VPG Sports blog provides our take on sport assessment and player evaluation.

A2B™ for Tight Ends

This blog entry takes a look at measuring athleticism in NFL tight ends. VPG’s A2B™ effectively characterizes 4 unique TE Player Types and quantifies NFL potential based on athletic profiles. Our analyses indicated that athletic characteristics explained about 18% of the variability in NFL performance for tight ends. The A2B™ indicates that there are a handful of 2016 TEs that have athletic ability that should transfer well to the NFL. Development of the A2B™ for TEs The A2B™ classifies tight … Read More

SPARQ: Is it useful for evaluating athleticism in the NFL?

A Little Background The SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) was developed as a standardized assessment of athleticism and now rests under the watchful eyes of NIKE (yes, that NIKE, the shoe company). The SPARQ has largely focused on selling stuff helping athletes (mainly high schoolers) “track their progress, measure improvement and benchmark against other athletes worldwide”1. The five events used to generate a general SPARQ rating are: 20 Meter Sprint/40 Yard Dash (Speed) Kneeling Power Ball Toss (Power) … Read More

A2B™: Outside Linebackers

Have you been dying to know what athleticism looks like for outside linebackers? Do you crave unique insights on the 2016 outside linebacker prospects? Good news… We’ve got what you need. In this entry, we show how the A2B™ effectively characterizes 5 unique OLB Player Types and quantifies NFL potential based on athleticism. Our analyses showed that Overall Athleticism, Speed, and Size/Power/Explosion (SEP) were strong predictors of NFL performance in OLB prospects. While the 2016 OLB class has a few … Read More

A2B™ and 2016 Defensive Ends

In this blog entry, we are going to dive into the A2B™ for defensive ends. Overall, the A2B™ does a nice job of assessing this position and projecting NFL success. We found five unique Player Types that help to broadly characterize where players lie on the athletic spectrum. Further, examination of nearly 400 defensive ends since 2000 showed that multiple A2B™ domain scores predicted real NFL performance. More specifically, Overall Athleticism, Speed, SEP, and Strength were significant predictors and explained almost … Read More

Athletic Aptitude Battery™ (A2B™) 2016 Running Backs

In this entry, we are going to take a look at the running back position. Based on prior draft classes, running backs fall into 4 Player Types. All Around: This group is defined by RBs that are above average across all athletic domains (Adrian Peterson). Slow Bruisers: This group had RBs that are big and explosive but severely lacking in speed. It is rare that a player falls in this group and there is not a single notable “Slow Bruiser” … Read More

Athletic Aptitude Battery™ (A2B™) 2016 Cornerbacks

We are now going to take a look at the 2016 cornerback class. Based on prior draft classes, the A2B™ groups cornerbacks into 5 Player Types based on their athletic profiles. Huge Physical: This group consists of huge (~6’2” or taller), physical CBs – think Seattle CBs (Brandon Browner). Usually these CBs have lower overall athleticism, but there are a few exceptions to this rule (Nnamdi Asomugha). Big Explosive: This group has CBs with good size (~6’1”-6’2”), explosion, and strength. There are … Read More

Athletic Aptitude Battery™ (A2B™) 2016 Wide Receivers

In this entry, we are looking at what the A2B™ has to say about the top 5 wide receivers of the 2016 draft class (based on rankings from CBSsports.com1). Our previous posts described the A2B™ in more detail, but for the newcomer the important thing to keep in mind is that A2B™ scores are obtained using only data from their NFL combine performance. As a further note, remember the A2B™ Domain Scores are relative to other NFL-caliber athletes. That is, … Read More

Introducing the Athletic Aptitude Battery™ (A2B™): Part 2

Wide Receivers as an Example Last post, we provided a general description of the A2B™ and discussed its utility for player evaluation. This time, we are going to demonstrate the power of the A2B™ for a position that some sources1.2 suggest NFL combine data is not very useful for: the wide receiver. Some background before we begin – the wide receiver A2B™ was developed and validated using data on a sample of nearly 600 prospects since 2000.  While the position of … Read More

Introducing the Athletic Aptitude Battery™ (A2B™): Part 1

Rethinking the NFL Combine and Athleticism A big challenge in NFL player evaluation is the assessment of athletic ability. Most people agree that athleticism is not accurately reflected in single observed event (e.g., 40 yard dash time), but rather it is a complex concept informing many different aspects of a player’s performance. This is why teams use multiple sources of player data when attempting to quantify “overall athleticism”. One widely available public source of player athleticism data is from the … Read More