Ever heard of the production ratio?

If you play defensive tackle, d-end, or linebacker, and wanna play pro, you might want to get acquainted with it.

Will a completely healthy Nick Fairley help take the Lions to the next level in 2012? (ICON Sports)

Related: Outside Linebacker Tips – What NFL Scouts Look for In Outside ‘Backers – Part 1


It’s possible that NFL teams will use that number as part of their evaluation of you.

The production ratio originated from Pat Kirwin’s Take Your Eyes Off the Ball, (which is a good read, by the way).

It measures a d-lineman or linebacker’s ability to make big plays (tackles for loss and sacks) on a consistent basis.

Related: Defensive End Tips – What the NFL Looks for in Defensive Ends


In a nutshell, production ratio is used as a tool to project a player’s ability to make plays in the NFL.

Here’s the formula for calculating production ratios:


Pretty straightforward.

You want to have a one or better. If you have a one or better, it means that you average at least one big play per game.

I haven’t really done a poll on NFL scouts to see how many use this, but it’s definitely something at least some teams look at.


Does the Production Ratio Affect a Player’s Draft Position?


Evidence shows that it just might.

In the 2011 Draft, defensive ends Robert Quinn, Adrian Clayborn, and J.J. Watt all had college production ratios over 1. Marcell Dareus, who was taken third overall, had a ratio of 0.93, just missing the 1 threshold.

Jabaal Sheard went 37th overall in the second round, and had a 1.19 production ratio.

In the same draft, Nick Fairley (13th overall (first round), Stephen Paea (53rd overall (second round) , both of them d-tackles, were taken in the first round.

They had 1.5 and 1.2 production ratios in college, respectively.

Production Ratio Isn’t Everything

On the other hand, though, Phillip Taylor was drafted in the first round (21st overall (first round)  too, but he only had a 0.58 production ratio in college.

But he had a solid rookie year, with 59 tackles, and 4 sacks, out-performing Paea and Fairley statistically for the season.

This is proof as to why the production ratio isn’t the end-all be-all when it comes to evaluating players.

Keep in mind that the production ratio applies to linebackers too.

When it’s all said and done, a sub-1 production ratio won’t necessarily kill your chances of playing in the league, but with there being so much competition to land a roster spot in the NFL, you need everything going for you you can.


If you play on the front seven, what’s your production ratio? Are you averaging at least “one” big play a game? Do you care?

You should; scouts just might.


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