BALTIMORE MD - OCTOBER 24: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Bills lead the Ravens at the half 24-20. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Fred Jackson is entering his fourth year of being a major part of the Buffalo Bills' offensive backfield. (We don't count 2007, where only an injury to Anthony Thomas gave Jackson the opportunity he deserved.) In three years, from 2008 to 2010, the general consensus has been that Jackson has morphed from a terrible pass protector to one of the league's more reliable players in that area.
The folks at Pro Football Focus now have data to corroborate that idea.
Per the latest PFF study, Jackson was the eighth-best pass blocking back in the NFL last season - and if you eliminate two Green Bay fullbacks ahead of him on the list, he was the sixth-best running back. He also had the seventh-highest total of pass blocking snaps amongst backs in the league, giving up just five pressures in 132 snaps.
How far has Jackson come? Even including 2010 data, when Jackson was excellent, he still ranks in the bottom 15 in the league in the same category over a three-year period.