Three-Year Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Linemen

| June 15, 2011

If you’ve been reading along this week you’ve noted that we’ve been focusing on individuals in pass protection (2010 tackles, 2010 guards & centers). Today is no different, except that we won’t just be looking at 2010. No, this time we’re going to look at the data we’ve collected since 2008.
 
Getting past any talk of an up or down year last year, we’ll show here who have been the most efficient – and inefficient – in this three-year span when it comes to pass protection on a per play basis.
 
So, who has been the best? The worst? Let’s begin with the tackles.
 
 
 

Tackles

We set a minimum of 1000 pass-blocking snaps which left us with 57 tackles in the study. The findings make good reading for those looking for some pass protection help in free agency. Four of our Top 15 are scheduled to hit free agency if and when a new CBA is done – including the man who has the lowest Pass Blocking Efficiency rating over the past three years – even if he did miss all of 2010.
 
That man is Willie Colon. With Colon missing for the year, the Steelers were without a guy who, over the previous two years, had given up only 43 QB disruptions, and the team finished among the worst pass protection units in the league. By contrast, 2010 saw Flozell Adams give up 46 in 578 snaps in pass protection. So, for a team in need of a sound pass protector on the right side they’d do well to remember just how good Colon has been before injury wiped him from the memory of some.
 
And, yes, you do have to be good to finish ahead of Jake Long. The Dolphin had the best rate of any left tackle after allowing pressure on just 3.46% of his pass snaps, with an impressive 14 perfect games in pass protection since he entered the league. Just behind him in the left tackle stakes is a player who, like Willie Colon, missed the entire 2010 and is scheduled for free agency.
 
For some reason Jared Gaither has never really got the credit his performances have warranted, yet only two players have better PBE ratings than the left tackle. You only need to see the drop off in Baltimore’s play at LT with him out of the lineup to see how good a player he is. Teams in need of a franchise left tackle really need look no further (on a talent level) than the former Maryland Terp.
 
Other players to feature highly include the Browns’ Joe Thomas, free agent Damien Woody, and two Tennessee Titans in David Stewart and Michaels Roos.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Tackles, Top 15, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Willie Colon1333432.66
2Jake Long1820632.76
3Jared Gaither1006393.06
4Joe Thomas1600633.17
5Damien Woody1540603.18
6Andrew Whitworth1644663.19
7David Stewart1608673.25
8D'Brickashaw Ferguson1817753.29
9Kareem McKenzie1513763.92
10Doug Free1017523.98
11Tyson Clabo1877954.01
12Vernon Carey1629854.14
13Bryant McKinnie1703904.23
14Michael Roos1621874.24
15Chad Clifton1830994.33

 

There are, of course, some guys who didn’t perform quite as well. Some of them have already been found out, and others need to step their game up. One of those already found out is 49ers backup Adam Snyder who has struggled time and time again when put at right tackle. His rating is helped by the occasions he played at guard where he was better than he ever managed as a tackle.
 
So that’s not unexpected, but the next guy will probably catch you out. Two years is too soon to write anyone off, but you would have expected Eugene Monroe to perform better than he has. It’s a problem that really has gone unnoticed (understandable given the struggles of the tackles drafted ahead of him from 2009) but Monroe gives up a lot of pressure. You can accept his rookie problems given the time it takes to adapt to the NFL and an illness he suffered, but even in 2010 he still had a -11.4 rating. If there’s any solace it’s that his best two games came at the end of last year with two positives to end the season.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Tackles, Bottom 15, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Adam Snyder11291037.24
2Eugene Monroe1024906.93
3Levi Brown22071936.92
4Mike Gandy13251156.81
5Marc Colombo16191376.62
6Stephon Heyer1143936.47
7Duane Brown16321336.46
8John St. Clair13671096.35
9Flozell Adams18691496.27
10Jermon Bushrod13951126.25
11Langston Walker1155936.19
12Jammal Brown1125896.09
13David Diehl16461256.01
14Charlie Johnson19791505.80
15Sam Baker1345985.78

 

Guards

Moving on to the guards where, at the top, is an often overlooked Jet. On a line so good, it’s not hard to see why Brandon Moore doesn’t get the credit he’s due. He has, however, been as consistent as any guard in the league these past three years, and finished marginally ahead of sure-fire Hall of Famer, Brian Waters. Those two are joined by Bobbie Williams in a Top 3 that is a ways ahead of the rest.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Guards, Top 15, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Brandon Moore1796441.88
2Brian Waters1775441.90
3Bobbie Williams1884472.02
4Chris Snee1792532.30
5Steve Hutchinson1688492.33
6Wade Smith1320392.35
7Harvey Dahl1650502.38
8Carl Nicks2043632.40
9Jahri Evans2143682.48
10Rich Seubert1647532.49
11Richie Incognito1534472.49
12Justin Smiley1019322.50
13Ben Grubbs1879612.54
14Logan Mankins1683542.55
15Josh Sitton1623542.59

 

On a more negative note, once again we find Chris Keomeatu’s name creeping into the conversation. Pittsburgh’s guard has given up more pressure than all other guards who qualified for this study. He was narrowly worse than Keydrick Vincent who moved to Tampa Bay and lost his spot in 2010 after some less than illustrious years in Carolina. Perhaps though, of all in the top five, the name that stands out most is Davin Joseph. The Buc has come in for criticism from me before, and continues to show up on lists like this while some media pundits insist on perpetuating the myth of him as a top guard. He’s not.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Guards, Bottom15, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Chris Kemoeatu1728924.22
2Keydrick Vincent1133614.19
3Alan Faneca1772904.03
4Davin Joseph1465753.99
5Eric Steinbach1492753.87
6Vince Manuwai1049513.79
7Anthony Herrera1527733.77
8Mike Pollak1270623.76
9Floyd Womack1252593.75
10Mike Brisiel1121553.75
11Chris Chester1401663.73
12Reggie Wells1639793.71
13Stacy Andrews1249573.68
14Cooper Carlisle1644773.68
15Uche Nwaneri1742803.62

 

Centers

Lastly we’re looking at those guys snapping the ball, the centers. 32 players qualified for the study with at least 1000 snaps, and of them all Olin Kreutz finished at the top. He may not have had his best year in 2010 as part of a poor Bears line, but over the past three years he’s more than done his job in pass protection and is featured here ahead of names such as Nick Mangold and Jeff Saturday.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Centers, Top 10, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Olin Kreutz1888291.20
2Jason Brown1850301.24
3Nick Mangold1789291.27
4Jeff Saturday1967331.30
5Matt Birk1868391.62
6Jamaal Jackson1382301.72
7Kevin Mawae1015231.72
8Ryan Kalil1457321.77
9Scott Wells1944451.83
10Rudy Niswanger1223291.86

 

At the other end, you’ll get an idea why we didn’t see Justin Hartwig on the field last year – notorious for allowing pressure up the gut. He was far and away the worst rated center, with the surprise names to note being Dan Koppen with the fifth worst rating and Nick Hardwick in the bottom ten.
 

Pass Blocking Efficiency, Centers, Bottom 10, 2008-2010

Rank
Name
Pass Blocking Snaps
Total Pressures
PBE
1Justin Hartwig1334694.22
2Nick Cole1346553.23
3Samson Satele1580582.88
4Geoff Hangartner1270432.72
5Dan Koppen1912642.63
6Jeff Faine1325452.60
7Chris Spencer1633502.42
8Casey Rabach1875572.37
9John Sullivan1162342.35
10Nick Hardwick1196342.28

 

Three positions and three years worth of data. Those are the guys who gave up the least and the most pressure on a per play basis. As ever with statistics they need to be taken in context given that some pressure occurs quicker than others, some players played hurt, and the level of opposition varied. But pressure is pressure, and regardless of those reasons, a lower rating and less pressure allowed is the aim.
 
Next up, we’ll switch gears and have a look at the tight ends and how they contribute to the pass blocking discussion.
 
 
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled … and our main Twitter feed: @ProFootbalFocus
 
 

  • thadjw

    Are we going to get to see run blocking stats for each OL position for 2010? That would be quite awesome to awesome. TW