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Orlando Franklin: More than just a one-trick pony

"Debo" as some like to label the 6'7" 330 lb monster has come quite a way in his 2nd year as a pro.

Rob Carr

Though Franklin played LT his senior season as a Miami Hurricane, he was seen as a giant road grater--someone who could swallow defenders and grind them into dust as he imposed his large body on his opponents at will. Run blocking was supposed to be his forte and while it remains true that Orlando can run block with the best of them, his improvement in pass blocking is something I want to highlight a bit here.

Road graters usually lack a bit of athleticism, comes with the territory. "Debo" however is an exception to the rule, what I have seen on film shows me someone with exceptional athleticism for a man his size--and it translates over to the pass blocking department.

Here's how he fared in 2012 when compared to 2011 when it came to pass blocking:


Pass Block Snaps




Total pressures

Pass Block efficiency


















(via pro football focus)

Despite seeing about a hundred greater pass blocking snaps, Franklin's 2012 numbers eclipse his 2011 output across the board. While Peyton is a world class HOF QB--something you wouldn't call Tim Tebow at this point in his NFL career, it would be a bit shortsighted to give him all the credit for Orlando's progress.

The biggest key to me when I go back and watch some of Debo's pass blocking snaps are his footwork. He consistently gets thats first step locked in quickly which gives him greater balance and stability to set up the initial base for his body. He also has learned how to use his length more effectively, pushing and guiding potential pass rushers far outside the edge of the pocket where their 2nd effort is in poor position to take advantage of a quick Peyton Manning decision.

When I tracked rushing stats for the first part of the year last year, rushes to the right side of that line gained more per average than a run in any other direction. Alas injuries play a big role in team chemistry--especially on the offensive line. With an inexperienced and sometimes overmatched Manny Ramirez at RG, Orlando's numbers suffered a bit as well. In fact, he was nearly neutral in run blocking numbers with a score of 1.8. (via which was far below his stellar pass blocking score of 20.00.

Orlando Franklin is quickly becoming one of the broncos best draft picks from 2011. Year 3 is even more exciting as he will have the continued stability of Peyton Manning behind center, and tutelage from offensive line gurus Dave Magazu and Alex Gibbs who give you the best of both power and zone blocking systems.

2013 for Orlando Franklin is another year that he can continue to improve little by little into one of the best offensive tackles in the game today. And when that isn't good enough, we'll always have this:

Just for reference, Eric Decker is a big man and Orlando Franklin just grabs and handles him like he is a ragdoll haha!