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Offensive Line: The Forever Issue

Offensive Line: The Forever Issue

The whole team is made better or worse on the play of the Offensive Line

The entire offense rides on the back of the offensive line’s performance.

There can be zero debate over the fact that all of the offense’s so called  “skill” positions are totally dependent on the Offensive Line’s production.


So it’s interesting to read Sun-Sentinel sports writer Chris Perkins say “the Phins have six starting quality Offensive Linemen.”

Really. It’s a current quote. Honest Injun, I’m not making that up.

And at the same time fellow Sun-Sentinel sports writer David Hyde asks, “Why the offensive line can never get rebuilt?”

Really. It’s a current quote. Honest Injun, I’m not making that up.

How bi-polar is that?

But, it’s just a symptom of the madness that has spread from the Dolphins Front Office to the beat writers. 

As Hyde points out, “Fifteen years, it’s still under construction” …the Miami Dolphins offensive line. That’s Dave Wannstedt days with a Jimmy Johnson built Offensive Line. Only a few short years after Don Shula was forced out. That long. Were Hula Hoops still the in-thing?

Maybe Hyde should talk to Perkins–or vice-versa. It’s time to get this point straight because they appear as confused as the Dolphins …about the Offensive Line.

And it is Offensive …to this fan, at least.

Let’s consider the current players under contract:

Current LT: Laremy Tunsil is a work in progress.

Tunsil spent his rookie year at LG where Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded him at 70.6 as “solid, if unspectacular”. He moved to LT this season where most expected him to excel at his natural position.

But heading into the final game of the season against the Bills PFF said this, “Tunsil has struggled this season, as his overall grade of 59.5 puts him 47th out of 87 qualified offensive tackles. His pass-blocking efficiency of 95.6 ranks 27th out of 81 offensive tackles and he has allowed seven hits, tied for the 12th most in the NFL.”

This doesn’t even take into account his issues with penalties, which Hyde points out, “Eight of his team-high 10 penalties are pre-snap — including seven false starts and one illegal formation. That accounts for 24 percent of the team’s issues.”

One player 24%!!!

But according to Perkins, he’s a “starting quality OL” …or is he what Hyde sees as “under construction”.

Current LG: Ted Larsen is NOT a Left Guard

PhinsNews.com blogger M.J. did a film study on Larsen back in July (check the article here ) and had this to say: “I think it’s a real reach to expect him to be a starting Left Guard. He lacks the ability, physical measurements, and skill set that generally typifies the requirements for the position.”

At best he’s a RG and probably only a back-up even then– of course the coke head, ex OL coach might disagree. Larsen is a case study in why the phins should not be renting over-the-hill-rejects from other teams to solve critical needs. PFF graded him overall 39.4 for the season.

Kudos to M.J. and PhinsNews for getting it right even back then. Pity the phins paid it no heed. But according to Perkins, he’s a “starting quality OL” …or is he what Hyde sees as “under construction”.

Truth be told, we have no one on the roster that is a starting quality Left Guard …and we absolutely must, some how, find one this off season.

Current C: Mike Pouncey …a once great Center

The numbers don’t lie. Mike Pouncey was once upon a time, a Pro Bowl Center for the Dolphins, a rock in the middle of the OL that could pass protect with the best, and run block so well the OC could game plan around Pouncey routinely getting to the 2nd level.

No more. Pouncey’s hips took enough punishment that he started missing games and finally had repeated surgery to repair them. It doesn’t take a great pay per head sportsbook to know Pouncey simply hasn’t regained all of his previous abilities.

Jets HC Bowles exposed him for all to see.

Its not just that he can no longer be counted on to get to the 2nd level, he can’t hold a block on a power rush. Though Pouncey can still pass block with the best, his loss of run blocking ability makes him a one-dimensional liability on a team designed to run the ball. Pouncey’s pass-blocking grade of 80.2 ranks 3rd among all centers but his run-blocking grade of 46.5 ranks 26th, the worst of his career.

Is Pouncey still under construction?

According to Perkins, he’s a “starting quality OL” …or is he what Hyde sees as “under construction”.

The ugly truth is that Pouncey is no longer worth the 9 mil he is due in 2018. He will probably take a cut or be released. Which means that we need to find a “starting quality” Center in the off-season. Either to backup Pouncey for a development year or replace him if he’s cut. That decision lies with the coaches’ evaluating whether or not he can regain his hip strength and thus, his run blocking abilities.

Current RG: Jesse Davis may just be an answer at RG…LG…RT?

Davis was fixing farm equipment this time last year. Still dreaming about playing in the NFL. What a difference a year can make. Davis found his way to the Dolphins practice squad via Seattle and NYJ. He started at LG after Larsen, Urbik, and Steen all went down to injuries. He’s not a natural LG. His PFF stats confirmed that.

Larsen came back at LG. Davis moved to RG replacing the injured Bushrod. The rest is, as they say, history. His PFF grades soared. As did those of the players on either side of him. Its a short tenure so far and he will have to earn it all over again this off-season. But PhinsNews feels good about Davis’ long term prospects at RG. And if James is cut, at RT. That’s one for Perkins and one less “under construction. We hope.

Current RT: Ja’wuan James …the Offensive Line’s enigma

Miami picked up James 5th year option, at $9.3 mil, just eight months ago. They could very well rescinded the option, making him a UFA for 2018. The hallmark of James 2017 season at RT was inconsistency. One game he was the highest PFF graded RT, next game …not so much. Coaches go crazy trying to game plan around that type of production. Then he suffered a hamstring injury which was more serious than first thought and finished the season on IR.

Negotiating a lower priced contract is possible, but the smart money is on James leaving. The market for experienced, starting RTs is wide open. James can probably command more elsewhere.

Future RT: Sam Young? Maybe maybe.

Sam Young, stepping in at RT, delivered a WOW! performance against Buffalo. He allowed one hurry in 55 pass-blocking snaps for an overall PFF game grade of 82. Then he did it again and again. The lights  suddenly came on for this 30 year old career backup …maybe. It could be that Jesse Davis playing at RG boosted Young’s play at RT. Either way, Young is a Free Agent now, and given his performance, he might get a shot to start elsewhere.

And then there was the Coke Head: the Offensive Line Coach

We expect an offensive line to play better together as the season progresses–allowing for the inevitable injuries. This season, they didn’t. Then one October day, the net lit up with a video of the Phin’s Offensive Line Coach. The video showed him sniffing a white powder. A lady of questionable virtue accompanied him. He resigned. While there was no miraculous overnight transformation, the OL started producing results.

When Ajayi was traded and Drake stepped up, the offensive line started making some holes. Not dominating, but producing. With Larsen off IR at LG and Davis/Young starting on the right side, they were back to being, at least, slightly competitive …Hyde’s “under construction”

So here’s the thing about the Offensive Line

Tannehill will almost certainly open the season at QB …gimpy knee and all. The current Offensive Line roster has maybe 2-3 starters able to protect him. The Dolphins will depend on a run game to enable the pass. The current roster has maybe 2-3 Offensive Linemen able to run block competently.

Question: How long does Tannehill last in that scenario?

Maybe the question should be: After 15 years, are we finally going to build an entire Offensive Line?

Go Fins!!!



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  • Steve

    Here’s the thing about January. This is not the time to start studing players. This should have been done threw out the years and season by scout’s.

    A good coach would already know who the 7 players they need. It does not take a 200 man draft board to select 7 players. That’s one issue. The other issues we have not solved developing our players.

    We have not developed not one player on the Miami Dolphins team. Who we could trade to get a number one draft picked for? Over the last 5 years they have all regressed here.

    Once some players leave the Dolphins their Value increased i.e Mike Wallace Raven, Ted Ginn Saints, Jay Ajayi Eagles, Richie Incognito Bills and the list goes on.

    Proof of good Development Coaches or determined by their
    Market trade value while under the coach.

  • Steve

    2018 Centers hitting free agency.

    John Sullivan, C, Rams. Age: 33. 

    John Sullivan was once a very skilled center for the Vikings. He was a backup for a while after that for some reason, but the Rams gave him a chance to start, and it paid off. Sullivan had a strong 2017 campaign, but he’s 33 and bound to regress at some point in the next 2-3 years. 

     Weston Richburg, C, Giants. Age: 27. 

    Weston Richburg is a talented center, but it’s scary that he missed most of 2017 with a concussion. He played in just four games with the head injury, which doesn’t bode well for his future. 

    Travis Swanson, C, Lions. Age: 27. 

    Travis Swanson is a skilled center, and if it weren’t for major health concerns, he’d be rated higher. However, he has missed a lot of time with concussions, and it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll be able to play. 

     Brett Jones (RFA), C, Giants. Age: 27.  
    Brett Jones did a solid job in relief of an injured Weston Richburg this past season. He’s passable as a starter, but would ideally be a strong backup. 

     Greg Mancz (RFA), C, Texans. Age: 26. 
    Greg Mancz did well as a backup center for Nick Martin in 2016, but didn’t fare nearly as well at guard this past season. 

     Ryan Jensen, C, Ravens. Age: 27.  
    Ryan Jensen did a decent job as Baltimore’s starting center in 2017, but he could stand to be upgraded. 

    Spencer Long, C, Redskins. Age: 27. Russell Bodine, C, Bengals. Age: 26. Wesley Johnson, C, Jets. Age: 27. Luke Bowanko, C/G, Ravens. Age: 27. Daniel Kilgore, C, 49ers. Age: 30. Jonotthan Harrison, C, Jets. Age: 27. Brian Schwenke, C, Titans. Age: 27. Marcus Martin, C, Browns. Age: 24. Zac Kerin (R lion’s


  • Steve

    January 2018 Guards hitting free agency

    Andrew Norwell, G, Panthers. Age: 26. 

    Andrew Norwell is one of the top guards in the NFL. He has improved every single season in the league, and he’s now dominant in every regard. Norwell should continue to get better, as he won’t even turn 27 until October. 

     Justin Pugh, G/OT, Giants. Age: 28. 
    Justin Pugh is one of the best guards in the NFL, but had to play out of his position at right tackle this year. He’s a mediocre right tackle, but he needs to start in the interior to be most effective. 

     Jack Mewhort, G, Colts. Age: 27.  
    Jack Mewhort would be considered one of the top, young guards in the NFL if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, he’s been way too injury-prone. He played in only five games this past season, and he was out for six contests the year before. He’s played just one full season in his career thus far. 

     Matt Slauson, G/C, Chargers. Age: 32.  
    Matt Slauson can play all three positions in the interior of the offensive line. He had a down year in 2017 that ended early because of torn biceps, but because inside blockers can play well into their mid-30s. 

     Josh Kline, G, Titans. Age: 28.  
    The Titans claimed Josh Kline off waivers from the Patriots two years ago, and the move paid off. Kline has been a solid starter for the Titans. He’s a quality pass protector, though could stand to add more power for the running game.

     Joe Berger, G/C, Vikings. Age: 36.  
    The Vikings fixed up their offensive line last offseason, but Joe Berger has been the one mainstay. Proficient at both guard and center, Berger has played very well over the years, but turns 36 in May. 

     Nick Easton (RFA), G/C, Vikings. Age: 26.  
    Nick Easton played well for Minnesota’s revamped offensive line until he fractured his ankle in Week 16. Easton can play guard and center. 

     Zach Fulton, G, Chiefs. Age: 26.  
    Despite being a sixth-round pick in 2014, Zach Fulton started at guard all year for the Chiefs, handling himself somewhat well in pass protection. At just 26, he still has plenty of room for growth. 

     Evan Smith, G/C, Buccaneers. Age: 32.  
    Evan Smith is a capable interior lineman capable of playing all three inside positions. He turns 32 in July, but interior blockers can play well into their mid-30s. However, he has a dubious track record with injuries, failing to play a full season since 2013. 

     Quinton Spain (RFA), G, Titans. Age: 27.  
    Quinton Spain has started at left guard for the Titans over the past two years. He thrived in 2016, but took a bit of a step backward this past season, struggling slightly in run blocking. 

     Jahri Evans, G, Packers. Age: 35.  
    Jahri Evans used to be one of the top guards in the NFL. That’s no longer the case because Evans is 35, but he was still a viable starter for Green Bay last year. 

     John Greco, G, Giants. Age: 33.  
    John Greco was one of the top players at final cuts last summer. Greco is 33, but he was a solid starter two years ago, and he should still be effective. 

     Jonathan Cooper, G, Cowboys. Age: 28.  
    Jonathan Cooper is one of many busts from the 2013 NFL Draft, but he’s at least still playing, which is more than many other first-rounders from that class can say right now. Cooper was decent as a run-blocker this past season, but struggled in pass protection. 

    Patrick Omameh, G, Jaguars. Age: 28. Luke Joeckel, G, Seahawks. Age: 26. Shawn Lauvao, G, Redskins. Age: 30. Andrew Tiller, G, Saints. Age: 29. Senio Kelemete, G, Saints. Age: 28. Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, Texans. Age: 27. D.J. Fluker, G/OT, Giants. Age: 27. Allen Barbre, G, Broncos. Age: 34. Trey Hopkins, G, Bengals. Age: 26. Kenny Wiggins, G, Chargers. Age: 30. Dakota Dozier, G, Jets. Age: 27. Tom Compton, G, Bears. Age: 29. Joe Looney, G, Cowboys. Age: 28. Ben Garland (RFA), G, Falcons. Age: 30. Oday Aboushi, G/OT, Seahawks. Age: 27. Tony Bergstrom, G/C, Redskins. Age: 32. Josh LeRibeus, G, Saints. Age: 29. Amini Silatolu, G, Panthers. Age: 29. Matt Tobin, G, Seahawks. Age: 28.  

    Jermon Bushrod, G, Dolphins. Age: 34. Don Barclay, G/OT, Lions. Age: 29. Billy Turner, G, Bronc

  • Steve

    Quenton Nelson at picked number 11 may not be there? I would not draft a guard that high over the top rated defensive college players like

    Minkah Fitzpatrick*, S, Alabama https://youtu.be/lELR62DMfbo

    2 Derwin James SS 1 Florida State Soph 6-3 211 https://youtu.be/DpNHxWYUFog

    Roquan Smith*, ILB/OLB, Georgia . https://youtu.be/SAzZOvA0kIY
    Projected Round (2018): 1.

    Neglecting other players on the board with more value. For instance, Derwin James*, S, Florida State Projected top 10
    Prior to the season, scouting sources said that they had James as an overall top-three talent for the 2018 NFL Draft – regardless of position. Sources from around the league feel that James is a stud defender who has transcendent ability for what he can do for a defense.

    Secondly: Minkah Fitzpatrick*, S, Alabama
    2017 Winner of the Jim Thorpe Award given to the top defensive back. He beat out Texas’ DeShon Elliott and Iowa’s Josh Jackson. Chuck Bednarik Award: Fitzpatrick picked up his second award of the night, receiving the Bednarik Award as the country’s top defensive player. He beat out NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. Fitzpatrick is the second Crimson Tide player to win the award, and He has played well, covering receivers downfield, staying around the ball, and helping out his cornerbacks. With his versatility, Fitzpatrick can play nickel corner over slot receivers, cover tight ends in man, and be the deep free safety center fielder who protects the deep part of the field. He also can function as a strong safety and be the eighth man in the box.

    • admin

      Problem I have drafting a S is big money will be sitting on the sidelines. Unless McDonald becomes a Hybrid Will, I’d much prefer Smith.#11 kinda looks somewhat like no man’s land a bit if certain things fall this way or that. Now it could be good in the fact they could get a lot of players who are rated later in the draft, but are steals…like Smith. I do like Smith, but man is he small. He’d have to play Will, unless he is super special and the scheme shifted to less penetrating DT’s and more of occupiers. If not I like Edmunds as SLB… guy is huge and fast and productive.

    • Lemmus

      …a rational argument can be made for using the #11 pick on any given position …saying you wouldn’t draft a guard that high just reflects your personal prejudices …the people who make their living in the NFL ranks say otherwise

      …many have Nelson rated as the best player available overall …most have him in the top five …in taking Nelson at #11 you are likely getting a pro-bowl caliber interior lineman for the next ten years …he will definitely improve both the passing and running offense, hopefully for a decade or more …how many other players can you reasonably say that of, that may still be on the board at #11

      …after watching the playoffs yesterday, I’m significantly less inclined to take a QB at #11 if Nelson is gone …we saw three out of four games where a decidedly less capable QB won over a “franchise” QB, Brady being the only exception …and he was playing another “franchise” QB

      …TH is, imnsho, a better QB than Keenum, Foles, or Bortles will ever be and is well able to take this team anywhere his teammates and coaches have the talent to go. Using the #11 pick on a QB would be a serious mistake at this point. If Nelson isn’t there, and a top rated cover LB is, take him …else trade down and get more picks. We still need a LG/OT and I believe, a C at the top of the draft, both of which would be available at say, #22/#23 for instance if Allen or Mayfield were still on the board.

      …we definitely need an OLB who can cover TEs and WRs …but Nelson is a rare player who can make the entire offense better both immediately and for years to come …can the shibboleths and take him at #11 if he is still there.

      • admin

        “after watching the playoffs yesterday, I’m significantly less inclined to take a QB at #11 if Nelson is gone ”

        Exactly what I was thinking… man wouldn’t I love an Elite QB… watching Brees yesterday was great and sad, because Miami had 2 shots at him. But, of the remaining teams only one has an elite QB, so does elite QB’s win championhips or does elite D’s in the modern game? It won’t be definitive obviously, but it will be interesting… I’m really starting to like the Fins option at LB. We need a WLB and SLB. Timmons is gone and Kiko and McMillan remain–both seem better MLB’s, although McMillan could fit in at SLB. Also, I herd talk of Dolphins maybe shifting to a 3-4 hybrid… semi baseless rumors, but both Burke and Gase prefer 3-4 and the scheme from the Bengals is based off 3-4. Just shooting for fun but some looks of DE’s of Suh and Godchaux and Phillips and Taylor at NT… with Kiko and McMillan as ILB, Harris as OLB and a Draft pick with Chase and Hewitt as back ups.. 95% not happening…

        • Lemmus

          …hey! …it wasn’t only the defense that won those games, eh …87 points is a LOT of offense and yeah, the defense did their part …but no one STOPPED anyone …just sayin’

          …yeah, I’ve seen the 3/4 rumors …but it takes some really big changes in personnel to make that work well …maybe when Suh’s contract is up

          …thing kept entering my mind watching those games …man-o-man the QBs have FOREVER to find an open receiver …and Fournette! …iirc, it was CBS Sports that rated his pick a “D” because you just don’t take a RB that high! …oh yeah, give us Barkley at #11 and I might, just might, forgive T-Bum for not taking Nelson 🙂

          • admin

            Today’s top D’s aren’t letting up 7-14 pts… big sacks, critical stops, and turnovers… but yeah points were aplenty. There was loads of time and quality run game seem to be taking prominence again… and that’s nice. I’m good with Drake… Barkley does look excellent though and a good kid.

      • Steve

        I’m just a fan. Let truth be told I can go along with drafting Quentin Nelson and Price in the 1St and 2ND round if available.

        What assurance do we have that they want Regress under poor coaching? Who ever we Draft must be a self motivated individual. Because  I’m afraid of the outcome of coaching that kills the  talented player’s.

  • Steve

    Quenton Nelson so far has been rated by most draft boards as a 1st rounder. There are excellent guards in the late second or 3-4 rounds listed below.

    3 Quenton Nelson OG 1 https://youtu.be/N9qw–eQRVY ; https://youtu.be/7lcn3dZvgdQ
    7/17/17: Nelson was dominant in 2016 and could have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft. Nelson is strong at the point of attack to open holes in the ground game and athletic in pass protection. He was excellent at protecting quarterback DeShone Kizer in 2016. Sources said that Nelson was receiving first-round grades, and one national scout told WalterFootball.com that they think Nelson is a future Pro Bowler similar to Logan Mankins when he came into the NFL. Projected Round (2018): Top-25

    41 Will Hernandez OG 2 https://youtu.be/2p2edaUIlaw https://youtu.be/dmrHSyDXf6A
    1/6/18: Hernandez has created some buzz, as SI’s Bruce Feldman wrote that he’s heard that Hernandez is the top guard prospect. In reaching out to some team sources, they had Hernandez behind Quenton Nelson.

    Hernandez is shorter and lacks length compared to a lot of starting guards in the NFL, but he makes up for it with strength. He is strong at the point of attack with a heavy base to help him get movement at the point of attack. Impressing at an all-star game will be important for him. Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    47 Braden Smith OG 3 https://youtu.be/DQ9nh1phpQ0
    1/6/18: Smith is a solid player who is well-balanced as a run blocker and pass protector. In Week 2, he was beaten for a sack by Clemson’s Christian Wilkins, a future first-round pick, but Smith also had a lot of nice plays against Wilkins and Clemson nose tackle Dexter Lawrence. After that Smith was rock solid for the Tigers. He has a pro skill set with size, strength and athleticism. Sources say that Smith is receiving second-day grades for the 2018 NFL Draft.

    7/17/17: The Auburn offensive line came together during the 2016 season and formed a solid blocking front for the Tigers. Smith could have been their best blocker and was an All-SEC second-team selection by the conference’s coaches. Smith has been a mainstay in the lineup at guard, having 27 consecutive starts. He has some athleticism, and continuing to add strength to push NFL defensive linemen is necessary for him to rise. Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    84 Ross Pieshcbacher 4 https://youtu.be/FJm5IBZi-N4
    89 Billy Price OG 5 https://youtu.be/nLHlFRswC0k
    7/17/17: Price had problems with penalties in 2016, including three in the season opener, but blocked well for the Buckeyes. He has size and some athleticism at the point of attack. His run blocking is ahead of his pass protection. The junior was wise to return for his senior year, which should help improve his pass blocking. Ohio State center Billy Price won the Rimington Trophy, given to the top center. Projected Round (2018): 1-2.
    Isaiah Wynn, G/C/OT, Georgia
    1/6/18: Wynn has impressed scouts this season as an excellent run blocker for the Bulldogs. He blocks with aggression and has a temperament that is hard to find in college blockers. In pass protection, Wynn has been very dependable as well.

    Because he is shorter and doesn’t have ideal length, some sources think that Wynn could move to guard or center in the NFL. Wynn started at left guard in 2016, but scouts think he is athletic enough to also play center. Wynn’s size and skill set has drawn comparisons to Kelvin Beachum, who is undersized but has managed to carve out a career at left tackle in the NFL. Wynn is just a natural football player who finds a way to get the job done, thus he might end up sticking at left tackle. Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

  • Steve

    Right Value Drafting 3rd or 4th Rounder for the top Center Frank Ragnow:

    33 Frank Ragnow C 1 Arkansas https://youtu.be/c9uMW2mLf4U
    1/6/18: Ragnow played well for Arkansas before a high ankle sprain ended his season early. The injury required surgery, and Ragnow is not expected to be ready to participate for the Senior Bowl. He has been invited to play in Mobile, but after missing the last five games, Ragnow may not be healthy enough to perform.

    7/17/17: Ragnow could be in the running to be one of the top center prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons, he hasn’t allowed a single sack while taking on excellent competition. As one can expect coming from Arkansas, Ragnow is also a tough run blocker. He is a technician who enters his senior year having made 26 straight starts. As a sophomore, Ragnow was the Razorbacks starter at right guard. He has the size to be a guard or center in the NFL. Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    58 Bradley Bozeman C 2 Alabama https://youtu.be/_NRA6Db_tdk
    66 Coleman Shelton C 3 Washington https://youtu.be/pH-SW3plnhE
    101 Brian Allen C 4 https://youtu.be/s4101AD3xNg

  • Steve

    Looking across the different draft boards these Offensive Guards are receiving the best grades.

    3 Quenton Nelson OG 1 Notre Dame Sr 6-5 329
    41 Will Hernandez OG 2 Texas-El Paso Sr 6-3 330
    47 Braden Smith OG 3 Auburn Sr 6-6 303
    84 Ross Pierschbacher OF 4 Alabama Jr 6-4 304
    89 Billy Price OG 5 Ohio State Sr 6-4 312
    136 Sam Jones OG 6 Arizona State Jr 6-5 297
    154 Wyatt Teller OG 7 Virginia Tech Sr 6-5 308

    Some teams will panic and draft to early for a draft needed player OVER-LOOKING another valued position player.
    For instance Billy Price may go in the 1st or 2nd or 3rd round. He is ranked bout 89th out the top 100 players.
    An experience line coach can distinguished the different’s.

    • admin

      After spending time looking at the players, I still like Price, but as a C ultimately. Was looking at this mock… I do think the Browns will be big spenders in FA on a QB…maybe make a trade. This mock has Nelson going to us. I was surprised to see Edwards all to the 3rd. Smith is very intriguing, but might end up a WLB at about 6′ 220. Again, I think LG is what we need and Nelson seems a little raw in pass blocking. Of course, this would have us passing on Allen, but he seems like a million dollar body and 10 cent brain. Hell in this scenario I really wouldn’t mind a trade back and pick up Smith… I’m just so tired of TE’s running wild on this team… doing my studying this year though… thanks for the info. I’ll look into the O linemen.

    • Lemmus

      …iirc Asiata was rated as a 3-4 round pick at G last year and some thought he was a steal in the 5th …how did that work out? …its long past time to stop this parade of failures …Nelson is as close to a sure thing at LG as we’ve seen in a long time …I really don’t expect him to be there at #11 but if he is, I pray they take him …else pray that we get Price in a trade down.

      …one thing I’m watching a lot more closely this year is the difference between LG and RG in both physical demands and skill sets …MJs videos have been a wake up call in recognizing that the positions can’t be readily conflated …for instance, Asiata played most of his college ball at LG but is decidedly a RG in the NFL …if he ever amounts to anything …I still hope that like many, his rookie year isn’t a defining one, much less a damning one

      …having said that, I’m not at all convinced that Gase and T-bum have changed their collective minds about the value of Guards in FA or the draft …if not, 2018 could well be Gase’s last season …TH was an iron-man until one too many hits took him out …he absolutely needs a real OL in front of him.

      • admin

        I think with Asiata people thought he’d be a LG, but his weakness was pass blocking. He’s a RG and I think if he drops some weight, gets some good work in he can still fit the big at RG. This year he should be judged with a more critical eye, but I get he was a bit of a developmental guy. I think this year he could very well blossom with Davis at RT. Of course he could not… but he does look like a hard worker with a good attitude and that’s huge. He was listed at 341Lbs! 10 pound for sure must be gone, if not 15. Watch his weight come spring. It will be a major indicator.

  • Steve


    The offensive line will continue to be an issue regardless who we draft. Stephen Ross has failed to go after the proven offensive/defensive line Coaches, who can truly train and developed these players. This problem is Stephen Ross! It is a Disservice to the players and the fans to continue to keep your head in the sand about this issue.

    Many ask what happen to Atlanta high powered offense this season? Sample of hiring the wrong the coach can affect the entire organization:

    2017 It’s Week 8, and the Fire Steve Sarkisian movement is already gaining steam among Falcons fans.

    Atlanta hired Sarkisian away from Alabama this offseason to take the reins of the NFL’s top offense after Kyle Shanahan departed to take the head-coaching position in San Francisco. Instead, he’s become the butt of jokes across the Twittersphere—and the Falcons’ 23–7 loss to the Patriots in Foxborough, dropping the 2016 NFC champions to 3–3 and third in the NFC South, only intensified that.

    We see the improvement already Having Coach Shanahan with the 49ers Team.

    • Lemmus

      …a side note on the coaching issues

      …of all the positions on the offense, its the WRs that have been the biggest development disappointment over the past two years …aside from Stills, an import from NO, and Landry who is his own motivator, the WRs have NOT developed …Caroo has barely even played and Parker remains a panty waist who runs for a safe space if he gets the slightest injury …that lack of development in a former 1st round pick and one we traded up for, has been disastrous for our offense …and that lies directly at the door of the WR coach …imnsho

  • PhinaticalOne

    There is reason for optimism. RG and RT appear to be settled with Davis and Young. At C Pouncey should have another year to strengthen/condition from his hip injuries and regain some strength. Brendel could be groomed to fill in. We could move Tunsil back to LG and he could be a swing tackle. Then we just need a LT and another proven backup. If we get an OL coach that isn’t a coke head, maybe he can actually get some more production from them.

    • admin

      BTW great name. I also think there is room for optimism in this off season… but just not certain it will be realized. Young did a darn good job, but he’s a Free Agent now… and might move on for more money. I hope not. But if not, I still think he’s a bit weak in the run game and would like an pgrade. Young is 6’8″ and 308ish great fo pass block, but he suffers against power. I could live with Pouncey… I do like Brendel, but I’d love an elite center. Tunsil was excellent in pass blocking, but he is a agility player and his run game was bottom of the league at G in 2016. Maybe he could improve… maybe not. I think alot of his issue in 2017, outside of the penalties, can be corrected with improvement on his kick step… that’s what killed him mostly–beyond the penalties. Just my opinion. But I’d like to keep Tunsil at LT, find a blue chip LG in the draft or FA, keep Pouncey at C or find a good one in the draft, let Larsen or Asiata play RG for 2018… or Davis ( if not playing RT), see if Eric Smith can bloom or Young returns, and if not play Davis there. Really, I doubt they can find more than 2 good OLmen this off season, and that’s a stretch. LG is my main key. Tunsil was okay there but one dimensional. But to serve your point if Tunsil is moved inside then he is less of liability, compared to LT. There are a bunch of combinations… Davis and Tunsil are certain parts of it. Pouncey if healthy is another and so is Young,if he comes back… it will be interesting. Gase got a huge slap of reality… let’s see ifit makes a difference.

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