JVM: Offensive Tackles
In this series of pieces, Pro Football Focus is exploring the value of players. To us it’s a ‘Jahnke Value Model’ number, telling you what players were worth (by our grading) in 2013. You can read about the work we’ve done to create it HERE, but in short:
• It’s solely about what a player did on the field in 2013
• Players are grouped by positions so their play essentially earns them a portion of the positional salary pool
• It’s all about cap hits (these values are approximate)
Here are 2013′s most undervalued and overvalued Offensive Tackles:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
Offensive Tackles – Undervalued
1. Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers
Capping off a fantastic career by giving the team that drafted him the highest value differential of any offensive tackle in 2013, Gross went out in style. Our third highest graded player at the position last season, he was solid against the run and excellent as a pass blocker, where he allowed just six sacks, a hit and 22 hurries on the year. Committing just one penalty all year shows how disciplined he was, and he’ll be a big loss in Carolina this coming year.
2013 Cap Hit: $4.9m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $10.6m
Value Differential: +5.7m
2. Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers
Our sixth highest graded player at the position, Staley was fantastic again in 2013. Not quite as good as he was a year ago, when he was the best in the league, but still among the best at the position. Surrendering a measly four sacks, two hits and 14 hurries, he was brilliant in pass protection, while being stout as a run blocker. Like Gross his discipline was noted too, with Staley guilty of committing just three penalties all year.
2013 Cap Hit: $2.8m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $8.2m
Value Differential: +5.4m
3. Demar Dotson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Our third highest graded right tackle is next on the list, with his impressive play coming in similar fashion to Staley and Gross. He committed just four penalties all year, and didn’t make many mistakes in the run game, but it was as a pass blocker where he deserved the most praise. Allowing just five sacks, two hits and 27 hurries, he was our sixth highest graded offensive tackle in terms of pass blocking grade.
2013 Cap Hit: $2m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $7.1m
Value Differential: +5.1m
4. Mitchell Schwartz, Cleveland Browns
Though he didn’t necessarily have the strong second season we expected after an impressive rookie campaign, Schwartz certainly gave the Browns good value for money. Struggling early in the year, where he had a grade of -8.2 through the first two games, he quickly turned it around and graded out at +16.4 the rest of the year, including a couple of strong showings against the Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.2m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $6.3m
Value Differential: +5.1m
5. Cordy Glenn, Buffalo Bills
Taking a nice step forward in play in his second season in the league, Glenn gave the Bills excellent value with impressive play on a rookie contract. He had just four negatively graded games all year, and none lower that the -1.3 he suffered against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9. His pass blocking was key, allowing just two sacks, five hits and 23 hurries and if he can follow up this campaign with a similar jump in play he’s only going to climb higher in the Jahnke Value Model standings next year.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.1m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $5.9m
Value Differential: +4.8m
6. King Dunlap, SD – Cap: $1.8m; JVM: $6.4m; Value Differential: +$4.6m
7. Tyler Polumbus, WAS – Cap: $905k; JVM: $5.5m; Value Differential: +$4.6m
8. Zach Strief, NO – Cap: $2.6m; JVM: $6.6m; Value Differential: +$4m
9. Tyron Smith, DAL – Cap: $3.4m; JVM: $7.3m; Value Differential: +$3.9m
10. Eugene Monroe – Cap: $547k; JVM: $4.1m; Value Differential: +$3.6m
Offensive Tackles — Overvalued
1. Ryan Clady, Denver Broncos*
The Broncos expected big things from Clady when they signed him to a long term deal in the summer, only for him to go down for the year late in a Week 2 win over the New York Giants. That’s the harsh nature of the JVM unfortunately and with Clady unable to make an impact on the field he was never going to come close to that whopping $12.6m cap figure. Still, he was our fourth highest graded player at the position in 2012, so the Broncos will be expecting a return to form in 2014.
2013 Cap Hit: $12.6m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $875k
Value Differential: -$11.7m
2. Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks*
Another player who missed significant time through injury, Okung generally played quite well when he was back at full strength late in the year. Missing half of the season through injury, and a couple of poor games, meant he didn’t have much hope of playing like the $9.5m he accounts for on the Seahawks’ Salary Cap.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.5m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.8m
Value Differential: -$6.7m
3. Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs
Albert missed the final four games of the regular season but finds himself on this list for two simple reasons. The first is that he played under the franchise tag last year, giving him one of the highest cap hits at the position. The second is that he wasn’t much more than above average in 2013, with his run blocking proving to be a particular problem in the first half of the season. He certainly didn’t play poorly, but nothing short of being one of the best in the league would have resulted in good value with a $9.5m cap hit.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.8m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $3.5m
Value Differential: -$6.3m
4. David Stewart, Tennessee Titans
Stewart missed a four game stretch in the middle of the year, but it was the steady decline in play over the past three years that leads to him landing here. Dropping from +24.0 in 2011, to +11.2 in 2012 and finally +2.8 last season, he just couldn’t produce at the level of play required to justify a $7m price tag.
2013 Cap Hit: $7m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $1.6m
Value Differential: -$5.4m
5. Eugene Monroe, Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s interesting that Monroe features on both lists, with the Ravens benefitting from having to take such a small cap hit to have him on the roster while the Jaguars were saddled with the $6.6m hit. Had he stayed in Jacksonville throughout the season it’s unlikely that he would have been mentioned here but in being traded he was unable to give the Jaguars the performance to match his cap hit.
2013 Cap Hit: $6.6m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $1.4m
Value Differential: -$5.2m
6. Andre Smith Jr, CIN – Cap: $7.3m; JVM: $2.5m; Value Differential: -$4.8m
7. Luke Joeckel, JAX* – Cap: $3.9m; JVM: $121k; Value Differential: -$3.7m
8. Michael Oher, BAL – Cap: $5m; JVM: $1.5m; Value Differential: -$3.5m
9. Eric Fisher, KC – Cap: $4m; JVM: $627k; Value Differential: -$3.4m
10. Levi Brown, ARI – Cap: $3.5m; JVM: $175k; Value Differential: -$3.4m
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