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Braden Smith's future at RT


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Looking back on the 2019 season, I want to get some of your takes on how he progressed at RT. I just rewatched the highlights of him going against Joey Bosa and the Chargers, and he was beat repeatedly. Obviously Bosa is a great player, but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

 

I haven't watched his highlights of all the other games yet from 2019, but wanted everyone else's take on how he progressed as the season went on. Especially those who did watch game highlights of his throughout the season. 

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1 minute ago, twfish said:

This is a bullish take. Nelson got handled Heyward last year does that mean he has no future at LG? Smith has been cited several times as being one of the best young RT's in the league. So the first game in his second season he gets beaten a few times by a top 3 edge rusher in the league and we are questioning he future when you havent watched any other game? Thumbs down on this topic.

 

I'm simply asking for others who may have watched the other game highlights of his last season to give me their take on how he progressed as the season went on. I am by no means questioning his ability to keep the starting RT spot. 

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1 minute ago, BProland85 said:

 

I'm simply asking for others who may have watched the other game highlights of his last season to give me their take on how he progressed as the season went on. I am by no means questioning his ability to keep the starting RT spot. 

 

18 minutes ago, BProland85 said:

but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

You kinda are, I understand where you are trying to go with the topic, it was just poorly worded and seems like you are coming after him.

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Here's an article on Smith that may interest you. It quotes PFF as saying, "Smith is one of the most undervalued tackles in the game and offers exceptional run-blocking prowess. He’s a big part of what we’ve deemed the NFL’s best offensive line from top to bottom. Smith has some kinks to work out as a pass-protector, as he allowed the fifth-most pressures by a tackle in 2019 (hence why he is just 18th here). But he doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for the Colts’ rushing attack. He earned an 86.4 run-block grade last year, ranking fourth at the position."

 

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2020/8/3/21353400/pff-ranks-the-colts-anthony-castonzo-braden-smith-among-the-nfls-top-20-ots

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2 minutes ago, Dogg63 said:

Here's an article on Smith that may interest you. It quotes PFF as saying, "Smith is one of the most undervalued tackles in the game and offers exceptional run-blocking prowess. He’s a big part of what we’ve deemed the NFL’s best offensive line from top to bottom. Smith has some kinks to work out as a pass-protector, as he allowed the fifth-most pressures by a tackle in 2019 (hence why he is just 18th here). But he doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for the Colts’ rushing attack. He earned an 86.4 run-block grade last year, ranking fourth at the position."

 

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2020/8/3/21353400/pff-ranks-the-colts-anthony-castonzo-braden-smith-among-the-nfls-top-20-ots

 

When you read that, it is a bit concerning that Smith allowed the 5th most pressures among starting tackles in the league in 2019. I'm not at all concerned about him as a run blocking RT. I just want to see him progress as a pass blocking RT as well. It would be nice having bookend tackles that can handle their own 1 on 1 consistently in the pass blocking department. 

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I absolutely disagree with that continued narrative. Braden Smith is what you hope to get when you draft a RT(and we drafted him to be a guard). He absolutely should stay at RT if he keeps playing at anything close to the level he's been playing so far. Any player will have a bad game here and there, that's not a reason to look to move him to another position and it definitely doesn't mean he's a liability at the position. Look a this entire body of work rather than on small samples. 

 

He needs some work in pass-protection for sure and I have no doubt he will do the work needed to improve, but if this is our weak link(I actually think he's our 3d best OLineman), then we are in a great spot with our OLine. 

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He's a very good run blocker...one of the better run-blocking RTs in the NFL. But pass protection is still very much a work in progress...as he allowed 7 sacks (10th highest) and was tied for the 5th most pressures.

 

It's not easy to find good RTs in the NFL...and Smith has been a good one...so I am sure he will continue to hold down that position. But I could see a scenario where Ballard drafts a top RT prospect some time in the near future.

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6 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

He's a very good run blocker...one of the better run-blocking RTs in the NFL. But pass protection is still very much a work in progress...as he allowed 7 sacks (10th highest) and was tied for the 5th most pressures.

 

It's not easy to find good RTs in the NFL...and Smith has been a good one...so I am sure he will continue to hold down that position. But I could see a scenario where Ballard drafts a top RT prospect some time in the near future.

 

I could see that too, but mostly due to the need for a longterm LT. We do need a very good backup OT that can play both LT and RT in case of injury to Castonzo or Smith though. 

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15 minutes ago, stitches said:

I absolutely disagree with that continued narrative. Braden Smith is what you hope to get when you draft a RT(and we drafted him to be a guard). He absolutely should stay at RT if he keeps playing at anything close to the level he's been playing so far. Any player will have a bad game here and there, that's not a reason to look to move him to another position and it definitely doesn't mean he's a liability at the position. Look a this entire body of work rather than on small samples. 

 

He needs some work in pass-protection for sure and I have no doubt he will do the work needed to improve, but if this is our weak link(I actually think he's our 3d best OLineman), then we are in a great spot with our OLine. 

 

I don't agree with any narrative that says Smith *needs to move to RG either...but I also won't ignore some of the pass protection issues. That doesn't mean he's a liability at all...but it's something to watch for improvement in the future. If this doesn't improve...I could see a scenario where Ballard invests in a RT to compete with Smith...with the other kicking inside.

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19 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

I don't agree with any narrative that says Smith *needs to move to RG either...but I also won't ignore some of the pass protection issues. That doesn't mean he's a liability at all...but it's something to watch for improvement in the future. If this doesn't improve...I could see a scenario where Ballard invests in a RT to compete with Smith...with the other kicking inside.

I don't really disagree with anything here. If there is an efficient way to improve the team we should do it, be it at QB or RT or kicker or any other position. I just don't think people have realistic expectations about what a good tackle looks like. The league as a whole has a shortage of good OL talent and this is especially true at OT. We kind of struck gold with Smith and it was a bit of a lucky hit on Ballard's part. It's not easy getting OT as good as Braden and usually you have to invest high draft picks in order to get the type that will even come close to competing at the level Braden has already been playing for 2 years. PFF already has him as a top 100 player in the league and top 10 at his position and he's still super young for that position and can improve a lot more in the coming years and by the progress he's made(from college OG to NFL OT rookie, to top 10 RT in the league), I trust him that whatever ceiling he has, he will work hard to reach it

 

It's all about efficient allocation of resources. For example, if you tell me you need to draft RT in R1 or R2 to compete with Braden for the starting spot, I would pass on that. I think Braden is plenty good enough for the position to not be anywhere near that type of priority in the draft or in FA(lets say you have to pay 12-15M+ to get an OT that will be able to compete with him for starting job). 

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1 hour ago, BProland85 said:

Looking back on the 2019 season, I want to get some of your takes on how he progressed at RT. I just rewatched the highlights of him going against Joey Bosa and the Chargers, and he was beat repeatedly. Obviously Bosa is a great player, but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

 

I haven't watched his highlights of all the other games yet from 2019, but wanted everyone else's take on how he progressed as the season went on. Especially those who did watch game highlights of his throughout the season. 

people forget.  Braden Smith was drafted to play RG, not play tackle.  He's a natural Guard. So he's been playing very well considering he's yet to actually play the position he spent 4 years in college playing.

https://lastwordonprofootball.com/2018/04/20/braden-smith-2018-nfl-draft-profile/

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17 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

He's a very good run blocker...one of the better run-blocking RTs in the NFL. But pass protection is still very much a work in progress...as he allowed 7 sacks (10th highest) and was tied for the 5th most pressures.

 

It's not easy to find good RTs in the NFL...and Smith has been a good one...so I am sure he will continue to hold down that position. But I could see a scenario where Ballard drafts a top RT prospect some time in the near future.

I'm hopeful that having a QB that doesn't hold onto the ball so long like Brissett does will help.

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With the revolving door we had across the whole offensive line before Ballard was hired as the GM, I'm sure as hades not going to complain about the starters we have now. 

Naturally we can always use quality depth but that is a problem that all the NFL teams struggle with. 

 

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1 minute ago, crazycolt1 said:

With the revolving door we had across the whole offensive line before Ballard was hired as the GM, I'm sure as hades not going to complain about the starters we have now. 

Naturally we can always use quality depth but that is a problem that all the NFL teams struggle with. 

 

Agreed, no OL is perfect and we went from having the worst OL in the league by every measure, to one of the top 3 OL's in the league by pretty much every measure, in about a draft and a half.

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1 hour ago, BProland85 said:

Looking back on the 2019 season, I want to get some of your takes on how he progressed at RT. I just rewatched the highlights of him going against Joey Bosa and the Chargers, and he was beat repeatedly. Obviously Bosa is a great player, but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

 

I haven't watched his highlights of all the other games yet from 2019, but wanted everyone else's take on how he progressed as the season went on. Especially those who did watch game highlights of his throughout the season. 

He was drafted as a guard,  

This is also very impressive:

 

Per PFF, Smith was their 12th highest graded tackle overall (6th among all RT’s) this past season with a +79.8 grade overall—including a +86.4 run blocking grade. He allowed 7.0 sacks and 46 total QB pressures—while committing just 5 total penalties in all 16 starts.

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Smith is a great "problem" to have in terms of his position flexibility. Auburn, during his years had a fantastic OL and some great Ts (several drafted to the NFL). Even then though, there was debate about what position he would play. Yes, he did play OG those 4 years, but many saw him as a guy who could play T as well given his height and weight. IMO, he'd have played T at Auburn had they not had some ringers at OT. Auburn was a run first team those years, and likely played into the decision. If you look at their RBs from 15-17, they had 1000+ rushers every year. 

 

Now, I think the flexibility is still there for consideration. So long as we have the same personnel, no reason to change. Things could change though over the next few years though. Who knows how long AC will be around, but we all know his time is likely limited. Smith, Kelly, Glow, and Q all have contracts coming up. It's not out of the realm of possibility we see some musical chairs. It's likely Kelly, Smith, and Q remain as a core, but who knows about AC and Glow. Will Pinter, or someone already on the roster develop? Will we go early next year on a LT, or spend in FA?

 

Anyway, we'll have a lot of moving parts over the next 2-3 years. Having a guy like Smith who can play either spot on the R is a fantastic problem to have.

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33 minutes ago, Myles said:

He was drafted as a guard,  

This is also very impressive:

 

Per PFF, Smith was their 12th highest graded tackle overall (6th among all RT’s) this past season with a +79.8 grade overall—including a +86.4 run blocking grade. He allowed 7.0 sacks and 46 total QB pressures—while committing just 5 total penalties in all 16 starts.

Anything near 80 is quality. Especially for a 2nd year OL changing positions. I think his rating is helped by having Q, AC, Kelly, etc, but he also has Glow next to him. Glow, as a weak link, is a pretty solid weak link though. All teams have their weak link on OL, and Glow is a pretty good one. 

 

What's really impressive, is that our runs over the right were more productive than our runs to the L.

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2 hours ago, BProland85 said:

Looking back on the 2019 season, I want to get some of your takes on how he progressed at RT. I just rewatched the highlights of him going against Joey Bosa and the Chargers, and he was beat repeatedly. Obviously Bosa is a great player, but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

 

I haven't watched his highlights of all the other games yet from 2019, but wanted everyone else's take on how he progressed as the season went on. Especially those who did watch game highlights of his throughout the season. 

Start by listing the RT going into their third season that you would trade him for.... Not future LT developing at RT for a soon to retire LT....true, under 3 season vet. RT in the league...

 

I bet there's not many clear cut choices.

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2 hours ago, BProland85 said:

Looking back on the 2019 season, I want to get some of your takes on how he progressed at RT. I just rewatched the highlights of him going against Joey Bosa and the Chargers, and he was beat repeatedly. Obviously Bosa is a great player, but one would hope being a highly drafted NFL starting RT, he would get the better of Bosa on numerous occasions as well. To have the best OL in the league, we can't have any liabilities at RT.

 

I haven't watched his highlights of all the other games yet from 2019, but wanted everyone else's take on how he progressed as the season went on. Especially those who did watch game highlights of his throughout the season. 

Keep in mind his QB last year was Brissett who holds on to the ball for 56,000 years with luck it wouldn't matter if he got beat cause the ball would have been long gone.

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1 hour ago, stitches said:

I don't really disagree with anything here. If there is an efficient way to improve the team we should do it, be it at QB or RT or kicker or any other position. I just don't think people have realistic expectations about what a good tackle looks like. The league as a whole has a shortage of good OL talent and this is especially true at OT. We kind of struck gold with Smith and it was a bit of a lucky hit on Ballard's part. It's not easy getting OT as good as Braden and usually you have to invest high draft picks in order to get the type that will even come close to competing at the level Braden has already been playing for 2 years. PFF already has him as a top 100 player in the league and top 10 at his position and he's still super young for that position and can improve a lot more in the coming years and by the progress he's made(from college OG to NFL OT rookie, to top 10 RT in the league), I trust him that whatever ceiling he has, he will work hard to reach it

 

It's all about efficient allocation of resources. For example, if you tell me you need to draft RT in R1 or R2 to compete with Braden for the starting spot, I would pass on that. I think Braden is plenty good enough for the position to not be anywhere near that type of priority in the draft or in FA(lets say you have to pay 12-15M+ to get an OT that will be able to compete with him for starting job). 

 

I would argue that efficient allocation of resources on the OL is not even a possibility at this point. They have invested serious draft capital over the years...and when they pay Nelson, Smith and Kelly...they will likely be #1. Even if AC is gone...they have to replace him...which will require serious draft capital or cap space.

 

It sounds counterintuitive...but because of how much they have invested in the OL...allocating as high as another Day Two pick would make sense. In theory...that strengthens RG and RT (because they would compete)...and provides depth (which protects their investments). No guarantee he would even beat out Smith though...just that they would compete...with the other playing G.

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Anything near 80 is quality. Especially for a 2nd year OL changing positions. I think his rating is helped by having Q, AC, Kelly, etc, but he also has Glow next to him. Glow, as a weak link, is a pretty solid weak link though. All teams have their weak link on OL, and Glow is a pretty good one. 

 

What's really impressive, is that our runs over the right were more productive than our runs to the L.

 

Glow was 77 in 2018...so there is definitely some merit to the idea that being surrounded by other talented OL players helps.

 

Smith is a good RT...but he's far from a top tier pass protector. Given Reich's road-grading mentality and that both Luck and JB are fairly mobile...it hasn't mattered as much. But depending on who is the QB the next few years...it might matter more.  

 

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3 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

Glow was 77 in 2018...so there is definitely some merit to the idea that being surrounded by other talented OL players helps.

 

Smith is a good RT...but he's far from a top tier pass protector. Given Reich's road-grading mentality and that both Luck and JB are fairly mobile...it hasn't mattered as much. But depending on who is the QB the next few years...it might matter more.  

IDK. Our OL, and Smith, had a tall task of protecting JB with his high time to throw (2nd highest in the league). Rivers was 5th shortest, so definitely not worried about our OL with him.

 

Overall, I think some folks have unrealistic expectations of OLs in general. They over react about one player, when as a unit, we're fantastic. Every team deals with weak links, and guys who are better at one thing than another. For us to be ranked top 5 given Ds were keying on our running game, combined with JB's atrocious time to throw, we should be rejoicing. 

 

This year, teams won't be able to key on our run, and Rivers doesn't have a hard time getting the ball out. I fully expect Rivers time to throw to increase given the OL will hold longer than his 29th ranked OL last year, but the key is, he can get the ball out quickly if he wants. In short, even with our few deficiencies, we'll be a top 2 OL this year. I'll take that. 

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37 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

I would argue that efficient allocation of resources on the OL is not even a possibility at this point. They have invested serious draft capital over the years...and when they pay Nelson, Smith and Kelly...they will likely be #1. Even if AC is gone...they have to replace him...which will require serious draft capital or cap space.

 

It sounds counterintuitive...but because of how much they have invested in the OL...allocating as high as another Day Two pick would make sense. In theory...that strengthens RG and RT (because they would compete)...and provides depth (which protects their investments). No guarantee he would even beat out Smith though...just that they would compete...with the other playing G.

 

 

I think it makes sense for ensuring you have a successor to AC after he retires, but it doesn't make sense if you are doing it strictly with the thought of improving RT. Now reality is not that structured and deterministic and when you draft a player there are multiple outcomes that might turn that draft pick into a success(like drafting a RG in the second and him turning into a starting level RT) so I guess I would say I agree, I wouldn't mind us drafting an OT type relatively high(even R1) if you take into account the chance he becomes our future LT... or RT/RG if we move Smith inside or move on from Glowinski. It won't be best allocation of resources in the latter cases, but it might still be a successful pick. 

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4 hours ago, stitches said:

I absolutely disagree with that continued narrative. Braden Smith is what you hope to get when you draft a RT(and we drafted him to be a guard). He absolutely should stay at RT if he keeps playing at anything close to the level he's been playing so far. Any player will have a bad game here and there, that's not a reason to look to move him to another position and it definitely doesn't mean he's a liability at the position. Look a this entire body of work rather than on small samples. 

 

He needs some work in pass-protection for sure and I have no doubt he will do the work needed to improve, but if this is our weak link(I actually think he's our 3d best OLineman), then we are in a great spot with our OLine. 

 

I agree that Smith is doing fine as a RT.  However, I think his more natural position is guard.  By no means do I see the need to force him to move to G, but I think he'd be even better there than he is at tackle.  I'd rank him our 4th best OL behind Q, Kelly, Castonzo.  I think Glow is definitely our weakest link.

 

At some point we'll need to replace AC, he even was talking retirement prior to this season.  I'd love to see us get a young stud LT next year and maybe move AC to RT for the rest of his tenure and move Smith to RG. 

 

 

4 hours ago, shasta519 said:

He's a very good run blocker...one of the better run-blocking RTs in the NFL. But pass protection is still very much a work in progress...as he allowed 7 sacks (10th highest) and was tied for the 5th most pressures.

 

It's not easy to find good RTs in the NFL...and Smith has been a good one...so I am sure he will continue to hold down that position. But I could see a scenario where Ballard drafts a top RT prospect some time in the near future.

 

In the near future we're going to need another tackle.  I'd be shocked if Ballard doesn't go after a guy to replace AC soon and either has AC move to RT later in his career or has the new guy play RT for a year or 2 before replacing AC.

 

2 hours ago, EastStreet said:

Smith is a great "problem" to have in terms of his position flexibility. Auburn, during his years had a fantastic OL and some great Ts (several drafted to the NFL). Even then though, there was debate about what position he would play. Yes, he did play OG those 4 years, but many saw him as a guy who could play T as well given his height and weight. IMO, he'd have played T at Auburn had they not had some ringers at OT. Auburn was a run first team those years, and likely played into the decision. If you look at their RBs from 15-17, they had 1000+ rushers every year. 

 

Now, I think the flexibility is still there for consideration. So long as we have the same personnel, no reason to change. Things could change though over the next few years though. Who knows how long AC will be around, but we all know his time is likely limited. Smith, Kelly, Glow, and Q all have contracts coming up. It's not out of the realm of possibility we see some musical chairs. It's likely Kelly, Smith, and Q remain as a core, but who knows about AC and Glow. Will Pinter, or someone already on the roster develop? Will we go early next year on a LT, or spend in FA?

 

Anyway, we'll have a lot of moving parts over the next 2-3 years. Having a guy like Smith who can play either spot on the R is a fantastic problem to have.

 

I think right now LeRaven Clark is probably the #1 back up at any non-center position and I'm still not counting out on him to continue improving.  He's impressed when he's had to play for the most part, and it was expected it'd take him a few years to adjust to the NFL coming out of Texas Tech's offensive scheme.  I know it's been more than a few years but the fact Ballard signed him back and let Haeg walk may mean something.

 

I agree about Kelly, Q and Smith being the core.  Sounds like Pinter's coming along nicely and wouldn't be shocked if he competes with Glow throughout this season and next,  The other new guy, Carter O'Donnell seemed to get high praise as a UDFA coming from a Canadian school as well.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

I think right now LeRaven Clark is probably the #1 back up at any non-center position and I'm still not counting out on him to continue improving.  He's impressed when he's had to play for the most part, and it was expected it'd take him a few years to adjust to the NFL coming out of Texas Tech's offensive scheme.  I know it's been more than a few years but the fact Ballard signed him back and let Haeg walk may mean something.

 

I agree about Kelly, Q and Smith being the core.  Sounds like Pinter's coming along nicely and wouldn't be shocked if he competes with Glow throughout this season and next,  The other new guy, Carter O'Donnell seemed to get high praise as a UDFA coming from a Canadian school as well.

The great thing about our OL last year, is that we were healthy, and there was no musical chairs. The downside is, you have zero idea what the depth looks like.

 

Based on everything I've read and heard, I'm just not optimistic about Clark. Perhaps he's good for depth, but definitely not an answer at LT, which is where my concern is (in general, injury wise, and post AC). I was actually hoping to watch those guys in pre season, but that's not happening lol. 

 

I really don't think Haeg's departure means anything. Haeg wanted to start, and that wasn't going to happen here. I just think he was faced with a great opportunity, and place where he'd get to play, and earn more.

 

Honestly, not worried about Glow, or RG in general. He's still relatively young, plays OK, etc. I'd love to see Pinter turn out to be the guy though. He's a huge wildcard given his history. TE to OT to NFL OG/C in two years is a lot of change. Given how well he handled the change from TE to OT though, I like his chances. 

 

I really wish we would have grabbed Prince Tega Wanogho. He was mocked a lot in the 2nd, but dropped all the way to late 6th. I have no idea why he dropped, but I was screaming for him in, and after the 4th round. I know he had a leg injury a while back, but he's got a lot of upside, and relatively new FB in general. 2nd team all SEC at LT is pretty big thing for a 6th rounder lol. The Eagles got a bargain IMO.

 

 

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He's a good run blocker, and a questionable pass protector. I'd like to see him get better at pass pro if he's going to stay at RT (and all indications are that he will at this point). 

 

I've been suggesting he go to guard because his pass pro would be less of a concern on the inside, and because Glowinski is average at RG. I think Smith would be an upgrade at RG, but we still wouldn't have a RT. 

 

Still, either Smith and Glow need to get better -- which is very possible; Smith is going into Year 3, and Glow is still in his physical prime -- or we need an upgrade at one or both of those positions. 

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Try not to think of Smith as a finished product, that he is what he is.  As others have noted, Smith is still learning on the job.   He is going to get better.   Not just this year, but for years to come.

 

Don't believe me?   Remember the road to improvement for Anthony Castonzo.  When I arrived here in 2012 almost no one called him an upper level LT.  The view here was that he was average at best or he was below average and would never get much better.   Remember the number if threads saying we should move AC to RT and go draft another LT to replace him.    Well,  AC has slowly but steadily gotten better most every year.   Now he’s thought of as an elite LT.   I don’t know if Smith will ever be elite, but we already is highly regarded in run blocking and should continue to improve as a pass blocker.

 

I appreciate that most fans are not patient.  But with some patience here, we may all be rewarded with a high level RT in Smith. 

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6 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Try not to think of Smith as a finished product, that he is what he is.  As others have noted, Smith is still learning on the job.   He is going to get better.   Not just this year, but for years to come.

 

Don't believe me?   Remember the road to improvement for Anthony Castonzo.  When I arrived here in 2012 almost no one called him an upper level LT.  The view here was that he was average at best or he was below average and would never get much better.   Remember the number if threads saying we should move AC to RT and go draft another LT to replace him.    Well,  AC has slowly but steadily gotten better most every year.   Now he’s thought of as an elite LT.   I don’t know if Smith will ever be elite, but we already is highly regarded in run blocking and should continue to improve as a pass blocker.

 

I appreciate that most fans are not patient.  But with some patience here, we may all be rewarded with a high level RT in Smith. 

To be fair, aside from his first year, AC has been high 70s to low 80s PFF rating wise since year 2 (2012). He really didn't improve all that much over time. He's never really graded out super high / elite, but has been consistently good to great 2012-19. To compare that to Q for instance, Q graded out in the 90s year 2. 

 

I do agree AC was undervalued by many throughout his career, but I also think some put him on an elite pedestal too, which IMO he is not. He was a mid/late 1st rounder, so I can understand some of the back and forth between folks.

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27 minutes ago, Superman said:

He's a good run blocker, and a questionable pass protector. I'd like to see him get better at pass pro if he's going to stay at RT (and all indications are that he will at this point). 

 

I've been suggesting he go to guard because his pass pro would be less of a concern on the inside, and because Glowinski is average at RG. I think Smith would be an upgrade at RG, but we still wouldn't have a RT. 

 

Still, either Smith and Glow need to get better -- which is very possible; Smith is going into Year 3, and Glow is still in his physical prime -- or we need an upgrade at one or both of those positions. 

While I'd love Smith to improve pass blocking, I'll take being the 6th overall RT. Can't complain too much. I do think he'll improve a bit as he settles in at T though.

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My take on Braden Smith:

When he arrived and and put on a helmet, and was confronted with the appallingly thin talent at OL, it was like he was told --

"I need a corporal.  You're it until you're dead.  Or until I find somebody better." -- Jean Rasczak, Starship Troopers

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16 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

While I'd love Smith to improve pass blocking, I'll take being the 6th overall RT. Can't complain too much. I do think he'll improve a bit as he settles in at T though.

 

What makes him the 6th best overall RT? His PFF grade? 

 

He's fifth worst in terms of pressures allowed. Being a good run blocker doesn't excuse being a below average pass protector at a position where good pass protection is expected and required. We can complain about his pass pro until it gets better. It's not a minor nitpick, it's a fundamental area of concern for a RT.

 

That's especially true since he's blocking for an immobile 38 year old QB. Good thing Rivers knows how to get rid of the ball quickly.

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30 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

To be fair, aside from his first year, AC has been high 70s to low 80s PFF rating wise since year 2 (2012). He really didn't improve all that much over time. He's never really graded out super high / elite, but has been consistently good to great 2012-19. To compare that to Q for instance, Q graded out in the 90s year 2. 

 

I do agree AC was undervalued by many throughout his career, but I also think some put him on an elite pedestal too, which IMO he is not. He was a mid/late 1st rounder, so I can understand some of the back and forth between folks.

AC was routinely trashed here for a 5-6 year period.   And PFF grades were routinely dismissed by many here.   Whatever he was, whatever his grades were, that was ignored by most posters here.   It’s been an uphill struggle for many here to give AC the type of credit he deserves.   

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1 minute ago, Superman said:

 

What makes him the 6th best overall RT? His PFF grade? 

 

He's fifth worst in terms of pressures allowed. Being a good run blocker doesn't excuse being a below average pass protector at a position where good pass protection is expected and required. We can complain about his pass pro until it gets better. It's not a minor nitpick,  it's a fundamental area of concern for a RT.

 

That's especially true since he's blocking for an immobile 38 year old QB. Good thing Rivers knows how to get rid of the ball quickly.

Given JB's 2nd highest time to throw, he's next to Glow, and he's in year two of a new position, I tend to cut him some slack. Only 4 QBs were sacked less who played at least 14 games. That's pretty good considering JB's time to throw, no? And in 2018, only one QB was sacked less than Luck/game. 

 

I'd like to see his pressure #s for 2018 vs 2019 and see if the TtT change varied with the sacks and pressures.

 

Blocking for an immobile guy isn't going to be a big deal. Rivers had the 5th lowest TtT last year, and the 4th worst OL. He'll be fine.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

AC was routinely trashed here for a 5-6 year period.   And PFF grades were routinely dismissed by many here.   Whatever he was, whatever his grades were, that was ignored by most posters here.   It’s been an uphill struggle for many here to give AC the type of credit he deserves.   

IDK, I think most like AC. I think the extremes on both sides perhaps dominated some of the conversation. Like I said, I see him as not bad, not elite, but very good to great. He's had some great games, and also had some stinkers at times. I can understand the variations over time. Overall though, he's provided long term consistency year over year.

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7 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

IDK, I think most like AC. I think the extremes on both sides perhaps dominated some of the conversation. Like I said, I see him as not bad, not elite, but very good to great. He's had some great games, and also had some stinkers at times. I can understand the variations over time. Overall though, he's provided long term consistency year over year.

I believe you’ve a member here two or three years.   I’m talking about the time before that. 2012-2016 or so.   The conversations here about AC were borderline comical.   A sizable chunk of the fan base just didn’t like him.  And they didn’t want to hear any argument in favor of him.   A good many who were mildly supportive wanted him moved to RT and to try find a new LT in the draft. 
 

The opinion you see now that you’ve become a member is totally different than it was before.   The perception is much different.  
 

There’s even been a shift in accepting PFF grades as a more reliable source of evaluation.   PFF used to be laughed at here by many.  It still is by some, but far fewer.   Things are night and day different over the last 9 years or so...   

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2 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

I believe you’ve a member here two or three years.   I’m talking about the time before that. 2012-2016 or so.   The conversations here about AC were borderline comical.   A sizable chunk of the fan base just didn’t like him.  And they didn’t want to hear any argument in favor of him.   A good many who were mildly supportive wanted him moved to RT and to try find a new LT in the draft. 
 

The opinion you see now that you’ve become a member is totally different than it was before.   The perception is much different.  
 

There’s even been a shift in accepting PFF grades as a more reliable source of evaluation.   PFF used to be laughed at here by many.  It still is by some, but far fewer.   Things are night and day different over the last 9 years or so...   

I've lurked for a very long time lol, and have friends who've been on the board for a long time (they're all mainly lurkers). So yes, only a recent poster, but been around for longer.

 

PFF is still laughed at by many. I take PFF with a grain of salt, but IMO, they are directionally correct. Heck, the NFL uses them, so it would be silly to discard.

 

If I'm being honest, early in ACs career I was open to drafting another early T and letting AC and the new guy battle it out for LT, and the other go to RT. Nothing wrong with that. I just wanted two solid tackles, and good depth. 

 

 

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