2014 PFF Offensive Line Rankings

Khaled Elsayed breaks down where each team's offensive line stood when the dust of the 2014 season settled.

| 1 year ago
2014-OL

2014 PFF Offensive Line Rankings


In years gone by rush totals, sack numbers and reputation have been the largest factors in determining how good offensive linemen are in the public arena. We here at PFF like to think we’re doing something about that, isolating the play of linemen to assess their true worth.

So with that in mind, every year we unveil our yearly Offensive Line Rankings, and this year is no different. Intrigued to see which unit is the best or how you’re team match up? Well now you can.

(Last year’s rankings are in parenthesis)

32. Miami Dolphins (21st)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 32nd, Run Blocking Ranking: 31st, Penalties Ranking: 29th

Stud: When Branden Albert went down things did not go well. He was in All-Pro contention before the injury struck and it was a huge blow to lose him.

Dud: In preseason Dallas Thomas (-32.7) struggled at guard. So naturally, being forced to start at right tackle did not go well as he was overmatched and routinely beaten.

Breakdown: Just horrible. The 210 combined sacks, hits and hurries they allowed were most in the league and they weren’t much better in the run game. The musical chairs that saw Mike Pouncey to guard and Ja’Waun James to left tackle had a detrimental effect and it was brutal to watch them. It’s a young group that needs to play better.

31. St Louis Rams (13th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 30th, Run Blocking Ranking: 28th, Penalties Ranking: 28th

Stud: It doesn’t feel right to crown any player with a stud, with every lineman earning a negative grade. Rodger Saffold was the best of a bad bunch despite a shoulder injury.

Dud: It might be the end of the road for Scott Wells who was terrible in pass protection. You don’t see centers give up that much pressure that often.

Breakdown: Yuck. Given the investments the team has made this was something of a stunner. Jake Long went down, after a strong start the play of Joseph Barksdale fell off a cliff and Davin Joseph played exactly as you’d expect him to (not well). Then there was Greg Robinson who looked lost as the line tried to find a role for him. Will he be better in 2015 now the team has committed to him at left tackle?

30. Buffalo Bills (22nd)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 23rd, Run Blocking Ranking: 32nd, Penalties Ranking: 4th

Stud: Not his best season but still better than his teammates managed. Cordy Glenn (+6.5) continues to be a reliable if hardly imposing left tackle.

Dud: Two guys played every snap and while Seantrel Henderson finished with the lower grade, he’s an undrafted free agent. The same can’t be said of Erik Pears (-25.0) whose conversion to guard was a disaster.

Breakdown: It did not go well. The investment in Chris Williams seemed odd and he struggled before landing on Injured Reserve. The right side of the line was a liability from Day 1 and while it did get better, it was not to a degree that inspires any confidence in this unit for 2015.

29. San Diego Chargers (18th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 27th, Run Blocking Ranking: 26th, Penalties Ranking: 11th

Stud: He’ll never be confused as elite, but King Dunlap is a solid enough left tackle that can get some push in the run game.

Dud: Pick a guard, any guard. We’ll go with Johnnie Troutman who just didn’t deliver in his 790 snaps. The whole interior is ripe for ripping up.

Breakdown: They don’t give you the cleanest pocket and the moves they’ve made haven’t turned them into road graders. D.J. Fluker concerns you with his pass protection and yet he’s arguably the only guy you’d guarantee will be starting for the team next year even if it is at guard.

28th. Tennessee Titans (17th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 29th, Run Blocking Ranking: 16th, Penalties Ranking: 31st

Stud: Share it between the left tackles. Both Michael Roos and Taylor Lewan impressed when they got on the field.

Dud: He was poor towards the end of his time in Baltimore and Michael Oher carried that form over to his new team. Just a poor move in free agency on their part.

Breakdown: They’ve spent big on Oher and Andy Levitre in recent years with little return. They’ve used their last two first-round picks on Lewan and Chance Warmack and while Lewan has impressed and Warmack does catch the eye at times, Warmack especially hasn’t reached the heights expected of him. The new Buccaneers in terms of paying a lot of attention to their offensive line, but getting it wrong a lot more than they’ve gotten it right.

27. Kansas City Chiefs (20th)

2014-OL-INSET-HUDSONPass Blocking Ranking: 22nd, Run Blocking Ranking: 27th, Penalties Ranking: 12th

Stud: With a season that warranted Pro-Bowl contention, Rodney Hudson (+13.0) was comfortably the best player on this line. Finished the year our third-ranked center.

Dud: It can make tough watching for Chiefs fans seeing Mike McGlynn give up so much pressure and lose his one-on-ones in the run game. His benching likely came too late.

Breakdown: It was always going to be tough to replace Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz and it proved every bit that. It didn’t help that Eric Fisher didn’t take the leap forward on the left side the team had hoped for, looking anything but a former first overall pick.

26. Atlanta Falcons (30th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 19th, Run Blocking Ranking: 29th, Penalties Ranking: 22nd

Stud: Stud seems generous, but the team lucked into something when injury after injury forced Ryan Schraeder (+7.1) to start at right tackle. He was a stabilizing presence.

Dud: Injured or not, the season of Jake Matthews (-36.8) did not go as planned. Switched from right to left tackle, he gave up too much pressure and was too lightweight in the run game. The hope is a healthy offseason will see him get closer to what is required of a left tackle at this level.

Breakdown: They got better, but even with the injuries it wasn’t the level they had hoped for after spending a high pick on a tackle and investing big money in Jon Asamoah. The encouraging sign is they did get better as the season went on, but it’s far from an imposing unit.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 26th, Run Blocking Ranking: 10th, Penalties Ranking: 32nd

Stud: Credit to Demar Dotson who flipped between left and right tackle and maintained a positive grade.

Dud: Any time you’re forced to start Oniel Cousins it’s unlikely to go well. Suffice to say it didn’t work out for the Bucs either.

Breakdown: The decision to get younger at left tackle backfired with Anthony Collins struggling as Donald Penn flourished. Logan Mankins was a vital pickup given what they had at the guards spot but you’d be hard pressed to figure out what this line will look like next year.

 

Click on to see No.’s 24 through 17…

  • Tyler Ferree

    The reality is mangold was propping up the rest of the line for the entire season before being injuredi still can’t believe that they stuck with willie colon all season (hence the penalties ranking)

    • a57se

      Mangold couldn’t prop up Winters…

      • Tyler Ferree

        Nothing could prop up winters (when you have no doubt that the backup will be an improvement on the starter you know the starter sucks)

  • Chris

    Would love to see this done for the DLs as well, sorted by 4-3 and 3-4. I’m predicting Cinci to be dead last in the 4-3 category.

    • Bmonster McCarthy

      That’s pretty stupid. It wasn’t Cinci’s def. that really cost them. It was that wildly inconsistent QB, WR issues, and an up and down running game.

      • Chris

        Cinci ranked dead last in total sacks. Atkins was well below average by his standards. Gilberry did not adequately replace Johnson. Peko is no good whatsoever. Geathers is one of the worst #3 DEs in the league. Still and Thompson didn’t do anything. It was a total fail by anyone not named Atkins or Dunlap.

        Contrast that to the last couple years where the DL was a monster, deep 7 man rotation. Nowhere in my post did I say I was blaming the DL entirely for the team’s failings, but it goes without saying that this unit needs help in the offseason.

        Gilberry and Peko shouldn’t be starting. They rarely ever sign anyone so that means they’ll be drafting along the DL early this year. We’ve taken enough CBs, WRs, RBs, and TEs lately. Our OL is in great shape. It’s time to address the DL again.

        • mrgingrich

          I can only hope we draft DL.

        • Riffle,Rod&Fly

          They’ve been giving up ~200yd run games since last year’s playoff appearance as well.

          • Chris

            Credit that to the loss of one of the best run defending 4-3 ends (Johnson), Atkins [hopefully] just healing/getting back to 100%, and both Burfict and Maualuga being in and out of the lineup most of the season.

        • stephen

          Im an atlanta fan and do you really think Cinc is worse than atlanta who QB was ranked as the 5th best QB. and defense dead last by most articles. our best defense is our CB’s who try to cover for 10-15 seconds(which in the NFL is extremely long time).

      • Chad Thostenson

        its more likely to be mike zimmer’s leaving, cinci dropped dramatically and minnesota rose dramatically.

  • a57se

    Amazing how many first or second round picks show up in the Dud category.
    I am always amazed when I hear people saying teams should take the Top O’linemen in the first round…they seem to bust just as much as anyone.

    • Tyler Ferree

      Its about 50/50 with linemen, wideout for example are 9/ 25 (this is using former first rounders) QBs are like 42% linemen are generally safer its just still relative.

      • Shizzle Dawg

        9/ 25?

        • Tyler Ferree

          36% succeed, yes nearly 2 in every 3 wide recievers drafted in the first round works out to be a bust.

          • Shizzle Dawg

            Oh ok. How did you label players as busts, Pro Bowl or still being with the team after 5 years?

          • Tyler Ferree

            Returning after 5, probowl is a bad criteria its really a glorified popularity contest.

      • FloridaTwelve?

        Bud Grant and George Young always preferred linemen in the early rounds because they have longer careers, making them a better long-term investment. Free agency has changed all that.

        • Tyler Ferree

          Doesn’t lower the overall risk associated with other positions (though mostly wide reciever and quarterback for very different reasons (recievers as i pointed out have an abnormally high bust rate while if you miss in round one on a quarterback you should start packing you will generally be on your way out in short order).

    • Andrew Morris

      It all depends on scouting, coaching, and teamwork. Luck has a certain aspect to everything as well.

      Given that three of Dallas’ O-line were first round picks, hard to say that O-line picks are just as likely to bust as not.

      QBs RBs LBs and DEs are all more likelier to bust than OL.

      • a57se

        Actually it is well documented. Draft Metrics did a study of the draft and its’ results over a 15 year period.

  • Jaguars28

    Nice article. I knew our O-Line wasn’t as bad as most people think.

    DC has done a great job rehauling an awful unit (Guy Whimper, *ahem*). Linder is a stud. Bowanko looks like a possible diamond-in-the-rough. Joeckel struggled, but wasn’t terrible and showed improvement after the bye week.

    All we need is a new right tackle (Bryan Bulaga or Joe Barksdale?), and another year for the younger players to mesh. Then we could be a top-15 or even top-10 unit.

    • FloridaTwelve?

      Just as Seattle’s line gets bailed out by Wilson and Lynch, the Jag’s line is undermined by the fact that their best skill-position players always end the season on IR. They are always running out of RBs and/or WRs.

  • PhillyPete

    Jason “Get Away with False Starts every down” Peters…my boy!

  • nono

    are you guys adding offensive line grades together again?

  • Eric

    how on god’s green earth is the redskins OL ranked 12th on any list?

  • James Williams

    Is this real? Had already prepared myself to see Jags o-line #33 (yes they were that bad) But to see them at #18 is quite weird. I guess it’s because our Guards and Center was pretty good. But Those Tackles are horrible. Gave up nearly 80 sacks. Could have been 100 if it weren’t for the moves Bortles has in the pocket to avoid sacks.

    Sure they dont even deserve to be in this list.

    • Jaguars28

      You have to take into account all the times Bortles held onto the ball too long. We also didn’t have a good running back-blocker.

    • Carter

      Bortles just had really sloppy footwork, and took a long time to get rid of the ball.

      BTWs sorry about Fowler, that sucks.

  • HumblyConceited

    Redskins offensive line ranked 9th in passing (12th overall)?? Gtfoh with that bullshit. As diehard Skins fan I know this shit is a total lie

    • Trey Warner

      RG3 does hold onto the ball so long it’s like he’s rocking a baby to sleep….that could be a factor

  • FloridaTwelve?

    Very nice job, Khaled, but have you forgotten something? There has been nothing on this year’s ROOKIES since Week 12.

  • atworkforu

    SF needs a special backup dud category for Johnathan Martin. Boone was also much worse then usual, maybe not practicing this summer hurt him. I’m surprised they ranked the same this year as last, subjectively they were much worse especially run blocking.

  • sliceAndDice

    I’m totally shocked the Seahawks weren’t 32nd. They’ve had no pass protection to speak of all year.

    • scott blue

      are you serious

    • davathon

      You obviously didn’t watch too many Dolphins’ game. Tannehill got planted on his back every other play.

  • Packfanvic

    we will see how good the cowchicks are when they play a real team on Sunday!!!

  • wowgivemeabreak

    The Patriots line ranked 31st in pass blocking? Please. Every time I see the Pats play, Brady has all day to throw and a huge pocket. I expect the same today yet the line still won’t get credit.

    I appreciate advanced metrics but I’ll take my eyes over them, thanks.

    • eYeDEF

      This is why I think Football Outsiders does as far better job ranking offensive lines. For a position group like the line that must work in concert with one another to be most effective, grading a line is more complex than just aggregating individual linemen score like PFF does.It is ironic that ProFootballFocus would have the Patriots at 31st and pass protection well Football Outsiders has them as second in pass protection.

      • Guest

        FO is only calculating adjusted sack rate and doesn’t take into account pressure though. You can be a poor blocker and give up pressure regularly that affects the QB without giving up sacks. (Connolly)
        Also, with adjusted sack rate, they are taking into account all blockers, including TE’s and HB’s if they stay in to block. Not saying one is better than the other, just that they are looking at fairly different things.

      • Johnny Vicars

        Ok first of all the pats are not 2nd even at football outsiders, and they are only looking at adjusted sack rate, not the line in general. Adjusted sack rate can be high becuase of the ability of teh Qb to get rid of the ball faster, this page takes into account how long before the Qb is under pressure. Brady held the ball the least amount of time in the NFL last year.

        • eYeDEF

          Sure but it’s still flawed to aggregate individual scores to grade the play of the entire line rather than judging the entire line as an emergent unit. To give an extreme example to illustrate my point, you could have 4 guys doing a fab job of their blocking assignments with one guy allowing all sorts of pressure to get through and sacking the QB. Those 4 guys all have great PFF scores in the green. And their aggregate scores far outweigh the one guy that keeps allowing pressure to get through and sacking the QB, so the line has a positive grade and is ranked highly. Is that really an accurate measure of how well the line played as a whole?

          • Johnny Vicars

            True, but I watched the games, and while our right tackle played well, our LT had a bad year and our guards were awful, we got better at center once stork came in, but it was far far from good. Brady does not hold the ball long, which helps this process, but if you had a QB like a Ben or a Tannehill who hold the ball a little longer than some, they would get killed, the main draw on the draft this year was oline especially at guard.

          • eYeDEF

            It’s true that guys like Brady and Manning will always make their lines look better in pass blocking because they’ve got the two quickest release times in the league. It would be hard to come up with a grading system that properly weights for this since how long they could have protected a QB with an average release time is a theoretical exercise. Still, perhaps there could be a way to come up with a quotient to factor in that built in advantage when ranking lines, but I haven’t seen a site provide one yet. This makes both FO and PFF’s line rankings flawed due to weaknesses in both models.

          • Johnny Vicars

            For sure it is tough to show something. I mean when you watch every game you can pick things up here and there. I know the inner part of the line struggled this year for the pats because you could see it and they were shifting players around a lot, but its hard to measure and sacks either taken or not given up does not really tell the story. If you notice Rookies usually take more sacks than vets do and so on.

    • davathon

      You don’t watch and grade 16 games every week. Plus, you’re a biased fan.

    • Johnny Vicars

      Brady had all day? He was hit more times last year than at any other point in his career, they were shuffling olineman all year. Brady gets rid of the ball fast so he is able to avoid some of that, but the pass blocking was awful, worst I have seen it since like 05.

      • Carter

        Johnny is spot on: It is like that with Manning too… Brady, Manning, Rodgers, when you have a weaker O-Line, it can be masked by the QB being able to get rid of the ball quickly… But when you have a Mediocre, or BAD QB… there’s no hiding it. My best examples, McCown in Chicago with a decent O-Line, vs McCown in Tampa with NO O-Line.

        But when you have a great O-Line, but no real QBs its not that much better. Cleveland turned Weeden and Hoyer into 3,000 yard passers…
        Cincinatti makes Dalton look like he is a good quarterback, but the playoffs and Dalton 0-playoffs exposes that he is not a good quarterback, and that his line cannot bail him out of everything.

        Romo, I kinda wonder if he’s borderline done, and it’s just the Dallas O-Line holding his career together.

  • Thomas Bell

    Do these stats take into account Manning’s ability to get rid of the ball so quickly, and to know where to go with it? I have a feeling Denver’s 5th ranked pass protection is a bit generous.

    • scott blue

      the grade each player, it has nothing to do with the qb

  • Jack Casey

    Why is Will Beattys positive grade in red?

  • Chad

    Great Article. Thanks for your hard work… Check last sentence in Packers write up

  • davathon

    The Dolphins have 1st round talent at both tackles and at center and they’re last in the league. The speaks volumes about the coaching staff.

  • Robert

    Just curious about something. I’m new to the site, but I wonder how you grade out the Eagles as the #1 run blocking line given that they had the 9th-highest rushing yardage total in the league in 2014? Seems to me that, with eight teams getting more yardage and seven of those eight having higher yards per rush averages than the Eagles, that you use other criteria and I must be missing something.

    • Retributi0n

      Total yardage has more to do with the actual running back than the actual run blocking. The line can’t really control how many yards a RB gets after they hit the second level. They can only make sure the RB has a clear hole where he is supposed to. Sure you have some like Jason Peters (Eagles) who can beast to the 2nd level as an O-linemen, but still it’s different.

  • Melvin Telbert

    The reason the Cowboys O-line is ranked so high is because the people at PFF KNOW, they KNOW, they KNOW that the Cowboys have drafted 3 1st rounders. That’s it.
    If these same guys were drafted in 3, 4, 5 round the Cowboys would be lower on the list.
    Yes, I’m saying it’s all psychological based on Demarco Murray’s style of Running. Demarco made that O-line better than it actually was.

    • Minuteman

      I guess we’ll find out this year exactly how good they really are.

    • Sean Mounts

      Then you’re a fool. Murray had 800 yards alone before first contact. That means before he could even get to the second level, the o line was mauling defenders. Football Outsiders also ranked Dallas at #1 and used stats to do so.

      http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol

      Was it Murray who gave Romo 8 seconds against the best defense in the NFL? Are you being serious right now? If these same guys were drafted in rounds 3,4,5, they would be steals. They would not have fallen that far. Your logic is highly flawed.

      • FlexMeThis

        You have to wonder how badly Dallas mauled Telbert’s team.

  • layer100

    THIS SEASON WILL BE FUN TO WATCH ESPECIALLY TO SEE MY COWBOYS DEMOLISH THEIR OPPONENTS. JUST THE NATURE OF THE GAME …SMILE.