CFL Week 1 Offensive Line Rankings: Alouettes kick off the year at No. 1

2XAGR3P Winnipeg, Canada. 06th June, 2024. June 6, 2024, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA: Montreal Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) throws against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during second half CFL action in Winnipeg Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Credit Image: © John Woods/The Canadian Press via Credit: Zuma Press/Alamy Live News

• Alouettes move up after impressive pass-blocking effort: Nick Callender was the CFL's top run-blocking offensive lineman last week, earning an outstanding 86.0 run-blocking grade.

• Tough week sends Argonauts to No. 3: The unit earned a 42.6 pass-blocking grade with five quarterback pressures allowed.

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Week 1 of the 2024 CFL season is in the books.

These post-Week 1 lineups include players who played the most at each position, and highlighted in red are those with a season-long PFF grade below 60.0.

Red text = weak link

1. Montreal Alouettes

LT Nick Callender
LG Pier-Olivier Lestage
C Justin Lawrence
RG Philippe Gagnon
RT Josh Donovan

This group, a formidable force, returned three starters from the Grey Cup-winning and second-ranked PFF unit last season. If we consider that Gagnon was the sixth man in 2023 and beat out Kristian Matte, who is this season's sixth man, the Alouettes' strength becomes even more apparent. 

Montreal got off to a good start in pass protection this season, earning an 86.3 unit grade across 33 snaps. They were also the CFL's best pass-blocking team in 2023. They allowed only four total pressures for a 12.1% pressure rate.

Right tackle Josh Donovan, a new starter this season, put together a promising debut. He earned a 74.1 pass-blocking grade but did garner a holding call. He will need to show improvement in the run game, as he earned a group-low 48.7 grade with no impact blocks and was defeated on 26.3% of the 19 run plays.

2. Toronto Argonauts

LT Isiah Cage
LG Ryan Hunter
C Peter Nicastro
RG Gregor MacKellar
RT Dejon Allen

Toronto's offensive line performed at a high level in Week 1. The unit earned a 70.2 overall grade, a 69.0 run-blocking grade and a 67.1 pass-blocking grade. Continuity will be a strong factor for this offensive line going forward; they return all six of their top contributors from their 16-2 regular-season team in 2023. 

Both tackles were excellent in pass protection this week. Allen earned a 79.9 pass-blocking grade with only one pressure allowed, and Cage earned a 75.4 pass-blocking grade. 

While Allen is arguably one of the best pass-blockers in the CFL again this year, his run blocking is still lacking. He earned a 46.8 run-blocking grade with a 0.0% impact block rate and was defeated on 11.5% of his run blocks in Week 1.

3. Edmonton Elks

LT Martez Ivey
LG David Foucault
C Mark Korte
RG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla
RT Hunter Steward

The Elks remain on their upward trend from the end of last year and started the season on a great note. No starter finished Week 1 with a PFF overall grade below 60.0. Four of the starters earned pass-blocking grades above 70.0. (Steward, 76.9; Korte, 74.8; Foucault, 70.3; and Ivey, 70.1).

Steward and Ivey were the CFL's top-performing pair of tackles in Week 1. Steward ranked third among tackles in PFF grade (72.8), and Ivey ranked fourth (70.0).

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

LT Brendan Bordner
LG Brandon Revenberg
C David Beard
RG Coulter Woodmansey
RT Quinton Barrow

What a performance by the Tiger-Cats' offensive line. The group dominated in the run game, paving the way for an outstanding 5.1 yards before contact and an 85.4 unit run-blocking grade. For context, a team averaging more than 5.0 yards per rush before contact in a week had happened only once in the PFF CFL era (Toronto, Week 20 of 2023).

Left guard Brandon Revenberg continued where he left off last season; Revenberg earned a 77.9 run-blocking grade and an 87.5 pass-blocking grade while staying clean in pass protection.

CFL rookie right tackle Brendan Bordner had a rough go in pass protection in his first professional start. He earned a 26.7 pass-blocking grade with one sack and four total pressures allowed. One positive is that Bordner performed better as the game went on, earning a 62.1 pass-blocking grade across 13 snaps in the fourth quarter.

5. Calgary Stampeders

LT D’Antne Demery
LG Bryce Bell
C Sean McEwen
RG Zack Williams
RT Joshua Coker

It was an all-around solid week for the Stampeders. No starter recorded a PFF overall grade below 60.0, and the unit produced a 68.1 run-blocking grade and a 64.6 pass-blocking grade.

Left tackle D’Antne Demery was the CFL's top-performing tackle of Week 1. He earned a 73.3 overall grade with a 69.0 run-blocking grade and a 78.4 pass-blocking grade.

6. Saskatchewan Roughriders

LT Trevor Reid
LG Philip Blake
C Peter Godber
RG Ryan Sceviour
RT Jermarcus Hardrick

Saskatchewan was on pace to rank much higher here until starting right guard Logan Ferland was ejected for throwing a punch midway through the second quarter. Across his 18 snaps, Ferland earned an 81.2 pass-blocking grade and a 63.8 run-blocking grade. Backup Ryan Sceviour did not fare well in his stead, earning a 51.8 run-blocking grade and a 35.1 pass-blocking grade.

In his first professional start, CFL rookie left tackle Trevor Reid was marvelous in pass protection. He earned an 82.6 pass-blocking grade across 33 snaps and was one rep short of a clean game in that facet. 

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers

LT Stanley Bryant
LG Liam Dobson
C Chris Kolankowski
RG Patrick Neufeld
RT Eric Lofton

Winnipeg was home to the CFL's top run-blocking unit in 2023, earning a 75.3 grade, but came out very flat in the 2024 season opener. The group earned a 51.3 run-blocking grade after providing only 1.0 yards before contact per rush. 

This week was a tale of two sides in pass protection for the Bombers. On the left side of the offensive line, Bryant and Dobson were perfect across their 36 pass-protection snaps, earning 86.7 and 85.4 pass-blocking grades. Meanwhile, Kolankowski (31.6), Neufeld (66.3) and Lofton (57.1) each allowed at least one pressure to go along with other struggles in pass protection.

8. British Columbia Lions

LT Jarell Broxton
LG David Knevel
C Michael Couture
RG Sukh Chungh
RT Kent Perkins

It was a tough week for the British Columbia Lions' offensive line. Their unit pass-blocking grade came out to 34.6 after the group allowed five sacks and 24 total pressures for a stunning 57.1% pressure rate.

Center Michael Couture and left guard David Knevel struggled the most of the group. Across 42 pass-blocking snaps, Couture earned a 20.9 grade with five pressures allowed, and Knevel earned a 20.8 grade with seven pressures.

Along with their league-worst 57.4 pass-blocking grade, the Lions also earned the CFL's lowest run-blocking grade.

NR. Ottawa Redblacks

Projected Starting Lineup

LT Dino Boyd
LG Drew Desjarlais
C Cyrille Hogan-Saindon
RG Dariusz Bladek
RT Zack Pelehos


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