Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The metrics and ranking gurus at Pro Football Focus are at it again, ranking the different NFL offensive lines. And there is no doubt with regard to the Raiders, they were paying attention.
First off, the Raiders offensive line wasn't the worst. This despite Carson Palmer having among the least amount of time in the pocket in the NFL. In that area, they were ranked 19in pass blocking and 23in penetration. Run blocking was much lower, coming in at 29.
These individual rankings had the Raiders offensive line land at 24. Not good to be certain (no one in their right mind would have thought better), but it was not quite as terrible as one might expect.
Where PFF really hits the nail on the head is their explanation of the Raiders linemen. Here is what they had to say:
Stud: There is but one stud on this line, and his name is Jared Veldheer (+22.2). Emerging as one of the better left tackles in the league, he's not quite lockdown yet, but he's pretty close.
Dud: From the first snap Willie Smith (-19.0) was on the field he looked like a guy who was going to have trouble with speed rushers. And so it proved. He made Khalif Barnes look like a world-beater by comparison.
Summary: The zone blocking scheme was a huge failure, and once again it feels like this unit is starting from scratch. Mike Brisiel looked like an ill-advised signing for a team short on funds and so it proved, meaning only Veldheer and Stefen Wisniewski are guys you can count on heading into 2013.
To see the PFF rankings and breakdowns of every NFL offensive line, click here.
These descriptions sound so spot on, I feel like I could have written them myself. The only guy not mentioned was Cooper Carlisle and that's because he played well but the team is expected to move on from him next season.