The Offensive Line. Sometimes they’re the heroes and sometimes they’re the villains, but not often is it justified. If a quarterback can handle pressure and a running back breaks tackles their shortcomings can be managed, whereas if a quarterback holds onto the ball for an age or a running back can’t hit the hole, then things look a lot worse than they are.
That’s why above any stat of a skill player and how it relates to an offensive lineman, we champion our own grading. We look at what an offensive lineman is trying to do and grade him based on that, taking into account what’s asked of him and how long, in the example of pass protection, the quarterback holds the ball.
So without further ado, here are our Week 5 Offensive Line Rankings.
32. Baltimore Ravens: -38.6
Stud: Well, by default it’s kind of Marshal Yanda (+3.4), but let’s not kid ourselves in believing that he’s playing anywhere near his best. He’s not.
Dud: Some contenders here but Gino Gradkowski (-13.4) is the man under fire. He just hasn’t got the job done and is atrocious (by center standards) with his work in pass protection.
Summary: The team didn’t feel the need to trade for 11 games of Eugene Monroe because they were happy with how things were going. Bryant McKinnie has been awful and whoever has played left guard (chiefly Kelechi Osemele) has struggled. Not good enough.
31. Seattle Seahawks: -33.4
Stud: By the process of elimination right now it’s seventh-rounder Michael Bowie (+0.7).
Dud: A below-average guard, there’s little surprise that Paul McQuistan (-14.9) is a way below average tackle.
Summary: They lost Russell Okung and are currently without Max Unger. Two men who just happen to be their best linemen. That has hurt, but the J.R. Sweezy experiment isn’t working out and they’re just not executing right now.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars: -30.5
Stud: Well … Uche Nwaneri (-0.3) but there’s some really slim pickings there.
Dud: As is often the case, it’s Will Rackley (-14.7) who is on a mission to prove the faith in him misguided. Five games and his best grade was a -2.1.
Summary: It hasn’t worked in Year 1 of the new regime and the line is a big part of why. They’ve lost their two starting tackles, have question marks across the line and are about as bad it gets when it comes to run blocking. Nobody said rebuilding would be easy.
29. New York Giants: -30.2
Stud: Is stud the right word to use? Kevin Boothe (+2.4) has got better since the season started at least.
Dud: How disappointed must the team be in Will Beatty (–9.3)? He was well worth his contract extension but has proceeded to flop on the field this year.
Summary: It’s not good. A mix of old guys getting injured and not getting the job done, and young guys not ready to deliver. They’ve gone from contenders to a transition team with the kind of speed nobody saw coming.
28. Atlanta Falcons: -24.0
Stud: The guards are the best of a bad bunch with Justin Blalock (+8.1) solid enough in pass protection (seven quarterback disruptions allowed on 242 pass blocks) that he takes the honors.
Dud: Pick a tackle, pick any tackle. It’s Sam Baker (-13.8) who has reverted to type this year and hasn’t even be able to save his grade by missing time.
Summary: A line that has got better but still isn’t great. They’re struggling at both tackle spots no matter who they line up and that has caused no end of problems. Of course it hasn’t helped that Peter Konz has been a noticeable drop off from Todd McClure as the team has struggled to get anything going on the ground.
27. Arizona Cardinals: -19.4
Stud: It’s Daryn Colledge (+3.6) and it’s not really close. Even then he’s hardly lit it up with his run blocking.
Dud: With Levi Brown no longer the baddest tackle in town (well, this town anyway) it’s the overmatched right guard Paul Fanaika (-8.2), thrust into the lineup because of the unfortunate injury to Jonathan Cooper.
Summary: It’s still not a particularly good offensive line. Last year’s blossoming star Bobby Massie isn’t a favorite of the new regime, while the moves they made just haven’t worked out. Still, at least they finally cut the chord with Brown and can look toward finding a long-term answer at the left tackle spot.
26. Buffalo Bills: -18.1
Stud: He’s been flagged four times but Cordy Glenn (+10.3) has been extremely reliable outside of that, particularly in pass protection. Just what you want from your left tackle.
Dud: Anyone not expecting this to be Colin Brown (-28.1)? In fairness he has improved the past two weeks, but his opening three performances were as bad as any that we have seen.
Summary: The line grades out worse than you’d imagine largely because of the problem left guard spot and a really disappointing performance from Erik Pears against the Browns. They’re likely to prove themselves better than this and will really need to with their quarterback situation.
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