Oakland Raiders Free Agent Acquisitions By the Numbers

7 of 9

Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles safety Nate Allen (29) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Allen – Safety

Once it was announced that injury prone Safety, Tyvon Branch, wasn’t going to be brought back this season, the Safety position instantly became a dire need for the Raiders. Even though Branch spent a vast majority of his time in Silver and Black on the sidelines, he did begin each year as the unquestioned starter.

Nate Allen is bucking the trend of the new Raiders by coming off of a greatly improved year.  In 2013 he ranked 51st overall among all Safeties in the NFL.  2014 saw him rise up to 28th overall. To me, this is made even more impressive by the fact he was in Philadelphia under Chip Kelly, who’s offense is so fast paced that the defensive players aren’t given the luxury of having long breaks between time on the field, so endurance and conditioning comes into play.

Allen played 1121 snaps last season, and was productive for those snaps, coming up with 4 interceptions, 2 defended passes and a QB sack. A very similar statline to Charles Woodson by the way, who played 1143 snaps, 4 picks, 1 sack, 4 pass defends. If he can keep up with C.Wood, he must be doing something right.

So here’s Nate Allen, v Brandian Ross.Keep in mind, the stat gurus at Pro Football Focus don’t separate Free Safeties and Strong Safeties. So being ranked in the top 30, more often than not means the player is ranked in the top 15 of his specific Safety position.

Nate Allen:

  • Overall Rank: 28th
  • Overall Grade: +3.9
  • Pass Rush: +.2 (Tied at 24th – with Woodson)
  • Coverage: +1.9 (36th overall)
  • Run Stopping: +2.3 (30th overall)
  • Tackling Efficiency: 7.9 (32nd overall)

Brandian Ross:

  • Overall Rank: 55th
  • Overall Grade: -1.1
  • Pass Rush: +.8 (11th overall)
  • Coverage: +.7 (Tied at 41st)
  • Run Stopping: -2.4 (64th)
  • Tackling Efficiency: (n/a)

It should be noted that Ross showed a major improvement from 2013 to 2014, going from 85th overall to 55th.

It seems pretty clear that Allen will serve as quite the improvement over Ross. Especially in coverage and stopping the run. One thing that plagued the Raider defense last season was giving up big yardage run plays, a guy like Allen should be able to step in and help prevent those big plays from happening.

Next: FA By the Numbers: Roy Helu Jr.