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Is Winston Guy the Next Barry Church?

Should our pants be on fire for Jacksonville safety Winston Guy?

Without question, a large number of players come out of nowhere every season to become quality fantasy starters at defensive back. In particular, safeties can become studs overnight with the right mix of talent, scheme, and opportunity.

If you’ve been paying attention to the developments in Jacksonville, you know that head coach Gus Bradley has been attempting to assemble in Jacksonville a defense that is similar to his while defensive coordinator for Seattle. During the offseason he signed Seahawk defensive end Chris Clemons to add some aggressiveness to the pass rush. Bradley also brought over Guy who was cut by Seattle at the end of camp during 2013.

As previously noted here at RotoViz, Seattle sort of likes SPARQ scores. In one of Field Gulls’ SPARQ articles, Guy’s SPARQ is actually better than Seattle Safety and IDP superstar Kam Chancellor. It’s noted in this article that both Chancellor and Guy have abnormally long arms for a safety. Both have arms longer than 33 inches which is typically a desired measurement for a linebacker expected to be needed frequently in the run game.

Is it possible that safeties with 33”-plus arm lengths have a better chance for fantasy success? Let’s use mockdraftable.com to review arm lengths among DBs invited to combine and enter in the best fantasy finishes.

Draft Name Arm Length Best Fantasy Finish Status
2013 Eric Reid 33.62 DB32 Starting
2013 TJ McDonald 33.12 DB127 Starting
2012 Matt Elam 33.62 DB83 Starting
2012 George Illoka 34.5 DB104 Starting
2012 Steve Cathouse 33
2012 Winston Guy 33 Starting
2011 Da’Norris Searcy 33.5 DB48 Starting
2010 Eric Berry 33.25 DB5 Starting
2010 Kam Chancellor 33 DB5 Starting
2010 Myron Lewis 34
2010 Taylor Mays 34 DB175
2010 Nick Polk 33
2010 Barry Church 33.25 DB2 Starting

Overall, those are interesting results for our long-armed safeties. At the worst, you get a guy that hangs on the roster past camp if you use the metric of safeties with more than 33” arms in your rookie or redrafts. The stick rate here is solid and for 16-32 team league players the results here are worth noting. I expect to use this as a base for future research that will give us a better read. But for now I think they are good food for thought.

If you are wondering who the hell Sean Cattouse is I can understand. Move on though, as the Bears cut him this summer but liked those 33” arms enough to keep him around for a second cup of coffee this year.

Another footnote is that Barry Church has arm length of 32.62”.  I’d say a rule of thumb of 32.5” would be appropriate if using this measurement as a scale.

This is a view of Guy’s Player Comp’s thanks also to mockdraftable.com.

Hello again Barry Church.

In short this experiment has yielded the following findings:

  • Guy comps favorably to super tackling safety Barry Church.
  • Guy’s SPARQ score is actually higher than Kam Chancellor’s.
  • Thirty-three-inch arms could a factor when identifying safeties in our rookie drafts.

As far as Guy goes, we may be looking at the next Chancellor. Considering Johnathan Cyprien started at free safety before getting hurt and Guy was starting next to him, I’d say we can expect Guy to continue in his current role. Oh, and Guy is available for darn near free everywhere. The scheme and opportunity were already there for Guy. Now we’ve confirmed the talent is as well. I do caution that second-year player Josh Evans played all 87 snaps along with Guy and Guy started at Free Safety instead of Strong Safety. Evans posted a huge box score but I think would be most likely to go back to the bench once Cyprien returns. Cyprien also started at free safety in Week 1 so hopefully for Guy owners he goes back to that position. Add Guy in deeper leagues where you need a long-term option and consider his upside in more shallow redraft and dynasty leagues.

If this metric has you eager to search the 2014 combine data I will do your work for you. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay (starting) and Mo Alexander, St. Louis (in long-term plans but not active this week) are both in the goldilocks zone for Safety Arm Length. Deone Bucannonwho I’ve previously profiled, has 32.6” arms which is also nice to know. Now let me get out of here and place bids everywhere for Mo Alexander.

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