The Turnstile Awards: Which Offensive Linemen Are the NFL's Biggest Liabilities?

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The Turnstile Awards: Which Offensive Linemen Are the NFL's Biggest Liabilities?
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

What makes a good offensive lineman?

Run blocking is a big part of it, but there is no true statistical measure of value. And what about pass blocking?

I have created a metric to track the NFL's best and worst linemen based on how many quarterback pressures—sacks, hits or hurries—they have given up. The more quarterback pressures a lineman gives up, the higher the score.

Not all pressures are created equal, however. A lineman might give up plenty of hurries, but if he keeps his quarterback clean he will get more credit than one who puts his own quarterback on his back.

As such, the metric is weighted more heavily toward hits and sacks, and it is based on opportunity—if Player A has 30 fewer pass-blocking opportunities than Player B, Player A is going to have his score more adversely affected by a single sack than Player B.

The lower the score, the better. Anything below 1.0 is elite. Different positions offer different scoring ranges—tackles are going to give up more pressures as a whole than centers—so the range of poor scores varies. 

It is early in the season, and some offensive linemen have had it much worse than others in terms of opponents. There are some interesting results alongside some obvious ones.

 

Data courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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