Let me just start this off by saying Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews know far more about offensive lines than any of us ever will. They know what to look for and what traits to steer clear of. Many people were throwing a fit about us not taking DeCastro, or Zeitler in the first or Konz in the second. I think the Titans realize they can find excellent offensive lineman in later rounds like most of the other teams in the NFL. Stats after the jump.
The average draft pick of offensive lines in the NFL is 3.8 or the 121st pick in the NFL. Many of the top lines in the NFL have lines with an average 5th round draft picks. Here is a list of the highest standing teams of 2011 with their average draft position of starting Offensive lineman.
1. Green Bay Packers: 4.2
2. New England Patriots: 4
3. New Orleans Saints: 5.6
4. San Francisco 49ers: 2.2
5. Baltimore Ravens: 2.4
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3.4
7. Atlanta Falcons: 5.4
8. Detroit Lions: 2.2
9. Houston Texans: 4.2
10. Cincinnati Bengals: 4.6
11. New York Giants: 2.8
12. Tennessee Titans: 4.4
The average draft pick of the top 12 teams in the league (The teams in the list above) is 3.78. Otherwise known as the 121st pick.
Here is a list of the top 5 rushing teams with average draft pick:
1. Denver Broncos: 2.6
2. Houston Texans: 4.2
3. Carolina Panthers: 3.8
4: Minnesota Vikings: 4.6
5. Philadelphia Eagles: 4.4
Average draft pick of these teams is 3.92 also known as the 125th pick of the draft.
List of the teams that gave up the most sacks with average draft position:
1. St. Louis Rams (55 Sacks) : 6.6
2. Arizona Cardinals (54 Sacks) : 4.8
3. Miami Dolphins (52 Sacks): 1.4
4. Seattle Seahawks (50 Sacks): 3
5. Minnesota Vikings (49 Sacks: 4.6
Average Draft position: 4.08 or the 130th draft pick.
Obviously sacks can't be placed 100% on the offensive line, but they are a very big part of it. Statistically there is very little difference between the 130th pick and the 121st. The quarterbacks for this group generally held the ball too long or scrambled causing an inflated sack number.
List of teams that gave up the fewest sacks with average draft position:
1. Buffalo Bills (23 Sacks): 3.6
2. Tennessee Titans (24 Sacks): 4.4
3. New Orleans Saints (24 Sacks): 5.6
4. Cincinnati Bengals (25 Sacks): 4.6
5. Oakland Raiders (25 Sacks): 2.6
Average Draft Position: 4.16 or the 133rd draft pick.
Once again, sacks cannot be placed 100% on the offensive line. The quarterbacks for these teams generally got the ball out on time which will reduce the number of sacks taken.
What I can draw from these numbers is that we are better off taking lineman in later rounds. Sure we may pass on a few "plug and play" prospects such as DeCastro or Zeitler, but we get other great players such as Kendall Wright and Zach Brown. So i know Zach Brown hasn't shown much yet, but he still has time to prove us wrong.
All in all, I agree with the Titans not taking offensive lineman in the first few rounds, but i definitely think we should have addressed the line with players later in the draft.
References: NFL.com for standings and stats
http://www.bgobsession.com/blog.php?b=383 for average draft position per team