Here at Pro Football Focus we have a wealth of Signature Stats that give a more thorough view than traditional box score stats. These range from telling you how much of a running back’s yardage came after contact, and how many missed tackles they were able to force, to our Pass Rushing Productivity Rating, which measures how much pressure a pass rusher has produced as opposed to looking purely at sacks.
Like all stats, these do have their limitations, which is why we always recommend our player grades as giving the best picture of player performance available, with every player graded on every play, in every game. However, using our Signature Stats allows us to dial into a specific part of a player’s game and give an insight into what they’re good at.
Today we’re going to take a look at the offensive line and highlight the best Pass Blocking Efficiency (PBE) of the league’s offensive tackles, guards and centers. PBE takes into account the number of sacks, hits and hurries allowed by each linemen on a per snap basis, with weighting towards sacks allowed.
Offensive Tackles – The Top Five
Before the season began you would have expected left tackle Ryan Clady to be the Denver Broncos’ best pass protector but, after he went down with a season ending injury, it was right tackle Orlando Franklin who lead the way. Having a quarterback like Peyton Manning (who led the league with an average Time To Throw of just 2.36 seconds) helps, but that shouldn’t entirely take away from an impressive season from Franklin.
Elsewhere in the Top 5, San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley continued his impressive career with another strong season as a pass protector, while Tyron Smith showed the prowess that recently led the Dallas Cowboys to sign him to a mammoth contract extension this week, finishing third in 2013. Rounding out the group we had three players all tied for fourth, and just behind Smith, in Joe Thomas, Cordy Glenn and Branden Albert.
Offensive Guards – The Top Five
It really comes as no surprise to see Green Bay Packers left guard Josh Sitton leading the way here, with the former fourth-round draft pick finishing in the Top 5 in terms of PBE in each of the past four seasons. In 2013 he didn’t have a single game where he finished with a negative grade as a pass blocker, allowing just eight total hurries from 648 pass blocking snaps all year.
Louis Vasquez was another Denver offensive lineman who did well in 2013, finishing second with a PBE of 98.4, but the most notable name on the list was Larry Warford. The Detroit Lions’ third-round rookie didn’t have many struggles in his first year in the league, with just one negatively-graded game as a pass blocker, where he allowed five of the 15 total pressures he allowed all year. The Top 5 was rounded out by Jahri Evans, Willie Colon and Ramon Foster, with all of them finishing with a PBE rating of 97.5 or better.
Centers – The Top Five
He may have missed time throughout the year, seeing just 417 pass blocking snaps, but St. Louis Rams center Scott Wells had a solid year when he was on the field, allowing just five total pressures and producing a PBE rating of 99.0. That’s not too surprising, with Wells finishing among the 10 best at the position in terms of PBE in each of the past four seasons.
Dominic Raiola showed the consistency that lead to the Lions re-signing him to a one-year deal this offseason, giving them two pass-blocking standouts on the offensive interior heading into the 2014 season. Eric Wood of the Buffalo Bills finished in the Top 5 for the second year in a row, while Roberto Garza and Stefen Wisniewski rounded it out tied for the fourth-best mark.
All of our Signature Stats are included in our PFF Premium Package, which also includes the grades for each player from every game starting with preseason in August and running on through to the Super Bowl in February.
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