Who were the most productive pass rushers in college football? _lowres

Linebacker James Vaughters goes through drills during Stanford NFL football pro day on Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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It’s the season of amateur scouting reports.

Nearly everyone with a certain degree of interest in the draft has spent some time watching cutups of prospects in an attempt to get a read on their strengths and weaknesses.

In some cases, the available film is limited to a handful of games or plays and opinions are based on what’s available. It’s a faulty system. If those games happen to be the four best a player has played, or the four worst, then public opinion can be inaccurately swayed.

The folks at ProFootballFocus.com are putting an end to this practice. The site watched and charted every college game played this season and have begun releasing some stats, which helps put a value on what we’re seeing (or not seeing). It’s also important to note that these statistics strip away scouting. It’s a piece of the puzzle, not a verdict.

One thing that should be of interest to Saints fans is the site’s statistics on this year’s crop of edge rushers. And perhaps the most interesting thing about the list is that Kentucky pass rusher Bud Dupree, who has been widely projected to be of interest to the Saints, finished outside the top 20 in the site’s “pass-rushing productivity” metric.

Topping that list is Stanford’s James Vaughters, who created pressure every 15.3 times he rushed the passer. The list only considers raw numbers and not the level of competition, so the numbers do have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Among the top pass rushers and possible options for the Saints at the No. 13 pick, Nebraska’s Randy Gregory proved to be the most active pass rusher last season. He finished seventh in the nation with a 13.1 pass-rush productivity score (PRP) by logging 53 total pressures over 316 pass-rushing attempts.

Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. came in eighth with a 13 PRP (51 pressures over 311 rushes), while Clemson’s Vic Beasley was 17th with an 11 PRP (40 pressures over 299 rushes).

The site did not release numbers on Dupree or Missouri’s Shane Ray, but noted they finished 21st and 22nd in the study.

On third downs, Fowler finished third in the nation with a 17.7 PRP (24 pressures over 106 rushes) and Gregory was fifth (16.8 PRP, 21 pressures, 98 rushes).

Here is where Ray and Dupree make their first appearances on the list. Ray placed 16th with a 13.5 PRP (23 pressures over 143 rushes). Dupree was 19th (13 PRP, 16 pressures over 102 rushes).

Perhaps the most interesting prospect on the list is Arkansas’ Trey Flowers, who finished second overall, second on third down, and fourth in run defense.

Check out the full list here.