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Is the offensive line really that much of a concern?

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10 minutes ago, RSkinGM said:

That's a refreshing take ! 

Agreed! 

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1 hour ago, MKnight82 said:

 You don't need a first round pick at every spot on the Oline to make it a good Oline, and the top QBs in the NFL generally don't have LTs that were high first round selections. 

The word "high" is tricky I suppose, but... I'm not sure what you are talking about. 

Redskins - 4th rounder, Giants - 1st, Cowboys -1st, Eagles - 3rd: 2 firsts, a 3rd, and a 4th

Bills - 2nd, Dolphins - 1st (Austin Jackson), Patriots - 1st, Jets - 1st (Becton) : 3 1sts and a 2nd

Ravens - 1st, Bengals - 1st, Browns - 1st (Wills), Steelers - UDFA : 3 firsts and an UDFA

Texans - 1st, Colts - 1st, Jags - 2nd, Titans - 1st : 3 firsts and a 2nd

Broncos - 1st, Chiefs - 1st, Raiders - 1st, Chargers - 1st : 4 firsts

Seahawks - 1st, 49ers - 1st, Rams - 2nd, Cardinals - 1st : 3 firsts and a 2nd

Bucs - 2nd, Saints - 3rd, Panthers - 1st, Falcons - 1st : 2 firsts, a 2nd, and a 3rd

Vikings - 1st, Packers - 4th, Lions - 1st, Bears - 7th : 2 firsts, a 4th, and a 7th

By my count, that is 22 out of 32 teams have a left tackle drafted in the first round. 69% (nice). I'm not sure we can say that about any other position in the sport including QB. The remaining 10 you have four 2nd rounders - still a high investment in my opinion. Add in two more 3rd rounders and that's 81% of LTs are Day 1 or Day 2 picks. The remaining are two fourth rounders, a 7th rounder, and an UDFA.

As to your point about the top QBs, I guess it depends on who the Top QBs are, but I just threw together Jackson, Mahomes, Watson, Rodgers, Brees, Wilson and got 4/6 having first round LTs. 

 

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1 hour ago, MKnight82 said:

I actually think the LT position is one of the most overrated in football.  Yes you need a quality starter there, but that can be said about every position on the field.  I know people are going to freak out on that statement but its true.  You don't need a first round pick at every spot on the Oline to make it a good Oline, and the top QBs in the NFL generally don't have LTs that were high first round selections.  We have 3rd (Christian) and 4th (Charles) round investments at the LT spot, those guys need the reps there.  And I don't have the opinion that we need to coddle Haskins by forcing a veteran at LT.  We spent draft picks on these tackles, its time to find out if they can play.  We will be better served developing our own talent than picking up other people's discarded scraps.  

I agree with you to an extent.  Especially these days with more inside rushers requiring better talent on the inside of the line.  And sure you can compensate elsewhere on the line for having a average or below average LT.  If you have an average line and a below average LT though, it is trouble.  I would also say that only having a great LT and subpar rest of the line equates to a bad line.  No matter how elite your LT is, he can't control the line of scrimmage by himself. 

Point being, the line can't be defined by an individual player it is more a sum of its parts.   

On our line, the only bonafide talent is Scherff, if healthy.  Roullier is decent but average.  Moses is below average.  They both benefited in 2018 from having a healthy scherff next to them.  Last year, surprisingly the left side of the line was stronger than the right despite losing Williams.  Penn and Flowers both performed above average, maybe only slightly above average but the combined affect was a solid left side.  Look at the colts, after adding Nelson, suddenly Costanzo is playing at an elite level.  Think it has anything to do with the world beater next to him?  They both benefit from each others play.  

I think the LG spot has some decent competition but certainly no one elite.  So this puts more pressure on our LT. 

Trent Williams' elite play covered up in the past for average play and sometimes crap next to him.  Personally, I have thought Trent Williams' play has been declining for some time.  It has been a while since he gave us a full season of elite play.  We can blame it on injury or whatever, not the point.  But I have always wondered if his career could be resurrected if he had an above average player next to him.

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32 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Redskins - 4th rounder, Giants - 1st, Cowboys -1st, Eagles - 3rd: 2 firsts, a 3rd, and a 4th

The Giants acquired their LT in FA.  Down to 21 from your count.  

33 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Bills - 2nd, Dolphins - 1st (Austin Jackson), Patriots - 1st, Jets - 1st (Becton) : 3 1sts and a 2nd

I'm still not convinced Isaiah Wynn will play LT for the long term in the NFL (He's 6'2").  Jackson and Becton are rookies, just because they invested firsts in them doesn't mean they'll be any good (those teams also perennially suck).  

36 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Ravens - 1st, Bengals - 1st, Browns - 1st (Wills), Steelers - UDFA : 3 firsts and an UDFA

Wills is a rookie.  Again, its hard to even say where some of these rookies will play (and if they'll be effective).  Jonah Williams could also end up at Guard, and has never played  a down in the NFL.  

37 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Texans - 1st, Colts - 1st, Jags - 2nd, Titans - 1st : 3 firsts and a 2nd

The Texans traded for their LT, they didn't draft him (also using them as an example of how to run a franchise is not the best argument).  Down to 20 from your count.  

40 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Broncos - 1st, Chiefs - 1st, Raiders - 1st, Chargers - 1st : 4 firsts

Bryan Bulaga was signed in FA.  Also the 3 other LTs in this division all suck. Down to 19 from your count.  

45 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Seahawks - 1st, 49ers - 1st, Rams - 2nd, Cardinals - 1st : 3 firsts and a 2nd

The Seahawks traded for Duane Brown.  The 49ers traded for Trent Williams.  Down to 17 from your count.  

46 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Bucs - 2nd, Saints - 3rd, Panthers - 1st, Falcons - 1st : 2 firsts, a 2nd, and a 3rd

The Panthers signed Okung in FA.  Down to 16 from your count.

47 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Vikings - 1st, Packers - 4th, Lions - 1st, Bears - 7th : 2 firsts, a 4th, and a 7th

The Vikings signed Riley Reiff in FA.  Down to 15 from your count.  

49 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

By my count, that is 22 out of 32 teams have a left tackle drafted in the first round

I count 15 teams that drafted a first round LT.  Of those two (Wynn and Williams) could easily end up at other positions.  There are also several rookies in your list (Jackson, Becton, Wills) who could end up anywhere after training camp (think Brandon Scherff).  

Of those 15, Garrett Bolles, Eric Fisher, Kolton Miller are all pretty terrible.  

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Posted (edited)

^^^ I don’t think that post is helping MKnight’s argument. Here’s a better one:


I guess we shouldn’t sign any of the FA LTs bc Jason Peters (UDFA), Donald Penn (UDFA) and Kelvin Beachum (7th)weren’t drafted early. In fact Jason Peters wasn’t drafted at all, so we shouldn’t sign him 

Edited by turtle28

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2 hours ago, turtle28 said:

^^^ I don’t think that post is helping MKnight’s argument. Here’s a better one:


I guess we shouldn’t sign any of the FA LTs bc Jason Peters (UDFA), Donald Penn (UDFA) and Kelvin Beachum (7th)weren’t drafted early. In fact Jason Peters wasn’t drafted at all, so we shouldn’t sign him 

You know that is ridiculous goal post moving. You know it is. Won’t even follow up to it other than that

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3 hours ago, MKnight82 said:

The Giants acquired their LT in FA.  Down to 21 from your count.  

I'm still not convinced Isaiah Wynn will play LT for the long term in the NFL (He's 6'2").  Jackson and Becton are rookies, just because they invested firsts in them doesn't mean they'll be any good (those teams also perennially suck).  

Wills is a rookie.  Again, its hard to even say where some of these rookies will play (and if they'll be effective).  Jonah Williams could also end up at Guard, and has never played  a down in the NFL.  

The Texans traded for their LT, they didn't draft him (also using them as an example of how to run a franchise is not the best argument).  Down to 20 from your count.  

Bryan Bulaga was signed in FA.  Also the 3 other LTs in this division all suck. Down to 19 from your count.  

The Seahawks traded for Duane Brown.  The 49ers traded for Trent Williams.  Down to 17 from your count.  

The Panthers signed Okung in FA.  Down to 16 from your count.

The Vikings signed Riley Reiff in FA.  Down to 15 from your count.  

I count 15 teams that drafted a first round LT.  Of those two (Wynn and Williams) could easily end up at other positions.  There are also several rookies in your list (Jackson, Becton, Wills) who could end up anywhere after training camp (think Brandon Scherff).  

Of those 15, Garrett Bolles, Eric Fisher, Kolton Miller are all pretty terrible.  

Okay based on your wording I didn’t pick up they had to draft the player. Still 15 out of 32 is a lot 

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2 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

Okay based on your wording I didn’t pick up they had to draft the player. Still 15 out of 32 is a lot 

Less than half isn’t a lot.

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9 hours ago, MKnight82 said:

I actually think the LT position is one of the most overrated in football.  Yes you need a quality starter there, but that can be said about every position on the field.  I know people are going to freak out on that statement but its true.  You don't need a first round pick at every spot on the Oline to make it a good Oline, and the top QBs in the NFL generally don't have LTs that were high first round selections.  We have 3rd (Christian) and 4th (Charles) round investments at the LT spot, those guys need the reps there.  And I don't have the opinion that we need to coddle Haskins by forcing a veteran at LT.  We spent draft picks on these tackles, its time to find out if they can play.  We will be better served developing our own talent than picking up other people's discarded scraps.  

Agreed.  You can scheme to help out on the left side as well, especially since C, RG and RT are pretty good players.  

With changing over to the ZBS and what the previous regime invested into the OL, they need to take stock and figure out what they have.  While I wouldn't say no to Peters or to Penn coming back, it's not the end of the world.  Neither is LG, where we have invested in Martin, and we have Schweitzer coming over from another team that runs ZBS.  

John Matsko has also coached up quite a few mid-round picks into starters in the league.  

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7 hours ago, MKnight82 said:

The Giants acquired their LT in FA.  Down to 21 from your count.  

I'm still not convinced Isaiah Wynn will play LT for the long term in the NFL (He's 6'2").  Jackson and Becton are rookies, just because they invested firsts in them doesn't mean they'll be any good (those teams also perennially suck).  

Wills is a rookie.  Again, its hard to even say where some of these rookies will play (and if they'll be effective).  Jonah Williams could also end up at Guard, and has never played  a down in the NFL.  

The Texans traded for their LT, they didn't draft him (also using them as an example of how to run a franchise is not the best argument).  Down to 20 from your count.  

Bryan Bulaga was signed in FA.  Also the 3 other LTs in this division all suck. Down to 19 from your count.  

The Seahawks traded for Duane Brown.  The 49ers traded for Trent Williams.  Down to 17 from your count.  

The Panthers signed Okung in FA.  Down to 16 from your count.

The Vikings signed Riley Reiff in FA.  Down to 15 from your count.  

I count 15 teams that drafted a first round LT.  Of those two (Wynn and Williams) could easily end up at other positions.  There are also several rookies in your list (Jackson, Becton, Wills) who could end up anywhere after training camp (think Brandon Scherff).  

Of those 15, Garrett Bolles, Eric Fisher, Kolton Miller are all pretty terrible.  

Most teams also heavily invest in drafting them because the few who hit FA are usually getting overpaid- see Donald Penn and Riley Reiff.  So they would rather have that tackle on a rookie deal and then extend them so they don't hit free agency.  

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Posted (edited)

Who cares if a player was signed/traded for by his current team? That doesn’t weaken @MikeT14’s point at all, it’s just a silly technicality that distracts from the primary point, which is that a tremendous majority of starting LTs were identified as such prior to the draft and taken in the 1st round (or first 50 picks or so). There’s no other position in the league, except QB, where the players with legit NFL talent are so prized and snagged up so early. Maybe pass-rushing edges...maybe. 

I don’t think the fact that a couple of the league’s best QBs play with elite LTs who were draft steals disproves either observation — that LT is a highly prized position for NFL teams or that having elite LT play is an extremely valuable commodity. 

The position is “overrated” to the extent that you can’t have a great OL just by plugging in a great LT. It’s a unit, in the truest sense. But I think about a good LT in much the same way that Kanye West describing money a long time ago: having it isn’t everything, but not having it is.  

Edited by e16bball
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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, MikeT14 said:

You know that is ridiculous goal post moving. You know it is. Won’t even follow up to it other than that

Actually it fits right in line with a lot of people’s arguments that they don’t trust Lucas, Christian or Charles to be solid LT options for us bc to this point none kd the three have proven they can be a long term option at LT yet or they weren’t a high draft pick.
 

The point being at some point the three I mentioned had no experience and no one knew if they could play LT too. So, just bc we don't know if Charles, Christian or Lucas are the answer, certainly doesn't mean they aren't.

Personally, I want to find out if they are or aren't before going out and spending big $ on Peters, Beachum or Cordy Glenn or even before re-signing Penn. If you sign any of those 4, you're already giving those vets the job over the younger guys. I'd rather see a competition first. It seems other team's are treating their LT situations that way too, bc none of them have signed to be a starter yet even though all of them can start.

As most know, I’m a Steelers fan too and I specifically remember when the Steelers former RT was injured - Colon - was injured back in 2012 and this 7th round rookie (Kelvin Beachum) had to start and every Steelers fan was worried and guess what? It didn’t go that bad.

Beachum wasn’t a revolving door and ended up starting for them for a few years. Then, he moved to LT after Max Starks retired and played there for a few years before he signed a big free agency deal for the Jets and then after he left, the Steelers went to an UDFA for their LT in Ajelandro Rivera.

Edited by turtle28

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, naptownskinsfan said:

Agreed.  You can scheme to help out on the left side as well, especially since C, RG and RT are pretty good players.  

With changing over to the ZBS and what the previous regime invested into the OL, they need to take stock and figure out what they have.  While I wouldn't say no to Peters or to Penn coming back, it's not the end of the world.  Neither is LG, where we have invested in Martin, and we have Schweitzer coming over from another team that runs ZBS.  

John Matsko has also coached up quite a few mid-round picks into starters in the league.  

Yes! People need to read this post and try to remember back 10 years ago when we went through this same process in 2010 and 2011 and people were wondering why we signed and drafted certain OL over others. We aren’t looking for the biggest fattest guys anymore. It wouldn’t shock me if Rivera and Matsko didn’t ask guys like Moses, Scherff, Martin, Ross P and Timmons to work on their athleticism and try to lose 10 pounds or so for the switch to the ZBS.

Edited by turtle28

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10 hours ago, MKnight82 said:

Less than half isn’t a lot.

15 out of 32 starters at a position in the NFL are 1st round picks selected by the team (more if you count guys through FA/trade). Agree to disagree.

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9 hours ago, e16bball said:

Who cares if a player was signed/traded for by his current team? That doesn’t weaken @MikeT14’s point at all, it’s just a silly technicality that distracts from the primary point, which is that a tremendous majority of starting LTs were identified as such prior to the draft and taken in the 1st round (or first 50 picks or so). There’s no other position in the league, except QB, where the players with legit NFL talent are so prized and snagged up so early. Maybe pass-rushing edges...maybe. 

I don’t think the fact that a couple of the league’s best QBs play with elite LTs who were draft steals disproves either observation — that LT is a highly prized position for NFL teams or that having elite LT play is an extremely valuable commodity. 

The position is “overrated” to the extent that you can’t have a great OL just by plugging in a great LT. It’s a unit, in the truest sense. But I think about a good LT in much the same way that Kanye West describing money a long time ago: having it isn’t everything, but not having it is.  

To you first paragraph, I was merely showing that some of those LTs were acquired in other ways, which is important because my main point is about resource management and allocation. 

Stating that a bunch of the LTs in the league have been first round picks doesn't prove that the position isn't overrated.  I'm stating that team's overrate the position, them spending first round picks on them could support that argument.  The reality is my opinion that the position is overrated is just that, my opinion.  Its extremely hard to prove from either side of the argument because its a position with no stats.  

The part of my post that is indisputable is that we've spent 3rd and 4th round picks on LTs already, and it would be the best outcome for this organization for one of those guys to become the long term starter at LT.  That really isn't debatable.  I also believe that young players need reps, and bringing in an aging vet to hold the position down for the year really does nothing to help this team in the long run.  I also do not agree with the notion that Haskins needs that aging vet, because it would be better for him in the long run if one of these young guys becomes his long term protection.  The likely outcome if we sign someone like Peters is that he plays a year, we learn nothing about Christian and Charles, and we end up spending a first or second round pick to take the starting role next year.  The other side of that could be, we play Charles, he figures it out and become the long term option, and we can use that first or second rounder on another position.  Again, its just maximizing our resources.  

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