Chicago Bears offensive line dominates in PFF grades
Pro Football Focus rated three Chicago Bears offensive lineman as elite run blockers
Pro Football Focus graded the top five offensive lineman at each position when it comes to run blocking. At tackle, guard, and center, the Chicago Bears had a player crack the elite top 5.
At tackle, Charles Leno:
"Leno earned a career-high 80.4 overall grade this past season, ranking 15th among qualifiers. He also recorded a 12.4 run-block success percentage in 2017, which was also a career-high for the four-year veteran and ranked tied for fourth among offensive tackles with 150 run-block snaps"
At Guard, Kyle Long:
"Long recorded a 16.7 run-block percentage in 2017, which stood 2.8 percentage points above his career average. He also earned a 76.6 run-block grade, which ranked 20th among qualifying guards.Injuries have cost Long the majority of the past two seasons, but his play when healthy is up there with the best offensive linemen in the league."
And at Center, Cody Whitehair:
"Whitehair ranked fifth in run-block grade (81.8) and fourth in run-block success percentage (17.6) in 2017, keeping pace with his high marks from a year ago. The second-year Kansas State product did take a major step back in pass protection, as evidenced by his 39.4 pass-block grade, in Year 2 of his NFL career, but if he can return to his rookie form in that regard, he’ll be back on track as one of the league’s top young centers"
Leno gets ragged on a lot by fans but gets praised an awful lot by the media and organization members. His signing was widely looked at as a savvy one, and his play appears to be backing it up. He may be the teams best kept secret.
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We all know what Long can do when healthy, talent has never been the issue. And while Whitehair did have some struggles last season, those did mostly come from snapping the football and pass protection. It is no surprise to see either of those two cracking a run blocking list.
This plays into the idea that while many fantasy prognosticators seem to be finding reasons to stay away from Jordan Howard that we are still going to be buying into Jordan Howard. James Daniels is a better run blocker at this point in his career than Josh Sitton,
On top of that is the addition of Harry Hiestand to this group. If Charles Leno is underrated now, lets see what he is when Hiestand gets his hands on him. He could not only improve as a run blocker but also find a way to become a more well rounded overall blocker.
The Chicago Bears are going to be in a great position to spread teams out and run the football next season. It could be good for all of the lineman involved and Howard as well.