As you all remember, many NFL pundits on TV and web predicted that the Chiefs would take a left tackle at #5 in last year’s NFL Draft. Most predicted Russell Okung would be the Chiefs pick although a few suggested Bryan Bulaga or Trent Williams. As you may also recall, I beseeched Scott Pioli to ignore those pundits, stick with Branden Albert in spite of his poor stats in 2009 and draft Eric Berry. I got my wish.
So, I bet you’re wondering whether sticking with Branden Albert was a good decision or not. You’re probably curious about how Branden stacks up in sacks allowed through the first 11 games this year versus all the other elite left tackles in the NFL.
First, let’s look at the rookie stats through 11 games for the three tackles rumored to be going to the Chiefs with the #5 pick in the draft:
Bryan Bulaga GB – 6.5 sacks (at RIGHT TACKLE, a less demanding position)
Trent Williams WAS – 7.5 sacks (in only 9 games)
Russell Okung SEA – 2 sacks (in only 5 games, struggled with injuries so far)
Not so great.
Next, let’s look at some of the recent draftees at left tackle (Branden’s “peer group” as he came into the league just three years ago):
Sam Baker ATL – 9 sacks (chosen 6 picks after Branden)
Duane Brown HOU – 5.5 sacks (chosen 11 picks after Branden)
Eugene Monroe JAC – 5 sacks (drafted year after Branden)
Levi Brown AZ – 5 sacks (drafted year before Branden)
Jermon Bushrod NO – 4 sacks (drafted year before Branden)
Chris Williams CHI – 3 sacks at LEFT GUARD (chosen right before Branden; that many sacks at LG is terrible – Brian Waters has ZERO)
Jason Smith STL – 2 sacks at RIGHT TACKLE (drafted year after Branden)
And now, the “elite” left tackles in the NFL:
Matt Light NE – 6 sacks
Ryan Clady DEN – 6 sacks
Jake Long MIA – 6 sacks (injury played a part)
Michael Roos TEN – 5 sacks
Michael Oher BAL – 4 sacks
Jordan Gross CAR – 3 sacks
Joe Thomas CLE – 3 sacks
Bryant McKinnie MIN – 3 sacks
Marcus McNeill SD – 2.5 sacks (in ONLY 6 games!)
And the three best left tackles in the NFL through 11 games are:
D’Brickashaw Ferguson NYJ – 2 sacks
Branden Albert KC – 2 sacks
Looks like a Pro Bowl year for our franchise left tackle.