Denver Broncos: Evan Mathis Changes Everything


While all the buzz was about a 35-year-old backup quarterback that was signed in Pittsburgh yesterday, the Denver Broncos may have gotten the steal of this free agency season in signing left guard Evan Mathis.

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According to Pro Football Focus Mathis’ PFF rating is 92.9 overall, which is the best rating for any guard in football and fourth highest overall of all players in the NFL. He also checks in as the ninth-best pass blocker as well.

Mathis will supplant the rookie fourth-round pick out of Florida Max Garcia at LG, who through two preseason games had a PFF grade of .1. Yes, that’s a “.”

Not a bad upgrade.

With the tackle positions secured, Louis Vasquez will be able to move back to his natural position of right guard (played RT in 2014 out of necessity) where he was rated as the best in the NFL in 2013; meaning the Broncos will likely feature the best guard pairing in all of football. 

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The left side of the line from LT to C has been manned by guys who hadn’t taken a snap at their position in the NFL before the Mathis signing, with Garcia by far displaying the most struggles with consistency.

With Mathis anchoring that side of the line Broncos running backs will be free to run to both sides of the line with confidence which is something they were not able to do the last few seasons. In fact, according to PFF, C.J. Anderson averaged 1.7 yards-before-contact last season when running to the left as opposed to the 2.7 average he had while targeting the right side of the line.

Further, Peyton Manning will be afforded time to throw that he simply hasn’t had in years which means more big plays down the field for Denver.

From an offensive strategy and effectiveness standpoint, the signing of Mathis literally changes everything for this Broncos squad as they seek to attain that elusive Lombardi trophy in 2015.

Will Reeve is a contributing writer to NFL Spin Zone, you can follow him on Twitter @WillReeveJr or connect with him on Facebook here.

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