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Old 03-07-2013   #1
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Default LZ on 2013 draft class Offensive Linemen

Nice piece by LZ. Much more content on each player at the link...

Categorizing Offensive Linemen -- Lance Zierlein
Thursday, March 07, 2013


Quote:
I've been lucky enough to live in a football family with a father who has spent over 32 years coaching offensive lines in college and pro football. I remember watching tape with him as early as 9 years of age and being bored out of my skull as he kept pounding on the clicker. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth went the tape as he poured over each offensive lineman's hands and feet on each play in an attempt to isolate good and bad technique.

Fast-forward to 2013 and I feel very fortunate that I have been able to really tap into his wealth of knowledge surrounding offensive line play over the last 15 years. I learn something new every time I quiz him, and he's one of the best technicians in the game. I have friends in scouting positions and front office positions and they often confide in me that evaluating offensive line play is one of the hardest things for them to do. I know it sounds strange, but I'm at the point where I feel very comfortable with offensive line evaluations because I know what to look for and I understand that it doesn't take an offensive line full of Pro Bowlers to win at the highest level.
...
Offensive Line Stats via STATS ICE.

The Blue-Chippers

Every football fan wants an offensive line full of studs and blue-chip talent, but roster building doesn't work like that. In most cases, a general manager and/or the head coach will look for a blue-chip tackle who they can build around. In some cases, like in San Francisco, the team will make the offensive line a major priority and they will use as many as three first-round picks in order to try and build a dominant offensive line. Identifying the blue-chip talent usually isn't that difficult, but being in position to draft them isn't always easy since they tend to go quickly.

Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M --
...
Joeckel's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 2
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 10
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 3
2012 Penalties Accepted: 4

Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan --
...
Fisher's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 0
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 0
2012 Penalties Accepted: 2

Grimy Grinders

There is a group of offensive linemen in the NFL who have shorter arms than you might like, average movement skills or who struggle to handle the stronger players lined up across from them. They are like a collection of players from the The Island of Misfit Toys. They do have one quality, however, that won't show up in Combine drills -- toughness.

Want to see how nasty an offensive lineman is? Watch how he "finishes blocks". Check to see if the lineman sprawls on top of a downed defender and continues to put weight on him despite the play being over. You'll notice these guys will also tend to give an extra shove when the play is over; nothing that usually draws a penalty, but just enough to let the defender know that the offensive lineman will not be backing down at any point during the game. This attitude has helped many a player with average measurables stick around for long NFL careers.

Justin Pugh, OT/OG, Syracuse --
...
Pugh's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0.5
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 0
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 3
2012 Penalties Accepted: 5

Brian Winters, OG, Kent State --
...
Winters' 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 0
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 0
2012 Penalties Accepted: 4

The Power Players

There are fewer true "power" linemen in this draft than you might think. With the proliferation of spread offenses that are becoming more frequently spearheaded by blasts of "up-tempo" nitrous, we are seeing fewer and fewer power players since they tend to be bigger and heavier. Who wants a power player when it is all about speed, tempo and movement? The SEC still wants them, that's who. Here are three power players -- all from the SEC -- who should have bright futures with NFL teams looking to attack downhill.

Chance Warmack, G, Alabama --
...
Warmack's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 2
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 1
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 2
2012 Penalties Accepted: 3

Larry Warford, G, Kentucky --
...
Warford's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 6
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 1
2012 Penalties Accepted: 2

D.J. Fluker, OT/OG, Alabama --
...
Fluker's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 5.5
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 10
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 8
2012 Penalties Accepted: 1

Elite Feet

Big men who can move like smaller men have always dazzled the sports world whether it was Hakeem Olajuwon or Orlando Pace. In football, offensive linemen who have quick feet are able to beat defenders to spots. If a tackle has quick feet, he can get to the edge quicker than the defensive end and will have the advantage in pass protection. Guards use quick feet to help them get into position quickly to help create the angles necessary to defeat bigger, stronger defensive linemen. Offensive linemen who can run well also help offensive coordinators widen out the field with outside zone plays (stretch plays) which can also open up the bootleg play-action passing game.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that many offensive linemen with upper-echelon foot quickness are often lacking in the functional football strength department. As long as the lineman has enough functional strength, they can make it in the NFL even though they are often best suited to teams who run more zone scheme.

Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina --
...
Cooper's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 1
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 2
2012 Penalties Accepted: 4

Lane Johnson, LT, Oklahoma --
...
Johnson's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 2
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 6
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 7
2012 Penalties Accepted: 3

Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff -
...

Sure and Steady Worker Bees

This is the final category of offensive linemen and it also happens to be the most plentiful around the league. In some ways, you could argue that these offensive linemen are the glue that holds some offenses together. These linemen don't have elite physical traits, but that also means that teams are able to draft them outside of the first round, which is an instant savings. Most "sure and steady" players won't be looking for early pay raises on their rookie deals and they usually get modest deals on their second contracts, helping to free up money for other positions.

These worker bees are usually strong in the locker room and generally have good football intelligence to make up for other areas where they may lack. The "sure and steady" types are mostly coachable and play through pain. The dirty little secret of the football world is that teams can win at a high level with at least 3 and sometimes 4 "sure and steady" linemen in the starting lineup. The mock drafts don't love these guys, but general managers, head coaches and offensive line coaches appreciate them.

Brian Schwenke, C, Cal --
...
Schwenke's 2012 Sacks Allowed: 1
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 2
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 4
2012 Penalties Accepted: 1

Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee --
...
Thomas' 2012 Sacks Allowed: 0
2012 QB Hurries Allowed: 4
2012 QB Knockdowns Allowed: 3
2012 Penalties Accepted: 6
read more: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cf...ensive-linemen
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