One Of Cynthia Frelund’s Favorite Draft Stats

May 10th, 2023
NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund.

Cynthia Frelund

What else would you expect from the NFL Network stat queen?

Cynthia Frelund, who likes to talk numbers, has a set of 10 she wanted to discuss from last month’s NFL Draft — her 10 favorite stats of the players selected in the first round.

One she cited is just how fast Bucs first-round pick Calijah Kancey is.

@cfrelund: Buccaneers pick 19, DT Calijah Kancey has top 5 percentile lateral quickness after his initial burst, which is also elite. Buccaneers building from the inside helping to address 26th-ranked RZ def from ‘22

Well, the number that jumped out to Joe in Frelund’s missive wasn’t Kancey’s lateral quickness. It was the godawful red zone defense — on a defense that has a defensive head coach. And it wasn’t like Todd Bowles radically changed the defense from his previous years in Tampa.

Now if you are trying to tell Joe that Bowles delegated most of his authority on defense to assistants, that’s one thing. But dang, that’s not good.

Joe can only guess, an educated guess, that this happened either because the Bucs run defense was just adequate or the Bucs had no edge rusher. Maybe both?

Last year, the Bucs were No. 15 in team rushing defense, allowing 120 yards per game. The Bucs were also tied for seventh in sacks with 45.

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9 Responses to “One Of Cynthia Frelund’s Favorite Draft Stats”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    Cynthia looks more better in these recent snaps. I’m sure her spreadsheet was spot on.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    I do have a very good feeling about Kancey, just the way he looks and plays … I’ll be extremely surprised if he turns out not to be good. I’m trying to think of any players on defense in the last decade or so when I was sold on them as much as I’m sold on Kancey, and the only player that comes to mind is David, as I love the undersized, yet very fast tackling machines that can also cover at LB.

    Hopefully my record stays in tact as I rarely feel this good about a pick.

  3. SB Says:

    everyone beat you to the punch Joe on the John Walford pickup Joe.
    Don’t hate on her.
    She may be right. However, I Don’t see how “spreadsheets” can help here. She is out of her lane here.

  4. Joe Says:


    Help Joe out. Where or when did Cynthia Frelund say anything about John Wafford?

  5. garro Says:

    Both ffrom what I could tell Joe.
    We couldn’t hold the edge on run plays. And no Pass rush without the aid of a blitz which leaves the backend stressed. Our star linebacker was MIA most of the time. So yeah… Touchdown!

  6. garro Says:

    She does have very pretty spread sheets Joe

  7. Duane Says:

    Anyone can seize on a cherry picked stat and say, “Wow, that’s really great/terrible!”

    The only stat that really matters to defenses is points allowed. The Bucs defense slipped to 13th in the league, from the two prior years of 5th and 8th. 13th isn’t horrible, but it clearly wasn’t as good and needs to improve back into the top 10. Of course, the thing is that the better the offense performs, particularly in the clock eating running game, the less pressure there is on the defense, tending to result in better numbers. Given that point production and running production were not good at all last season, it should not surprise that defensive production slipped too.

    Conversely, the better the defense performs, the less pressure there is on offenses to score – that was the situation for the Bucs during the Dungy years up through the Super Bowl in 2003. No. 1 or 2 defenses allow a team to get by and win a lot of games with only an average offense. That could be our ticket for 2023 success.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Letting JPP and Suh both go was a mistake. It was wishful thinking boys could fill a man’s shoes and the fat guy from Chicago was $ wasted that would have covered Suh. Didn’t Suh make it to the Superbowl again? Licht is better with the draft than free agents. Tom Brady was the score of the century but he wanted to come here, so that’s a duck. I’d like to see the success rate of FA signings by JL.

  9. HA-HA-HA Says:

    The more I think about the pick the better I like it.
    With the NFL choosing more running quarterbacks using the RPO, the idea of a quick lineman with a lateral movement skill set and the ability to slice in and take out the little runner playing quarterback appeals to me.