Originally Posted by Kaylore
People are going to hate me for saying this, but Manning makes his line better than they are. That's why I'd be for tagging Clady, looking for a LT in the draft, and then if we can find one, trading him. The Rookie would play better under Manning and we'd potentially get a kings ransom for him.
Manning does make the line look better than most other QBs would, there is no question or doubt about that. We saw what happened when we went from Cutler, who is mobile and can move in the pocket, to Orton - the same offensive line suddenly gave up about twice as many sacks, the QB is hugely important to how your offensive line plays.
The reason I don't like your trading idea is that getting a LT in draft who can actually start from day 1 and not be thouroughly abused is not a sure thing.
LTs in 1st round of the draft:
2005: Alex Barron (bust), Jammal Brown (few good seasons)
2006: D'brickashaw Ferguson (starter quality)
2007: Joe Thomas (all-pro), Levi Brown (bust), Joe Staley (barely starter quality)
2008: Jake Long (starter quality), Ryan Clady, Chris Williams (bust), Branden Albert (starter quality), Gosder Cherilus (bust), Jeff Otah (barely starter quality), Sam Baker (starter quality), Duane Brown (2 good seasons, 2 horrible seasons)
2009: Jason Smith (bust), Andre Smith (starter quality), Eugene Monroe (barely starter quality), Michael Oher (starter quality)
I count 4 players on that list who did well as rookies, Long, Clady, Thomas and Ferguson. Of the rest who did not turn out be outright busts, the first 2 or 3 years were typically less than spectacular, this includes players like Albert, Andre Smith, Duane Brown, Sam Baker.
Wether we want to or not, Peyton is not going to stick around for long and if we put a rookie LT on the line, that time may be even shorter. We have to play to win right now, this year, next year and potentially 2014 are going to be our window - and I would feel a lot better about that window if it was being guarded on the blindside by Ryan Clady than someone like Jake Matthews.