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Using high picks on OLine really important? (1 Viewer)

DaveGrumbles

Footballguy
The one thing you can count on is a Reggie Bush to Texans thread being started about once every 5 minutes. And inevitably the 'voices of reason' on here will come in to say they should send the Texans to Europe or send Casserly to Gitmo or string up the owner by his nuts etc. if the Texans draft anything but an olineman with their pick.

Now this isn't a debate on who the Texans should pick or whether Bush is the messiah or not...Find one of the 270 other threads debating that topic if thats where you wanna go. (personally I think Houston should be thinking defense and whoever gets Bush will be pretty happy)

Basically It got me thinking... is drafting a lineman high really that important? Does the RB improve the line or does the line improve the RB?

Here's a couple stats I found. Without a perfect way of determining a good offensive line, I simply took the top 5 rushing teams by YPC (so as not to skew winning and losing) and the 5 teams with least sacks allowed.

This gave me 8 teams because two teams overlapped (Denver & San Diego)

Of the 40 starting OLinemen on these squads.

20 were 2nd day draft picks including 6 undrafted

7 were first rounders.

Only 3 of the 40 were top ten picks & 2 of those were on the Bengals. So between the other 7 best OLines there was only 1 top ten pick.

I then took the opposite teams. The highest sacks allowed and the lowest rushing YPC.

This gave me nine teams with one overlap.

Of these 45 lineman

26 were 2nd day draft picks including 7 undrafted

7 first round picks

5 were top ten

Those numbers end up being very similiar about half going 2nd day... 7 1st rounders...a higher percentage of top ten players in the lower bracket. However it seems very close to me.

Now I went and looked at the bottom and top 5 YPC teams starting runnng backs and the round each of them was drafted in.

Bottom 5

2nd round split w/4th rd

3rd round

4th round

Undrafted split/w 3rd rd

Undrafted

Top 5

1st round

1st round

1st round

2nd round

6th round split w/2nd rd

Now while the perceived predraft talent of the lineman doesn't seem to change significantly between top end and bottom end teams. It seems the RB talent does change. Now I know this is a small sampling and the best way would be to do this over several years. (I don't have all day so maybe someone else can check that out). But to me it seems that proper coaching, blocking schemes along with a top end RB has much more affect on the line than simply talented lineman affecting the RB. So maybe drafting the best RB even without a decent line wouldn't be so bad as long as you bring in the right line coach with him. Maybe some better stat guys than I could shed more light on this. I'd like to get some opinions.

 
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Loopdog

Footballguy
very interesting stuff.personally, i think its all on how coachable a guy is, how his feet are and what kind of scheme you work with and does that fit said players strengths and weaknessesif you look at the great o-line coaches around (Hauck, Gibbs) they all adapt to what they're given on a particular roster and play to the players strengthsthe best lineman of all time arguably is Larry Allen, and he didnt even go to a D-1 school and was drafted in the 6th round i believeI think the line is extremely important but picking studs is a crap shoot, look at Mike Williams from Buffalo. Dude is a complete MONSTER but he's got no heartLoop

 

Chaos Commish

Footballguy
So maybe drafting the best RB even without a decent line wouldn't be so bad as long as you bring in the right line coach with him. Maybe some better stat guys than I could shed more light on this. I'd like to get some opinions.
:goodposting: I've been responding in the many Hou/Bush/Trade threads and trying to build a case for the Texans taking Bush. Some are of the opinion that doing so would be a horrible mistake and Houston would be deserving of banishment for taking him. :rant:

So far, the "first half" of my argument has been about the draft and it's potential. The "second half" of my reasoning falls right in line with this post.

I think the Giants this year are a great example. A year ago they were often considereed the worst 0L in the league. They probably weren't that bad, but they were bad. This year the same guys have completely turned it around with coaching and hard work. I don't think Houston can fix it without some personnel moves, but they were hit with a bunch of injuries which forced players out of position, and their depth was truly pathetic.

Still. Bush is a commodity to covet. More than any other player in the draft. He should go first. The team with rights to that pick should use it not trade it.

 

coolnerd

Footballguy
The only position one to draft high is OLT...I did something for another site and will post later (time with my wife). Basically. OLT is the only position in the league where all of the good players are 1st day picks and most of those are 1st rounders. Outside of that, the analysis above is correct. :blackdot:

 

diesel7982

Footballguy
The key to a great OL is a great OL coach. Look what Gibbs has done with a horrible ATL line. What Dennison has done in DEN. Hauck in SD last year, and then in MIA this year.Blocking upfront is about schemes, not talent.

 

cstu

Footballguy
I simply took the top 5 rushing teams by YPC (so as not to skew winning and losing) and the 5 teams with least sacks allowed.
Teams with the top 5 YPC:Atlanta - Vick/Dunn/DuckettDenver - MA/BellSeattle - AlexanderKC - Priest/LJSD - TomlinsonTeams with the top 5 fewest sacks:Colts - ManningBengals - PalmerGB - FavreDenver - PlummerSeattle - HasselbeckI think your analysis is wrong since the best rushing teams have great RB's and the ones with the fewest sacks have great QB's. It does show that good coaching and player evaluation you can built OL's that get the job done, but you need the talent at skill positions as well.
 

DaveGrumbles

Footballguy
I simply took the top 5 rushing teams by YPC (so as not to skew winning and losing) and the 5 teams with least sacks allowed.
Teams with the top 5 YPC:Atlanta - Vick/Dunn/Duckett

Denver - MA/Bell

Seattle - Alexander

KC - Priest/LJ

SD - Tomlinson

Teams with the top 5 fewest sacks:

Colts - Manning

Bengals - Palmer

GB - Favre

Denver - Plummer

Seattle - Hasselbeck

I think your analysis is wrong since the best rushing teams have great RB's and the ones with the fewest sacks have great QB's. It does show that good coaching and player evaluation you can built OL's that get the job done, but you need the talent at skill positions as well.
Yes that was my point. I think that talent at the skill positions along with proper coaching is much more important to the offensive line more than the other way around. By the way KC is not in the top 5 its the Giants. Actually Miami is even ahead of KC with two #1 picks at RB behind what was widely considered an awful offensive line. Further proves the point.

 

Maelstrom

Footballguy
I simply took the top 5 rushing teams by YPC (so as not to skew winning and losing) and the 5 teams with least sacks allowed.
I think your analysis is wrong since the best rushing teams have great RB's and the ones with the fewest sacks have great QB's. It does show that good coaching and player evaluation you can built OL's that get the job done, but you need the talent at skill positions as well.
Pretty sure that was the point of his whole message. The OLine draft positions were pretty similar from top to bottom, but the difference was readily apparant when you loooked at the skill positions.From the original post:

But to me it seems that proper coaching, blocking schemes along with a top end RB has much more affect on the line than simply talented lineman affecting the RB.
 

cstu

Footballguy
I simply took the top 5 rushing teams by YPC (so as not to skew winning and losing) and the 5 teams with least sacks allowed.
I think your analysis is wrong since the best rushing teams have great RB's and the ones with the fewest sacks have great QB's. It does show that good coaching and player evaluation you can built OL's that get the job done, but you need the talent at skill positions as well.
Pretty sure that was the point of his whole message. The OLine draft positions were pretty similar from top to bottom, but the difference was readily apparant when you loooked at the skill positions.From the original post:

But to me it seems that proper coaching, blocking schemes along with a top end RB has much more affect on the line than simply talented lineman affecting the RB.
So how many great OL coaches are there? That's all well and good to say that you can win with good coaching, but they are just as hard to find as Pro Bowl LT's.
 
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Chaos Commish

Footballguy
The only position one to draft high is OLT...I did something for another site and will post later (time with my wife). Basically. OLT is the only position in the league where all of the good players are 1st day picks and most of those are 1st rounders. Outside of that, the analysis above is correct.

:blackdot:
I look forward to your post, but as a preemptive response, I think the current class coming aboard is ridiculously deep on the OL. If all the OLs in this draft, who would grade as first rounders over the past decade, are taken in the first round, then there will be almost double the all-time high of 6. I won't have a problem if 10-12 OLs are drafted in the first round this year (I would applaud, actually), but I will be very surprised. It's extremely unlikely that happens, so this may be a year for the prudent GM to take best available player and grab a 1st round quality OL in the second round. He'll have a shot at one early in the third. It's a strange year that can't be realistically evaluated through historical trends. In 01 Leonard Davis had a franchise grade, as high as McNeill and Winston will have this year, and four years later he's not very impressive. That same year Kenyatta Walker graded comparably to 7 or 8 available this year, and he's beat out Gallery for LT while playing average at best, and that's because Gallery hasn't proven quick enough for LT. Gallery was the 2nd player chosen. A guaranteed franchise LT, who will likely spend his career being a very good RT. Not quite what the Raiders hoped for though, and I know he's still very young.

I've been looking a the first few rounds of OL picks and then a little beyond to see who "could have been." Alan Johnson, 2nd round undersized struggling center for the Dallas Cowboys, could have been Anquan Boldin. Larry Johnson was picked one slot behind Kwame Harris in the first round. Who do you think the 49ers would prefer today? I know this is cheating by cherry picking talent after the fact, but it is a valid point with several of these guys.

I think my main point is: In the first round, when you have the opportunity to acquire elite talent, positional needs should usually be disregarded for best available player.

 

Donnybrook

Footballguy
What are the odds against Houston not picking up Carr’s option and drafting Lienart. I know I am definitely in the minority when I say this but it makes some sense to me. Here are the things that are influencing my opinion.1. There is a good chance that the coaching staff and a good portion of FO could be gone by the end of the season. The new coaches may choose to go in another direction. They have until mid February to pick up Carr's option. 2. If they pick up Carr’s option, his contract will cost the team approximately 8 million against the cap. This coupled with a top draft picks contract will limit their ability to attract free agents for other positions.3. Domick Davis just signed a new contract and Bush’s contract will probably be record setting. Is that too much money invested in one position? Yes, the Texans could trade Davis but I just don’t think it is likely to happen. (Ie Alexander and James)4. Trading down is easier said than done. You have to have a team that is willing to trade up and willing to give up at least 2 -1st rounders.5. Houston may win vs Arizona and San Fran and end up with the #2 anyways. This would put them on a collision course with Lienart. 6. QBs have traditionally gone higher than RBs. In fact, QBs have gone 1.01 for the past 5 consecutive years.

 

coolnerd

Footballguy
This was a quick analysis of LTs based on Ourlad's starting list and the normal starters for teams. Basically, OLT is the most top heavy in the draft. this done about 6 weeks ago and does not reflect any possible permanent changes. ___________________________________________________________________Original draft position1st- 16 starters- every elite LT drafted, mostly in top half of the round2nd- 6 starters- a couple of good to very good LT, but no real elite guys3rd- 5 starters- none that are clearly above average, here or below4th- 1 starter7th- 1 starterFA- 3 starters Basically, the Texans or any team for that matter is pretty much going have draft a LT high, most likely in the first round to get a good one. The other OL position seem to be available throughout the draft, but the top end pass protectors come at a premium. ____________________________________________________________________End of original post:Notes: There are a couple od cases where an elite LT did not make a good OL (Pace-Rams for example) or an average LT did not mean a bad OL (Lepsis -Denver FA)As I remember the highest number for tackles was like 5 in the years I looked at (not more than the last 8-10). As for the Texans, despite the poor production the texans have not bottom feed when you consider the price tags and origianl draft positions. I can't locate the source but in term of $$$ spent the Texans were in top 10, if not top 5 for money on the O-line as Weigert, Wade and McKinney were FA signing and Pitts got a new deal this year. Original draft positions- 1st round none2nd round- Pitts, Weigert, Wade3rd- Weary, Wade4th-McKinney, Washinton5th-Hodgdon6th-Brown, WaltersCurrent starters from left to right: Pitts, Brown, McKinney, Weary, WeigertStarters on IR: Hodgdon, Wade

 

Uncle Pete

Footballguy
What are the odds against Houston not picking up Carr’s option and drafting Lienart. I know I am definitely in the minority when I say this but it makes some sense to me.

Here are the things that are influencing my opinion.1. There is a good chance that the coaching staff and a good portion of FO could be gone by the end of the season. The new coaches may choose to go in another direction. They have until mid February to pick up Carr's option.

2. If they pick up Carr’s option, his contract will cost the team approximately 8 million against the cap. This coupled with a top draft picks contract will limit their ability to attract free agents for other positions.

3. Domick Davis just signed a new contract and Bush’s contract will probably be record setting. Is that too much money invested in one position? Yes, the Texans could trade Davis but I just don’t think it is likely to happen. (Ie Alexander and James)

4. Trading down is easier said than done. You have to have a team that is willing to trade up and willing to give up at least 2 -1st rounders.

5. Houston may win vs Arizona and San Fran and end up with the #2 anyways. This would put them on a collision course with Lienart.

6. QBs have traditionally gone higher than RBs. In fact, QBs have gone 1.01 for the past 5 consecutive years.
The Texans have said they will pick up the option on Carr's contract, i dont feel like doing a search right now so i have no link .
 

Rovers

Footballguy
Just a thought to throw out there.... I wonder if OL's taken in the first and second rounds become starters faster than the later round picks do? How many later round picks are projects, in other words? I would think that teams with O line problems would want to draft linemen that are closer to being ready to start in the NFL. I also wonder if NFL teams try to break draft picks down like this, studying trends, etc.

 

coolnerd

Footballguy
Just a thought to throw out there.... I wonder if OL's taken in the first and second rounds become starters faster than the later round picks do? How many later round picks are projects, in other words? I would think that teams with O line problems would want to draft linemen that are closer to being ready to start in the NFL. I also wonder if NFL teams try to break draft picks down like this, studying trends, etc.
I have not looked into this, but my instints tell me no. Seems like there are major college guys like Rob Pettiti at Dallas who have some athletic limitations but have been well coached often with sound techniques who are able to step in and not be embarrasments that are drafted in the mid to late rounds every year.
 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
I think the OL is the 2nd most important position on the field. The reasons are obvious. Hell, it may be the most important. Without the OL, you don't run or pass.

 
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msommer

Footballguy
So maybe drafting the best RB even without a decent line wouldn't be so bad as long as you bring in the right line coach with him. Maybe some better stat guys than I could shed more light on this. I'd like to get some opinions.
:goodposting: I've been responding in the many Hou/Bush/Trade threads and trying to build a case for the Texans taking Bush. Some are of the opinion that doing so would be a horrible mistake and Houston would be deserving of banishment for taking him. :rant:

So far, the "first half" of my argument has been about the draft and it's potential. The "second half" of my reasoning falls right in line with this post.

I think the Giants this year are a great example. A year ago they were often considereed the worst 0L in the league. They probably weren't that bad, but they were bad. This year the same guys have completely turned it around with coaching and hard work..
completely turned around? The line that lost the SEA@NYG game with penalties?Absolutely not in agreement with that statement

 

BGP

Indians Fever
Here is the thing about OL:1. It is one of the most critical aspects of a club2. You CAN build one in free agency and trades The classic case I like to point to is **** Vermiel. In St. Louis, he had Pace, but the key was that in the offseason prior to their title years of 1999, they signed THREE OL to essentially build that unit into a force at once. Timmerman, Nutten, and McCollum were brought in. When he went to Kansas City, the first thing they did was acquire a bunch of OL talent. The thing is, Vermiel's clubs have been committed to building the OL, and it has paid off in his last two stops as Vermiel has successfully constructed a powerful offense.However, other clubs (such as the Browns) haven't put a premium on building the OL. At least until Savage arrived, the Browns have largely skimped at OL. Sure, they might burn a 1st round pick once in a while, but to build a top OL its best to commit to it thru trades and free agency. The Browns' offense has been miserable.I think its more important to commit the dollars to build a strong OL than it is to spend high draft picks on them.

 

msommer

Footballguy
The key to a great OL is a great OL coach. Look what Gibbs has done with a horrible ATL line. What Dennison has done in DEN. Hauck in SD last year, and then in MIA this year.

Blocking upfront is about schemes, not talent.
If this is so evident why are the OL coaches paid so little, apart from the three gurus mentioned above - you would think that when these guys hve to renegotiate they would comman a lot of interest = bidding war = very high wages (ie coordinator levels or above...)
 

msommer

Footballguy
I think the OL is the 2nd most important position on the field. The reasons are obvious. Hell, it may be the most important. Without the OL, you don't run or pass.
exactly
 

cstu

Footballguy
Here is a list of the offensive linemen voted to the Pro Bowl from 2002-2005. It quite clear thatmost perennial Pro Bowl tackles get drafted early in the 1st round with a couple slipping into the 2nd. Guards tend to be available later in the 1st and it's possible to find one later in the draft. Centers seem to be a difficult position to judge and great players can be found in the 2nd/3rd or later.

Orlando Pace - T - 7X - 1st/1st

Chris Samuals - T - 2X - 1st/3rd

Jonathan Ogden - T - 9X - 1st/4th

Walter Jones - T - 5X - 1st/6th

Willie Roaf - T - 11X - 1st/8th

Lincoln Kennedy - T - 2X - 1st/9th

Willie Anderson - T - 3X - 1st/10th

Tra Thomas - T - 2X - 1st/11th

Brad Hopkins - T - 2X - 1st/13th

Marvell Smith - T - 1X - 2nd/7th

Flozell Adams - T - 2X - 2nd/8th

Ruben Brown - G - 8X - 1st/14th

Steve Hutchinson - G - 3X - 1st/17th

Jeff Hartings - G - 2X - 1st/23rd

Jermaine Mayberrry - G - 1X - 1st/25th

Alan Faneca - G - 5X - 1st/26th

Larry Allen - G - 10X - 2nd/17th

Will Shields - G - 10X - 3rd/18th

Ron Stone - G - 3X - 4th/12th

Marco Rivera - G - 3x - 6th/41st

Brian Waters - G - 1X - Undrafted

Mike Wahle - G - 1X - Supplemental

Kevin Mawae - C - 6X - 2nd/7th

LeCharles Bentley - C - 2X - 2nd/12th

Barret Robbins - C - 1X - 2nd/17th

Olin Kreutz - C - 4X - 3rd/3rd

Mike Flanagan - C - 1X - 3rd/29th

Matt Birk - C - 4X - 6th/20th

Tom Nalen - C - 5X - 7th/24th

Jeff Saturday - C - 1X - Undrafted

Offensive Tackles taken in the top 15 picks of the 1st round during the '90's, including number of Pro Bowls:

1999:

John Tait - 14th (near Pro Bowl level)

1998:

Kyle Turley - 7th (Attitude kept him off the Pro Bowl)

Tra Thomas - 11th (2X)

1997:

Orlando Pace - 1st (7X)

Walter Jones - 6th (5X)

1996:

Jonathan Ogden - 4th (9X)

Willie Anderson - 10th (3X)

1995:

Tony Boselli - 2nd (5X)

1994:

Bernard Williams - 14th (Suspended for marijuana)

1993:

Willie Roaf - 8th (11x)

Lincoln Kennedy - 9th (2X)

Brad Hopkins - 13th (2X)

1992:

Bob Whitfield - 8th (1X)

Ray Roberts - 10th (Solid, LT for Barry Sanders '96-'98)

Leon Searcy - 11th (1X)

Eugene Chung - 13th (Huge bust, pick stunned Kiper at the draft)

1991:

Charles McRae - 7th (Huge bust)

Antone Davis - 8th (First of the Eagles OL busts)

Pat Harlow - 11th (Solid, and was later traded for a 2nd round pick used for Tedy Bruschi)

1990:

Richmond Webb - 9th (7X)

 

Bri

Footballguy
nice post cstu.Lineman(IMO) aren't so different from any other position. There's plenty of busts and steals later in the draft.Parcells got a super late starting T this year. The guy was just eh but hey he started as a rook. Fabini, I don't think he was "supposed to be" as good as he's been. Roman Oben(1st rounder?) has been jekyl and hyde, good with one team a stinker with another.I think right after that top tier, the NFL is strongly looking for more coachable guys and talent becomes a smidge less important than we'd think. I am a huge fan of "the lunchpail lineman" so maybe I'm biased toward the lesser skilled but harder working types.

 

Sopranos

Footballguy
They need O Lineman. The RB will be fine. Carr spends his time on his back. Its not like they need one or two guys. They need 4 at the least. There is no talent there. They would be 2-3 stringer on most team and PS players on handfull of teams. This is where there problem is. If they dont plan on fixing it i would cut or trade Carr. Anyone can get sacked :bye:

 

cstu

Footballguy
nice post cstu.

Lineman(IMO) aren't so different from any other position. There's plenty of busts and steals later in the draft.

Parcells got a super late starting T this year. The guy was just eh but hey he started as a rook. Fabini, I don't think he was "supposed to be" as good as he's been. Roman Oben(1st rounder?) has been jekyl and hyde, good with one team a stinker with another.

I think right after that top tier, the NFL is strongly looking for more coachable guys and talent becomes a smidge less important than we'd think.

I am a huge fan of "the lunchpail lineman" so maybe I'm biased toward the lesser skilled but harder working types.
It's an interesting position to draft since it is possible to build a good OL with late picks/cast-offs/etc. and win, yet knowing that you have great odds of picking a Pro Bowl player makes it hard to pass up.
 

cstu

Footballguy
Here are the starting LT's for teams in 2005 and where they were drafted. I used the starters at the beginning of the season if they were replaced due to injury. Interesting notes: 1st round picks (18), 2nd round (6), 3rd round (4), 4th (1), 7th (1), and Undrafted (2). Mike Gandy (inj) (Bills) 3-6Vernon Carey (Dolphins) 1-19Matt Light (inj) (Patriots) 2-17Jason Fabini (inj) (Jets) 4-19Jonathan Ogden (Ravens) 1-4Levi Jones (Bengals) 1-10LJ Shelton (Browns) 1-21Marvel Smith (Steelers) 2-7Chester Pitts (Texans) 2-18Tarik Glenn (Colts) 1-19Khalif Barnes (Jaguars) 2-20Brad Hopkins (Titans) 1-13Matt Lepsis (Broncos) UndraftedWillie Roaf (Chiefs) 1-8Roman Oben (inj) (Chargers) 3-5Robert Gallery (Raiders) 1-2Luke Petitgout (Giants) 1-19Flozell Adams (inj) (Cowboys) 2-8Chris Samuels (Redskins) 1-3Tra Thomas (inj) (Eagles) 1-11John Tait (Bears) 1-14Bryant McKinnie (Vikings) 1-7Chad Clifton (Packers) 2-13Jeff Backus (Lions) 1-18Anthony Davis (Bucs) UndraftedTravelle Wharton (Panthers) 3-31Kevin Shaffer (Falcons) 7-34Wayne Gandy (Saints) 1-15Walter Jones (Seahawks) 1-6Orlando Pace (Rams) 1-1Leonard Davis (Cardinals) 1-2Jonas Jennings (49ers) 3-33

 

ExaltedOne

Footballguy
Just like any other position, elite offensive linemen are hard to find. They can be anywhere. Good scouts can find the gems in the later rounds. However, the Texans aren't very good at finding o-line talent or they wouldn't be in this position. They have an IMPROVED chance to find an elite offensive lineman if they select one early (because they can pick the one they think is the absolute best, rather than whats left over). If they believe that there is one offensive lineman that is clearly better than the rest then they must draft him early. However, if they feel that there are several (5+) that are equal then they should wait until the second round (unless they want several of them). Personally, I think they would be best served trading down to the mid-first and picking up extra picks, then selecting offensive linemen in the first 3 rounds and defensive players with their leftover picks.

 

stevec

Footballguy
Do any of you guys think RT is the key spot with a lefthanded QB? I'm not sure which QB's are lefties off the top of my head, but it one of those things I think gets overlooked - a team with a lefty QB wants a guy more comfortable at RT, which means a guy who's better on that side is relatively more valuable to them versus most of the league.

 

cstu

Footballguy
Do any of you guys think RT is the key spot with a lefthanded QB? I'm not sure which QB's are lefties off the top of my head, but it one of those things I think gets overlooked - a team with a lefty QB wants a guy more comfortable at RT, which means a guy who's better on that side is relatively more valuable to them versus most of the league.
Other than Vick and Brunell I can't name any other left handed starters. I would think RT would be important to a lefty. One of the questions about Winston Justice is if he can play LT in the NFL after playing RT protecting Leinart at USC. I think he would be a great fit for the Falcons to protect Vick.
 

stbugs

Footballguy
I thought this was a fitting quote from a Sportsline article for this thread. It was praising Pittsburgh's offensive line for finally jelling this year (lost RG and RT in offseason and had a couple injuries early in the year) and helping the team go to the Super Bowl:

The Steelers have three former first-round picks, a second-round pick (Smith) and a third-round pick (Starks). The front office has made drafting big bodies a priority, although Hartings was signed as a free agent from Detroit.
As seen in ctsu's notes above, it is almost rare when a Center or Guard goes in the first round, kind of like the Saftey versus CB mentality, so if you aren't a Tackle, getting picked in the late 1st or2nd round means you are among the top 5 players at C/G coming out of college.
 

cstu

Footballguy
Here are the starting LT's for teams in 2005 and where they were drafted.  I used the starters at the beginning of the season if they were replaced due to injury. 

Interesting notes: 1st round picks (18), 2nd round (6), 3rd round (4), 4th (1), 7th (1), and Undrafted (2). 

Mike Gandy (inj) (Bills) 3-6

Vernon Carey (Dolphins) 1-19

Matt Light (inj) (Patriots) 2-17

Jason Fabini (inj) (Jets) 4-19 D'Brick 1-4

Jonathan Ogden (Ravens) 1-4

Levi Jones (Bengals) 1-10

LJ Shelton (Browns) 1-21

Marvel Smith (Steelers) 2-7

Chester Pitts (Texans) 2-18

Tarik Glenn (Colts) 1-19

Khalif Barnes (Jaguars) 2-20

Brad Hopkins (Titans) 1-13

Matt Lepsis (Broncos) Undrafted

Willie Roaf (Chiefs) 1-8

Roman Oben (inj) (Chargers) 3-5 McNeill? 2-18

Robert Gallery (Raiders) 1-2

Luke Petitgout (Giants) 1-19

Flozell Adams (inj) (Cowboys) 2-8

Chris Samuels (Redskins) 1-3

Tra Thomas (inj) (Eagles) 1-11 Winston Justice? 2-7

John Tait (Bears) 1-14

Bryant McKinnie (Vikings) 1-7

Chad Clifton (Packers) 2-13

Jeff Backus (Lions) 1-18

Anthony Davis (Bucs) Undrafted

Travelle Wharton (Panthers) 3-31

Kevin Shaffer (Falcons) 7-34

Wayne Gandy (Saints) 1-15

Walter Jones (Seahawks) 1-6

Orlando Pace (Rams) 1-1

Leonard Davis (Cardinals) 1-2

Jonas Jennings (49ers) 3-33

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wanted to bump this post draft and see who is starting at LT for teams this season. The Chargers will go with Oben again if healthy and likely try McNeill their as well.If you know who is likely to be starting at LT for your team, post it here and I'll update the list.

 
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coolnerd

Footballguy
Here are the starting LT's for teams in 2005 and where they were drafted.  I used the starters at the beginning of the season if they were replaced due to injury. 

Interesting notes: 1st round picks (18), 2nd round (6), 3rd round (4), 4th (1), 7th (1), and Undrafted (2). 

Mike Gandy (inj) (Bills) 3-6

Vernon Carey (Dolphins) 1-19

Matt Light (inj) (Patriots) 2-17

Jason Fabini (inj) (Jets) 4-19

Jonathan Ogden (Ravens) 1-4

Levi Jones (Bengals) 1-10

LJ Shelton (Browns) 1-21

Marvel Smith (Steelers) 2-7

Chester Pitts (Texans) 2-18

Tarik Glenn (Colts) 1-19

Khalif Barnes (Jaguars) 2-20

Brad Hopkins (Titans) 1-13

Matt Lepsis (Broncos) Undrafted

Willie Roaf (Chiefs) 1-8

Roman Oben (inj) (Chargers) 3-5

Robert Gallery (Raiders) 1-2

Luke Petitgout (Giants) 1-19

Flozell Adams (inj) (Cowboys) 2-8

Chris Samuels (Redskins) 1-3

Tra Thomas (inj) (Eagles) 1-11

John Tait (Bears) 1-14

Bryant McKinnie (Vikings) 1-7

Chad Clifton (Packers) 2-13

Jeff Backus (Lions) 1-18

Anthony Davis (Bucs) Undrafted

Travelle Wharton (Panthers) 3-31

Kevin Shaffer (Falcons) 7-34

Wayne Gandy (Saints) 1-15

Walter Jones (Seahawks) 1-6

Orlando Pace (Rams) 1-1

Leonard Davis (Cardinals) 1-2

Jonas Jennings (49ers) 3-33

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I missed the January bump of this, but did anyone else notice that the teams who had their LT injuried all were bad teams or did not perform to the pre-season ranking (Bills, Patriots, Jets, Chargers, Cowboys, Eagles)
 

SSOG

Moderator
This was a quick analysis of LTs based on Ourlad's starting list and the normal starters for teams. Basically, OLT is the most top heavy in the draft.  this done about 6 weeks ago and does not reflect any possible permanent changes.

___________________________________________________________________

Original draft position

1st- 16 starters- every elite LT drafted, mostly in top half of the round

2nd- 6 starters- a couple of good to very good LT, but no real elite guys

3rd- 5 starters- none that are clearly above average, here or below

4th- 1 starter

7th- 1 starter

FA- 3 starters

Basically, the Texans or any team for that matter is pretty much going have draft a LT high, most likely in the first round to get a good one. The other OL position seem to be available throughout the draft, but the top end pass protectors come at a premium.

____________________________________________________________________

End of original post:

Notes: There are a couple od cases where an elite LT did not make a good OL (Pace-Rams for example) or an average LT did not mean a bad OL (Lepsis -Denver  FA)

...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You might want to hold up there before you start tossing around the words "Average" and "Lepsis" in the same sentence.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writ...ense/index.html

Tackles

Walter Jones and Matt Lepsis. The grades called it here, even though tackles always seem to score lower than players at any other offensive line position. I can't go into the entire scoring mechanism I've created for all linemen, but the positive factors I consider are ability to take on the opponent's featured pass rusher without help, or at least partial help, and successful drive blocks. Sacks and forces given up get minus marks, and by sacker I don't mean the guy who inherits the quarterback, I mean the one who's created the play. Thus if Blocker A faces the man who forced the QB into the arms of the rusher who's facing Blocker B, A gets the bad sack mark, not B. Forces given up also are negatives, and so are running plays in which the tackle's man blew up the whole thing, even though he might not have actually made the tackle. They're are scored as L's.

[SIZE=11pt]Under my numerical system, Lepsis scored highest, at 4.6, based on serious drive blocking[/SIZE]. His negatives included a few forces, no sacks and a couple of L's. Kansas City's Willie Roaf also got a 4.6 in the area of drive blocks, at which he excelled, but when he came back off his hamstring injury, the sacks and forces started piling up. He lost out to Jones, a 3.57 grader but a high scorer in the all-important area of single pass blocking-except for a very bad day against the Giants' Osi Umenyiora.

I'm always looking for sleepers at this position. I did complete workups on Cincy's Levi Jones, Atlanta's Kevin Shaffer and the Vikings' Bryant McKinnie, whom I never much liked until this season. None of them made it -- obviously. I started looking at a pair of Packers, Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton, but gave up after three games.

I didn't chart Ogden because he struggled so much. His strength really seems to be gone. Maybe he was playing hurt and didn't tell anybody. I didn't grade Tarik Glenn nor Orlando Pace because I didn't think they consistently showed as much as my people did.
So in other words, Dr. Z, a former NFL Lineman, who charted and graded every single game played by every single elite tackle in the entire league, concluded that Lepsis was the best tackle in the entire NFL last season. Which means there was, in fact, at least one "elite" Left Tackle selected outside of the first round (undrafted, actually).Of course, now that I've said that, I have to say that you really can't take Denver's results as indicative of the league norm. Much like how Pittsburgh always used to be able to get fantastic LBs late because it ran a different system than the rest of the league (and was therefore looking for different attributes), Denver has a long history of getting great value at OL on the second day of the draft or later because the attributes it prizes in its OLs (footwork, speed, intelligence) weren't as highly prized by the rest of the league (who seems to be absolutely enamored with size and strength in its linemen).

Seriously, though... Lepsis is the best OLineman you've never heard of. Ridiculously good (especially considering he's only been playing LT for 2 years, and tackle at all for 9, since he was a TE in college). The fact that no Bronco lineman made the pro bowl (despite denver ranking in the top 5 in rushing and pass protection) was simply criminal. Dr. Z had Lepsis and Nalen graded out as the best at their position in the entire NFL, and Hamilton as the third best guard in the entire NFL.

 

coolnerd

Footballguy
This was a quick analysis of LTs based on Ourlad's starting list and the normal starters for teams. Basically, OLT is the most top heavy in the draft.  this done about 6 weeks ago and does not reflect any possible permanent changes.

___________________________________________________________________

Original draft position

1st- 16 starters- every elite LT drafted, mostly in top half of the round

2nd- 6 starters- a couple of good to very good LT, but no real elite guys

3rd- 5 starters- none that are clearly above average, here or below

4th- 1 starter

7th- 1 starter

FA- 3 starters

Basically, the Texans or any team for that matter is pretty much going have draft a LT high, most likely in the first round to get a good one. The other OL position seem to be available throughout the draft, but the top end pass protectors come at a premium.

____________________________________________________________________

End of original post:

Notes: There are a couple od cases where an elite LT did not make a good OL (Pace-Rams for example) or an average LT did not mean a bad OL (Lepsis -Denver  FA)

...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You might want to hold up there before you start tossing around the words "Average" and "Lepsis" in the same sentence.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writ...ense/index.html

Tackles

Walter Jones and Matt Lepsis. The grades called it here, even though tackles always seem to score lower than players at any other offensive line position. I can't go into the entire scoring mechanism I've created for all linemen, but the positive factors I consider are ability to take on the opponent's featured pass rusher without help, or at least partial help, and successful drive blocks. Sacks and forces given up get minus marks, and by sacker I don't mean the guy who inherits the quarterback, I mean the one who's created the play. Thus if Blocker A faces the man who forced the QB into the arms of the rusher who's facing Blocker B, A gets the bad sack mark, not B. Forces given up also are negatives, and so are running plays in which the tackle's man blew up the whole thing, even though he might not have actually made the tackle. They're are scored as L's.

[SIZE=11pt]Under my numerical system, Lepsis scored highest, at 4.6, based on serious drive blocking[/SIZE]. His negatives included a few forces, no sacks and a couple of L's. Kansas City's Willie Roaf also got a 4.6 in the area of drive blocks, at which he excelled, but when he came back off his hamstring injury, the sacks and forces started piling up. He lost out to Jones, a 3.57 grader but a high scorer in the all-important area of single pass blocking-except for a very bad day against the Giants' Osi Umenyiora.

I'm always looking for sleepers at this position. I did complete workups on Cincy's Levi Jones, Atlanta's Kevin Shaffer and the Vikings' Bryant McKinnie, whom I never much liked until this season. None of them made it -- obviously. I started looking at a pair of Packers, Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton, but gave up after three games.

I didn't chart Ogden because he struggled so much. His strength really seems to be gone. Maybe he was playing hurt and didn't tell anybody. I didn't grade Tarik Glenn nor Orlando Pace because I didn't think they consistently showed as much as my people did.
So in other words, Dr. Z, a former NFL Lineman, who charted and graded every single game played by every single elite tackle in the entire league, concluded that Lepsis was the best tackle in the entire NFL last season. Which means there was, in fact, at least one "elite" Left Tackle selected outside of the first round (undrafted, actually).Of course, now that I've said that, I have to say that you really can't take Denver's results as indicative of the league norm. Much like how Pittsburgh always used to be able to get fantastic LBs late because it ran a different system than the rest of the league (and was therefore looking for different attributes), Denver has a long history of getting great value at OL on the second day of the draft or later because the attributes it prizes in its OLs (footwork, speed, intelligence) weren't as highly prized by the rest of the league (who seems to be absolutely enamored with size and strength in its linemen).

Seriously, though... Lepsis is the best OLineman you've never heard of. Ridiculously good (especially considering he's only been playing LT for 2 years, and tackle at all for 9, since he was a TE in college). The fact that no Bronco lineman made the pro bowl (despite denver ranking in the top 5 in rushing and pass protection) was simply criminal. Dr. Z had Lepsis and Nalen graded out as the best at their position in the entire NFL, and Hamilton as the third best guard in the entire NFL.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This criticism is fair. Even though, I watch a ton of football, and like most fans (admitted or not) unless an OLmen is horrible or physically dominates, I don't have real way of breaking down the difference between a good (even very good) position blocker versus a mediocore one. I am sure that there are guys who I percieved as good or better and did not mention by name who are average in the same manner that I am underrating Lepsis.
 

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