adjusted Agility

This is pretty simple and works in a similar fashion to the Phenom Index calculation.  You take every TE and create an index based on the range of weights.  A higher number is “better”.  Then, you take every TE’s agility and create an index based on their agility scores.  A lower number is “better”.  Divide the weightINDEX by the agilityINDEX and, abracadabra, you get weight adjusted agility.

As mentioned in the TE Phenom Index article, I tried to solve for Fantasy Points per Game through seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 of a player’s career.  I ran eight models–four that included draft position and four that did not–and in seven of them, Weight Adjusted Agility proved to be a significant variable.  In fact, it was THE MOST SIGNIFICANT workout number in my tests.  Yes, more significant than 40 time, explosion, speed score…you name it.

Using Weight Adjusted Agility

It’s important to note that this metric is only one piece of the pie.  When creating my projection model for a tight end’s first three seasons, which had an r^2 of .42, I used the following variables (listed in order of their prominence in the model): Draft Pick, Weight Adjusted Agility, TE Phenom Index, and a Mystery Metric that I’ll explain in a future article.

Keep things in perspective when you see the results below.  Note that an score of 1 indicates “average agility” for any given weight.  These numbers represent the average of the entire group:

Average Weight: 252lbs

Average Agility: 11.52

Weight Adjusted Agility 2006-2014

TEDraftWtAgilityWt Adj Aglty
Tony Scheffler200625510.862.022
James Hanna201225210.871.859
Darrell Strong200826511.221.672
Scott Chandler200727011.341.647
Virgil Green201126811.31.645
Logan Paulsen201026411.231.626
Jordan Cameron201124410.851.538
Derek Fine200825010.991.526
John Nalbone200925711.161.506
Dennis Pitta201024510.891.503
Lee Smith201126911.441.497
Brad Cottam200827111.491.492
Aaron Hernandez201025011.011.492
CJ Fiedorowicz201426511.361.486
Joey Haynos200826411.341.48
Fendi Onobun2010249111.47
Dan Gronkowski200925511.181.414
Nate Byham201026811.51.407
Dustin Keller200824811.021.4
Isaac Smolko200626011.321.391
Jimmy Graham201026011.351.357
John Phillips200925011.111.342
Owen Daniels200624510.991.331
Jeff King200625011.121.329
Nick Kasa201326911.631.309
Ryan Griffin201326111.441.291
Adrien Robinson201226411.531.281
Vernon Davis200625011.171.266
Tim Massaquoi200625311.261.255
Jason Pociask200626611.631.242
Kyle Rudolph201126511.611.235
Brent Celek200726111.511.226
Quinn Sypniewski200626511.631.219
Rob Gronkowski201026511.651.203
Kevin Boss200725511.371.2
John Carlson200825611.41.198
Craig Stevens200825511.381.19
Tyler Eifert201325011.241.187
Julius Thomas201125111.271.185
Mickey Shuler201024211.021.174
Gavin Escobar201325411.381.163
Brody Eldridge201026511.711.158
Jermaine Gresham201026111.61.152
Jace Amaro201426511.721.15
Brandon Pettigrew200925711.491.145
Luke Stocker201125511.431.145
Cooper Wallace200625811.521.144
Michael Egnew201225211.351.136
Daniel Coats200725711.51.136
Luke Willson201325211.371.118
Jeff Cumberland201024911.281.117
Coby Fleener201225011.321.108
Justice Cunningham201325811.571.105
Dwayne Allen201225511.491.095
Zach Miller200725311.431.093
Levine Toilolo201326011.661.085
Kellen Davis200825911.631.084
Tom Santi200825011.351.081
Travis Kelce201325511.511.079
Richard Gordon201126211.761.06
Cory Harkey201227212.091.056
Clark Harris200725711.611.053
Greg Olsen200725411.521.047
Zach Sudfeld201325311.491.045
Anthony Hill200926411.871.033
Jake Stoneburner201324911.391.02
Lance Kendricks201124011.091.019
Zack Pianalto201124511.261.017
Troy Niklas201427012.121.006
Kyle Adams201125011.451
Ben Patrick200725211.520.999
Arthur Lynch201425811.730.996
Richard Rodgers201425711.70.991
Michael Hoomanawanui201027112.190.989
Dion Sims201326211.880.988
Taylor Thompson201225911.810.969
Rudy Sylvan200727212.280.963
Gary Barnidge200824011.150.96
Crockett Gillmore201426011.860.96
Travis Beckum200924011.150.96
Darcy Johnson200625211.580.958
Tony Moeaki201025011.520.95
Garrett Celek201225211.610.939
Kory Sperry200924211.250.936
Rob Housler201123811.110.93
Anthony Fasano200625511.740.926
Ryan Taylor201125011.560.924
Cameron Morrah200924411.350.915
Daniel Hardy201124911.540.913
Zach Ertz201324911.550.906
Martrez Milner200725611.840.892
Davon Drew200925611.840.892
Leonard Pope200626412.150.891
Garrett Graham201024511.440.879
Joe Klopfenstein200625011.640.875
Dominique Byrd200625511.840.873
Weslye Saunders201126012.040.871
Ryan Purvis200925511.860.863
Joseph Fauria201325912.020.862
Dante Rosario200724411.430.859
Ted Bolser201424811.610.847
Vance McDonald201324811.610.847
Richard Quinn200926012.120.836
Daniel Fells200625211.810.828
Orson Charles201225111.770.827
Charles Davis200625411.910.82
Jake Nordin200726112.220.812
Brandon Myers200925011.810.787
Anthony McCoy201024411.560.782
Chris Gragg201324411.590.766
Marcedes Lewis200625512.080.766
David Thomas200624011.420.761
Cornelius Ingram200924511.650.758
Bear Pascoe200925712.20.755
David Paulson201224311.580.748
Dedrick Epps201024611.730.742
Mike McNeill201123211.090.739
Andrew Quarless201024811.860.726
Mychal Rivera201324211.60.715
Shawn Nelson200923811.420.709
Brandon Barden201224011.520.707
Jermichael Finley200824011.530.702
Fred Davis200825012.040.693
Jacob Tamme200823411.260.689
Eric Ebron201425012.060.686
Michael Williams201326913.050.676
Jeron Mastrud201024712.010.65
Ed Dickson201024411.910.629
Martellus Bennett200824812.170.616
Dorin Dickerson201023011.190.607
Ladarius Green201223711.590.604
Josh Hill201322911.190.575
Jameson Konz201022711.180.516
Jared Cook200923511.810.485

Notes and Implications for 2014

It’s fascinating to me that guys like Dennis Pitta, Aaron Hernandez and Jordan Cameron can weigh 40+ pounds more than Giovani Bernard and still post superior agility scores.  No wonder they are a handful for defenders.

Many of the players on this list have had useful, if unspectacular, NFL careers.  Again, it’s important to think about this as only one piece of the puzzle.  Just because someone is an athlete doesn’t mean he can execute the requirements of the position.

Looking at the 2014 bunch, CJ Fiedorowicz emerges as an interesting name.  After Ebron, ASJ and Amaro, I can see Fiedorowicz being the fourth best tight end.  He’s in competition with Troy Niklas who, despite weighing the same as CJ, has an agility score that’s .8 seconds worse.

Unfortunately for Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, we do not have agility data for them.  Ebron’s data should come back in late March, but we may never get it for ASJ.  Leave a comment with a “guess” of what ASJ’s might be, based on where he might rank next to others on this list.

Looking back to 2013, Nick Kasa, Tyler Eifert and Gavin Escobar rank as the top 3.  For those of you that read the TE Phenom Index article, there is Escobar again.  I’m telling you, he’s looking like a really nice dynasty add at the TE position.


Jon Moore is a coach at RotoAcademy and creator of The College Football Experiment.  Continue this conversation with him on Twitter or Google+.

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