INDIANAPOLIS — The preseason is now in the books for the NFL's 32 teams, but before completely turning the page to the regular season we must give credit where it is due for those who excelled during the four exhibition games.
Pro Football Focus compiled its 2019 NFL All-Preseason Team based on those who earned their highest grades at each position throughout Hall of Fame Weekend and Weeks 1-4 of the preseason.
Earning the NFL's highest grade at right guard was Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Joe Haeg, who earned a spot on the team's 53-man roster and will now enter his fourth season with the Colts.
"RG JOE HAEG, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Haeg allowed a sack and three hurries in the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, but he rebounded to allow just one hurry on 67 pass-blocking snaps in their final three games. He split time between right tackle and right guard, with 77 of his snaps coming when lined up inside."
PFF gave Haeg a rocky grade in pass protection to begin the preseason against the Buffalo Bills, as he allowed one sack and three quarterback hurries on 42 total snaps. It was, however, Haeg's highest overall grade of the preseason with a 76.8. He was much more consistent over the final three games.
Haeg was credited with one hurry in the second game against the Cleveland Browns, but that was it as far as any pressures go over the remainder of the preseason. He played in 68 total snaps over the final two games, averaging an overall grade of 74.5 against the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals in games 3 and 4, respectively.
Overall in 149 snaps in the preseason (77 at right guard and 72 at right tackle), Haeg earned a grade of 81.1 (79.6 in pass protection and 77.3 in run blocking). He was not called for any penalties.
Haeg was the top-graded offensive lineman in the entire NFL who played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps.
The Colts' offense ranked well over the preseason, finishing seventh overall (339.5 yards per game). They finished third in passing (244.5 yards per game), and third in time of possession (31:51 average). The latter absolutely cannot be accomplished without offensive linemen like Haeg help setting the tone up front and controlling the tempo.
Haeg's pancake block on this touchdown run by Charcandrick West is certainly one way to highlight his impact this preseason:
It is worth noting that the Colts only kept eight offensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster even though they would normally want to shoot for nine or 10. While the depth at other positions played a big factor in this, it's the versatility of guys like Haeg, Le'Raven Clark and Josh Andrews that can give the Colts a certain level of confidence in being a man or two short of where they might normally be.
Since being selected by the Colts in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Haeg has seen 1,332 snaps at right tackle, 712 at right guard, 123 at left guard, 81 at left tackle, 57 as an extra inline blocker (big tight end), and 62 at center (in the 2018 preseason).