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Playoffs
04-06-2014, 05:52 PM
2014 NFL Draft: Why Offensive Linemen Are Valued Highly (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2019051-2014-nfl-draft-why-offensive-linemen-are-valued-high)

by Ryan Riddle (http://bleacherreport.com/users/887776-ryan-riddle)
...
As the 2014 NFL draft approaches, one of the bigger ongoing mysteries in football is trying to accurately peg down the value of an offensive lineman relative to the other positions.

Offensive linemen in particular are an interesting bunch of densely packed, high-IQ having, unnaturally strong athletes who get paid well to beat the living snot out of the man in front of them. So does their perceived value as the most talented bouncers in the country match their actual value relative to other positions on the field?
...
But before going there, it would be great to get an opinion from someone who built a career on building Super Bowl-winning teams.

This is exactly what the former general manager of the Broncos, Ted Sundquist, has done.

Sundquist spent 16 years with the Broncos, 10 of which began in the college scouting department and the last six as their GM. He served as the College Scouting Director in 1997 and 1998 during the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowls. In 2002, Pat Bowlen promoted him to general manager.

I was drawn to Ted Sundquist for his candor on various social-media platforms and willingness to provide rare insight into the life of front-office execs.

In an interview with Mr. Sundquist over the phone—or at least my attempt at an interview, which preferably morphed into a wonderful philosophical back-and-forth about team-building—he and I spoke about offensive linemen and their value. His tidbits of knowledge will appear throughout the article.

One way we can get a general understanding of how teams value positions is by looking at how high that position is drafted, but also looking at how much these players are paid...

32 Highest Average Salaries Among Non-QBs by Position

Position Breakdown in Top 32 No.
Edge Rushers 10
Wide Receievers 6
Left Tackles 6
Interier Defensive Line 5
Cornerbacks 2
Running Backs 1
Center 1
Middle Linebacker 1

Positions Not in Top 32
Tight End
Guard
Safety
Non-Rush Outside Linebacker
Kicker
Punter
Long Snapper
--Spotrac.com
If you go for highly regarded skill player, he either can or he can’t. Offensive linemen tend to be able to improve if they struggle early—as long that prospect possesses the elite measurables you look for in a tackle. This is why I laugh whenever I hear people say Eric Fisher is a busted pick already. Eric Fisher has everything you’re looking for in a LT.
There’s not a whole lot to project into the next level from a scouting standpoint, unlike skilled positions, where you have to wonder about various offensive systems and how that player was used in it. Can he do things he wasn’t asked to do? There’s very little uncertainty when scouting an offensive lineman because everything you need him to do at the next level, you’ll either see it or you won’t.
We tend to think of offensive linemen as having very long careers. You never hear draft analysts say ‘draft him and forget about his position for 10 years’ unless they're talking about an offensive lineman.

Yet offensive linemen are tied with defensive backs for the lowest lower quartile in the group. It seems odd, but 25 percent of offensive linemen good enough to start 80 games don't make it past their eighth season.
I think without great individual players on the offensive line, you’re not going to dominate in the NFL. You can’t have a great unit without great individuals.

thunderkyss
04-06-2014, 06:29 PM
I think without great individual players on the offensive line, you’re not going to dominate in the NFL. You can’t have a great unit without great individuals.



Brown might dominate. Brooks might dominate. I can see Q dominating at guard (not so much as a tackle).

I don't think Myers is the dominating type (I like him, just not a dominator).

mussop
04-07-2014, 12:51 AM
Brown might dominate. Brooks might dominate. I can see Q dominating at guard (not so much as a tackle).

I don't think Myers is the dominating type (I like him, just not a dominator).

This is why if it were me picking the first pick would be Robinson. With him I could see our OL being dominate. Sure makes life easier on a young QB having a top notch OL with two great tackles protecting the edges.

thunderkyss
04-07-2014, 07:31 AM
This is why if it were me picking the first pick would be Robinson. With him I could see our OL being dominate. Sure makes life easier on a young QB having a top notch OL with two great tackles protecting the edges.

But the casual fan won't know his name if we stick him at RT.

Dumbest excuse not to draft one of the two best talents in this draft.

IDEXAN
04-07-2014, 08:15 AM
Robinson is not my first choice for our 1.1 if we can't trade the pick, but I like using it on him more than I do any of the socalled "big three" QBs because I'm so unimpressed with any of them.

leebigeztx
04-07-2014, 08:40 AM
Name the last team to win a superbowl with a great o-line. In the past 10 yrs,the best line is probably the 1st big ben steelers superbowl. None of those giant,indy,gb,2nd or 3rd pitt,or ravens lines were that good. Indy,no,gb,ny, lines were made to look better because of the qb. Russell Wilson was the 2nd most pressured qb in football last year. Most was due to injuries.

It seems ol is safe to pick,but in reality,they bust out at a decent rate also. Jason smith,robert gallery,williams frm buffalo,levi brown,and even leonard davis at left tackle were bust. Eric Fisher and Jockel, the jury is still out. Duane Brown was the 8th tackle taken in the 1st rd,but look at some of those other guys taken like chris wiliams by the bears.

When the texans had a top rated line they had 1 1st rd pick, udfa,3rd rd pick,a 5th rd pick,and a guy let go from another team who was a 3 rd pick. Most oline coaches like a particular type vs the best guy the media thinks. The yr okung and williams came out,most had okung rated higher,but williams went before okung because shanny prefers lighter mor athletic ol.

IDEXAN
04-07-2014, 09:07 AM
Name the last team to win a superbowl with a great o-line. In the past 10 yrs,the best line is probably the 1st big ben steelers superbowl. None of those giant,indy,gb,2nd or 3rd pitt,or ravens lines were that good. Indy,no,gb,ny, lines were made to look better because of the qb. Russell Wilson was the 2nd most pressured qb in football last year. Most was due to injuries.

It seems ol is safe to pick,but in reality,they bust out at a decent rate also. Jason smith,robert gallery,williams frm buffalo,levi brown,and even leonard davis at left tackle were bust. Eric Fisher and Jockel, the jury is still out. Duane Brown was the 8th tackle taken in the 1st rd,but look at some of those other guys taken like chris wiliams by the bears.

When the texans had a top rated line they had 1 1st rd pick, udfa,3rd rd pick,a 5th rd pick,and a guy let go from another team who was a 3 rd pick. Most oline coaches like a particular type vs the best guy the media thinks. The yr okung and williams came out,most had okung rated higher,but williams went before okung because shanny prefers lighter mor athletic ol.
A play here, another call there by the refs and the 49ers could easily have won 2 SBs in recent years, and there's a team with an outstanding OLine.
And no wonder, they drafted with OLine as a priority with both OTs being first rounders and even in the interior with LG Mike Iupati also a first rounder, actually taken in the middle of the first round in 2010.

mussop
04-07-2014, 09:09 AM
Name the last team to win a superbowl with a great o-line. In the past 10 yrs,the best line is probably the 1st big ben steelers superbowl. None of those giant,indy,gb,2nd or 3rd pitt,or ravens lines were that good. Indy,no,gb,ny, lines were made to look better because of the qb. Russell Wilson was the 2nd most pressured qb in football last year. Most was due to injuries.

It seems ol is safe to pick,but in reality,they bust out at a decent rate also. Jason smith,robert gallery,williams frm buffalo,levi brown,and even leonard davis at left tackle were bust. Eric Fisher and Jockel, the jury is still out. Duane Brown was the 8th tackle taken in the 1st rd,but look at some of those other guys taken like chris wiliams by the bears.

When the texans had a top rated line they had 1 1st rd pick, udfa,3rd rd pick,a 5th rd pick,and a guy let go from another team who was a 3 rd pick. Most oline coaches like a particular type vs the best guy the media thinks. The yr okung and williams came out,most had okung rated higher,but williams went before okung because shanny prefers lighter mor athletic ol.

I hate the Super Bowl winner argument. It's really not a well thought out argument. With the way the game changes every 10 years and the small sample size it's not really a good way to gage what works well.

steelbtexan
04-07-2014, 09:16 AM
Name the last team to win a superbowl with a great o-line. In the past 10 yrs,the best line is probably the 1st big ben steelers superbowl. None of those giant,indy,gb,2nd or 3rd pitt,or ravens lines were that good. Indy,no,gb,ny, lines were made to look better because of the qb. Russell Wilson was the 2nd most pressured qb in football last year. Most was due to injuries.

It seems ol is safe to pick,but in reality,they bust out at a decent rate also. Jason smith,robert gallery,williams frm buffalo,levi brown,and even leonard davis at left tackle were bust. Eric Fisher and Jockel, the jury is still out. Duane Brown was the 8th tackle taken in the 1st rd,but look at some of those other guys taken like chris wiliams by the bears.

When the texans had a top rated line they had 1 1st rd pick, udfa,3rd rd pick,a 5th rd pick,and a guy let go from another team who was a 3 rd pick. Most oline coaches like a particular type vs the best guy the media thinks. The yr okung and williams came out,most had okung rated higher,but williams went before okung because shanny prefers lighter mor athletic ol.

Thanks HOF Alex Gibbs

infantrycak
04-07-2014, 09:19 AM
But the casual fan won't know his name if we stick him at RT.

Dumbest excuse not to draft one of the two best talents in this draft.

Nice job leaving off 95% of the reason. Pretty pathetic.

I hate the Super Bowl winner argument. It's really not a well thought out argument. With the way the game changes every 10 years and the small sample size it's not really a good way to gage what works well.

The game hasn't changed that much that fast.

Dread-Head
04-07-2014, 09:33 AM
:thinking: Because the way rules are written a teams can get huge yardage penalties & defensive player can get a multiple game suspension, tens of thousands in fines for sneezing at the wrong QB. Terry Bradshaw once said that today's QBs might as well put on tutu's as the league is treating them like ballerinas. Many QBs can't take a hit hence you need a bunch of 380 pound collard green eatin' muff-huggas to protect your golden girl...(ahem) boy as chances are he's the highest paid player on your roster.

Dread-Head
04-07-2014, 09:35 AM
I hate the Super Bowl winner argument. It's really not a well thought out argument. With the way the game changes every 10 years and the small sample size it's not really a good way to gage what works well.

Joe Flacco is the greatest QB ever. He won a superbowl all by himself and deserves to be the highest paid player in the NFL.

:sarcasm:

Seriously however I have to agree with you.

mussop
04-07-2014, 09:44 AM
Nice job leaving off 95% of the reason. Pretty pathetic.



The game hasn't changed that much that fast.

I don't care if you want to say every 20 years it's still a poor argument.

thunderkyss
04-07-2014, 10:49 AM
Name the last team to win a superbowl with a great o-line. In the past 10 yrs,the best line is probably the 1st big ben steelers superbowl. None of those giant,indy,gb,2nd or 3rd pitt,or ravens lines were that good. Indy,no,gb,ny, lines were made to look better because of the qb. Russell Wilson was the 2nd most pressured qb in football last year. Most was due to injuries.

Well, until we get that QB...

Nice job leaving off 95% of the reason. Pretty pathetic.




Pathetic.... that's the word I should have used.

infantrycak
04-07-2014, 11:01 AM
Pathetic.... that's the word I should have used.

About yourself yes along with disingenuous with that lame attempt to carry over another conversation and misrepresent it when doing so.

thunderkyss
04-07-2014, 11:03 AM
About yourself yes along with disingenuous with that lame attempt to carry over another conversation and misrepresent it when doing so.

Pathetic

Playoffs
04-07-2014, 11:26 AM
...
According to the offensive-line ranking system, only three of the top 10 offensive lines were playoff teams in 2011. In that same year, two of the 10 worst offensive lines in the league happened to play each other for the NFC Championship Game, where one of those teams (Giants) went on to become Super Bowl champions.

In fact, two of the last three Super Bowl winners (Giants, Seahawks) were teams with offensive lines ranked in the bottom 10 in the league.

Obviously, there is importance to offensive lineman, but it does seem that their real value comes as an entire unit rather than an individual. And since there are so many offensive linemen on the field at one time, you don’t want to be the team pulling together a unit of washed-up leftovers from the bottom of the pot.

Consuming your top draft picks and your wallets to create an elite offensive line is similar to taking too many vitamins and supplements; the body can only absorb so much and the rest is flushed right out of your system. Elite blocking has a limited ceiling in terms of its impact on the game. Eventually, you can end up wasting high draft picks and money if you dedicate too much effort toward an elite line.

Five above-average blockers is really all you ever need in order to establish a long-running, well-balanced dynasty. Oh, and don't disregard those big boys inside; they can often be the key to your line's success.

mussop
04-07-2014, 12:06 PM
...

There is more than one way to be successful in the nfl. Having a dominate defense, having an elite QB and then there is having a dominant OL that can control the line of scrimmage. Just look at what the 9ers have accomplished the last three years. If you can run the ball and protect the QB really well you can still win without an elite QB.

And since there isn't an elite QB available you might as well improve either the defense or the OL so that we can have some success until we find the right QB. Hell if the OL plays well enough one of the current or soon to be drafted QB's might turn out to be the right one.

I know this, none of them have a chance with the current mess we have been trotting out there. Of course that's not to say we couldn't draft an OT with our second or third rounder and still have a very good OL. but if OT is BPA and fills a hole then don't try and get all fancy and over think it. Just go with the best option that presents it's self.

thunderkyss
04-07-2014, 12:09 PM
There is more than one way to be successful in the nfl. Having a dominate defense, having an elite QB and then there is having a dominant OL that can control the line of scrimmage. Just look at what the 9ers have accomplished the last three years. If you can run the ball and protect the QB really well you can still win without an elite QB.


I keep thinking about the Jets & the OL (and defense) that took Sanchez to back to back AFC Championship games.

leebigeztx
04-07-2014, 03:57 PM
Let me clear, o-line is more about fit and unity moreso than just talent. I'm all for having a good o-line,but for all the guys pushing robinson,he may not fit what they see as a lineman. Even as a superbowl winner may be described as a moot point, resources used in the line can be tricky. 49ers have what 4 1st rd o-linemen and it works for them. Seattle has 1 or 2 and journeyman everywhere else. Their line coach probably likes a certain body type and player that doesn't require the team to spend high picks on o-line.

LikeMike
04-07-2014, 04:12 PM
Having a great O-Line makes it easier for everyone on offense. The QB gets more time, the HB gets bigger holes, the WR have longer to get open. Getting a great RT makes it easier for the RG (who doesn`t need to help as often), which makes it easier for the C and thus the LG. So by getting a great RT we greatly improve our O-line and so we are greatly increasing the time our QB has, the holes our HB can run through and the time our WR have to get open.

I don`t think you can argue with that - so what about that superbowl argument? Well I guess the question is more: can you still construct a great team if you have a lot of money tied up in your O-line? Right here is where you need to find the best balance.

I believe in taking the best talent and the best value. I am in the Bridgewater camp, but it seems like he is out of the equation for the #1 pick. Clowney might be next, but I am not very confident about his motor. So for me, the next best talent and value would be Robinson. Actually, I´d argue if we`ve had a good RT last season, we would`ve made the playoffs. So adding a guy like Robinson would do a lot to this team and greatly help our next young QB.

mussop
04-07-2014, 08:16 PM
Having a great O-Line makes it easier for everyone on offense. The QB gets more time, the HB gets bigger holes, the WR have longer to get open. Getting a great RT makes it easier for the RG (who doesn`t need to help as often), which makes it easier for the C and thus the LG. So by getting a great RT we greatly improve our O-line and so we are greatly increasing the time our QB has, the holes our HB can run through and the time our WR have to get open.

I don`t think you can argue with that - so what about that superbowl argument? Well I guess the question is more: can you still construct a great team if you have a lot of money tied up in your O-line? Right here is where you need to find the best balance.

I believe in taking the best talent and the best value. I am in the Bridgewater camp, but it seems like he is out of the equation for the #1 pick. Clowney might be next, but I am not very confident about his motor. So for me, the next best talent and value would be Robinson. Actually, I´d argue if we`ve had a good RT last season, we would`ve made the playoffs. So adding a guy like Robinson would do a lot to this team and greatly help our next young QB.

To the bolded. Believe me someone will. :gun: