We’re so desperate for an edge guy opposite Cam Jordan we’re over analyzing all the ways Okafor, Kikaha, Gwacham, Muhammad and Hendrickson could help the pass rush. Some of these guys could be ok, but if we’re being totally honest it’s not a collection of names that would put remote fear into any opposing fan base. It’s going to take some luck for this to pan out. I saw our very own Brian Pavek argue into the late hours on Twitter last night with Ralph Malbrough that Hendrickson could easily be better than Kikaha was as a rookie, and that 4-7 sacks as a rookie wasn’t out of the question. Ralph stood strong in his belief that Hendrickson would turn in a 2.5 sack season or worse. So how good have 3rd round edge picks been since 2010 during their rookie season?
|Name||School||NFL Team Drafting Player||Year Drafted||Sacks Rookie Season|
|Carl Nassib||Penn State||Browns||2016||1.5|
|Shilique Calhoun||Michigan State||Raiders||2016||0.5|
|Kyler Fackrell||Utah State||Packers||2016||2|
|Scott Chricton||Oregon State||Vikings||2014||0|
|Will Clarke||West Virginia||Bengals||2014||0|
|Damontre Moore||Texas A&M||Giants||2013||0|
|Tyrone Crawford||Boise State||Cowboys||2012||0|
|Alex Carrington||Arkansas State||Bills||2010||1|
Kikaha was selected in the 2nd round, so he’s not part of this research. This data includes 27 players, all the pass rushers selected in the 3rd round since 2010. Now I’ll be the first to admit that Trey Hendrickson can’t be assumed the same as every 3rd round pick pass rusher and the sample size is small. Still, guys like him fall to the 3rd round and get passed on by 32 teams twice around for a reason and I’d argue the talent level coming in is similar. There’s no reason to believe Hendrickson as a prospect is way better than any of these names above. The average sacks for these 27 players in their rookie season is 1.7. So Ralph’s prediction of “2.5 or less” would mean that Hendrickson is right par with the average. 2.5 sacks, in fact, would be above average. Only 5 of 27 had 4 or more sacks as rookies, or 18.5%. So to Brian’s theory of Hendrickson having “4-7 sacks” as a rookie, recent history says that has a less than 20% chance of 4 happening. Only two guys on this list had 6 or more, so 6/7 sacks from Hendrickson would be down to 7.4%.
It’s worth noting that the three biggest names on this list are Justin Houston, Olivier Vernon and Danielle Hunter. All are double digit sack guys now, but even Vernon and Houston had less than 6 sacks as rookies. Vernon had 3.5. I would argue that these guys coming in were way more explosive than Hendrickson, too, and size was the common denominator for these guys falling to the 3rd round. They all just needed more weight on their frame, not something that’s a problem with Hendrickson.
18 of these 27 players had 0 to 1 sacks as a rookie. That’s a whooping 67%. Some of these guys have produced after a poor rookie season, so that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Still, as a 3rd round pick pass rusher – the odds are firmly against Hendrickson producing as a rookie. It doesn’t mean he can’t be special and surprise us… but we’re up against a 33% success rate of more than 1 sack, 18.5% of 4 or more, and 7.4% of 6 or more.