Today I wanted to analyze some great data from Kent Lee Platt’s Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) for the safeties. Here is a link to Platt’s website in case you haven’t seen his work https://ras.football/. To qualify for a RAS score, a player must have a total of six recorded metrics from any of the following: Height, Weight, Forty-yard dash, 20-yard split, 10-yard split, Bench Press, Vertical Jump, Broad Jump, Short Shuttle, and 3-Cone. The player is then graded on each in comparison to the positional database since 1987 to get more of a feel of their size, speed, explosion, agility, and total value, giving context to the raw numbers.
The goal of the series is to provide the RAS from Platt, with a bit of my own twist with a size score and visualize it to get a simultaneous view of all the players at their position that participated at the combine. Here are the players that qualified for a RAS (NOTE: Positions are grouped from the Combine results tracker compiled by Dave Bryan and Alex Kozora):
There is less athleticism at the position than the 2022 class, when there were 10 players with an above nine RAS, compared to seven of 19 this year. California’s Daniel Scott tops this group (9.92 RAS) with elite speed and explosion, great agility, and good size, with 22 reps on the bench his strongest result and standing 6007 his lowest yet respectable mark. Sydney Brown of Illinois (9.66 RAS) has elite speed and explosion but poor size and no agility testing, with a 1.5 10-yard split his best mark and standing 5096 his lowest. Virginia Tech’s Chamarri Conner (9.47 RAS) has great explosion, good speed, okay size, and no agility testing, with a 40.5 vertical jump his best workout and height (6000) the lowest result. Iowa State’s Anthony Johnson (9.32 RAS) has great speed and explosion, okay size, but no agility numbers, with a 1.53 10-yard split his best test and his 5115 height the lowest yet acceptable.
Alabama’s Jordan Battle (9.3 RAS) has great speed, good size, but no explosion or agility testing, with a 1.55 10-yard split his best and 17 reps on the bench his lowest mark. Jartavius Martin of Illinois (9.24 RAS) has elite speed and explosion, but poor size and no agility testing, with a historically elite 1.44 10-yard split and 44” vertical jump and standing 5’11” his lowest result. That’s right at the threshold Pittsburgh has looked for in their draft history. Oklahoma State’s Jason Taylor II (9.22 RAS) has elite speed and explosion, okay size, but no agility testing, with a historically elite 43” vertical jump his best workout and 14 reps on the bench his lowest.
Three prospects have a RAS in the eight range, starting with Minnesota’s Jordan Howden (8.82 RAS), who has great speed, good explosion and agility, and okay size, with a 39.5 vertical jump his best number and height (5115) his lowest. Iowa’s Kaevon Merriweather (9.29 RAS) has great speed, okay size and explosion, but no agility testing, with a historically elite 1.46 10-yard split his best result and a 910 broad jump that’s lower than Pittsburgh’s draft history. Florida’s Trey Dean (8.14 RAS) has great explosion, good size, okay speed, but no agility testing, with a strong 25 reps on the bench his best workout but a 4.75 40-yard dash, which is slower than what the Steelers have looked for at the position.
Pittsburgh’s Brandon Hill, the lone player to land in the sevens (7.67 RAS), has elite speed, good explosion, but very poor size and no agility testing, with a historically elite 1.46 10-yard split but his size (5103, 193), particularly with the latter, a deterrent for the Steelers if history holds up.
After a drop off we have two prospects in the six range. Alabama’s DeMarcco Hellams (6.71 RAS) has good size and speed, but poor explosion and no agility workouts, with a 1.56 10-yard split his best result and a 31” vertical jump his lower than Pittsburgh’s liking. Notre Dame’s Brandon Joseph (6.3 RAS) has good speed and agility, okay size, but poor explosion, with a 1.56 10-yard split his best mark and a 30.5 vertical jump that would also have the Steelers likely looking elsewhere.
Three players land in the five range, starting with Florida State’s Jammie Robinson (5.97 RAS), who has great speed, but poor explosion, very poor size, and no agility tests, with a 1.51 10-yard split his best mark and weighing 191 pounds a low and likely deterring number. Penn State’s Ji’Ayir Brown (5.74 RAS) has good speed, okay size, but poor explosion and didn’t qualify in agility, with a 1.56 10-yard split his best result and 32.5 vertical another number slightly lower than the Steelers have typically drafted. Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson (5.25 RAS) has good size and speed, but poor explosion and no agility testing, with height (6017) his best result but a very low eight reps on the bench.
Boise State’s Tyreque Jones is the only prospect in the fours (4.82 RAS) and has good speed, okay size, but poor explosion and didn’t qualify in agility, with height (6016) his best mark and a 4.48 shuttle his lowest and outside of Pittsburgh’s past thresholds.
After a big drop off we see one player with a RAS in the three range: Florida’s Rashad Torrence (3.38 RAS) who has poor size, speed, explosion, and no agility tests, with 20 reps on the bench his best mark by far and a 4.72 40-yard dash that is obviously not ideal.
The final prospect is Georgia’s Christopher Smith (2.76 RAS), who has good speed, but poor explosion, very poor size and agility, with his 1.55 10-yard split his best number and a historically low 7.45 three cone.
Next, I wanted to provide more context with a size score using the RAS for the players height and weight, which includes all the Combine invites since all the players are measured:
Boise State’s JL Skinner jumps off the chart with the only above nine size score, standing at 6036 and weighing 209, but he didn’t test athletically. No players land in the eight range, compared to five prospects having an eight or above score in the 2022 draft.
After the big drop off, we have two players in the seven range. Scott (6007, 208) had a solid and complete workout, highlighted by his topped ranked RAS that included seven individual above nine RAS scores, and screams Steeler in my opinion. Battle (6010, 209) also seemingly fits well, but important to recall no explosion of agility testing.
Four prospects have scores in the sixes: Antonio Johnson (5115, 205) fits well with great speed and explosion but no agility testing; Dean (6021, 200) but important to recall his slow 40-yard dash; Hellams (6005, 203) but poor vertical; and Ohio State’s Ronnie Hickman (6004, 203), who didn’t test fully.
Seven land in the five range, starting with Anthony Johnson (5115, 205). He checks several boxes but important to recall no agility testing. Conner (6000, 202) is another candidate, with weight toeing the line of Pittsburgh’s draft history and also no agility numbers. Merriweather (6000, 205) fits in many aspects, but important to recall his low broad jump, which may lead the Steelers to look elsewhere. Howden (5115, 203) misses the mark in a few workouts, most notably the broad jump. Jones (6016, 195) also fits this bill, missing in weight, vertical, broad, and shuttle. Joseph (6003, 202) checks more boxes, but is another prospect that doesn’t meet Pittsburgh’s past explosion thresholds. Ji’Ayir Brown (5113, 203) fits this bill as well, along with his weight toeing the line of what the Steelers have looked for in the past.
Three prospects have size scores in the fours: Gervarrious Owens (6003, 195) with weight a likely deterrent, Taylor (5115, 204), and Sydney Brown (5096, 211) with height a concern.
Two players land in the threes and would set new precedents for Pittsburgh in terms of weight: Torrence (5115, 193) and Martin (5110, 194).
Smith is the only prospect in the twos (5105, 192), and the final two players tie for the lowest size score (1.56): Robinson (5105, 191) and Hill (5103, 193).
To wrap up, here is a visual layering the RAS and size score to take it all in:
There is clearly a lack of prospects at the extreme upper right of the chart. Scott has the best blend of athleticism (top-ranked RAS) and size (second rank) and I would love to see him in the black and gold. Battle had an above nine RAS and third ranked size score that also makes him an intriguing option. Anthony Johnson and Conner also have above nine RASs and above the mean size, which could make them attractive. Other players above the mean in both include Howden, Merriweather, and Dean but less likely for Pittsburgh in my opinion. Taylor, Sydney Brown, and Martin highlight the group on the bottom right with great athleticism. But they lack size comparatively, which would likely land them with other teams as well.
For those that like the numbers, it’s unfortunate a few players didn’t test fully. It will be interesting to review the Pro Days and continue to see how the men stack up in the coming weeks when Platt updates the site with the unofficial numbers.
What are your thoughts on the data? Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments.