James Daniels is ESPN's Highest-Ranked Run-Blocking Guard

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James Daniels is ESPN’s Highest-Ranked Run-Blocking Guard

Chicago Bears

After watching Justin Fields unleash his arm talent in last week’s win against the Lions, it would be nice of the Bears to mix it up and put together a package of designed runs at opportune times.

Should Bill Lazor have some plays in mind, it’s worth noting that running behind James Daniels means Fields would be plowing behind football’s best run-blocking guard. Well, at least that’s what Daniels is by ESPN’s gradings.

ESPN uses Run Block Win Rate (RBWR) to track the percentage of plays in which the line held its blocks enough to collectively win on blocking reps. Simple enough, right? In other words, Daniels has a been successful in winning his assignments at a rate of 83 percent. I can dig it. And I’m sure Bears ball carriers feel similarly.

Sometimes advanced metrics can throw us for a loop. There are times these numbers can be hard to comprehend without a glossary. And there are instances in which it can be challenging to apply these stats. But this seems simple enough. Firstly, Daniels’ grade in conjunction with what ESPN is trying to measure with its metric is something that is easy to wrap your mind around. Run block win rate is one of those advanced metrics that is exactly what its name says it is — and that’s neat. Secondly, that the rest of the list looks like it belongs suggests that Daniels is hanging with good company. And thirdly, that Daniels has been consistently grading well by ESPN’s standards is something nice to hang your hat on. Consistency is king.

Seeing Daniels get a strong stamp of approval and co-sign for his run-blocking excellence from ESPN rocks. It’s a big win all around. In one sense, Daniels’ success is a testament to the scouting staff and front office responsible for drafting him. Additionally, Daniels’ development bodes well for the coaches who were guiding forces long the way. But, perhaps most importantly, this is all a testament to Daniels himself. Remember, it was a year ago at this time in which he would suffer a pectoral injury that put him on the shelf for most of 2020.

There hasn’t been much to love when it comes to Bears offensive line play in recent years. But Daniels rocking his assignments is the best news for a home-grown line talent since Kyle Long. Let’s hope he keeps it up and builds from his previous work with this upcoming game against Vegas.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.