FanPost

Offensive Lineman

Well hello again already. I bring you back in for the continuation of my writing siege. For my own ego, please note that I did not start research until after finishing the introduction, and here I am right around four hours later posting part 2. I’m right on the pace I need, but I hope I didn’t miss anything critical!

Step two of this whole process has been the investigation of the offensive lineman. I chose to leave the search within the broad term because most websites don’t differentiate between them, and because I really just don’t have the time. So the first thing to do is to look through the draft picks of the last three years and find the first five offensive linemen taken each year and see just how well they benefited their team. One note of interest is that they were all taken within the first round, so the best and the brightest don’t even make it to pick #32. Keep in mind that I channeled my inner "Steve_Chiefs" and found some good tables.

2009

2010

2011

1

Jason Smith Stl

Trent Williams Was

Tyron Smith Dal

2

Andre Simth Cin

Russell Okung Sea

Nate Solder NE

3

Eugene Monroe Jac

Anthony Davis SF

Anthony Castonzo Ind

4

Alex Mack Cle

Mike Iupati SF

Danny Watkins Phi

5

Michael Oher Bal

Bryan Belaga GB

James Carpenter Sea

Ok. So as we look at that, we can immediately pull some information. The first is that GMs have in the past grabbed two different lineman just within the first 32 choices (see NE, Cle, Cin this year) so that is something to keep in mind. Another is that team record does not decide whether or not to grab an OL. NE grabbed one this past year after a 14 win season, and StL grabbed one after a 2 win season. So record is out as an indicator of pick.

Let’s move on to how they helped their respective teams. The chart below was pulled from football outsiders here. If that link doesn’t make it from Word to AP someone let me know and I will add it in. On that page they have a fairly detailed explanation of where they got their ranks, as well as plenty more statistics, but I would like to throw in one caveat. I disagree with their percentages of rushes 0-4 yards and 5-10 yards. As I personally believe, a rush of 5-10 yards indicates that the line did a good job of pushing back the defense and moving to the second level, with a rush of 0-4 yards a failure to do so. As such, I believe that the two percentages should be switched, with 0-4 receiving 50% and 5-10 receiving 100%. However, I don’t have the vast collection of numbers that they do, and cannot recreate the ranks within my restrictions, so we are stuck with theirs. To be fair, I’m sure the ranks give an apt representation of line abilities.

For each team’s pick, I pulled the ranking from the previous year as well as the year of the pick. This should show the immediate effect on the team of taking an offensive lineman in the first round, regardless of how much the pick actually played. I also threw in Kansas City’s ranking from last year in the hopes that I could make a guess as to what a pick would give us next year.

2008

2009

2010

2011

RUN BLOCKING

PASS PROTECTION

RUN BLOCKING

PASS PROTECTION

RUN BLOCKING

PASS PROTECTION

RUN BLOCKING

PASS PROTECTION

Rank

Team

Team

Sack Rank

Rank

Team

Team

Sack Rank

Rank

Team

Team

Sack Rank

Rank

Team

Team

Sack Rank

11

BAL

CLE

7

4

BAL

CIN

10

1

NE

IND

1

2

NE

NE

8

16

JAC

BAL

20

9

GB

CLE

15

10

PHI

NE

6

4

PHI

PHI

11

19

CLE

STL

23

11

JAC

BAL

19

12

DAL

DAL

11

9

DAL

DAL

13

28

STL

JAC

24

21

CLE

SEA

22

13

SF

SEA

14

19

IND

IND

18

32

CIN

CIN

27

24

CIN

STL

24

22

IND

GB

21

25

KC

KC

19

25

WAS

SF

26

23

GB

WAS

22

29

SEA

SEA

24

27

SEA

WAS

27

24

WAS

PHI

28

28

STL

JAC

29

28

SEA

SF

30

32

SF

GB

30

For the people out there who are like me, I have some trouble just looking at a table and pulling out information, so I decided a second table which will hopefully be a little bit clearer, can put some things to rest. As promised, I added the change in the win column for the team as well.

Team Name

Rushing Rank Change

Passing Rank Change

Overall Change

Change in Record

DAL

+3

-2

+1

+2

NE

-1

-2

-3

-1

IND

+3

-17

-14

-8

PHI

+6

+17

+23

-2

SEA (2 years)

-2

-2

-4

+2

WAS

+1

+5

+6

+2

SF (2 players)

+17

-4

+13

-2

GB

-14

+9

-5

-1

STL

0

-1

-1

-1

CIN

+8

+17

+25

+6

JAC

+5

-4

+1

+2

CLE

-2

-8

-10

+1

BAL

+7

+1

+8

-2

Now that was a whole lot easier, was it not? So what do we see? Number one is that it doesn’t bode well for your Hall of Fame QB to not play a single game. Number two is that adding an offensive lineman really doesn’t do much for your record, and certainly doesn’t seem to affect offensive line rankings with any degree of certainty (sorry upamtn). Now careful readers will notice that 6 win uptick that follows the +25 overall change belonging to the Cincinnati Bengals. A quick run to Pro Football Reference will show that the offense rose only from #32 to #22, but the defense rose from #19 to #6 en route to a playoff appearance.

Well it seems about time to wrap this essay up. The offensive line choice depends greatly on where in the line we have a hole. Currently our starting lineup looks like Albert-Lilja-Hudson-Asamoah-Winston with Mims, Bruggeman, and Harris as backups. Weigmann may or may not return as of yet. I will agree with the masses that claim Lilja is the weak link. However, he has not reached Richardson status yet of absolutely needing to be replaced. His weak link status comes from the established status of two of the lineman (Albert and Winston) and the up and coming status of the other two (Hudson and Asamoah). The top guard in the draft is, and therefore should be out target should we choose guard, is of course David DeCastro (Standford). Perhaps due to my military experience, I am a bit leery of having the new guys outnumber the vets, but perhaps Scott Pioli will want to atone for letting Waters and Gaither go. Have at me.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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