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New Rating Tool for Offensive Lineman - BETA
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

When I was writing my CB Efficiency article I got to thinking about a way in which to score Offensive Lineman. We currently have the Pancake to Sack ratio, but that's never been super satisfying to me, and I assume to many of you. For example, if I have 2 Guards, one who has 100 pancakes but 2 sacks allowed, and another who has 50 pancakes with 1 sack allowed, both have a ratio of 50. But instinctively I feel like I'd rather have the former player as opposed to the latter. Perhaps other GMs are different, but I suspect not.

It made me want to design a better metric. But I'm not sure how to do it. So I started thinking more about what's a sack worth, what's a pancake worth, what's that ratio. Then I started wondering if there's a way to factor in number of plays a lineman is in the game, and how many of those were pass plays and how many this or that...all of which seemed too complicated.

I then decided to work backwards a bit. It may be worth noting at this point I'm reading Moneyball right now and salivating at the way they look at data and think of the game. Not keep in mind, I'm not a math guy so I can't do any regression analysis or computational this or that. What I decided to do was find a formula to help me find an equivalent for a single set of stats. OK, so this is hard to explain, but basically I decided to start with a single set of hypothetical stats - 100 pancakes and 5 sacks for a hypothetical Player A. Having a season with 100 pancakes and 5 sacks seems pretty good to me - a solid season.

So which would I rather have: 100/5 or, say, 70 pancakes and 1 sack? In playing around with this I decided, to me at least, in comparing two hypothetical stats, that 80 pancakes and 2 sacks was about the point where those stats were equal to the 100/5 season. Now this is where you will likely jump in and say, oh I think it's 85/3, or 90/2, or whatever. I'm open to suggestion, but to me this feels about right. Maybe I'd go 80/3, but it's somewhere in there, at least initially. Feel free to offer up your standards - maybe I'm way off.

Anyway, the point of this was to create an equivalency which allowed me to create a formula by which I could put these stats in to show them having about the same value. Basically, it's PANCAKES - (SACKS ALLOWED*6.75). Again, not a math guy so I'm sure there's a much better way to do it. But when I plug my hypo stats in I get for 100/5 a value of 66 and then for 80/2 I get 66.5. No, they're not exact, but it's pretty close and I figure I may tinker with this a bit ( I literally came up with this 30 minutes ago so this all may be stupid shit).

Anyway, I ran the Offensive Tackles thru this metric and here's what I got.

1. Greg Robinson (110 pancakes/2 sacks allowed) - 96.50 Rating
2. Arie Kouandjio (100/2) - 86.50
3. Oliver Zebedee (92/1) - 85.25
4. Austin Laurie (92/1) - 85.25
5. Sammy Fraser (81/0) - 81.00
6. Jake Matthews (107/4) - 80.00
7. Orlando Franklin (91/2) - 77.50
8. Zack Barret (89/2) - 75.50
9. Chad Jamison (71/0) - 71.00
10. David Bakhtiari (77/1) - 70.25

I feel like this looks about right to me. Fraser allowed no sacks, but I think I'd take Laurie's season over his, but not by much. Matthews had lots of pancakes but 4 sacks and I'd call him and Franklin about equal, but maybe advantage Matthews.

For the record, Atlanta's Bo Schneider (57/18) got a Rating of -64.50. No matter what metric you run those stats thru, that's not a good season.

Anyway, thoughts?
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