Ranking all 32 NFL offensive lines this season
We’re almost at the halfway point of the year for all NFL teams, making now a perfect time to revisit our PFF offensive line rankings.
Last time around (entering Week 5), Atlanta held the No. 1 spot; as the losses have crept in, however, the Falcons have slipped slightly up the list. Who has earned the O-line crown entering Week 9? Counting down from worst to best, let’s find out.
(Editor’s note: Each unit’s rank entering Week 5 is in parenthesis next to the team’s name. Each player’s 2015 overall grade is denoted in parenthesis next to that player’s name, using PFF’s new 1–100 scale.)
32. Seattle Seahawks (30th)
Pass blocking rank: 32nd
Run blocking rank: 29th
Penalties rank: 17th
Dud: There’s some strong competition here, but the play of Garry Gilliam (32.3) in his 515 snaps takes the win. Only five tackles have a lower grade this season.
Summary: Much has been made of the Seahawks’ struggles across the line, and you can’t say it’s unjustified. No line has a worse pass blocking efficiency score (they’ve combined to surrender 108 quarterback disruptions on 298 passing plays), and they’re not an awful much better in the run game. In Russell and Marshawn, they must trust.
31. Detroit Lions (32nd)
Pass blocking rank: 29th
Run blocking rank: 26th
Penalties rank: 20th
Stud: The versatile guard Manuel Ramirez (83.2) has looked good whenever he’s been on the field.
Summary: What has happened to this unit? They looked like a young, developing line a year ago, but since then, they’ve regressed; pressure is flying through the line too often at Matt Stafford, and not often enough do we see holes in the run game.
30. Miami Dolphins (27th)
Pass blocking rank: 27th
Run blocking rank: 30th
Penalties rank: T-8th
Stud: You almost feel bad for Mike Pouncey (80.0) at times, who looks so much better than his line teammates.
Summary: The offensive line looked like a weakness heading into the season, and so it has proved. Injuries to Ja’Wuan James and , haven’t helped, but even those two being fully healthy couldn’t overcome the play at the guard spots.
29. San Francisco 49ers (22nd)
Pass blocking rank: 16th
Run blocking rank: 32nd
Penalties rank: 4th
Stud: As the 49ers fall apart, Joe Staley (84.4) keeps doing his job to a high level.
Summary: Remember when this line was one of the best in the league? That wasn’t all that long ago, and acts as a real highlight of what’s wrong with this team.
28. San Diego Chargers (23rd)
Pass blocking rank: 28th
Run blocking rank: 25th
Penalties rank: 27th
Stud: There’s no denying that Joe Barksdale (84.9) has proved a great pickup, even if the team hadn’t suffered all the injuries they had.
Dud: Injuries have forced guys to play who really shouldn’t have: Trevor Robinson (28.2), chiefly.
Summary: Every year, the Chargers seem to pick up more and more injuries on the line. Is it bad luck, or something about the guys on the roster? Whatever it is, it’s the main factor in such a low ranking.
27. St. Louis Rams (25th)
Pass blocking rank: 25th
Run blocking rank: 28th
Penalties rank: 28th
Stud: First-year player Rob Havenstein (73.1) doesn’t look like a rookie.
Dud: Sophomore Greg Robinson (34.4) does look like a rookie.
Summary: There’s some talent on this offense, but this line is making them really max it out with their up and down efforts. We mentioned Robinson as the dud, but it’s a worry that he doesn’t seem to be progressing.
26. Tennessee Titans (17th)
Pass blocking rank: 30th
Run blocking rank: 22nd
Penalties rank: 26th
Stud: Beaten for five sacks, Taylor Lewan (77.2) is the standout player on this line.
Dud: Jeremiah Poutasi (39.5) started out well, but team’s are beginning to understand how to play him.
Summary: The Titans’ offensive struggles start up front, where Poutasi is outmatched, Chance Warmack is flirting with bust status, and injuries cripple the interior. When you invest as much in the line as the Titans have, this is a poor return.
25. Washington Redskins (31st)
Pass blocking rank: 21st
Run blocking rank: 31st
Penalties rank: 24th
Stud: As ever, the stud remains Trent Williams (86.9).
Dud: He’s been a little better recently, but Kory Lichtensteiger (19.1) just hasn’t played well this year.
Summary: While the tackles have played well, the interior has struggled, especially in pass protection. That’s disappointing, especially given the high pick of Brandon Scherff.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28th)
Pass blocking rank: 19th
Run blocking rank: 23rd
Penalties rank: 32nd
Stud: He’s not the player he once was, but Logan Mankins (77.9) is still playing well.
Dud: It’s not been easy for Donovan Smith (33.2), who needs to do better in the run game.
Summary: If you’ve got a problem on this line, it’s both tackles, who each rank in the bottom eight of offensive tackles. That worries you about Gosder Cherilus, who might be coming to the end of his run.
23. Chicago Bears (24th)
Pass blocking rank: 24th
Run blocking rank: 18th
Penalties rank: 19th
Stud: Credit Matt Slauson (74.6), who has played well despite being shifted between center and guard.
Dud: It’s kind of remarkable that the team benched Jermon Bushrod (54.5) for Charles Leno (30.4). Neither man has played particularly well, but Leno doesn’t look ready for the big-time yet (though he has been better in recent weeks).
Summary: You get the impression that this patchwork unit is trying to stumble onto a short-term measure that works. Players playing out of position, big-money tackles benched—it’s very much a unit in transition, which isn’t to be unexpected.
22. Kansas City Chiefs (10th)
Pass blocking rank: 31st
Run blocking rank: 7th
Penalties rank: 21st
Stud: The line’s strength is in run blocking, and nobody sums this up more than Jeff Allen (82.9).
Dud: The line’s weakness is in pass protection, and nobody sums this up more than Jah Reid (29.7).
Summary: Reid, Donald Stephenson and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif have allowed too much pressure, really detracted from the impressive work of their interior lineman in the run game.
21. New York Jets (14th)
Pass blocking rank: 18th
Run blocking rank: 21st
Penalties rank: 12th
Stud: No real studs here, but James Carpenter (69.7) has proven to be a solid pickup.
Dud: Struggling in the run and pass game, Breno Giacomini (39.8) hasn’t had his best year.
Summary: You always wonder, when aging players stop playing as well as they have in the past, if that’s the start of their decline. Given that Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson have been such big parts of this line for so long, you worry which direction this unit is heading.
20. Green Bay Packers (26th)
Pass blocking rank: 8th
Run blocking rank: 27th
Penalties rank: 30th
Stud: His sack streak was ended, but Josh Sitton (82.0) remains the best player on this line.
Dud: It was tough when Don Barclay (27.8) was playing, but perhaps the surprise is that the Packers haven’t seen the kind of improvement at the spot with the return of Bryan Bulaga (44.7) they would have hoped for.
Summary: This is part of an offense that just isn’t quite there yet. Chiefly, it’s the run game that isn’t quite working, especially when all the tackles are struggling to get much push.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (18th)
Pass blocking rank: 26th
Run blocking rank: T-11th
Penalties rank: T-6th
Stud: Discarded by Oakland, Stefen Wisniewski (77.1) has proven to be a shrewd addition in Jacksonville.
Dud: Replacing Brandon Linder was always going to be tough, especially for rookie A.J. Cann (41.7), who has had his problems in pass protection.
Summary: They’ve invested in the line, but the big-money signings of Jermey Parnell (45.0) and Zane Beadles (63.8) haven’t delivered the goods, and former second-overall pick Luke Joeckel (46.1) has never lived up to that. Disappointing return.
18. New England Patriots (7th)
Pass blocking rank: 23rd
Run blocking rank: 14th
Penalties rank: 11th
Stud: “Stud” seems a stretch, but Josh Kline (80.7) is having his best year, becoming a key constant on the Patriots’ line.
Dud: You worry about the long-term healthy of Tom Brady with Cameron Fleming (29.3) continuing to protect him.
Summary: You get the feeling this ranking is only going one way. The injury to Nate Solder (50.0) has really thrown this line for a loop, with the good news that it’s more in the passing game, where Brady remains exceptional at negating pressure.
17. Houston Texans (16th)
Pass blocking rank: 12th
Run blocking rank: 24th
Penalties rank: 10th
Stud: You don’t hear the name Brandon Brooks (69.2) a lot when talking about the best guards in the league, but his consistent efforts mean you should.
Dud: After his breakout contract year, it’s disappointing that Derek Newton (44.8) has reverted to old ways. That said, he’s been asked to play a variety of positions, so it’s somewhat understandable.
Summary: Chris Myers is gone, and Duane Brown has battled injuries. The upshot? The Houston line looks like it’s in transition, which, all things considered, makes this showing better than you might have expected.
16. Denver Broncos (20th)
Pass blocking rank: 15th
Run blocking rank: 19th
Penalties rank: 15th
Summary: The Broncos have had some problems at tackle, and not had the kind of push in the run game that they’ve become accustomed to. But they’ve made do, and while it might not always be pretty, it’s proven effective enough, given the strengths of other units on the team.
15. New York Giants (12th)
Pass blocking rank: 22nd
Run blocking rank: 8th
Penalties rank: T-2nd
Stud: Its been a nice transition to guard for Justin Pugh (86.8), with the position looking like a natural fit for him.
Dud: It’s amazing: year after year, a new team takes a chance on Marshal Newhouse (32.9). It never goes well.
Summary: Tackle has been where the team has struggled. The loss of Will Beatty has forced Ereck Flowers (39.3) into a spot he’s not ready for, and Newhouse into one he’ll never handle. The interior is a fine group, though.
14. Minnesota Vikings (15th)
Pass blocking rank: 14th
Run blocking rank: 17th
Penalties rank: T-8th
Stud: Nobody expected Joe Berger (83.1) to fill in for John Sullivan so well, but he has.
Dud: A disappointing year for Brandon Fusco (44.5) who has given up way too much pressure by his own high standards.
Summary: There’s been an improvement in Matt Kalil (54.8), which has been good to see, but no real standout performances. That said, they’ve done a lot better than expected, given how they’ve coped without two lynchpins on the line.
13. Indianapolis Colts (19th)
Pass blocking rank: 10th
Run blocking rank: 16th
Penalties rank: 22nd
Stud: Credit to Jack Mewhort (86.6) for doing a good job wherever he lines up.
Dud: When he’s played, Hugh Thornton (45.2) has allowed way too much pressure up the middle.
Summary: The struggles of Andrew Luck might make the offensive line look worse than it is, but the truth is that, while some have struggled, for the most part this line has done a good job handling the toughest assignments out there.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (13th)
Pass blocking rank: 5th
Run blocking rank: 20th
Penalties rank: 23rd
Stud: You don’t normally mention the name of Ramon Foster (85.8), but he’s playing at a really high level now.
Dud: It’s hard to replace a talent like Maurkice Pouncey. Cody Wallace (32.6) is really confirming that.
Summary: Injuries have the potential to cripple this line, which is a real shame, because over the years, the Steelers have done a tremendous job acquiring talent.
11. Baltimore Ravens (29th)
Pass blocking rank: 17th
Run blocking rank: 9th
Penalties rank: T-2nd
Dud: Every time James Hurst (25.8) has taken the field, things have not gone well.
Summary: This unit is much improved from earlier in the season; that’s less on James Hurst, more on Eugene Monroe, allowing the strength of this line—their two guards—to really shine.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (21st)
Pass blocking rank: 9th
Run blocking rank: T-11th
Penalties rank: 16th
Stud: How relieved do you think the Eagles were that their best lineman, perhaps best offensive player, is still healthy after Jason Peters’ (87.8) scare against Carolina?
Dud: Things have not gone well when Dennis Kelly (38.3) has been forced onto the field.
Summary: It’s not the line it once was, and they’ve struggled with injuries and replacing people who have moved on. But this unit is getting better and starting to find a rhythm now.
9. Arizona Cardinals (11th)
Pass blocking rank: 20th
Run blocking rank: 4th
Penalties rank: 13th
Stud: The Cardinals brought Mike Iupati (84.3) in to inject some life into their running game. Mission accomplished.
Dud: If there’s one area that has proven problematic in Arizona, it’s at right tackle. Bobby Massie (45.0) has had some problems since returning to the lineup, earning negative grades in pass protection the past five weeks.
Summary: The much-improved Cardinals’ line is spearheaded by the fantastic left-side combo of Iupati and Jared Veldheer (83.2). Outside of that, it’s still a world away from the Arizona lines of recent years, with no real liabilities.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (6th)
Pass blocking rank: 7th
Run blocking rank: 10th
Penalties rank: 18th
Stud: Not only is Andrew Whitworth (89.3) on the best snap streaks of all linemen for sacks allowed, he’s also the top lineman on the Bengals’ roster.
Dud: It’s never good when your center has given up the most pressures on your team. Couple that with substandard run blocking, and Russell Bodine (37.3) needs to up his game if he wants to stick around long-term.
Summary: A constant in the top 10 for as many years as we’ve been doing this, the guards are playing well, but the performances of Andre Smith (41.7) probably ensure this is his last year with the team, with both Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi waiting in the wings.
7. Buffalo Bills (9th)
Pass blocking rank: 6th
Run blocking rank: 13th
Penalties rank: 5th
Dud: It’s tough being a rookie in the NFL, and John Miller (32.0) has found it a hard adjustment. He’s just had too many troubles in pass protection.
Summary: You worry about the right side of the line giving way, especially in pass protection, but from center to left tackle, you’ve got an excellent trio of talent that sees the Bills as the kind of line that can really help their running backs out.
6. Oakland Raiders (5th)
Pass blocking rank: 3rd
Run blocking rank: 15th
Penalties rank: 28th
Stud: Second-year guard Gabe Jackson (89.1) has stepped up his game in a big way this year.
Dud: Right guard J’Marcus Webb (39.6) has had a rough time of things at right guard.
Summary: This line sums up the Raiders’ transformation under Reggie McKenzie. Good drafting and shrewd free agent pickups have given this offense the platform to succeed.
5. New Orleans Saints (8th)
Pass blocking rank: 13th
Run blocking rank: 3rd
Penalties rank: 14th
Stud: This has been the year where Terron Armstead (93.0) has made it known he’s one of the best left tackles in the league.
Dud: They’re a better team when Senio Kelemete (49.9) isn’t starting.
Summary: They lost Ben Grubbs, but the introduction of Max Unger (79.0) and development of Armstead sees the Saints continuing to field a strong line. You worry a little about the future of this unit at guard, where Jahri Evans (75.1) is more rep than production at this stage.
4. Carolina Panthers (2nd)
Pass blocking rank: 4th
Run blocking rank: 6th
Penalties rank: T-6th
Stud: There isn’t a better center in the league right now than Ryan Kalil (93.9).
Dud: It’s somewhat ironic that the only first-round pick on the line is it’s weakest link. That’s Michael Oher (70.8), by the way.
Summary: Un-drafted free agents and cast-offs from other teams: generally speaking, that’s a formula for a terrible line, but the work of the personnel department in finding the right guys, and coaching staff in getting them ready, gives the Panthers a premier power blocking unit that just so happens to be pretty handy in pass protection.
3. Atlanta Falcons (1st)
Pass blocking rank: 11th
Run blocking rank: 2nd
Penalties rank: 1st
Stud: 2015 has proved a much better year for Jake Matthews (80.4), whose redemption mirrors that of the Falcons’ entire line.
Dud: It’s nitpicking to call out Mike Person (58.6), who has, despite being the lowest graded player on the line, still proven to be a big upgrade.
Summary: In recent weeks, teams have beat at them a little rushing the passer, where they’ve overpowered this more finesse-based unit. But that doesn’t take away from a remarkable turnaround, with their work in the run game really something to behold.
2. Cleveland Browns (3rd)
Pass blocking rank: 1st
Run blocking rank: 5th
Penalties rank: 25th
Stud: Joe Thomas (93.8), despite trade rumors, remains the best player the Browns have on the roster.
Dud: We’re drawing a blank here. Every starter on the line has a positive grade. That’s impressive.
Summary: The scary thing is, this line could get better. Alex Mack (77.9) isn’t back to his pre-injury levels, and as good as Joel Bitonio (83.3) has been, he’s not reached his rookie-year efforts yet. Even despite that, this is a line that does its best to overcome the limitations of the Browns’ skill players.
1. Dallas Cowboys (4th)
Pass blocking rank: 2nd
Run blocking rank: 1st
Penalties rank: 31st
Stud: Each of the former first-round picks on this line have made a strong case to be the stud, but how you can look past Tyron Smith (94.8), who has allowed just four hurries all year?
Dud: This could be the last year for Doug Free (47.0), who has struggled for consistency this year.
Summary: The Cowboys’ investment in their line continues to reap dividends. First-rounders Smith, Zack Martin (92.9), and Travis Frederick (89.5) are all guys who should be hearing their name in All-Pro and Pro Bowl conversations. Now, if only they could get Tony Romo healthy.