Offensive Line Review & Ratings: Summary

Offensive Line Review & Ratings: Summary


Offensive Line Review & Ratings: Summary


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Pittsburgh Tennessee New York San Diego Minnesota Tampa Bay Washington Seattle

You won’t find names like Peter Konz, Andy Levitre, or Gosder Cherilus anywhere on your cheat sheet. But how those those guys play will directly impact guys you will be drafting–specifically the likes of Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, and Andrew Luck.

No worries, you won’t be tested on those names. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you, breaking down offensive lines and providing a bite-sized capsule as to how the big fellas up front affect the fantasy players you draft–or avoid. So when the Raiders swap out their zone blocking scheme for a power blocking system, the Titans use both free agency and the first round of the draft to upgrade the interior of their offensive line, or the Dolphins turn Ryan Tannehill’s blind side over to a guy who led the league in QB hurries allowed last season, the ramifications will be covered here–and reflected in our cheat sheets.

With that in mind, here’s a capsule look at each offensive line in the league. Keep in mind these rankings are subjective, taking into account past performance, continuity, scheme, and personnel. They also draw from an emerging trove of statistical data from sources like the Football Outsiders (FO), the Football Scientist (FS), and Pro Football Focus (PFF), all of whom endeavor to quantify just how much of a team’s offensive performance can be directly attributed to line play.

This article will reference stats from these sources, so here’s a quick primer on what those numbers measure:

  • Adjusted Line Yards — an FO stat that assigns responsibility for rushing yards to the offensive line based on where those yards were gained in proximity to the line of scrimmage
  • Power Success — an FO stat that tracks the percentage of runs on third or fourth down with two yards or less to go (or first or second down and goal to go from two yards and in) that resulted in a first-down or touchdown
  • Stuffed — an FO stat measuring the percentage of rushing attempts where the back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage
  • Adjusted Sack Rate – an FO stat measuring sacks per pass attempt tweaked for down, distance, and opponent
Rank Team Overall Grade Rush Grade Pass Grade Regulars Returning Summary
1 New England A- A- A- 5 Individually and collectively, this unit grades out extremely well–good news for both the ground game and Tom Brady and his new batch of receivers.
2 Houston B+ B+ B 5 If Wade Smith gets and stays healthy, Houston could sport the best left side in football; hheated competition on the right side can only help.
3 San Francisco B+ A B 5 As talented a collection of players as you’ll find in the league, and elite as a run-blocking unit–but surprisingly average in pass protection.
4 NY Giants B+ B A- 5 Everybody’s back once again for the Giants, but there will still be shuffling–in hopes of finding an upgrade, or by necessity due to age and injury.
5 New Orleans B+ B A- 4 The Saints barely missed a beat after losing a Pro Bowl guard last year; they’ll try to do the same sans a Pro Bowl tackle this time around.
6 Tampa Bay B+ B+ B+ 4 Dreams of Doug Martin running behind the All Pro guard tandem of Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks are on hold until both get healthy.
7 Tennessee B B B 3 The Titans used free agency (Levitre) and the draft ( Warmack) to add stud guards to their elite tackles; you expected less from a Mike Munchak club?
8 Philadelphia B B B 4 When everyone is healthy–and right now, for the most part, they are–this is a talented group that will shine in Chip Kelly’s system.
9 Minnesota B B B- 5 The Vikings are more than solid at center and both tackles; an upgrade in guard play could give Adrian Peterson a shot at his goal of 2,500 yards.
10 Cincinnati B B B 5 A plethora of injuries last season revealed the Bengals’ quality depth, which this preseason turns into healthy competition at multiple positions.
11 Seattle B B+ B- 5 Both guard spots are up for grabs, with one lucky winner sandwiched between Pro Bowlers Max Unger and Russell Okung.
12 Baltimore B B B 4 The Ravens need a motivated Bryant McKinnie to give Joe Flacco the opportunity to live up to his contract; it’s not as easy as it sounds.
13 Buffalo B B B 4 Losing Andy Levitre stings, but plenty of depth and Doug Marrone’s new scheme should help the Bills remain a solid, underappreciated unit.
14 Denver B C+ B+ 4 Thank Peyton Manning’s quick release for the dramatic reduction in sacks, and the zone blocking system for hiding this group’s ground game flaws.
15 Atlanta B- B- B 3 The cracks are beginning show; keep in mind that last year’s shaky ground game wasn’t entirely Michael Turner’s fault.
16 Carolina B- B C 5 Injuries scuttled last year’s performance, but healthy years from Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross could push the Panthers back towards the elite.
17 Kansas City B- B- B- 4 Early returns on Andy Reid’s elite book-end tackles are pretty good, which bodes extremely well for this offense.
18 Green Bay C+ C B- 5 Yawn. Another injury, another rookie tackle. The Packers’ talent pool runs deep, and Aaron Rodgers doesn’t seem to mind running for his life.
19 NY Jets C+ B C- 5 Once again the Jets’ o-line looks to be productive on the ground and shaky in the passing game–just what we’ve come to expect from Gang Green.
20 Dallas C+ C B 3 The potential exists for this line to be very good, but they’ll need to get and stay healthy first–and right now that’s a major issue.
21 Washington C+ B C- 5 This unit gets the zone blocking scheme, and another year with everyone in place should once again allow them to exceed the sum of their parts.
22 Detroit C+ C B- 3 The Lions’ pass protection held up well last season–so of course they lost both tackles and intend to plug a rookie in at right guard.
23 Cleveland C C- C 5 This is a talented group led by Joe Thomas, but they’re getting pinged by injuries that could put a damper on their productivity.
24 Pittsburgh C C+ C- 4 The Steelers will be young up front, with four starters 25 or younger. The old guys weren’t getting it done, so a youth movment makes sense.
25 Jacksonville C B- C- 4 First-rounder Luke Joeckel can help keep Blaine Gabbert’s jersey clean, while Maurice Jones-Drew’s return makes the run blocking magically better.
26 St. Louis C C- C+ 3 There’s a ton of potential in the St. Louis offense; healthy bookend tackles would go a long way towards giving the Rams a chance to show it off.
27 Oakland C C+ C 3 Losing Jared Veldheer for the season is a crushing blow. At least Matt Flynn can’t throw deep, so the drops will be short.
28 Indianapolis C- C- C 3 Free agent additions Gosder Cherilus and Donald Thomas–along with shorter drops and quicker throws–should help Andrew Luck stay clean.
29 Chicago C- C C- 2 Adding an ex-Jets run-blocker and a former Saints pass protector was a good idea in theory, but the improvement has yet to show up on the field.
30 Miami C- C- C- 4 Moving Jonathan Martin, who allowed a league-worst 47 hurries last year, from right tackle to left doesn’t feel like a way to make Ryan Tannehill better.
31 San Diego C- C- C- 2 Four new faces was a necessity after last year’s disaster, but early returns are that Philip River is in for a long season and a lot of time on his back.
32 Arizona D D D 4 First-round pick Jonathan Cooper can only help so much. At least Rashard Mendenhall is used to running behind shaky offensive lines.


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