Tag Archives: J.J. Watt

Inducting a New 3-Sigma Athlete

The name of this blog is 3 Sigma Athlete, which refers to the rare NFL player who stands three standard deviations above the NFL standard pSPARQ at a given position. I’ve written before about the 3 sigma athletes who are currently in the NFL: J.J. Watt, Calvin Johnson, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson.

The idea of the club was brought up by Mathis, the All-Pro Eagles guard.

3 sigma athletes don’t show up very often. 3 standard deviations from the mean corresponds to the 99.87th percentile. It isn’t 1 in 1000, but it isn’t far off, either. In 2014, no players were added to the 3sig club, though Seattle’s 6th-round pick, Garrett Scott, did just miss, falling short by an impossibly small margin.

We do have a 3sigma athlete in 2015: Byron Jones, a cornerback from the University of Connecticut. I waited a few days to post in hopes that we’d reach a consensus on his pro day numbers, but given the reported range of 40 times, he’s almost certain to qualify. Even assuming a relatively conservative 40 of 4.4-flat, Jones managed to land a whopping 3.2 standard deviations from the positional cornerback average.


It’s mostly trivia, but it’s fun trivia. Jones is also a perfect test case for the argument that the NFL Combine doesn’t matter. NFLN analyst Daniel Jeremiah was the only national analyst to put Byron in his top 50 prior to Indianapolis, and now the UConn corner is being discussed as a possible first-round prospect.

If Byron Jones, by some miracle, fell to the Seahawks at 63, I would explode. It’s probably for the best that he’ll be long gone by then.