I'm breaking down our team to look at what we have in the cupboard for this offseason. In doing so, I've gathered a bunch of data from www.nflgsis.com and www.profootballfocus.com to give us some stats to look at as we evaluate what our players did in the 2015 regular season. Also, www.overthecap.com contract info will be embedded when available. I'll add to that a synopsis of each player including their contract situation. Hopefully this helps Broncos Country here at MHR be better educated on the state of the team.
|Name||PFF||Pass Block||Run Block||QB Sk||QH||Hur|
Our newest Bronco is a new hope for our left tackle position. I, like many believe Okung is going to be the answer for us at left tackle. He's a big upgrade to us as the stats above tell you. The only question that follows Okung is his health. He's recovering from a shoulder injury and all hopes are that he'll be back into form by week 1.
We've already analyzed the heck out of this contract recently. It is very team-friendly and in synopsis is a player who is betting on himself. If he can still play, he'll be making a lot of cheddar. If he can't, the team can let him go at little cost to us.
Donald Stephenson has to be the big head scratcher move for this offseason to date. Is he an upgrade? Sure. Technically speaking if you think PFF's grades are fair, then he is an upgrade to Michael Schofield. Yeah, I just said that.
The one thing that the Broncos have been questionable at in John Elway's tenure as the GM for the Broncos is judge offensive line talent. Hopefully we've found a diamond in the rough, but all signs point to this being JAG for us this year.
If I don't like the outlook of Stephenson's play on the field (and I don't), I like the contract even less. We've got a guy here who we can't even break even with if we have to release him. Again, I hope the Broncos know something we don't about this player. This contract tells us they think he's at least a solid back-up for us this year on the active roster.
Ryan Clady is the most dominant ZBS LT in the NFL. We've all known and heard this throughout the years since he's been drafted. The problem with this is that the dude in recent history has been paid millions on top of millions to spend the a majority of his time on Sundays chillin' on a couch watching the games instead of playing in them.
Can he still play? Who knows? No PFF:
I will say that even the last time we saw him play, I didn't see a dominant left tackle. His feet weren't as quick as his first few seasons with us. He still has size and power, but if he can't move well due to the many injuries in his lower body, it won't be a superior improvement to bring him back.
The big problem here is that he's due to make a ton of money after he made a ton of money last year for doing nothing. The Broncos are negotiating with him now to try to make something work. Sure he can make a good amount of money on the market if we cut him, but he's still a huge injury risk.
I'm going to echo something Pete said in chat the other day that really resonates with me. If I were paid more than 10 million dollars to do nothing at my job for a whole year, I'd be asking the Broncos to lower my rate for the next year's contract because I wouldn't feel right about it one bit (Keep in mind this has happened more than once now with Clady before you start lighting me up in the comments).
Ty Sambrailo entered 2015 as a rookie who our coaches and front office had high hopes for as a long term starter. He sure as heck got thrown into the fire quickly as injuries caused us to start him at Left Tackle to start the season. An injury caused him to miss significant time, but he still logged over 19% of the snaps for the season.
Cutting to the chase though, Ty didn't look great as a pass protector or a run blocker in all honesty. Part of this is him needing to add some bulk and some is cleaning up some technique. This is all to be expected with a rookie honestly and he'll be worth watching in training camp to see what progress he's made this offseason.
The other thing that I'd mention is that his size and skills are a better match for right tackle than left. Look for a move this year to get him a spot on the line that better suits his abilities.
Sambrailo is on a rookie contract and will be donning the orange and blue for a few years more. He's a young player who the coaches are going to do their best to find a long term home for on our line.
Michael Schofield is an infamous name in the minds of many in Broncos Country. The coaches have had nothing but good things to say about him throughout the year regardless of what the numbers or my eyes tell me.
Let's get to the good stuff first: Schofield can actually run block well. Not just decently, but very well. So there's upside to him no matter how much groaning most fans do over his play. He can attack with power and gets good movement on his assignments typically. For a ZBS like ours, there's a lot to like about his run blocking game.
The problem with Schofield is that his pass blocking at least at RT is a complete catastrophe at times. Ask Khalil Mack sometime. His feet are like bricks honestly and he just isn't quick enough to work on the outside. Once he gets beat there, he over adjusts only to get beat with inside moves.
I do think Schofield has the ability to play at the NFL level, but I see him more as a guard than a tackle. He's obviously got the talent to run block well and if you can keep him from having to be so quick on his feet, he'll be decent in pass blocking as well.
We've still got Schofield on a cheap contract through 2017 and no matter how bad he looked at RT this year, if the coaches think there is a chance to make him a serviceable guard, he's worth keeping around and coaching up.
Tyler Polumbus was brought in last year to help fill in for all of our injuries on the offensive line. He was the right hire and the right guy to provide much needed depth for our team. He even got some snaps (~12% of them) and looked pretty good filling in at times.
From a talent perspective he's a player who is likely at his ceiling. He's an effective pass blocker, but he lacks real power in the run game.
I find it unlikely that we'll bring him back for 2016 as we look to find more long-term solutions.
Our line needs a ton of help and tackle is the biggest area of worry for me. The stats above are not pretty and they mirror the problems I watched in 2015. We need an answer at right tackle. I think we've got one possible answer at RT with Sambrailo who is likely to perform better. I don't think Schofield is an answer at T let alone anywhere else on a NFL starting squad in 2016.
Looking forward to the draft, I think we'll likely draft another tackle prospect. We'll need depth and more answers especially with a left tackle with injury concerns. I don't think we'll spend a high draft pick on one though and will instead look for a lower pick as a development project.