Ranking all 32 NFL offensive lines entering the 2016 season

Nathan Jahnke ranks all 32 NFL offensive lines entering the 2016 season, with center Travis Frederick and the Cowboys at No. 1

| 1 month ago
(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Ranking all 32 NFL offensive lines entering the 2016 season

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 12, 2016, and updated on Sept. 7, 2016, to reflect changes on offensive lines due to injuries, roster moves, etc.]

Continuing our season previews series, the PFF analysis team recently ranked every NFL offensive line, based on both the starting lineup and projected depth of each unit. Nearly every team has made changes to their line compared to last year, and at the very least, each team has addressed the depth of their O-line unit.

With those changes taken into consideration, here’s how the league’s offensive lines stack up heading into the 2016 season.

[More: Be sure to check out PFF’s ranking of all 32 NFL QB situations, running back units, and defensive front-sevens.]

1. Dallas Cowboys

Projected starters: LT Tyron Smith, LG La’el Collins, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT Doug Free

Roster depth: Ronald Leary, Joe Looney, Chaz Green

Key stat: Travis Frederick recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.7 last season, tied for the best mark among centers.

The Cowboys are returning the same starting-five from the 2015 season, and will attempt to become a historically-great line. Smith, Frederick, and Martin were all top-three in overall grades at their respective positions last year, while Free was a top-10 right tackle. If La’el Collins can improve from his rookie year and live up to his draft hype, the Dallas offensive line can be special. If an interior lineman is forced to miss time due to injury, Ronald Leary is one of the better backup linemen in the league.

2. Oakland Raiders

Projected starters: LT Donald Penn, LG Kelechi Osemele, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Menelik Watson

Roster depth: Austin Howard, Jon Feliciano, Matt McCants

Key stat:  In 2015, the Raiders’ offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 83.7, the second-best mark in the league.

The Raiders quietly had one of the better offensive lines in the league last season, thanks to the addition of Rodney Hudson via free agency and the second-year improvement of Gabe Jackson. Their only weak point in 2015 was at guard with J’Marcus Webb, but they have replaced him with free-agent pickup Kelechi Osemele (Ravens). For each of the last two years, Osemele graded among the top five guards in run-blocking. Both Osemele and Austin Howard have position-versatility, so the Raiders can let their favorite backup join the lineup if an injury occurs.

[More: Be sure to check out PFF’s ranking of all 32 NFL QB situations and defensive front-sevens.]

3. Green Bay Packers

Projected starters: LT David Bakhtiari, LG Lane Taylor, C J.C.Tretter, RG T.J. Lang, RT Bryan Bulaga

Roster depth: Jason Spriggs, Don Barclay, Kyle Murphy

Key stat: T.J. Lang was one of just three guards with 500+ pass blocks in 2015 and two or fewer combined sacks/hits allowed.

The Packers’ line is now led by veteran T.J. Lang, a player with an overall grade of 80.0+ in four of the last five years (his personal best mark came in 2015, at 89.3). Green Bay has a pair of tackles in Bakhtiari and Bulaga who have been solid in recent years, and then new starters who have played well on small sample sizes. When J.C. Tretter lined up at center in 2015, he recorded a pass-blocking efficiency mark of 99.2, the best mark at the position league-wide.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

Projected starters: LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Clint Boling, C Russell Bodine, RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Cedric Ogbuehi

Roster depth: Jake Fisher, Eric Winston, T.J. Johnson

Key stat: Andrew Whitworth recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 97.2 in 2015, tied for second-best among NFL offensive tackles.

The Bengals’ offensive line remains largely unchanged outside of losing Andre Smith. In each of the last nine years, Andrew Whitworth has graded above-average in both run-blocking and pass-blocking. Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler have been mainstays at guard for Cincinnati, and have also provided consistent production. What holds the Bengals out of the top-three is the play of Russell Bodine, who allowed 30 pressures last season, fifth-most among centers. There will be competition at RT, with either an inexperienced player or Eric Winston likely taking the field come Week 1.

5. Atlanta Falcons

Projected starters: LT Jake Matthews, LG Andy Levitre, C Alex Mack, RG Chris Chester, RT Ryan Schraeder

Roster depth: Mike Person, Tom Compton, Ben Garland

Key stat: In 2015, the offensive line had a pass blocking efficiency of 80.9; fourth best in the league.

The Falcons have improved greatly over a short period of time. The additions of Levitre and Chester at guard have helped the team in terms of run-blocking. Jake Matthews made huge strides in his second pro season; he allowed 16 combined sacks and hits as a rookie, but dropped that mark to just seven in 2015. Schraeder was the highest-graded right tackle in the league last season. The biggest weakness on the line was center Mike Person, who has been replaced by Alex Mack. If all of these linemen are at their best, the Falcons could move even higher up this list as the season progresses.

6. Carolina Panthers

Projected starters: LT Michael Oher, LG Andrew Norwell, C Ryan Kalil, RG Trai Turner, RT Mike Remmers

Roster depth: Gino Gradkowski, Daryl Williams, Tyler Larsen

Key stat: All three Carolina interior linemen earned run-blocking grades of 81.0 or higher last season; the Panthers are the only NFL team with this claim.

The Panthers are one of just three teams that are returning the same offensive line that played together for the majority of last season. For the most part, the line is very solid outside of two clear weaknesses. Michael Oher had the best year since his rookie season in pass-protection, but in all seven years of his career, his run-blocking grade has decreased. At right tackle, Mike Remmers was average in run-blocking, but his poor pass-blocking was made apparent in Super Bowl 50. Carolina decided not to re-sign their top backups from last year, Amini Silatolu and Fernando Velasco, so an injury could greatly affect this line’s ability.

7. Philadelphia Eagles

Projected starters: LT Jason Peters, LG Allen Barbre, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, RT Lane Johnson

Roster depth: Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Tobin, Isaac Seumalo

Key stat: Jason Peters earned the seventh-best run-blocking grade among NFL OTs last season.

The Eagles own a line that is likely to improve over last year due to upgrades among both their starters and backups. Philadelphia’s two lowest-graded linemen from last season, Matt Tobin and Dennis Kelly, played a combined 1,400 snaps, which won’t happen again in 2016, as Kelly is now with the Titans. They added Brandon Brooks (Texans), who has improved his pass-blocking each year, and at his best, is among the better run-blocking guards in the league. Wisniewski has graded well in the past, and should fare well if the Eagles need to put him into the starting lineup.

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8. New Orleans Saints

Projected starters: LT Terron Armstead, LG Tim Lelito, C Max Unger, RG Andrus Peat, RT Zach Strief

Roster depth: Senio Kelemete, Landon Turner, Jahri Evans

Key stat:  In 2015, the Saints’ offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 82.9, the third-best mark in the league.

The Saints have the potential to have one of the better O-lines in 2016—if everything goes right. Terron Armstead was tied for the second-best pass-blocking efficiency among OTs last year, center Max Unger had his best season since 2009 in terms of pass-blocking (though his run-blocking didn’t live up to its reputation), and Andrus Peat is expected to improve after an average rookie campaign. Strief, at his best, was among the best right tackles in the league, but over the last two seasons, has declined to just an above-average tackle. If everything goes right, this can be a top-three line.

9. Arizona Cardinals

Projected starters: LT Jared Veldheer, LG Mike Iupati, C A.Q. Shipley, RG Evan Mathis, RT D.J. Humphries

Roster depth: Earl Watford, Evan Boehm, John Wetzel

Key stat: Evan Mathis earned a run-blocking grade of 90.8 last season, the best among NFL guards; new teammate Mike Iupati had the fourth-best, at 87.7.

Arizona is another team where, if things go right, the franchise could feature an excellent offensive line. On the flip-side, the Cardinals could also free-fall down this list if even just a few things don’t go their way. Evan Mathis was our sixth-highest-graded guard overall in 2015, but he is also the oldest guard in the league by over a year.  A.Q. Shipley has graded out well at center throughout his career when he’s had a chance. Humphries was a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, but didn’t play a snap in 2016. If all three of those new starters works out, it would be a big help to the Arizona offense.

10. Buffalo Bills

Projected starters: LT Cordy Glenn, LG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, RG John Miller, RT Jordan Mills

Roster depth: Cyrus Kouandjio, Seantrel Henderson, Patrick Lewis

Key stat: Richie Incognito finished the 2015 season as PFF’s third-highest-graded guard.

The Bills weren’t able to upgrade their line in the offseason, but they did bring back Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito, which will certainly help. Buffalo is this high on the list because of how well Glenn, Incogntio, and Eric Wood gelled last season, with all three earning top-10 overall grades at their respective positions. They are this low on the list because John Miller didn’t grade well—even for a rookie—and Jordan Mills has consistently graded poorly in pass protection. The only change was adding Fernando Velasco and letting go of Kraig Urbik as their backup interior linemen.

11. Houston Texans

Projected starters: LT Duane Brown, LG Xavier Su’a-Filo, C Greg Mancz, RG Jeff Allen, RT Derek Newton

Roster depth: Tony Bergstrom, Chris Clark, Oday Aboushi

Key stat: Jeff Allen was the only NFL guard with more than 100 snaps last season with no sacks or hurries allowed.

The Texans’ offensive line has a lot of depth, but some of their starters haven’t played their best football recently. Duane Brown peaked in 2011 and 2012, and had his worst season since his rookie year in 2015. Derek Newton also took a step back after an excellent 2014 season. Although they lost their best interior lineman, Brandon Brooks (Eagles), they added Jeff Allen, which should more than make up for it.

12. Washington

Projected starters: LT Trent Williams, LG Spencer Long, C Kory Lichtensteiger, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses

Roster depth: Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Ty Nsekhe

Key stat: Trent Williams recorded the sixth-best pass-blocking grade among NFL OTs last season.

Washington is a team that left the offensive line basically unchanged from last year. For the most part, Washington has above-average starters, with two clear exceptions. Trent Williams has been among the best pass-blocking tackles in the league, and Kory Lichtensteiger was the lowest-graded center last year. That all evens out to an above-average offensive line.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Projected starters: LT Ronnie Stanley, LG John Urschel, C Jeremy Zuttah, RG Marshal Yanda, RT Ricky Wagner

Roster depth: Ryan Jensen, Alex Lewis, James Hurst

Key stat: Ricky Wagner was one of just four NFL offensive tackles with 500 or more pass blocks and just one sack allowed last season.

The Ravens used to own one of the best offensive lines in the league, but have since seen that unit decline. Marshal Yanda remains the best guard in the NFL, however, earning a position-high overall grade of 92.3 last season. While we liked Ronnie Stanley coming out of Notre Dame, offensive tackles have not performed well as rookies over the past few seasons. The loss of Kelechi Osemele creates a major void that Baltimore is looking in-house to replace. At the very least, the Ravens can rely on Yanda and Zuttah, who have been consistently good to keep the line average, but the true potential of this group is very much unknown to this point.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected starters: LT Alejandro Villanueva, LG Ramon Foster, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG David DeCastro, RT Marcus Gilbert

Roster depth: Ryan Harris, Cody Wallace, Chris Hubbard

Key stat: Marcus Gilbert was the only right tackle last season with 300 or more pass blocks and three or fewer combined sacks and hits.

The Steelers have many key pieces in place to produce a very good O-line next season. David DeCastro and Ramon Foster were both among the top 16 guards in the league. Maurkice Pouncey was a top-three center in 2014, but missed all of 2015 with injury. If everyone stays healthy in 2016, the line should be improved from last year, as Pouncey is a major step above Wallace at center. However, the left tackle position is still concerning, and if anyone is injured, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a lot of depth.

15. Minnesota Vikings

Projected starters: LT Matt Kalil, LG Alex Boone, C Joe Berger, RG Brandon Fusco, RT Andre Smith

Roster depth: T.J. Clemmings, Nick Easton, Zac Kerin

Key stat: Joe Berger earned a run-blocking grade of 87.8 in 2015, the top mark league-wide for centers.

The Vikings revamped part of their line in free agency, adding Alex Boone and Andre Smith, which also allows Brandon Fusco to move back to right guard. The line is full of players who graded better in previous years than they did in 2015—that’s outside of Joe Berger, of course, who played so well as John Sullivan’s replacement that Sullivan was released from the roster this offseason. This is a line that, if everyone is at their best, will be very good; if not, it will be below-average.

16. Indianapolis Colts

Projected starters: LT Anthony Castonzo, LG Jack Mewhort, C Ryan Kelly, RG Denzelle Good, RT Joe Reitz

Roster depth: Jonotthan Harrison, Le’Raven Clark, Joe Haeg

Key stat: Jack Mewhort was one of just three guards with 500 or more pass blocks and no sacks allowed last season.

While the Indianapolis O-line has received a bad reputation in recent years, there is reason to be optimistic about it going forward. Mewhort’s move to guard was a big success, and Castonzo has been an above-average left tackle. Joe Reitz has generally played well, and new starter Denzelle Good was productive on a small sample as a tackle as a rookie. The Colts kept nine linemen on the active roster, and four of them are rookies, so they will have a very inexperienced line if there are more injuries.

17. Kansas City Chiefs

Projected starters: LT Eric Fisher, LG Parker Ehinger, C Mitch Morse, RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, RT Mitchell Schwartz

Roster depth: Zach Fulton, Jah Reid, Bryan Witzmann

Key stat: The number of pressures Eric Fisher has allowed each season has decreased from 47 during his rookie year to 37 in 2015.

There is a big drop-off from the teams in the top half of the league to the bottom half in terms of quality offensive-line play. The Chiefs’ best offensive linemen is now right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a player they added via free agency from Cleveland. Schwartz earned an overall grade of 86.6 last season, second-best among right tackles. Mitch Morse graded like an average center in 2015, which is good for a second-round rookie. Eric Fisher has been improving, but still hasn’t been close to reaching his first-overall-pick potential. Kansas City’s line is very young, so ideally there is a lot of improvement across the board in 2016.

18. New England Patriots

Projected starters: LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Jonathan Cooper, RT Marcus Cannon

Roster depth: Shaq Mason, Cameron Fleming, Ted Karras

Key stat: New England played 41 different offensive-line combinations in 2015; no other team played more than 28.

The Patriots’ offensive line was a frequent topic of conversation last season due to their ever-changing combinations. The changes have kept coming this offseason, with an injury to Sebastian Vollmer, the trade (then release) of Bryan Stork, and then the trade of Josh Kline. The line does have potential, including third-round rookie Joe Thuney, who earned the fourth-highest grade of the preseason among NFL guards.

19. Miami Dolphins

Projected starters: LT Branden Albert, LG Laremy Tunsil, C Mike Pouncey, RG Jermon Bushrod, RT Ja’Wuan James

Roster depth: Kraig Urbik, Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas

Key stat: Last season, the Miami offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 73.9, the fourth-worst mark in the league.

The Dolphins’ offensive line was among the NFL’s worst last year, but there is reason to expect improvement in 2016. For starters, they should be going into the season healthy; Dallas Thomas is the only current Miami lineman that played over 900 snaps last season. Things seem to be looking up for the line due to the changes they made this offseason. Laremy Tunsil and Jermon Bushrod moved from tackle to guard, which should be an upgrade. If the tackles and Pouncey can stay healthy, that will also go a long way to helping.

20. New York Giants

Projected starters: LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry, RT Marshall Newhouse

Roster depth: Bobby Hart, Will Beatty, Brett Jones

Key stat: Ereck Flowers allowed 69 pressures last year, the most among NFL offensive linemen.

The Giants are this high on the list due to some great play from their interior linemen. Justin Pugh’s move from right tackle to left guard was a major success, as was Weston Richburg moving from left tackle to center. While John Jerry doesn’t do much in terms of helping the run game, he has been relatively good in pass protection and didn’t allow a sack or hit when he rejoined the starting lineup in Week 10. If Ereck Flowers can have a sophomore season similar to Jake Matthews’ campaign, the Giants’ line will be in fine shape outside of right tackle. If his sophomore season is more like Greg Robinson’s, though, New York is in trouble.

21. Cleveland Browns

Projected starters: LT Joe Thomas, LG Joel Bitonio, C Cameron Erving, RG John Greco, RT Austin Pasztor

Roster depth: Alvin Bailey, Shon Coleman, Michael Bowie

Key stat: Joe Thomas recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 97.4 last season, the best mark among offensive tackles.

The Browns used to have one of the best offensive line’s in football as recently as early 2015, but free agency has forced the unit to take a step back. Mitchell Schwartz signed with the Chiefs, and Alex Mack is now suiting up for the Falcons. Joel Bitonio had a great rookie year that he just couldn’t replicate in 2015, while John Greco also produced his worst season of the PFF era (since 2007). While both guards can rebound and Cameron Erving could have a strong sophomore season, at the very least, they still have Joe Thomas.

22. Detroit Lions

Projected starters: LT Taylor Decker, LG Laken Tomlinson, C Travis Swanson, RG Larry Warford, RT Riley Reiff

Roster depth: Graham Glasgow, Corey Robinson, Cornelius Lucas

Key stat: Laken Tomlinson recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 96.3 last season, second-best among seven rookie guards with 350 or more pass blocks.

The Lions have a very young offensive line that they’ve built through the draft. In fact, their starting lineup consists of one player taken in each of the last five drafts, all coming in the first three rounds. While each player has shown signs of living up to his potential, no one was able to fully live up to their draft status during the 2015 season. The additions of Taylor Decker (Ohio State) and move of Riley Reiff back to right tackle should help, but the line doesn’t have any clear strong point—just a lot of potential.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected starters: LT Kelvin Beachum, LG Luke Joeckel, C Brandon Linder, RG A.J. Cann, RT Jermey Parnell

Roster depth: Patrick Omameh, Tyler Shatley, Chris Reed

Key stat: The Jaguars used only four different offensive-line combinations in 2015, second-fewest in the league.

Offensive line was the weak point of the Jaguars’ offense in 2015, and that will likely hold true again in 2016. There is some reason to believe it could improve going forward, though; Brandon Linder missed most of the 2015 season, but in 2014 as a rookie, he was among the highest-graded guards in the league. Kelvin Beachum was a free-agent addition from Pittsburgh who also missed 2015, but at his best, can be among the top left tackles in football.

24. New York Jets

Projected starters: LT Ryan Clady, LG James Carpenter, C Nick Mangold, RG Brian Winters, RT Breno Giacomini

Roster depth: Dakota Dozier, Brandon Shell, Wesley Johnson

Key stat: Last season, Nick Mangold was one of four centers with 500 or more pass blocks and no sacks allowed.

The Jets own an older offensive line that doesn’t have a particularly high ceiling. The one bright spot is James Carpenter, who had by far his best season in the NFL in 2015. The major downside is that Nick Mangold and Breno Giacomini are both coming off of their worst pro seasons; while Mangold has been the best center in the PFF era (since 2007), he is also the oldest projected starting center. Over the last three seasons, New York has only invested fourth- and fifth-round picks in O-linemen, so this unit may become a long-term problem.

25. Tennessee Titans

Projected starters: LT Taylor Lewan, LG Quinton Spain, C Ben Jones, RG Chance Warmack, RT Jack Conklin

Roster depth: Dennis Kelly, Brian Schwenke, Sebastian Tretola

Key stat: For the 2015 season, the Titans’ offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 74.2, tied for fifth-worst in the league.

Last season, the Titans played 28 different offensive-line combinations, second-most only to the Patriots. Tennessee has spent first-round picks on linemen in three of the last four seasons, so if any franchise has a lot of potential that hasn’t been fully reached yet, it’s located in Nashville. Lewan hasn’t quiet reached the play that warrants an early-first-round pick, though he has still been a solid tackle overall. Warmack looked to be on a positive path before struggling in the early weeks of the 2015 season, though he did bounce back later on in the year.

26. San Francisco 49ers

Projected starters: LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Anthony Davis, RT Trent Brown

Roster depth: Josh Garnett, Marcus Martin, Andrew Tiller

Key stat: Joe Staley was one of just six NFL offensive tackles with an 84.0 grade or higher in both pass-blocking and run-blocking last season.

The 49ers are mostly this high because Joe Staley remains one of the better left tackles in football. His play has declined slightly in each of the last four seasons, yet he still finished with the fifth-best overall grade among LTs last year. The rest of the San Francisco O-line is filled with rookies who haven’t yet played to their potential and cheap free agents.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected starters: LT Donovan Smith, LG J.R. Sweezy, C Joe Hawley, RG Ali Marpet, RT Demar Dotson

Roster depth: Evan Smith, Gosder Cherilus, Kevin Pamphile

Key stat: Demar Dotson recorded a pass-blocking grade of 86.4 last season, the highest mark for a right tackle.

On the bright side for Tampa Bay, Ali Marpet looked like an average NFL starter as a second-round rookie, which is impressive, and Demar Dotson looked like his old self on a small sample size after missing most of the 2015 season. The Bucs’ line will still likely look worse in 2016 than it did in 2015, though, thanks to the retirement of Logan Mankins—and the fact that his replacement, J.R. Sweezy, is not close to the same player as his predecessor.

28. Denver Broncos

Projected starters: LT Russell Okung, LG Max Garcia, C Matt Paradis, RG Michael Schofield, RT Donald Stephenson

Roster depth: Ty Sambrailo, Connor McGovern, James Ferentz

Key stat: The Broncos let go of their offensive lineman with the highest run-blocking grade last season (Evan Mathis, Cardinals), as well as their O-lineman with the highest pass-blocking grade (Louis Vasquez, UFA).

The Broncos might have the most-changed offensive line from 2015 to 2016, with just Matt Paradis returning at center and Max Garcia, who saw significant playing time late in the season, taking over at guard. Ty Sambrailo is moving from tackle to guard—and is expected to start—but didn’t look great in his three starts in 2015, and will be new to the position. Donald Stephenson has rarely graded out well at tackle, and Russell Okung had his best year in 2012. This is a line that will need to develop chemistry quickly.

29. San Diego Chargers

Projected starters: LT King Dunlap, LG Orlando Franklin, C Matt Slauson, RG D.J. Fluker, RT Joe Barksdale

Roster depth: Chris Hairston, Max Tuerk, Kenny Wiggins

Key stat: Last season, the San Diego offensive line recorded a pass-blocking efficiency of 67.6, the worst mark in the league.

The Chargers’ offensive line has a reputation for everyone being hurt, which seemed to be true last year. Joe Barksdale was the only O-lineman to play 1,100 or more snaps, and was also the only one with an above-average grade. Dunlap, Franklin, and Fluker all missed some time last year, and all played a bit worse than they had in previous seasons. If all of them can be healthy and return to their old form, this line—with the addition of Matt Slauson (Bears) at center—could actually be very good. If they play more like they did last season, or if they continue to see a lot of injuries, it will be another long year for the offense.

30. Chicago Bears

Projected starters: LT Charles Leno, LG Josh Sitton, C Cody Whitehair, RG Kyle Long, RT Bobby Massie

Roster depth: Ted Larsen, Mike Adams, Eric Kush

Key stat:  When Matt Slauson lined up at left guard for the Bears last year, he had a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.4, tied for the best mark among NFL guards; the Bears new starting left guard, Josh Sitton, was the player tied with him.

The Bears had four offensive linemen last season earn an above-average grades, and three of them left via free agency. While they let a lot of talent go, they also made moves to improve the line. Kyle Long is moving back to right guard, where he looked very good in 2014. They added Josh Sitton, who has earned an overall grade above 84.0 every year since 2009. On the down side, Bobby Massie is taking over at right tackle—the former Cardinal’s 92.4 pass-blocking efficiency mark was tied for fourth-lowest among NFL tackles in 2015.

31. Los Angeles Rams

Projected starters: LT Greg Robinson, LG Jamon Brown, C Tim Barnes, RG Rodger Saffold, RT Rob Havenstein

Roster depth: Cody Wichmann, Andrew Donnal, Demetrius Rhaney

Key stat: The Rams’ projected starting offensive line has played 230 snaps together.

In 2015, the Rams loaded up on offensive linemen in the draft. They hit on Rob Havenstein, but they are still waiting for the rest of their younger linemen to develop. In the short-term, they might be better off finding someone else at left tackle and starting Garrett Reynolds, but instead, it looks like they will stick with their younger linemen for now and see if they can reach their potential.

32. Seattle Seahawks

Projected starters: LT Bradley Sowell, LG Mark Glowinski, C Justin Britt, RG Germain Ifedi, RT J’Marcus Webb

Roster depth: Garry Gilliam, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt

Key stat: All five Seattle offensive linemen are projected to start at a different position than they played last season.

The Seahawks are taking a lot of risks with their offensive line heading into the 2016 season. Their highest-graded lineman last year, Russell Okung (Broncos), left via free agency. Everyone is changing positions, and none of the veteran linemen graded well in 2015. Russell Wilson has played behind questionable offensive lines in the past, and the Seahawks have found a way to win anyway, so even if the O-line plays as poorly as it has in previous seasons, it might not hurt Seattle as much as it could other teams.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • CG

    I’m thinking you meant Richburg/NYG move from LG to C? Either way the inability to get any run blocking out of Pugh, Richburg, Jerry, and Newsome was a major issue last season. Especially in short yardage where none of the above are very good at all. Maybe a 2nd season at center will see Richburg improve in run game. The other guys pretty much are what they are – fine in pass protection/below average run block. Would like to see what Flowers can do in a 2nd season staying healthy this time. If the line can get anything productive at RT or in run game this will be a dangerous offensive line.

    • Jason

      Marshall Newhouse is anything but “fine” in pass-pro. His pass-pro is bad. The Giants are actively trying to replace him because of it.

      • Jbone

        That’s why GB got rid of him. He’s bad.

    • Jason

      Either way, the foundation of McAdoo’s offense is interior protection. As long as Pugh-Richburg-Jerry secure a clean interior pocket for Eli, everything should take care of itself.

    • Jason

      Eli doesn’t need good OTs to do well…he’s proven that. In his 12 year career Eli Manning has never played with a true franchise LT. Ever.

      What he does need though, is the LG-C-RG to set the pocket properly for him.

  • CountMahdrof

    Washington what, little snowflakes? That would be the REDSKINS, I assume. There, I hope I offended PFF and their so very delicate sensibilities. .

    • RedskinsNJoePa4Life

      Yeah Bro I’m sick of these softiez!

      • Mike

        Are you serious about Paterno? He was nearly as bad as Sandusky because he chose to not tell anyone about that piece of chit pedophile! F him! I hope the boys who were molested and ruined because of him sh[it] on his worthless grave

  • Mike

    It’s mind-boggling that all 32 teams left La’el Collins go undrafted last year. How stupid can they be to not, at least, blow a late 7th round pick on him just in case he’s cleared of all wrongdoing!?!? I’m a Raiders fan and I was screaming for them to pick him up with their FIFTH or SIXTH round pick, much less a usually-worthless 7th rounder. Now all he’s done is become one of the best guards in the league right out of the gate!

    • Alex

      Because his agents threatened all the teams and said he would sit out the entire season if he fell to the third round and re-enter the 2016 draft. So why waste a pick? Do some research homie before callin ppl out

      • Mike

        Yeah, ‘Homie”, I knew all about that…….the agent was obviously full of shyte because he went completely undrafted and signed a contract anyway. You can’t be a pu[ss]y when you’re a GM and fall for the weak scare tactics by agents. We drafted Anthony Morris (Who?), Andre Debose (Who?), and Dexter McDonald (Who?) all in the 7th round. Why not take a chance and use one of your THREE 7th round draft picks on a guy who could be a real game changer instead of picking up 3 garbage players who would have been UDFA anyway?!

        • eYeDEF

          The point is there was no reason to think he was full of shit and no point in enduring the massive PR headache on the slim chance that he was when there was too little information to know if he had any involvement. Hindsight is always 20/20, that doesn’t make you smarter than 31 teams because you can point to hindsight.

        • JJ

          Bigger mistake for a GM is to overpay for a player. Every GM gambled he wouldn’t be drafted – and every GM was right. If a GM didn’t want to risk losing him they would have taken him in the 7th – since they didn’t they didn’t see him as that valuable. That doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable – the Seahawks are full of players other teams didn’t value. Look at Thomas Rawls, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse. Even Russell Wilson was scored higher than the 3rd round by Seattle, but they guessed (correctly) the other teams wouldn’t take him. Takes more guts to gamble and hold than to jump too quickly.

        • Merlin Veltman

          Dallas was already the top O-line. That’s the only reason he signed with them. If Dallas didn’t want him, he would have gone back to school

          • Nelson Cobb

            No, he wouldn’t have. If Dallas didn’t sign him, he would have gone somewhere else. That was his only option, well unless he wanted to find a new career or go play in Canada. Once you go undrafted, you can’t re-enter the draft in the future.

        • Nelson Cobb

          You clearly have no clue. If he’s drafted, he can refuse to sign and re-enter the draft next year. What he would have done had anybody used a 7th round pick on him. Undrafted though, there is no sitting and re-entering the draft next season. Once you go through the draft and are undrafted, you are an undrafted free agent and that’s it. There are no other options but to sign a 3 year undrafted FA deal, or find a new career.

    • Felton51

      The mistake was made by Roger Kraft, who should have held a supplemental draft for Collins. Instead, he stood by and allowed the Cowboys to pick him up for next to nothing.

  • pobodysnerfect

    Green Bay’s OL is going to be very very good this year. I’m looking forward to it.

    • Brian Dugan

      If they can stay healthy… Good new is, there’s actually is some quality depth this year. I love Tretter (and hope the Packers resign him). Taylor is solid, especially for a former UFA. Hopefully Spriggs is worth his 2nd round status and Murphy isn’t bad for a 9th OL.

  • Karl

    Wow Nathan, congratulations on being so brave and taking a stand! You must feel so proud of yourself for not using that RACIST name Redskins…./s

    Seriously though, stop doing your little stunt. It hurts your credibility.

    • osoviejo

      “It hurts your credibility.”

      That argument hurts yours.

  • Chandler Clark

    What’s amazing to me is what criteria they are using to evaluate these lines. The rams gave up 18 sacks last season. Which was the fewest in the nfl. Gurley was second in rush yards. Now I don’t have to be a rcoket scientits to figure out those are two very important stats when evaluating a offensive line.

    • eYeDEF

      Yep, I found the Rams ranking shocking too. Big time head scratcher when their rival Football Outsiders ranked them the top unit last year.

      • Nelson Cobb

        That’s because they rank based a lot on RB YPC and sacks allowed. They don’t go into depth heavily. A RB could pick up 25 yards, but broke 2 tackles behind the LOS to do so, and the Oline still gets the credit for the 25 yard run. In pass blocking, the Oline could completely whiff on multiple blocks, have the QB running for his life, and if he avoids the sack, the Oline isn’t hit negatively. Football Outsiders doesn’t factor in what actually happens during the play like PFF does, all they factor is the play result.

        • eYeDEF

          That doesn’t explain their 1st ranking in pass pro. The Rams started Foles for 11 games and Case Keenum the other 5. Neither are particularly mobile to think that either would be adept over the course of their sample sizes to run and avoid sacks. Foles had a 4.0% sack percentage and Keenum 3.1%. Those aren’t high but they’re not particularly low either. About what I’d expect from non-mobile quarterbacks.

    • Bill Doerr

      That is only because LA rarely threw the ball , when they did they sucked badly in pass protection, the left side of that line from center down is absolutely horrible.

    • Rick Green

      What is rcoket scienTITS??? Color me intrigued!

  • OP Bolt

    I can never figure out whether your rankings are supposed to be historical or predictive, even though you say, “With those changes taken into consideration, here’s how the league’s offensive lines stack up heading into the 2016 season.”.

    So, for the Chargers you say “…If all of them can be healthy and return to their old form, this
    line—with the addition of Matt Slauson (Bears) at center—could actually
    be very good.”

    Yet you rank them 29th. I don’t see how a statistician can call 29 out of 32 “very good”. To me it looks like you are either predicting that the OL will be decimated by injury at the start of 2016 (remember – how they stack up heading into the 2016 season), or you just left them in their end of 2015 ranking because you don’t have a clue what “very good” means.

    • Merlin Veltman

      The “changes” are changes in personnel. PFF almost always sticks to data from the past

  • crosseyedlemon

    PFF has projected the Steelers as AFC Champions with a 14th ranked OL and 25th ranked DL. I guess they must be expecting the special teams unit to win several games.

  • JJ

    I absolutely can’t argue with the Seahawks ranking – and it breaks my heart. I hope they surprise everyone.

    • Christopher Stadel

      I agree with the Seahawks ranking. That unit gave up 45 sacks (T-5th most in NFL) last year. They lost their two best o-linemen from last year (Okung and Sweezy) to free agency. Now they will rely on a rookie in Ifedi who is at this time, a below average tackle in the NFL. The only thing he is somewhat good at is run blocking so moving him inside could eventually make him a pretty decent guard in the NFL. That o-line will be giving up more sacks than last year.

  • Torgo the White

    I wouldn’t call Tretter’s 450 snaps, including postseason, a small sample size.

  • David Stinnett

    Seahawks–I’m not sure that Poole should be listed under depth and not Odhiambo(not that it makes any difference to this evaluation). Well another thing though, there’s no reason to exclude him because they’ll likely go with 9, not 8. Again, same conclusion though.

  • Eric Johnson

    I think Chicago will end up higher with Whitehair replacing Grassu or Larsen. Incredibly consistent and well-liked by PFF i’m surprised he wasn’t a starter somewhere. The Seahawks line scary bad.

    • David Stinnett

      SEA expects Top Cable to work magic. In their defense he always makes sure we can run the ball. But we needed to do better than just sort of replace Okung and Sweezy when they sucked already. I am disappointed where we are in that regard after 10 draft picks, even if what we got was good on its face, irrespective of need. The worst–no proven decent pass-blockers at Tackle. The upside– I believe both guards will be an upgrade(eventually). Wilson’s elusiveness makes him less vulnerable from the outside than inside penetration. This years’ early season has more room for error. This is probably a common dialogue in a concerned SEA fans mind. So yes, it could be worse than I make it sound, but this is Seattle- they will find a way to do a fair amount of winning at the least.

  • Kanye West’s Holy Spirit

    Putting the Seahawks last is to make things interesting.

  • fost9777

    I thought PFF was legit but there not. The author of this article says the 49ers offensive line beyond Staley will be made up of cheap free agents and rookies.

    Out of the 5 projected starters there is not one rookie. The only rookie mentioned is Josh Garnett.

    And cheap free agents? There is one that’s Beadles.

    Pretty poor assessment of the 49ers.

    • Merlin Veltman

      Doesn’t matter. They still suck

  • debbiddfff

    Dolphins O-line is pretty underrated. The main reason they stunk last year was injuries. This year, they’ll have four 1st round picks on the line and the other (Bushrod) is a two-time probowler.

    With a healthy Albert and Pouncey and the addition of arguably the most talented player in the draft (Tunsil), they should be very good. I’d be surprised if the Dolphins aren’t in the top 5 on this list next year.

  • Phooey640

    Atlanta is very overrated. Yes the two tackles and Mack are very good. However, the two guards have done nothing to prove they can play guard in the NFL. Last year, Carolina and Tampa and any other team with good defensive tackles ran right over Atlanta’s three interior linemen. Yes Mack will be a huge help but all teams need to do is blitz one lineman up the middle and that will leave the two guards one on one and they will get run over. Atlanta really missed the boat by not drafting a guard in the 4th or 5th round.

  • Animals over humans any day


    • Merlin Veltman

      you just love to be hated

      • Animals over humans any day

        If I am hated for using a long standing team name and rooting for my home-town team – Yes, I love to be hated. Because it isn’t me with the “problem” and it isn’t me that is the moron.

        • Rick Green

          Ahhh…don’t sell yourself short! You’re very much a moron. Not solely for braying your Pats support, but more for picking animals over humans.

      • Animals over humans any day

        PC pansies can pizz off!

  • Christopher Stadel

    The 49ers will not have Erik Pears starting at RT, it will be Trent Brown. Pears was given a poor overall rating of (37.5) last year where Brown was given an average overall rating of (66.6). Also, Tiller will be the initial starter at RG, not Thomas. Tiller has NFL experience and was given a high overall rating of (80.7) whereas, Thomas has not had one NFL snap. Garnett is a rookie but wasn’t drafted in the first round to ride the bench all season. He will eventually be the starting RG opposite of Beadles. This will put the 49ers O-line ranking a bit higher than 26th.

  • Michael Shanahan

    And…. The Broncos Oline will still be better than last year…. Lol

  • Eduardo Sanchez

    It’s on this season! “Boys are going to run over teams with the stable of RBs they’ve got. Even if Zeke doesn’t live up to his draft stock Morris looks like he can carry the load just fine. Would like to see them cook up some read option plays with Dak at QB and either Zeke & Morris in the backfield just to keep defenses on their toes. Not sure why the Front Office hasn’t tried to swing a trade for either Clowney or Bennett for some pass rush help. Anything at this point would appear to help the Defense. GO ‘BOYS!!

  • frank mckenney

    Something is wrong with the evaluations of offensive lines…the Seahawks have been demeaned for over a year with regard to the offensive line. For 2015 the Seahawks were the fourth rated offense in all of football….the worst offensive line helped produce the fourth best offense..doesn’t that suggest you (profootballfocus) have missed something?

    • Merlin Veltman

      I think you missed that this is about offensive lines, not offenses. You’ll want to refer to their Other articles, where they list wide receivers (5th) and running backs (13th)

      • frank mckenney

        I didn’t miss the intent of the article.. my point is how possibly could a team achieve the fourth best offense (second best rushing offense) in the league with the 32nd ranked offensive line. Are you suggesting the quality of the offensd has nothing to do with the offensive line? I think not and that is precisely my point. There is something in the performance of the O line that is being overlooked in the grading process.

        • Rick Green

          Right…because Russell Wilson never has to run for his life or improvise. What they’re saying is Seattle is successful despite their O-line, not because of it.

          • frank mckenney

            Again…the Seahawks had the 3rd ranked rushing offense for 2015, lead by an undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls. While I appreciate the fact that Wilson was forced to scramble too much, in the second half of the season he had better protection and released much quicker. But the 32nd rated offensive line could have the 3rd rated rushing offense. PFF is missing something in their measurements.

          • Rick Green

            To put it more clearly, rushing is only one aspect of offense. The second aspect to a balanced offense it passing. When Wilson gets flushed from the pocket the rushing aspect gets skewed. It makes the O-line appear better than it is when, in actuality, they did a poor job of pass protection which forced Wilson to scramble

  • Princefigs

    Maybe you forgot, but Washington’s team name? It’s the Redskins. The Washington Redskins. Just a little FYI