Now that the NFL draft has concluded, it is time to zoom out and take a look at NFL rosters to figure out the players to target in rookie drafts and upcoming fantasy leagues. One of the more important areas to focus on is offensive line play, which is why we're ranking all NFL offensive lines for 2022.
When it comes to assessing offensive lines, talent is important but so is continuity across units. Most play designs or pass protections are contingent on five players knowing not only their assignment but the assignments of the players around them. That typically means that the offensive line units that are the best are the ones with the least turnover.
Below, we rank the 32 NFL offensive lines following the NFL draft. While performance in 2021 was an important factor in these rankings, continuity across the offensive line was ultimately used as a tiebreaker in many situations.
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The Eagles went into the 2021 season with numerous injury concerns amongst their veterans and a gaping hole at left tackle. While injuries did strike (starting right guard Brandon Brooks once again was lost early in the season to a lower-body injury), the Eagles discovered a cornerstone left tackle in Jordan Mailata and a strong left guard in Landon Dickerson, a 2021 rookie who played center at Alabama. The Eagles head into 2022 with an experienced line group that has crucial depth and flexibility. Mailata and Dickerson will once again hold down the left side. Veterans Jason Kelce (center) and Lane Johnson (right tackle) will continue to anchor their positions. The only question is Isaac Seumalo at right guard, but he played well in a limited role last season (just one hurry and one pressure surrendered in 168 snaps). The Eagles also have a former first-round pick, Andre Dillard, for depth at tackle and drafted arguably the second-best center in this year’s rookie class — Cam Jurgens from Nebraska — in the second round to provide interior depth.
The Chiefs entered 2021 with an offensive line featuring five new starters, including rookies at center (Creed Humphrey) and right guard (Trey Smith). Humphrey and Smith each finished as the top-rated rookie at his respective position according to PFF’s grading. Kansas City saw a massive improvement in their offensive line play but still struggled on occasion in pass protection, especially on the right side of the offensive line. The Chiefs will head into 2021 with four starters that played at least 1,100 snaps. Their projected fifth starter at the start of the preseason (Lucas Niang) hasn’t been able to get off the PUP list, leaving Andrew Wylie as the projected right tackle heading into the season. Wylie struggled at times last season, allowing 29 pressures and four sacks in 527 snaps to close the season. He found his groove toward the end of the season and apparently has stood out throughout training camp, giving him the inside edge to start in 2022.
The Lions' offensive line delivered on their promise during 2021, featuring four players as top-30 players at their position. It likely would have been five if Frank Ragnow had been able to stay healthy and play more than four games. Detroit’s five projected starters allowed just 11 sacks and averaged a 75.3 combined overall blocking grade according to PFF. Detroit will return their entire starting offensive line from 2021 and hope that Ragnow, arguably one of the best centers in the NFL, stays healthy. A healthy Ragnow surrounded by experience at every other position makes this one of the most formidable units in the NFL. There is a very real outcome the Lions end the season at the top of this list if everything breaks their way.
The Chargers took a “stars and scrubs” approach to their offensive line in 2021. Rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater and free-agent acquisitions Matt Feiler (left guard) and Corey Linsley (center) all finished top-15 at their positions and locked down the left side of the line. Unfortunately, right guard Michael Schofield and right tackle Storm Norton accounted for 13 sacks and 60 pressures on the year. The Chargers addressed one of those problems in the draft, taking Zion Johnson in the first round. Johnson is very technically sound as a pass blocker and will boost the right side. After a strong minicamp Trey Pipkins is poised to take over the RT spot from Storm Norton. Pipkins made two starts at the end of the season (Weeks 15 and 17) and held his own against the Chargers and Broncos, allowing three hurries and three pressures in 146 snaps. If Zion Johnson can acclimate to the NFL quickly, the Chargers could find themselves with one of the strongest young offensive line units in the league.
Injuries at the tackle position highlighted the Browns’ struggles in 2021. Both Jedrick Wills (11 games played) and Jack Conklin (7) were out for significant portions of the year, forcing unproven developmental picks like Blake Hance and James Hudson into a starting role. The Browns gave up 49 sacks in 2021, sixth most of any team in the league. 14 of those sacks came from the tackle positions. Additionally, Jack Conklin is recovering from a patellar tendon tear and could miss the start of the season. If Cleveland can have better injury luck, then they could easily wind up as a top-2 unit in the league. Looking to 2022, the Browns let J.C. Tretter go in the offseason, elevating Nick Harris (one start in 2021) to the starting position. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Nick Harris suffered a season-ending knee injury during training camp, which means Ethan Pocic is currently their starting center. Pocic spent five years with the Seahawks, struggling in his first three seasons before working his way into a league average center the last two years. At his best, he’s a strong run blocker who struggles to stay in front of defensive linemen in the pass game. Thankfully, Cleveland will be leaning on the run until Deshaun Watson’s suspension is over.
The Browns still have a lot of talent across the offensive line, but given the uncertainty at center and the chance Jack Conklin struggles early in the season, it is hard to rank than higher than seventh as the season gears up.
The Bengals rode a porous offensive line and stellar play from Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon to the Super Bowl before losing to the Rams. The Bengals came into the offseason with a purpose and poured their available cap space into upgrading the offensive line, adding Alex Cappa from Tampa Bay, Ted Karras from New England and La'el Collins from Dallas in free agency. That trio played 2,682 snaps during the 2021 season allowing just 10 sacks and 60 pressures. For the sake of comparison, the Bengals' right side of the offensive line combined to play for 3,039 snaps and gave up 14 sacks and 95 pressures. Jonah Williams is a solid left tackle and 2022 fourth-round pick Cordell Volson has impressed enough in camp to be considered the frontrunner for the left guard spot. According to PFF, Volson never had an overall grade below 79.2 in his three years as a starter with North Dakota State. He allowed zero career sacks while primarily starting at right tackle for three seasons. Jackson Carman and Hakeem Adeniji both played last season and provide solid depth inside.
It may take a minute for all of the Bengals new pieces on the offensive line to gel, but they can be a force of nature once they do.
We nearly made it to the regular season before the worst-case scenario played out for the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, Tyron Smith will be lost for most (if not all) of the regular season, leaving Dallas with a massive void at the most important position on the offensive line. Dallas still boasts two very good linemen (Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin) and one guy who played well last year (Terence Steele), but the Cowboys now must navigate a huge injury.
There are plenty of ways for Dallas to navigate the left tackle position, but none of them seem very good with two weeks to go before the start of the season. They could opt to try swing tackle Josh Ball first at left tackle. The second-year player missed his entire rookie season with an ankle injury and has struggled throughout the preseason. 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith played left tackle at Tulsa, but he has missed practices with his own ankle injury and has worked exclusively at guard throughout training camp. He’s the left tackle of the future but could really struggle (especially in pass protection). Dallas can also opt to hit the free agency (Eric Fisher) or trade markets, but they are pretty cash strapped and would have to get somebody at the right price.
My gut feeling is the team will try to see what Ball offers them first while keeping Tyler Smith in the running for the left guard spot, or at worst, a jack-of-all-trades backup position. Moving Smith to left tackle now poses two problems -- he could quickly be exposed as a player that isn’t ready to be a full-time left tackle, and he destroys any interior depth Dallas currently has. Having some depth seems important given the injury histories of Dallas’ interior linemen as well.
Last year, the Cowboys were able to utilize injury problems along the offensive line thanks to a ton of depth behind players like Smith, Connor Williams and La'el Collins. Williams and Collins left this year in free agency, which now has the Cowboys hoping and wishing that their new young pieces develop in a hurry.
The Patriots' offensive line heads into the 2022 season without two starters from an extremely strong 2021 unit. New England let left guard Ted Karras walk in free agency and traded starting right guard Shaquille Mason to the Buccaneers. Third-year utility lineman Michael Onwenu will get a full-time role at left guard and the Patriots made a shocking pick of rookie guard Cole Strange out of Chattanooga in the first round. Strange is extremely athletic but will have to face a sizable jump in talent from college to the NFL. The Patriots offensive line has struggled to protect Mac Jones throughout camp, but that is to be somewhat expected with so many new faces learning each other. There is potential for them to drop down this list, but it seems a bit rushed to do it without having any preseason games to evaluate.
Injuries devastated the Ravens in 2021, and the offensive line was no exception. 12 different offensive linemen played in a game for Baltimore last season, leading to an abysmal year with 57 sacks surrendered, the second most in the league. At the very least, those injuries provided Baltimore with a look at which players can serve as depth pieces moving forward. Ronnie Stanley is still recovering from a season-ending ankle injury, but if he’s healthy he remains one of the best tackles in the NFL. Baltimore also opted to let Bradley Bozeman, last year’s center, walk in free agency. The Ravens brought in a capable right tackle in Morgan Moses and used their first-round draft pick on Tyler Linderbaum, arguably one of the best center prospects the NFL has ever seen (no, I’m not concerned about his short arms). Throughout the early part of camp, it seems that Ben Powers has taken the lead for the starting left guard position over Tyre Phillips. That could go either way, but the good news is both players got good experience playing along the offensive line last season. Patrick Mekari played well during stretches of last year and will serve as the backup tackle with project fourth-round pick Daniel Faalele developing behind the scenes. This ranking is a bet that the Ravens will have better luck with health this season. Even if they don’t, they have one of the deepest offensive lines due to the number of players who got significant playing time during 2021.
The Commanders took a hodgepodge of talent at the offensive line into the 2021 season and had an extremely strong season. Washington had to navigate some injuries, but still had left tackle Charles Leno, center Chase Roullier and right guard Wes Schweitzer finish as top-12 players at their positions. Sam Cosmi struggled to stay healthy but gave up just four sacks and 11 pressures in 474 snaps played. Washington cut Ereck Flowers this offseason and let Brandon Scherff walk in free agency while signing Andrew Norwell from the Jaguars to man their left guard position. The team also signed Trai Turner late in free agency and he seems to be the favorite to start at right guard, but he hasn’t practiced yet due to a quad injury. Turner was solid for the Steelers last season, but if he struggles or can’t get healthy, then Wes Schweitzer has proved he can handle the position. If Sam Cosmi continues to develop, Washington should once again have another strong offensive line.
Injuries and COVID-19 quarantines forced the Colts' starting offensive line to miss a combined 19 games in 2021. The lack of consistency turned what we expected to be a top-five offensive line heading into 2021 and turned them into a middle-of-the-road unit. Indianapolis continues the musical chairs at left tackle after letting Eric Fisher walk and also moved on from starting right guard Mark Glowinski after three seasons as a starter. Matt Pryor played well in his five starts last season and will presumably get the first shot at left tackle heading into the year. Danny Pinter will likely get an opportunity to start at right guard. The Colts added left tackle Bernhard Raimann from Central Michigan in the third round of the draft. Raimann allowed just one sack in college after converting from tight end but has some injury concerns that called a minor draft day slip. Raimann could factor in at left tackle or right guard if the presumed starters at those positions struggle.
The Buccaneers have been one of the more stable offensive line units over the past two seasons but will be breaking in numerous pieces after Tom Brady’s return from his Favre-ian offseason retirement. Ali Marpet shockingly retired and Alex Cappa left for Cincinnati, leaving two massive voids at the guard spots. Tampa Bay fixed one issue, trading for PFF’s fourth-ranked guard in 2021, the Patriots’ Shaquille Mason. The Buccaneers will likely end up with second-round pick Luke Goedeke, a former tackle at Central Michigan, to slot into their right guard spot. Unfortunately, a training camp injury to center Ryan Jensen means the Buccaneers will be forced to start 2021 third-round draft pick Ryan Hainsey at center. Hainsey played just 31 snaps in his rookie season. Starting left guard Aaron Stinnie was also carted off the field with a knee injury in the team’s second preseason game. That puts a lot of pressure on Luke Goedeke to transition not only to the NFL, but also a new position, in a hurry. The team also has former UDFA Nick Leverett competing for first team reps, which would allow them the time they need to help Goedeke acclimate to the NFL.
Like Baltimore, injuries messed with New Orleans last year — the Saints were forced to play 11 offensive linemen, which is never sustainable for success. If healthy, the Saints have one of the most talented offensive line units in the league. The loss of Terron Armstead looms large, but given his injury history (he has only played 14 games in a season twice since entering the league in 2013), it isn’t insurmountable. The Saints drafted Trevor Penning in the first round, and he will get the first shot at starting. Penning is an excellent athlete and has the exact mentality you want out of a starting lineman but will likely have growing pains going from the FCS level to the NFL. James Hurst played well across four different positions last season (941 snaps, three sacks, 27 pressures) and could give Penning time to get used to the NFL.
Three out of five offensive linemen can be written in ink as we work toward the regular season: left tackle Trent Williams, left guard Aaron Banks and right tackle Mike McGlinchey. After that, things get interesting. A competition has emerged between Daniel Brunskill and Jake Brendel for the starting center spot. Both players looked good in camp, but a hamstring injury to Brunskill has allowed Jake Brendel to take the lead for the starting center position in Week 1. Meanwhile, rookie Spencer Burford has looked excellent at right guard and could confidently start at that place if the season started today. The timing of Brunskill’s injury makes it a lock that Burford starts the season at right guard. Burford and Brendel have limited NFL experience, so don’t be surprised if Daniel Brunskill takes either player’s job when he’s healthy if they struggle early in the season.
The Rams are coming off an impressive Super Bowl run led by Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp working behind a veteran offensive line headlined by Andrew Whitworth. The veteran left tackle retired after winning a Super Bowl and the Rams let right guard Austin Corbett walk in free agency, leaving them with some holes to fill upfront. Joseph Noteboom will get the first shot at replacing Whitworth on the left side after spending four seasons as his back-up. Noteboom has struggled as a run blocker during his limited playing time but has given up just three sacks and 42 pressures in 1,262 career snaps. After two weeks of preseason, it seems that Coleman Shelton has emerged as the most likely starter at right guard. Shelton has been with the Rams for the past four seasons as a backup but will now likely be the team’s starter at guard after third round pick Logan Bruss suffered a knee injury in the team’s second preseason game.
The Jets gambled on Mekhi Becton’s health during the NFL draft and passed on all of the top offensive tackles, instead picking Sauce Gardner with the fourth pick. Unfortunately, that gamble did not pan out after Becton suffered another potentially season-ending knee injury (unrelated to last year) in camp. The Jets still have a stellar interior offensive line, but the tackle position is more in flux. After Becton’s injury was announced, the Jets signed Duane Brown out of free agency to play left tackle, which will kick George Fant back to the right side. Brown has stayed a consistently good tackle despite his advanced age, finishing as PFF’s 37th-ranked tackle during the 2021 season. The unit isn’t as strong overall as they would have been with Becton, but this is still a very good offensive line across the board.
The Broncos' offensive line is a collection of solid but unspectacular players who work well together. Denver’s projected offensive line has five players PFF graded between 21st and 50th at their respective positions. It doesn’t seem like much, but that is enough to make Denver’s offensive line arguably the best Russell Wilson has played with in his career. A solid year from Garett Bolles combined with continued development from Dalton Risner and Lloyd Cushenberry could turn this into a solid unit. Denver will likely have a camp battle between free-agent acquisitions Billy Turner and Tom Compton to determine right tackle vs depth. Quinn Meinerz allowed just three sacks and 15 pressures after being forced into a starting role for nine games after an injury to Graham Glasgow. Meinerz will get the first shot at the starting right guard spot, allowing Glasgow to provide excellent depth at center and both guard positions.
Buffalo’s offensive line is once again comprised of five solid players with very little star power. However, what the Bills lack in top-level talent they make up for in ridiculous depth. Nine of the players currently on Buffalo’s roster started at least four games during the 2021 season. The Bills will be starting at least three new players on the offensive line, but two of them (Ryan Bates and Spencer Brown) were on the team last season. The Bills also added Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry in free agency from the Titans. Saffold has lost a step as a pass blocker but still is a mauler in the run game. Quessenberry could very well start at right tackle if Brown struggles out of the gate. This once again has the makings of a unit that is just good enough to give Josh Allen the time he needs to make big plays.
Miami decided to attack one of their biggest weaknesses in free agency by prioritizing the offensive line. How it will look once the season starts is anyone’s guess. The Dolphins signed Connor Williams, PFF’s 11th-ranked guard in 2021, and are giving him the first shot at the center position (he has never played center in the NFL). They also added former New Orleans Saint Terron Armstead, who is one of the most talented tackles in the NFL when he’s healthy. Based on minicamp, the Dolphins will move Liam Eichenberg to left guard after he struggled as a tackle in 2021, leaving Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson to man the right side of the offensive line. It is hard to rank the Dolphins higher on this list considering the significant positional shifts they are banking on in the 2022 season.
Minnesota has a young offensive line that needs to take a step for them to have a chance to make a playoff run in a weak NFC. Christian Darrisaw, last year’s first-round pick, showed some flashes of the talent that made him an early-round selection. But he also gave up five sacks and 22 pressures in just 652 snaps. Brian O'Neill continued his excellent play at right tackle, but Garrett Bradbury was just an average center and didn’t develop the way many expected. Minnesota will have plenty of options at guard, including last year's starter Ezra Cleveland. The Vikings added Ed Ingram in the second round of the NFL draft, a powerful run blocker with questionable pass blocking ability out of LSU. They also added Chris Reed from Indianapolis, a player who looked good in spot starts last season (zero sacks in 522 snaps). Ultimately, Minnesota must get strong development across the board to break into that middle tier of offensive lines this season.
The Packers' offensive line struggled with injuries last season and their depth took a hit thanks to the salary cap heading into 2022. David Bakhtiari made just one start during the regular season while recovering from a late-season ACL injury in 2020. Elgton Jenkins, the Packers' most versatile lineman and also their best last year, then tore his ACL late in the season. The Packers were forced to move on from solid contributors in Lucas Patrick and Billy Turner and have solid-but-not-great players like Jon Runyan, Josh Myers and Royce Newman penciled in on the interior of their line. The Packers addressed some of their depth issues by drafting UCLA tackle Sean Rhyan, Wake Forest tackle Zach Tom and Penn State tackle Rasheed Walker in Rounds 3, 4 and 7, respectively. All three of those players are projects, and only Tom could really see a role for Green Bay this season. The continued struggles for Bakhtiari in his ACL recovery are concerning as it seems he will once again fail to be healthy enough to start a season. Yosuah Nijman played well in a reserve role last season and would be needed again as Bakhtiari and Jenkins work back into form. The Packers always seem to pull together a strong offensive line, but questionable talent and depth have them low for me heading into 2022.
The Giants finished 2021 as PFF’s 30th-ranked pass blocking and 21st ranked run-blocking offensive line. The good news for the Giants? Andrew Thomas elevated his play and looks to be a solid left tackle going forward. The bad news? Everyone else was various degrees of bad to awful. With a new GM and head coach in town, the Giants have prioritized developing the trenches. The Giants added three interior offensive linemen in free agency in Max Garcia, Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski. Garcia and Felicano are solid yet unspectacular veterans, but Glowinski just finished a four-year stretch in Indianapolis where he never allowed more than three sacks in a season. The Giants have used Shane Lemieux as their starting left guard throughout camp, moving Garcia to a backup role. The Giants also used the seventh pick in the draft to take Evan Neal, a player who was regarded as the top offensive tackle in the draft. Neal is as pro-ready as any player in this class and instantly gives the Giants two strong bookends to protect Daniel Jones. He’s had some impressive blocks throughout camp working with fellow first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux.
The Cardinals made the interesting decision to essentially run back an underwhelming offensive line in 2022. The Cardinals finished 2021 as PFF’s 16th-ranked pass blocking offensive line, 30th run-blocking. As a unit, Arizona did well to prevent sacks (19 among the starters) but gave up 139 pressures. Arizona added Will Hernandez in free agency, but he’s been a below-average guard throughout his career in New York and has been a better run blocker than pass blocker the last two seasons.
The Jaguars spent some resources attempting to improve the offensive line in front of Trevor Lawrence, but it is fair to wonder if they did enough. Jacksonville brought Cam Robinson back on the franchise tag before signing him to an extension. Robinson is a league-average talent who is a good, but not great, left tackle. Jacksonville prioritized signing Brandon Scherff in free agency to replace Andrew Norwell. Scherff is one of the more talented guards in the league, but he has struggled to stay healthy in his career, failing to reach 14 games played in a season since 2017. The Jaguars drafted Luke Fortner out of Kentucky in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft, a solid, but limited center. There are a lot of flaws with the Jaguars, especially if their young players stagnate and Scherff once again fails to stay healthy.
Few teams attacked the offensive line position this offseason with as much vigor as the Carolina Panthers. Carolina finished 2021 as PFF’s 28th-ranked pass-blocking offensive line, 26th run-blocking. The Panthers rotated between 11 different offensive linemen last season, but only right tackle Taylor Moton had a good season by allowing just one sack and 27 pressures in 1,149 offensive snaps. Carolina added Austin Corbett from the Rams (PFF’s 22nd-ranked guard) and Bradley Bozeman from the Ravens (PFF’s 15th ranked center) in free agency. Instead of trading back out of the sixth pick of the draft, Carolina opted to draft Ikem Ekwonu from NC State with their first pick. Ekwonu had at least an 80.5 overall grade from PFF in all three of his seasons as a starter. These moves have allowed Carolina to develop some depth, with three players who started last year (Brady Christensen, Michael Jordan and Cameron Erving) moving into reserve roles. If Ekwonu hits and Bozeman and Corbett can have strong seasons, then Carolina could have a solid offensive line going forward.
On the surface, the Houston Texans' offensive line had an abysmal 2021 season. However, the loss of Laremy Tunsil after just five games helped the Texans figure out that Tytus Howard, the former first-round pick who had been playing left guard, was a much better tackle than guard. Howard played the four of the final five games of the season at left tackle and scored at least an 81 pass-blocking grade and 68 overall grade during that stretch. Houston will head into 2022 with Tunsil back at left tackle and Howard manning the other side. The Texans used the 15th pick of the draft on Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green at left guard. Green allowed just one sack and 12 hurries in the past two seasons while primarily playing left guard. The Texans will need improvement from center Justin Britt and to figure out the right guard position, but they should have two solid tackles and a ready-to-play rookie guard under contract.
The Titans continued to utilize a dominant power run scheme and a questionable pass protecting offensive line to capture the AFC South in 2021. Like many teams, injuries caused problems for the Titans' offensive line last season, forcing 11 players to play throughout the season. The Titans allowed their starting left guard (Rodger Saffold) and right tackle (David Quessenberry) to walk in free agency, leaving them with two big holes to replace. Aaron Brewer figures to get the first shot at left guard (503 snaps at guard last season) and Dillon Radunz, last year’s second-round pick will likely get the initial shot at right tackle. The Titans also drafted Ohio State’s Nick Petit-Frere in the third round of the 2022 draft, but he will likely be more of a developmental player. The Titans will have to hope for improved health and the development of several young pieces to continue the excellent line play we have come to expect from them over the past few years.
The Falcons have spent the last few seasons investing premium picks into their offensive line, but those picks haven’t yielded great results. All five of Atlanta’s starting offensive linemen played at least 16 games last season, but the unit combined to surrender 26 sacks and 187 pressures. One positive for the Falcons is the interior combination of center Matt Hennessy and right guard Chris Lindstrom. Both players ranked top-10 at their respective positions according to PFF thanks to run blocking grades above 87.. Jalen Mayfield’s struggles from last season have continued into training camp, which has effectively pushed him out of the starting left guard spot, allowing Elijah Wilkinson a chance to earn the job by Week 1. Wilkinson was a depth piece for the Bears in 2021 and has never played left guard in an NFL game.
Atlanta has questionable depth outside of backup center Drew Dalman and free-agent acquisition Germain Ifedi, which makes health (and Jalen Mayfield figuring out the NFL level) imperative if this offensive line is going to take the next developmental step
As a general rule of thumb, it is a dangerous game to break in two rookie tackles at the same time. When you put them as bookends between three average interior linemen, it could be a recipe for disaster. Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis are solid but unspectacular guards who struggled in pass protection last year. Seattle added Austin Blythe in free agency, a center who was a solid player for the Rams in 2020 but saw only 12 snaps as a depth piece in Kansas City in 2021. Charles Cross was the ninth pick in this year’s draft and has all the tools to be a successful tackle in this league, but Abraham Lewis is more of an athletic project. He’s looked good in training camp, but we will see if he can continue that momentum throughout the preseason. Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan are solid depth pieces, but it’s hard to see Seattle’s offensive line taking a big leap with a bunch of mediocre players. The Seahawks seem content letting Cross and Lucas develop at the same time while using Forsythe and Curhan as depth, which could pay dividends in the long term but lead to short term troubles.
Recent changes to the offensive line have moved the Bears up in the rankings, getting them out of the bottom spot. By all accounts, fifth-round pick Braxton Jones has looked stellar at left tackle throughout the preseason after being taken as a developmental pick in the draft. The Bears have also added right guard Michael Schofield and right tackle Riley Reiff in recent weeks, allowing them some flexibility on the right side of the line. Larry Borom will get more time to develop, and a combination of Sam Mustipher, Doug Kramer and Zachary Thomas will likely provide interior depth. Teven Jenkins recently returned to practice after an injury (or holdout/trade request) and promptly got his first start at right guard in the team’s second preseason game. Jenkins looked like the best offensive lineman on the field at times throughout the game. The Bears could still trade him, but their best offensive line should incorporate him at right guard with Schofield playing as a swing/depth guard.
This is still a bad offensive line. But there are intriguing young pieces on the depth chart (Jones, Jenkins, and Borom) that could move them up this list in a hurry next season. They’re all just too unproven to trust for now. Good luck, Justin Fields.
Pittsburgh was projected to be one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL in 2021, and for the most part the Steelers delivered on that. Injuries forced nine different offensive linemen to get snaps last season and few of them performed well in that time. Pittsburgh chose to bank on the continued development of Dan Moore (seven sacks and 46 pressures in 1,079 snaps) and Chukwuma Okorafor (two sacks and 23 pressures in 1,078 snaps) while revamping their offensive line. Kevin Dotson played well until a season-ending injury in Week 9. Pittsburgh added Mason Cole and James Daniels in free agency to shore up their interior offensive line. Cole had arguably his best season as a pro as a depth player for the Vikings in 2021 and James Daniels was a solid starter in Chicago for three years before a rough 2021 and a coaching change. The Steelers have exceptional depth as well. Backup tackle Joe Haeg, guards John Leglue and Kendrick Green and center J.C. Hassenauer all started at least three games last season.
This has been the hardest offensive line to track throughout the preseason since new head coach Josh McDaniels continues to rotate players out of the starting lineup constantly. The left side of the line (Kolton Miller, John Simpson, Andre James) seem pretty secured, but anything can happen with the right side. Alex Leatherwood has continued to struggle with pass protection after a brutal rookie season that saw him single-handled surrender eight sacks, 40 hurries, and 65 pressures between right tackle and right guard. The team put 2022 seventh round pick Thayer Munford in the starting lineup for the first time, and he showed solid ability. Munford was a four-time All-Big Ten offensive lineman during his time at Ohio State, allowing just one total sack in his final two seasons at left tackle and left guard.
Draft capital may get Alex Leatherwood the first crack at the starting job when the season starts, but don’t be surprised if his continued struggles lead to Munford getting a chance to prove that him falling to the seventh round of the draft was a mistake.
A lifelong Chicago sports fan who provides offensive line analysis and general fantasy football advice for FTN. Dan utilizes his experiences as a coach and player to break down the game from a unique perspective.