Chiefs Roster Evaluation: Branden Albert

We continue our evaluation of the Kansas City Chiefs roster by going back to the offensive line to take a look at LT Branden Albert.

We already discussed RT Barry Richardson and the general consensus seemed to be that he was an ascending backup. While Richardson wasn’t terrible in 2010 (remember Damien McSack or Sackintosh as he was sometimes called?)he wasn’t great either.

If Richardson does turn out to be backup material that would mean the Chiefs need a starting RT, right?

Not so fast. Before we can answer that we need to decide if the Chiefs need a LT.

Yes, the Branden Albert LT debate rears it’s ugly head once again. Is Branden Albert making the grade?

In my opinion, if Albert is going to be the guy, he should have shown us that in 2010. It was his third year as a starter and year three is usually the time when most players start hitting their stride.

After the jump, we’ll use the Pro Football Focus grading system to break down Albert’s season. PFF graded Albert on every play of every game and they likely offer the best evaluation of his performance outside of Arrowhead Stadium.

The Numbers:

Penalties: 9

QB Hits: 7

QB Sacks: 11

QB Pressures: 23

Grades:

Run Blocking: +4.5

Pass Blocking: -9.9

Overall: -7.8

Before we get to the verdict, I have to talk a little bit about Albert’s grades. The grades and the evaluations are based on all the games the player played, including the Baltimore game. Albert’s final regular season grade was -8.4 and he upped it somewhat to -7.8 with his performance in the Ravens game., which was slightly above average. (+0.6).

Albert’s grade was hurt because he had one, absolutely horrendous game. Against the Oakland Raiders the second time around, Albert was graded at a season worst -9.8. By comparison, his next lowest grade was -4.1 against the 49ers.

Albert’s Raiders game hurt his score so bad that had it not occurred at all, he would have finished the season with a grade of +1.4, which would be considered just slightly above average.

Another interesting note is that Albert seemed so trail off drastically at the end of the year. Take a look at his season grades in whole:

1 SD @ KC

-0.9

2 KC @ CL

1.8

3 SF @ KC

-4.1

5 KC @ IND

-1.0

6 KC @ HST

1.1

7 JAX @ KC

1.9

8 BUF @ KC

-0.4

9 KC @ OAK

-0.1

10 KC @ DEN

3.2

11 ARZ @ KC

0.0

13 DEN @ KC

4.0

14 KC @ SD

-2.3

15 KC @ SL

-3.6

16 TEN @ KC

3.1

17 OAK @ KC

-9.8

WC BLT @ KC

0.6

Albert was fairly consistent all year until that stretch. Other than a stinker against the 49ers, he had been pretty decent. Seeing something like that makes me wonder if he was suffering from some sort of injury. Still, if that was the case how did he have such a strong game against the Titans? If he aggravated the injury vs. the Raiders, how did he do a decent job the following week against the Ravens?

At this point you have to ask yourself if the Raiders game was just an aberration for Albert or is it merely an example of how inconsistent he is? The Chiefs have to be asking themselves the same questions as April approaches.

The Verdict:

I am declaring Albert an ascending starter…at right tackle.

It’s been three years and looking at Albert’s grades from this year have me concerned. He performed pretty well against Robert Mathis and the Colts and obviously dominated in both Broncos games but then put up stinkers against the 49ers, Chargers and Raiders.

I don’t think Albert is a bad player but I don’t think he is a great one either. He seems to be a really inconsistent LT and his lows tend to be lower than his highs. If the Chiefs were to acquire a Joe Thomas or Jake Long type LT in the draft, they could move Albert over to the right side where he would probably be a pretty good RT.

There is still a chance Albert could develop a little more into a better LT and he is certainly serviceable enough to hold down the position for another year if the Chiefs want to put off drafting a LT but his inconsistency and poor pass blocking make him look like a better fit at RT to me.

What do you think Addicts? Is Albert good enough at LT or should the Chiefs look into replacing him?

Chiefs Roster Evaluation:

Jovan Belcher

Barry Richardson

Kendrick Lewis

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