What if…? This LA Rams IOL shockingly opts for free agency?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
LA Rams news Rams Roster Rams Free Agency Coleman Shelton
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Can’t argue with the results

The trouble with assessing any NFL offensive lineman as an individual is limited on two fronts. Despite advances in technology, offensive linemen do their best work away from the football. That negates the ability of that football-embedded data chip from generating any meaningful data about offensive linemen. Data about quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers in plentiful now. But there is no data stream created for the guys in the trenches.

And so, it falls to analog visual observation. But even that has its limits. The challenge is understanding how the play should evolve versus how it does evolve. In many cases, offensive linemen who do the bare minimum get better grades simply because they do not extend themselves on plays.  How can that be misinterpreted by data analysts?

Must Read. LA Rams Draft: Top 50 Rams Big Board for 2023 NFL Draft. light

Let’s run a scenario

It’s quite easy to do unless you factor in the results of the game. When you look at how the Rams’ offense seems to gel with Coleman Shelton under center, the Rams’ offense is far more balanced. In fact, over the past two seasons, the Rams have enjoyed 100+ yards rushing by a single running back just five times. It’s no coincidence that the offensive center in all five games was Coleman Shelton:

But what to do with his Pro Football Focus grade in 2022 of just 58.0? Well, one of the greatest weaknesses of that scoring system is the fact that it relies upon the frequency and ignores effectiveness. What do I mean? When a quarterback throws a pass, DB Taylor Rapp is not penalized for playing out of position. In fact, he is not graded for his error. Instead, the site grades the completion on the nearest defensive back, or in this case Jalen Ramsey, because he was the nearest defender.