Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What makes a good OG/C

Continuing the series, this article will focus on what makes a good interior lineman. I'll start off with a description of an interior lineman. This site has a somewhat decent description of a LG/RG:

On each side of the center are the guards, which are unimaginatively called the left guard and the right guard. These guys have two different possible jobs to do. If the quarterback has called a pass play, where he will try to throw the ball over a mess of very large guys who are all wrestling and hit a speedy receiver in full flight, then the job of the guards is to be large impenetrable walls and absorb any punishment the defensive guys care to put out. The guards are to form a wall with the center that the quarterback can stand behind, unmolested, while the quarterback tries to get the ball to the right person. If the football team spends most of their time passing the ball, the guards will tend to be very big guys, weighing perhaps as much as 325 to 330 pounds. These very heavy guys can't move as fast as somewhat smaller guys, but they can absorb a lot of punishment.

If the quarterback has called a running play, where one of the players will try to run with the football, the guards have their second job. In this case their job is to bull rush whoever is ahead of them and create a hole in the defense for the runner. The guards which are best at bullying a hole in the defense are just a bit smaller, perhaps 300 to 310 pounds, and a bit faster and more athletic. It's a very different job to run forwards a few steps while pushing a 320 pound defender than to stand more or less in one place and take whatever the 320 pound defender dishes out without moving or flinching.

Again, the purpose of this series is to look at stats to gauge potential recruits. Following the same lines, here is the list of all available data for guards/centers taken in the 2006 NFL draft:


Analysis:
1) There isn't anything in the stats above that really jumps out at you. Speeds and weights are all over the map. There are 2 2-star ranked players as well as a 3-star ranked player but the top 4 above were all 4-5 stars.

2) Most of the above players can be lumped into 2 categories.
a. Less than 300lbs and mobile
b. Greater than 300lbs and not so mobile.

It's interesting to note that the only lineman above with any mention of brainpower in his bio notes ("What he's been able to accomplish on and OFF the field...") was taken the highest in the draft.

Next: CB
Previous: What makes a good OT

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