CFF Sig Stats: Guards

In the latest of our College Football Focus Signature Stat looks, Steve Palazzolo runs through the leaders among the guards.

| 1 year ago

CFF Sig Stats: Guards

CFF-sig-stats-gAs we wade into our massive pool of College Football Focus data, we’ll be sharing with you some of the highlights from our Signature Stats in position-by-position looks.

So, over these couple weeks you can expect daily dives into the best and worst that the full FBS schedule produced in all of the same categories you’ve come to know from our NFL coverage.

We’ve been through most of the offensive side of the ball already (quarterbacks, running backs Part 1 & Part 2, receivers Part 1 & Part 2, tight ends, tackles)

Pass Blocking Efficiency

Since we grade the effectiveness of every player on every play, it’s important to separate our grades from our stats. Pass blocking efficiency is a pure stat that simply measures how often a blocker allows pressure, but it doesn’t differentiate between how quickly it got there or how bad the block actually was – that’s the job of the grades. The stat also doesn’t account for plays that were negated by penalty as well as poor blocks that may not have resulted directly in pressure but still received a downgrade. Also, sacks are weighted a little higher when it comes to pass blocking efficiency.

Here’s a look at the guards that best avoided pressure in the draft class.

cff sig g pbe

–  While Duke’s scheme certainly helped, Laken Tomlinson was the nation’s top pass protecting guard and he may be the top guard in the draft. He didn’t allow a knockdown all season.
–  It was close at the top as Alabama’s Arie Kouandijo allowed only six pressures on the season while posting positive pass blocking grades in all 14 of Alabama’s games.
–  West Virginia’s Quinton Spain and Florida State’s Josue Matias held up well in their respective pass-heavy offenses.

Run Block Efficiency

Just as pass block efficiency is a straightforward stat, run block efficiency is simply a percentage of non-negative run blocks for offensive linemen. Whether executing the expected block (0-grade in our system) or earning a positive, avoiding negatives is the key to showing well in this particular stat. Also as above, this measure does not necessarily account for the quality of the positive blocks, but it’s a good indicator of which blockers avoid the bad blocks that can destroy a running game.

cff sig g run

–  Option-heavy offenses are well-represented as Air Force’s Michael Husar JR, Navy’s Jake Zuzek, New Mexico’s Jamal Price, and Georgia Tech’s Shaquille Mason all make the list.
–  Pittsburgh’s Matt Rotheram was one of the best guards in the nation as well as the best overall run blocker last season.
–  Tomlinson is the only guard to make both lists, ranking just ahead of fellow early-round hopeful A.J. Cann who is more of a one-dimensional prospect.


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| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Tom Kislingbury

    No sign of the much heralded Scherff here? Is he a classic case of “Oline play is tough to understand but everyone says he’s good”?

    • LightsOut85

      I had similar thoughts regarding the OT list. (Really, there seems to be a ton of “not highly rated” names on all of these lists). My only other guess is that some players may have had great college production, but for whatever reason don’t seem likely to translate to the NFL game as well (scheme, athleticism, unlikely-to-improve mechanics) – like how QBs can be amazing in college, but the system they used wouldn’t work in the NFL & they flame out (although, those QBs are still usually taken high, haha).

  • LightsOut85

    I was pretty shocked to see the Gs had lower run-blocking than the Ts (only 1 would make the OT top 10). I guess on one hand, DTs would be viewed as tougher run-opponents than edge players (especially by weight/strength), but I also would just assume that inside there’d be less room for big gaffes in space.

    • Malachi

      everything happens much quicker inside, negating the less-space “advantage”

  • MachineGunFunk

    So you mention Shaq Mason being on the list for Run Block %, but I don’t see him. Was it a typo?

  • spacebo

    So, the Lions are now on the cutting edge in the use of statistics?!