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What's up with Denver's OL ranking?


SSOG

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I was just playing around in the DD and looked up the offensive line grades. I was shocked when I saw Denver clocking in at 18th. At first, I thought it must be using last year's rankings... but I checked the grades in the magazine, and it was the same.

Last year, Denver ranked 3rd in the league in yards per carry (despite losing 7 RBs to season-ending injury). Denver ranked 1st in the league in sacks allowed (despite finishing 3rd in pass attempts). This year, Denver returns every single starter. Two of those starters were first-year starters, and a third was a second-year starter, so it seems reasonable to expect them to improve. The LT was arguably the best LT in the league last year. I'm normally not the kind of guy who makes a fuss when I think a player's ranked 3 spots too high or a guy's projections are 100 yards low or anything... but this should be a slam-dunk, no-brainer top 3 offensive line. 18th? Do you guys know something I don't? What's the reasoning?

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There was a thread about this when the free online magazine came out. I'm too lazy to look for it, but it was something to the effect that all the individual grades were B's with 1 C, then the overall grade was a C- or something like that. I agree with SSOG, that given last season'r performance, the denver O line should be much higher than 18. I know our team isn't going to have a very good record this year, but at least give us credit for the lone bright spot on our team.

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don't want to answer for the staff, but maybe it has something to do with a new coaching staff? :goodposting:also, other teams have greatly improved their O-lines, so perhaps some of them have moved up higher on the list?

The new coaching staff retained the OL coach, though, and I'd have a hard time believe that 15 teams have improved their O-Line enough to surpass the team that was 1st in sack% and 3rd in yards per rush while starting two first-year starters and a second-year starter.

There was a thread about this when the free online magazine came out. I'm too lazy to look for it, but it was something to the effect that all the individual grades were B's with 1 C, then the overall grade was a C- or something like that. I agree with SSOG, that given last season'r performance, the denver O line should be much higher than 18. I know our team isn't going to have a very good record this year, but at least give us credit for the lone bright spot on our team.

How could Ryan Clady have been a B? He gave up half a sack on the season, and Denver led the league in YPC on runs to the left. He was a 2nd-team AP All Pro, and even that was an injustice (he should have been first team).
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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

What method do you promote to determine a team's run blocking abilities?
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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

What method do you promote to determine a team's run blocking abilities?
RB rushing yards, RB first downs, RB TDs are all good measures. While not commonly tracked, percentage of successful rushes (i.e., 40% of yards needed on 1st down, 60% on 2nd down, 100% on 3rd down) would also be a solid metric.
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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

Would you prefer run blocking by adjusted line yards (1st)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs stopped for no gain (3rd)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs on 3rd/4th down with 2 or fewer yards to go that wind up converting (10th)? Perhaps run blocking by ability to turn an 8th string RB from a guy who stole Rudi Johnson's luggage and then was on the street for half the season into a guy who averaged 5.7 yards per carry over the last half of the season (1st)? Run blocking by rushing DVOA for a team that lost 7 RBs for the season? :goodposting:

While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

What method do you promote to determine a team's run blocking abilities?
RB rushing yards, RB first downs, RB TDs are all good measures. While not commonly tracked, percentage of successful rushes (i.e., 40% of yards needed on 1st down, 60% on 2nd down, 100% on 3rd down) would also be a solid metric.
The problem with RB rushing yards, RB first downs, and RB TDs is that it doesn't point out the teams with the best rushing attack, it points out the teams with the most rushing attempts... and since rushing attempts are every bit as much a function of quality of defense (direct relationship) and quality of passing offense (inverse relationship) as they are of quality of rushing attack, then those stats don't always tell us who runs the best. Sometimes they just tell us who passed the worst and/or defended the best.

I love success rate, too, but unfortunately no Denver RB managed to accumulate enough carries without getting injured for FO to post their success rate. I might go through and calculate a couple of them by hand, because I'm sure they're off the charts (because rushing DVOA generally correlates strongly with success rate and Denver was 1st in rushing DVOA last year).

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Success rate of the three Denver RBs to top 50 carries last season (40% on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on 3rd/4th down):

Peyton Hillis - 39/68 = 57%, would have ranked 3rd last year

Michael Pittman - 41/76 = 54%, would have ranked 3rd or 4th last year.

Selvin Young - 24/47 = 51% pre-injury, 5/14 = 36% post-injury, 29/61 = 48% for the season. Pre-injury totals would put him in the 6th-9th range, season-long totals put him at 13th-18th.

Total success rate = 109/205 = 53%, which would have ranked 5th last year if it'd come from a single back (behind only Deuce McAllister, Pierre Thomas, LenDale White, and Thomas Jones).

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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

Would you prefer run blocking by adjusted line yards (1st)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs stopped for no gain (3rd)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs on 3rd/4th down with 2 or fewer yards to go that wind up converting (10th)? Perhaps run blocking by ability to turn an 8th string RB from a guy who stole Rudi Johnson's luggage and then was on the street for half the season into a guy who averaged 5.7 yards per carry over the last half of the season (1st)? Run blocking by rushing DVOA for a team that lost 7 RBs for the season? :hot:

While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

What method do you promote to determine a team's run blocking abilities?
RB rushing yards, RB first downs, RB TDs are all good measures. While not commonly tracked, percentage of successful rushes (i.e., 40% of yards needed on 1st down, 60% on 2nd down, 100% on 3rd down) would also be a solid metric.
The problem with RB rushing yards, RB first downs, and RB TDs is that it doesn't point out the teams with the best rushing attack, it points out the teams with the most rushing attempts... and since rushing attempts are every bit as much a function of quality of defense (direct relationship) and quality of passing offense (inverse relationship) as they are of quality of rushing attack, then those stats don't always tell us who runs the best. Sometimes they just tell us who passed the worst and/or defended the best.

I love success rate, too, but unfortunately no Denver RB managed to accumulate enough carries without getting injured for FO to post their success rate. I might go through and calculate a couple of them by hand, because I'm sure they're off the charts (because rushing DVOA generally correlates strongly with success rate and Denver was 1st in rushing DVOA last year).

:bag: Wow.
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I am glad to see SSOG posting again. I haven't seen him around for a little while, now I see him all over the place. always good insight.

If ever there was an offseason to dim my enthusiasm for football, it was this one. :mellow:
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I am glad to see SSOG posting again. I haven't seen him around for a little while, now I see him all over the place. always good insight.

If ever there was an offseason to dim my enthusiasm for football, it was this one. :2cents:
Right there with you, SSOG. But I'm glad your back and posting. :subscribe:
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It seems to me that generally FBG does a poor job of covering offensive lines. They don't list them on their depth charts and they didn't include them in their 44 page camp notes pdf.

It's just hard to find people who know the fundamentals of offensive line play and care about it enough to watch it closely during games. I think most people watch the QB drop back or the RB run with the ball. Think of it this way, you get to see the offensive line in direct combat for the vast majority of every snap, yet you get the least overall discussion of how and why they do what they do. It's not because it's so simple, in fact it's very intricate, so the evolving education of the fan in this aspect is very slow. Think about how little you really get to see of WRs running routes and DBs covering and reacting, yet how many "experts" weigh in with opinions. You only get to see them when the ball goes their way, not the 10 plays prior that lead to that play. It just leads to a detached understanding of how the game actually plays out because people lack the passion to really study all they can see and just follow the ball too much. Just look in the forum and you'll see long discussions on 3rd and 4th string WRs and RBs, but you won't really find much about the subtle games within the game like handfighting and leverage. It's hard work to make sense of the cloud of dust and blur at the snap so people just ignore it until they are spoonfed by instant replay spotlights and talking points. There just aren't that many people with the skills and drive to breakdown offensive linemen properly.

After tomorrow's HOF game will there be any threads about Demetrius Bell's kickstep? I hope so, but I doubt it. I'm sure anything that any WR, TE, RB, or QB does will be discussed by plenty of fans though, despite getting to see basically everything that the offensive line does they won't mention any specifics in a meaningful way.

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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

The Broncos certainly have a "good" line in 2008, that much was obvious, even if Cutler displayed excellent pocket-presence which will always keep his team's sack #'s low...gotta think that group will be a better this year
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The OL grades "feature" in DD should be removed. Nobody asked for it and it's completely useless. The next person that looks at O-line grades while they are in the middle of a draft will be the first.

I look at the OL grades in DD. More information at my disposal is usually a good thing.
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The OL grades "feature" in DD should be removed. Nobody asked for it and it's completely useless. The next person that looks at O-line grades while they are in the middle of a draft will be the first.

I look at the OL grades in DD. More information at my disposal is usually a good thing.
While you are in the middle of a draft? I doubt it.As your thread points out, the "information" is useless.
Yes, while I was in the middle of the draft. The majority of my drafts are snail drafts over a message board, so generally the draft lasts for 3+ weeks. Just because *YOU* would not use it in the middle of a draft does not mean that *NO ONE* would use it in the middle of the draft, and I'd be really sad if the DD only included features that appealed to BusterTBronco. Besides, who on earth only uses the DD *during* a draft? I spend plenty of time in the DD preparing before the draft ever starts.Furthermore, I never said that the information was "useless", I said that in this one instance it was incorrect. One bad ranking does not invalidate every ranking. It's even possible that the FBGs know something that I don't and the ranking *ISN'T* incorrect, which is why I started this thread in the first place.
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The OL grades "feature" in DD should be removed. Nobody asked for it and it's completely useless. The next person that looks at O-line grades while they are in the middle of a draft will be the first.

They are a big part of how I draft and rank players.
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Sorry it took so long to respond to this thread. It was a busy week...

These rankings were completed a couple of months back. I saw the Broncos starting unit as very solid as the grades indicated in the OL article. The reason the ranking dropped to 17th was what I saw as a lack of depth and the change from Mike Shanahan possibly turning this into a transitional season.

Looking back at the ranking, I probably put too much weight into both questions and they should have slotted top-ten.

The starting unit is certainly better than my 17th ranking would indicate.

BTW: There is no such thing as too much info for a draft. Even if it is just for one pick to determine which RB is the better prospect, an extra bit of info never hurt anyone.

Thanks for posting your question SSOG. I appreciate it.

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While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

Would you prefer run blocking by adjusted line yards (1st)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs stopped for no gain (3rd)? Or run blocking by percentage of runs on 3rd/4th down with 2 or fewer yards to go that wind up converting (10th)? Perhaps run blocking by ability to turn an 8th string RB from a guy who stole Rudi Johnson's luggage and then was on the street for half the season into a guy who averaged 5.7 yards per carry over the last half of the season (1st)? Run blocking by rushing DVOA for a team that lost 7 RBs for the season? :)

While I don't disagree that the Broncos should be ranked quite a bit higher, I don't think ranking run blocking by YPC is the best method. Denver's OL was not one of the three best run blocking units in the league last year. I also think Jay Cutler had a lot to do with that low sack rate, but regardless, I agree that Denver's OL should be at least in the top eight.

What method do you promote to determine a team's run blocking abilities?
RB rushing yards, RB first downs, RB TDs are all good measures. While not commonly tracked, percentage of successful rushes (i.e., 40% of yards needed on 1st down, 60% on 2nd down, 100% on 3rd down) would also be a solid metric.
The problem with RB rushing yards, RB first downs, and RB TDs is that it doesn't point out the teams with the best rushing attack, it points out the teams with the most rushing attempts... and since rushing attempts are every bit as much a function of quality of defense (direct relationship) and quality of passing offense (inverse relationship) as they are of quality of rushing attack, then those stats don't always tell us who runs the best. Sometimes they just tell us who passed the worst and/or defended the best.

I love success rate, too, but unfortunately no Denver RB managed to accumulate enough carries without getting injured for FO to post their success rate. I might go through and calculate a couple of them by hand, because I'm sure they're off the charts (because rushing DVOA generally correlates strongly with success rate and Denver was 1st in rushing DVOA last year).

A problem with all of these metrics is that none of them are solely the responsibility of the OL. What about the RBs? For example, using the metrics cited in this thread, will the same OL look the same if it is blocking for Adrian Peterson and Julius Jones? I don't think so.

And what about the quality of the passing game, which could reduce pressure on the running game? What about the playcaller? What about the blocking of the fullback, TEs, and WRs? What about the quality of the defense, which could enable the running game to run more often when ahead?

Now, to some degree, these weren't necessarily big issues for Denver last year... I don't think they had a great blocking FB and they went through several RBs, none of whom were exceptional talents. And the defense was poor. Some of the other things were factors for Denver, but all in all it does seem apparent that their OL was one of the best in the league.

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Success rate of the three Denver RBs to top 50 carries last season (40% on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on 3rd/4th down):Peyton Hillis - 39/68 = 57%, would have ranked 3rd last yearMichael Pittman - 41/76 = 54%, would have ranked 3rd or 4th last year.Selvin Young - 24/47 = 51% pre-injury, 5/14 = 36% post-injury, 29/61 = 48% for the season. Pre-injury totals would put him in the 6th-9th range, season-long totals put him at 13th-18th.Total success rate = 109/205 = 53%, which would have ranked 5th last year if it'd come from a single back (behind only Deuce McAllister, Pierre Thomas, LenDale White, and Thomas Jones).

I was a bit surprised that you didn't just post the success rate for all of their RBs. Seems to me that is the fair basis for comparison between OLs - team success rate. (Though it is still subject to the issues I mentioned in my previous post.)I assume the Denver team success rate would be one of the best.
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Sorry it took so long to respond to this thread. It was a busy week...These rankings were completed a couple of months back. I saw the Broncos starting unit as very solid as the grades indicated in the OL article. The reason the ranking dropped to 17th was what I saw as a lack of depth and the change from Mike Shanahan possibly turning this into a transitional season.Looking back at the ranking, I probably put too much weight into both questions and they should have slotted top-ten.The starting unit is certainly better than my 17th ranking would indicate.BTW: There is no such thing as too much info for a draft. Even if it is just for one pick to determine which RB is the better prospect, an extra bit of info never hurt anyone.Thanks for posting your question SSOG. I appreciate it.

It's okay Chris, I appreciate you getting back to me on the subject. I know you've never posted anything about an O-Line without thorough research and plenty of consideration, which is why I wanted to double check and make sure I wasn't missing anything. Also, I hadn't seen anything from you in a while and I was wondering whether FBGs had found someone else to take over your OL duties. I'm glad they didn't, because as I've said, I've always found your rankings to be well-reasoned and generally very good.Out of curiosity, if you were to rank just the starting unit with no considerations given to depth or possible scheme changes, whereabouts would Denver come in on your rankings?

Success rate of the three Denver RBs to top 50 carries last season (40% on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on 3rd/4th down):Peyton Hillis - 39/68 = 57%, would have ranked 3rd last yearMichael Pittman - 41/76 = 54%, would have ranked 3rd or 4th last year.Selvin Young - 24/47 = 51% pre-injury, 5/14 = 36% post-injury, 29/61 = 48% for the season. Pre-injury totals would put him in the 6th-9th range, season-long totals put him at 13th-18th.Total success rate = 109/205 = 53%, which would have ranked 5th last year if it'd come from a single back (behind only Deuce McAllister, Pierre Thomas, LenDale White, and Thomas Jones).

I was a bit surprised that you didn't just post the success rate for all of their RBs. Seems to me that is the fair basis for comparison between OLs - team success rate. (Though it is still subject to the issues I mentioned in my previous post.)I assume the Denver team success rate would be one of the best.
I didn't post the success rate for all of their RBs because the success rate isn't available anywhere on the internet. I got the ones I posted by looking through each and every game log for the entire season and calculating by hand. Doing so for every player to get a carry for Denver would have been exponentially more effort for minimal extra information (because, as I've noted already, a *LOT* of RBs got a carry for Denver last year). Besides, I don't know how representative Tatum Bell's success rate might be, for instance. The guy was OoF until Denver lost 7 RBs for the season and didn't spend so much as 5 seconds with the team in TCs. He's now OoF again and will likely remain there unless some other team loses 7 RBs this year.
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By the seat of my pants as it's been awhile, I think just starting unit only, the Broncos would have to be 7-9 in my pecking order. Next year, I'll put out different rankings for starting offensive lines and overall rankings, including the depth.

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By the seat of my pants as it's been awhile, I think just starting unit only, the Broncos would have to be 7-9 in my pecking order. Next year, I'll put out different rankings for starting offensive lines and overall rankings, including the depth.

That explains a bit more. I was wondering how you took a top-5 starting unit and downgraded it to 17th based mostly on depth, but I see you never had them as a top-5 unit in the first place.
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By the seat of my pants as it's been awhile, I think just starting unit only, the Broncos would have to be 7-9 in my pecking order. Next year, I'll put out different rankings for starting offensive lines and overall rankings, including the depth.

That explains a bit more. I was wondering how you took a top-5 starting unit and downgraded it to 17th based mostly on depth, but I see you never had them as a top-5 unit in the first place.
Yeah... still seems low. I'd like to know what 6-8 starting units he ranks higher and why... I'm not seeing it.
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Snail drafts. Whatever. If that is the case then you could have gone to your favorite website (FBG, FBO, etc) and gotten better offensive line info then what is in the DD. Like I said, it is a USELESS feature!

Sure. Let's also take ADP out of Draft Dominator, since I could easily look that up online. While we're at it, let's get rid of the depth chart. Do away with the list of already drafted players, since the draft thread already contains all of that information one post at a time. Don't bother showing what everyone's team looks like, because I could figure that out from the draft thread, as well. Get rid of the SoS projections while you're at it, and don't bother displaying a player's age or NFL experience, because that information is widely available on the internet. Listing a player's projections is also pointless, since I could just come to FBGs and comb through the player pages to figure out what Dodds projected everyone to, and then I could calculate their VBD by hand. Really, let's just pare the DD down to a list of player names, a list of fantasy teams, and a means of assigning players to fantasy teams.You may not have a use for a certain feature. You know what my recommendation is in that case? Don't use it. I know such a radical concept might take a bit of getting used to, but I think you'll find after careful reflection that such a solution proves acceptable to all parties. And if it doesn't prove acceptable- if you can't accept the fact that the DD has features that you personally have no use for- then don't accept it. Delete the DD from your hard drive immediately. No one here is forcing you to use it.You'll notice it's called the "Draft Dominator", not "BusterTBronco's Draft Dominator" or "The Tool Created Specifically To Assist BusterTBronco In Dominating His Drafts". As I said, it would be a sad day indeed when the Draft Dominator eliminated all features except those deemed "useful" by BusterTBronco.
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