Offensive Lineman Pass Protection Rankings

via www.chargers.com

There is really no objective way to rate an offensive lineman's skills.  You could base their run blocking ability based on how their running back does, you can rate their pass blocking ability based on how many times their QB is sacked.  But any statistical measure of an offensive lineman is going to be skewed due to factors like how talented their running back is, how mobile their QB is, how well the guy right next to them is, and other factors.  So take this ranking with a healthy grain of salt. 

I found some stats floating around the internets that assigned sacks to offensive lineman.  I couldn't find it's source,It was originally sourced from Stats, Inc, although I don't know how a player gets assigned fractional sacks (especially quarter sacks), but the numbers seemed reasonable enough overall.  Now, the number of sacks a lineman gives up is a good overall number, but doesn't tell the whole story.  Obviously guys who play on passing teams are going to give up more sacks that guys who don't.  If your QB throws twice as much as another QB, your offensive lineman might have given up twice as many sacks and still be just as good.  So I thought I would try and normalize it by number of pass plays a player is involved in.

So I found the total "Pass Plays" run by every team.  This is the number of pass attempts, plus the number of total sacks for the team for the whole year.  It doesn't account for pass plays that ended up in a QB scramble for positive yards.  I couldn't figure out how to count those or even whether it was a positive or negative thing (since it is basically a sack, without the actual sack, if that makes sense)

I knew how many games each guy started, so I could figure out roughly how many pass plays a guy was involved in by taking games started and multiplying it by pass plays per game for the team.  If you take the number of sacks given up and divide by number of pass plays a player is involved in, you get sacks per pass play for a given player.

That number is a little more accurate as a ranking of a player's pass protection ability.  So I took those numbers, threw them in a spreadsheet, sorted them and voila... ranking!

There's a bunch of 'em so you have to click through.

Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
LT Ryan Clady Broncos 0.5 16 632 39.5 0.0008
LT Michael Roos Titans 1 16 465 29.1 0.0022
LT Tra Thomas Eagles 2 16 629 39.3 0.0032
LT Orlando Pace Rams 2 14 565 35.3 0.0040
LT Jake Long Dolphins 2.5 16 517 32.3 0.0048
LT Jammal Brown Saints 3 15 649 40.6 0.0049
LT Tony Ugoh Colts 3 12 599 37.4 0.0067
LT Marcus McNeill Chargers 3 14 503 31.4 0.0068
LT Jared Gaither Ravens 3 15 466 29.1 0.0069
LT DBrickashaw Ferguson Jets 4 16 559 34.9 0.0072
LT Chris Samuels Redskins 3 12 548 34.3 0.0073
LT Jordan Gross Panthers 3 15 434 27.1 0.0074
LT Branden Albert Chiefs 4.5 15 578 36.1 0.0083
LT Joe Thomas Browns 4.5 16 512 32.0 0.0088
LT Walter Jones Seahawks 3.5 12 510 31.9 0.0092
LT Mike Gandy Cardinals 6.25 16 658 41.1 0.0095
LT Todd Weiner Falcons 3 11 451 28.2 0.0097
LT Max Starks Steelers 4 11 555 34.7 0.0105
LT Bryant McKinnie Vikings 4 12 495 30.9 0.0108
LT David Diehl Giants 6.5 16 519 32.4 0.0125
LT Flozell Adams Cowboys 7.25 16 578 36.1 0.0125
LT Matt Light Patriots 7.5 16 582 36.4 0.0129
LT Khalif Barnes Jaguars 7.5 16 579 36.2 0.0130
LT Chad Clifton Packers 7.5 15 575 35.9 0.0139
LT Levi Brown Bengals 5.5 11 564 35.3 0.0142
LT Donald Penn Buccaneers 8.5 16 594 37.1 0.0143
LT Joe Staley 49ers 8.5 16 564 35.3 0.0151
LT Jeff Backus Lions 9.25 16 561 35.1 0.0165
LT John St. Clair Bears 9.75 16 557 34.8 0.0175
LT Duane Brown Texans 11.5 16 587 36.7 0.0196
LT Kwame Harris Raiders 7.5 11 460 28.8 0.0237
LT Jason Peters Bills 11.5 13 517 32.3 0.0274
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
LG David Baas 49ers 0 9 564 35.3 0.0000
LG Kris Dielman Chargers 0 16 503 31.4 0.0000
LG Charlie Johnson Colts 0 16 599 37.4 0.0000
LG Carl Nicks Saints 0.5 13 649 40.6 0.0009
LG Todd Herremans Eagles 0.75 15 629 39.3 0.0013
LG Brian Waters Chiefs 1 16 578 36.1 0.0017
LG Josh Beekman Bears 1.25 16 557 34.8 0.0022
LG Reggie Wells Cardinals 1.75 16 658 41.1 0.0027
LG Robert Gallery Raiders 1.75 16 460 28.8 0.0038
LG Ben Hamilton Broncos 2.5 16 632 39.5 0.0040
LG Chester Pitts Texans 2.5 16 587 36.7 0.0043
LG Eugene Amano Titans 2 16 465 29.1 0.0043
LG Jacob Bell Rams 2.5 13 565 35.3 0.0054
LG Pete Kendall Redskins 3 16 548 34.3 0.0055
LG Rich Seubert Giants 3 16 519 32.4 0.0058
LG Chris Chester Ravens 2 11 466 29.1 0.0062
LG Jeff Smiley Dolphins 2.5 12 517 32.3 0.0064
LG Travelle Wharton Panthers 2.5 14 434 27.1 0.0066
LG Justin Blalock Falcons 3 16 451 28.2 0.0067
LG Eric Steinbach Browns 3 14 512 32.0 0.0067
LG Floyd Womack Seahawks 3.5 14 510 31.9 0.0078
LG Arron Sears Buccaneers 4.5 15 594 37.1 0.0081
LG Uche Nwaneri Jaguars 4.5 15 579 36.2 0.0083
LG Logan Mankins Patriots 5 16 582 36.4 0.0086
LG Daryn Colledge Packers 6 16 575 35.9 0.0104
LG Edwin Mulitalo Lions 4.25 11 561 35.1 0.0110
LG Cory Procter Cowboys 4.5 11 578 36.1 0.0113
LG Alan Faneca Jets 7 16 559 34.9 0.0125
LG Chris Kemoeatu Steelers 7.5 16 555 34.7 0.0135
LG Steve Hutchinson Vikings 7 16 495 30.9 0.0141
LG Andrew Whitworth Bengals 5 10 564 35.3 0.0142
LG Derrick Dockery Bills 8.25 16 517 32.3 0.0160
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
C Olin Kreutz Bears 0 16 557 34.8 0.0000
C Todd McClure Falcons 0 16 451 28.2 0.0000
C Ryan Kalil Panthers 0 12 434 27.1 0.0000
C Chris Myers Texans 0 16 587 36.7 0.0000
C Kevin Mawae Titans 0 15 465 29.1 0.0000
C Brad Meester Jaguars 0.25 10 579 36.2 0.0007
C Lyle Sendlein Cardinals 0.5 16 658 41.1 0.0008
C Casey Wiegmann Broncos 1 16 632 39.5 0.0016
C Jeff Faine Buccaneers 1 16 594 37.1 0.0017
C Jonathan Goodwin Saints 1 13 649 40.6 0.0019
C Duke Preston Bills 0.75 11 517 32.3 0.0021
C Andre Gurode Cowboys 2 16 578 36.1 0.0035
C Jamaal Jackson Eagles 2.25 16 629 39.3 0.0036
C Nick Mangold Jets 2 16 559 34.9 0.0036
C Shaun OHara Giants 2 16 519 32.4 0.0039
C Matt Birk Vikings 2 16 495 30.9 0.0040
C Jeff Saturday Colts 2 12 599 37.4 0.0045
C Dominic Raiola Lions 2 12 561 35.1 0.0048
C Jason Brown Ravens 2.25 16 466 29.1 0.0048
C Hank Fraley Browns 2.5 16 512 32.0 0.0049
C Nick Leckey Rams 2 10 565 35.3 0.0057
C Nick Hardwick Chargers 2.5 13 503 31.4 0.0061
C Rudy Niswanger Chiefs 3.5 15 578 36.1 0.0065
C Eric Heitmann 49ers 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
C Eric Ghaiciuc Bengals 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
C Chris Spencer Seahawks 2.5 11 510 31.9 0.0071
C Jake Grove Raiders 2.5 12 460 28.8 0.0072
C Scott Wells Packers 3.5 13 575 35.9 0.0075
C Dan Koppen Patriots 4.5 16 582 36.4 0.0077
C Samson Satele Dolphins 4.5 16 517 32.3 0.0087
C Casey Rabach Redskins 5.5 16 548 34.3 0.0100
C Justin Harwig Steelers 6.5 16 555 34.7 0.0117
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
RG Chris Kuper Broncos 0 16 632 39.5 0.0000
RG Jake Scott Titans 0.5 16 465 29.1 0.0011
RG Max Jean-Gilles Eagles 0.5 10 629 39.3 0.0013
RG Jason Spitz Packers 1 16 575 35.9 0.0017
RG Chris Snee Giants 1 16 519 32.4 0.0019
RG Ikechuku Ndukwe Dolphins 1 15 517 32.3 0.0021
RG Harvey Dahl Falcons 1 16 451 28.2 0.0022
RG Davin Joseph Buccaneers 1 12 594 37.1 0.0022
RG Brad Butler Bills 1 13 517 32.3 0.0024
RG Adrian Jones Chiefs 1 10 578 36.1 0.0028
RG Deuce Lutui Cardinals 2 16 658 41.1 0.0030
RG Jahri Evans Saints 2 16 649 40.6 0.0031
RG Rex Hadnot Browns 1.5 15 512 32.0 0.0031
RG Mike Brisiel Texans 2 16 587 36.7 0.0034
RG Brandon Moore Jets 2 16 559 34.9 0.0036
RG Mike Pollak Colts 2 13 599 37.4 0.0041
RG Roberto Garza Bears 2.5 16 557 34.8 0.0045
RG Stephen Neal Patriots 2 9 582 36.4 0.0061
RG Robbie Williams Bengals 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
RG Randy Thomas Redskins 4 16 548 34.3 0.0073
RG Leonard Davis Cowboys 4.5 16 578 36.1 0.0078
RG Stephen Peterman Lions 4 14 561 35.1 0.0081
RG Mike Goff Chargers 4.5 16 503 31.4 0.0089
RG Cooper Carlisle Raiders 4 15 460 28.8 0.0093
RG Tony Wragge 49ers 4 10 564 35.3 0.0113
RG Darnell Stapleton Steelers 5 12 555 34.7 0.0120
RG Richie Incognito Rams 6.5 15 565 35.3 0.0123
RG Ben Grubbs Ravens 6.5 16 466 29.1 0.0139
RG Dennis Norman Jaguars 7.25 14 579 36.2 0.0143
RG Anthony Herrera Vikings 7.5 16 495 30.9 0.0152
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
RT Jon Stinchcomb Saints 1.5 16 649 40.6 0.0023
RT Ryan Diem Colts 1.5 16 599 37.4 0.0025
RT Ryan Harris Broncos 2.5 16 632 39.5 0.0040
RT Mark Tauscher Packers 2 13 575 35.9 0.0043
RT David Stewart Titans 2 16 465 29.1 0.0043
RT Ray Willis Seahawks 1.5 10 510 31.9 0.0047
RT Tyson Clabo Falcons 2.5 16 451 28.2 0.0055
RT Langston Walker Bills 3 16 517 32.3 0.0058
RT Nick Kaczur Patriots 3 14 582 36.4 0.0059
RT Kareem McKenzie Giants 4.5 16 519 32.4 0.0087
RT Vernon Carey Dolphins 4.5 16 517 32.3 0.0087
RT Kevin Shaffer Browns 4.5 15 512 32.0 0.0094
RT Tony Pashos Jaguars 5.5 16 579 36.2 0.0095
RT Marc Colombo Cowboys 5.5 16 578 36.1 0.0095
RT Jeremy Trueblood Buccaneers 6 16 594 37.1 0.0101
RT Willie Colon Steelers 5.75 16 555 34.7 0.0104
RT John Tait Bears 6 16 557 34.8 0.0108
RT Willie Anderson Ravens 3.5 11 466 29.1 0.0109
RT Jon Runyan Eagles 7 16 629 39.3 0.0111
RT Damien Woody Jets 6.5 16 559 34.9 0.0116
RT Damion McIntosh Chiefs 7 16 578 36.1 0.0121
RT Jeromey Clary Chargers 6.5 16 503 31.4 0.0129
RT Gosder Cherilus Lions 6 13 561 35.1 0.0132
RT Eric Winston Texans 8 16 587 36.7 0.0136
RT Ryan Cook Vikings 6 14 495 30.9 0.0139
RT Alex Barron Rams 7.5 15 565 35.3 0.0142
RT Jeff Otah Panthers 5 12 434 27.1 0.0154
RT Cornell Green Raiders 7.5 16 460 28.8 0.0163
RT Levi Brown Cardinals 11 16 658 41.1 0.0167
RT Jon Jansen Redskins 6.5 11 548 34.3 0.0173
RT Stacy Andrews Bengals 9.5 15 564 35.3 0.0180
RT Adam Snyder 49ers 9.5 13 564 35.3 0.0207

The proof of any ranking is how well it stands up to our perceptions. Whenever a ranking goes against our perceptions, it's a good time to figure out why. Was our perception wrong and the stats are revealing something we didn't know? Is our perception correct, and the stats don't truly measure what we want them to measure.  Then again, a sack is a sack, so maybe we shouldn't over-analyze this.

There are definately some surprises in here.  You will see some names in places that don't seem quite right (didn't the Eagles just let Tra Thomas go and trade for Jason Peters and give him a big old fat contract?  They're gonna kick themselves when they see this chart.:-) )  One thing that really struck me is that the Super Bowl Champion Steelers don't have an offensive lineman in the top half of any of their position groups.  It could be that Roethlisberger hangs on to the ball to long, or maybe they aren't that good at pass blocking.

As far as the Charger lineman go, I don't think anyone is surpised by how low Clary and Goff were and how high Dielman was.  I'm a little surprised at how high McNeil ended up and real surprised at how low Hardwick was.  Although that might lend additional support to the "Goff was dragging everyone around him down" theory.

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