It's not that I didn't know that the Chiefs were bad. Or that the offensive line was going to have to be reworked. But something about the Chargers game drove the point home in a new way.
The KC line is horrid. There is no other way to describe it that can be written on a family site. Some of the blame can be laid at the feet of Cassel. But more often than blame there were defensive players at his feet. Here's the breakdown by game of sacks and QB hits that the O-line have given up in each of KC's first 7 games.
- Baltimore Ravens: 3 sacks, 2 QB hits
- Oakland Raider: 2 sacks, 5 QB hits
Philadelphia Eagles: 3 sacks, 5 QB hits (stat corrected from 5 to 3 sacks)
- New York Giants: 5 sacks, 8 QB hits
- Dallas Cowboys: 4 sacks, 11 QB hits
- Washington Redskins: 5 sacks, 10 QB hits
- San Diego Chargers: 4 sacks, 5 QB hits
Totals thru week 7: 26 Sacks, 46 QB hits (stat corrected from 31 to 26)
Total KC Passing Attempts in 2009: 200 Attempts
Percent of times KC QB has been hit per passing attempt:
That may be the most ridiculous stat I have ever seen. 23% of the time somebody lays hand on the KC QB. Have you ever heard of a team who got their QB smashed
one out of every 4 almost 4 out of every 10 passing attempts?
Another factor is QB hurries. Unfortunatly there is no reliable way to track this stat. I can't prove it, but my eyes tell me each Sunday that if you factored in QB hurries you would see that Cassel is harassed on 50% to 60% of all passing plays. Well be lucky if Cassel doesn't suffer Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome before the season is over.
You can also add in the fact that Matt Cassel is the second leading rusher for KC with 27 attempts and 126 yards. Last time I checked Cassel was not Michael Vick. A few of these are QB sneaks for a yard or two. The rest are Matt running for his life.
The debate on whether to draft another OT is already heating up on this site. Does KC take another tackle and move Branden Albert back to Guard? Does KC try to bookend the line with two studs?
Personally I think the interior line is the most glaring issue and I don't care one way or another. Just fix it. If moving Albert to Guard changes the dynamic of the line in a positive way, go for it. If you can address another need in the first round and find your line help later, do it. The best argument I have seen for not drafting a tackle has been put out by ChiefDJ.
Here's the meat of his argument as I see it from his post Chiefs LT Albert Not Doing As Bad As Some Think:
OT's go fast though. If Pioli and Co. are going to target a tackle that can start day one in 2010 they will need to spend a premium draft pick to get him.
After the break, meet the top 5 Offensive Tackle prospects for next years draft. And watch for another fan post covering Offensive Guard prospects, Center prospects and Free Agent O-line prospects for 2010.
NOTE: The draft position of each of the following players was based on research from a number of sites and blindly thrown darts at a draft board.
Projected #1 OT Prospect: Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State
Weight: 305 lbs
Projected Draft Position : Top 10 pick, most likely top 5
Player overview from CBS Sports:
Although Okung does not have the elite foot speed shown by left tackles picked in the top five overall in the recent drafts, the two-plus-year starter and first-team All-Big 12 pick in 2008 has the size and athleticism to be a force on the left side of the line as a pass protector and positional run blocker.
Okung has an undeserved tag as a finesse player, but opposing defensive ends find themselves on the ground more often than they'd like when up against him (71 knockdown blocks in 2008). With some technique work, the Texas native should be a long-time NFL starter - and a potential Pro Bowler - on the blind side.
Projected #2 OT Prospect: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma
Weight: 318 lbs
Projected Draft Position : Top 10 pick, could go as high as top 5 depending on team needs
Player overview from NFL.com:
Williams made the move to left tackle this year and has shown some promise while manning the position. He excels as a run blocker and shows solid skills in pass protection. While his struggles with speed and quickness off the edge lead some to question his ability to play left tackle in the NFL, Williams remains one of the top tackle prospects in the draft.
Projected #3 OT Prospect: Charles Brown, OT USC
Weight: 285 lbs
Projected Draft Position: Top 25 pick
Player overview from Gil Brandt at NFL.com:
Brown is a fifth-year player, who came to USC as a tight end. He moved to tackle in 2006 and started at left tackle in 2008. He is a very good athlete with good feet and is well coached at USC by offensive line coach Pat Ruel. Brown needs to add weight and strength, but he can play left tackle in the NFL and has upside
Projected #4 OT Prospect: Selvish Capers, OT West Virginia
Weight: 298 lbs
Projected Draft Position: Late round 1, early round 2
Player overview from Draft Nasty:
Capers was converted from tight end to offensive tackle before the 2007...
One of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country. Unselfish player, who agreed to moved to offensive tackle without any hesitation. Nice frame, lean body with lots of growth potential. Long wingspan deters defenders who like to "Bull Rush." Has good peripheral vision which allows him to locate blocks not normally in his path on running plays. Capers is the primary pulling lineman on counter and trap plays in the team's spread offense. Understands the zone-blocking scheme. Good footwork, and steps with the proper technique to achieve correct blocking assignments, chipping defenders, and often reaching the next level of would-be tacklers. He would be a nice fit for zone scheme offense employed by the several NFL teams, such as the Denver Broncos. His best asset is his pass-blocking ability. Covers a lot of ground with his kick step in pass protection. Played right tackle last season to protect left-handed QB Pat White (now with NFL's Miami Dolphins).
Projected #5 OT Prospect: Ciron Black, OT LSU
Weight: 322 lbs
Projected Draft Position: Early to mid 2nd round
Player overview from NFL Draft Dog:
At 6’ 5" 330 pounds Black is a tremendous run blocker who should immediately be an asset to an NFL team in this area. He has a hard first punch, likes to make first contact and can control once locked on. His arms are a good length and he’s thick with powerful legs. Black generally gets a good push and combo blocks very well. In pass protection, Black has a good, deep kick slide, mirroring the defender and walling them off. He could get better against speedier rushers but pits strength vs strength and can win that battle. He has greatly improved his footwork and hands, becoming very technically sound and uses technique to mask some quickness disadvantages. He’s pretty smart, works hard and should have no problem with picking up a playbook.