Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer is on his third NFL team in five seasons. Buffalo is counting on him to play significant snaps opposite Micah Hyde as a starting safety, but his abilities are largely unknown that to incomplete data.
“It’s a bit of a mystery, because we just haven’t seen that much from him in regular-season games,” Football Outsider’s Aaron Schatz tells Buffalo Rumblings. “As far as stats go, we’ve got two partial seasons. In 2015, the charting metrics are really great, in a very limited sample. In 2016, the charting metrics are pretty bad, also in a very limited sample. What might worry me is tackling. In 2015, we counted Poyer with 12 broken tackles, which is pretty bad for only 425 snaps. He had only 2 last year, though.”
The Football Outsiders Almanac is available for purchase on their website right now, including a chapter on the Bills written by Greg Bedard. They use advanced metrics and historical data to predict what a team is likely to do in a season. To that end, Poyer doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a cornerback-turned-safety.
“Poyer’s a football player, he’s got talent,” said Schatz. “When a guy gets known for his abilities on special teams coverage, that’s usually a player who’s a hard worker. There’s a good record of players drafted as cornerbacks who turn out to be pretty good safeties, but usually those guys were higher draft picks, not seventh-rounders.”
Buffalo has had success with those type of cornerbacks switching to safety recently in Corey Graham, Aaron Williams, and even Jairus Byrd. Poyer switched to safety after his first training camp with the Eagles but as released before he could play the position. It is the position he played with the Cleveland Browns over the last three years.
Thanks to Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders for the analysis.