Earlier today we looked at how running backs have performed in pass blocking over the past three years, and now we’re on to the tight ends. The final piece in our series examining our Pass Blocking Efficiency stat since 2009. Over the previous three days we’ve looked at each of the offensive line positions, starting with tackles, moving inside to guards and then centers.
The Pass Blocking Efficiency is found when you add sacks to three quarters the value of the total number of hits and hurries, divide it by pass blocking snaps and then multiply by 100. You then take that number away from 100 and the closer the number to 100 the better.
For a tight end to be considered a pass blocker he cannot at any time make himself an eligible receiver and must engage or look to engage with a pass rusher. Now let’s take a look at those tight ends in pass protection.
Starting off, we’ll set our eyes towards which tight ends have been left into pass block most often over the past three years. That means revealing that current free agent Daniel Graham has played the role of additional lineman more than any other tight end after spending 386 snaps in pass protection. That was 14 more than Anthony Fasano, with the two AFC tight ends head and shoulders above the rest. Indeed, you have a further drop of 35 snaps before you call the name of Brent Celek in third spot. An interesting one when you think of Celek as a dangerous receiver, but an idea of what the Eagles do to help out their offensive line.
Rank Player Current Team Pass Protects
1 Daniel Graham FA 386
2 Anthony Fasano MIA 372
3 Brent Celek PHI 337
4 Randy McMichael SD 323
5 Zach J. Miller SEA 300
6 Leonard Pope PIT 299
7 Kevin Boss KC 296
8 Marcedes Lewis JAX 286
9 Brandon Manumaleuna CHI 264
10 Joel Dreessen DEN 260
Not Helping Out So Much
Logically you’d expect those men in the Top 10 to have given up more pressure than their peers. After all they’ve had more opportunity to give up pressure than other tight ends. While that’s not exactly wrong, the re-ordering of the players in the Top 10 (and introduction of a couple of players) is quite stark. The jump of Brandon Manumaleuna from ninth-highest amount of pass blocks to giving up six more QB disruptions than anyone is rather startling. Bears fans won’t need reminding of what a horrible job Manumaleuna did when they essentially tried to use him as an extra linemen, an expensive mistake if ever there was one.
Rank Player Current Team Total Pressure
1 Brandon Manumaleuna CHI 31
2 Jeff King ARZ 25
3 Brent Celek PHI 21
4 Leonard Pope PIT 21
5 Kevin Boss KC 21
6 Anthony Fasano MIA 20
7 Greg Olsen CAR 20
8 Daniel Graham FA 18
9 Billy Bajema SL 18
10 Matt Spaeth CHI 18
The former Bear with the long name wasn’t the only one to give up a lot of pressure, with Jeff King surrendering 25 combined, sacks, hits, and hurries while the Eagles’ Celek once again found himself in the Top 3 after giving up 21 of them. At least this time he had some company with the former Chief Leonard Pope and his replacement Kevin Boss also giving up the same number. But how would they all fair when we put them through the Pass Blocking Efficiency wringer?
A Quarterbacks Worst Friend
It’s the kind of double you don’t want to do for Manumaleuna. The former Chargers and Bears ‘blocking specialist’ didn’t have the ability to match his size as he sauntered home to a comfortable victory in the worst Pass Blocking Efficiency-for-a-tight-end stakes. Chicago knows a thing or two about getting rid of tight ends that give up pressure, with Greg Olsen finishing with the second-lowest score after giving up 20 combined sacks, hits, and hurries on just 198 pass blocks. That was enough to put him ahead of Jeff King in third place, while Rams fans will be disappointed to see two of their new recruits in the Top 10 with Brody Eldridge (fourth) and Matthew Mulligan (ninth).
Rank Name Current Team Pass Protects Total Pressure PBE
1 Brandon Manumaleuna CHI 264 31 90.63
2 Greg Olsen CAR 198 20 91.67
3 Jeff King ARZ 236 25 91.74
4 Brody Eldridge SL 106 11 91.98
5 Chris Cooley WAS 106 11 91.98
6 Matt Spaeth CHI 180 18 92.08
7 Vernon Davis SF 182 17 92.31
8 John Carlson MIN 169 17 92.31
9 Matthew Mulligan SL 115 10 92.83
10 Jeremy Shockey FA 178 16 93.26
A Quarterbacks Best Friend
Meanwhile, there’s a horrible void at the top of the charts when it comes to Pass Blocking Efficiency for tight ends. The man with the best rating, Jim Kleinsasser has retired, while the two men below him are currently without a team. They are… drum roll please… former Seahawks tight end Chris Baker and Kleinsassers’ former Vikings teammate Visanthe Shiancoe. With both men gone, and a notoriously poor pass protector in John Carlson coming in, it will be something to watch if Minnesota can continue to get good play out of their tight ends in this regard going forward. Looking at players who currently have a team, Marcedes Lewis leads the way, while Peyton Manning has another reason to like the extremely reliable Joel Dreessen joining up with the Broncos.
Rank Name Current Team Pass Protects Total Pressure PBE
1 Jim Kleinsasser RET 193 4 98.45
2 Chris Baker FA 173 4 98.27
3 Visanthe Shiancoe FA 120 3 97.92
4 Marcedes Lewis JAX 286 10 97.38
5 Joel Dreessen DEN 260 8 97.31
6 Tony Gonzalez ATL 139 5 97.30
7 John Gilmore FA 165 6 97.12
8 Jason Witten DAL 220 8 96.93
9 Martellus Bennett NYG 142 6 96.83
10 Daniel Graham FA 386 18 96.37
And so comes to an end our look at three-years worth of pass blocking efficiency for all positions. As I’ll always say, this isn’t as reliable an indicator as to the best pass blockers as our grading is–because our grading considers all this and more–but if you’re looking for raw numbers regarding pass blocking, you can’t go wrong looking at our PBE Signature Stat.