As the Combine approaches, you will start hearing more about Relative Athletic Score (or RAS for short). The brainchild of Kent Lee Platte, RAS is a way of measuring a player’s athletic testing to their size as well as historically. We had Kent on “The Draft Countdown” Podcast this past week and got some insight on RAS and how it can be used to judge prospect’s athleticism.
Each prospect is given a score from 0 to 10 based on how their RAS matches up to those of the same position throughout history. A perfect 10 is top of the group and the best athlete ever to work out at that position while a 0 would be the worst. The website color codes the grades by Green, Yellow, and Red to give a clear indication of where players stand. That perfect 10 is rare, but usually means great things for a player.
The nice thing with this is we can use it to have size be a factor in evaluations. It is great for a player to run a 4.3, but if they are super small, it isn’t as impressive as a bigger player running a 4.4.
Let’s take a look at a few standouts on both ends from last year’s draft (and then project a few for this upcoming draft).
On the high end of 2021 was 9.99 Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas:
Cosmi was had the 3rd highest RAS of any Offensive Lineman in the Draft (behind Creed Humphrey and Spencer Brown). With a “Good” size grade, Cosmi showed speed and agility with his numbers and proved to be one of the most athletic linemen in the class. He was a steal in the 2nd round and proved that as a rookie. Athleticism matters in the NFL, and this is a great judge.
On the other end, look at 2.28 Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State:
Jefferson ended up in the 7th round after poor athletic testing. I had Jefferson pretty high in my rankings as a player, but once again, it shows how athleticism translates into draft capital. A 4.60 40 time didn’t seem too bad on the surface, but combined with poor agility and explosive scores, this knocked down Jefferson’s stock.
Kent recently tweeted using the Calculator some of the top prospects in this draft and their rumored numbers. We could see a few eye-popping results from this class.
First, two of the top EDGE rushers in Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Purdue’s George Karlafitis:
If both hit their rumored numbers, they would be top tier athletes as EDGE rushers. Though many may not view Hutchinson & Karlafitis as the most athletic, their size, speed, and explosion make them dangerous. Don’t be surpised when they blow up the Combine.
And then, one of the top safety prospects ever in Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton:
Yes, he is that good.
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