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JaguarCrazy2832

Why are interior OL and RTs so underrated?

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I feel like every year we say you can't take a Guard, Center or RT in the Top-10 or so as if finding good ones in round 5 is as easy as a RB or WLB but why is that when the guys they are blocking are drafted there all the time. The way pass rushers are getting more and more athletic and schemes becoming more difficult to gameplay for I think the non-LTs are highly underrated

We hear a good amount lately about these freakish DTs and how incredible guys like Aaron Donald are but who the heck is going to block him and these other freakish DTs? Why wouldn't someone who is responsible for stopping or slowing down 1 of the most disruptive players in the game be worth drafting higher than expected?

We had a thread about whether you'd want an elite edge or elite DT and the votes were close enough to make me think if teams see elite interior OL as a major priority then why are we so against IOLs early as well?

Once more if you take a look at the mirror image from the offense/defense(excluding QB because there dont have one) but all of these are so similar in expected ADPs EXCEPT for IOLs and RTs. 

Edge-LT: Can be drafted as high as #1

RB-Off ball LBs/SSs, must be practically generational to be worthy of going high

WR:CB exactly the same

TE:FS

 

An RT might not to be watching the blindside but the slower LDEs are kind of going away with the league going more towards pass-heavy offenses and sometimes the best pass rusher isn't even lined up on the LT too. 

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I always say never take a Guard in the 1st rd then the Colts took a Guard in the 1st rd last year and proceeded to lay waste to the enemy. I love being wrong! 

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With the versatility of defenses these days, surely the RT is pretty close in importance to LT (even assuming assuming a right handed QB). Good pass rushers are often moved around and schemed to get them good matchups, so they might come at the QB from either side. I think the days when a RT could expect to consistently face an opposing teams lesser pass rushers is fading into history. I understand the blind side of a QB is a little more important for that very reason, but the LT/RT difference doesn't feel the same as it did say, 20 years ago.

37 minutes ago, FinSting said:

I always say never take a Guard in the 1st rd then the Colts took a Guard in the 1st rd last year and proceeded to lay waste to the enemy. I love being wrong! 

 Guards don't have to be awesome enough to require a first round pick, but they do need to be good enough to hold up against inside pressure. You should be able to be manage that with a lower pick. What worries me about taking a guard in round one is getting what the 49ers did with Iupati. He was everything they could have wanted, but when the second contract was due the cost was deemed to be too high for that position, and Iupati got his second contract elsewhere.  A successful first round pick that fails to be retained, is not great business. Second contracts at higher-value positions (OT, DL, QB, WR, CB)  are more palatable to teams, even when the positional cost will be higher, sometimes much higher.

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33 minutes ago, OneTwoSixFive said:

Guards don't have to be awesome enough to require a first round pick, but they do need to be good enough to hold up against inside pressure. You should be able to be manage that with a lower pick. What worries me about taking a guard in round one is getting what the 49ers did with Iupati. He was everything they could have wanted, but when the second contract was due the cost was deemed to be too high for that position, and Iupati got his second contract elsewhere.  A successful first round pick that fails to be retained, is not great business. Second contracts at higher-value positions (OT, DL, QB, WR, CB)  are more palatable to teams, even when the positional cost will be higher, sometimes much higher.

Good points from the modern financial perspective. I'm permanently jaded about Guard as the Fins have had an incredibly difficult time drafting and developing a LG and RG since...well a mighty long time. The constant failure has caused non-stop disruption of the offense and changed how I think about the Guard position. Now I lean more towards 'if 1st Rd BPA is a Guard, then take that Guard.' 

Special players like Quenton Nelson are gold. 

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I used to think that because we took Lane Johnson 4th overall, that if he didn't eventually play LT he would be a waste of draft capitol. Then we gave him, I think, the biggest contract ever for RT at the time, and I felt like no RT was worth that kind of money. I was dumb.

If your RT, LG, RG, or C can claim they are top 3 or 4 at their position, they are worth w/e pick you spent. I also think the same about every position besides P or K though. Get great players however you can, especially if you have a franchise QB in place. If you have your guy at QB, then take w/e position you want, as long as you're confident that guy will be a stud and he isn't a kicker or punter.

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I partly blame fantasy football for this epidemic of "taking WRs is fun and exciting, but drafting OL is not" in the popular consciousness despite the fact that OL have much more to do with offensive success than wide receivers do.

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A lot of people questioned the Bears pick of Kyle Long at 19 because he was moved to OG. Needless to say that was one of the better selections in that draft

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We of the Falcon delegation got you fam we not only did 1 of the positions we did both this year for you in round 1 :D  OG and RT in the 1st round and i hope it pays off big time because i like both guys lol. 

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Hmm, I feel like they have been increasingly valued over the past decade, but perhaps this is confirmation bias coinciding with my realization of their value.

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I don't believe that right tackle is under valued at this point in time. I mean, the 49ers took McG top 10 last year, and if he moves to LT, it won't be until after Staley is gone, which would be a few years down the line from when McG is draft (I'm assuming that Staley isn't retiring after the year). So he was basically drafted to the purpose of being a RT with designs later on of potentially moving him over. Defenses move their premier pass rushers around all the time now - you can't just stick a mauler at right tackle any more and suspect you will be okay. Yes, you still want your premier pass blocker at the LT spot for a right handed quarterback because it's the blindside - the fact that a right handed quarterback can see the rush coming through the right tackle spot means that you can buy yourself a little more time. 

As for interior line...well, a lot of that will depend. I mean, scheme can play a huge role in that.  Scheme can help cover up some huge flaws in an interior blocker's game and make them highly functional nfl players. A little small and not super strong? That will knock your draft grade down of course, but in a ZBS, you could be an ideal fit and become a legit starter or better just because that scheme is going to allow for you to really embrace the player's strengths and minimize that weakness. Vise Versa for power guys on the interior that go to power schemes and the like. 

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Posted (edited)

Because some people think LT is the only important position. Titans have a premier LT in Lewan and sucked last year because every other position was below average or horrible. Center to me is right up there with LT as the most important on the OL. Very important job getting the line set and if you have a center that can do that, has the mobility to pull, and can set an anchor against 300+ DL, you’ve struck gold.

Edited by ttitansfan4life

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Positional value goes like this

QB

CB WR OT EDGE 

3 down LBs and DTs, IOLs, (elite 2 way safeties and TEs spill into this group, maybe a top RB if elite pass catcher)

TE/S/slot players    and then RB a half tier down, with run stuffing DTs, blocking TEs, box safeties etc. 

 

You can nitpick it but its close enough. 

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No idea, but I certainly don't underrate any of the OL positions/the unit as a whole. I'd have no problem taking a Nelon #1 overall.  I've always banged the OL drum and believe teams with a porous OL (unless the have a Russell Wilson) will always have a low ceiling. 

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Hard to say. I'm a big proponent of a good offensive line. Seems though that the whole right side of the offensive line doesn't get the praise it should. 

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Because they have just as much of a chance to bust as any other position. And when your 1st round RT/OG/C busts, it's a much more bitter pill to swallow than when you swing and miss on an impact position.

Teams are willing to swing and miss on QB's and DE's and CB's. They aren't willing to swing and miss on RT/OG/C's nearly as much.

 

I think C's aren't generally devalued though. When there have been elite C prospects they have gone high. We just don't see them emerge very often throughout the process.

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