STATS’ advanced analytics team is constantly developing new metrics to enhance player evaluation and team performance in college football and the NFL, and those efforts received more national recognition at the NFL Combine.
STATS’ Manager of Advanced Analytics Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads appeared as a featured guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio show Late Hits with hosts Alex Marvez and former college and NFL coach Rick Neuheisel to discuss STATS’ unique advanced metrics and its new product, X-Scout. During the nearly 17-minute interview, Cunningham-Rhoads explained some of the science and research behind a new wave of analytics changing player evaluation at all positions.
“Everyone has access to data, whether it’s the tracking data that comes from the NFL or the third-party data like STATS provides,” Cunningham-Rhoads said during the interview. “The difference we can make is we help teams get the most out of that data through all of these metrics.”
Cunningham-Rhoads and his team have made revolutionary strides in player evaluation, including efficiency metrics for offensive and defensive line and cornerback positions. STATS’ new X-Scout product is a result of game-tracking data – such as pressures allowed, pressures forced and defensive targets, among many others – that powers a model producing an efficiency metric based on a player’s position.
X-Scout will assist NFL teams as they lead up to the draft and player-selection process, while also helping clubs evaluate college players during the season. During the Sirius XM interview, Marvez and Neuheisel asked which cornerback STATS rated the best heading into the 2017 draft, and Cunningham-Rhoads said LSU’s Tre’Davious White, who was the fifth cornerback selected, and 27th overall by Buffalo. White validated that lofty ranking by tying all rookies with 18 passes defended and also intercepting four passes.
“We’re by no means saying, ‘You should pick this player,’” Cunningham-Rhoads said regarding X-Scout. “It’s more like, ‘Hey, here’s a list of guys you should be looking at, and here’s how they might fit into your existing system. X-Scout is not replacing the value of the scout, but rather augmenting their skills, and making it possible to see so much more than basic stats well in advance of the combine.’”
Marvez and Neuheisel also pointed out Las Vegas oddmakers didn’t have much confidence in Philadelphia to win the Super Bowl, listing the Eagles with only 40-1 odds to be crowned champions. However, STATS’ combined roster evaluation metrics ranked Philadelphia as the No. 1 team heading into the 2017 season.