SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Alex Boone #75 of the San Francisco 49ers and Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers exchange words during their game at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Of those who provide NFL statistics there aren't many who can say they chart every play. But this sort of thing is necessary in order to get an idea of the bigger picture when evaluating an individual player, especially an offensive lineman.
One site who does watch every play and assign a grade based on the player's assignment and how they performed is Pro Football Focus. Granted, doing this leaves something to interpretation, but consider that numerous of the "big guys" cite and reference PFF's stats and grades on a regular basis.
I know this much: they put in more time than probably any of us in watching football plays over and over again. While they aren't the only source, it's worthwhile to consider their numbers.
So what does PFF say about potential new starting right guard Alex Boone?
Boone didn't play a ton last year but luckily for me he did start nearly an entire game vs. Arizona when Joe Staley left with an injury. He was also involved in a number of situations as an extra blocker, so there were some plays to look at and assign grades.
More after the jump.
Boone actually played significant snaps in both games vs. Arizona. He graded out positive (anything above 0 is considered good play) in both games. In his first game of the two he played 34 snaps and graded out with a 1.2. Remember, these numbers don't go up very high, so a 1.2 is a decent grade, say a B-.
Most of the linemen had good grades in that first match-up against the Cardinals, though. It was the second game where Boone was one of the lone guys who actually graded well, playing 58 snaps and finishing with a 2.0. His fellow offensive linemen mostly didn't have as good of a day. Jonathan Goodwin graded with a -3.8 that day, and besides Anthony Davis, the rest were near zero.
While it might not be much, it is encouraging to know that Boone got some love for the limited snaps he played and hopefully it provides some insight into what we can expect going forward if he is to win the starting job at right guard OR have to substitute elsewhere.
Of note: Adam Snyder and Chilo Rachal did not grade out well at all from a total season standpoint. Snyder actually graded out the worst of any 49ers lineman with a -26.5 for he year. It's hard not to believe this grade, especially considering the coaching staff let Snyder walk despite not having a surefire option to plug-in at RG.