CFL Week 7 Offensive Line Rankings: Montreal and Winnipeg remain atop the list

2R49JR7 Ottawa, Canada. 26th May, 2023. Montreal Alouettes quarterback Davis Alexander (3) throws the ball during the CFL preseason game between Montreal Alouettes and Ottawa Redblacks held at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Canada. Daniel Lea/CSM/Alamy Live News

• Montreal stays on top: Entering Week 8, the Alouettes offensive line paces the league in both pass-blocking and run-blocking grades.

• Jermarcus Hardrick still up to All-Star standard: Hardrick earned an 82.9 pass-blocking grade and allowed 0 pressures across 26 snaps in Week 7.

• Peter Nicastro steps up for Toronto: Nicastro earned an 85.6 pass-blocking grade, tops among all CFL offensive linemen, and he allowed zero pressures across 31 snaps last week.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


Few things are more important to a team’s success than the quality of its offensive line. Disastrous lines, or even disastrous weak-link mismatches, can determine the outcome of games, while strong units give an incredible advantage to an offense.

This CFL season, we will be keeping track of PFF’s offensive line rankings as well as highlighting the biggest weak-link player and their upcoming opponent to identify any obvious matchup advantage one way or the other.

Key:
Red text = weakest link

 1. Montreal Alouettes (No Change)

LT Nick Callender
LG Pier-Olivier Lestage
C Justin Lawrence
RG Kristian Matte
RT Landon Rice

The Alouettes enjoyed a Week 7 bye but still enter Week 8 with the best offensive line in the league.

All five starters have graded above 60.0 this season. Landon Rice (82.5), Pier-Olivier Lestage (78.6) and Nick Callender (73.3) have graded above 73.0.

Entering Week 8, this offensive line paces the league in both pass- and run-blocking grades.

Upcoming Week: Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary defense enters Week 8 with the highest team pass-rush grade in the league. They have produced pressure on 32.0% of their pass-rush snaps so far.


2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (No Change)

LT Stanley Bryant
LG Liam Dobson
C Chris Kolankowski
RG Patrick Neufeld
RT Jermarcus Hardrick

New left guard Liam Dobson performed well in his first start. He earned a 71.8 run-blocking grade and allowed only two total pressures across 26 snaps.

Right tackle Jermarcus Hardrick once again performed at an All-Star level. He earned an 82.9 pass-blocking grade and allowed 0 pressures across 26 snaps in Week 7.

Upcoming Week: BYE

3. Toronto Argonauts (No Change)

LT Trevon Tate
LG Ryan Hunter
C Darius Ciraco
RG Peter Nicastro
RT Dejon Allen

Right guard Peter Nicastro was stellar in pass protection this past week. He earned an 85.6 pass-blocking grade, tops among all CFL offensive linemen, and he allowed zero pressures across 31 snaps.

Left tackle Trevon Tate has yet to record a positively graded run-blocking play across his three starts. He is the only CFL offensive lineman who has played 40 or more run-blocking snaps and failed to grade positively.

Upcoming Week: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Roughriders’ defense continues to lead the CFL in team pass rush win rate (46.9%) and ranks third in pressure rate (37.7%).


4. British Columbia Lions (No Change)

LT Jarell Broxton
LG Andrew Peirson
C Michael Couture
RG Sukh Chungh
RT Kent Perkins

Left guard Andrew Peirson earned an 86.0 pass-blocking grade in Week 1, but his play has fallen off dramatically since. This past week, he earned his third sub-35.0 pass-blocking grade of the season, finishing at 27.2. He allowed five pressures across 34 snaps.

Left tackle Jarell Broxton has seen his run-blocking performance dip in his past three games. In his first three games of the season, he earned an impressive 75.0 run-blocking grade. That has dropped to a below-average 53.5 grade since Week 4.

Upcoming Week: Edmonton Elks

The Elks continue to field the worst defense in the CFL. Through seven weeks, their 56.2 team defense grade ranks dead last in the CFL — 17 grading points worse than the next closest team.


5. Calgary Stampeders (Up 1)

LT D’Ante Demery
LG Zack Williams
C Sean McEwen
RG Ryan Sceviour
RT Bryce Bell

The right side of the offensive line had a tough week in pass protection. Right guard Ryan Sceviour earned a 13.1 pass-blocking grade, while right tackle Bryce Bell's 27.1 grade wasn't much better.

Center Sean McEwen is one of the best pull-blockers in the league. He has earned a 70.7 run-blocking grade on these block types, grading out positively on 50% of those plays.

Upcoming Week: Montreal Alouettes

The Alouettes’ defense runs stunts at the highest rate in the CFL. Across 279 defensive snaps this season, they have run a stunt on 47.7% of plays.


6. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Down 1)

LT Brandon Council
LG Evan Johnson
C Logan Bandy
RG Logan Ferland
RT Colin Kelly

In Week 7, the Roughriders’ offensive line looked confused and disorganized without star center Peter Godber, who has been out of action since Week 3 with a hand injury.

The Riders’ running backs were given just -0.2 yards before contact per attempt last week, by far the worst rate in the CFL.

Pass protection wasn't much better, as the unit gave up 11 pressures — and lost six more reps that didn't result in pressure — across 44 plays.

Upcoming Week: Toronto Argonauts

The Argonauts’ front seven loves to attack the opponents’ offensive line. The Argos lead the CFL in simulated pressures (15) and blitz percentage (54.3%). They also rank second in stunt percentage (34.1%).


7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (No Change)

LT Tyrone Riley
LG Brandon Revenberg
C David Beard
RG Coulter Woodmansey
RT Brandon Kemp

It was the second week in a row in which the Tiger-Cats offensive line gave up quick pressure on at least 30% of their passing plays. They allowed quick pressure on 32.0% of their snaps in Week 7.

The Tiger-Cats tackles have combined for the second-best run-blocking grade in the CFL, led by Tyrone Riley’s outstanding 81.6 run-blocking grade. On the flip side, they have earned just a 44.5 pass-blocking grade.

Upcoming Week: Ottawa Redblacks

Ottawa runs a straightforward front-seven defense — they rank near the bottom of the CFL in blitz percentage (32%, 8th) and simulated pressure percentage (1.6%, 7th) — but the pass rush still does its job. They rank second in pressure rate (39.1%) and pass-rush win rate (46.5%) on the year.


8. Ottawa Redblacks (No Change)

LT Dino Boyd
LG Drew Desjarlais
C Cyrille Hogan-Saindon
RG Jacob Ruby
RT Zack Pelehos

Desjarlais and Boyd earned their best pass-blocking grades of the season, posting 81.6 and 73.5 marks, respectively, across 42 pass-blocking snaps.

Jacob Ruby continues to struggle at right guard. He's put up a 50.8 run-blocking grade and 32.3 pass-blocking grade on the year, bottom-six marks in the CFL.

Upcoming Week: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Tiger-Cats continue to be aggressive with their defensive playcalling and rank second in blitz percentage (48.5%). However, they are yet to receive a significant payoff, as they rank seventh in pressure rate (34.3%) on the season.


9. Edmonton Elks (No Change)

LT Martez Ivey
LG David Foucault
C Mark Korte
RG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla
RT Brett Boyko

Right guard Tomas Jack-Kurdyla had a marvelous week this past week, earning a season-high 80.2 pass-blocking grade. He allowed only one pressure across 36 snaps.

Right tackle Brett Boyko continues to struggle in his first season in Edmonton. He earned a pass-blocking grade below 45.0 for the second straight week and allowed four pressures (including one sack and one hit) across 36 snaps.

Upcoming Week: British Columbia Lions

The Lions had a fantastic game against the run last week. They allowed only 1.1 yards per rush and earned a 79.9 team run-defense grade.

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