Regular Season Reflections On The Offensive Line (PFF Grades included)

tynimiller

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So with a year like we've seen, sometimes it is nice to look back at a regular season in a position group which seemingly to many has just flat out performed expectations..."maybe".

First lets just break down a few statistics for each of the main OL we've seen this year...in order of snap counts (per Pro Football Reference)

Royce Newman - 1084 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 56.1. 5 Penalties and 6 sacks given up.
Honestly, yes, the grading is in the lower 25% of the league's guards, BUT we are talking about a rookie....a Day 3 rookie at that, which at times has played exceptionally well...and at other times struggled. Had our OL not suffered all the issues it has, the argument is there that Newman would have been part of the incredible depth team right there with Lucas Patrick for the guard spots. However, that is not the world we've lived in this year and all things considered Newman has illustrated this league isn't too big or too fast for him to succeed in. No matter how the future shakes out, I fully expect Newman could be part of the 2022 starting OL group even with a healthy Bakh, Jenkins and Myers back. Overall, Newman from the day of "winning" the guard starting role over Patrick and others as a rookie exceeded my expectations and most likely the majority of those on the board.

Jon Runyan - 1053 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 65.0. 0 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
This might very well be one of my best Day 3 prospects I projected would succeed prior to their selections ever. 6th round on Day 3, Green Bay found what most likely will be a starting guard in Green Bay for at minimum the next two seasons (2022 and 2023) and possibly longer should we sign him to it. Runyan in many ways has been the solid rock of the line. Rarely having a bad game, he either seemed to play solid or awesome games this season. Credited with zero penalties in a passing league with the rushers they see is insane. INSANE. I cannot say Runyan shocked me or surprised me, as I loved him for this role....but for what he was on draft day and being just in year two - he for sure exceeded any realistic expectations one would hold if all you said was a 6th round Day 3 pick of the 2020 draft that saw very limited playing time the previous year...

Lucas Patrick - 911 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 57.6. 5 penalties and 0 sacks given up.
Listed as a guard but a guy many of us christened as our 2021 starting center until Myers was picked...he's been adequate to solid no matter where and when we've needed him. Patrick is a guy that in pass protection may be one of the most overlooked simply because he quietly does it so well. It will be interesting to see what Patrick does in the off season. He already took what some would argue was a team friendly deal for the chance to stay and compete for a role in GB once, will a team see the now nearly 29 year old worth a starting or chance to start offer or will Green Bay convince him to stick around and be our "first reserve" type guy again....either way it has been an immense blessing to have Lucas on this year's team especially with Myers and Jenkins going down, making him really the ONLY Center option (until the signing of Michael Menet to PS).

Billy Turner - 810 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 66.2. 4 penalties and 3 sacks given up.
There were weeks where Billy seemed to be the shining example of consistency in an otherwise inconsistent OL. Turner puts forth one of the best overall grading of any OL this year as well for those seeing half or more of the starts...furthering the thought that his FA acquisition was a home run given the level of consistent play and eventually a home he found at RT. While this most likely is his last ride for Green Bay (given his 2022 salary), I know I pray it is a glorious one where we give him a ring as the ultimate thank you gesture before having to part ways.

Yosh Nijman - 590 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 63.8. 3 penatlies and 3 sacks given up.
Arguably the OLOTY given what one assumed his role would be this year vs what his role actually became. Forced into action at LT at times against some of the premiere rushers in the league, Yosh didn't just survive - he at times flirted with thriving. The premiere example of developing a player over years of time, Yosh being a RFA is for sure facing a more favorable and well deserved salary when we tender him (I bet a second rounder)....or possibly even offer a contract deal to him. This UDFA who is just 26 at the moment, could become the RT or back up LT for this roster for many more years to come.

Elgton Jenkins - 496 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 82.3. 4 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
I've flirted with saying it before...but I'll put it in stone now. Elgton Jenkins is our best offensive lineman on our roster. What this man does is play at Pro Bowl level at Tackle, Guard and Center. There is no denying Bakh not being in the starting line HURTS. I'd argue Jenkins' loss however should have CRIPPLED this already hurt line, because he is just that DAMN good. Be VERY thankful Green Bay that his rookie contract is still going in 2022...because he is one of arguably very few guys I don't think Gute and CO. can afford to watch walk out the door - no matter if we have Rodgers or Love or another under center. Elgton Jenkins is that damn good, PERIOD...all this is assuming he comes back in 2022 and illustrates he is not close to be done and is 100% GTG again.

Dennis Kelly - 305 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 69.5. 2 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
When we signed Kelly, part of me actually wondered if he'd be given a shot at maybe making Turner tradeable or expendable...I didn't share this thought, but I thought it....however absurd it sounded. I would have never bet on that he'd be as good as he has been for us, but man I would have wanted to. I loved watching some of Kelly's games when he was with the Titans, his size and apparent abilities jumped at me as a guy that just had age against him at this point. Nearly 32 at the moment, Kelly is closer to the 18th hole of his career than the 12th even...BUT, he is PRECISELY the type of signing that good GMs make. The kind of guy that you know when the bell is tolled on him, he will answer the call and you're pretty freaking confident of where the floor of performance is with him. The ability to be sitting here not having to force Turner back before he's ready is a MASSIVE blessing...and Kelly could potentially play a factor in the playoffs also.

Josh Myers - 293 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 58.3. 0 penalties and 0 sacks given up.
Josh Myers out the gate looked the part, in the TERRIBLE Saints game I remember he shined and was our 5th highest rated player that game at 71.9. It was tragic to see his injury steal much of his rookie year, but now with essentially half a game in Week 18 it appears Myers is set and healthy to hit the playoffs running again. When Linsley was leaving I was sad, but remember even thinking Patrick will be just fine, then when we drafted my second favorite center - I had zero worry about the middle of our OL...and I don't think we will for years to come.

David Bakhtiari - 27 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 75.2. 0 and 0.
Barely played but played well. We already know all we need about Bakhtiari. If healthy he is our best pure LT on the team and easily a top 5 without blinking LT in the league.

Others that had less than 10 snaps, Jake Hanson, Ben Braden, Cole Van Lanen.

It has been said numerous times in numerous ways, but in the end all the immense adversity and injuries this OL as a group saw - ultimately made our entire OL room that much better. No longer do we wonder what Yosh is capable of, we know it. No longer do we wonder if Newman can handle the leagues' speed and strength we know it. No longer do we wonder what exactly Kelly could do still having no team sign him for the longest time in FA...we know now.


For those curious the 2022 OL Room from what we have looks like this:

Guys that for sure will be back
Elgton Jenkins enters final year ($2,158,106 hit)
Jon Runyan enters his third of four year rookie deal ($938,669 hit)
Josh Myers enters his 2nd of four year rookie deal ($1,268,213 hit)
Royce Newman enters his 2nd of four year rookie deal ($949,836 hit)
David Bakhtiari enters his third of five year deal ($22,768,000 hit)
Yosh enters RFA, so we could tender him (2nd round tender cost would be $3,986,000)


Most likely not back, or at least not back at the present contract level:
Billy Turner enters his final year ($8,918,308 hit) *he most assuredly will be cut or contract re-worked, no way this stays same.

No longer contracted we would lose:
Lucas Patrick
Dennis Kelly
Michael Menet
Jake Hanson
Ben Braden
Cole Van Lanen
Adrian Ealy
 
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Poppa San

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So with a year like we've seen, sometimes it is nice to look back at a regular season in a position group which seemingly to many has just flat out performed expectations..."maybe".

First lets just break down a few statistics for each of the main OL we've seen this year...in order of snap counts (per Pro Football Reference)

Royce Newman - 1084 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 56.1. 5 Penalties and 6 sacks given up.
Honestly, yes, the grading is in the lower 25% of the league's guards, BUT we are talking about a rookie....a Day 2 rookie at that, which at times has played exceptionally well...and at other times struggled. Had our OL not suffered all the issues it has, the argument is there that Newman would have been part of the incredible depth team right there with Lucas Patrick for the guard spots. However, that is not the world we've lived in this year and all things considered Newman has illustrated this league isn't too big or too fast for him to succeed in. No matter how the future shakes out, I fully expect Newman could be part of the 2022 starting OL group even with a healthy Bakh, Jenkins and Myers back. Overall, Newman from the day of "winning" the guard starting role over Patrick and others as a rookie exceeded my expectations and most likely the majority of those on the board.

Jon Runyan - 1053 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 65.0. 0 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
This might very well be one of my best Day 3 prospects I projected would succeed prior to their selections ever. 6th round on Day 3, Green Bay found what most likely will be a starting guard in Green Bay for at minimum the next two seasons (2022 and 2023) and possibly longer should we sign him to it. Runyan in many ways has been the solid rock of the line. Rarely having a bad game, he either seemed to play solid or awesome games this season. Credited with zero penalties in a passing league with the rushers they see is insane. INSANE. I cannot say Runyan shocked me or surprised me, as I loved him for this role....but for what he was on draft day and being just in year two - he for sure exceeded any realistic expectations one would hold if all you said was a 6th round Day 3 pick of the 2020 draft that saw very limited playing time the previous year...

Lucas Patrick - 911 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 57.6. 5 penalties and 0 sacks given up.
Listed as a guard but a guy many of us christened as our 2021 starting center until Myers was picked...he's been adequate to solid no matter where and when we've needed him. Patrick is a guy that in pass protection may be one of the most overlooked simply because he quietly does it so well. It will be interesting to see what Patrick does in the off season. He already took what some would argue was a team friendly deal for the chance to stay and compete for a role in GB once, will a team see the now nearly 29 year old worth a starting or chance to start offer or will Green Bay convince him to stick around and be our "first reserve" type guy again....either way it has been an immense blessing to have Lucas on this year's team especially with Myers and Jenkins going down, making him really the ONLY Center option (until the signing of Michael Menet to PS).

Billy Turner - 810 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 66.2. 4 penalties and 3 sacks given up.
There were weeks where Billy seemed to be the shining example of consistency in an otherwise inconsistent OL. Turner puts forth one of the best overall grading of any OL this year as well for those seeing half or more of the starts...furthering the thought that his FA acquisition was a home run given the level of consistent play and eventually a home he found at RT. While this most likely is his last ride for Green Bay (given his 2022 salary), I know I pray it is a glorious one where we give him a ring as the ultimate thank you gesture before having to part ways.

Yosh Nijman - 590 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 63.8. 3 penatlies and 3 sacks given up.
Arguably the OLOTY given what one assumed his role would be this year vs what his role actually became. Forced into action at LT at times against some of the premiere rushers in the league, Yosh didn't just survive - he at times flirted with thriving. The premiere example of developing a player over years of time, Yosh being a RFA is for sure facing a more favorable and well deserved salary when we tender him (I bet a second rounder)....or possibly even offer a contract deal to him. This UDFA who is just 26 at the moment, could become the RT or back up LT for this roster for many more years to come.

Elgton Jenkins - 496 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 82.3. 4 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
I've flirted with saying it before...but I'll put it in stone now. Elgton Jenkins is our best offensive lineman on our roster. What this man does is play at Pro Bowl level at Tackle, Guard and Center. There is no denying Bakh not being in the starting line HURTS. I'd argue Jenkins' loss however should have CRIPPLED this already hurt line, because he is just that DAMN good. Be VERY thankful Green Bay that his rookie contract is still going in 2022...because he is one of arguably very few guys I don't think Gute and CO. can afford to watch walk out the door - no matter if we have Rodgers or Love or another under center. Elgton Jenkins is that damn good, PERIOD...all this is assuming he comes back in 2022 and illustrates he is not close to be done and is 100% GTG again.

Dennis Kelly - 305 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 69.5. 2 penalties and 2 sacks given up.
When we signed Kelly, part of me actually wondered if he'd be given a shot at maybe making Turner tradeable or expendable...I didn't share this thought, but I thought it....however absurd it sounded. I would have never bet on that he'd be as good as he has been for us, but man I would have wanted to. I loved watching some of Kelly's games when he was with the Titans, his size and apparent abilities jumped at me as a guy that just had age against him at this point. Nearly 32 at the moment, Kelly is closer to the 18th hole of his career than the 12th even...BUT, he is PRECISELY the type of signing that good GMs make. The kind of guy that you know when the bell is tolled on him, he will answer the call and you're pretty freaking confident of where the floor of performance is with him. The ability to be sitting here not having to force Turner back before he's ready is a MASSIVE blessing...and Kelly could potentially.

Josh Myers - 293 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 58.3. 0 penalties and 0 sacks given up.
Josh Myers out the gate looked the part, in the TERRIBLE Saints game I remember he shined and was our 5th highest rated player that game at 71.9. It was tragic to see his injury steal much of his rookie year, but now with essentially half a game in Week 18 it appears Myers is set and healthy to hit the playoffs running again. When Linsley was leaving I was sad, but remember even thinking Linsley will be just fine, then when we drafted my second favorite center - I had zero worry about the middle of our OL...and I don't think we will for years to come.

David Bakhtiari - 27 snaps with a PFF overall grading of 75.2. 0 and 0.
Barely played but played well. We already know all we need about Bakhtiari. If healthy he is our best pure LT on the team and easily a top 5 without blinking LT in the league.

Others that had less than 10 snaps, Jake Hanson, Ben Braden, Cole Van Lanen.

It has been said numerous times in numerous ways, but in the end all the immense adversity and injuries this OL as a group saw - ultimately made our entire OL room that much better. No longer do we wonder what Yosh is capable of, we know it. No longer do we wonder if Newman can handle the leagues' speed and strength we know it. No longer do we wonder what exactly Kelly could do still having no team sign him for the longest time in FA...we know now.


For those curious the 2022 OL Room from what we have looks like this:

Guys that for sure will be back
Elgton Jenkins enters final year ($2,158,106 hit)
Billy Turner enters his final year ($8,918,308 hit) *he most assuredly will be cut or contract re-worked, no way this stays same.
Jon Runyan enters his third of four year rookie deal ($938,669 hit)
Josh Myers enters his 2nd of four year rookie deal ($1,268,213 hit)
Royce Newman enters his 2nd of four year rookie deal ($949,836 hit)
David Bakhtiari enters his third of five year deal ($22,768,000 hit)
Yosh enters RFA, so we could tender him (2nd round tender cost would be $3,986,000)


Most likely not back, or at least not back at the present contract level:
Billy Turner enters his final year ($8,918,308 hit) *he most assuredly will be cut or contract re-worked, no way this stays same.

No longer contracted we would lose:
Lucas Patrick
Dennis Kelly
Michael Menet
Jake Hanson
Ben Braden
Cole Van Lanen
Adrian Ealy
Excellent and well researched post. I almost feel honored to find a nit to pick in it.
Royce Newman was a fourth round pick which should be considered day 3, not day 2.
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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Excellent and well researched post. I almost feel honored to find a nit to pick in it.
Royce Newman was a fourth round pick which should be considered day 3, not day 2.

I did mess that up! Good catch!
 

JKramer64

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Jenkins is THAT good. I hope his absence isn't fatal as Bakhtiari's was last year. He's the best run blocker and they could sure use him against Donald and Vita Vea. The good thing is the play of Runyan. He has really improved as the season has gone on and held his own for the most part. Not a huge dropoff from Jenkins.
 

captainWIMM

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Don't get me wrong, the offensive line has performed above expectations considering the injuries the unit has suffered.

But I'm absolutely convinced Rodgers has made up for a ton of shortcomings on the line. The grades seem to support that point of view.

There's no way they look as good as they have with Love starting.
 
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tynimiller

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Don't get me wrong, the offensive line has performed above expectations considering the injuries the unit has suffered.

But I'm absolutely convinced Rodgers has made up for a ton of shortcomings on the line. The grades seem to support that point of view.

There's no way they look as good as they have with Love starting.

Oh for sure, the grades are good for Myers, Newman and Runyan given the lack of experience - but when they're in their third year or so they better be upper 60s to mid 70s IMO. It is not an easy thing to PFF grade out higher than 80 for anyone, which is why Jenkins is flat impressive.
 
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