Originally posted on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 10/5/12

New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans watches play against the Indianapolis Colts at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi on August 26, 2006. The Colts won 27-14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
I was perusing the PFF grades through the first four weeks of the season today and I came across some interesting numbers. Of all the guards in the NFL, Jahri Evans is currently ranked 5th, Ben Grubbs is currently 8th and Carl Nicks is currently ranked 16th. All things being equal, would I prefer to have kept Nicks? Of course. But his loss, at least so far, isn't as pronounced and some would have you believe. Not that PFF is the ultimate measure of performance or a decisive way to theorize how Nicks would have done in a different environment, but it confirms my suspicion that guard play isn't the problem with some the Saints' offensive struggles. Granted, Carl Nicks' run blocking rating come in much higher than Evans/Grubbs, but overall the two Saints' guards grade higher. There is no question Nicks would be a boost to the Saints' running game. The Saints currently average 4.3 yards per carry (vs. 4.9 last season with Nicks in the lineup). By comparison the Bucs averaged 4.2 yards per carry
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