NFL News & Analysis

2022 NFL offensive line rankings: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers among Tier 1 teams

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) and center Landon Dickerson (69) block against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The trenches. It may not be sexy, but it’s been the cornerstone of countless championship NFL teams over the years.

You can scheme away a lot of holes on a football field. Offensive line is not one of them. Unaddressed holes up front will come to roost. Let’s dive into PFF's grades and data to rank and tier all 32 NFL offensive lines ahead of the 2022 season.

Tier 1: Minor or No Weaknesses

1. Philadelphia Eagles

Projected Starting Lineup

There may not be a single below-average starter along the Eagles' offensive line. Pair that with arguably the best tackle duo in the NFL, and there’s no debate about which team's offensive line belongs at No. 1 heading into 2022. Jordan Mailata's incredible development at left tackle can't be understated. After not playing a snap in his first two NFL seasons, Mailata went from spot starter at left tackle in 2020 to the third-highest-graded player at the position in the NFL last season.

2. Cleveland Browns

Projected Starting Lineup

This line simply needs to stay healthy. Last season, tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin played only 763 and 361 snaps, respectively. No offensive line in the league can maintain high-level play with their tackles seeing such little action. The only question mark when fully healthy is Nick Harris, who has played only 211 snaps in his career while backing up current free agent J.C. Tretter

3. Detroit Lions

Projected Starting Lineup

With three first-rounders, a third-rounder and a highly paid free agent along their offensive line, the Lions look primed to recoup big time on their investments in 2022. They not only have high-end talent in Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell, who both can be top-five players at their respective positions, but they also don’t have any glaring holes. Big V was the unit's lowest-graded starter last season, and he still earned a 68.4 overall mark.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected Starting Lineup

The Bucs pulled off the fleecing of the offseason in retooling what could have been a depleted interior offensive line. With Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa hitting free agency, along with Ali Marpet retiring, Tampa Bay could have had a nightmare on its hands. Instead, the Buccaneers traded for a top-five right guard in Shaq Mason, re-signed Jensen and then took one of PFF’s favorite tackle-guard converts in Luke Goedeke in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tier 2: High Floor

5. Green Bay Packers

Projected Starting Lineup

Health and development are both going to be massive for this Packers offensive line. David Bakhtiari played all of 27 snaps in Week 18 last year and missed the team's playoff loss while recovering from his 2020 ACL tear. Elgton Jenkins is still working his way back through an ACL tear himself that he suffered in Week 11 against the Vikings. At full strength, you won’t find a better pass-protecting duo in the league, but will this unit get there?

6. Dallas Cowboys

Projected Starting Lineup

Lost in the hoopla of La’el Collins‘ offseason situation and his eventual departure from the Cowboys was the fact that Terence Steele made him expendable in the first place. While Collins still comfortably outgraded him in 2021, Steele earned an admirable 64.6 overall mark in only his second season after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent. And that was despite splitting time between left and right tackle. If he takes a similar leap forward, the Cowboys could join Tier 1.

7. New England Patriots

Projected Starting Lineup

The Patriots personify the “high floor” aspect of this tier. Four of their five offensive line starters have proven to be solid over the course of their NFL careers. Cole Strange is the one possible pain point, as he’s making the leap from FCS to the NFL. Going from Shaq Mason to a rookie could be a rocky transition for New England. 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Starting Lineup

This is the most improved offensive line in the NFL, at least on paper. Ted Karras (72.4 grade in 2021), Alex Cappa (71.3) and La’el Collins (80.2) all represent significant upgrades over the Bengals' 2021 starters at those respective positions. Add to that the fact that Jonah Williams and Jackson Carman are both high draft picks on rookie deals who could develop in 2022, and it’s easy to see why hopes are high in Cincinnati.

9. Kansas City Chiefs

Projected Starting Lineup

While the Chiefs figure to field one of the best interior lines in the NFL next season, their right tackle position is still a question mark. Lucas Niang is the likely starter, but he was a liability at times in pass protection in his first year as a starter in 2021. He allowed five or more pressures in three of his seven full games last season, so he'll need to improve to justify this ranking.

10. Indianapolis Colts

Projected Starting Lineup

Losing two starters from a year ago is quite the blow, but the core of Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith is still elite. Plus, there is reason to think the Colts' options at left tackle and right guard are more than capable of holding their own. Third-year offensive lineman Danny Pinter earned a 74.7 overall grade on 226 snaps at mostly center last season. Matt Pryor was similarly impressive in limited playing time, posting a 76.5 overall grade on 438 snaps at mostly right tackle last season. If they continue to succeed in full-time roles, the Colts will finish at a much higher ranking on this list. 

11. Los Angeles Rams

Projected Starting Lineup

There’s no completely replacing the retired Andrew Whitworth for the Rams' offensive line, but one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the NFL is taking his place. Joe Noteboom has never been a full-time starter for Los Angeles, but he’s been fantastic whenever on the field. Noteboom allowed only five pressures on 142 pass-blocking snaps last season. 

12. Los Angeles Chargers

Projected Starting Lineup

The Chargers' exact starting five is still up in the air, as Matt Feiler could move to right tackle. That spot was such a point of contention for Los Angeles' offense last season and had to be completely schemed around. The answer, though, could also be Trey Pipkins, who looked much improved at the end of 2021 after enduring multiple rough starts in his first two NFL seasons. Pipkins allowed only three pressures over 76 pass-blocking snaps in his two starts.

Tier 3: High-End Potential 

13. New York Jets

Projected Starting Lineup

There’s so much talent along this front five, but it’s tough to bump the unit up into the next tier with so many unproven players. The success of this offensive line will hinge on the left tackle position and, as such, the right tackle position, as well. After a knee injury ended Mekhi Becton’s 2021 season just one week into the campaign, George Fant looked admirable in his stead. That led to Fant having a career year at left tackle, recording a 75.1 pass-blocking grade and looking far better than he ever did on the right side. 

14. San Francisco 49ers

Projected Starting Lineup

This is one heck of a tackle duo, but the interior is a hodgepodge of unproven youngsters. The player to keep an eye on is former second-round guard Aaron Banks, who played just five snaps as a rookie in 2021. But he's a former second-rounder and has a golden opportunity to replace Laken Tomlinson on the left side.

15. Washington Commanders

Projected Starting Lineup

The Commanders couldn’t have asked for a better one-year free agent signing than Charles Leno at left tackle last season. He earned an 87.3 pass-blocking grade after getting cut by the Bears in the offseason. If Samuel Cosmi can build upon his 74.9 overall grade as a rookie, Washington will have itself a solid tackle duo. 

16. Denver Broncos

Projected Starting Lineup

This lineup could look a lot different should center Lloyd Cushenberry III take another step forward. He went from a 40.5 overall grade as a rookie to a more respectable 64.2 mark in 2021. If we see another such improvement, the Broncos' line will be solid as can be across the board.

17. Baltimore Ravens

Projected Starting Lineup

It’s no coincidence that the last time we saw Lamar Jackson playing at an elite level was with Ronnie Stanley healthy. The tackle earned an 89.4 overall grade back in 2019 but has played only 380 snaps in the two seasons since. This line operates a lot differently with him in the mix.

Tier 4: At Least One Good Tackle

18. New York Giants

Projected Starting Lineup

That one good tackle is former fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas, although Evan Neal is a promising rookie. Thomas' abysmal rookie season is still ingrained in a lot of minds, but many missed him become one of the best pass-protecting tackles in the league last year. He allowed only 18 pressures on 517 pass-blocking snaps after giving up 57 as a rookie.

19. Minnesota Vikings

Projected Starting Lineup

This could sneakily be the best offensive line of quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ Vikings career. Much of that, though, comes down to the development of the team's 2021 first-round pick, Christian Darrisaw. Darrisaw earned a 71.9 overall grade on 652 snaps last season and got stronger as the campaign wore on. 

20. Buffalo Bills

Projected Starting Lineup

This line really hinges on Spencer Brown's development. He certainly exceeded expectations when forced to play 846 snaps as a project tackle taken in the third round last year. Exceeding expectations, however, still resulted in a 49.1 pass-blocking grade. That should change in 2022 to help the Bills' offensive line take a step forward.

21. New Orleans Saints

Projected Starting Lineup

Starting a rookie at left tackle is a position no franchise wants to be in. There’s enough talent elsewhere for New Orleans to work around it, but Penning making the leap from FCS to the NFL isn’t going to be a walk in the park. The player the Saints brass really needs to see something from is right guard Cesar Ruiz. He’s one of the team's rare recent first-rounders who hasn’t been an early success. He’s earned overall grades of 53.8 and 57.6 in his two NFL seasons, although he'll be only 23 years old at the start of the 2022 season.

22. Houston Texans

Projected Starting Lineup

Instead of Houston flip-flopping Tytus Howard all over the offensive line, he could really stand to stick at right tackle. The former first-round pick has split time between left tackle, left guard and right tackle in his three-year career but has quite clearly been at his best at tackle. He’s earned a 68.0 overall grade at tackle the past two seasons compared to a 38.3 overall grade at guard.

23. Miami Dolphins

Projected Starting Lineup

The Dolphins' offensive line should be massively improved in 2022, but that’s after the unit was one of the NFL's worst in 2021. Terron Armstead is a top-five left tackle when healthy and immediately brings stability to the group. With so many draft picks invested in the rest of the offensive line in recent years, there are going to be a lot of training camp competitions to shake out this eventual lineup.

24. Carolina Panthers

Projected Starting Lineup

This is a conservative estimate for what was one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season — but it's one that is now bursting with potential after multiple offseason moves. Taylor Moton has played more than 1,000 snaps and earned a 76.0-plus PFF grade in four straight seasons. That’s Carolina's building block, and the team added a couple of free agents on the interior to raise the unit's floor. The offensive line's ultimate performance will obviously depend a lot on how quickly rookie Ikem Ekwonu can adjust to pass protecting at the NFL level after he earned only a 78.3 pass-blocking grade last season for N.C. State.

Tier 5: Uninspiring

25. Arizona Cardinals

Projected Starting Lineup

This is one of the most veteran-laden offensive lines in the NFL. The average age of Arizona's five starters come Week 1 will be over 30 years old. While that might sound “stable,” it also sounds like injury red flags. Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson and Kelvin Beachum are all firmly on the downswings of their careers, and the Cardinals can’t afford for any of them to fall off a cliff.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected Starting Lineup

It’s scary to think that the Jaguars fielded one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year and then lost their best lineman to retirement this offseason in center Brandon Linder. While gaining Brandon Scherff makes that talent reduction a wash, it’s still difficult to come up with areas where this unit improves. The Jaguars will be banking on Jawaan Taylor playing better than he did in his first three NFL seasons, as he’s yet to surpass a 63.7 overall grade.

27. Tennessee Titans

Projected Starting Lineup

This line would look a lot better if Taylor Lewan is guaranteed to be the player he was prior to tearing his ACL in 2020. He’d never earned a pass-protecting grade lower than 78.0 in any season of his career prior, but he posted only a 70.2 mark in that regard last season. With multiple other offensive line positions in flux, having the left side solidified would go a long way for Tennessee.

28. Atlanta Falcons

Projected Starting Lineup

While Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom are quality starters, there are still too many glaring holes along this offensive line. The most unfortunate culprit is former first-round pick Kaleb McGary, who simply hasn’t improved in three years as a starter and yielded 41 pressures on the right side last season.

Tier 6: Problematic

29. Las Vegas Raiders

Projected Starting Lineup

The Raiders can easily outplay this ranking, but it all comes down to Alex Leatherwood’s development. The 2021 first-rounder finished as the second-lowest-graded starting guard last season. He’s not a guard, though, and should always have been Las Vegas' right tackle. He’ll most likely get that shot this year with third-rounder Dylan Parham now in the fold.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected Starting Lineup

The Steelers do at least have a solid guard duo along with some youth that should improve. That being said, the bar was so low a year ago that a huge leap for 2022 seems unrealistic. Not a single one of Pittsburgh's returning offensive line starters earned an overall grade over 65.0 in 2021.

31. Chicago Bears

Projected Starting Lineup

While there’s some reason for optimism for Chicago's two second-year tackles and the leaps they could make, that optimism isn’t based on what they put on tape last year. Larry Borom earned a 61.4 overall grade on 633 snaps, while Teven Jenkins recorded a 47.5 overall grade on 160 snaps. They’ll need to make enormous improvements for this to be an even average tackle duo.

32. Seattle Seahawks

Projected Starting Lineup

There’s quite obviously a lot of hope for the future with the talent Seattle has brought into the fold, but this has crash-and-burn potential. Starting two rookie offensive tackles — both from Air Raid offenses — is a scary proposition. And considering Gabe Jackson’s decline in recent years, there’s not a single quality starter this unit can rely on.


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