Mikell makes grade in pass coverage

Quintin Mikell will be a free agent once the NFL's labor situation is finally resolved. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

First of all, Happy Fourth of July to all the MTC readers out there. Hope you're enjoying the holiday today with friends and family.

Just a couple of quick links to get to. I'm working on a couple projects and promise to have some more enlightening original content later this week.

Quintin Mikell continues to grade out favorably by those who use advanced metrics to assess NFL players.

The most recent example is a look at stop rates for safeties by Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports. Stop rate is defined as "a percentage that shows how ofen a defender kept an offense from making a successful play — success in this case is defined as gaining 45% of needed yardage on first down, 60% of needed yardage on second down, and 100% of needed yardage on third or fourth down."

Mikell had a 48 percent stop rate on passing plays, which ranked behind just two safeties: the Cowboys' Gerald Sensabaugh and the Giants' Deon Grant:

Mikell excelled in slot and flex coverage, covering tight ends and inside receivers with aplomb all season. He's been one of the game's more underrated defenders over the past couple of years.

Mikell, who will be a free agent once the CBA is resolved (yes, still waiting on that), hopes that other NFL teams agree with Farrar's assessment.

Meanwhile, Asante Samuel gets some more love from Football Outsiders. Aaron Schatz took a look at cornerbacks with at least 20 pass tackles, and Samuel ranked first with a 50 percent stop rate. This metric measures how good defenders are after they allow a catch, and while we have all been critical of Samuel's tackling over the years, the numbers once again reflect that his pluses outweigh his minuses.

Joselio Hanson, meanwhile, also graded out well with a 40 percent stop rate, fifth among cornerbacks.

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