A couple days ago Reasonable Opinion created a fan post asking whether “we are there yet” in regards to our roster. This is one of my favorite articles to read each year even though I tend to disagree with player rankings (we all have an opinion of where our players stand). One of the spots I have my largest difference in opinion from his rankings is in our offensive line. I am a huge believer that every offense is only as good as the men who protect it. While I rank Joe Staley well above average, I am not near as high on the rest of the unit. I do believe that Mike Mcglinchey is good and will only improve. This is necessary as his pass protection last season showed the same inefficiencies he had in college. Based off my very inaccurate eye test, I have believed our line to be very average overall. This opinion was reinforced in the comments section of the post as others believe we way overvalue our own personnel as well. While searching for the links this morning I came upon an article that reinforces some of Reasonable Opinion’s rankings I didn’t believe to be correct.
The article talked about the 4 players who’ll benefit the most from Garoppolo’s return. The list as expected when you read the title includes a few receivers and run blocking offensive lineman. Jimmy G’s quick release should aid these run blockers. While we have posted and commented non-stop over the last few months of the difference that occurs when Jimmy G is behind the line, it is still surprising to see the stats even if only based on a small sample size. The first name on the list was Laken Tomlinson and his graded performance with Jimmy was the largest surprise in comparison to my eyes.
Tomlinson graded out as 33rd out of 63 personnel with a 66.4 grade in 2017 per Pro Football Focus. In 2018 he was ranked as the 26th offensive guard. This is exactly what my eyes told me. He was average. However, if you take the small sample size from the last five games of 2017, Tomlinson graded out as a top 10 guard in the NFL. Our pass protection grade for the offensive line which was 14th for the 2017 season was ranked 3rd during the last five games. Now we are a year removed from these stats and we can discuss/dispute the differences between today and then. We can talk about the lack of tape that teams had on Garoppolo for those five games. We can throw out the counterpoints of now having Mcglinchey on the line or the fact we now have better offensive weapons to get the ball to. However, I say let’s take a minute and think who we have that will most benefit from having the 2017 version of Jimmy G behind the line. Also, who’s stats will be lessened by his appearance?
What do you think?
On to the links:
and the obligatory 49ers kicker news...