Offensive tackles – Combine numbers vs Pro Production

Unlike with defensive linemen where production can be fairly accurately gauged by sack totals, offensive linemen are a little trickier to figure out.  Instead of using statistics to value which offensive linemen have been good, I noted which offensive tackles have made All Pro status and Pro Bowl status.  This in itself is also tricky as left tackles seem to get the nod for those positions more often than right tackles.  Still, I think everyone will agree that the vast majority of the names I’m about to list have been excellent offensive tackles in the NFL.

Here’s the complete list of All Pros from the 2007-2016 NFL seasons.  The first number next to their name is the number of times they were All Pro during these 9 seasons, the second number is the number of Pro Bowl nominations.  It is odd that some players made All Pro but not Pro Bowl, as All Pro tends to be the more respected nomination, so take that into account.

  1. D. Bakhthiari (1/0)
  2. J. Conklin (1/0)
  3. M. Cannon (1/0)
  4. M. Schwartz (1/0)
  5. Tyron Smith (4/2)
  6. J. Thomas (8/9)
  7. A. Whitworth (2/2)
  8. Trent Williams (1/5)
  9. Jason Peters (6/9)
  10. J. Staley (3/3)
  11. D. Brown (2/3)
  12. R. Clady (3/4)
  13. J. Long (2/4)
  14. S. Vollmer (1/0)
  15. M. Roos (2/1)
  16. D. Stewart (1/0)
  17. J. Gross (1/3)
  18. W. Jones (2/2)
  19. D. Diehl (1/1)
  20. M. Light (1/2)

The rest of these players have made Pro Bowls only but not All Pro.

  1. D. Penn (1)
  2. T. Lewan (1)
  3. B. Albert (2)
  4. K. Long (1)
  5. M. Kalil (1)
  6. J. Bushrod (2)
  7. R. Okung (1)
  8. D. Ferguson (3)
  9. T. Clabo (1)
  10. C. Clifton (2)
  11. B. McKinnie (1)
  12. J. Stinchcomb (1)
  13. F. Adams (2)
  14. Jamaal Brown (1)
  15. C. Samuels (2)
  16. J. Ogden (1)
  17. M. McNeill (1)

Now, here are the average test results for offensive tackles at the NFL Scouting combine for all participants.

  • Height: 77 inches (6’5)
  • Weight: 315
  • Arm Length: 33.5 inches
  • Hand Size: 9 and 7/8 inches
  • 40 time: 5.32
  • Bench reps: 25.3
  • Vertical Jump: 27 inches
  • Broad Jump: 102 inches
  • Short Shuttle: 4.8 seconds
  • 3 cone: 7.8 seconds

So how did our All Pros and Pro Bowlers stack up to these average results?  Which drills or measurements were the most important in predicting future pro production?

The most important measurement was actually height.  Only 3 players measured under the average height of 6’5… those players being D. Bakhthiari, Duane Brown and Donald Penn, who each measured in at 6’4.  Not a single player that is 6’3 or shorter has made All Pro or Pro Bowl status as an offensive tackle since at least 2007.  Only slightly less important for measurements was arm length.  I could only find arm length data on 11 of the players, but of those 11 only Kyle Long has below average arm length, and it’s worth noting he has played both guard and tackle.  Hand size seemed much less important, as 3 out of 8 players measured had below average hand size.  Weight was all over the board, as it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be above or below the average weight depending on what the coach wants of their players.

As for the drills themselves, the most important was the 40 yard dash.  Out of our All Pros and Pro bowlers, 30 of them had combine data available in the 40 yard dash.  Of those 30 players, only 2 of them ran a below average 40 time (Tyson Clabo and Mitchell Schwartz).

The second most important drill was vertical jump.  3 out of 25 measured players had a below average vertical jump (B. Albert, M. Schwartz & D. Bakhthiari)

Third was broad jump.  6 out of 24 measured players had a below average broad jump (Bakhthiari, Schwartz, Roos, Diehl, Clabo, McNeill).

Fourth was short shuttle.  7 out of 26 measured players had a below average short shuttle.  (Schwartz, Cannon, J. Thomas, Whitworth, Diehl, Ferguson, McNeill)

Fifth was 3-cone.  10 out of 25 measured players had a below average 3 cone time.

Last, was bench press.  11 out of 26 players had a below average bench press.  Surprising for offensive linemen!

Full results in spreadsheet form are found here




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