By PFC Draft Writer David Willemssen @DavidWillemssen
Earlier we looked at the playoff success of tackles drafted in the first round, and you can find that here http://www.profootballcentral.com/2013/04/11/left-tackles-high-in-the-draft/ Now we will take a at look at the last 8 super bowl Left Tackles and what round they were drafted. Once again, the left tackle spot is seen as a very prestigious position in the NFL. A lot of general managers, executives, and head coaches use to say that to be a good team you need a top QB, LT, and a pass rusher. Now days we are seeing teams steer more towards QB, Pass Rusher, Cornerback, and Wide Receiver. The other positions on the offensive line have become just as valuable of a position as the left tackle. Yet, in order for a team to have play off victories do they need to spend first round picks on the blind side?
This last year’s super bowl supported two 1st round picks at the left tackle roster spot.
Super Bowl XLVII
Baltimore Ravens- Bryant McKinnie Drafted first round 2002. Was a free agent pick up by the Ravens in 2011 and actually saw limited playing time in 2012 as he was considered to be out of shape. Had a great stretch in the playoffs and won the Super Bowl at the left tackle position.
San Francisco- Joe Staley Drafted in the first round 2007 28th overall.
Super Bowl XLVI
New York Giants- David Diehl Drafted fifth round 2003 draft.
New England Patriots- Matt Lightf Drafted second round 2001 draft.
Super Bowl XLV
Green Bay Packers- Chad Clifton drafted second round 2000 draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Max Starks drafted third round 2004 draft.
Super Bowl XLIV
New Orleans Saints- Jermon Bushrod drafted fourth round 2007 draft.
Indianapolis Colts- Tony Ugoh drafted second round 2007 draft.
Super Bowl XLIII
Pittsburgh Steelers- Marvel Smith second round 2000 draft..
Arizona Cardinals- Levi Brown drafted first round fifth overall 2007 draft.
Super Bowl XLII
New York Giants- David Diehl drafted fifth round 2005 draft.
New England Patriots- Matt Light drafted second round 2001 draft.
Super Bowl XLI
Indianapolis Colts- Tarik Glenn drafted first round 19th overall 1997 draft.
Chicago Bears- John Tait drafted first round 14th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999 draft.
Super Bowl XL
Pittsburgh Steelers- Marvel Smith drafted second round 2000 draft.
Seattle Seahawks- Walter Jones drafted first round 5th overall 1997 draft.
There we have the collection of the last 16 left tackles left tackles in the past 8 super bowls. Of the sixteen there are only six drafted in the first round, while there were six from the second round. If history means anything this shows your chances of reaching the super bowl you do need to spend at least a second round pick on your left tackle. We also saw a good group of tackles come out of the 2007 NFL draft with four of the left tackles being drafted that year.
From both of our findings we see mix results. We had many tackles drafted in the first round and that did not translate to their team winning play offs games, while 6 out of 16 left tackles were drafted in the first round. This shows the days of needing a premier left tackle are still around, but the importance of the rest of the offensive line has grown in recent years due to the transition to a pass happy league. We will be seeing four tackles go in the first round this year and possibly more. Be sure to keep an eye on if they can help their team reach play off success early in their career.