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Old 04-18-2012, 08:05 AM    (permalink
Bixby (Thumper)
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Default The Value Of Left Tackles

I wrote this on my own personal Eagles blog (which I will not mention because I read the rules regarding promotion) and it generated a few "thats interesting" and "makes sense" responses. But I figure that this could probably generate a good response as a topic of discussion regarding the draft.

When Jason Peters got injured, the Eagles' sky started to fall in the eyes of fans. So much so that some started proposing they trade up for Matt Kalil or Riley Reiff. Obviously the Eagles have since added Demetress Bell but the theory that you need a stud at LT still persists. I don’t think that this theory has much of a foundation to stand on.

I think I should clarify: A stud like Jason Peters or Joe Thomas does not hurt your team but they’re also not something that you absolutely need.

Greg Cossell of NFL Films talked about something similar recently.

Quote:
Think about this: the past four Super Bowl-winning left tackles were David Diehl (a former fifth-round pick at guard), Chad Clifton (second round), Jermon Bushrod (fourth round) and Max Starks (third round). The quarterbacks on those championship teams were Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, each likely on anyone’s short list of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
Interesting, isn’t it?

The New England Patriots have gotten by with Matt Light, a second round pick. The Steelers have gotten by Max Starks. The Giants have gotten by with David Diehl. The Saints have gotten by with Jermon Bushrod. The Colts started Tony Ugoh and Charlie Johnson at the LT spot from 2007-’11 and in that time they won 49 games. And yet teams with highly drafted, great tackles like Jake Long, Joe Thomas, DBrickshaw Ferguson, Duane Brown and Jason Peters (who we traded a #1 pick for) haven’t amounted to much. It would appear that we’re placing value on the wrong spot.

Essentially, the drop-off in talent, performance and impact from the elite guys to the mid-level guys isn’t so great that it will immensely affect your team. To use a baseball idea, a left tackles’ WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is less than other positions like QB, WR, DE and CB.

Case in point, the Eagles are 3-2 over the past two seasons in games that Jason Peters missed but they’re 3-7 in games where Michael Vick couldn’t finish despite the fact that Peters is a better OT than Michael Vick is a QB. The Eagles are 0-2 without DeSean Jackson (not counting the week 17 Dallas game in 2010).

And the best real life example I can think of is the Miami Dolphins. In 2008 the Dolphins took Jake Long over Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in the first round. Jake Long is undoubtedly a better LT than Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco are a QB but Ryan and Flacco undoubtedly have more of an impact on the win column. If the Dolphins took Matt Ryan in round one and the best available OL in round two, how different would their current situation be?

Similarly…

In 2006 the New York Jets took D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Kellen Clemens in the first two rounds. Do you think they would rather have drafted Jay Cutler in round 1 and Marcus McNeil in round 2? Ferguson is clearly better than McNeil but the talent gap between Cutler and Clemens is far greater.

In 2007 the Arizona Cardinals took Levi Brown in the top 5 because of need. They passed on Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Darrelle Revis for him. They could’ve had a stud at another spot and gotten a decent player like Tony Ugoh, Ryan Harris, Doug Free or Jermon Bushrod later. Bad value.

To add to the argument, pretend your the GM of the Minnesota Vikings this year. You’re sitting at pick #3 with your choice of Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne. Who do you take? A couple things to take into account:
  • -ProFootballFocus grades the offensive tackles of each team in the NFL. The left tackles on playoff teams were rated 6th (Duane Brown), 12th (Andrew Whitworth), 15th (Jermon Bushrod), 16th (Matt Light), 32nd (Joe Staley), 33rd (Jeff Backus), 51st (Chad Clifton), 52nd (Bryant McKinnie), 56th (Sam Baker), 60th (Jonathan Scott) and 64th (David Diehl). This would suggest that bad left tackle play doesn’t necessarily correlate with losses.
  • -An effective and efficient passing game strongly correlates with winning. The website Cold Hard Football Facts broke it down. The team that had the higher passer rating won the game nearly 79% of the time. The team that had the higher yards per attempt mark won the game more than 71% of the time. Who helps your passing game more, Blackmon or Kalil? Looking at the playoff teams of last year would suggest that strong receiver play helps the passing game more. See: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, Vernon Davis, Andre Johnson, DeMaryius Thomas, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Roddy White, Julio Jones, AJ Green and Mike Wallace. It appears that having an impact pass catcher makes a big difference in the win column.
  • -On the other side of the coin, if passing the ball is so important then stopping the pass must be equally important. How do you stop those impact pass catchers that I mentioned? You stop them with impact coverage players. And with each interception that your secondary gets, the oppositions chances of winning drop by 20% according to Cold Hard Football Facts. So logic would suggest that if you get a player who can take away a passing option and disrupt the passing game while also getting interceptions, he’ll have an impact on the win column. And 8 of the 12 playoff teams last year were in the top half of the league in pass defense.

Call me crazy but I’m taking the WR or CB and I’m not hesitating much.

There is value in an elite offensive tackle, just not as much as we think. So I guess my point is two-fold:
A. The Eagles will be fine without Jason Peters.
B. If I’m running a team I’m not putting a premium on the offensive tackle spot because there is value available later. I’d rather spend high picks on a quarterback, pass catchers, pass rushers and corners simply because those spots have more of an effect on wins and losses than offensive tackles.

Flame on draftniks.

Last edited by Bixby (Thumper) : 04-18-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:12 AM    (permalink
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Very good point and on the most part I do agree.

You can scheme around average offensive line play. The New England Patriots have done it for the last ten years. With the exception of Logan Mankins and Brian Waters (last year) they have not had a "stud" at any position along the line. However through play design you can cover up weaknesses.

Obviously the best way to do this is having a QB who can make quick decisions with where he is going to go with the football. Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Peyton and Eli etc have never had the best offensive lines in football yet consistently have the top passing games.

In regards to the Vikings pick at #3 this year, they probably aren't going to be competitive in 2012 anyway. Kalil makes a lot of sense to protect Ponder, but so does building talent at the skill positions and protecting him by limiting his deep drops and building off the run game to help the pass. Adding Matt Kalil does not make the Vikings a team who will score 30 points on a regular basis this year, but then again niether does Justin Blackmon.

The Cleveland Browns have the best LT in football yet are a putrid offensive team because they don't have a QB, don't have good enough WRs/TEs and their RBs are below average. Joe Thomas has not made bad players better. But to use the Patriots as an example again, Tom Brady has made Matt Light an all pro.

But everyone knows that a good QB helps a team more than any other position.

The question then becomes what other positions have more value than LT.

Jared Allen led the NFL in sacks last year yet the Vikings were the second worst team in the NFC.

Darrelle Revis is the consensus top CB in the NFL yet the Jets failed to make the playoffs.

Realistically no one position other than QB directly increases your chances more than any other.

It also depends on what scheme each team runs. For instance if I run a spread passing attack then my 4th WR becomes more valuable than my FB.

Likewise if I play a lot of man coverage and cover 1 out of a nickel package then my FS is more important than my SLB.

Each team is different when it comes to the draft and no one player will turn any team around. This is the main issue when it comes to FA as well. Teams spend huge money on that "missing" piece. It clearly depends on situation, scheme and surrounding talent.

There is a time and place to take an offensive tackle in the draft. If he is clearly the best player and fits your scheme then I 100% agree with taking him over a WR simply because a WR may have more positional value.

For the Vikings I am not sure Kalil makes the most sense. He isn't clearly the best available talent and isn't the best scheme fit as the Vikings generally tend to prefer bigger offensive linemen. I think they are keeping their fingers crossed that some team gets nervous and moves up for Tannehill, Kalil, Richardson or Claiborne and then they can target someone like Michael Floyd towards the end of the top ten.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:21 AM    (permalink
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I wrote a post in some thread months ago, I think it was a Kalil thread, talking about how overrated the LT position is now, and used the same argument Cossell did. I went farther back though and the same applies.

They cost a ton and they don't help you win Super Bowls. They don't even really protect your QB in this day of creative chaos defenses where the best pass rushers are moved around to get the best matchup. If you have tons of money tied up in the LT spot, do you skimp on the rest of the OL? If yes, pass rushers will just send their best rusher to the opposite side. If no, you have no money for the rest of the team.

If you can get one at a good price, like in the draft or a guy returning from injury that you get for cheap, great. But paying a LT $44 million, with potentially $80+ million in the contract, to me, is crazy.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killxswitch View Post
I wrote a post in some thread months ago, I think it was a Kalil thread, talking about how overrated the LT position is now, and used the same argument Cossell did. I went farther back though and the same applies.

They cost a ton and they don't help you win Super Bowls. They don't even really protect your QB in this day of creative chaos defenses where the best pass rushers are moved around to get the best matchup. If you have tons of money tied up in the LT spot, do you skimp on the rest of the OL? If yes, pass rushers will just send their best rusher to the opposite side. If no, you have no money for the rest of the team.

If you can get one at a good price, like in the draft or a guy returning from injury that you get for cheap, great. But paying a LT $44 million, with potentially $80+ million in the contract, to me, is crazy.
Exactly, great point.

Gone are the days of teams having a quick pass rushing RE, a 3 tech, a 1 tech and a bigger LE. Look at the Giants for example. They play a base 4 man front but can generate pressure from anywhere on it. If you have a weakness at RT JPP is going to dominate. Likewise if your RG can not pass protect then Tuck is going to dominate. Or you have creative defensive coordinators such as Rex Ryan, Dick LeBeau etc who can effectively rush the passer based on their schemes.

In today's NFL positional value is completely thrown out the window. More and more OGs and RTs will be drafted highly due to the fact that most teams can generate pressure from anywhere, either with their base defense or by drawing up complex blitz schemes such as overloads etc.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:23 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killxswitch View Post
I wrote a post in some thread months ago, I think it was a Kalil thread, talking about how overrated the LT position is now, and used the same argument Cossell did. I went farther back though and the same applies.

They cost a ton and they don't help you win Super Bowls. They don't even really protect your QB in this day of creative chaos defenses where the best pass rushers are moved around to get the best matchup. If you have tons of money tied up in the LT spot, do you skimp on the rest of the OL? If yes, pass rushers will just send their best rusher to the opposite side. If no, you have no money for the rest of the team.

If you can get one at a good price, like in the draft or a guy returning from injury that you get for cheap, great. But paying a LT $44 million, with potentially $80+ million in the contract, to me, is crazy.
Yep. Exactly what I was going for. You don't need a unit full of enormous dudes with equally enormous price tags. Rather you need a solid group that works together, communicates and functions as a unit.

And I think I saw somebody mention it before I went to reply to this but I think the interior of the line is more important. Giving your QB a clean pocket to step up into is a huge deal that a lot of casual fans just ignore. You don't need a high priced stud at OT if your QB can step up and have the DE go flying by. Look at the Saints, Patriots and Manning era Colts, all of them had a quality and consistent interior offensive line.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:42 AM    (permalink
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I think the key these days is to have 2-3 good players along the OL, regardless of where they play (I would actually prefer C to be one of them).

With that logic; why not wait until round two and grab a top guard prospect (where most guards go) or at the very least trade down and pick up extra picks.

We talk about the Vikings here and I think that this is a perfect example:

-Vikings trade back with someone looking to acquire Tannehill receiving a 1st and 2nd
-select DeCastro (whom I believe to be the best OL in this draft)
-select another top OL prospect (Silatolu, Massie, Konz)
- select a top of the 2nd round WR or CB prospect. Let's go CB and say that they get a falling Janoris Jenkins

Which OL is better?

Kalil - Burger - Sullivan - Johnson (moving him inside from LT) - Loadholt

or

Johnson - DeCastro - Sullivan - Silatolu - Loadholt

I'd take the 2nd option and it costs less while still acquiring a to CB prospect for my needy secondary.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:50 AM    (permalink
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I think the left tackle story is more of a correlation than causation. The best LT's in the game are oftentimes caught on terrible teams because of poor management and coaching. I don't think you'll find many people who will argue with you that QB's are the most important position, but there are plenty of examples of guys who are fantastic CB's and DE's who were stuck watching the playoffs. Revis, Haden, J. Allen, Babin, and Ware were all watching the playoffs from their TV's and they play premium positions at an elite level as well.

As far as your model for pass catchers goes you could do the same thing about value there.

Quote:
Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, Vernon Davis, Andre Johnson, DeMaryius Thomas, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Roddy White, Julio Jones, AJ Green and Mike Wallace.
Only the bolded guys were first round picks, and you could find plenty of examples of highly picked wideouts who weren't in the playoffs. Would the Cardinals have been better off selecting Phillip Rivers or Ben Roethlisburger over Larry Fitzgerald in 2004? Probably, but the answer isn't always as cut and dry. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan had the benefit of going to teams that were nowhere near as bad as the record the year before indicated. Would they have succeeded in the disfunctional Jets organization with nobody to block for them?

The fact of the matter is nobody is going to succeed without good offensive line play, coaching, QB play, and some hits later on in the draft process. Guys like Jake Long and Joe Thomas haven't had those luxuries and that is why they haven't been successful. There are many ways to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl, and I think the fact that elite tackles haven't been in it recently is more of a coincidence than actually anything telling about the position.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:54 AM    (permalink
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The fact of the matter is nobody is going to succeed without good offensive line play, coaching, QB play, and some hits later on in the draft process. Guys like Jake Long and Joe Thomas haven't had those luxuries and that is why they haven't been successful. There are many ways to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl, and I think the fact that elite tackles haven't been in it recently is more of a coincidence than actually anything telling about the position.
I think that this is they key. Good OL play, not necessarily good LT play. 2-3 GOOD OL can make a great line that is hard to scheme around/move top rushers around on.

The difference being that you have to pay good LTs WAY more money than you have to pay good Gs Cs etc.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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I think that this is they key. Good OL play, not necessarily good LT play. 2-3 GOOD OL can make a great line that is hard to scheme around/move top rushers around on.

The difference being that you have to pay good LTs WAY more money than you have to pay good Gs Cs etc.
Good OL play as you mentioned is the key. The Saints for example got great play from both their OGs and that filtered outwards. Enough so that they felt confident enough in getting rid of their "franchise LT".
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:06 AM    (permalink
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Good OL play as you mentioned is the key. The Saints for example got great play from both their OGs and that filtered outwards. Enough so that they felt confident enough in getting rid of their "franchise LT".
I know it's crazy but I seriously value the middle 3 OL positions way more than that of the tackles.

having a strong front three can allow you to create a clean pocket for your QB to step up into and avoid any DEs/OLBs trying to run the horn and with a team like the Vikings, obviously a strong interior helps your run game.

Great guys in the pivot are seriously undervalued and guards come cheap in most cases.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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I know it's crazy but I seriously value the middle 3 OL positions way more than that of the tackles.

having a strong front three can allow you to create a clean pocket for your QB to step up into and avoid any DEs/OLBs trying to run the horn and with a team like the Vikings, obviously a strong interior helps your run game.

Great guys in the pivot are seriously undervalued and guards come cheap in most cases.
Not really, look at the contracts guys like Evans, Nicks, Mankins, Kalil, Mangold and even lesser guys like Grubbs, Yanda, D. Joseph, Myers, Wells got. It's catching up very quickly. You have to pay for offensive lineman, and there is no way around it regardless of what position it is.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:14 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by AntoinCD View Post
Good OL play as you mentioned is the key. The Saints for example got great play from both their OGs and that filtered outwards. Enough so that they felt confident enough in getting rid of their "franchise LT".
Yes, but coincidentally they ended up with the 2 best OG's in the game. That isn't a model that most teams can rely on. The teams with the best offensive lines were the ones that dropped a lot of premium picks into the position. Teams should have an above average LT, in certain cases there are situations where you can get away with not having one, but that is the case with virtually any position besides QB. Hell the Pats got away with not having a pass rush or anyone who could cover the past 2 seasons, and had the best overall record as a result.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
The teams with the best offensive lines were the ones that dropped a lot of premium picks into the position.
Have you seen the 49'ers OL?

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Yes, but coincidentally they ended up with the 2 best OG's in the game. That isn't a model that most teams can rely on.
This isn't necessarily true either. Both the Ravens and Patriots have employed this strategy to a certain extent.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:27 PM    (permalink
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Good post on a timely subject in the current NFL.

I call this fairly newly treasured position the Franchise QB's Blindside Protector Tackle vs. the Franchise LT since there are many lefthanded QBs now, & they seem to have passed up the Franchise Playmaker WR category in cumulative value..... & yet the Franchise WR gets more $ (usually a lot more) & all the ink b/c he scores TDs

Most professional draft pundits like Kiper & Mayock rank the position 3rd behind Franchise QB, Pass Rusher, or 4th behind those two & Franchise Shutdown Corner in the Revis Island mode.

They are rare gems simply b/c a D'Brickashaw Ferguson, a Joe Thomas, or a Matt Light isn't available every draft & they seem more stereotypical than the other franchise position categories: 95%+ of them over 6-2 or 6-3 & 300 lbs+, good footwork & reaction time quickness & long arms with use of hands valued over mega-huge body size & bulk, certain conferences like the SEC or programs like USC & Iowa seem to produce them in number, although it requires 2-3 yrs. in the same system for maximized effectiveness most top picks here show their talent & can play as rookies, etc.

Kalil with his NFL pedigree seems to fit the pattern & has wowed all the scouts & coaches. Just b/c the top-ranked tackle passes draft muster is no guarantee he will be the highly sought franchise tackle, or even the best in his class -- just a yr. ago Gabe Carimi & Castonzo were the top-ranked guys followed by Solder, who was denigrated as a "project" although was Bellichek's top pick at NE, yet 4th-ranked Tyron Smith who was Dallas' impact rookie starting at ORT has been the best of the 2011 class, & was so good he's being moved to OLT to protect Romo's blind side.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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As far as your model for pass catchers goes you could do the same thing about value there.

The fact of the matter is nobody is going to succeed without good offensive line play, coaching, QB play, and some hits later on in the draft process.
Draft position isn't the point, the point is what you need to win games and looking around the NFL right now, left tackles aren't something you need. But from the looks of it, an impact weapon the passing game is as the team with the more effective passing game comes out on top 7/10 times.

Look at the Jaguars last year. They had Eugene Monroe and he's turned into a good offensive tackle but they had absolutely no receivers who could change the game or separate in man coverage. And then look at the New York Giants, they started David Diehl throughout their superbowl run, one of the worst offensive tackles in the game but they had Nicks, Cruz and Manningham. Sure there is a HUGE discrepancy in QB play but I'm sure Gabbert wasn't helped by playing with a bunch of scrubs at receiver. Effective pass game = wins. Elite left tackles ≠ wins.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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Draft position isn't the point, the point is what you need to win games and looking around the NFL right now, left tackles aren't something you need. But from the looks of it, an impact weapon the passing game is as the team with the more effective passing game comes out on top 7/10 times.

Look at the Jaguars last year. They had Eugene Monroe and he's turned into a good offensive tackle but they had absolutely no receivers who could change the game or separate in man coverage. And then look at the New York Giants, they started David Diehl throughout their superbowl run, one of the worst offensive tackles in the game but they had Nicks, Cruz and Manningham. Sure there is a HUGE discrepancy in QB play but I'm sure Gabbert wasn't helped by playing with a bunch of scrubs at receiver. Effective pass game = wins. Elite left tackles ≠ wins.
There are many ways to skin a cat. People act like there is some formula to winning, but in reality what you need is a QB who can hang with anybody, competent coaching, and a lot of talent. You play to your strengths and make timely plays. The top 4 teams all were vastly different. You had power rushing teams with great defenses, you had a team with great receivers, QB, and pass rushers, and you had a team with one of the best QB's ever, a great OL, and a physical front 7. What I can tell you is that the Jaguars are nowhere in the conversation with any of the 4 aforementioned in terms of overall talent or in coaching.

A franchise LT can be a part of the overall talent equation. The fact that the top teams that have won the SB have not had elite tackles has more to do with random chance IMO than anything else. Those contracts are not so cost prohibitive that they keep teams from signing other premium positional contracts.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:15 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
There are many ways to skin a cat. People act like there is some formula to winning, but in reality what you need is a QB who can hang with anybody, competent coaching, and a lot of talent. You play to your strengths and make timely plays. The top 4 teams all were vastly different. You had power rushing teams with great defenses, you had a team with great receivers, QB, and pass rushers, and you had a team with one of the best QB's ever, a great OL, and a physical front 7. What I can tell you is that the Jaguars are nowhere in the conversation with any of the 4 aforementioned in terms of overall talent or in coaching.

A franchise LT can be a part of the overall talent equation. The fact that the top teams that have won the SB have not had elite tackles has more to do with random chance IMO than anything else. Those contracts are not so cost prohibitive that they keep teams from signing other premium positional contracts.
The point being that not tying up a ton of money in one guy can allow you to bring in more talent.

You can still have a great OL without a great LT and you can have a great one with a great LT. The difference is that the OL without a "franchise LT" costs less.

Thus that money can be allocated to other players as well
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:25 PM    (permalink
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The point being that not tying up a ton of money in one guy can allow you to bring in more talent.

You can still have a great OL without a great LT and you can have a great one with a great LT. The difference is that the OL without a "franchise LT" costs less.

Thus that money can be allocated to other players as well
This is true of any position on the field though. Every elite player gets paid in today's market regardless of position. Jerod Mayo, Jon Beason, and Patrick Willis all cashed in as MLB's. We've already talked about OG's. WR's cashed in this offseason, so did all the CB's. There is nothing unique about tackles, and so far the contracts are pretty much in line with other positions. Great offensive lines have great (and expensive) players on it. The Saints, Texans, and Ravens couldn't maintain their lines, and the Patriots will have to make some tough choices in the near future as well. Teams might get a great value on certain positions for awhile, but the market eventually catches up. This notion that having an elite OT is cost prohibitive isn't true. The reason why the Browns and Dolphins don't have great OL's or QB's isn't because Jake Long and Joe Thomas take up too much cap room.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:22 AM    (permalink
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I made a thread on this like a year ago. I've been saying it for awhile now, LT has become the most overrated position in football.

Not only is a stud LT not necessary, but you don't even want one. The amount of cap space he kills makes it difficult for you to allocate money in more important positions on your team.

You don't want a dominant LT unless he's on a rookie mid round contract. They're not worth it, and overrated.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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I made a thread on this like a year ago. I've been saying it for awhile now, LT has become the most overrated position in football.

Not only is a stud LT not necessary, but you don't even want one. The amount of cap space he kills makes it difficult for you to allocate money in more important positions on your team.

You don't want a dominant LT unless he's on a rookie mid round contract. They're not worth it, and overrated.
I agree. Contracts like Joe Thomas' are boat anchors tied to the neck of their organizations.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:32 AM    (permalink
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I agree. Contracts like Joe Thomas' are boat anchors tied to the neck of their organizations.
And the contracts for Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, and Carl Nicks aren't? JT's contract is a huge outlier so far in the market, and the value of top tackle and top guard contracts aren't that far off. If you want a good offensive line you're going to have to pay for it one way or another unless you're good enough at drafting to make it work. Tackles are still worth big contracts and premium picks.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:17 PM    (permalink
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Just a list of some other offensive linemen contracts by position (includes some I already posted):

Guard:
Carl Nicks' contract was 5 years $47.5 mil
Jahari Evans' was 7 years $56.7 mil
Marshall Yanda 5 years $32 mil
Ben Grubbs 5 years $36 mil
Evan Mathis 5 years $25 mil
Logan Mankins 6 years $51 mil

Center:
Nick Mangold's contract is 7 years $54 mil
Kalil's contract is 6 years $49 million
Chris Myers 4 years $25 mil
Nick Hardwick 3 years $13.5 mil
Jeff Saturday 3 year $13.3 mil was his last one with the colts and a 2 year $7.75 mil with the packers.

Right Tackle:
Eric Winston 4 years $22 mil
Tyson Clabo 4 years $25 mil
David Stewart 6 years $38.9 mil

Left Tackles:
Joe Thomas 7 years $84 mil
Jason Peters 6 years $60 mil
Jordan Gross 6 years $60 mil
D'brickashaw's contract is confusing with the extension, it was posted that the extension was 6 years $60 mil bringing his total contract to 8 years $73.6 mil

These are the only recent ones I could find but with Jake Long and Ryan Clady both needing new contracts soon we could see some high price tags soon
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:51 PM    (permalink
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i agree with this. over the years getting a franchise left tackle is just as risky as getting a franchise QB. its really hit and miss we've seen the jason smiths, eugene monroe, levi brown guys that turn out to be busts. OT are very good picks in the mid-rounds IMO. Id rather take a chance on a guy that will put wins on the board then have a guy blocking for a tim rattay because hes not gonna find the reciever no matter how much time he has.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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Yeah this is pretty much how I have felt on the subject. Would I take Joe Thomas on the Patriots? Absolutely, anyone would. But you don't need to have him to win or invest that much in one player at that position. The amount of investment between guys like Long and Thomas draft position and contract is a lot to tie up at one player at that position, that money should really be reserved for quarterbacks.

Having a cohesive unit along the OL really is something that I think goes undervalued. Look at most of the elite teams through the years, and aside from injuries they have had pretty similar lines through their runs of success. The Patriots and Giants have been extremely similar along the OL. A solid but unspectacular veteran at left tackle, one elite guard, a fill in at guard this year (before that Seuburt and Neal had similar roles), two veteran-ish venters who are new replacements for former anchors (Koppen and O'Hara), and now they are both starting to try and groom new right tackles. Those two lines are always mentioned amongst the best in the league, but outside of Snee and Mankins none of those guys are players teams would kill to have. Then think about some of the higher priced lines that have invested a ton in terms of high draft picks, contracts, and going out and getting guys in free agency. They really don't offer much more than the Patriots or Giants lines for my money, not saying those are the only two like that but they just popped in my head for this situation.

Bottom line is that I think having a unit that has experience in their system, knows how to work together, and have the trust of their QB is waaaaaay more important then a few great pieces and a revolving door to their left and/or right (McKinnie, Hutchinson, and I guess Birk). A lot can be said for not throwing a guy into the fire too. Kalil is going to go from say one probably with Ponder behind him, but they really don't have much of an option because of the situation they put themselves in. That is why I liked working in Solder last year and not throwing him into the fire, he wasn't quite ready amd Light was not the player last year that Solder can become but Light had experience and Solder did not. It was the better move for the team. I'm not saying start an inferior player because he is older, but building a line of a bunch of good players with chemistry is the way to do it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:19 PM    (permalink
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A difference of $3 million/year ($4 million difference between LT and C btw) is a pretty big deal, given there's no discernible difference in team performance. Spending lots of money on an elite LT seems like poor value to me.
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