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Math Says Skins O-Linemen Are Awful; Perhaps We Should Draft New Ones?

Thanks to Pro Football Focus your suspicions have been verified today by math: The Redskins offensive line is, in fact, terrible at protecting the passer. More accurately: three-fifths of the line is terrible, and the other two-fifths is merely mediocre.

According to an advanced formula beyond my level of comprehension (seriously, look at this thing: “[Sack + Hit(0.75) + Pressure(0.75)]/Snaps Pass Blocking x 100 = Pass Blocking Productivity Rating”), PFF has come up with lists of the 10 best and worst pass protecting linemen in the league at each position. The formula, I’m told, takes into account the key aspects of protecting the QB by rating players based on how many sacks, hits and pressures they allow.

Here’s where the Skins rank:

Levi Jones: second-worst left tackle in the NFL
Derrick Dockery: somewhere in the middle; not top 10 or bottom 10
Casey Rabach: same as Dockery
Mike Williams: second-worst guard (includes right and left) in the NFL
Stephon Heyer: fifth-worst right tackle in the NFL

This tells us two things, conclusively: 1) There is no way anyone can say with confidence that Jason Campbell isn’t a good quarterback given the pass protection he receives; 2) We should probably draft some linemen to give Campbell protection in order to see how awesome (or awful) he really is.

Based on a quick survey of several mock drafts, about 20% of the players projected to be taken in the first two rounds are offensive lineman. The Skins should maybe consider drafting a couple of them. Just a thought. Or they could take a QB at No. 4 and put a rookie behind three of the worst pass-blocking linemen in the NFL.

(Check full PFF study and rankings in Part 1 and 2; via Matt Terl)

Former Managing Editor at UPROXX; former Senior Editor at @SBNation; former ska-zine editor, fan of bad sports teams and good beer.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. horseydeucey

    March 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Thank you for the lucid points re: Jason Campbell. Clausen looks like he’d be more comfortable at a ‘Seventh Heaven’ cast reunion than on a big boy football field.

  2. Julz

    March 3, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Whew glad someone finally cleared that up. Also apparently Chris Samuels is announcing his retirement tomorrow at noon.

  3. Jamie Mottram

    March 3, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    So what you’re saying is, statistically speaking, Campbell was league-average while the offensive line was league-worst? Well then, obviously CAMPBELL SUX!!!11!!!!!

    For real though, the world is better off for having O-linemen stats. Props to Pro Football Focus.

  4. Ryan

    March 3, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    “advanced formula beyond my comprehension” ….. simple and logical algebra can be paralyzing.

  5. Chris Mottram

    March 3, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    “simple and logical algebra can be paralyzing.”

    It absolutely is, for me at least.

  6. John

    March 3, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Forget the math. The offensive line sucked last year. Samuels needs to retire because of injuries. Heyer would probably be better off on the left side as he lacks the brute characteristics of a run blocker. Rabach always seems to hold at the wrong time. Thomas gets banged up every year. Dockery can excel with a good tackle next to him. No cohesiveness otherwise across the line due to the injuries. They need a new left tackle and a new right gaurd for the time being. Campbell can do fine if he is given a chance to look downfield in an upright stance.

    Do not draft a quarterback this year. Most of the guys coming out ran spreads from the shotgun. I would not mind getting Tebow in a later round. Sure he has things that need to be ironed out, but, he is a winner and has willed his team to victory, such as in the Championship game against Oklahoma and many other games.

    Clausen is pretty good, but what have the other Clausen kids done? McCoy is to small and does not have the arm for a downfield passing game in the bigs and Sam is another spread guy. We have much bigger fish to fry than to go after a quarterback.

  7. Terps77

    March 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    If you cant say Campbell isn’t good because of these OL stats, can you still say his fundamentals and play-making abilities still need improvement?

    Drafting some linemen will allow Campbell to bloom into the middle of the road QB hes destined to become.

    Thats not a knock, in my reality, all you should need to win Super Bowls is a middle of the road QB and tenacious D.

  8. Chris Mottram

    March 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    He’s already better than a middle-of-the-road QB and he plays behind one of the worst pass-blocking lines in the NFL. So if he’s destined to become anything, it’s an elite QB, unless he takes some inexplicable step backwards.

  9. Mike

    March 4, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Because the line is so terrible is exactly why they should draft a QB at 4 overall.

    This is not a one year fix. All five lineman need to be turned over. Bringing in one stud LT is not going to solve the problem, and drafting a LT at 4 and at RG 2-4 will not make the team a winner next season.

    The fact of the matter is that 2010 is a lost season, regardless of potential player acquisitions. So let’s say you can rebuild the line via draft and free agency in 2 off seasons, that means in 2011 you will have a decent chance to play well. At this point JC is turning 30 and your window is not open for too long after that. This is all presuming the defense performs well.

    Skins fans need to realize that 2010 (and probably 2011) are lost causes. If you think Bradford is a top flight QB, you take him at 4 and take lineman in rounds 2, 4 and 5 you have a decent influx of talent to prep for 2012, plus your probable top 8 pick in 2011.

    I hope they find a good team that is willing to trade for JC, as he has been treated so unfairly that he deserves to work for a winner. Adding a second or third rounder would only help in the rebuild. Of course you can keep JC on a one year tender and let him run for his life for 16 more weeks, but that’s just more of the same and you lose him for nothing in 2011.

    The sooner we wrap our heads around that this isn’t a one year fix the more clear is becomes you have to draft the best player available at pick 4, whether that be Bradford or Okung is a matter for discussion.

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