With the blockbuster deals over the weekend, it’s time to revisit our offensive line rankings. While we’ve seen that preseason grades don’t translate all that well to the regular season, there are still insights to be gleaned on rookies, players coming off of injuries and linemen hoping to take the next step.
[Editor’s Note: All ELITE subscribers have access to advanced stats and grades for all NFL players in the preseason, regular season and postseason. Subscribe today to gain access!]
They’re ranked first even without factoring in rookie tackle Andre Dillard, who looks like he’s already the most talented backup tackle in the NFL. This preseason he earned an 83.8 pass-blocking grade on 75 passing snaps.
The Cowboys look primed to regain their No. 1 spot here in 2019. On 38 snaps this preseason, center Travis Frederick looked almost back to form. He earned an 83.0 pass-blocking grade and 71.0 run-blocking grade on his limited snaps.
One of the most consistent units of the past half-decade, the Steelers are heading into 2019 with their first known starter change since the 2016 season. The good news is, they still look to be in good hands. Matt Feiler is taking over for the oft-injured Marcus Gilbert at right tackle, and Feiler earned himself a 77.5 overall grade on 72 snaps this preseason.
Jack Conklin didn’t get his fifth-year option picked up earlier this offseason, and if he picks up where he left off in the preseason, it looks like that might have been a mistake. His 91.4 overall grade on 40 snaps was the highest grade for any offensive lineman this preseason.
Andrew Luck might be gone, but the line remains a strength. They also may finally have some depth, as Joe Haeg looked fantastic as a swing tackle this preseason, earning an 81.1 overall grade on 149 snaps.
While the Saints don’t need rookie Erik McCoy to be lights out from the get-go with how good their tackle duo is, the Saints still would like more than what we saw in preseason. The second-round pick earned a 57.1 overall grade on 67 snaps in three preseason games.
Rookie Elgton Jenkins may not have earned himself a starting role (yet), but his work in pass protection this preseason was superb. On 45 pass-blocking snaps between left guard, center and right guard, Jenkins didn’t allow a single pressure this preseason.
The recently extended Cody Whitehair was well worth the money they’re paying him. He’s been the seventh-highest-graded center in the NFL since he was drafted in 2016.
Second-round pick Greg Little is still in concussion protocol, but if he has to have his number called at some point during this season, he looked more than capable. He allowed only four pressures on 82 pass-blocking snaps this preseason.
11. Baltimore Ravens
Rookie fourth-rounder Ben Powers looks set to start at left guard for the Ravens, and that’s probably not a bad thing after seeing him this preseason. He didn’t allow a single pressure on 107 pass-blocking snaps although we would like to see him clean up his four penalties.
12. Denver Broncos
A lot of the preseason hype around this line centered around the possibility of third-year tackle Garett Bolles making a leap in performance. So far that doesn’t look to be the case, as he earned a 61.3 pass-blocking grade and 54.7 run-blocking grade across three games.
13. Los Angeles Rams
The once-elite line from last year now features a couple of new faces at left guard and center. It’s difficult to know what to expect though, as neither played a single snap this preseason.
14. Detroit Lions
All eyes were on 2018 first-round pick Frank Ragnow and his switch to center this preseason, and he didn’t disappoint. On 49 snaps he earned a 75.9 pass-blocking grade and an 82.1 run-blocking grade.
Look out for big things from right tackle Mike McGlinchey in Year 2. This preseason he picked up right where he left off, not allowing a single pressure on 28 pass-blocking snaps.
We’re not worried about the tackle in Kansas City, but the interior gives us pause. New center Austin Reiter looked like a marked downgrade from Mitch Morse this preseason, as Reiter earned a 64.4 overall grade on 46 snaps.
17. New York Giants
The new starting five played 59 snaps as a unit this preseason, and the results were very encouraging. They combined for a pass-blocking grade of 71.9 and run-blocking grade of 76.1.
18. Buffalo Bills
Cody Ford looks slated to be the starter at right tackle for the Bills, and judging by his limited time this preseason, things might get ugly. Ford allowed four hurries on 45 pass-blocking snaps and earned a 46.5 overall grade.
He didn’t play until the third preseason game, but Jawaan Taylor was once again tossing around defensive linemen like rag dolls. Across 14 run-blocking snaps in his only game, the second-round pick earned a 92.2 run-blocking grade.
This ranking reflects Trent Williams not being in the starting lineup. If that’s the case, they take a big hit as Geron Christian isn’t in Williams’ stratosphere. The second-year tackle earned a 61.5 overall grade on 130 snaps this preseason.
21. Cleveland Browns
Austin Corbett’s development, or lack thereof, has to sting for Browns fans at this point. He was rumored to be the answer at left tackle and right guard at points in his career, but he has since been relegated to backup center. Even there he wasn’t anything special this preseason, earning a 61.5 overall grade on 203 snaps.
22. Atlanta Falcons
So far, first-rounders Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary both look like…rookies. McGary has only earned a 64.3 overall grade on 41 snaps after heart surgery while Lindstrom earned a rough 53.0 overall grade on 96 snaps.
23. Seattle Seahawks
Thankfully the Seahawks didn’t have to cough up any offensive linemen to secure Jadeveon Clowney, because, even with their improvements in recent years, they could still ill afford it. One bright spot on the line this preseason was former second-rounder Ethan Pocic, who had been a disaster his first two years with the Seahawks. On 92 snaps this preseason though he looked improved with a 67.4 overall grade.
The Bucs paid Donovan Smith franchise left tackle type money, but this preseason we saw more of the same from him. The fifth-year tackle earned a 59.3 overall grade across 58 snaps.
The initial results from the first-round pick Garrett Bradbury are mixed. He didn’t earn a run-blocking grade above 60.0 in either of his three preseason contests, but only allowed one pressure on 30 pass-blocking snaps.
26. Oakland Raiders
Re-signing Rodney Hudson was undoubtedly the right move for the Raiders considering the state of some positions on their line. On 2,484 pass-blocking snaps in his four seasons with the Raiders, Hudson has allowed only 25 total pressures.
27. Houston Texans
The Texans climb out of the dog house to some degree, moving from 31 up to 27 after the Laremy Tunsil trade. The rest of the line is still a mess, including right tackle, where Seantrel Henderson earned a 52.9 overall grade on 64 snaps this preseason.
28. New York Jets
Not yet in the starting lineup, tackle Chuma Edoga was one of the most impressive rookie offensive linemen this preseason. The third-rounder allowed only two pressures on 69 pass-blocking snaps across four games.
We finally got an extended look at former second-round pick Forrest Lamp this preseason, and the results were encouraging. He only allowed two pressures on 103 pass-blocking snaps and earned an 86.1 pass-blocking grade. With the Chargers’ history of injury luck, chances are he’ll be on the field sooner than later.
They’re not the worst anymore! There was a lot of overturn along their starting five, but let’s not get too excited. Their starting five combined for a 59.7 overall grade this preseason.
Usually, injuries torpedo many teams’ hopes of a good offensive line during the season, but the Bengals have had their hopes dashed already. Rookie first-rounder Jonah Williams is already out for the year, and now last year’s first-rounder Billy Price couldn’t even win a starting job because of nagging injuries.
32. Miami Dolphins
The scary thing is, Miami was ranked 32nd before dealing away Laremy Tunsil, who was once their best offensive lineman. It could get all-time ugly.
[Editor’s note: Find out where all 32 teams ranked prior to the preseason by clicking here]