The Cleveland Browns signed Adrian Clayborn in free agency to add some much-needed depth along the defensive line.
The average fan may not be all that impressed with Clayborn given that he “only” had four sacks in 15 games last season with the Atlanta Falcons, but sacks are not always the best indicator of a defensive end’s impact on a game.
Which pass rushers were the most disruptive in 2019? @TheNickShook dives into Next Gen Stats to find the answer, and he delivers a top-10 list with some surpriseshttps://t.co/KqGX3enpAU pic.twitter.com/5QQRkCAbml— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 22, 2020
That is why it should not come as a surprise to see Clayborn on the list of the NFL’s top disruptors compiled by NFL.com writer Nick Shook.
Related: Myles Garrett is NFL’s top “disrupter”
Using Next Gen Stat’s Disruption rate, which takes the total number of a player’s disruptions divided by their total number of pass-rush snaps (a minimum of 250), Shook determined that Clayborn’s Disruption Rate of 14.5 percent, was the league’s ninth-best in 2019:
Clayborn, who signed with the Browns this offseason, had more sacks in one game in 2017 than he had in all of 2019, but that only illustrates how incomplete sacks are as a stat. Clayborn was an effective player for the Falcons’ defense last year by making the most of the pass-rushing snaps he was afforded, recording 35 QB pressures on just 282 pass rushes. Those pressures, plus his 24 hurries, comprise the backbone of his higher disruption rate.
Look, do I feel great about Clayborn making this list over guys like Chandler Jones, Joey Bosa or Cameron Heyward (to name a few)? Absolutely not. But his disruption rate wasn’t far off from Myles Garrett’s with a similar number of pass rushes. The numbers tell the story here. I’m just the messenger.
Originally a first-round draft selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Clayborn has appeared in 110 games, making 52 starts, with 36.5 career sacks and 145 career tackles.