NFL News & Analysis

The NFL's top-5 rookie offensive linemen through 14 weeks

September 16, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (69) during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Lions 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After watching and evaluating every single snap of football from the All-22 this season, we believe these to be the best rookie offensive linemen in the NFL.


Coming in at number 5, we have the New York Giants‘ second-round pick and left guard Will Hernandez. On the year, Hernandez has earned a 65.0 overall grade to go along with a 71.8 pass-blocking grade – which ranks fourth among qualifying first-year offensive lineman. Hernandez has allowed just 23 total pressures on the year and his 97.3 pass-blocking efficiency is tied for the third-best mark among qualifying rookie offensive linemen.

Coming in at number four, we have the Baltimore Ravens‘ third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. Brown has earned a 65.5 overall grade to go along with a 72.4 pass-blocking grade which ranks third among qualified rookie offensive linemen. Brown has allowed just 14 total pressures (including zero sacks) which is second-fewest among qualifying rookies and his 97.3 pass-blocking efficiency is tied for the third-best among qualifying rookies on the offensive line.

Coming in at number three, we have the first of two Indianapolis Colts draft picks; right tackle Braden Smith. Smith has been a consistent player for the Colts and has earned a 69.0 overall grade to go along with a 67.6 pass-blocking grade and a 65.7 run-blocking grade. On the year, Smith has allowed just 22 total pressures, which is tied for the fourth-fewest among qualifying rookie offensive linemen.

Coming in at number two, we have the other Indianapolis Colts Draft pick;  first-round guard Quenton Nelson. Nelson started the year slow but has picked his game up, earning a 72.1 overall grade to go along with an 81.4 pass-blocking grade and a 67.8 run-blocking grade. Nelson has allowed the third-lowest amount of pressures among qualified rookie offensive linemen with 19, and his pass-blocking efficiency of 98.1 and his pressure percentage of 3.4% both rank first among qualifying rookies.

Coming at number one, we have the San Francisco 49ers‘ first-round right tackle, Mike McGlinchey. McGlinchey has earned the highest overall grade among all rookie offensive linemen with a 75.8 overall grade to go along with a 65.8 pass-blocking grade and an impressive 78.0 run-blocking grade, the latter being the best among all rookie linemen.  His 96.9 pass-blocking efficiency ranks fifth among qualifying rookies, and his pressure percentage of 5.3% ranks fourth.

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