Saturday, January 16, 2021

What chance Marcus Gilbert makes impact in 2020?

Acquired in the 2019 offseason for a sixth-round pick int he 2019 draft, Marcus Gilbert suffered a season-ending knee injury before playing a single down in anger. The injury means Gilbert has now missed 39 games since he last completed a full season in 2015 for the Steelers.

With the Cardinals almost certainly addressing the offensive line early in the draft, Marcus Gilbert has put pen to paper on a 1-year $1.050 million contract with just $150,000 in guaranteed money. That’s a big step down from the 5-year $30 million deal he signed with the Steelers in 2014. But can Gilbert get back to being that player?

Marcus Gilbert managed just 64 preseason snaps

Marcus Gilbert played in three preseason games in2019 before getting injured
Marcus Gilbert played in three preseason games in2019 before getting injured

In his eight years with the Steelers Gilbert allowed a total of 176 pressures in 3,395 pass-block snaps. That’s an average of 1 pressure every 19.3 snaps. If we compare that to last year’s starter Justin Murray who averaged 21.48 snaps per pressure we see that Gilbert doesn’t really offer an improvement.

While his experience is definitely a plus for the inexperienced Cards, it would seem that Justin Murray has already passed the oft-injured Gilbert in terms of protecting Kyler Murray. Where Gilbert could offer some value would be if he, or Justin Murray, were to slide inside and replace Sweezy at RG.

Offensive line has been a huge issue for Arizona for a few years now, and Kyler Murray hit the deck a league-high 48 times. That can not be allowed to continue, or Murray will eventually break. If there is a world in which Marcus Gilbert can stay healthy for 2020, whether as depth, or as an option to strengthen the LT, or guard spots it is right to pursue it.

With such little money on the line, Marcus Gilbert is definitely worth a look.

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