Of Combines and Correlations – Part 6


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

For this week’s edition, we put the Chiefs’ 6th round draft pick, RB Cyrus Gray beneath the microscope of Joe Landers’ NFL Combine-based forecasting model.

With further ado, Landers’ RB peer average metrics (bolded being the most important) and first teamer EPA percentages.

Short Shuttle: 4.32 sec; 50% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Long Shuttle: 11.73 sec; 25% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Three Cone: 7.17 sec; 50% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Vertical Jump: 34.90”; 50% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Broad Jump: 117”; 50% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Forty yard dash: 4.57 sec; 69% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

Bench Reps: 18.67; 38% of 1st teamers scored an EPA

To summarize, the leading indicator for RB’s is the 40 yard dash, wherein 69% of RB prospects who achieved an EPA in Lander’s 5 year data set, made first team within 5 years of being drafted. There are other significant, though less compelling, attribute scores which when assessed collectively can also point to success for a RB prospect. These are the Short Shuttle, the Vertical Jump, the Broad Jump, and the 3 Cone Drill.  From all this, Landers concludes that the optimal number of EPAs for a RB prospect is 4, one of which being the 40 yard dash.

Let’s see how Cyrus Gray’s (5’10”, 206 lbs) numbers shake out:

Short Shuttle: 4.28 sec (Pro Day result); EPA

Long Shuttle: Did not participate

Three Cone: 7.17 sec (7.14 sec on his Pro Day); EPA (between Combine and Pro Day scores, close enough)

Vertical Jump: 32.5”

Broad Jump: 114”

Forty yard dash: 4.47 sec; EPA 

Bench Reps: 21; EPA

First off, it is encouraging that Gray achieved an EPA in the most important attribute test of all, the 40 yard dash, and that he scored 4 EPAs overall (technically 3), which Landers concludes is the optimal number to achieve. Gray was projected by some scouts to go as high as the 3rd round; the Chiefs acquired him in the 6th.

Gray’s rep, coming in, is that of a versatile, selfless team player, loaded with intangibles (think Mike Vrabel or Thomas Jones, I guess). In addition to playing RB, Gray’s also experienced at playing FB, returning and covering kicks, shows good hands as a receiver, is reputedly a great pass blocker, and perhaps most importantly, well-suited for the ZBS. I’ve also read that Gray’s game speed is better than his track speed (but then again, that’s often heard about a lot of prospects).

Overall, as a sixth round selection, I think one has to feel pretty good about the potential that Cyrus Gray brings to the Chiefs’ table.  He offers a variety of positional skills which, if nothing else, should enhance the quality of our depth on offense, on special teams, and perhaps in the locker room too. Whether Gray is adequate insurance for Jamaal Charles if, god forbid, he gets hurt again or fails to return to form, is another question.

That’s my Double Take.

What’s your take Addicts?  Do you believe Cyrus Gray will make roster? Practice squad perhaps? If yes, do you see him displacing any current roster member? Who might that be? Assuming he makes roster, what role(s) do you envision him taking on during in his rookie campaign? Gray has some past injury concerns– do you believe those will continue to plague him in the NFL?