Since week eight the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive line has been performing admirably. The key change has been the addition of undrafted free agent Nick Leverett. His emergence as a stout lineman is starting to have ripple effects across the starting front.
Since being given the nod against Ravens Leverett has been impressive. During this three-game stint, he has seen 227 snaps on the line. Subsequently, he has only allowed two pressures. A single hurry and a hit. That’s an average of 113.5 snaps per quarterback pressure. As a result of his play PFF has him graded at 77.4 good enough for 34th out of all guards.
To put these numbers into comparison Luke Goedeke has allowed 22 pressures over 457 snaps. Unfortunately that’s a pressure per every 20.7 snaps. PFF has ranked him out as 78th with a grade 34.5.
Having An Impact
When one player on an offensive line struggles it tends to bleed over to the other players. They lose confidence in the person next to them and can at times start to struggle too. One player who has performed better with Leverettat his side is Donovan Smith. Per PFF Donovan Smith has graded out as a 77.3 since week eight. During the previous games his grad was an abysmal 59.5. Smith allowed nine pressures in 305 snaps until Leverett’s start. That’s 33.8 snaps per pressure. Since he has allowed five pressures in 227 snaps for an average of 45.4 snaps per pressure. Though all of this is not an impact from Leverett it surely helps that he’s on the line now.
Additionally, Robert Hainsey has seen an uptick in performance as well. Sitting on the right side of Leverett, Hainsey has gone from a 61.1 to a 62.9 PFF grade.
The Run Game
Leonard Fournette has been struggling this year and has not seen much of an impact from Leverett entering the line up. He’s only averaging .1 yards more from the 2.8 he averaged before his start. But the numbers for Rachaad White have seen quite a jump. He’s now at 4.3 yards per carry compared to the 2.4 yards prior. Now some of that is usage and play design but Leverett is also likely having a positive impact as well.
This team has found a cohesive and formidable unit on the front line with Leverett. If they somehow get Ryan Jensen back for the playoffs (assuming he’s back to form) this team may have a top five line to make a run at the Super Bowl.
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