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Everything you Need to Know About: First Day Tackles and Guards

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Rookiepedia is a fine idea, but the execution leaves much to be desired. The overall layout seems sloppy, the information incomplete and the accuracy questionable. So I took it upon myself to start compiling as much information about this year's picks as possible. Along with standard stats I have added my own, the new and improved Burst (which I will fully explain in a second) and Thrust. I also attempted to distill the scouting insight into something simple and digestible: Technique and Effort. I list their career number of starts, too. Today, I will present all of the first day picks, split into tackle and guard. In a few days, I will feature all the second day picks, plus the first day picks at center, split into G/T and C.

Before I list the 7 tackles and 5 guards drafted in the first day, let me open the toolbox and explain how I created my Burst stat. The inspiration for it, as I've explained before, is from Dr. Timothy Gay's The Physics of Football.  Ok, here's how I did it--feel free to ask questions or critique my method.

First, here's the relevant passage from Timothy Gay's book:


Even though in the Pit there is usually very little call for sprinting, particularly on the offensive side of the ball (setting up a screen pass is one exception), we can use this information (Editor's Note: He's referring to a player's 40 time) to calculate a player's acceleration off the line if we make two reasonable assumptions based on studies of human running. First, we'll take his initial acceleration to be essentially constant; i.e., we assume that his velocity is increasing in proportion to the time since he fired off the line...Second, we'll assume he accelerates for the first two seconds of his run--we call this the boost phase...after which he'll run at a constant top-end speed (Vmax) for the duration of the sprint.

My method:

  1. I subtract a player's 20 yard time from their 40 yard time. This is their top speed. So Joe Thomas took only 2.05 seconds to get from the 20 yard marker to the 40 yard marker, 20 yards / 2.05 seconds = 9.76 Yards Per Second.  
  2. I project that Thomas was at this top speed for 2.92 seconds, that's just his 40 times minus 2 seconds. Over that time he would cover 28.49 yards, 2.92 x 9.76 = 28.49, therefore he was in his boost phase for the first 11.51 yards.
  3. His acceleration should be steady over those 11.51 yards. To get his .5 yard speed I first find what percentage of his overall boost phase that .5 yards is, .5 / 11.51 = 4.3% and then multiply that by his top speed, 4.3 x 9.76 = .42 YPS, or (x3) 1.27 feet per second per second.
  4. I take his acceleration, 1.27 feet per second per second, and then multiply it by his weight, 311 pounds, to get his Burst: 395.57, and measure that in poundles. A poundle is the amount of force it takes to move one pound one foot. Therefore, if one pound could somehow absorb the entire force of Thomas' explosion off the snap, it would travel 395 feet.  
A confounding factor does exist:

Combine versus Pro Day. A player might seem unusually explosive because of a different surface at his pro day. In the hopes of avoiding this, I almost always use combine results over Pro Day results when possible. Ben Grubbs, for instance, put up a better top speed at his pro day, 9.3 YPS vs. 9.01 YPS, but attained that top speed at almost the exact same point, 11.17 yards versus 11.35. His increased top end speed lifts his Burst from 370.32 at the combine to 388.40. That's a pretty sizable improvement, but, looking over some other Auburn player's who participated in both the combine and Auburn's Pro Day (namely Tim Duckworth and Courtney Taylor) I saw no such jump in speed, and given that Grubbs himself admitted to being out of shape at the combine, I thought a strong enough argument could be made that his Pro Day was the truer of the two results.

A player's 'Thrust' is derived from their body weight and vert. Here is the equation:
Power = body mass(kg) x (4.9 x height jumped in meters)^2
The link takes you to where I found it.

I've broken down each player into five categories, roughly approximating the necessary abilities of an offensive lineman: Body, Strength, Agility, Technique and Character. For finite things like weight or bench reps I simply give the total, for more abstract stuff like technique I use a five point system. From ++ to - -, with 0 indicating either average or incomplete. Scouting data is taken from the NFL's official scouting reports. It's funny, this new set of results is surprisingly in line with the general perception of each player. A very clear first tier, Joe Thomas and Levi Brown, exists.

Ok, here we go.

Tackles

Joe Thomas (37 Starts)

Body
Height: 6'6.5"
Weight: 311
Frame: ++
Arm Length: xx

Strength
Burst: 395.57 PDL
Thrust: 2381.72
225 Bench: 28
Misc: 550 squat, 375 Bench (high school)

Technique
Quick off Snap: +
Hip/Knee Bend: +
2nd Level: ++
Hand Punch: ++
Footwork: +

Character
Effort: +
Personality: +

Agility
Shuttle: 4.88
3 Cone: 7.95
Top Speed: 9.76 YPS

Levi Brown (45)

Body
Height: 6'5.4"
Weight: 323
Frame: 0
Arm Length: 33 1/8

Strength
Burst: 397.33 PDL
Thrust: 1477.04
225: 31
Misc: Bench 470, Squat 580

Note: Brown's Burst surged after I adjusted for his low overall top speed. Brown's top speed is the worst among this group, 8.66, but he gets moving in a hurry and has a lot of weight to propel.

Technique
Quick off Snap: 0
Hip/Knee Bend: +
2nd Level: -
Hand Punch: ++
Footwork: +

Character
Effort: - -
Personality: 0

Agility
Shuttle: 4.89
3 Cone: 7.87
Top Speed: 8.66 YPS

Note: Brown suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in 2006. He only missed two games because of the injury, but knee problems are very worrisome for lineman and the meniscus is particularly troubling because it doesn't heal and can't be easily replaced. Coupled with his effort, I would be seriously worried about Brown's health going forward.

Joe Staley (39)

Body
Height: 6'5 7/8"
Weight: 304
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 34 1/4"

Strength
Burst: 345.23 PDL
Thrust: 2189.28
225: 27
Misc: 450 Bench, 600 Squat

Agility
Shuttle: 4.42
3 Cone: 7.09
Top Speed: 9.71 YPS

Note: If Brown got a big boost from my adjustment for top end speed, Staley was knocked way down. Track speed just doesn't mean much in the NFL.

Technique
Quick off Snap: ++
Hip/Knee Bend: -
2nd Level: ++
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: +

Character
Effort: ++
Personality: +

James Marten (38)

Body
Height: 6' 7.4"
Weight: 309
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 34"

Strength
Burst: 361.42 PDL
Thrust: 2021.56
225:
Misc: 345 Bench Press, 400 Squat, 300 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.54
3 Cone: 7.68
Top Speed: 9.17 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: -
Hip/Knee Bend: - -
2nd Level: -
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: 0

Character
Effort: 0
Personality: 0

Ryan Harris (45)

Body
Height: 6'4.4" (6)
Weight: 305
Frame: -
Arm Length:

Strength
Burst: 390.89 PDL
Thrust: 1394.75
225: 22

Agility
Shuttle: 4.52
3 Cone: 7.78
Top Speed: 9.39 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: 0
Hip/Knee Bend: +
2nd Level: +
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: ++

Character
Effort: +
Personality: +

Andy Alleman: (23)

Body
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 305
Frame: -
Arm Length: 31 1/2

Strength
Burst: 343.97 PDL
Thrust: 1930.44
225: 27
Misc: Bench 465, Squat 595

Agility
Shuttle: 4.65
3 Cone: 7.8
Top Speed: 9.09 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: +
Hip/Knee Bend: +
2nd Level: +
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: -

Character
Effort: -
Personality: +

Mario Henderson (15)

Body
Height: 6' 6.4" (3)
Weight: 302 (7)
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 35"

Strength
Burst: 374.53 PDL
Thrust: 1725.12
225: 20
Misc: 360 Bench, 350 squat, 346 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.87
3 Cone: 7.60
Top Speed: 9.26

Technique
Quick off the Snap: 0
Hip/Knee Bend: - -
2nd Level: - -
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: - -

Character
Effort: - -
Personality: +

Guards

Ben Grubbs (32)

Body
Height: 6' 2.6"
Weight: 311
Frame: +
Arm Length: 33 1/8"

Strength
Burst: 388.75 PDL
Thrust: 1535.87
225: 35
Misc: 430 Bench, 365 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.50
3 Cone: 7.63
Top Speed: 9.30 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: ++
Hip/Knee Bend: -
2nd Level: ++
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: - -

Character
Effort: -
Personality: ++

Arron Sears (37)

Body
Height: 6' 3.2"
Weight: 302
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 33 1/8"

Strength
Burst: 402.34 PDL
Thrust: 2086.98
225: 21
Misc: 425 Bench, 500 squat, 310 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.5
3 Cone: 7.63
Top Speed: 9.35 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: 0
Hip/Knee Bend: -
2nd Level: - -
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: -

Character
Effort: +
Personality:

Justin Blalock (51)

Body
Height: 6' 3.2"
Weight: 320
Frame: +
Arm Length: 33 1/8"

Strength
Burst: 407.63
Thrust: 1827.91
225: 40
Misc: 465 Bench, 545 squat, 342 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.72
3 Cone: 7.75
Top Speed: 9.35 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: +
Hip/Knee Bend: ++
2nd Level: 0
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: ++

Character
Effort: ++
Personality: ++

Tony Ugoh (36)

Body
Height: 6' 5.2"
Weight: 309
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 34"

Strength
Burst: 358.57
Thrust: 2235.81
225: 32
Misc: 375 Bench, 395 squat (high school)

Agility
Shuttle:
3 Cone:
Top Speed: 9.26 YPS

Technique
Quick off the Snap: -
Hip/Knee Bend: - -
2nd Level: 0
Hand Punch: ++
Footwork: -

Character
Effort: - -
Personality: 0

Mashall Yanda (23)

Body
Height: 6' 3.7"
Weight: 307
Frame: ++
Arm Length: 31 1/2"

Strength
Burst: 331.19
Thrust: 1573.94
225: 23
Misc: 410 Bench, 540 squat, 352 Power Clean

Agility
Shuttle: 4.58
3 Cone: 7.36
Top Speed: 8.81

Technique
Quick off the Snap: +
Hip/Knee Bend: 0
2nd Level: ++
Hand Punch: +
Footwork: 0

Character
Effort: ++
Personality: +

. . .

Wow, that took a lot more work than I expected. Second day picks along with centers to follow Wednesday or Thursday.