In his four NFL seasons, Vladimir Ducasse has been a fairly polarizing player in the Jets' fanbase. I can understand why. He has incredible athletic ability for a man of his size. When he executes a play, his immense strength and ability to move fluidly jump off the tape. These moments, however, tend to be fleeting. Ducasse has struggled to recognize his assignment quickly enough to execute and gets beaten soundly at a rate up there with any guard in the league.
Vlad started training camp on the bubble to make the roster, but he won the job at starting left guard. His poor play four weeks in gave the Jets little choice but to put him back onto the bench. How bad was Vlad's play? According to Pro Football Focus, Vlad allowed 17 total pressures on 171 pass blocking snaps. Let's put that 9.9% figure into context. I could tell you it is staggering, but let's look at the pace he was one. Let's say Vlad had never been benched and played Brian Winters' 400 pass blocking snaps and add them to the 171 he did play. 9.9% of 571 snaps would have left Vlad responsible for 56 total sacks, hits, and pressures. No guard in the NFL had more than 48 allowed in 2013. Vlad also finished in the top eleven in the league at the guard position in penalties with 6, no small feat since he only played a quarter of the games.
Ducasse is a better run blocker than he is a pass blocker, but I think it would be a stretch to say he excels there. Even if he was a great run blocker, he wasn't making that big of a difference. The Jets ran more effectively with Winters in the lineup. It might not have been about Winters, but it shows you how minimal Vlad's value was in the run game.
I think the selection of Vladimir Ducasse in the second round in 2010 has sadly proven to be a failed experiment. He improved from his rookie year but not nearly enough to contribute in the NFL in any kind of a positive way. I don't really see any future with the Jets for the free agent to be.