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How I calculate the Panthers offseason needs... and proof I have no life...

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I mentioned my "spreadsheets" in another thread, and figured it'd be cool to share some of my formulas for predicting the Panthers' offseason movement...

I've been doing this since around 2007 in some form, and each year I try to refine the formulas I use... Yes, I am a nerdy Panthers fan, but it helps me anticipate things and keeps the team on my mind when they aren't doing much else...

Keep in mind that this is all opinion, and actual outcomes may not resemble my predictions (especially considering my ultimate failure on the Peppers situation)... But, at least in the draft the past few years, I have been pretty spot on for our positional needs...

Let's get to it...

The first step I take is listing the current roster in groups by position, the player's age, and assign them a numerical "rating" generally between 5 and 10. A player given a 5 is considered "unexperienced" or "rookie," while a 10 would mean that the player is in the top 3 at their position in the entire NFL. I don't really fine tune these ratings enough to have crazy decimal points or anything, and if a player is between a pair of numbers, they get a .5 (EX. Someone is a solid 6, but not yet a 7, they get a 6.5)...

After the players are listed, I make note of players I don't think will make the opening day roster, as well as players who are currently tendered RFAs. The players I don't think will make the final cut or will be signed by another team as RFas are not factored in in any of the formulas that follow...

For each position, I average the ratings of the players I suspect will be on the final roster this upcoming season. Again, this average excludes players I don't think will make or be on the final roster.

Once I have the entire roster listed, and the players' age and each position's average rating, it is time to move on to the next section of the sheet.

I assign to each position something I call the "Depth Index." This number is a simple look at how deep we are at each position. If we have one starter and one backup for the position, it is given a value of 1. For each additional backup, I assign a .1. For instance, we currently have four RBs on the roster, all of which I feel will make the final cut at this point. This position has a Depth Index of 1.2, as we have the starter, the backup, and two additional backups.

Some positions have more than one starter required in certain circumstances or formations. WR is an example, as I count 3 WRs as the requirement for starters. DT is similar in that I require 3.

In the case of a position which only has enough depth to fulfill the need for a starter, I identify this position as having a "hole." This position then carries a Depth Index of .75 which represents a glaring need in depth.

Once I have the Depth Index for each position, I multiply that number times the average rating, times .1. This gives me a column which I have a percentage labeled "Quality." This column represents overall quality of the position on the roster from both a talent and depth standpoint.

When the Quality percentage is obtained, I move to the next section...

In this next section, I again list each position in its own column. There are then columns for Median Age (this is just for comparison's sake, it has no bearing on any formulas), Importance, Quality, Importance x Quality, Importance - (Importance x Quality), and then Needs Attention... Sound confusing? It isn't really...

First off, you assign a position Importance based on how important the position is in our overall sceme. 18 is the most important, while 1 is the least. Each has one number and each number is used only once.

On my latest rankings, I have applied the following Importance ratings:

RB - 18

OT - 17

MLB -16

DE - 15

G - 14

OLB - 13

QB - 12

WR - 11

DT - 10

C - 9

FS - 8

CB - 7

TE - 6

SS - 5

FB - 4

K - 3

P - 2

LS - 1

I then multiply those numbers by the Quality colum (this is the Quality percentage from the previous section... The result goes into the Importance x Quality column...

Then, you go back and subtract the number in the Importance x Quality column from the Importance column... The result goes into the Importance - (Importance x Quality) column...

Once you have those numbers in Importance - (Importance x Quality), you assign them a number from 1 - 18, 1 being the highest number and 18 being the lowest... This assignment goes in the Needs Attention column...

After you have the Needs Attention numbers, you can consider this to be the Panthers' biggest needs, in order, this offseason...

In the following post in this thread, I will give you the hard numbers I entered in for each player and position, and the results I came up with at this point in the offseason...

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Attached are screenshots from my sheets that I have described.

To explain the different numbers in the Pos. Avg. columns...

Where you see a player's name in orange, that means I do not expect that player to make the final roster. I did however count them in an overall average of the position, but the numbers I used in my formulas are the ones above them... which represent averages for the players not in orange...

In the case of CB, the number beside Marshall is the average of the unit if he stays with us and we don't lose him to someone else (thus gaining a 2nd round pick)... For the later sheets, I did not include him as I feel we will let him walk (if someone makes him an offer)... For CB, I used the number beside C.J. Wilson, which is the average for him, Munnerlyn, and Gamble...

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So, all things considered on my sheets, which again are my opinion only, our biggest needs this offseason currently stand in this order of importance:

OLB

WR

DE

QB

MLB

G

DT

CB

FS

SS

C

OT

RB

FB

TE

K

LS

P

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Wow, I'm impressed.

The only thing I didn't see in your formulas was anything to do with draft status and contracts for current players. The reason I mention this is because it has seemed that in the past the Panthers do try to hold onto their draft picks and will give them time (the length of their contract) to prove themselves. And of course I mentiont he contracts because contracts do come into play from time to time in the NFL. Although, I currently don't see that being an issue anywhere on the Panther's roster. I only mention it for future calculations.

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Posted · Report post

I think you have your needs list down perfectly. Very nice calculation.

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With the release of Hoover, FB moves up a few notches, mainly because of depth...

OLB

WR

DE

QB

MLB

G

DT

CB

FS

FB

SS

C

OT

RB

TE

K

LS

P

Also, for informational purposes, I am counting only 41 people currently on the Panthers' roster that are capable of making the final roster... That is at least 12 people we need to sign/draft for those of you that are keeping up with it... There are 13 others on the roster right now, bringing the team's total to 54...

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Posted · Report post

very impressive

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If someone could forward this to Jerry Richardson as my resume' for the upcoming opening in the GM position, I would greatly appreciate it...

SLJ for GM in 2011!

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I seriously don't get how MLB is listed that high. I don't think you can find a 4-3 team in the entire league with a better depth chart than Beason/Connor.

OLB too, we have our starters already, all we need is depth. It's a need but I don't see how it's #1.

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WR

DE

OLB

DT

QB

CB

C/G

OT

STs

TE

K/P

Off the top off my head mine would look something like that, just my opinion.

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I seriously don't get how MLB is listed that high. I don't think you can find a 4-3 team in the entire league with a better depth chart than Beason/Connor.

OLB too, we have our starters already, all we need is depth. It's a need but I don't see how it's #1.

I think he is going by if Connor is moved to SLB...we then have no one but beason at MLB. Depth...

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I think he is going by if Connor is moved to SLB...we then have no one but beason at MLB. Depth...

OLB: Thomas Davis, James Anderson

MLB: Jon Beason, Dan Connor

That is 4 guys for a rotation of 3 starting spots... Remember our DT situation last year? Imagine if for some reason we lost Davis and Beason for a several game stretch...

We have the following backups who are mainly special teamers, and which may not even make the final cut (depending on if we sign any FA LBs or draft some):

Quinton Culberson, Mortty Ivy, Jordan Senn, Brett Warren

I am NOT comfortable with any of those guys being our starting LB in any position for an extended amount of time...

We almost have to sign at least one LB free agent, and even if we do, drafting one very early on is a highly likely event...

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