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NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 units entering the 2020 NFL season

The PFF play-by-play grading gives us a unique perspective regarding offensive line play, and with the 2020 season upon us, it’s time to rank the best offensive lines in the NFL. While star power has an impact, the best offensive lines have depth across the starting five and often with their backups, so those teams will be ranked higher. Of course, finding five strong starters is a challenge, and even some of the better offensive lines will enter the season with question marks.

Here are the best offensive lines in the NFL heading into the 2020 season. 

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1. Indianapolis Colts

Last year’s No. 3 offensive line remains intact for 2020 and is primed to repeat as one of the league’s best. The only question mark coming into the offseason was left tackle Anthony Castonzo, but he re-signed for two years to solidify the Colts’ continued success up front. Castonzo is one of the more underrated players in the league, grading between 76.9 and 84.2 in each season since 2012. Castonzo’s 81.3 overall grade last season tied for seventh in the league, as he ranked in the top 16 as both a pass blocker and a run blocker. At right tackle, Braden Smith has made a rare transition from college guard to NFL tackle, and he’s been fantastic in his first two years in the league. He finished No. 9 overall among tackles last season, including the No. 4 mark as a run blocker.

At left guard, Quenton Nelson is among the best guards in the league and is already making his mark as one of the top overall players in the NFL after two outstanding seasons to start his career. Nelson had the No. 2 run-blocking grade and the No. 7 pass-blocking grade in 2019, as his combination of power, quickness and technique have him on a Hall-of-Fame path despite entering just his third NFL season. On the other side, right guard Mark Glowinski has come on strong over the past two years, but he’s a far better run blocker than pass blocker. He gave up 42 pressures during the regular season in 2019, the fourth-most in the league. Center Ryan Kelly ranked eighth at the position last season with a 73.0 overall grade, giving the Colts four out of five starters ranking in the top 10 at their respective positions. With all five starters returning, Indianapolis will be in the running to rank as the league’s best offensive line.

2. New Orleans Saints

The Saints finished with the No. 5 offensive line last season, and they’ll be right back in the mix at the top with four returning starters. They have the best tackle duo in the league in Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, who rank sixth and second, respectively, in grade since 2017 among tackles. Armstead’s 89.9 pass-blocking grade over the past three years is second only to David Bakhtiari, and he has the power and quickness to make any block in the run game. Ramczyk has a 90.2 grade in his first three years in the league, a mark bested only by Joe Thomas and Jake Long during the PFF era (since 2006). Ramczyk also boasts a 90.2 run-blocking grade since 2017 that ranks second at the position.

The Saints' interior features a few more question marks, especially after Larry Warford‘s release this offseason. Warford will be replaced by first-round pick Cesar Ruiz, who played center at Michigan and shined in pass protection, earning an 86.5 grade and allowing only nine pressures last season. Ruiz looked like a luxury pick during the draft, but Warford’s release shows just how much the Saints believe in Ruiz's ability. New Orleans had great success last season with rookie center Erik McCoy, who posted a 78.0 grade that ranked fourth in the league and a 77.6 run-blocking grade that ranked third.

Left guard Andrus Peat is coming off the two lowest grades of his career, and his 48.5 mark last season ranked just 79th out of 90 qualifiers. Peat had three straight 68.0-plus grades to kick off his career, and if he can get back on track, the Saints will be competing to rank as the best offensive line in the league.

3. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' offensive line annually ranks among the league’s best, and their unit finished fourth in our 2019 end-of-season rankings. They’ve trotted out premier players at three spots on the line for multiple years now, though center Travis Frederick is retiring after landing PFF All-Decade honors. Left tackle Tyron Smith remains one of the NFL’s best, earning a 91.1 overall grade since 2015 that ranks fourth — though he’s only graded at 82.7 over the past three years, good for 11th-best during that time. Smith has battled injuries in recent years, and he’s not what he once was in pass protection, but he can still handle the league’s best and is rarely beaten in the run game. Right guard Zack Martin is the other star on the line, an all-around technician who will battle Quenton Nelson for the distinction of the league’s best guard. Martin’s 91.4 overall grade since 2015 ranks first among guards. He also ranks second in pass-blocking grade and fourth in run-blocking grade.

Replacing Frederick at center will be an issue even though he was a shell of his former All-Pro self last season. Joe Looney is first in line at center, but the last time he started a full season was in 2018, and he only graded at 52.9 overall — including a 46.3 run-blocking grade that doesn't come close to matching Frederick’s output. Keep an eye on rookie fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz, who had a fantastic career at Wisconsin. With the Badgers, he had the highest percentage of positively graded blocks in the run game among interior offensive linemen in the draft class. But he still has room to grow in pass protection, where he had just a 69.3 grade on true pass sets last season.

At right tackle, La’el Collins had a breakout 2019 season with a career-high 86.0 overall grade, including the No. 3 run-blocking grade (88.6) among tackles. At left guard, Connor Williams enters his third season, a pivotal year for an offensive lineman's development. Williams has ranked 53rd and 46th among guards in his two NFL seasons, so he’s capable of providing mid-level play, but expectations are much higher for the 2018 second-round pick. Dallas loses a key piece in Frederick, but Collins’ emergence keeps them in the mix to rank among the best lines once again in 2020.

4. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay's offensive line finished sixth in our 2019 rankings, anchored by left tackle David Bakhtiari, who has taken over for Joe Thomas as the best pass-protecting tackle in the league. Since 2016, no one comes close to Bakhtiari’s 96.4 pass-blocking grade. His quickness, technique and anchor allow him to handle any type of pass-rusher. Bakhtiari is a good run blocker, ranking 35th with a 69.3 grade since 2016, but pass protection is his calling card. Rick Wagner will man the other tackle spot. He has earned a 70.0-plus grade in four of his six years as a starter, though he’s coming off a career-low 59.0 grade in 2019. Bryan Bulaga had been Green Bay's starting right tackle since 2010, but injuries have plagued him throughout his career. Wagner has the pedigree to replace Bulaga’s production, which ranks 22nd in the league since 2016, but last year’s step back is a concern.

On the interior, 2019 rookie Elgton Jenkins stepped in as the starting left guard in Week 3, with his 69.1 overall grade ranking third among rookie interior offensive linemen. Jenkins replaced Lane Taylor, who put together three solid seasons of grades between 66.0 and 68.2. Still, it’s difficult to see Taylor regaining his starting job with Jenkins in the mix. Look for Taylor to compete at right guard, where Billy Turner returns after his 63.0 overall grade in 2019 ranked 39th among 83 guards. Turner has improved over the past two years, but his track record suggests he is a below-average starter.

At center, Corey Linsley has the 10th-best grade among centers since 2016 — he’s one of the best all-around options in the league. Green Bay has top-10 potential once again, as Bakhtiari and Linsley both rank among the best at their respective positions, but they need a bounce-back season from Wagner to maintain their standing near the top.

Oct 20, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90)attempts to get past Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown (78) in the first half at CenturyLink Field. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens finished with the second-best offensive line last season, ending third in run-blocking grade and first in pass-blocking grade. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley continued his progression, leading all tackles with a 92.8 pass-blocking grade while allowing only 10 pressures on 543 attempts. Stanley also ranked first in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets and had the lowest percentage of negatively graded plays in the run game. He has firmly established himself as one of the league’s best. On the other side, right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. isn’t as nimble as Stanley, but he’s gotten the job done since the Ravens drafted him in the third round in 2018. Brown engulfs linebackers and moves linemen at the point of attack, but he still lets defenders get into his pads at the point of attack in the run game. That led to a 59.6 run-blocking grade that ranked just 47th out of 89 tackles last season. However, Brown has been an effective pass blocker, ranking 11th in that area with an 83.3 grade last season.

On the interior, the Ravens must replace retired, future Hall-of-Famer Marshal Yanda, who was still one of the NFL's best last season. Veteran D.J. Fluker will get the first shot, and he was once one of the better run-blocking guards, but he’s not a lock after three straight years grading in the 50.0s. Baltimore has drafted guards in the fourth round in each of the past two years — Ben Powers and Ben Bredeson, who were both better pass blockers than run blockers in college. Third-round pick Tyre Phillips brings a more physical presence at 345 pounds, so this line doesn't lack developmental options. At left guard, Bradley Bozeman is the expected starter after a solid 63.8 grade that ranked 35th out of 83 guards last season.

Matt Skura starts at center, where he earned a 68.7 grade last year before going down with an injury, good for 16th among centers. This should be one of the best offensive lines in the league once again, aided in part by Lamar Jackson’s ability to open up the offense, but they’ll miss Yanda’s all-around game up front.

6. Cleveland Browns

The No. 1 priority this offseason in Cleveland was shoring up the offensive tackle position, and no team invested more there than the Browns. They signed Jack Conklin to a three-year, $42 million deal to play right tackle and used the No. 10 overall pick on Jedrick Wills Jr. to play left tackle. Conklin has the No. 11 run-blocking grade among tackles since entering the league in 2016, and he’s an above-average pass protector — but not the kind of leave-on-an-island tackle who usually garners the biggest contract. Still, Conklin is a clear upgrade at right tackle, and the most immediate gains should be seen in the run game. Wills played on the right side at Alabama and steps in as the left tackle of the future. He’s an explosive run blocker who has developed nicely in pass protection, where he allowed only seven pressures over his last nine games at Alabama in 2019.

At left guard, Joel Bitonio has the No. 13 grade in the league since 2016, including the No. 3 pass-blocking grade at 90.9. Center J.C. Tretter’s 77.3 overall grade ranks 11th among centers over the past four years, and his 89.4 pass-blocking grade ranks second during that time. That leaves right guard as the Browns' biggest question mark. Wyatt Teller has been a solid pass protector at that spot, but his run blocking has been sub-par. He heads into a pivotal Year 3 where many offensive linemen take steps forward in development.

Chris Hubbard, last year’s starting right tackle, is now a swing tackle. He's a nice option to have as a depth piece with three good years of play under his belt. The Browns finished just 23rd in PFF’s 2019 offensive line rankings, but they have the pieces to make the biggest move in the NFL — especially if Wills develops quickly as a rookie. 

7. New England Patriots

The Patriots finished 10th in our 2019 rankings, and they should have a unit capable of cracking the top 10 once again. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn has played just 563 snaps after being drafted in the first round in 2018 and graded out at 70.7 overall last year, good for 34th among 89 tackles. Wynn got off to a good start in what was essentially his rookie season and showed he was capable in pass protection with a 75.0 grade. Right tackle Marcus Cannon has graded at 70.0-plus over the past four years, though last season’s 70.1 mark is his lowest during that span. He has developed into one of the more dependable right tackles in the league after turning his career around in 2016 with an 86.6 grade that tied for sixth among all tackles.

On the inside, left guard Joe Thuney has improved his grade in every season since entering the league in 2016. He finished with a 79.2 overall mark in 2019, good for fifth among guards. Thuney graded out at 88.0 as a pass protector, allowing just 17 pressures on 732 attempts after improving his ability to handle power players. Right guard Shaq Mason is one of the better run blockers in the league, capable of collapsing defenders at the line of scrimmage or locating them on the move. Mason’s 86.9 overall grade since 2016 ranks fifth among guards.

At center, David Andrews returns after missing all of 2019 due to injury. Andrews has graded at 67.0 or better in each year as a starter from 2015 to 2018, including a career-high 82.1 mark in 2017. While the starting five has plenty of experience, New England has an intriguing group of first- and second-year players — including tackles Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron and guards Hjalte Froholdt and Michael Onwenu. That group gives the Patriots excellent depth and flexibility when building for the future. 

8. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers ranked 14th in our 2019 regular-season rankings, but they should be even better in 2020 if the starting five remains healthy. Left tackle Joe Staley retired this offseason after an outstanding career, including a strong 2019 season where he earned an 81.3 overall grade that tied for seventh in the NFL. The 49ers traded for Trent Williams during the 2020 NFL Draft, and he had the fifth-best overall grade (90.8) among tackles from 2015-18. Williams is an excellent combination of smooth pass protector and powerful run blocker. Plus, his career-high 88.9 run-blocking grade came in 2013 in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system. Mike McGlinchey’s first two NFL seasons at right tackle have looked much like his college career, as he’s been a top-notch run blocker and a capable pass blocker. His 81.2 run-blocking grade ranks eighth among tackles, but his 66.0 pass-blocking grade ranks just 73rd. He must improve that mark to take the next step in Year 3.

On the interior, left guard Laken Tomlinson has developed into a solid starter — his 68.8 overall grade last season ranked 23rd among guards including the playoffs. San Francisco released right guard Mike Person, who allowed the seventh-most quarterback pressures (33) among guards during the regular season. For 2020, veteran Tom Compton is slated to start. Compton is about to see action for his sixth team, and he posted just a 61.8 overall grade in 2018 — his last season with extended playing time. Ben Garland could also be in the mix, as he provided valuable depth last season with a 71.6 grade on 416 snaps at center and also graded at 71.6 in 2018 with the Falcons at right guard. Center Weston Richburg got hurt in Week 14 and will return to his starting post after a 62.5 overall grade in 2019 that ranked 23rd in the league.

One other notable player is backup offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill, who filled in admirably down the stretch last season with a 73.0 overall grade and just nine pressures allowed on 475 attempts. The 49ers have high-end potential, and they could rank among the top eight offensive lines if Williams is his usual self and Richburg gets back to his previous levels of strong play.

Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line David DeCastro (66) and Maurkice Pouncey (53) and Ramon Foster (73) line up with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh has had one of the better offensive lines in recent years, finishing ninth in our final rankings last season. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva has developed into one of the league's most dependable starters, posting four straight years of 74.0-plus grades and ranking 21st among tackles last season. Villanueva is strong in pass protection, though he’s coming off his worst run-blocking grade since 2015. At right tackle, Matt Feiler is another unexpected success story, as he came out of small-school Bloomsburg and didn’t become a starter until 2018. His 75.9 overall grade last year ranked 17th among tackles, including an 80.7 pass-blocking grade that ranked 14th.

On the inside, right guard David DeCastro has seen his run-blocking grades take a hit over the past two years. But he remains one of the better pass protectors in the league, with his 71.0 grade last season ranking 17th overall among guards. Ramon Foster — last year’s left guard — retired, prompting Pittsburgh to sign Stefen Wisniewski to take his place. Wisniewski is on his fifth NFL team, but he has seven years with 70.0-plus grades, including a 70.9 mark for the Chiefs on 416 snaps last season. He should be a viable replacement, but keep an eye on fourth-round rookie Kevin Dotson a powerful run blocker who finished with the top grade (92.1) among draft-class guards last season.

Center Maurkice Pouncey dominates the postseason awards annually, though his 51.5 overall grade last season ranked just 34th at the position. Pouncey had the eighth-highest pressure rate and the eighth-highest percentage of negatively graded run blocks, but he’s usually solid in the middle. He graded between 69.0 and 78.1 in his previous five full seasons. Pouncey also takes on much more than most centers in pass protection — last season, he had the most one-on-one matchups in the league for the third time in five years. The Steelers have epitomized an offensive line that has few stars but also few weaknesses, and they should be in the top-10 discussion once again in 2020.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles annually boast one of the best offensive lines in the league, and they finished No. 1 at the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. It will be difficult to repeat that feat without star left tackle Jason Peters and PFF All-Pro guard Brandon Brooks. The Eagles anticipated the Peters move by drafting Andre Dillard in the first round in 2019, and he’s locked in as the starter after grading out at 59.7 on 337 snaps as a rookie. For perspective, Peters allowed just 25 pressures on 602 pass-blocking attempts, while Dillard allowed 25 on 183 attempts — so it could be an adjustment for Philadelphia. The good news is Dillard’s track record at Washington State, where his pass-blocking grade on true pass sets is the fifth-best we’ve seen from any college player moving to the NFL.

At right tackle, Lane Johnson finished with an 88.8 overall grade last season, good for fourth in the league. He’s one of the NFL's best run-blocking tackles, and his 87.6 overall grade ranks fourth at the position since 2017. Center Jason Kelce is the class of the position, leading the way with a 92.8 grade over the past three years. Kelce does his best work in the run game, where his athleticism allows him to execute a wide array of blocks. Plus, he is also one of the better pass protectors in the league. At left guard, Isaac Seumalo took a step forward in his development last season, posting a career-high 70.6 overall grade. He did allow 42 pressures, the fourth-most among guards — but that was on 763 pass-blocking snaps, the second-most in the league including the playoffs.

Replacing Brooks at right guard will be a big task, as he’s among the top two or three guards in the league. 2018 sixth-round pick Matt Pryor will be in the mix in addition to rookie fourth-rounder Jack Driscoll. Pryor graded out at 60.9 on 143 snaps as a rookie, while Driscoll was one of our favorite developmental tackle options in the draft — though he’s a much better pass protector than run blocker. The Eagles should be strong again up front, but with Peters and Brooks out of the equation, it will be difficult to achieve another top-five ranking.

11. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders finished in the middle of the pack at No. 15 in our 2019 rankings, coming in 15th in pass blocking and 18th in run blocking. Left tackle Kolton Miller took a step forward to grade at 64.9 overall, good for 44th out of 89 qualifying tackles, a huge improvement over his No. 81 ranking as a rookie in 2018. At right tackle, Trent Brown signed a monster contract prior to the 2019 season, and he finished right above Miller at 69.1 overall — 35th-best among tackles. In the run game, both Miller and Brown are similar players in that they will miss their fair share of blocks, but Brown ranked fifth in percentage of positively graded blocks while Miller finished 17th, so Raiders running backs have opportunities to make plays on the edge.

On the interior, left guard Richie Incognito returned to the NFL after one year off to post the highest pass-blocking grade of his career at 88.5 — good for second-best among guards — while also ranking eighth in percentage of positively graded run blocks. He allowed just nine pressures on 432 attempts. Center Rodney Hudson allowed just three pressures, grading at 91.2 as a pass blocker to lead the league in that department for the fifth-straight season. Incredibly, Hudson has allowed just 11 pressures over the last three years, a number that would have been the 28th-highest total among centers last season. He has clearly established himself as the class of the league when it comes to protecting the quarterback at the center position.

At right guard, Gabe Jackson is coming off the lowest grade of his career at 61.8 — his 53.6 grade as a run blocker ranked 59th among guards. Jackson has always been a solid pass protector, and he had graded above 72.0 in three of his previous four seasons. A return to form from Jackson, combined with another step forward from Miller, should have the Raiders back in the top 10 among the league’s offensive lines.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City's offensive line was fairly average last season before going on an outstanding three-game run in the playoffs. Left tackle Eric Fisher got off to a slow start early in his career, but he’s settled in as an above-average tackle, posting a 74.8 grade that ranks 28th among 81 qualifiers over the last three years. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is annually one of the league’s best, as he ranks fifth with an 87.5 overall grade during that same time frame. Schwartz had one of the best playoff runs in history, leading the Chiefs with a 92.8 overall grade while allowing just one pressure on 142 pass-blocking attempts.

The interior is an athletic group that is generally better in pass protection than in the run game. Left guard Andrew Wylie finished with the 12th-best pass-blocking grade among guards, while center Austin Reiter finished ninth at 79.2. However, Wylie was closer to the middle of the pack in the run game, and Reiter ranked in the bottom third among centers. Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is coming off the lowest grade of his career at 59.7, but he’s been a reasonable starter, ranking 37th with a 65.1 grade over the last three years.

The Chiefs also have good depth at tackle, including Mike Remmers, who is better as a backup at this point in his career, while third-round pick Lucas Niang is one of the best developmental options in the draft. Niang was productive at TCU despite technique that needs to be re-worked, and he may be a viable starter down the road.

Overall, the Chiefs have four mid-level starters and a star in Schwartz at right tackle, a combination that should put them back in the top half of the league if everyone stays healthy. 

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Jabaal Sheard (93) blocks Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (71) during the third quarter of their game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Indianapolis Colts At Kansas City Chiefs In NFL Week 5 Sunday Oct 6 2019

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay improved up front last season, finishing seventh in our regular season rankings. Left tackle Donovan Smith has improved his grade in all five years of his career, peaking last year at 70.8 overall, good for 32nd among tackles. Most importantly, Smith allowed a career-low 34 pressures after giving up between 42 and 57 in each of his previous four seasons.

At right tackle, Demar Dotson departs after a stellar 10-year Bucs career during which he was one of the most underrated players in the league. Enter first-round pick Tristan Wirfs, the No. 2 tackle on the PFF draft board. Wirfs finished with the No. 3 grade among draft-class tackles last season at 92.3, allowing just seven pressures on 461 attempts while adding a powerful presence to the run game. Wirfs looks like an excellent long-term option at right tackle, though there are always question marks with how quickly rookies will get acclimated to the NFL game.

On the inside, left guard Ali Marpet has been incredibly consistent in his five years in the league, posting the 14th-best grade during that time at 80.7 overall. Right guard Alex Cappa is hoping to follow a similar small-school trajectory, though his 62.7 overall grade ranked 42nd among guards in his first season as starter. Center Ryan Jensen bounced back with a 79.3 overall grade that ranked third among centers last season. He’s had two strong years sandwiched around a 55.7 grade in 2018. The interior trio has the potential to be one of the league’s best, especially if Cappa takes a step forward in his third year in the league.

Overall, if Smith continues his development and Wirfs handles the transition to the NFL, the line has a chance to crack the top-10 once again, especially if Tom Brady is able to protect them with his quick release and decision-making. 

14. Denver Broncos

The Broncos were quietly solid up front last season, though things will look much different in 2020 with two starters moving on and right tackle Ja’Wuan James returning after playing only 63 snaps. It wasn’t always pretty at left tackle, where Garett Bolles’ 45 penalties are the most in the league over the last three years — he had his fifth-year option declined, giving him one more year in Denver before hitting free agency. While the penalties are an issue, Bolles has graded right around league average as a pass blocker, and he’s a scheme-diverse run blocker. James returns to right tackle where his 75.0 overall grade ranks 35th among tackles since 2016. James is a dependable starter, though he has the fourth-highest cap hit on the team at $13 million —he's the fourth-highest-paid right tackle per year.

On the interior, left guard Dalton Risner had a promising rookie season that saw him rank 33rd among guards with a 64.5 overall grade as he transitioned smoothly from right tackle. The other guard spot will be manned by free agent Graham Glasgow, who is coming off a career-high 74.1 overall grade while playing both guard and center for the Detroit Lions. Glasgow is the No. 14-graded guard in the league since 2016, and he pairs with James to give Denver one of the most stable right sides in the league. The biggest question mark is at center, as Connor McGovern headed to the New York Jets after his career-high 72.0 overall grade that tied for ninth among centers last season. Third-round pick Lloyd Cushenberry III is projected to start and could be a solid addition to the run game, but his 55.8 pass-blocking grade last year at LSU is concerning.

Denver has viable options on four-fifths of the line — even with the question marks involved in starting a rookie center, they should rank near the middle of the pack once again in 2020. 

15. Tennessee Titans

The Titans boasted one of the better all-around lines in the league last year, ranking in the top 11 in both pass and run blocking while finishing eighth in our regular season rankings. Left tackle Taylor Lewan had a monster postseason run, catapulting his grade to 80.2 overall — good for 13th among tackles. Lewan ranked in the top 11 in both pass and run blocking, and he’s never graded below 76.0 during his stellar six-year career.

Departed right tackle Jack Conklin was right there with Lewan with an 80.5 overall grade that ranked 12th, and he’ll be difficult to replace for the Titans. Dennis Kelly will be in the mix, as he’s been a solid swing tackle throughout his career, but he hasn’t played over 400 snaps since 2012. The Titans drafted Isaiah Wilson out of Georgia in the first round, a monster 350-pounder capable of engulfing defenders in the run game. Wilson has some development to come, as he often struggles against speed and power on the edge — it will be difficult for Wilson to match the production Conklin brought to the offense over the last four years.

On the inside, left guard Rodger Saffold gave up sacks in bunches in the early going last season, but that wasn’t indicative of his performance as a pass blocker. He surrendered six sacks over the first six games, but that was it for the season and he finished with a 75.5 pass-blocking grade that ranked 17th among guards. Like Lewan, Saffold has shown incredible consistency, grading above 72.0 in each of the last four seasons. The right guard position showed the growing pains rookies often endure as 2019 third rounder Nate Davis graded at just 46.6 overall, 81st out of 89 qualifiers. Davis looked like a project coming out of Charlotte, so he could be in line to take a big step forward this season, especially in the run game. Center Ben Jones has settled in as a solid starter, and his career-high 79.7 overall grade ranked second in the league last season. Jones allowed just 10 pressures including the playoffs on his way to the third-best pass-blocking grade among centers at 85.2.

Three-fifths of the Tennessee offensive line features established starters, while the right side comes with plenty of question marks. The Titans have a potentially volatile group up front but with hopes of ranking in the top 10 once again.

16. Detroit Lions

The Lions finished with the No. 11 offensive line last season as they had two players finish in the top 10 at their respective positions — center Frank Ragnow finished sixth and right guard Graham Glasgow finished 10th — while left tackle Taylor Decker ranked 19th. There will be some turnover as Glasgow moves on in free agency and right tackle Rick Wagner also departs.

At tackle, Decker enters the fifth year of his rookie contract, and he has ranked above the league average on true pass sets and run blocking grade on both gap and zone runs since 2016. Left guard Joe Dahl performed well in his first year as a starter in 2019, though it was a bit lopsided as he ranked 23rd with a pass-blocking grade of 73.0, but he finished just 48th as a run blocker at 57.1. Ragnow had the No. 2 grade among centers in the run game at 78.2, showing off the skills that made him one of the best interior offensive line prospects of the PFF College era (since 2014).

The questions are on the right side, where Halapoulivaati Vaitai signed for $45 million over five years to start at right tackle. Vaitai is coming off a career-high 76.2 run block grade, but his pass-blocking grade of just 55.2 since 2016 ranks 84 out of 94 qualifiers, so that remains a major question mark. At right guard, third-round pick Jonah Jackson was our favorite pass protecting guard in the draft, and he has the all-around game to step right in as a starter. He’ll compete with veteran Oday Aboushi, who hasn’t posted an overall grade above 62.7 since 2014. Keep an eye on fourth-rounder Logan Stenberg, who brings excellent power and size to the line and may be a solid starter down the road.

Between Decker, Dahl and Ragnow, the Lions have a strong foundation up front, but the right side of the line will determine where the Lions finish in the end-of-the-season rankings. 

Detroit Lions' Graham Glasgow blocks the Buffalo Bills' Lorenzo Alexander during the first half Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 at Ford Field. Graham Glasgow

17. Carolina Panthers

The big move up front this offseason was adding left tackle Russell Okung in exchange for right guard Trai Turner. Okung’s 82.3 overall grade ranks 18th among tackles since 2015, though he’s coming off a tough 2019 season that saw him limited to only 257 snaps due to a pulmonary embolism and a groin injury. When healthy, Okung has graded just above average as a pass blocker against a tough slate of pass-rushers in the AFC West, and he’s solid in the run game. On the other side, only 15 tackles have a better pass-blocking grade than Taylor Moton’s 82.6 mark over the last three years, and he ranks 10th in pass-block grade on true pass sets. Moton is also a strong run blocker, grading above average since entering the league. If Okung gets back to form, they’ll be one of the best tackle duos in the league.

Carolina’s biggest question marks reside on the interior, starting at center where Matt Paradis is coming off a disappointing year in his first season with the Panthers. He allowed 13 more pressures than any other center — 47 total — on his way to a 43.8 pass-blocking grade. Paradis has been one of the best run-blocking centers since 2015, ranking 11th in percentages of positively graded blocks. It will be a new look at guard with Turner, Greg Van Roten and Daryl Williams all departing. Look for a three-way battle between John Miller, Dennis Daley and Michael Schofield to fill the two spots. Schofield has the 42nd-best grade out of 88 qualifying guards since 2017, while Miller ranks 52nd. Daley struggled to a 58.3 grade last season as a rookie at left tackle.

If the Panthers can get mid-tier guard play to go with bounce back seasons from Okung and Paradis, they could be right there in the middle of the pack among offensive lines once again. 

18. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has attacked the offensive line with volume over the last two years and the team has made strides back toward the middle of the league. Last year, they finished 21st in our final rankings, as the pass-blocking grade was almost identical to 2018 while the run blocking improved dramatically (ranked 31st in 2018, 17th last season).

Left tackle Dion Dawkins is the anchor after grading at 73.1 overall last season, good for 24th among 82 qualifying tackles. Dawkins has been an above-average option in his three years in the league and doesn’t make many mistakes in the run game, posting the seventh-lowest percentage of negatively graded plays last season. On the other side, Cody Ford had common rookie struggles, finishing just 78th out of 89 qualifying tackles with a 52.4 grade. He must improve in all areas.

On the interior, it’s a solid group with center Mitch Morse and right guard Jon Feliciano ranking right in the middle of their respective position groups, while left guard Quinton Spain has been an average guard over the last three years. The Bills also have two intriguing backups, starting withTy Nsekheone of the better swing tackles in the league who has quietly graded at 72.0 overall since 2015, 51st out of 109 tackles with at least 1,000 snaps. Daryl Williams struggled to a 56.1 grade last season coming off injury and seeing time at every position besides center. Williams still has his excellent 2017 season to hang his hat on, as he finished 15th among all tackles that season and third among right tackles, making him a low-risk gamble and perfect depth player at a modest price.

The Bills have mid-tier options across the board on the offensive line but strong depth — they’re a couple of rebound seasons away from cracking the top 12 lines in the league.

19. Houston Texans

The quest for mediocrity is a crucial one for poor offensive lines, and Houston took a huge step in that direction last season, finishing 20th in our final rankings. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil made an immediate impact after coming over from the Miami Dolphins as the Texans' left tackles had allowed a pressure once every 10 pass-blocking snaps across 2017 and 2018. Tunsil allowed a pressure once every 28 snaps last season and finished with the third-best pass-blocking grade in the league at 88.2, but he also led the league with 20 penalties including the playoffs. Even with the penalties, Tunsil immediately turned a weakness into a strength at left tackle for the Texans.

The rest of the line made strides in pass protection, as all five starters posted pass-blocking grades above 70.0. QB Deshaun Watson holds the ball longer than any quarterback on standard dropbacks and invites plenty of pressure himself, and the Texans had the league’s sixth-best pass-blocking grade last season at 79.1 after two years ranking near the bottom. The run blocking was not nearly as good, finishing fifth-worst at 52.2. Left guard Max Scharping and right tackle Tytus Howard finished with near-identical grades — 59.1 for Scharping, 59.4 for Howard — as both rookies struggled in the run game, ranking near the bottom of their respective positions.

Center Nick Martin profiled similarly, with a 79.8 pass-blocking grade that ranked eighth but a run-blocking grade of 58.0 that ranked 25th among centers. Right guard Zach Fulton was even worse in the run game with a 42.5 grade that tied for fourth-worst among guards, but he finished 21st with a pass-blocking grade of 73.9.

Houston returns all five starters from last season, and there is no line with a bigger discrepancy between pass blocking and run blocking ability. 

20. New York Giants

The Giants weren’t as bad as the perception last season, finishing 17th in our regular-season rankings, and the line is heading in the right direction. Left tackle Nate Solder posted the worst grade of his career at 64.8 overall, as he allowed a league-high 56 pressures while ranking just 70th out of 89 qualifiers with a 52.9 run-blocking grade. Solder graded in the 70s as a pass blocker in all but one full year as a starter, and he was once one of the most dependable run-blocking tackles in the league, so the Giants need him to return to his previous form.

At right tackle, fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas steps in after Mike Remmers tied for 10th with 40 pressures allowed. Thomas was the highest-ranked tackle on the PFF draft board and was the only player to rank in the top five as both a pass and run blocker in the draft class. Thomas should be able to step in as a solid right tackle and could eventually play on the left side if New York moves on from Solder. Another player to keep an eye on is third-round tackle Matt Peart out of UConn, a classic developmental prospect who performed well in college but still has room to grow. He had the No. 6 overall grade in the draft class last year at 90.2 and he just started playing football in high school. 

The interior was aided by the addition of right guard Kevin Zeitler a year ago, annually one of the league’s best whose 76.4 overall grade ranked seventh. Zeitler is as reliable as they come — he’s never graded below 73.0 and has ranked among the top 10 guards in five of the last six seasons. Left guard Will Hernandez has not developed as expected, grading at just 58.4 last year to rank 57th out of 89 qualifiers, though he could be a classic Year 3 breakout candidate after a dominant college career at UTEP. Center is the other big question mark for the Giants, as last year’s starter Jon Halapio ranked just 32nd with a 56.3 grade. Spencer Pulley is in line to start, though he’s never graded above 56.7 in his four-year career.

The Giants have some volatility up front heading into 2020, but with positive regression in a few areas — plus a boost from Thomas if he's as polished as expected — they could sneak into the top half of offensive line units this season. 

Oct 5, 2019; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Andrew Thomas (71) blocking Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus (88) during the first quarter at Neyland Stadium. Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

21. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona’s offensive line ranked just outside the bottom 10 in 2019, a major improvement from their standing as the worst unit in the league in 2018. We saw a career-high 76.3 pass-blocking grade from left tackle D.J. Humphries that ranked 25th in the league — and the team rewarded him with a new contract this offseason because of that — while left guard Justin Pugh was also strong in pass protection, earning an 82.2 pass-blocking grade on the year that ranked ninth best among guards. Right tackle Justin Murray had the lowest pass-blocking grade of the regular starters, at 67.3, a number that would have ranked first among the regulars in 2018. Right guard J.R. Sweezy produced his best pass-blocking grade since 2013, and center A.Q. Shipley continued his usual strong play in pass protection, grading above 70.0 for the sixth straight season.

There’s still room to upgrade at right tackle, and third-round rookie Josh Jones will compete with Murray and the returning Marcus Gilbert for that starting spot on the line. Jones is a first-round caliber prospect who fell to the third despite posting the highest grade among tackles in the draft class, at 93.4 overall. Gilbert, on the other hand, was once one of the more dependable right tackles in the league, though he hasn’t played a full season since 2017.

The line was protected by the new scheme just enough, and much of the pressure the Cardinals faced as a team came from quarterback Kyler Murray, who was charged with 42 pressures and 23 sacks on his own. Overall, the Cardinals finished with the ninth-best pass-blocking grade but the ninth-worst run-blocking grade among NFL teams. If this unit can take another step forward, it may be all the Cardinals need if Murray and the playmakers continue to develop. 

22. Chicago Bears

The Bears regressed from a fringe top-10 offensive line in 2018 to the 25th-ranked unit last season despite most of the group remaining intact. Left tackle Charles Leno saw the biggest drop-off in play, as he had four straight seasons grading in the 70s from 2015 to 2018 but finished at just 58.6 overall last season, good for just 64th out of 82 qualifiers. Leno earned his worst pass-blocking grade since 2015 while posting the lowest run-blocking grade of his career, at 47.5.

At right tackle, Bobby Massie has been the epitome of league average since 2015, ranking 57th out of 109 qualifiers over that span. However, he also took a step back last season, ranking just 51st with a 63.2 grade. The Bears need both tackles to get back on track if they’re going to get back into the top half of the league’s offensive line rankings.

On the interior, Cody Whitehair and James Daniels have played musical chairs cycling between left guard and center, and it appears that Whitehair will be the center, with Daniels the left guard moving forward. Whitehair is one of the best run-blockers in the league, grading 11th among interior offensive linemen with an 80.8 grade since 2016. Daniels has been solid with 66.4 and 69.9 overall grades since entering the league, and another step forward is expected for him in Year 3.

That leaves the right guard as the biggest question mark for the Bears, as Kyle Long has retired and projected starter Rashaad Coward ranked just 71st among 89 qualifying guards on his 660 snaps last season. Chicago signed Germain Ifedi, who had his struggles as the Seattle Seahawks’ starting right tackle the last four years, but he could compete for guard snaps with Coward.

The Bears have the pieces to rank among the top 10-15 offensive lines in the league, but they need the tackles to get back to their 2018 form to go with progression from at least two players on the interior.

23. Minnesota Vikings

A new offensive system and play-action-heavy approach helped the Vikings move up to 19th in our final rankings last season, and they return fourth-fifths of last year’s unit.

Left tackle Riley Reiff has been a mid-tier option since coming over from the Detroit Lions; he’s had many solid games in his three years with the Vikings, but he has also had some duds, including a poor 31.6 pass-blocking grade against the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round last year.  On the plus side, Reiff is a solid zone blocker, and he had the 20th highest percentage of positively graded run blocks among 82 qualifying tackles last year.

Right tackle Brian O’Neill was right there behind Reiff and ranked 22nd in positively graded blocks — he’s another athletic zone blocker who fits well in Minnesota’s system. O’Neill has also been solid in pass protection in his two years in the league, with his 68.6 pass-blocking grade ranking in the top half of the league.

This offseason, the Vikings also used a second-round pick on tackle Ezra Cleveland out of Boise State. Cleveland profiles similarly to Reiff and O’Neill as a good zone blocker with mid-level expectations as a pass-blocker.

On the interior, left guard Pat Elflein has struggled no matter where he’s played on the line, and his 57.4 overall grade ranks just 105th out of 130 qualifying interior offensive linemen over the last three years. At right guard, Dakota Dozier is slated for the first extended starting action after his career — he’s failed to play more than 361 snaps in any of his five seasons — and he graded at just 51.5 across both guard positions and a little bit of center last season for the Vikings. Center Garrett Bradbury has the perfect skill set for Minnesota’s outside zone scheme, and he flashed it last season, though he struggled mightily in pass protection on his way to a 38.7 pass-blocking grade that ranked last among centers.

The Vikings have a good zone-blocking line that gave their running backs the third-highest percentage of positively graded blocks per rush last season, but there are holes in pass protection that can be exploited, especially in must-pass situations against good defensive lines.

24. Atlanta Falcons

The story of the 2020 Falcons will start with the offensive line after they posted the worst pass-blocking (67.2) and run-blocking (58.2) grades of the Matt Ryan era.

After years as one of the most stable units in the league, Atlanta’s offensive line has regressed, and they finished 24th in our final 2019 rankings. The good news is that Atlanta still has strong pillars up front in left tackle Jake Matthews and center Alex Mack, who are still two of the league’s best at their respective positions. Matthews is one of the best zone blockers in the league (89th percentile over the last two years), while Mack has ranked second, fourth and ninth among centers over the last three seasons.

Questions abound beyond that, but there is hope. The Falcons invested two first-round picks in right guard Chris Lindstrom and right tackle Kaleb McGary in 2019, but Lindstrom only saw the field for 309 snaps and graded at 66.6 overall, while McGary struggled to a 53.0 overall grade that ranked 79th out of 89 qualifying tackles.

Offensive linemen often take time to develop, but the Falcons must start seeing the rewards from their steep investment. That leaves the left guard position, where James Carpenter is slated to start after a posting a 45.3 grade that was worse than all but seven guards last season. Keep an eye on third-round rookie center Matt Hennessy, who could compete for snaps after three strong years of grading at Temple.

Dec 1, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

25. Los Angeles Rams

No offensive line took as big of a step back as the Rams, a team that dropped from one of the league’s best to 31st during the 2019 regular season. They had eight linemen pass protect at least 250 times and only left tackle Andrew Whitworth put up a pass-blocking grade better than 61.6. Whitworth took a step back overall, grading at 72.8, his lowest since 2008. He remains as one of the better tackles in the league, and he’s been fantastic since joining the Rams, but he’ll turn 39 years old during the season.

At right tackle, Rob Havenstein’s regression remains a mystery. He had four solid seasons under his belt, including an 83.6 overall grade that ranked seventh among tackles in 2018. Last season, however, he posted a 50.9 grade that ranked 81st out of 89 qualifiers. If the Rams are going to get back on track, it must start with Havenstein.

The interior of the line saw huge turnover last season as left guard Rodger Saffold and center John Sullivan needed to be replaced, but the youth movement has gotten off to a slow start. At left guard, Austin Corbett and Joseph Noteboom both saw significant snaps, with Corbett posting the better grade at 51.8, good for 71st among guards. Right guard Austin Blythe saw his grade drop from 73.4 (12th) to 50.3 (76th) last season, so much like Havenstein, a return to form is crucial for the Rams.

Center Brian Allen finished 26th among centers with a 58.6 grade, and his biggest issue was pass protection, where his 45.4 grade ranked 33rd out of 35 qualifiers. David Edwards should also be in the mix for playing time after posting a 61.0 grade on 689 snaps as a rookie while fellow 2019 draft pick Bobby Evans remains a developmental option after a 49.4 grade on 479 snaps at right tackle last season.

Development is the key word for the Rams as they’re rolling it back with last year’s 31st-ranked unit, but with five players all within their first three years in the league, Los Angeles is expecting improvement from at least a few of them.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars

It was a rough 2019 season for the Jacksonville offensive line as they finished 26th in our final rankings. Left tackle Cam Robinson has never lived up to his perceived upside, ranking below average in every key metric in his two-plus seasons of NFL action. Robinson’s 54.8 overall grade ranked 75th out of 89 offensive tackles last season, and even though he missed two games, he still allowed 45 total pressures — tied for the sixth-most in the league.

Right tackle Jawaan Taylor had some positive moments for a rookie, finishing with a 69.2 pass-blocking grade that ranked right around league average. He wasn’t as effective as expected in the run game, however, as his 58.1 run-blocking grade ranked 53rd among players at his position.

On the interior, left guard Andrew Norwell is the highest-paid guard in the league and has three more years left on his contract. Norwell has been solid, earning the 17th-best grade (68.2) among guards since joining the team, but that’s certainly not the type of performance that is worth over 5% of the salary cap this season. The last two seasons have been the lowest graded of Norwell’s six-year career, and Jacksonville needs more of his 2017 league-high 92.3 pass-blocking grade to justify the big-money deal.

Right guard A.J. Cann has only graded above 70.0 once in his career — back in 2016 — and he’s coming off a career-low 55.3 overall grade. Center Brandon Linder is the most dependable player up front for the Jaguars, as his 83.1 grade ranks third among centers over the last three years. Linder has been one of the best pass-blockers on the interior since entering the league in 2014.

Jacksonville has plenty of work to do to upgrade from last year’s ranking, including development at both tackle spots and a return to form from Norwell. 

27. New York Jets

The Jets have thrown plenty of resources at the offensive line this offseason, but question marks still abound. They finished just 28th in our 2019 rankings, and they will have at least three new starters in 2020.

First-round pick Mekhi Becton, a mauling run blocker who has some work to do in pass protection, is the likely starter at left tackle. Becton’s college film is rare, as the 6-foot-7, 360-pounder tossed college players around like high schoolers, but his mediocre 64.7 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets is a concern.

At right tackle, it’ll be a batter between free agent signing George Fant and second-year player Chuma Edoga. Fant has been a developmental project for the Seahawks, and his best work has come when playing as a sixth offensive lineman at tight end. Fant has an overall grade of just 47.6 when playing tackle, 86th out of 89 qualifiers dating back to 2016, so he remains a project. Edoga, on the other hand, was drafted in the third round back in 2019 and has potential as a pass-blocker after a strong career at USC. However, his first 421 NFL snaps did not go well, evidenced by his 48.9 overall grade and the six penalties called against him.

Both starting guards return in Alex Lewis and Brian Winters, but there’s plenty of competition on the inside — Lewis has yet to grade above 60.2 in three years of significant playing time, while Winters has graded above 70.0 just once in his career (2016).

Greg Van Roten comes in from Carolina, where he had a career year in 2019, finishing with a 65.6 overall grade that finished 24th among guards. Van Roten first entered the league in 2012 and has taken a roundabout path to becoming a starter, but he’s been solid over the last two years.

Center has been a huge problem spot for the team, so the Jets signed another player coming off a career year in Connor McGovern, whose 72.0 overall grade tied for ninth among centers during the 2019 regular season. However, McGovern posted a 48.9 grade in 2017 and a 58.8 mark in 2018, so New York will be hoping they got the 2019 version in free agency. 

28. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have ranked among the worst offensive lines in the league over recent years, and last season was no different as they finished 27th in our final rankings.

Left tackle Duane Brown has brought some stability to the line since joining Seattle, as his 82.0 overall grade ranks 13th among offensive tackles since 2017. No other Seahawks offensive lineman graded above 63.2 during that time frame, which shows just how important Brown has been — he’s allowed pressure on just 4.6% of dropbacks, 11th-best among tackles over the last three seasons. 

Veterans Brandon Shell and Cedric Ogbuehi will compete to take over from Germain Ifedi at right tackle. Shell has been better during over the last three seasons, grading at 64.9 overall — good for 47th among tackles — while Ogbuehi has only played 877 snaps over the last three years and graded at 58.0 overall.

At left guard, Mike Iupati is coming off the lowest grade of his career, at 60.3 overall, and his career is simply trending in the wrong direction. Iupati graded above 79.0 in five of the first six years of his career, but he’s been in the 60s during his last four seasons, which have also been riddled with injuries.

The other guard spot is wide open, with 2019 fourth-rounder Phil Haynes competing with rookie third-rounder Damien Lewis. Haynes played just 42 snaps as a rookie, while Lewis is likely the preferred option here as his power run-blocking style is coveted in Seattle. Former second-round pick Ethan Pocic adds depth, though he’s struggled through three years at guard after finishing his college career at center.

There will be competition at center after Justin Britt was released after six years with the team. Joey Hunt took over for 733 snaps last season, earning a 52.2 overall grade that ranked 35th among centers. B.J. Finney comes over from Pittsburgh, where he wasn’t much better last season, grading at 56.9 on 325 snaps, though his previous work was much better in a limited sample from 2016-18.

The Seahawks enter 2020 with plenty of question marks up front, and it will take unexpected development from multiple players to get them into the top half of the league.

Sep 15, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; Washington offensive tackle Donald Penn (72) blocks against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField. Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

29. Washington

Washington got solid play across the line last season, finishing 13th in our final rankings. With Trent Williams absent, the team signed veteran Donald Penn in a move that paid off relatively well. Penn finished the campaign with a 64.2 overall grade that ranked 50th among players at the position.

This season, it will be a battle between veteran swing tackle Cornelius Lucas and third-round rookie Saahdiq Charles. Lucas is a 6-foot-9 monster who has graded above the league average on 999 career pass-blocking snaps, though his size makes it a challenge to play low in the run game or get to the second level. Charles, meanwhile, may not be ready to play right away, as he never graded above 70.0 overall in college, and he gave up over 20 pressures in each of the last three years. The one other name to throw in the mix is 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian Sr., who has only played 189 snaps in his career and notably earned a 63.0 grade in limited time last season.

At right tackle, Morgan Moses has been a viable starter, though his highest-graded years came in 2015 and 2016. Last season, however, his 65.2 overall grade ranked 43rd among tackles.

On the inside, Wes Schweitzer comes over from Atlanta to compete at left guard, though he’s coming off a career-low 56.4 overall grade. Right guard Brandon Scherff is the best lineman on the team, and he’s in the last year of his rookie contract. Scherff had the 11th-best overall grade among guards last season, at 75.0 overall, a number that is right in line with the rest of his career.

At center, Chase Roullier also enters the final year of his rookie deal, and he experienced the classic Year 3 spike last season. Roullier posted career highs in overall grade (69.3) and run-blocking grade (65.4), and he finished with the No. 15 grade among centers.

For Washington to rank in the top 15 once again, they need someone to emerge at left tackle to go with a return to form for both Schweitzer and Moses.

30. Los Angeles Chargers

The line has been an issue for the Chargers for several years, and they haven’t had a pass-blocking grade that ranked higher than 26th since 2014. There will be changes heading into 2020, however, as left tackle Russell Okung was traded to the Panthers in exchange for right guard Trai Turner, and the Chargers signed right tackle Bryan Bulaga in free agency.

Bulaga has battled injuries throughout his career, but he’s one of the NFL’s best when healthy; he proved that last year with a 77.1 overall grade that ranked 15th among tackles, and he allowed fewer than two pressures in nine games — the same number achieved by all Chargers tackles.

The left tackle spot remains worrisome, with Trent Scott, Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins all in the mix to start. Scott’s 52.6 pass-blocking grade last season was worse than all but six other tackles, while Tevi’s mark of 58.0 wasn’t much better. Pipkins, on the other hand, is a 2019 third-rounder who graded at 63.3 overall on his 251 snaps last year, but he’s still a project at this point in his young career.

Turner will start at right guard, and his 63.9 overall grade was only slightly better than the 63.6 that last year’s starter, Michael Schofield III, put up in 2019. The hope is that Turner can get back to his previous form when he was a mauling run-blocker and one of the best pass-protecting guards in the league from 2014 to 2017.

Left guard Dan Feeney has struggled in his three years as a starter, with his 51.0 overall grade ranking just 83rd out of 88 qualifiers. And center Mike Pouncey returns after playing only 305 snaps last season, though he also comes with a fair amount of concern, as he has not graded above 70.0 since 2015 with the Dolphins.

Backup guard Forrest Lamp could finally be in the mix to push for playing time, but he’s played just 394 snaps — including the preseason — since being drafted in the second round of 2017. The Chargers look like a bottom-tier offensive line once again unless they get massive improvement from their young players. 

31. Cincinnati Bengals

Only two teams had a worse offensive line than the Bengals last season. The good news is the return of 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams, whose lost season due to injury led to Cordy Glenn, John Jerry, Andre Smith and Fred Johnson all playing at least 130 snaps at left tackle in 2019.

Williams was a polished college player who finished with the nation’s third-best overall grade (89.2) in 2018. Even in his first year of action, he should bring some stability to a position that has had issues since the departure of Andrew Whitworth after the 2016 season.

The rest of the line has plenty of question marks, including right tackle Bobby Hart, who did take a step forward in pass protection last season but has still been well below average in his four seasons as a starter (109th out of 151 qualifiers on true pass sets). Hart has also ranked as a bottom-10 run-blocker in each of his last two seasons.

At left guard, both Michael Jordan and Billy Price graded in the 40s and ranked among the bottom six guards last season, and they’ll both be in the mix to start again. Xavier Su’a-Filo joins the three-way competition after posting his highest grade since 2016, a 60.1 mark that came on only 307 snaps. Jordan, Price and Su’a-Filo will battle for the two starting guard spots in what looks like one of the worst situations in the league unless two of the three improve quite a bit.

 Trey Hopkins earned a career-high 62.4 grade at center last year, but even that still ranked just 24th among players at the position. Even with Williams’ return, the Bengals have only marginally improved up front this offseason.

32. Miami Dolphins

There wasn’t much debate about the worst offensive line in the league last year, as Miami ranked last in both pass and run blocking — only one of the seven linemen with at least 330 snaps graded above 60.0.

We could see as many as four new starters this season, though question marks still swarm. Julie’n Davenport was the starter at left tackle last season after coming over from the Houston Texans, and his struggles continued. His 53.7 overall grade ranks 76th out of 81 tackles over the last three years.

The Dolphins then used one of their three first-round picks on USC’s Austin Jackson, who has work to do to become a viable starter. Jackson has the footwork of a starting left tackle, but his hands need work in pass protection and he’s below average in the run game.

Right tackle Jesse Davis could be the lone returning starter, and he’s yet to grade higher than last year’s 58.9 overall mark that ranked 67th among tackles.

On the interior, Ted Karras was signed in free agency to start at center after posting a solid 66.5 grade in his first year as a starter. Ereck Flowers also comes over from Washington, where he turned in a solid performance his first year as a guard in 2019, grading at 64.2 to rank 33rd. Michael Deiter, meanwhile, spent his rookie season at left guard last year,  and he finished with the fifth-worst grade in the league at 42.5.

Dieter will be in the mix at right guard, but second-round pick Robert Hunt may be first in line for the job. Hunt is a powerful run-blocker who will kick inside to guard after playing right tackle at Louisiana. His 87.1 overall grade ranked ninth in the draft class among tackles last season.

A lot must go right for the Dolphins to rank above the bottom 10 lines in the league, but they’ve invested with veterans and youth, and the hope is that they’re at least moving in the right direction in 2020.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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