2022 Offensive Line Rankings

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This is always a long article and one I enjoy doing every summer. Offensive lines may not get the love and attention of a breakout wide receiver or a stud running back. But they contribute to opening those gaps for your running backs. They keep your stud quarterback upright. These big fellas do their part to pave the way for the most efficient and explosive offenses. So maybe you can take a little solace in a running back running the ball behind an upgraded offensive line. Or you can finally feel better about Russell Wilson finally not having a collection of crash test dummies charged with keeping him on his feet. Opportunities and production pave the way for fantasy football success. But it also doesn’t hurt if your best players have the best protection in front of them. So let’s take a look at all 32 offensive lines as we head into the 2022 season.

 

 

 

1.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 83.2 (5th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 77.6 (5th)

It speaks volumes to the longevity and consistency of this offensive line routinely being ranked atop the NFL’s best in the league. Admittedly, I was a bit mum on them a year ago ranking them just 12th out of all 32 teams entering the 2021 season. Prior to that I had pretty much ranked them in the top five for three straight years. There is a great core here but one that could be aging out in a few seasons, but there are reasons for optimism that they can keep this going. For starters, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are a couple guys that are among the best at their positions. Kelce has been voted to five Pro Bowls and was First-team All-Pro in four of the last five seasons. He logged over 1,000 snaps in 2021 and allowed just one sack. Johnson was coming off an ankle injury in 2020 that really hampered expectations, but he did not disappoint. In over 850 snaps he allowed just 11 pressures and not a single sack. He was named Second-team All-Pro. The biggest surprise was easily Jordan Mailata, who at 6-foot-8, emerged as a surprising developmental piece at left tackle. The 25-year-old Aussie is a converted rugby player who has only been playing American football for a few years, but he’s transitioned rather seamlessly to one of the hardest positions to play in professional sports and the Eagles gave him a four-year contract with $40 million guaranteed last September. There may be concerns with Kelce and Johnson aging out in the next few seasons, but despite that this unit is still set up for stability in the long-term.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Jordan MailataLandon DickersonJason KelceIsaac SeumaloLane Johnson
Andre DillardSua OpetaCam JurgensJack AndersonJack Driscoll
Brett TothJosh Sills William DunkleLe’Raven Clark
   Kayode AwosikaJarrid Williams

This team just doesn’t seem to miss with its offensive line acquisitions. Brandon Brooks retired this past offseason after dealing with injuries the past few seasons, but remember he turned into a Pro Bowl caliber offensive linemen once he left Houston and joined Philadelphia. They even got over a decade out of Jason Peters after acquiring him from the Bills ahead of the 2009 season and he would go on to be named a four-time All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowl player with Philadelphia. He was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010’s. Whether through free agency or drafting this team has more hits than misses for offensive linemen. The big question marks will be at the interior guard positions, but there’s promise. 2021 second-round pick Landon Dickerson struggled at times in his rookie season but made strides and improved as the season went on. He played 925 snaps a year ago and is poised to improve in 2022. Isaac Seumalo looked good when healthy, but his season ended in September with a Lisfranc injury. Assuming the starting five can stay healthy they’re going to be one of the best groups in the league. But I alluded to longevity in the previous section. It’s quite possible that Jason Kelce retires after the 2022 season. It’s not often that a player openly helps a team select his replacement, but that’s exactly what Kelce did in the most recent NFL Draft.

 

 

As much credit as I give to the Eagles producing elite offensive linemen, that hasn’t been the case for Andre Dillard, but there are unknown factors with him. Dillard was a first-round selection back in 2019 presumably to replace Jason Peters. Obviously that hasn’t happened, but he could be a late bloomer. This is a good problem to have. Most teams in the league can’t even field one good offensive tackle, and the Eagles arguably have three and Le’Raven Clark even provides depth and veteran experience as a fourth option on the outside. The Eagles did not pick up Dillard’s fifth-year option so he’s not really in the team’s long-term plans so he’s playing for his next contract.

 

2.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 72.5 (14th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 81.3 (1st)

The run blocking grade from a year ago doesn’t stand out. However, the priority for Tampa Bay is to keep Tom Brady upright and healthy and they excelled in pass protection last season. The Bucs had the great fortune of getting healthy seasons from most of their key contributors on the offensive line. DonoVan Smith, Tristan Wirfs, Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa, and Ryan Jensen all played over 1,000 snaps in the regular season and they allowed just 11 sacks in that span. Smith graded out as the sixth-best offensive tackle in pass protection while Tristan Wirfs was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2021 while also receiving First-team All-Pro recognition. Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet would also join him as Pro Bowlers for the first time in their career. Awfully hard to find a weakness on this offensive line especially when they all stayed healthy for the most part a year ago.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

DonoVan SmithLuke GoedekeRyan JensenShaq MasonTristan Wirfs
Fred JohnsonAaron StinnieRobert HainseyNick LeverettJosh Wells
Brandon WaltonSadarius Hutcherson John MolchonJonathan Hubbard
Dylan CookCurtis Blackwell   

Obviously there are two notable losses on the interior portion of the line. Ali Marpet retired which was a little surprising considering he just turned 29 in April and was coming off his first Pro Bowl. Alex Cappa would go on to sign a four-year deal with the Bengals. So there were two pretty big needs at both guard positions. The Bucs went out and traded a fifth-round pick for Shaq Mason reuniting him with Tom Brady from their time together with the New England Patriots. Perhaps the biggest question mark might be Aaron Stinnie who has familiarity with the organization but is coming off an injury a year ago. It’s possible he could earn the starting left guard position, but I’m going to slot in Luke Goedeke as the starter since the Bucs used a second-round pick on him in April’s draft. It shapes up to be another solid year for Tampa’s offensive line and they’ll play a big role in another postseason run for Tom Brady.

UPDATE: While it hasn't been confirmed, it looks like Ryan Jensen suffered a season-ending knee injury early in training camp. This is awful news for an offensive line already dealing with plenty of turnover on the interior portion of the line. Internally the option is to get Robert Hainsey reps at Center. Externally there are free agent options like J.C. Tretter and Matt Paradis still available.

 

3.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 85.6 (T-3rd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 76.9 (T-6th)

After the Kansas City Chiefs’ lack of depth was exposed in the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay, the organization made it a priority to improve the protection for Patrick Mahomes. They easily boasted a top five unit in the league and that’s with some deficiencies on the right side of the line. Ahead of the 2021 season the Chiefs gave a hefty contract to former New England Patriot, Joe Thuney, and he proved to be worth every penny. According to Pro Football Focus, Thuney allowed 17 pressures all season, allowed just one sack, and recorded the highest pass blocking grade among all qualified offensive linemen (baking in the playoff games as well). Another key addition was Orlando Brown Jr. who cost the Chiefs multiple draft picks including a first rounder. Brown is a commodity in the sense that he’s stayed relatively healthy through his first four years in the league. Mixing in Kansas City’s playoff run last year, Brown played over 1,300 snaps. However, he did have his struggles at times. Was he awful? Not at all. But in 2019 and 2020 he allowed a combined 49 pressures and six sacks with the Ravens. In his first season with the Chiefs he allowed 45 pressures and six sacks. What changed? Back in May, PFF published a great article essentially tiering offensive tackles and added this nugget on Brown’s transition: “Brown’s success in pass protection with the Ravens came with the caveat that defenses have to alter how they rush the passer against Lamar Jackson, as pass-rushers are often tasked with containing Jackson rather than flushing him from the pocket.” Brown is currently set to play the 2022 season on the franchise tag with a fully guaranteed $16 million salary, but extension talks were stalled for the longest time because Brown didn’t have an agent until early June. Now the teams have until July 15 to work out a potential extension. 

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Orlando Brown Jr.Joe ThuneyCreed HumphreyTrey SmithAndrew Wylie
Geron ChristianNick AllegrettiAustin ReiterChris GlaserLucas Niang
Prince Tega WanoghoMike Caliendo Vitally GurmanDarian Kinnard
    Roderick Johnson

This depth chart is courtesy of OurLads and it’s been a hot minute since it’s been updated. One aspect of this depth chart that I disagree with is Wylie over Niang. When healthy and available, Niang looked pretty good last season in 11 games and 524 snaps, Niang allowed 26 pressures and two sacks, but he was hobbled with shoulder and rib injuries before a torn patellar injury ended his season. His health heading into training camp is one to monitor because it could open the door for Wylie and rookie Darian Kinnard to compete for the starting right tackle job. But honestly that’s about the only concern the Chiefs have heading into 2022. The left side of the line is solid and not a concern. Creed Humphrey was an absolute revelation in his rookie season allowing just a dozen pressures and three sacks in the regular and postseason combined while playing almost 1,400 snaps. Both Humphrey and Trey Smith enter their second season in the league with high expectations, but both can certainly improve even further. Like I said, the lone concern is right tackle, but the Chiefs have options and it isn’t a drastic concern as of right now.

 

4.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 85.6 (T-3rd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 70.3 (11th)

The narrative for the Brown offensive line in 2021 was simple, injuries at the exterior cost them and contributed to a poor season based on their standards from 2020. Jedrick Wills missed six games while Jack Conklin missed ten. It’s not a recipe for success when your 2020 first-round left tackle and prized free agent right tackle both miss significant portions of the season but that’s the hand the Browns were dealt and they certainly struggled on the outside. Cleveland gave up 49 sacks last year and 14 of them were credited to the tackle position. The interior was perfectly fine to no surprise. Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter, and Wyatt Teller all played over 1,000 snaps each and combined for 51 total pressures allowed and seven sacks. Teller did allow four sacks which isn’t great from an interior guard, but he still posted a respectable pass protection grade (70.4) and compensated for any deficiencies with his run blocking (88.4, which was 14th among all offensive linemen in the NFL). Bitonio was named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl in 2021 and he was also First-team All-Pro while Tretter was named to his first Pro Bowl and he made Second-team All-Pro for the second straight season.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Jedrick Wills Jr.Joel BitonioNick HarrisWyatt TellerJack Conklin
Chris HubbardMichael DunnEthan PocicBlake HanceJames Hudson III
Alex TaylorHjalte FroholdtBrock HoffmanDawson DeatonElijah Nkansah
 Drew Forbes David MooreBen Petrula

The big loss in the offseason was Cleveland releasing Tretter with just one year left on his deal. It seemed a bit shocking for a fairly under-appreciated talent who was healthy for most of last year. However, there are some rumors that Tretter historically isn’t as healthy as it appears. Regardless of whether he was only able to suit up on gameday, it would be stunning if there wasn’t a team that took a shot on him prior to the start of the season. Tretter is the NFLPA President so I’m sure there are plenty of players around the league that can sway their GM’s into giving Tretter an opportunity. So in his place, the Browns will turn to Nick Harris, a 2020 fifth-round pick who has also dealt with his own share of injuries. In the one game he did appear last season in Tretter’s place he didn’t allow a single sack or pressure. Is there potential? Sure, but he’s largely unproven and has had stints on IR in each of his first two years in the league. On paper, this is arguably one of the best units in football when healthy. But there are concerns regarding Conklin’s status heading into the 2022 season. He’s recovering from a torn patellar tendon but reports from OTA’s suggest his recovery is on time. I might be a little bullish with this ranking, and it’s not without risk, but there is talent on this line and whoever plays quarterback for the Browns this season will have the luxury of staying upright if the trench dwellers stay healthy.

 

5.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 87.7 (1st)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 80.0 (3rd)

Death. Taxes. And the Dallas Cowboys routinely having a great offensive line. It feels like it’s been forever since Dallas has been ranked poorly in any offensive line rankings and last year gave us no reason to think they could be slowing down at any point. Every year when I start compiling this article and rankings I almost routinely start with Dallas. Why? Well for starters it’s always easy to write about the best and worst offensive lines. Praise and constructive criticism are easy in my opinion. But the Cowboys are just consistently near the top year in and year out. Zack Martin was stellar once again last year. He logged 1,100 in 16 games (he missed week one) but allowed just 19 total pressures and one sack. His 88.7 pass protection grade ranked second among qualified linemen with at least 100 snaps played and he sported the best run blocking grade among all interior linemen. To no surprise he was named to his seventh Pro Bowl and it was the fifth time in his career he was named First-team All-Pro. Tyron Smith ranked second among all tackles with an 88.0 pass protection grade and he was third at the position with a 90.5 run blocking score. He allowed just 11 pressures and two sacks on the outside in 11 games. Despite missing six games he was still named to his eighth Pro Bowl. Among all offensive linemen last year, only three played over 1,200 snaps in the regular season and Tyler Biadasz was the only center in the league to do so. He didn’t put up the performance of Martin or Smith, but the second-year player out of Wisconsin allowed just 21 pressures and zero sacks. A hamstring injury during the 2020 season derailed his rookie campaign but he bounced back last year and looked pretty impressive with the heavy workload. And of course La’el Collins and Connor Williams may not get the accolades of Martin and Smith, but both were very solid allowing a combined three sacks in over 1,600 snaps between the two of them.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Tyron SmithTyler SmithTyler BiadaszZack MartinTerence Steele
Matt WaletzkoBraylon JonesMatt FarniokConnor McGovernJosh Ball
Aviante Collins Alec Lindstrom Isaac Alarcon
Amon Simon James Empey  

Obviously the two big names missing are Collins and Williams. At this point for Dallas, with so much talent on the team it is a bit difficult to maintain everybody. Connor Williams left in free agency and signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. Apparently the guy enjoyed not paying a state income tax as he transitions from Texas to Florida. La’el Collins will be discussed in more depth later in this article but he signed a three-year deal with Cincinnati. Obviously those two are pretty significant losses, but not enough to force me to drop them out of the top ten. This team still retains Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin and they used a first-round pick in April’s draft to select Tyler Smith out of Tulsa. Smith projected to be a Day 2 selection, but the Cowboys used their late first-rounder to add him to bolster the offensive line. He’ll likely earn the starting job out of training camp but the move to left guard for his rookie season should hopefully mask any pass blocking deficiencies he showcased in college and he shouldn’t fall into a position where he’s drawing too many penalties. If we trust this coaching staff to develop him on the interior as they did with Biadasz, then the rookie is in good hands and we have little reason to believe Dallas’ offensive line will regress this season.

 

6.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 79.3 (8th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 71.0 (10th)

Year in and year out the Patriots just feel locked in with a top ten offensive line. They have quality up front and they typically have enough depth where they can comfortably rotate different players if in need be. You’ll never see this group get too many accolades like All-Pro or Pro Bowl acknowledgements, but the stability is there. Mac Jones was only sacked 28 times in his rookie campaign, which you can attribute to a run-heavy approach on offense, but Trent Brown, Ted Karras, Shaq Mason, David Andrews, and Isaiah Wynn all had pass protection grades of at least 70.0 according to PFF and even swing-man Michael Onwenu had a 69.8 score. The only concern ahead of the 2022 season is personnel turnover…

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Isaiah WynnCole StrangeDavid AndrewsMichael OnwenuTrent Brown
Justin HerronDrew DesjarlaisJames FerentzChasen HinesAndrew Stueber
Yodny CajusteArlington HambrightDarryl WilliamsWill ShermanYasir Durant
  Kody Russey  

Obviously there are two big pieces missing from last season: Shaq Mason and Ted Karras. For the second time in his career Karras left the Patriots in free agency and signed a three-year deal with Cincinnati while Shaq Mason was traded to Tampa Bay for a fifth-round draft pick re-uniting him with Tom Brady. Those two losses are definitely tough to stomach. However, this means the team has an opportunity to find Onwenu a full-time starting position and they used their first-round pick on Cole Strange out of Chattanooga. A bit of a head scratcher? Absolutely. All reports about Strange’s athleticism and work ethic check the box. However, the NFL will be a steep increase in talent and competition from what he faced in college. If Strange does struggle early on, then they can pivot to James Ferentz who can play guard or center. Getting another strong performance from this unit will be vital to Mac Jones’ continued development.

 

7.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 66.8 (20th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 65.3 (19th)

Once again, I’m quite high on the Detroit Lions offensive line heading into the 2022 season. Admittedly, I was probably too high on them a year ago. Based on the additions they made in 2021, I ranked them as the fifth-best offensive line in the league and was quite bullish on them. Perhaps I was a year too early because plenty of other fantasy football sites list the Lions as a top ten offensive line ahead of the 2022 season. The important thing to take away from the 2021 performance of this group is that they gradually got better and finished the season very well. Taylor Decker missed almost half the season after undergoing surgery on his finger. In his place, Matt Nelson really struggled with 41 pressures allowed in just 13 games. But once Decker did return he regained his elite form. 2021 first-round pick, Penei Sewell, struggled a bit early on but found his form at right tackle while Decker was out. Sewell logged over 1,000 snaps but allowed 35 pressures and five sacks in his rookie campaign. Ragnow had a disappointing 2021 season but it wasn’t for lack of effort. He only appeared in four games a year ago but finished the season on IR with a toe injury. When healthy, Ragnow plays as one of the best centers in the game evidenced by his 2020 Pro Bowl and Second-team All-Pro recognition that year as well.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Taylor DeckerJonah JacksonFrank RagnowHalapoulivaati VaitaiPenei Sewell
Dan SkipperLogan StenbergEvan BrownTommy KraemerMatt Nelson
 Zein ObeidRyan McCollumKevin JarvisObinna Eze

No big offseason acquisitions this year. But also no big losses. They’re returning the core members of the offensive line, but don’t have the greatest depth. If there’s a weakness here that’s likely it. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was a big acquisition from the Eagles and provides stability on the interior. And as mentioned previously Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker should be healthy and ready to contribute at an elite level. Sewell should make more strides heading into his second season, but he finished 2021 well. The guy is an absolute machine. Below is one of my favorite highlights of Sewell from last season…

He just blocks two guys with ease, making it look effortless. And he did that as a rookie. He is a force to be reckoned with and the Lions feel so confident in the offensive line, there was little-to-no-need to address it in this year’s draft. They were able to use to first round picks to make flashy selections of Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams instead. The Lions likely won’t make significant noise this season, but the offensive line should be one of the stronger units across the league assuming they’re more healthy than last year.

 

8.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 87.3 (2nd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 76.9 (T-6th)

Any offensive line with Trent Williams is automatically going to find itself in the top 12. That’s the impact he has just by himself. He’s phenomenal and otherworldly. Easily the best tackle in the NFL today and the Commanders are dimwits for not paying him. Their loss has been San Francisco’s gain. This highlight below is just one of the many ways the 49ers endeavor to get the most out of their prize left tackle…

He’s an absolute problem for opposing defensive lines. Pro Football Focus gave him an offensive grade of 98.3 for the entirety of the 2022 season, the highest score ever given to an offensive lineman. He missed a couple games, but in 936 snaps he allowed just 16 pressures and one sack. Over his last four seasons (he held out in 2019) he has allowed a total of six sacks and 82 total pressures. He’s an absolute animal and it should be a crime that he was only ranked 42nd on the NFL’s Top 100 Players list for 2021. The rest of the offensive line performed pretty well even through an injury to Mike McGlinchey. Tom Compton filled in very well and graded as one of the best run blockers in the NFL last season. 

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Trent WilliamsAaron BanksJake BrendelDaniel BrunskillMike McGlinchey
Colton McKivitzSpencer BurfordDaniel BrunskilllJaylon MooreNick Zakelj
Sam SchlueterJason PoeDohnovan WestKeaton SutherlandJustin Skule
    Alfredo Gutierrez

Obviously there are some significant absences from where we were at a year ago with San Francisco so I had to give them a slight downgrade. But the presence on the outside with McGlinchey and Williams still make them one of the best tackle tandems in the league. But Alex Mack retired after seemingly playing wherever Kyle Shanahan went. Hats off to Mack, he had himself a Hall of Fame caliber career. Laken Tomlinson is a pretty significant loss for San Francisco. He signed a three-year deal with the Jets. Tom Compton went on to sign a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos. That guy seems to bounce around quite a bit. Denver marks his sixth different team dating back to 2016. Maybe he has a thing for one-year contracts? Either way, there are some uncertainties on the interior. Daniel Brunskill is a veteran that can swing to center if they need him to. Aaron Banks will be asked to do a little more. The 2021 second-round pick for San Francisco only appeared in one game last year but it sounds like he’s been focusing on a healthier diet and his physical health has improved heading into 2022. 2022 fourth-round pick Spencer Burford will likely serve as the a “sixth man” in the offensive line rotation but he’ll need to learn to finish his blocks to sustain a starting job in his rookie season. I feel comfortable in this ranking, but I am skeptical the interior of this line could knock them down a bit as the season plays out.

 

9.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 75.6 (12th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 67.3 (17th)

The Chargers have invested heavily in the offensive line the past couple years and it really paid off last year. The Bolts seem to be plagued with injuries year in and year out, but they got a stroke of good luck a year ago. Were they perfect across the board? No, but there were some impressive standouts in 2021. As a rookie, 2021 first-round pick Rashawn Slater, was named Second-team All-Pro and went to his first Pro Bowl. He played over 1,100 snaps and allowed just 26 pressures and four sacks. He was a big reason why Justin Herbert was sacked on just 4.4% of his pass attempts. Fresh off being named First-team All-Pro in 2020 with the Green Bay Packers, Corey Linsley came over via free agency and in his debut season with the Bolts he was named to his first Pro Bowl and was Second-team All-Pro with Slater. Linsley played 1,076 snaps and allowed just TEN total pressures and zero sacks. He was arguably the best Center in the league a year ago. They received sustainable play from Matt Feiler and Michael Schofield at both Guard spots, while there’s room for improvement for Storm Norton who played over 1,000 snaps but allowed 60 pressures and nine sacks.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Rashawn SlaterMatt FeilerCorey LinsleyZion JohnsonTrey Pipkins III
Storm NortonJamaree SalyerWill ClappBrenden JaimesFoster Sarell
Andrew TrainerRyan HunterIsaac Weaver Zack Bailey

Bryan Bulaga was a significant whiff by the Chargers, but injuries did him in during his two years in Souther California. “Injuries” and this team seem to go hand in hand. Bulaga missed six games in 2020 and was placed on IR in the middle of September last year. He’s now a free agent and the Bolts added a little depth through the draft. The Chargers used their first-round pick to select Zion Johnson out of Boston College and they used a sixth-round pick on Jamaree Salyer who can play both guard and tackle. Right Tackle is really their only weakness and that could hold them back. Norton and Trey Pipkins III should battle for that job in training camp so it’s worth watching. Jamaree Salyer is a massive asset that could also land a starting job at some point. Just look what he did against second overall pick, Aidan Hutchinson in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal…

Now Hutchinson is a bit off balance, but it’s the size in comparison to Hutchinson that has me feeling like the Chargers may have found a potential gem in the sixth round. He is a bit raw in terms of mechanics. A lot of scouts took issue with him leading with his head rather than his hands. He also lacks flexibility and doesn’t possess great lateral movement. But he’s well worth the sixth-round price tag. The left side of the line should hold their own, but the right side could have some growing pains if the Chargers opt to go with two rookies.

 

10.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 76.1 (11th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 81.2 (2nd)

The Rams were great as an offensive line across the board in 2021. It was a big reason they were able to go on to win the Super Bowl although I’m not entirely convinced anybody in Southern California noticed. It was a great way to send Andrew Whitworth into retirement though. I honestly thought his career was over in November 2020 when he tore his MCL and damaged his PCL. Less than two months later he was playing in the Rams’ playoff game. Flash forward to the 2021 season and Big Whit was named the NFL’s Man of the Year and he won a Super Bowl in his final season. All in all he was a three-time All-Pro left tackle and a four-time Pro Bowler. Future Hall of Famer is easily in his future and he’ll be a tough player to replace in the locker room as well. When you consider the Rams play in the NFC West and against some fierce pass rushes, you can give Rob Havenstein a free pass at right tackle where he allowed seven sacks and 26 pressures over 957 snaps. Hell, even Whitworth allowed five sacks last year, but he still played at an elite level after turning 40 in December. The interior stayed relatively healthy with Brian Allen, David Edwards, and Austin Corbett collectively playing over 3,000 snaps in the regular season. Were they great? Not really, but they were certainly above average as the Rams graded out among the top ten O-lines a year ago.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Joe NoteboomDavid EdwardsBrian AllenLogan BrussRob Havenstein
AJ JacksonTremayne Anchrum Jr.Coleman SheltonBobby EvansAJ Arcuri
Max PircherJeremiah Kolone Chandler BrewerAdrian Ealy
 Jack Snyder   

Solid, but unspectacular. Good, but not great. That’s the outlook. One thing that will cuff the Rams for a few years are the lack of first-round picks, but they’ve still drafted well, developed some of their own players, and used the trade market and free agency. This is an organization in Southern California with a world class stadium. This market can sell itself and they’ll have no issues attracting players aside from paying California’s taxes. As for the offensive line, they should be fine. Edwards, Allen, and Havenstein provide some consistency. The two questions marks will be right guard and left tackle. Joe Noteboom has served as a backup for a few years now. He’s largely untested across a whole season, but he allowed just three pressures and one sack in 176 snaps last regular season. Like I said, very small sample size and he hasn’t been tested. At right guard, the team is likely to see that position battle come down to Logan Bruss and Bobby Evans after Austin Corbett signed with the Panthers in the offseason. Both Bruss and Evans are former third-round selections so that’s a training camp battle to keep an eye on when camps open later this month. Overall, this is like a top-16 group which means they’re better than half the league, but I’m not sold on them being an elite group as a whole.

 

11.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 78.6 (9th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 59.2 (T-23rd)

What Trent Williams is to the tackle position is essentially what Quenton Nelson is to the guard position. He had future Hall of Famer written all over him when he was taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s made the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons. He was First-team All-Pro from 2018-2020 and was Second-team All-Pro last year only because he missed three games. Injuries did pave the way for some of his worst performances last year. He missed three games early in the year and the offensive line suffered without him. But when he did come back he allowed just one sack over the next 13 games. But when he’s at his best he’s quick, strong, has a nasty streak in him, and has some great vision to block up defenders that aren’t even his assignment.

Now the Colts did pick up his fifth-year player option so he’ll make over $13 million this season. But a new contract is looming and it’ll be a storyline worth keeping an eye on. When he does get paid it’s believed that he’ll receive the larger contract for any interior lineman in the history of the league. Pivoting off Nelson, we can turn to Ryan Kelly who made the Pro Bowl for the third straight year and is considered one of the most stable and consistent centers in the league. Eric Fisher did okay on a one-year deal with the Colts. A 61.0 pass protection grade from Pro Football Focus is never worth writing home about and he allowed seven sacks and 41 pressures. That has summed up his career even as a former number one overall pick. Currently it doesn’t appear as if he’ll be returning to the Colts in 2022 as he’s still a free agent.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Matt PryorQuenton NelsonRyan KellyDanny PinterBraden Smith
Bernhard RaimannJason SpriggsWesley FrenchWill FriesDennis Kelly
Ryan Van DemarkJosh Seltzner  Brandon Kemp
Carter O’Donnell   Jordan Murray

The Colts return some necessary familiar faces with Nelson, Kelly, and Smith. Eric Fisher left in free agency and still hasn’t signed anywhere, but the team is entrusting Matt Pryor with the starting left tackle duties. Mark Glowinski also left in free agency so the Colts have a bit of a hole to fill at right guard. The big question marks are going to be left tackle and right guard. Pryor is largely untested but he allowed just eight pressures and zero sacks in over 400 snaps. That’s not terrible, but there are still some concerns. Last year the Colts made it easy for Jonathan Taylor to run all over the rest of the NFL while they struggled in pass protection. With Matt Ryan now entering the revolving door of Colts veteran quarterback replacements, having a question mark at the left tackle position isn’t ideal and it keeps me from considering them a top ten offensive line heading into 2022.

 

12.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 68.4 (17th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 56.9 (25th)

Yes, the Bengals passed on Penei Sewell in favor of Ja’Marr Chase. Did the offensive line suffer? Yes, but even Sewell’s presence wasn’t going to solve all of Cincinnati’s problems and truthfully they might not even make the Super Bowl if they don’t take Chase. Taking Chase was clearly the right call, but the Bengals still struggled up front. 2019 first-round pick, Jonah Williams, was inconsistent all last season. After missing his entire rookie season in 2019 and dealing with injuries in 2020, 2021 was a season where he needed to show the organization why they used a first round pick on him. The struggles were pretty evident at times. He did log 1,000 snaps in the regular season but was also credited with 42 pressures and eight sacks. The Bengals spent most of the 2021 regular season just trying to plug the leaks and make it work. The offense was definitely explosive but it was on the backs of playmakers like Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. Burrow was sacked 51 times in the regular season at a gaudy 8.9% sack rate. It only got worse in the postseason when he was sacked 19 times at an 11.8% clip including seven times in the Super Bowl. On the offensive side of the ball, the only thing holding Cincy back was the O-line.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Jonah WilliamsJackson CarmanTed KarrasAlex CappaLa’el Collins
D’Ante SmithHakeem AdenijiTrey HillCordell VolsonIsaiah Prince
Devin CochranDesmond NoelLamont Gaillard  
  Ben Brown  

There’s clearly something about losing a Super Bowl and beefing up your team’s offensive line heading into the next season. We saw it with Kansas City and we’re seeing the Bengals follow suit. Obviously, there are some very nice additions via free agency. Ted Karras comes over from New England, Alex Cappa from Tampa Bay, and La’el Collins from Dallas. All recognizable additions that allowed just 60 pressures and ten sacks combined last year. All three are still under the age of 30, bring plenty of experience, and each should presumably be with the organization for the next three years. Not to mention there’s still youth with Jonah Williams, who could still get better and the additions of Karras, Cappa, and Collins should hopefully take some pressure off him. Carman had his struggles as a rookie but should make some strides in his sophomore campaign. And if he doesn’t, the organization seems very excited about what Cordell Volson brings to the table considering he spent time learning multiple positions during OTA’s. Volson could serve as a “swing man” this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he competed with Carman for the starting left guard job in training camp. There’s no doubt about it, this group should be better than last season’s and the Bengals are poised for another impressive playoff run.

 

13.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 53.7 (31st)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 51.8 (32nd)

The Dolphins lineup basically lived up to their 2021 expectations. And that doesn’t say much because those expectations were very low. I ranked them as the worst offensive line heading into the 2021 season and that’s about what we got out of them. All eyes were on their 2020 draft picks especially Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt. Hunt played all 17 games and over 1,100 snaps allowing 31 pressures and two sacks. He was solid in his second season but enters 2022 as a projected starter which is deserving. Austin Jackson was a first-rounder the team thought would play tackle, but over 80% of his snaps from a year ago came at guard and even then he allowed 49 pressures. The Dolphins were very poor last year and the offensive line was once again a priority this past offseason. Necessary changes needed to be made.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Terron ArmsteadLiam EichenbergConnor WilliamsRobert HuntAustin Jackson
Greg LittleRobert JonesMichael DeiterSolomon KindleyLamel Coleman
Kellen DieschBlaise Andries Cole BanwartAdam Pankey
    Kion Smith

Big acquisitions! Huge acquisitions actually. Terron Armstead stands out easily as he was probably the biggest free agent tackle on the market and Miami paid dearly for him. Armstead made three Pro Bowls with the Saints from 2018-2020 and he was Second-team All-Pro in 2018. He would easily have more recognition if it weren’t so many injuries. But when he’s healthy and at his best he’s in a very elite tier of left tackles in the league. Another big addition for this line was Connor Williams. Williams comes over from the loaded and well respected Dallas Cowboys who have had one of the best offensive lines for many years now. Those two additions immediately give the Dolphins an upgrade from where they were a year ago. With that said, they still need to see development from the likes of Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg in particular was truly awful in his rookie season. He played all 17 games but allowed over 62 pressures and nine sacks. For as much flack as Tua Tagovailoa has taken in his young career, the offensive line has done him no favors. Now the starting offensive line isn’t set by the above depth chart by any means. Both Eichenberg and Jackson likely compete for their respective jobs, but the offseason changes are a significant upgrade and a good start to push the Dolphins in the right direction with a new head coach. I’m pretty bullish with this ranking, but see some very good results for this team in 2022.

 

14.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 60.1 (25th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 64.8 (20th)

It wasn’t a great year for the Saints offensive line a year ago. To be fair, they were dealt heavy injuries at the most inconvenient times. All told, the starting five from a year ago barely played 20 snaps together. Erik McCoy was hurt after just a handful of snaps in week one and missed over a month. When he did return, Andrus Peat was injured in the same game. Their tackles played well which was expected but at the same time they missed 16 games combined. 2020 first-round pick Cesar Ruiz was the only one to stay healthy and he’s arguably the worst starter they have. Mixing between guard and center he allowed 31 pressures and five sacks. Injuries really did the Saints in. At full strength this is normally a top five unit, but without getting consistent reps out of their starters they performed more like a middle-of-the-road group in 2021.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Trevor PenningAndrus PeatErik McCoyCesar RuizRyan Ramczyk
James HurstForrest LampCesar RuizCalvin ThrockmortonLandon Young
Ethan GreenidgeJosh Andrews Lewis KiddJerald Hawkins
Sage Doxtater   Derek Schweiger
Khalique Washington    

The Saints return four of their five starters from a year ago, but a huge loss to the offensive line was Terron Armstead signing with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason. Obviously, that’s a tough loss to swallow especially coming off a year where injuries really impacted this group. However, Armstead was riddled with injuries and the Saints obviously couldn’t match the money Miami was willing to offer. New Orleans replaced Armstead using their first-round pick on Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa. Penning is a bit of an athletic freak, but a work in progress. He’s 6’7” and 329 pounds but he ran a 4.89 40-yard dash at the draft combine. New Orleans’ offensive line is now riddled with four former first-round picks while Erik McCoy was a second-rounder. The investment has certainly been there and this team has the ability to perform as a top ten unit. For now, I’m ranking them outside of the top ten simple because they’ll be relying on a rookie at left tackle but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if this group was top ten come season’s end if they all stay healthy.

 

15.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 80.2 (T-6th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 78.3 (4th)

For the second straight year, the Washington offensive line made me look like a fool. Can they make it three in a row? The Washington offensive line was incredible in 2020 and I truly didn’t expect them to repeat their consistency in 2021. I was wrong. I have no problem owning it. Charles Leno Jr. may have given up 36 pressures and six sacks, but keep in mind he dropped into pass protection on 678 offensive snaps. That’s a respectable 5.3% pressure allowed rate. Ereck Flowers has taken his lumps throughout his career but in 2019 and 2021 (both his seasons with Washington) he’s allowed a total of 50 pressures and eight sacks on almost 2,000 snaps. For whatever reason, the nation’s capital gets the best out of him. Brandon Scherff was elite per usual. He didn’t allow a sack on the interior. Chase Roullier was playing great after signing a big contract extension prior to the 2021 season. Unfortunately, he was carted off with a fibula fracture midway through the season and his replacement, Keith Ismael, couldn’t quite fill Roullier’s shoes. Overall, this was one of my bigger misses from last year. And truthfully, I may be underrating them once again heading into 2022, but here’s why.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Charles Leno Jr.Andrew NorwellChase RoullierTrai TurnerSam Cosmi
Cornelius LucasSaahdiq CharlesTyler LarsenWes SchweitzerWillie Beavers
 Nolan LaufenbergKeith IsmaelChris PaulAaron Monteiro
 Deion CalhounJon TothBeau Benzchawel 
   Tyrese Robinson 

Last year I thought the group overperformed and was a bit fluky. This year, I’m worried about the turnover at both guard positions. Ereck Flowers has taken criticism for inconsistent play, but Washington has gotten two great years out of him previously. And Brandon Scherff is an incredibly challenging player to replace. That’s an All-Pro caliber guard leaving a massive hole on your offensive line. As their replacements the Commanders brought in Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner. Turner bounced back with Pittsburgh last year. He did allow seven sacks but only 20 pressures. This is following a season in 2020 where he dealt with plenty of injuries with the Chargers. But we’ve seen Turner be the kind of player that can make five straight Pro Bowls. Can he rekindle that level of elite play? We saw a hint of it last season. To replace Scherff, the Jaguars and Commanders made a bit of a free agent swap as Norwell comes over from Jacksonville. Norwell is a fairly durable player who has allowed only 17 sacks in eight years in the NFL. He’s posted a pass blocking grade of at least 73.0 every year of his NFL career and he was First-team All-Pro back in 2017. He’s good but he’s not Brandon Scherff. Overall, this is a good group and I’m trying to be generous with my ranking and it still feels a bit low. If they prove me wrong once again then I promise I’ll rank them top 12 next year regardless of their personnel.

 

16.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 72.3 (15th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 69.7 (13th)

Heading into 2022, the Ravens are one of the more polarizing offensive lines in the league. As far as the 2021 performance goes, they had their ups and downs. For starters, it was another injury-plagued season for Ronnie Stanley. Stanley was the organization’s first-round pick in 2016 and he developed into an All-Pro player in 2019. Following the 2019 season, Pro Football Focus even called Stanley the best pass blocking tackle in the league. In the middle of the 2020 season, on October 30th to be exact, Stanley signed a five-year deal worth over $100 million, making him the highest paid offensive linemen in the league and well deserved. Truthfully, the timing couldn’t have been better. Two days later he was carted off the field with a season-ending ankle injury. Roughly a year later during the 2021 season, Stanley’s year ended with another ankle injury. When he is healthy, he’s one of the premier offensive tackles in the league. Kevin Zeitler came over from the Giants to join the Ravens in 2021 and he played well allowing 17 pressures and just one sack on over 1,200 snaps. The interior portion of the line did okay but Bradley Bozeman won’t be returning to the team in 2022 as he left in free agency. Alejandro Villanueva struggled in his lone season with the Ravens. He was healthy which isn’t a bad thing but he was a liability allowing over 54 pressures and nine sacks. His best years with the Steelers were clearly behind him and he announced his retirement in the offseason.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Ronnie StanleyTyre PhillipsTyler LinderbaumKevin ZeitlerMorgan Moses
Patrick MekariBen PowersTrystan ColonBen ClevelandDaniel Faalele
Jaryd Jones-Smith Jimmy MurrayKahlil McKenzieJa’Wuan James

There are some question marks but there’s potential upside. If Stanley’s healthy he’s one of the best offensive tackles in the game. But back-to-back ankle injuries give us plenty of reason to be worried. Kevin Zeitler is durable and one of the best at his position, even if he doesn’t have a ton of personal accolades. With Bradley Bozeman departing in free agency, the team used their first-round pick in April’s draft to select Tyler Linderbaum and by all accounts, he is expected to step in right away and start for the Ravens.

The kid has one hell of a motor and plays until the final whistle. Left guard and right tackle are the obvious gaps. Morgan Moses will likely start the season at right tackle. He comes in with plenty of experience and while the level of play has been shaky at times he should be serviceable. Ja’Wuan James is an interesting depth piece that they brought in but he needs to earn his roster spot after some considerably poor play after being a first-round pick many years ago. The success of the offensive line largely depends on Stanley’s health no matter what. If they get a full season out of him, this is likely a top ten group. For now we have to keep expectations in check with so much turnover.

 

17.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 57.9 (27th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 68.9 (14th)

I was probably a little too bullish on the Bills heading into 2021. I considered them a top ten group even though they were a bit more average than anything. Dion Dawkins was great in 2021. He allowed 25 pressures and four sacks. That’s great for the left tackle position given the responsibilities of protecting the quarterback’s blindside. Dawkins made his first Pro Bowl last season and it was well deserved. Additionally, Mitch Morse and Daryl Williams both played over 1,100 snaps and both were decent in pass protection and run blocking despite Williams allowing 40 pressures from an interior position. The biggest weakness by far on this line was Cody Ford. He was a true liability. There’s a great website called O-Line Stats and I’ll link their 2021 Regular Season Offensive Line Rankings in this piece because they present some pretty intriguing data when measuring offensive lines. O-Line Stats offers up this important nugget about Cody Ford and his direct impact on the offensive line: “Any Bills lineup that featured Dion Dawkins at LT, Mitch Morse at C, Darryl Williams at RG, Spencer Brown at RT, and Cody Ford on the bench was the Bills best lineup regardless of who else was at LG. Ford was such a disaster in pass pro that he single-handedly made this O-line worse because their numbers with him in the lineup vs. without are drastically different. Cody Ford played 50 or more snaps in seven games this season. In those games the Bills average PA% (Pressures Allowed percentage) was 31.3%, which would’ve ranked 31st. In their other 10 games, their average PA% was 16.8%, which would’ve been second-best in the NFL. Essentially the Bills were second best in pressures allowed when Ford wasn’t out there and second-worst when he was.” Ford appeared in 11 games and played 485 snaps. He had a 47.2 pass protection grade and a 47.6 run blocking grade. In that small sample size he allowed 26 pressures and two sacks. Extract that out over a full season and it’s possible he would’ve allowed 50-60 pressures.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Dion DawkinsRodger SaffoldMitch MorseRyan BatesSpencer Brown
Tommy DoyleIke BoettgerGreg ManczCody FordDavid Quessenberry
Luke TenutaJacob Capra Greg Van RotenBobby Hart
Tanner Owen   Alec Anderson
    Derek Kerstetter

There is some solid consistency and veteran leadership up front especially on the left side of the line. The right side has its concerns but there is plenty of reason for optimism. Ryan Bates got some starts last season and did fairly well. Between the regular season and postseason, Bates played over 400 snaps and allowed just four pressures and zero sacks. The Bills placed a restricted franchise tag on Bates and the Bears actually signed Bates to an offer sheet. But Buffalo matched it and he’s set to return to the Bills as a starter. Spencer Brown was a third-round selection in the 2021 draft. He had his share of growing pains, but he should make some strides in his second year. There is depth on this line as well between Greg Van Roten, David Quessenberry, Bobby Hart, and even Cody Ford despite his significant struggles. Perhaps I’m a little too low on the Bills heading into the season, but any shortcomings they have could very well be masked by one of the league’s most explosive offenses run by Josh Allen.

UPDATE: Rodger Saffold will start the 2022 campaign on the NFI list after injuring his ribs in a car accident.

 

18.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 74.1 (13th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 64.4 (21st)

The Jets are one of a few teams I fear I may have been too low on in these rankings. The overhaul of the offensive line has been a long time comin’ and they showed signs of life last season. 2020 first-round pick, Mekhi Becton, was lost after just one game. George Fant slid over to left tackle and had a career year out of nowhere. In 15 games and 840 snaps at left tackle, Fant allowed just 18 pressures and one sack. Connor McGovern (not the same one who is employed by Dallas) had a very strong year before suffering an injury in Week 16. The Jets’ 2021 first-round pick, Alijah Vera-Tucker, had his share of growing pains in his first season. He struggled in pass protection having allowed 42 pressures, but he was able to hold his own in terms of run blocking. If Becton doesn’t go down after the first game, this group could’ve been something special. Perhaps with some additional moves heading into 2022, this team has the potential to crack the top ten by the end of the season.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Mekhi BectonLaken TomlinsonConnor McGovernAlijah Vera-TuckerGeorge Fant
Conor McDermottDru SamiaDan FeeneyNate HerbigMax Mitchell
Chuma EdogaDerrick KellyRoss Pierschbacher Greg Senat
Grant Hermanns   Parker Ferguson

The return of Becton alone is enough for optimism and you have to assume Vera-Tucker can takes some steps forward and improve in pass protection. There were some discussions about keeping Fant at left tackle, but I’m glad he’s moving back to the right side so Becton can reclaim the left tackle slot. I won’t take anything away from Fant’s performance last season but I just feel like he overperformed in 2021. Now to be fair, he struggled to stay healthy in Seattle so if this is what he’s capable when he’s healthy then the Jets struck gold and will get a very good right tackle. But there are still some unknowns with Becton coming back from injury, but by all accounts he’s putting in the work in the offseason.

The big free agent acquisition was Laken Tomlinson who is coming off his first career Pro Bowl with the 49ers a year ago. Tomlinson agreed to a three-year deal with the Jets so we’re potentially looking at a group that can develop chemistry and be part of this unit for the next few years. There are still some questions as to how good this team can be, but given the draft capital and money that’s been invested they could very well vault themselves up the rankings through the season and perform at a very high level.

 

19.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 61.8 (23rd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 73.8 (8th)

I’m going to try and remain optimistic regarding the Packers offensive line. They’ve routinely been in the top half of my rankings the last few years and if we’re looking at this group on paper then they should probably stay in that range. But no other “good” offensive line had to endure as many injuries as the Packers last season. David Bakhtiari had been All-Pro in five straight seasons entering 2021 but he started last season on IR. Elgton Jenkins started in his place at left tackle and was actually very good until he got hurt and missed the second half of the season. So largely without their two starting left tackles, the Packers were trying to plug the leaks all season. Yosh Nijman likely performed better than expected. As someone asked to fill in for Bakhtiari and Jenkins, he was serviceable allowing 20 pressures and three sacks in ten games. Is that great? No, but given the circumstances I think the Packers are receptive to that kind of performance. Injuries plagued the team, but they did see players like Nijman, Billy Turner, Jon Runyan, and Lucas Patrick get by to help the Packers lock in the top seed in the NFC despite being bounced in the divisional round.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

David BakhtiariJon RunyanJosh MyersRoyce NewmanElgton Jenkins
Yosh NijmanSean RhyanJake HansonZach TomCole Van Lanen
Rasheed Walker Michal MenetGeorge MooreCaleb Jones
  Cole Schneider  

As you can see there were some salary cap casualties not returning to the team in 2022. Billy Turner, Lucas Patrick, and Dennis Kelly combined for over 2,000 snaps last year allowing just 54 pressures and five sacks. But the team apparently didn’t view the O-line as a glaring issue to address in the offseason. They ended up with three picks in the top 35 selections of this year’s draft but they didn’t select an offensive lineman until late in round three and another in round four where they grabbed Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom. As of right now neither are projected to start, but training camp could certainly change that. The only starting jobs that aren’t truly up for grabs are the tackle spots. Nobody is displacing Bakhtiari or Jenkins unless a serious injury delays them. It’s possible Rhyan and Tom make a run for either guard position. But the Packers are a group that can get the best out of the talent made available to them and if they can stay healthier than they did a year ago, then this could be a top 12 group, but given the turnover in the offseason I’ll keep expectations in check for now.

 

20.

 

 

  • PFF Run Blocking Grade: 67.1 (19th)
  • PFF Pass Protection Grade: 71.4 (9th)

Russell Wilson comes to town to take over as the franchise quarterback of the Denver Broncos with a new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett. Denver doesn’t have any star players on the O-line but this is a group Wilson can take comfort in. The pass protection as a whole was fine last year. The Broncos have just struggled with poor quarterback play the last few seasons so the offense is getting an upgrade with Wilson. Let’s start with Garett Bolles. Bolles was solid last year. However, it was reminiscent of his second and third seasons in the league, but he regressed a bit compared to his 2020 All-Pro season where he allowed 13 pressures and zero sacks. Last year, the pressures and sacks both went up to 22 and five respectively. He still had a good year, just not as elite as 2020. On the other side of the exterior, Bobby Massie did have his struggles with 36 pressures and five sacks allowed, and he missed four games as well. Across the line, the interior did okay. Dalton Risner has improved every year he’s been in the NFL and he only allowed 21 pressures last season. Lloyd Cushenberry III got better in pass protection but still allowed five sacks and it’s unclear where he stands with the new coaching staff. Like I said, totally serviceable offensive line in 2021. But aside from Bolles, they don’t have anyone that stands out really.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Garett BollesDalton RisnerLloyd Cushenberry IIIGraham GlasgowBilly Turner
Calvin AndersonBen BradenGraham GlasgowQuinn MeinerzTom Compton
Quinn BaileyZack JohnsonLuke WattenbergNetane MutiCasey Tucker
Sebastian Gutierrez  Michael Niese 

The Broncos are returning plenty of starters although Bobby Massie isn’t coming back. They did sign Billy Turner and Tom Compton who will likely compete for the starting right tackle job although Turner probably wins out. Graham Glasgow is an interesting option. I do believe the coaching staff could give Quinn Meinerz a starting job if he has a great camp and if that’s the case then Glasgow could be the starting center. Overall this is a good mix of veteran experience and young players still on the rise. Bolles could certainly return to his All-Pro form and Dalton Risner could continue to make strides into a Pro Bowl caliber player. This is going to be one of the better offensive lines that Russell Wilson has played behind and with his ability to scramble and create his own plays, he should be able to avoid sacks and make the offensive line look pretty good as well. I’d say this group could settle in as a top 15 option, but I get the sense they’re a middle-of-the-pack offensive line. Not great, but not dreadful.

 

21.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 69.1 (16th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 54.7 (27th)

The 2021 Vikings offensive line overall were probably “good” but obviously far from great. Brian O’Neill was easily the best part of the offensive line last season and he graded out as one of the best right tackles in the game. After signing a five-year extension before the season started, O’Neill appeared in all 17 regular season games for Minnesota, logging over 1,100 snaps and he allowed just 22 pressures and one sack. That performance earned him a trip to his first career Pro Bowl. Christian Darrisaw missed a few games with a groin injury, but the 2021 first-round draft pick really came on as the season progressed. Darrisaw may have allowed five sacks in 11 games, but he only allowed 22 pressures in that span as well. He was the kind of player who elevated his play and got better as the season progressed. The interior portion of the line didn’t have as much success. Minnesota’s 2019 first-round pick, Garrett Bradbury, has struggled in pass protection through the first three years of his career. Sure he’s been healthy and logged at least 880 snaps in his of his first three seasons, but he’s received sub-40.0 pass protection grades from Pro Football Focus in three straight years. The 81 pressures and 11 sacks allowed across three years may not sound bad, but those are good numbers for an outside lineman. For a center, those are pretty gaudy. If there was one positive takeaway from the interior portion of the offensive line it has to be Ezra Cleveland, the organization’s 2020 second-round pick. He still had some struggles in pass protection, but he did make some improvements. Across 1,140 snaps in the regular season, he did allow 34 pressures (not great) but only one sack (that’s pretty damn good).

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Christian DarrisawEzra ClevelandGarrett BradburyEd IngramBrian O’Neill
Vederian LoweChris ReedAustin SchlottmanJesse DavisOlisaemeka Udoh
Timon ParrisKyle HintonJosh SokolWyatt DavisBlake Brandel

A year ago I was a little too bold on my offensive line ranking of the Detroit Lions. Because of that I want to keep my expectations in check and be a little more level-headed. If you consider the draft capital invested in this group, all five projected starters (by me, at least) are either former first or second-round picks within the last four years. So there is room to develop and get better. This is a make-or-break year for Bradbury. He has not lived up to the first-round price tag and the Vikings declined to pick up his fifth-year option so he’s a free agent following this season. But there are little-to-no concerns on the exterior and you can assume Darrisaw and Cleveland continue to develop and get better. The team also drafted Ed Ingram out of LSU to improve the interior portion of the offensive line. So while there are some unknowns with Ingram, he should compete with Chris Reed and Jesse Davis for that job. Nothing’s guaranteed with this offensive line, but there is upside as long as their younger players continue to develop accordingly.

 

22.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 57.8 (28th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 70.2 (12th)

For all the criticism the Jaguars took heading into last season, they exceeded my expectations at the very least. I liked what they did on the interior but did have my concerns on the outside with Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor manning the tackle positions. Robinson actually wasn’t terrible. Between 2019 and 2020 Robinson allowed 85 total pressures and 13 sacks so there were some concerns. But he went out and earned his money allowing just 31 pressures and one sack in 14 games. Taylor still has some growing pains, that’s very clear. He played all 17 games and over 1,000 snaps, but he did give up six sacks. He’s entering 2022 in the final year of his rookie contract and should be motivated to cash in next offseason. Brandon Linder missed eight games with knee and ankle issues. The Jags made him the highest-paid center in the league in 2017 but the last few years for Linder had been riddled with injuries. Andrew Norwell stayed healthy and returned to form, which was vital for his free agency market because he took a pay cut in exchange for the team shaving a remaining year off his contract.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Cam RobinsonBen BartchLuke FortnerBrandon ScherffJawaan Taylor
Walker LittleKC McDermottTyler ShatleyWes MartinWill Richardson Jr.
Badara Traore Nick FordJared HockerCoy Cronk

Norwell took advantage of the shorter contract and used his free agency to sign a two-year contract with the Washington Commanders. In doing that, he and Brandon Scherff almost swap places. Scherff is an All-Pro caliber guard and a five-time Pro Bowler who signed with the Jaguars on a three-year deal in the offseason. He should provide stability and consistency on the right side of the line that may help mask some of Taylor’s deficiencies. But a big hole on the offensive line is left behind by Linder’s retirement. He may have grown tired of the injuries over the last few years and he opted to retired at the age of 30. The Jaguars invested a third-round pick in Luke Fortner in April’s draft and I’m of the mindset he will win the starting center job over Tyler Shatley. But center, left guard, and possibly right tackle are the biggest concerns for the Jaguars in 2022. I do believe this team is heading in the right direction especially with Robinson getting an extension this offseason. If they can get similar production from Taylor and hit the ground running with Fortner, this group could rank in the top half of the league.

 

23.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 58.8 (26th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 53.9 (28th)

To put it simply, this offensive line sucked a year ago. Taylor Moton continues to be this team’s best offensive lineman, but the rest of the group did struggle to stay healthy. The Queen City Kitties saw nine offensive linemen play over 300 snaps a year ago. That led the league. Moton is probably one of the more underappreciated offensive linemen in the league, but at least he got paid handsomely prior to last season. He appeared in all 17 games for Carolina in 2021 playing 1,149 snaps and he allowed just one sack and 27 total pressures. That’s incredible. Perhaps the biggest knock on him is that he plays right tackle and not left, but either way he’s fantastic. Sadly he’s yet to receive a single All-Pro or Pro Bowl acknowledgment yet. Everyone else in this group, whether they were healthy or not, struggled in pass protection. Matt Paradis, the team’s center, at least excelled in run blocking, as expected from an interior lineman. But his season ended in Week 9 due to a torn ACL. Truthfully, the Panthers only received this kind of ranking heading into 2022 because they couldn’t possibly get any worse nor have worse luck.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Ikem EkwonuBrady ChristensenBradley BozemanAustin CorbettTaylor Moton
Cameron ErvingMichael JordanPat ElfleinCade MaysDennis Daley
Wyatt MillerMike HortonSam TecklenburgDeonte BrownAusten Pleasants

I give credit when it’s due. This team saw a weakness and did their best to address it in the offseason. They have some returning players but the starting five looks different aside from Moton. They get a bump up because I do like some of the additions from the offseason. Fresh off a Super Bowl win last year with the Rams, the Panthers gave Corbett a three-year deal and he’s currently slated to start next to Moton heading into 2022. Corbett did have his struggles in pass protection a year ago, but still better than most of the linemen on this team in 2021 and he was better in run blocking. Bradley Bozeman is only on a one-year deal but he was healthy for the Ravens last season playing over 1,100 snaps and he allowed a total 21 pressures and three sacks. The trio of sacks from the center position aren’t great but again this is still considered a positional upgrade even if they only have him locked up for this year. The biggest splash the Panthers made was using their sixth overall selection in April’s draft to select Ikem Ekwonu out of North Carolina State. There are some reports he needs some development in pass protection. But he’s a franchise player you can build around with a personality the community will love, who turns violent and angry once he’s on the field. Here’s James Campen’s reaction to the team using the sixth pick to draft Ekwonu…

I fear I may be a bit too low on the Panthers based on their additions. But they still have some concerns, so I’ll keep them outside the top 20 knowing full well they could easily crack the top 16 by the end of the season. They’ve put in the effort to try and get better. Let’s see if it translates to success on the field.

 

24.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 54.2 (30th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 67.8 (16th)

The Cardinals offensive line actually got off to a pretty impressive start last season, but suffered some injuries that broke up the momentum of this group. D.J. Humphries was the only offensive lineman for the Cardinals to play in over 1,000 snaps in the regular season. He was named to his first Pro Bowl last season but in rather unspectacular fashion. He allowed 42 pressures and seven sacks in 16 games. Kelvin Beachum on the other side of the line struggled in run blocking but was above average in pass protection allowing just two sacks on the season. However, Humphries and Beachum were the only two to play over 900 snaps in the regular season. Rodney Hudson, Max Garcia, Justin Pugh, and Josh Jones all contributed but missed some time here and there. Pugh was arguably the best interior lineman for the Cardinals last season when he was healthy. In 13 games he allowed 19 pressures with zero sacks while posting a 77.7 run blocking grade. The Cardinals were far from great and had some needs they needed to address in the offseason.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

D.J. HumphriesJustin PughRodney HudsonWill HernandezKelvin Beachum
Joshua MilesMarquis HayesLecitus SmithJustin MurrayJosh Jones
Koda MartinSean HarlowHaggai NdubuisiDanny IsidoraEric Smith
   Greg Long 

Offensive line was definitely a position this team could’ve addressed in the offseason. This group wasn’t a disaster a year ago by any means but they also weren’t elite and there were areas they could’ve improved. Basically the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals swapped Max Garcia and Will Hernandez in the offseason. If there’s one thing to take away, at least there’s some consistency with more of their starters returning from a year ago. But it’s a little baffling they didn’t make a bigger splash in free agency or in the draft. They selected Lecitus Smith in the sixth round, but it’s unlikely he takes Rodney Hudson’s job without an injury to the veteran. Smith’s best chance to earn a starting job this year is to take it from Pugh or Hernandez, but that seems unlikely. The Cardinals appear content with this same group and perhaps they know something we don’t. Again, they got off to a good start to 2021 but injuries derailed this group’s performance a bit. If they can stay healthy, there’s potential but that’s certainly a gamble that I’m not excited about.

 

25.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 80.4 (6th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 52.4 (31st)

The Atlanta Falcons were night and day last year in terms of run blocking and pass protection. The good news for the Dirty Birds heading into the 2022 campaign is they are returning all five starters from 2021. So that at least provides consistency. But will that yield significant results in the passing game? In 17 games last year, Matt Ryan attempted just 560 pass attempts. That’s roughly 33 per game. Even despite the fewer pass attempts, Ryan was still sacked 40 times last year at a 6.7% clip. Now to be fair, the Falcons offense was horrendous. They ran the second-fewest offensive plays last season and were fourth-worst in terms of time of possession. Overall this offense couldn’t stay on the field for any production. Atlanta has invested draft capital in the offensive line with all five starters being taken in the third round of higher. In the case of Jake Matthews, Chris Lindstrom, and Kaleb McGary they’re all former first round picks. If you’ve read my previous offensive line rankings heading into training camp, you’ll know I’ve been critical of Lindstrom and McGary. Both are first-round picks taken from the 2019 draft. McGary played in all but one game in 2021 but he allowed 41 pressures, ten hits, and nine sacks. Lindstrom, to his credit, has developed into one of the best run blockers in the NFL but he also struggled in pass protection with 31 pressures and eight hits allowed. He didn’t allow as many sacks as McGary but he also plays on the interior. And not to kick a horse when it’s down but Jalen Mayfield needs significant improvement from his 2021 performance. The third-round pick from a year ago logged plenty of snaps last year. I truly hope he learned a ton, but on the interior he allowed 57 pressures, 21 hits, and 11 sacks. He was a rookie, sure. But he drastically needs to improve this season.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Jake MatthewsJalen MayfieldMatt HennessyChris LindstromKaleb McGary
Elijah WilkinsonJustin ShafferDrew DalmanColby GossettGermain Ifedi
Tyler VrabelRyan NeuzilJonotthan HarrisonLeroy WatsonRick Leonard

The concerns of last year are arguably the same this year. I’m still not sold on the long-term upside of both Lindstrom and McGary but Lindstrom did show some signs of improving last year to the point the Falcons felt good enough about picking up his fifth-year option. Atlanta, however, did not pick up McGary’s fifth-year option so he is a free agent following the 2022 season. That does mean he has something to play for so perhaps we see him perform at a higher level to earn his next contract. Once again I do have my concerns with the right side of the offensive line. Matt Hennessy was a pleasant surprise last season. The 2020 third-round pick played in nearly 1,000 snaps and was solid in run blocking but he does have room for improvement in pass protection. As noted previously, this isn’t a make or break year for Mayfield given that he’s 22 and entering his second year in the league. But the Falcons did use a late-round selection on Georgia’s own, Justin Shaffer, who could look to compete with Mayfield for the starting left guard job once training camps open at the end of July. No one is expecting the Falcons to do much this year and they’ll need some surprise performances to launch up these rankings.

 

26.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 76.7 (10th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 53.3 (29th)

The Titans offensive line has been going backward in recent years. Gone are the likes of Jack Conklin and Rodger Saffold. Conklin’s presence was deeply missed considering David Quessenberry allowed 11 sacks last year. But Quessenberry is a good swing man and depth piece. He’s not a reliable starter. He was great in run blocking, but when you’re slotted in at the tackle position, you need to be strong in pass protection. Taylor Lewan missed four games and failed to reach 850 snaps in the regular season. The problems didn’t lie just with the offensive line. Derrick Henry missed time with injury and the Titans could never get the offense in sync with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones not sharing the field as much as the team had hoped for. But aside from Lewan (when he was able to play) and Ben Jones, it was a season the Titans would like to leave in the rearview mirror considering the lofty expectations this offense had. The Titans offensive line allowed 47 sacks in 2021, nearly double the amount from 2020. Given how weak the division is it’s no surprise they still won the division, but they were upset and bounced in their first game against the Cincinnati Bengals. They’ll still contend for a postseason appearance in 2021, but this offensive line was ranked in the top five just a few years ago and have gradually been heading in the wrong direction.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Taylor LewanJamarco JonesBen JonesNate DavisDillon Radunz
Christian DiLauroAaron BrewerDaniel MunyerCorey LevinNicholas Petit-Frere
Andrew RupcichHayden HowertonXavier NewmanJordan RoosCarson Green
    Jalen McKenzie

Not a ton to get excited about especially with the losses of Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry. Quessenberry may have struggled with pass protection, but he was very reliable as a run blocker. But the loss of Saffold and DQ left some holes. Right tackle will likely see a positional battle between a couple day two draft picks from the last two drafts in Dillon Radunz and Nicholas Petit-Frere. Radunz has the upper hand heading into training camp given his familiarity with the coaching staff. Petit-Frere may be utilized as a swing man in his rookie season. Petit-Frere has the size to be a successful tackle in the NFL but he still needs some development. I’m not sold on the rest of the interior aside from Ben Jones. And keep in mind, Taylor Lewan has had issues staying healthy the last couple years. He’s yet to log 1,000 snaps in any regular season in his eight-year career. It’s a physically demanding position so I won’t hold it against him too much. When he’s healthy he’s one of the best left tackles in the league, but he just needs to avoid getting hurt. If he goes down, the rest of the ship is due to sink.

 

27.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 64.0 (21st)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 52.9 (30th)

It was another disappointing year for the Giants offensive line, but nobody really expected them to be great. Truthfully, the one big takeaway from 2021 was that Andrew Thomas doesn’t suck. He had as bad of a rookie campaign as you can possibly have. He allowed 57 pressures and ten sacks in 2020, but really bounced back in 2021 with just 18 pressures allowed and two sacks but he did miss four games. Will Hernandez had an okay rookie season, but seemingly regressed across the next three years. Last year he allowed seven sacks as a guard and the Giants did not re-sign him. Nate Solder is an incredibly nice guy, but as a Patriots fan I had witnessed his shortcomings in pass protection. As a starting left tackle with the Giants he allowed 24 sacks in three seasons. That’s just not good enough. This was a pretty horrendous offensive line, but they have a young, talented left tackle and a brand new coaching staff that made it a goal to re-tool the offensive line in the offseason.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Andrew ThomasMax GarciaJon FelicianoMark GlowinskiEvan Neal
Joshua EzeuduShane LemieuxMax GarciaMarcus McKethanMatt Gono
Devery HamiltonJamil DouglasNick GatesJosh RivasKorey Cunningham
Roy MbaetekaBen Bredeson  Matt Peart

I will say this, they have rebuilt the offensive line and they did it for cheap. They do return Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, and Nick Gates from 2021 but I don’t really project them as starters heading into 2022. Jon Feliciano and Max Garcia come over on one-year contracts and they’re very affordable. Both players come with plenty of experience. The Giants seem confident that they’ll be able to put Feliciano at center even though he only has barely over 300 career snaps at the position. It’s risky but it could work out. Additionally, the G-Men signed Mark Glowinski from the Colts to a three-year deal and he’s probably an upgrade over both Hernandez and Lemieux. The biggest splash they made was Evan Neal as the seventh overall pick in April’s draft. He easily projects as a week one starter. So we have an offensive line with a new coaching staff and two promising tackles on the outside with an interior core touting plenty of veteran experience. Neal likely has his growing pains and there is some risk with Feliciano. The effort was there to make significant strides and I think they will. There’s top 20 upside here, but they aren’t quite a slam dunk. I do appreciate when a front office tries to fix a weakness. The Giants made plenty of moves to give Daniel Jones every opportunity to stay on his feet this year and prove he is worthy of being a starting quarterback. Let’s see if the changes pay off.

 

28.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 60.2 (24th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 68.3 (15th)

The 2021 Steelers had clear holes along the offensive line and it was a main reason why many in the industry, including myself, thought they’d be one of the worst units in the league. They exceeded my expectations but barely. Their pass protection scores benefitted from the fact the Steelers offense utilized several quick passes so we can’t truly gauge how good or bad they were in pass protection. Ben Roethlisberger was getting rid of the ball on average 2.20 seconds after the snap. That was among the faster rates in the league. Additionally, they were awful in run blocking. Most of Najee Harris’ success was due to his own talent and work ethic. The Steelers were one of two teams in the league to average less than two yards before contact. Trai Turner struggled in numerous areas. His career has been a mix of good seasons and bad seasons. The last two years in particular haven’t been great after making five straight Pro Bowls with Carolina from 2015-2019. Turner played over 1,000 snaps but allowed seven sacks from an interior line position. The weird thing is that he only allowed 20 total pressures. Again, it’s tough to gauge this line from a year ago.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Dan Moore Jr.Kevin DotsonMason ColeJames DanielsChukwuma Okorafor
Joe HaegKendrick GreenJ.C. HassenauerJohn LeglueTrent Scott
Jake DixonNate GilliamChris Owens Chaz Green
    Jordan Tucker

Some upgrades, but nothing extreme. Mason Cole and James Daniels came over in free agency and they certainly provide some more stability on the interior portion of the line. With Ben Roethlisberger retiring in the offseason, it’s very unlikely whoever is quarterbacking this team will be able to get rid of the ball in just over two seconds. Perhaps we see the mask ripped off this line’s pass protection numbers and we see the results we were expecting a year ago. A change at quarterback could also mean defensive fronts stack the box more and that could present more of a challenge or a Sophomore slump for Najee Harris. Overall the depth on this line isn’t terrible. There is plenty of invaluable veteran experience between Joe Haeg, John Leglue, and J.C. Hassenauer. But depth won’t make this offensive line any better when we can’t invest much stock in the actual starters.

 

29.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 67.4 (18th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 55.6 (26th)

The Seahawks have been criticized for years on the lack of effort put toward protecting Russell Wilson. That may have been one of the factors in moving on from the star quarterback that brough the organization its first Super Bowl in franchise history. Wilson may have only been sacked 33 times last year but let’s lend a little perspective. For starters, Wilson did miss three games and was still sacked on 7.6% of his pass attempts. Additionally, the team went with a very run heavy approach. Despite missing a trio of games, Wilson only attempted 40 pass attempts in 14 games. So the offensive play calling and just lackluster performance of the offensive line obviously didn’t bode well with Wilson. Duane Brown was a Pro Bowl caliber tackle last season, but he did allow eight sacks. But there was a noticeable decline in his footwork and speed. He posted the lowest pass protection grade (69.9) since 2009, his second season in the league. Brown is currently a free agent and it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be returning to Seattle. Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis stayed relatively healthy last year and did okay on the interior portion of the offensive line. They’re solid, but they aren’t game changers in terms of pass protection, and this is a line that has to fend off Aaron Donald twice a year. There is a little room for optimism heading into 2022 given some of the moves they made in the offseason. 

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Charles CrossDamien LewisAustin BlytheGabe JacksonAbraham Lucas
Stone ForsytheKyle FullerDakoda ShepleyPhil HaynesJake Curhan
Greg EilandShamarious Gilmore  Liam Ryan

Seattle isn’t known as an organization that has been drafting well the last few years. But they may have nailed it with Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. Cross is viewed by many to be NFL ready and the Seahawks took him ninth overall in this year’s draft and then they came back around in the third round to take Lucas. Seahawks new offensive line coach, Andy Dickerson, seems very optimistic both rookies will excel in the Seattle’s offensive scheme given their athleticism and their high football IQ’s. But relying on a pair of rookie to hold down the outside against the pass rushes of the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals is an awfully tall task. Austin Blythe also comes over to add some improvement to the interior, but that’s just a brief plug since he’s only on a one-year deal. The Seahawks are taking steps in the right direction. The team won’t be very good and it’s unlikely they view either Drew Lock or Geno Smith as the long-term franchise quarterback. But they’re putting the pieces in place with young talent on the offensive line to make a move in the future. We just shouldn’t expect drastic strides in 2022.

 

30.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 54.9 (29th)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 62.6 (22nd)

It wasn’t that long ago the Raiders had one of the most expensive offensive lines in the history of the NFL. Truthfully, it was just two years ago and it’s why most touts (including yours truly) viewed them as a top 15 offensive line. They weren’t far off from drafting Kolton Miller in the first round in 2018. They persuaded Richie Incognito out of retirement and gave him a $14 million deal with over $6 million guaranteed. Rodney Hudson was the highest paid Center at over $11 million per year. Gabe Jackson had a five-year, $56 million deal that he signed in 2017. And who could forget Trent Brown’s four-year $66 million deal that he signed? In hindsight, yes it was stupid to invest so much at positions that do see a significant number of injuries. Those five players managed to appear on the field together for just a handful of snaps in 2020. That was the Jon Gruden way and some changes have been made since he was ousted from his position. For what it’s worth, Kolton Miller performed very well last year. He played over 1,100 snaps and allowed just 34 pressures and four sacks. At a demanding position like left tackle, that’s impressive. 2021 first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood, was healthy but to say that he struggled as a rookie would be a drastic understatement. He logged over 1,100 snaps in his rookie campaign but allowed over 65 pressures and eight sacks at right tackle. 

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Kolton MillerJohn SimpsonAndre JamesDenzelle GoodAlex Leatherwood
Brandon ParkerAlex BarsDylan ParhamThayer Munford Jr.Jermaine Eluemunor
Tyrone Wheatley Jr.Lester Cotton Sr.Hroniss GrasuJordan MeredithJackson Barton
Bamidele Olaseni    

Not the greatest group ever assembled. Very young, but there’s potential on the outside. Miller is arguably a top ten left tackle in the league. Leatherwood has immense upside as a former first-round pick, but he played poorly last season. If Raider Nation is looking for a reason to be excited about the work Leatherwood has put in this offseason, he looks to be in great shape…

 

 

That’s a lot of sweat. Now it’s quite possible the Raiders could move Leatherwood to right guard since Denzelle Good isn’t guaranteed a starting job. And if that’s the case then Brandon Parker can play right tackle. However, Leatherwood is better suited at right and he should be their starting RT once the season begins. 2022 third-round pick Dylan Parham could very well leapfrog Denzelle Good for his starting job, but again we’ll see how training camp shakes out and update accordingly. There isn’t a ton to be excited about on the interior, but there’s appeal on the outside. Overall, Miller can’t carry this group on his own and they’re among the worst offensive lines in the league.

 

31.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 60.0 (32nd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 59.2 (T-23rd)

2021 is a season Texans fans would like to forget. Over the years they’ve lost DeAndre Hopkins, JJ Watt, and the team was embroiled in the off-field controversy surrounding Deshaun Watson and his desire to no longer play for Houston. On top of all that, the offensive line performed at a very low level as well. But reading between the lines there were some reasons to be encouraged with what they found last year. Laremy Tunsil was lost after five games due to a thumb injury. After coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances, that’s a tough loss but the team experimented with Tytus Howard at tackle late in the season and realized that’s a better fit for him than guard. Not many teams have the luxury of finding an above average tackle by sheer happenstance on their own roster. So heading into the 2022 season the Texans can feel good about the outside of their line. A big issue for the Texans last season was their inability to run block as they graded out as the worst team in the league with just 1.7 yards before contact. Wash, rinse, repeat. The Texans once again went into an offseason looking to address the offensive line.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Laremy TunsilKenyon GreenJustin BrittA.J. CannTytus Howard
Charlie HeckJustin McCrayJimmy MorrisseyMax ScharpingAustin Deculus
Cedric OgbuehiTre’Vour Wallace-SimmsScott QuessenberryJordan StecklerMyron Cunningham

If I’m being honest, I could very well see myself regretting not having the Texans higher on my list. Are they a top 20 offensive line? No. But I think they could prove me wrong with some of the additions they made in the offseason and I could see them moving up into the top 25, which still isn’t good but far better than where I’ve ranked them the last few years. For starters, they utilized a first-round pick on selecting Kenyon Green out of Texas A&M to beef up the interior since they seem committed to playing Howard at right tackle. Green projects to start right away as a pro and they added A.J. Cann who was a bit of an underrated pass blocker with the Jaguars. If we look at the starters and assume they all stay healthy, this truly isn’t a bad unit. Maybe I just can’t shake the stigma of the Texans historically having a bad offensive line and that’s why I’m subjecting them to the bottom of the list. But I do hope they prove me wrong and surprise the entire industry. I want to see it first, but Houston is heading in the right direction with some of the moves in the offseason.

 

32.

 

 

  • 2021 PFF Run Blocking Grade: 63.4 (22nd)
  • 2021 PFF Pass Protection Grade: 66.8 (18th)

You may look at the Bears overall PFF grades from a year ago and think “That looks like a fringe top-20 offensive line, but easily top 25” and you aren’t wrong. However, the Bears are the rare exception of a bad offensive line heading into 2022 which we will touch on shortly. Let’s look at last season. Injuries and poor play were the name of the game for Chicago in 2021. The 58 sacks allowed last season were the most in the NFL. That’s not exactly a recipe for success when trying to help your rookie franchise quarterback. Just ask the Bengals who learned that the hard way in 2020 with Joe Burrow. Sam Mustipher was healthy but overall struggled in both run and pass blocking a year ago. He may have only allowed one sack, but he did allow 28 pressures which is pretty poor for an interior lineman. Larry Borom appeared in just ten games as a rookie taken in the fifth round and allowed five sacks on 32 pressures. Chicago’s second-round pick in 2021, Teven Jenkins played just 160 snaps but allowed 11 pressures and two sacks. Arguably the team’s two best offensive linemen were Jason Peters and James Daniels. It may not be the worst thing in the world to try and bring back Peters for the 2022 season, but he is now 40 years old. In James Daniels’ case he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the offseason. So this was already a bad offensive line that heads into 2022 without two of its better performers from a year ago.

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

Braxton JonesCody WhitehairLucas PatrickSam MustipherLarry Borom
Teven JenkinsWillie WrightSam MustipherDakota DozierLachavious Simmons
Julie’n DavenportJa’Tyre CarterDoug KramerZachary ThomasShon Coleman
  Dieter Eiselen Jean Delance

Yikes. Not much to get excited about. Plenty to be angry about though if you’re a Bears fan. They certainly upgraded at Center by acquiring Lucas Patrick from Green Bay. However, simply moving Mustipher over to Guard doesn’t instill a ton of confidence. It’s clear the front office wants to see what they can get from last year’s draft picks, while also gambling on Braxton Jones. I’m currently listing Jones as the starting left tackle because as mandatory mini-camp broke, it was reported that the Bears were using Borom as the starting right tackle, with Jones as the starting left tackle. Jenkins was working with the second-team offense. This could all very well change once training camp opens at the end of July. Jones is a fifth-round draft pick of the Bears this year and plugging him in at LT would be a bold move. My money would ultimately be on Jenkins to win the starting job. Jenkins seems pretty ecstatic about the new offense, mostly because it isn’t run by Matt Nagy. There are too many unknown factors and they’re still reliant on the exterior being held down by young players. While the Bears did address getting weapons to elevate Justin Fields’ game, they did very little to protect him.

 

 

 

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