Finally, after going defense with their first 3 picks, the Colts beefed up their Offensive Line by taking Tennessee OG Jacques McClendon. McClendon is a monster, standing 6'2", and weighing 305, he fits right in with the other OL moves made this offseason by Bill Polian. He also will be the proud owner of a Masters Degree in Sports Management in a few weeks. I bet he understands the Winning Stats quite well.
McClendon, in four years, didn't see the field in only 2 games, which is pretty outstanding. Contributing as a freshman gives me hope he can do the same next year for the Colts. He was a starter in 26/49 games, including all 13 last season. For a lineman, there aren't many more stats than that...
Except for the reason (I think) he was drafted by the Colts: He's an experienced run blocker, who needs to learn how to pass protect. How about we look at how well Tennessee did in 3rd and short (1-3) runs? Interior Lineman are critical to converting these, so a good success rate can show how well the C/OG played:
Now, I apologize for looking at this kind of in a vacuum, as I don't have to time to go through other SEC teams and see how well they did in these situations. What I do know is the NFL average in 2008 was right around 66.7%, so it's higher than that. I'm thinking 70% is pretty good in the college game as well. They did pretty well against Alabama, who had a 2nd round Draft pick at DT (Cody), and a MLB who was picked in the Top 10.
Here's what NFLDraftScout had to say about his run blocking:
Unsung hero and steady performer at right guard who helped lead way for UT rushing attack
Now, clearly McClendon isn't the sole reason for the success of Tennessee's short yardage rushing attack, but it gives us a good idea as to what McClendon can do. For those of you clamoring for better short yardage rushing (raises hand), McClendon might just be the needed upgrade the Colts need.