2011 Offensive Lines Report - Update
By Chris Smith
September 3rd, 2011

Football is back baby! The differences have been settled, the players are itching to go and the excitement is intensifying. Finally it is time to begin breaking down, dissecting, and analyzing each of the 32 NFL teams and give you, are valued readers every bit of knowledge and advice we can on the upcoming NFL fantasy season.

For the 4th consecutive season, I will share my thoughts on each of the thirty-two offensive lines. I have watched film, poured over obscure stats and crunched numbers to come up with the best possible set of analysis and rankings. I will provide what appears to be the most likely depth chart at this time and will be breaking down the potential success and failures of each offensive line.

One of the more challenging areas of a football team to grade / score is the offensive line. So many other things can come into play such as quarterback experience and ability, offensive schemes, coaching ability and offensive skilled position talent. Having a quarterback such as Peyton Manning will always make an offensive line look better than they are while less experienced or talented quarterbacks like Derek Anderson can result in the opposite.

I do my best to take ALL factors into consideration when breaking down the potential of an offensive line for the upcoming season. I have each team ranked from 1st to 32nd overall using multiple stats such as sacks allowed per passing attempt, total carries, yards per carry and more. In addition we have given a grade to each team in terms of run blocking and pass blocking.

For an extra subscriber benefit in 2011, I have once again secured the services of talented football analyst, Sean Scott (known as Ministry of Pain in our Forums) to give another opinion to one of the more challenging areas to break down in all of the NFL.

Hope you enjoy the article and I would love to receive feedback from each and every one of you. If you feel I am completely out to lunch on a team or player, let me hear about it. If you make sense, your thoughts may be included in the update of the article. You can contact me at smith@footballguys.com or comment below.

Each team analysis has adjusted final OL stats from the 2010 season. You can see the table of these statistics after the article.

In a nutshell, our run blocking analysis uses yards per carry, first downs and touchdowns and then we assign a number from 0.8 to 1.0 to adjust the stats using the talents of the running backs on the team. For example, Adrian Peterson grades out at 1.0 while Chris Wells is a 0.8.

Our pass blocking analysis uses sacks taken per passing attempt, completion percentage and yards per attempt to gauge the performance of the group. Then we adjust it by 0.6 to 1.0 depending on the talent at quarterback. Peyton Manning is a 1.0 while the Arizona quarterback rating was 0.6.

OK folks, let's get on with it. Enough of my ramblings. Here we go.

AUGUST UPDATE: In blue.

2011 Offensive Line Rankings At a Glance - Sorted By Rank

2011 Rank
Team
Overall Grade
Run Block
Pass Block
Experience
Talent
Cohesion
1
Houston
A
A
A
A
A
A
2
New England
A
A
A
A
A
A
3
San Diego
A
A
A
A
A
A
4
NY Jets
B+
A
C+
B+
A
A
5
Carolina
B+
A
C+
A
A
A
6
New Orleans
B+
B+
A
A
A
A
7
Tampa Bay
B
A
A
A
A
A
8
Tennessee
B
B 
B
A
C+
B
9
Detroit
B
B 
B
A
C+
A
10
Cleveland
B
A
C+
A
A
A
11
Green Bay
B
B 
B
A
C+
A
12
Kansas City
C+
A
C
B 
B
B
13
NY Giants
C+
B 
C+
B 
C+
C+
14
Pittsburgh
C
B 
B
B 
B
B
15
Baltimore
C
C
C
B 
C+
B
16
St. Louis
C
C+
C+
B 
B
C+
17
Dallas
C
D
C
B 
C-
C-
18
San Francisco
C
C
C
C+
B
C+
19
Atlanta
C
C
C
B 
C
C 
20
Miami
C
C+
C+
B 
C+
C+
21
Oakland
C-
B 
D
D
B+
D
22
Arizona
C
D
D
A
C
C 
23
Jacksonville
C-
C+
D
B 
D
C 
24
Denver
C-
D
C
C-
B
D
25
Cincinnati
C-
C
C
B 
C
B
26
Philadelphia
C-
C-
C-
C 
C
D
27
Buffalo
C-
D
D
B 
D
C 
28
Minnesota
C-
C
D
A
C
B
29
Indianapolis
D
D
B
C+
B
C 
30
Washington
D
D
D
B 
C
C 
31
Seattle
D
D
D
D
B
D
32
Chicago
D
D
D
D
B
D

2011 Offensive Line Rankings At a Glance - Sorted By Team

2011 Rank
Team
Overall Grade
Run Block
Pass Block
Experience
Talent
Cohesion
22
Arizona
C
D
D
A
C
C 
19
Atlanta
C
C
C
B 
C
C 
15
Baltimore
C
C
C
B 
C+
B
27
Buffalo
C-
D
D
B 
D
C 
5
Carolina
B+
A
C+
A
A
A
32
Chicago
D
D
D
D
B
D
25
Cincinnati
C-
C
C
B 
C
B
10
Cleveland
B
A
C+
A
A
A
17
Dallas
C
D
C
B 
C-
C-
24
Denver
C-
D
C
C-
B
D
9
Detroit
B
B 
B
A
C+
A
11
Green Bay
B
B 
B
A
C+
A
1
Houston
A
A
A
A
A
A
29
Indianapolis
D
D
B
C+
B
C 
23
Jacksonville
C-
C+
D
B 
D
C 
12
Kansas City
C+
A
C
B 
B
B
20
Miami
C
C+
C+
B 
C+
C+
28
Minnesota
C-
C
D
A
C
B
2
New England
A
A
A
A
A
A
6
New Orleans
B+
B+
A
A
A
A
13
NY Giants
C+
B 
C+
B 
C+
C+
4
NY Jets
B+
A
C+
B+
A
A
21
Oakland
C-
B 
D
D
B+
D
26
Philadelphia
C-
C-
C-
C 
C
D
14
Pittsburgh
C
B 
B
B 
B
B
3
San Diego
A
A
A
A
A
A
18
San Francisco
C
C
C
C+
B
C+
31
Seattle
D
D
D
D
B
D
16
St. Louis
C
C+
C+
B 
B
C+
7
Tampa Bay
B
A
A
A
A
A
8
Tennessee
B
B 
B
A
C+
B
30
Washington
D
D
D
B 
C
C 

Arizona Cardinals

Chris' 2011 Grade: C (upgraded from a C-) / Sean's 2011 Grade: D+
Chris' 2011 Rank: 22nd (upgraded from 25th)

2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 29th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 22
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 30
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Levi Brown
  • LG Rex Hadnot
  • C Lyle Sendlein
  • RG Daryn Colledge
  • RT Brandon Keith
  • Key Backups: Jeremy Bridges, Ben Claxton, Deuce Lutui

    AUGUST UPDATE: May be a little better than we anticipated. The core group is intact and the coaching staff sounds confident.

    Chris's Take: The Cardinals are set at both tackle positions. Levi Brown is a 5th year veteran with good size at 6-6 and 324 pounds. He has made some improvements over the past few seasons including his effort and tenacity and has become a serviceable left tackle. Rex Hadnot is a proven player at the guard position. He is powerful but doesn't possess elite athleticism. He is a serviceable starting guard in the NFL. Jeremy Bridges is a 9th year veteran and is capable of slotting in at guard or tackle. He has less power than his frame would indicate but his technique has improve over the years. He would be an average starter at tackle and slightly-below average at guard. Finally the Cardinals landed a nice free agent guard in Daryn Colledge, who played five seasons in Green Bay. He has good technical skills and can slot throughout the unit. He'll likely land at right guard. Cardinals offense is better than the statistics show from last season. The lack of talent at running back and quarterback sabotaged a decent offensive line. The 'C' grade can be improved upon if everyone is signed and come together as a unit.

    Sean's Take: Levi Brown made the transition from RT to LT last year. He was responsible for 10 sacks last season. Brown has been a major dud for Arizona and beyond the sacks he also allows a lot of QB pressures, somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 per game so you can't just look at the sack totals because they don't tell the whole story. The RT spot is going to be filled by Brandon Keith who had his season cut short by injury a year ago. He needs to stay healthy but he's not a lick over average at best right now. This could be a potential problem for Kevin Kolb and the passing game. The interior of this line has a new piece form Green Bay anchoring the LG spot and his name is Daryn Colledge. They signed him to a 5/$27.5m deal so they obviously feel he is better than what they got. He had his best year last year when Green Bay won the Super Bowl. The Packers felt they did not want to continue with him so they let him go via free agency. He did OK last year, but nothing extraordinary. Arizona is also bringing back Lyle Sendlein who has started the last 32 games at Center and on the other side will be ole Deuce Lutui who flunked his physical with Cincinnati so he comes back to Arizona. Deuce is pedestrian but I also am a believer in cohesiveness so I like the fact they have the same C-RG combo but the problem is the results have not been desirable. One thing the Cardinals have going for them is Russ Grimm as the OL coach. He is talked about as a future head coaching candidate. Have to rank them at a D+ right now and if they do not get this OL together they will continue to struggle and disappoint FF owners.

    Atlanta Falcons

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 19th (upgraded from 21st)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 11th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 14th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 11th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Sam Baker
  • LG Mike Johnson
  • C Todd McClure
  • RG Garrett Reynolds
  • RT Tyson Clabo
  • Key Backups: Joe Hawley, Jose Valdez, Will Svitek, Andrew Jackson [R]

    AUGUST UPDATE: Veteran Todd McClure has claimed the starting center position so far while Garrett Reynolds has emerged as the starting right guard.

    Chris's Take: The Falcons offensive line is pretty good. They are not an elite unit but they play well together. It all starts at left tackle where Sam Baker is beginning to come into his own. He had some struggles as a first round pick but he is beginning to show the improvement needed to be a good player. He played in all sixteen games for the first time as a starter and has a nice mix of athleticism and has good body positioning in his blocks. He still has some struggles against speed rushers. Tyson Clabo is back after signing a five-year deal to remain in Atlanta. He and Sam Baker are a good pair of bookend tackles. The Falcons suffered a big blow with the loss of Harvey Dahl to the St. Louis Rams. Dahl was a good fixture at right guard. However they did draft Mike Johnson in the 3rd round last year and he will likely move into the starting job. Will he be able to fill those shoes? Only time will tell ultimately but he has the talent and ability to do so. The Falcons have a very good offensive team but the offensive line may take a bit of a dip in 2011.

    Sean's Take: Sam Baker has really fallen off the last couple years. 33 QB pressures and 10 sacks last season is nothing to be proud of. Baker especially struggles against division rivals like Carolina and New Orleans. He definitely ranks in the bottom 1/3rd right now but perhaps he can start turning things around as he has battled injuries. Tyson Clabo had a strong start in 2010 and then tapered off some the back half of the season. The Falcons are far from elite at the Tackle position. In fact as we move inside you are going to see that I clearly have a much different impression of this group which is being touted as a top5 OL by some of the experts out there. I call bologna on that idea. Inside the Falcons lost Harvey Dahl and that is going to be very difficult to replace with the likes of Mike Johnson and perhaps Joe Hawley pushing for the starting job. Hawley also has to be ready to play Center as Todd McClure is getting very long in the tooth and his top play really plummeted last year. Look for continued erosion from his game as his career starts to wind down. Inside on the left side you have Justin Blalock who is very good and should help stabilize things. Of course Blalock has his hands full as he will have to come over and help Baker out some if his game doesn't improve. Blalock is probably their best lineman so they better keep him healthy. Not a big fan of the depth in this team either. Paul Boudreau who most have never heard of has been an OL coach in the NFL for the past 20+ years with 8 different teams. This is his 4th season as OL coach in Atlanta. He's been solid almost everywhere he's been. I wouldn't rate Atlanta any higher than about a "C" right now. They have a lot of weapons for Matt Ryan to throw to but they better work hard to bring this OL along. I am worried about Turner some but he finds yards. He will miss Dahl clearing things out on the right side of the line.

    Baltimore Ravens

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C / Sean's 2011 Grade: B-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 15 (upgraded from 18th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 24th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 23rd
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 19th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Michael Oher
  • LG Ben Grubbs
  • C Matt Birk
  • RG Marshal Yanda
  • RT Jah Reed
  • Key Backups: Tony Moll, Justin Boren, Tim Barnes

    AUGUST UPDATE: Veteran T Oniel Cousins has been released from the team, paving the way for Jah Reed to start as a rookie. He is a better run blocker than Cousins but may struggle at first in pass protection.

    Chris's Take: The Ravens offensive line struggled at times last season but they have more talent and ability than they showcased last year. Offensive tackle Michael Oher has started all 32 games of his young NFL career and he is beginning to come into his own. He is a big, strong athletic tackle who hits hard and moves laterally well. He may be one of the top ten tackles in the game today. However he may be asked to move to left tackle where is isn't as confident. The team has soured on Jared Gaither's work ethic and despite his talent, probably won't re-sign him. The right tackle position will be decided between rookie Jah Reed or veteran Oniel Cousins. Reed is the better run blocker while Cousins has the leg up in regards to pass protection. The guard position in in great shape with two outstanding players although Grubbs is fighting some pain coming off of injury. The center position is looking bleak right now. Veteran Matt Birk may need surgery so the team signed Casey Rabach who also is hurting and may need weeks to heal. If one of them doesn't get healthy soon, the team will have a huge hole at the center position.

    Sean's Take: Michael Oher had a movie made after him and perhaps all the lights and Hollywood got in his way of furthering himself at the LT spot. He struggled last season and was called on 13 penalties which doesn't show his head is in the game, and then another 10 hits on the QB, 5 sacks which is decent for a LT but it isn't like he was setting the world on fire with his run blocking either. Right now he is grading below average. Jah Reid, a 3rd round pick from Central Florida is thought of as a potential starter at RT. I'm usually a fan of Baltimore but you can see where Flacco might run into trouble dropping back in the pocket this year. Inside they have Ben Grubbs at LG. He is coming off ankle surgery 3 months ago and has just been activated off the PUP list. He is a solid run blocker and only allowed 1 QB sack last year. Marshall Yanda received a 5 yr/$32m contract to play for the Ravens. There is a possibility they could flip him to RT and then move Reid inside which would make more sense. When the camp battles begin and later in the preseason make sure you check back at FBG for the latest shuffling. I know what the depth charts are being broadcast as but I think Yanda can remain at RT and that would make me a lot more comfortable with Joe Flacco. Either way Yanda is Baltimore's best and brightest prospect along the OL right now. Matt Birk is going to be out until the end of camp with a knee injury. He is an excellent run blocker and doesn't allow opposing defenses to sniff his QB very often. Despite a mediocre LT, I think this group can improve.

    Buffalo Bills

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- (upgraded from a D) / Sean's 2011 Grade: D
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 26th (upgraded from 30th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 28th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 26th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 24th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Demetrius Bell
  • LG Andy Levitre
  • C Eric Wood
  • RG Kraig Urbek
  • RT Erik Pears
  • Key Backups: Geoff Hangartner, Mansfield Wrotto, Ed Wang, Cordaro Howard, Chris Hairston [R]

    AUGUST UPDATE: Erik Wood has wrestled the starting center job away from veteran Geoff Hangartner leaving a hole at right guard that will be filled by Kraig Urbek. Erik Pears appears to have emerged as the starting right tackle. If Pears plays well, this unit may do a little better than anticipated.

    Chris's Take: The Bills offensive line definitely made some progression last year but has a long way to go before they'll be considered a good unit. Geoff Hangartner at center has brought some stability to the unit. He isn't an elite player but is tough and understands the game. Eric Wood is probably their best lineman right now entering his 3rd season. He has a nice mix of size and athleticism and is still improving. He is in competition with Hangartner for the starting center position. Demetrius Bell started in all sixteen games last season. He is improving but needs to add strength and tenacity to reach another level. Mansfield Wrotto should start at the right tackle position and he is capable in pass protection. However he is really just an adequate starter at the NFL level. Andy Levitre has started all 32 games of his NFL career and is a good athlete. Needs to get bigger or stronger to be a better run blocker. This unit is ascending but are at least one season away from being considered an above average group. They may crack the top-15 in 2012.

    Sean's Take: Demetrius Bell is their starting Left tackle. He is by no means elite of even top20 at his position but he's not as bad as you might want to believe. That is what I would describe buffalo as on their OL. It's not nearly as bad as you wish it was but it is far from being good. Bell yielded 4 sacks last season on 980 snaps. Bell was a 7th round pick for Buffalo in 2008 and they are getting their money's worth. Mansfield Wrotto plays the RT spot when healthy. He only gave up 1 sack in about half a season. The Bills have Andy Levitre at LG and then will probably roll with Kraig Urbik. Levitre is simply an avg LG who commits too many penalties and doesn't do a whole lot in the run game. He is pretty solid at pass protection but you always want a Guard to be a good run blocker above all else. Urbik is an interesting story. He was drafted in the 3rd round 2-3 years ago by Pittsburgh and they cut him because it's pretty hard to crack their 53 man roster most of the time. He has not played a lot in buffalo but I think they will be surprised with him as long as he nails down the starting spot. The Center is Eric Wood who rolls over from RG but what I think Buffalo will end up doing is trying to work Geoff Hangartner at Center or possibly at one of the OG spots as needed. Joe DAlessandris returns for year 2 in Buffalo as OL coach.

    Carolina Panthers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B+ / Sean's 2011 Grade: B-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 5th

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: F
  • Overall Ranking: 32nd
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 30th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 32nd
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jordan Gross
  • LG Travelle Wharton
  • C Ryan Kalil
  • RG Mackenzy Bernadeau
  • RT Jeff Otah
  • Key Backups: Geoff Schwartz, Garry Williams, C.J. Davis, Duke Robinson

    AUGUST UPDATE: Bernadeau has emerged as the right guard. This unit still looks very good heading into the season.

    Chris's Take: Anchored by a pair of good tackles, this unit is much better than it performed last year. Of course the terrible quarterback play contributed to the mess in Carolina a lot but this group still struggled more than it should have to open holes for the running back. Both Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah may be considered as top ten tackles in the NFL. They certainly have that kind of talent. Otah missed the entire 2010 season and the unit will be way better in 2011 with his return. He has elite potential. Travelle Wharton is capable of playing along the entire offensive line although his run blocking ability is limited and Ryan Kalil is an outstanding center. Add it all together and the Panthers may rebound all the way to being a top ten group this season.

    Sean's Take: Jordan Gross and a healthy Jeff Otah are going to make life much easier for Cam Newton as he adjusts to life in the NFL. Gross is a top10 LT perhaps Top5 when things are clicking for him. Gross is entering his 9th NFL season and his window for excellence is closing. Inside you have one of the best Centers in Ryan Kalil but the OG spots are filled with Travelle Wharton who is not strong in the running game unfortunately. Geoff Schwartz looks to fill the RG spot and he played well last year and was shuffled between OG/OT at times. New OL coach John Matsko comes to town. He orchestrated the OL in St Louis from '99-'05 when the Rams made 2 Super Bowl appearances. He has been in charge in Baltimore the last 3 years so I am optimistic about what he brings to Carolina. I have seen them ranked in the bottom 10 almost across the board but I disagree and won't hesitate to score them out right now as a "B-" and I think that is very fair when you look at them overall. The depth has all seen action so this is not a green OL by any stretch.

    Chicago Bears

    Chris' 2011 Grade: D / Sean's 2011 Grade: D-/F
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 32nd

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 25th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 28th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 17th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT J'Marcus Webb
  • LG Chris Williams
  • C Roberto Garza
  • RG Edwin Williams
  • RT Gabe Carimi [R]
  • Key Backups: Frank Omiyale, Lance Louis

    AUGUST UPDATE: Rookie tackle Gabe Carimi is indeed starting but over on the right side of the line. J'Marcus Webb has moved over to the left side. There is potential here for the future but expect struggles in 2011.

    Chris' Take: The Bears have tons of young talent along the offensive line but they are raw, inexperienced and may get eaten alive this season. Gabe Carimi, their 1st round pick is a confident, athletic tackle that appears to have the tools to step in and become a dependable starter for the next decade or so. J'Marcus Webb is a mountain of a man that the Bears stole last year in the 7th round. He may not be able to slot into the starting role yet as he is still learning but he is not far away from helping the team there. Chris Williams, a former 1st round pick doesn't really have the right skill set to play guard but he may be the best option the team has there. Unfortunately that is likely bad news for the Bears interior offensive line. Roberto Garza is a very good offensive lineman with 11 years of experience he is being moved to center as the team parted ways with Olin Kreutz. At right guard, Edwin Williams will likely battle with Lance Louis and Frank Omiyale for the starting nod. Neither of those are much more than a serviceable option. It will be a lot of learning on the job though and mistakes are inevitable. If he doesn't return, the interior of the line will be weak and the inexperience at tackle could be a long season for the Bears. This is the worst offensive line in the NFL. I not convinced the Bears couldn't do better by switching entire offensive lines with a few of the 'UFL' teams.

    Sean's Take: This unit has a lot of problems. At LT, probably the most important position in pass protection along the offensive line and what are the Bears attempting to go with? J'Marcus Webb who was a 7th round pick last year is supposed to have the inside track over Frank Omiyale who was a former 5th round pick by Atlanta back in 2005. Combined these two players accounted for 19 penalties, 23 sacks on the QB and another 74 QB pressures last season. It is unreal how bad these two were starting on both sides of the line last year. This year they are likely to compete for the starting spot although is seems Webb will be the guy to start camp. The other side has a rookie named Gabe Carimi, a 1st round pick out of Wisconsin. Inside the line has to be better than what the Bears are rolling with at OT. Chris Williams who was supposed to be a Left Tackle and perhaps the Bears will swing him back out there although that was a disaster as well. The former 1st round pick is set to play LG again and even there is pretty below average when you look around the league. He ranks out as a bottom 5 player for the position. At the RG spot there will a camp battle between Lance Louis and a guy I think has a chance in Edwin Williams. Louis is more of a reserve so again when you pair him with a rookie RT you have the makings of a disaster on the right side of the OFfensive line Roberto Garza an 11 year vet swings over form OG to start at Center with the departure of Olin Kreutz. This is easily one of if not the worst offensive lines in the NFL and one of the worst I have seen in some time. It resembles an expansion team to be perfectly honest. Not many of these guys could start for another team in the NFL. Just being brutally honest folks.

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- / Sean's 2011 Grade: C-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 24th (downgraded from 23th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C+
  • Overall Ranking: 21st
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 31st
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 9th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Andrew Whitworth
  • LG Nate Livings
  • C Kyle Cook
  • RG Bobbie Williams
  • RT Andre Smith
  • Key Backups: Clint Boling, Reggie Stephens, Anthony Collins, Dennis Roland, Max Jean-Gilles

    AUGUST UPDATE: No changes to this point. Rookie Clint Boling has looked very athletic during camp and preseason action. The pass protection has been decent but need to get more push during the rushing plays.

    Chris's Take: The Bengals have some talent here but it hasn't come together to this point. There is nice stability at left tackle with veteran Andrew Whitworth, the guard position with Nate Livings and Bobbie Williams returning as well as Deuce Lutui coming in from the Cardinals and at center where Kyle Cook is a decent option. Whitworth is one of the best left tackles in the NFL today and is a beast in pass protection. The interesting development is Andre Smith, the former 1st round pick trying to stake his claim to the right tackle position. He has been a huge disappointment to date thanks to weight issues, injuries and poor work habits. Coach Marvin Lewis insists he has grown up this off-season and he is a new player and if so, the Bengals offensive line will be much improved. If Smith struggles once again expect Anthony Collins to win the job. Collins at this moment is likely the most capable starter at right tackle but the team is hesitant to pull Smith from there, admitting yet another draft blunder. Perhaps Smith can slot inside to guard if the head coach is wrong and he hasn't made the necessary changes. Nate Livings has not been an effective starting guard to this point and is miserable in his pass protection. Because of some uncertainty, I cannot give this unit a grade higher than 'C-' at this time. However there is potential here for much more if everything comes together.

    Sean's Take: Andrew Whitworth grades out a one of the premier left tackles in the game. Despite that you still almost have to question the rating when you consider the team. He is really good at pass protecting allowing only 3 sacks in a top heavy defensive division, and his run blocking is good too. Whitworth also can aid in setting up the WR screen which Cincinnati ran well to his side last year and I would look for A.J. Green to get a bunch of those his rookie year as they try and use this newly drafted weapon on offense. The other side would be best served if they would announce Anthony Collins as the winner. In fact it would allow them to just go ahead and roll Andre Smith inside since he is set on trying to play near 350 pounds so just push him inside for now. Collins has graded out very high in his limited time but to this point he has done the best job. Inside is a mess with Nate Livings at LG. This guy allowed more QBP at the LG position than many tackles give up trying to defense speed rushers around the corners. He should be working the turnstiles coming into the stadium, know what I mean? Kyle Cook is the center and a decent run blocker. Bobbie Williams is almost 35 years old and while he is still decent he also is again fast and they need another plan at RG sooner over later. Clint Boling and Max Jean Gilles are a couple reserves that have seen action. Paul Alexander is the OL coach and has been the OL coach in Cincinnati since 1995. No coach in the NFL has been given more leeway than this guy and maybe he is popular in the locker room but the results are marginal when you look at the entire body of work. He already came out and said Nate Livings deserves the starting spot. If Cincinnati can figure out what to do at RT, they already have a top5 player at LT so that would help them out a lot in the passing game.

    Cleveland Browns

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B (downgraded from B+) / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 10th (downgraded from 7th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C+
  • Overall Ranking: 15th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 17th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 9th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Joe Thomas
  • LG Pat Murray
  • C Alex Mack
  • RG Shawn Lauvao
  • RT Tony Pashos
  • Key Backups: Eric Steinbach (non-football injury list), Steve Vallos, John Greco, Billy Yates, Jason Pinkston [R]

    AUGUST UPDATE: Eric Steinbach is still not close to seeing action due to his back injury and may be in Injury Reserve list if he has surgery. If he goes down, Pat Murray and John Greco will likely battle for the starting job. This unit will take a dip from B+ to B without the veteran play of Steinbach (although he has been a disappointment in Cleveland).

    Chris's Take: The Browns have one of the finest tackles in the NFL today in Joe Thomas. He has the perfect mix of size, athleticism and tenacity and is now in the prime of his career. The Browns are hopeful that Tony Pashos can stay healthy and claim the right tackle position. He is a tenacious blocker but starting just three games last year before injuring his ankle. He is a much better run mauler than a pass protector. Eric Steinbach is currently battling an injured knee and the Browns need this talented, veteran lineman healthy and in the starting lineup. He should be fine by the start of the season but he hasn't been as good lately and may be pushed by Billy Yates or John Greco. Alex Mack has emerged as an excellent center just entering his prime. He is amongst the best at his position in football. The only question mark is at right guard. Shawn Lauvao is being given the first opportunity to win this job but he will be pushed by John Greco and Billy Yates. This is an interesting battle in training camp but as of August 8th, it appears that Lauvao has wrestled the starting job away with a great camp.. Any offensive line with Thomas and Mack are going to be a good group and a healthy Steinbach / Pashos in the lineup elevates it to great. If they get even decent right guard play, the Browns will have one of the best run blocking lines in football, if not the best one.

    Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed Monday, August 8, that OG Shawn Lauvao will be the team's starter at right guard this season. 'I think he's having a terrific camp,' Shurmur said.

    Sean's Take: Joe Thomas is an All Pro tackle who only had 12 QBP all season from the Left Tackle position. He is solid at run blocking but a slightly better pass protector. That should bode well for young Colt McCoy. The right tackle spot is going to be in flux. Tony Pashos might be the starter on paper but he has been battling injuries and if there is anyway Cleveland can replace him they will. There isn't much in the way of depth and that is the problem. Cleveland is a candidate to find things that fall off from other rosters for their offensive line. That isn't good at the moment but can actually help a team right before the season and then they pay better as a unit as the year progresses. The LG spot has to be vacated by Eric Steinbach who is committing armed robbery by taking Cleveland's money and then not doing much. Steinbach is a candidate to ride the bench but the Browns don't have much better right now. Billy Yates is returning form a major injury and the Browns are going to try to push him to unseat Steinbach. The RG spot is being filled by John Greco who was the 65th overall pick in 2008 but could not catch on in St Louis despite the coaches liking him. If he can't crack the Rams OL then I kind of don't believe he will make an impact here. Still he probably is much better than what Cleveland had prior to him getting here. Enter Alex Mack as in Mack Truck as in Get the You Know What out of my way!!! He went to a Pro Bowl in 2009, last year he slipped off that level some but he was still top10 easily at his position. Despite the fact they have a top-5 LT and a top-10 Center, they have a lot of work to do in filling up the other holes along the OL.

    Dallas Cowboys

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C (upgraded from a D) / Sean's 2011 Grade: C+
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 17th (upgraded from 28th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B+
  • Overall Ranking: 6th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 13th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B+
  • Rank: 6th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Doug Free
  • LG Bill Nagy [R]
  • C Andre Gurode
  • RG Kyle Kosier
  • RT Tyrone Smith [R]
  • Key Backups: Montrae Holland, Sam Young, David Arkin [R], Phil Costa

    AUGUST UPDATE: Rookie Bill Nagy has been very impressive and filling a hole at guard. The Cowboys may be much better than the original grade of a 'D' if both rookies (Nagy and Smith) can perform at a high level.

    Chris's Take: The Cowboys had a nice statistical ranking last year but really, that is the result of skilled position players more than the effectiveness of the offensive line. The Cowboys cleaned house in regards to their depth this year, releasing several player. They drafted a stud prospect at guard in Tyrone Smith and he'll start at either right or left tackle. Kyle Kosier is a decent starting option at the guard position and had a very nice 2010 season, age and injuries have caught up to Andre Gurode and Montrae Holland who are probably best served to be a backup / occasional starters due to their limited agility. Gurode just had right knee surgery and he is an unknown at this point. Phil Costa would probably draw into the starting lineup if Gurode cannot go. Doug Free is a good offensive tackle but I am not as sold on him being an elite tackle. He will get the job done however and isn't noticed that often which is a good thing at left tackle. This unit has some potential at the tackle positions but the interior of this unit looks shaky to bad for the upcoming season. Don't expect a lot from the Cowboys offensive line in 2011.

    Sean's Take: The Cowboys ponied up and spent a good deal to retain Doug Free. I am on the fence with this guy but I understand he grades out highly. Free was called on 11 penalties and gave up 5 sacks on 21 QBPs. I still think he can get better but that is actually promising considering where he is at right now. The Cowboys are going to roll with a rookie at RT in Tyrone Smith. He was rated highly in the draft, we'll see how he transitions to the NFL. He will have his hands full but Colombo was not grading well when he was healthy so this might be a good move for Dallas not just in the short term but long term. Before we get too excited though we need to take a look inside the line and there we see the return of Kyle Kosier at the LG spot along with Andre Gurode a potential top-10 Center. Kosier allowed only 1 sack all season and Gurode is an excellent screen setter and also only allowed 1 sack all season. Montrae Holland is the mystery man as he is not great but will have to fill in at RG for the noticeably absent Leonard Davis who was cut. Davis is 33 and at this moment is a free agent. Miami has expressed interest but look for Dallas to jump back in and try and sign that guy. They need him and he still is a force at RG, not a liability as some were trying to say when he was cut. Hudson Houck is one of the most decorated OL coaches in the NFL and Dallas is lucky to have him although his results the last couple years in Dallas have not been spectacular. Despite the lack of experience on the right side of this line I still see them in the above average category. "C+/B-" And if they can get production from the right side of the line they have a chance to score higher.

    Denver Broncos

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- (upgraded from a D) / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 24th (upgraded from 27th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C+
  • Overall Ranking: 15th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 16th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C+
  • Rank: 14th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Ryan Clady
  • LG Zane Beadles
  • C J.D. Walton
  • RG Chris Kuper
  • RT Orlando Franklin [R]
  • Key Backups: Herb Taylor, Chris Clark, Eric Olsen, Rich Hochstein, Manny Ramirez

    AUGUST UPDATE: Ryan Harris, a former 1st round pick at tackle, was released. He wasn't going to be a starter in any case. Orlando Franklin has not looked out of place at right tackle as a rookie.

    Chris's Take: The once dominating Broncos offensive line has been re-tooling over the last couple of years and unfortunately it is still in a state of flux. Ryan Clady is an outstanding tackle who tried to play through injury last year and was not the same player. Healthy and ready to go in 2011, he should have a much better season. Chris Kuper is a good veteran guard but he isn't amongst the elite players at his position. He brings leadership and experience to this young group and is the elder statesman with only six years of experience. Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton were rookies a year ago who stepped in and learned on the fly. They had good moments and just need to continue growing into their roles. 2nd round pick Orlando Franklin will compete with Ryan Harris for the starting right tackle role. Harris is a serviceable starter but doesn't have the upside that Franklin has. In another couple of seasons if the young guns continue to improve, this may be a top ten unit. For now though as the young kids learn through live action, there will be plenty of low moments through the 2011 campaign.

    Sean's Take: The Broncos have a new head coach and he brings the OL coach Dave Magazu from Carolina the past 4 years with him to Denver. At the LT spot for now Denver will roll with Ryan Clady. He has improved steadily to the point he is knocking on the door of being top10 at his position. Last year he allowed 29QBP, and 6 sacks. That's solid but it still is a good bit under the elite talent in the NFL and I'm not sure Clady will ever reach that mark. At the RT spot it looks like Denver will try and start their 2nd round pick in Orlando Franklin from the University of Miami. I watched a lot of him throughout his career at Miami and I believe the RT spot in the NFL is a better fit for him despite all the time he spent at LT in college. Inside the broncos have a very smart LG in Zane Beadles. What makes him smart? Zero penalties and 2 sacks will usually get my attention. He was a 2nd round pick out of Utah in 2010, so far he looks like he can play. Chris Kuper is the RG and he is not near as promising. His run blocking is pretty pedestrian and then you have J.D. Walton at Center. 7 penalties from your Center? The run blocking inside is not strong and I don't expect to see the same unit in 2011 that we see this year. I think the Tackles and LG spot are fine but the rest of this interior OL is not good. Stanley Daniels and Russ Hochstein provide some quality depth but they are not prime time guys that can take over either. This offensive line is a work in progress.

    Detroit Lions

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 9th (upgraded from 12th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C+
  • Overall Ranking: 15th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 18th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 12th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jeff Backus (slight tear in chest – beginning to practice)
  • LG Rob Sims
  • C Dominic Raiola
  • RG Stephen Peterman
  • RT Gosder Cherilus
  • Key Backups: Jason Fox, Chris Morris, Donald Thomas, Dylan Gandy

    AUGUST UPDATE: Jeff Backus has returned to practice and the team is hopeful he will return to action by the start of the regular season. The club added veteran guard/center Chris Morris from the Patriots for depth. Gosder Cherilus has been participating coming off of his knee injury and should start week one.

    Chris's Take: The Detroit Lions suffered through an unsettled offensive line for a very long time but finally appear to have it all together. They are not a top-ten unit or anything but the experience and talent they have along the line are the best they have enjoyed in a long time. Jeff Backus is turning 34-years old this year and is suffering through a slight tear in pectoral muscle. However while not the player he once was, he still has enough in the tank to be a good left tackle and anchor the group. The interior of the offensive line is their strength with three veteran players all in the prime of their careers. None of them are amongst the best at their positions in football but all are capable, experienced players who know how to play the game together. Finally right tackle is the one suspect spot along the line. Gosder Cherilus is coming off of knee surgery and has been inconsistent throughout his four year career. He is a mountain of a man who has potential to improve but at this point is just a decent starting option. The Detroit Lions have a solid offensive line who will have a good season.

    Sean's Take: Jeff Backus had 33 QBPs last year but only 4 sacks. He is 34 yrs old and did show signs of slowing down from 2009 to 2010. Backus is no more than average at this point. Gosder Cherilus is not bad at the RT spot. He had 27QBPs and 2 sacks last season. If the point of most offensive linemen is to keep their QB upright, this pair doesn't do a horrible job in pass protection. The reserves behind these guys are Tony Ugoh and Corey Hilliard. Both of them have seen extensive action although Ugoh was a flop at LT in Indy. Still as a reserve he is what you want, a guy that has seen a lot of action. Hilliard also used to play in Indy and started 4 games in Detroit last year. Inside the Lions have a lot to work with. Rob Sims came over from Seattle and showed his pass protection skills. He is not a great run blocker but he does stabilize the left side of the line and can also help out Backus with some of the speed rushers. Stephen Peterman is the weak spot at RG right now however he does do something better than the other linemen around him. Peterman sets up a lot of screens and he does it well. He is average at run blocking and honestly he is below average at pass blocking. Dominic Raiola is the Center and after a nice 2009 season his play plummeted last year. The Lions have veterans Donald Thomas and Dylan Gandy, both of them have seen playing time from the teams they left. Look for these guys to push and also see the field some. George Yarmo returns for year 3 as the OL coach in Detroit. So far I think he is doing a pretty solid job with what he has to work with. Detroit simply is not good enough right now and they need to find a little more attitude in their OFfensive line Right now I would grade them in the "C/C-" range but Detroit is better than they were 2 years ago. Things are still improving and changing in Detroit.

    Green Bay Packers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B / Sean's 2011 Grade: B
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 11th (upgraded from 13th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C
  • Overall Ranking: 18th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 25th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 10th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Chad Clifton
  • LG T.J. Lang
  • C Scott Wells
  • RG Josh Sitton
  • RT Bryan Bulaga
  • Key Backups: Derek Sherrod [R], Marshall Newhouse, Nick McDonald

    AUGUST UPDATE: Business as usual. Derek Sherrod has seen some action at the guard position and could start there in a pinch. He has a bit of a knee injury but isn't considered to be serious.

    Chris's Take: The Packers drafted tackle Derek Sherrod in the 1st round with an eye towards the future. He will likely learn on the sidelines this year but could slot into the left guard position. He will be in a batter with T. J. Lang for playing time. Chad Clifton has had a great career but at 35-years of age the end is drawing nearer. He will likely start at left tackle this year but may be replaced in 2012 by Sherrod or 2nd year tackle Bryan Bulaga who improved as last season wore on. Josh Sitton is a fantastic offensive guard who is amongst the top ten at his position. He is physical, mean and athletic. The Packers are also set at the center position as Scott Wells is an experienced player with nice leadership. The only question mark is at the left guard position where T. J. Lang has never really elevated his play to where it needs to be. If he struggles this year he will be pulled from the group. All in all this is a solid offensive line but today and into the future thanks to smart drafting decisions.

    Sean's Take: Will this be Chad Clifton's final year? The plan right now is to bring in the rookie Derrick Sherrod who will likely start at LG in place of the departed Colledge who went to Arizona. Sherrod is a 6-5, 320 lb Mississippi State grad but he likely will play alongside Clifton in 2011 and then in 2012 the Pack might turn it over to him. Clifton is aging and still is pretty good but his level of play is not quite what it once was. Clifton had 7 sacks, 7 pen, below avg in the RB dept, the end is coming for him. On the right side you find 2nd year OT Bryan Bulaga. Like most rookies he struggled but I find his footwork to be a problem and I'm not sure I see a long fruitful NFL career but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and watch him for another year. John Sitton is one of the best RGs in the NFL. His pass blocking is excellent and his run blocking is strong as well. He should have been in the Pro bowl last year and perhaps a repeat performance by him and he finally will. Scott Wells makes a nice Center to anchor the interior of the OL. I am a harsh critic and to be honest the Packers are one of the better OFfensive lines especially in the NFC but they are not without faults and they likely have a rookie at LG, an aging LT, a RT that needs to show improvement. I also think the OL benefits from good skill position players and Rodgers who can read defenses with the best of them and adjust his position in the pocket.

    Houston Texans

    Chris' 2011 Grade: A / Sean's 2011 Grade: A
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 1st

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: A
  • Overall Ranking: 1st
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 1st
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B+
  • Rank: 5th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Duane Brown
  • LG Wade Smith
  • C Chris Myers
  • RG Mike Briesel
  • RT Eric Winston
  • Key Backups: Rashad Butler, Shelley Smith, Antoine Caldwell, Cole Pemberton, Darius Morris

    AUGUST UPDATE: The backups are beat up in Houston. Kasey Studdard is likely lost for the season with an ankle injury while Antoine Caldwell, Shelley Smith and Rashard Butler are all nicked up. The starting five is looking strong however.

    Chris's Take: The Texans offensive line has improved each of the past few seasons and now can be considered an elite unit. OL coach John Benton preaches tenacity and technique which is a great combination. The players have bought into the system and this group of linemen collectively is entering their prime. The two bookend tackles have good size, ability and are now playing at the top of their game. Both Duane Brown and Eric Winston have good size and athleticism and have improved their play each season in the NFL. Wade Smith is a nasty piece of work at left guard while Antoine Caldwell is an athletic lineman also capable of playing center. Caldwell will be competing with Mike Briesel for playing time but expect the talented run blocker Briesel to emerge as the starter. Chris Myers, at 30-years old if the elder statesman and leader of the group. Quietly this unit has become an elite group thanks to the mix of experience, talent and tenacity. Add in a terrific blocking scheme and this could be the top unit in the NFL. Expect more good things from the Texans offensive line in 2011.

    Sean's Take: Let me first say that the Houston Texans are basically the OL that I compare all others against in 2011. All this talk of Foster slipping…the only way he slips is injury. Honestly, you could wheel out Larry Csonka right now and find yards with some of the holes this line has been blowing into the sides of defenses. I'll stop drooling for a minute and analyze it so you understand why I am so high on the Texans. Last year the Texans scored out pretty high in pass protection with Duane Brown anchoring the left side and Eric Winston anchoring the right side. These two guys get it done and help make a perfect set of Tackles for Schaub to set up and operate behind. They did combine to allow 13 sacks between the two of them but combined they only allowed 37 QBP for the season. There are starting OT that allow more QBP by themselves then these two combined. Winston is not a great run blocker, Brown is OK but these two also make a deadly combination in the screen game. Smith got over $6m in guaranteed money last year and it was money well spent and well earned. Smith only yielded 1 sack on the season and that has a lot to do with his ability to play tackle as well. Mike Briesel is a good run blocking RG and helps offset some of the lack of punch in Smith's run blocking on the other side. Smith is still a decent run blocker but not as good as Briesel was last year. We haven't even discussed Chris Myers who not only is an accomplished broadcaster but also fills in very nicely at Center. He is deadly with his run blocking and he is an excellent screen setter in the passing game. John Benton returns for his 6th season in Houston as the OL coach. You'll be hard pressed to find a better starting unit in the NFL and the numbers back it up.

    Indianapolis Colts

    Chris' 2011 Grade: D (downgraded from a C+) / Sean's 2011 Grade: D+
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 29th (downgraded from 16th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 6th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 15th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 3rd
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jeff Linkenbach
  • LG Jacques McClendon
  • C Jeff Saturday
  • RG Mike Pollak
  • RT Ryan Diem
  • Key Backups: Anthony Castonzo [R], Kyle DeVan, Ben Ijalana [R]

    AUGUST UPDATE: The entire left side of the line is in a state of flux. The Colts offensive line is in a rebuilding mode and will struggle this season. The grade should be in the D range in all likelihood unless Castonzo can win the job and perform at a high level. The team is still hopeful he'll step in during the season. Linkenbach is a huge hole at left tackle.

    Chris's Take: The question along the Colts offensive line will be at the tackle positions. With an excellent rookie tackle prospect in Anthony Castonzo in camp, it will be an interesting battle to see if he earns playing time. He has huge size, good athleticism and believes he is the best lineman coming out in this year's draft. If the club wants to give the rookie time to learn the craft at the ultra important left tackle slot, they will keep Charlie Johnson there, perhaps paving the way for 2nd round pick Ben Ijalana to jump into the starting lineup. He would be completing with Kyle DeVan for the starting nod if Charlie Johnson slots into tackle. If Castonzo does the expected and starts at tackle, it will likely be veteran Charlie Johnson slotted in at left guard. Do not rule out Ijalana though as he is a capable youngster who could be an improvement along the line. Jeff Saturday is getting long in the tooth but still capable. There is talk that Ryan Diem, eleven-year veteran may be expendable with the team drafting two young linemen but he'll likely stay around as you do not want to mess with Peyton Manning's health. Jeff Saturday is entering the twilight of his career but he can still get the job done and he is a wonderful leader for this unit with the young kids coming in. The Colts offensive line will be improved but maybe not until 2012 will we notice the difference.

    Sean's Take: Things are not good in Indy when it comes to the offensive line this season. They may turn turn the keys over at LT to a rookie named Anthony Castonzo from Boston College. They selected him with their 1st round pick. Most Tackles not named Jake Long come into the league and struggle. You hate to see it on a team with so many skill position guys and vets that can win now. I know the free agent pool was small but to see this as a strong move for this team despite any trumpeting that outlets have made about Castonzo, the move just seems poorly planned and he doesn't have the luxury of several months of OTAs to help move him along. I'm sure most of Peyton's opponents will be anxious to meet him. Ryan Diem will start at RT and he is entering his 11th season. 38 QBP, 9QBh, and 5 sacks from the right tackle spot last year, 10 penalties to boot, terrible run blocker, should I keep going? Manning can operate on short drops and will have no problem stepping up into the pocket behind the dinosaur Jeff Saturday but it is irking that a team that could do lots of good by having book end tackles for Manning to drop back and work behind seems set on putting up subpar guys. Other than Jeff Saturday inside there isn't a whole lot to write home about here. Mike Pollak is good at pass protection but he sure does nothing in the running game. And then at LG it looks like Indy is going to roll with 2nd round pick Ben Ijalana from Villanova. I haven't seen a team with vets in the skill position go and rebuild an entire left side of the line since Miami did it way back when they drafted Richmond Webb and Keith Sims in the same draft. Those guys made a nice tandem at LT/LG for Miami for many years. Perhaps Indy can capture some of that with what they have in place. Pete Metzalaars is the OL coach and I am not real impressed with him either. Indy is too talented to have such a poor OL. It probably will get much better over the next couple seasons but that doesn't help an aging manning and the rest of the cast there right now.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- / Sean's 2011 Grade: C-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 23rd (upgraded from 24th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 8th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 5th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 18th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Eugene Monroe
  • LG Jason Spitz
  • C Brad Meester
  • RG Uche Nwaneri
  • RT Eben Britton
  • Key Backups: Will Rackley [R], Guy Whimper, Tony Moll

    AUGUST UPDATE: Everything appears set here but the pass protection has been very poor during the preseason. Eben Britton has been battling back problems but is expected to start week one.

    Chris's Take: There will be an interesting battle in training camp and preseason this year at center with incumbent veteran Brad Meester battling with free agent acquisition Jason Spitz for the starting job. The Jaguars likely promised Spitz he'd be in the running for the job at center since that was one of the demands he had was the chance to play his best position after playing guard with the Packers. Meester is 34-years old and slowing down so Spitz may indeed wrestle that job away. If he doesn't expect Spitz to start at left guard. Will Rackley, a rookie guard may win the left guard nod if Spitz emerges as the starting center. Eugene Monroe, entering his 3rd season is improving. He is a very good pass protector but needs to continue improving his strength to become a dominant run blocker. Eben Britton is a decent right tackle although his pass protection ability is somewhat limited by his mediocre lateral movement. Uche Nwaneri can play center or guard and has prototypical size for an NFL guard. He is not a top-tier lineman but gets the job done. The Jaguars may slot rookie 3rd round pick, Will Rackley into the starting line up. However his college days at Lehigh didn't bring a high level of competition and it will likely take a year to be ready. This is a decent group who will perform similar to a season ago.

    Sean's Take: Eugene Monroe has been a steady presence at Left tackle for the jags the past few years. He did allow 13 QBH and had 9 penalties last year. He certainly is far from dominant and his coaches want to see more out of him. I feel like if he doesn't improve this year that the Jags might consider rolling him to the right side or even inside at Guard where he doesn't have to be as good in pass protection. The lack of support along the OL doesn't help him much either. The right side will likely belong to Eben Britton who is coming off shoulder surgery, never a good thing for players that have to use their arms to push off a lot. In half a season last year he allowed 2 sacks so they need him out there. Inside you find Jason Spitz at the LG spot. He comes over form Green bay as one of their reserves. He will hold the fort down until Will Rackley, a 3rd round selection this year can come in and hopefully take over the spot. On the other side will be Uche Nwaneri who allowed 5 sacks last year and also has a problem opening holes in the running game. Not a good combo to have at OG in the NFL. John Meester will enter his 12th season and he is still close to top5 at run blocking for Centers. Andy Heck returns for his 6th season as Jags OL coach. Boring uneventful group of linemen and one of the major problems in the Jack Del Rio regime over the past many years.

    Kansas City Chiefs

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C+ / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 12th (upgraded from 14th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 12th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B+
  • Rank: 8th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 20th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Branden Albert
  • LG Jon Asamoah
  • C Casey Wiegmann
  • RG Ryan Lilja
  • RT Barry Richardson
  • Key Backups: Jared Gaither, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson [R], Ryan O'Callaghan

    AUGUST UPDATE: The team has picked up former dependable starting tackle Jared Gaither from the Ravens. He has battled injury woes but if in shape and healthy can help this unit improve. He can push for playing time at both tackle positions.

    Chris's Take: With Casey Wiegmann re-signed, the Chiefs now have the luxury of allowing rookie Rodney Hudson to learn from the sidelines from a proven vet. Both tackles Branden Albert and Barry Richardson are 4th year players with great size and potential but have been up and down so far throughout their career. They can either figure it out and improve this year or continue to battle consistency. In all likelihood, both are good players without the ability to reach elite status. Richardson will be in a competition with former starter Ryan O'Callaghan for the starting job. O'Callaghan spent most of 2011 on injured reserve. Casey Wiegmann is 38-years old but was brought back to help groom, 2nd round pick Rodney Hudson who may take over at some point this season. Ryan Lilja is a dependable guard that struggles to stay healthy while Jon Asamoah, a big and tough 2nd year player is ready to step into the mix at left guard. The Chiefs parted way from long-time elite starter Brian Waters which opens a spot for Asamoah. There is potential for the Chiefs to become very good this year or simply average depending on if the tackles can elevate their play and Asamoah can jump right into the starting role. Looks like a good season for the Chiefs offensive line.

    Sean's Take: Branden Albert was a 1st round pick in 2008. His rookie year was not that bad but the problem is he really isn't getting any better. This might be as good as it gets and that is pretty average in comparison to other starting LTs in the NFL. The guy went from 30 QBP and 5 sacks as a rookie to in 2009 where he racked up 7 sacks but only 16 QBP for the season, to 2010 where he allows 11 sacks, 7 more QBH, and 23 QBP. On the other side the Chiefs are hoping to get back Ryan O'Callaghan who was on IR much of last year. In his spot was Barry Richardson who committed 10 penalties and allowed 30QBP in his absence. The good news is KC now has some depth with playing time behind their starters. Not surprising but KC has pretty good run blocking in their Tackle spots which is good for a RB like Jamal Charles who likes to get in space when he can. Inside the Chiefs have 3rd round pick from 2010, Jon Asamoah lining up at LG. and the RG spot will be filled by Ryan Lilja who is an excellent run blocker and creates nice holes for Charles to fly through. Lilja only allowed 1 sack all season. Lilja doesn't even weigh 300 pounds and is a good example of what an athletic lineman can do in the NFL. He is faster than most DTs he engages with and also packs enough strength to drive guys off the ball. Casey Weigmann will line up at Center. He is 38 years old and certainly his best days are behind him. Rodney Hudson, a 2nd round pick from Florida State will try and take over for Weigmann but he certainly is not ready yet. The inside of this line is going to need time to gel as they are moving some new pieces in.

    Miami Dolphins

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C (downgraded from a C+) / Sean's 2011 Grade: B
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 20th (downgraded from 15th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 25th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 29th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C+
  • Rank: 16th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jake Long
  • LG Richie Incognito
  • C Mike Pouncey [R]
  • RG Vernon Carey
  • RT Marc Colombo
  • Key Backups: Ray Feinga, Lydon Murtha, Pat McQuistan, John Jerry

    AUGUST UPDATE: Jake Long has had some concerns with knee problems but is back practicing and should be ready to go week one. Vernon Carey and his move inside hasn't looked terrific but he may get better with playing time at guard. If he isn't this unit is in trouble. Mike Pouncey has struggled some as a rookie but he has the potential to be exceptional. The unit has struggled at times throughout camp but with a healthy Long, look much better. They can slide up or down the ranking ladder this season depending on how it all comes together. I have downgraded them to a 'C' with the questions that need to be answered.

    Chris's Take: The Dolphins were weak at center last year and remedied that in the draft this season by taking Mike Pouncey in the first round. He has great size, quickness and should become the leader in the middle of this unit for the next decade. His brother, Maurkice had a wonderful rookie campaign last year and Mike should be very close to his production level. The Dolphins have a tremendous left tackle in Jake Long. He is amongst the finest at the position today. Vernon Carey is likely being moved inside to right guard from tackle. The team has a massive hole at that spot and Carey has experience. That likely opens the door for veteran Marc Colombo to start at right tackle. He isn't flashy but capable of getting job done. John Jerry did alright in his first season as a starter but the team wasn't thrilled with his conditioning and work habits. He has tremendous size at 6-5 and 328 pounds but will likely begin the season on the bench. The other guard position is an unknown right now but veteran Richie Incognito probably has a leg up at this time. If the Dolphins get even average play out of the guard position this year and Pouncey can immediately step in and pay dividends this unit will be outstanding. If the interior struggles, the Dolphins will be average at best.

    Sean's Take: Jake Long as a rookie allowed 2 sacks in the 1st 3 weeks of his NFL career and then didn't allow a sack until week 1 of the 2009 season. Last year he gave up 6 sacks, his most ever but only allowed 12 QBP all season. Maybe if Chad Henne could just shuffle his feet a little he might have avoided at least half of those sacks. He simply is the premier LT in the NFL right now and gives the Miami Dolphins a major advantage in both pass protection to that side and also running the football to the left. The right side is what we need to focus on as Marc Colombo has been signed and brought in to start. Even if he can make the whole year I don't see where that is an upgrade in any way over Vernon Carey. Maybe 5 years ago when Colombo was a much better player but now at the end of his career, I just cannot understand this move by Miami. Inside they are going to start Mike Pouncey and that is probably not a bad idea. I think Joe Berger is solid and he ran a few other guys out of town but I look for Pouncey to seize the opportunity will be the best guy Miami has had since Tim Ruddy held down the position for about a decade. At LG and RG Miami has a few options and the overall depth of the OL is one of the reasons they will score as high as they do. Richie Incognito seems to have found his game here in Miami. He is nasty, he bends the rules, and with long lining up next to him suddenly he doesn't make as many penalties. Richie does plenty of grabbing and pulling but in this system and with a high profile LT next to him he doesn't seem to stick out as much. The white uniform also seems to hide up some of his mistakes that followed him on other teams. The RG spot is going to be consumed with Vernon Carey. I am not a huge fan but he is a pretty solid run blocker and now he will be able to engage in closer quarters. If Carey can get his paws on you then you are in trouble so I actually am for this move but at the expense of lining up Colombo I'm not so sure. My gut thinks Colombo will get injured and then Carey will roll back to RT which will clear the way for John Jerry to win back his job at RG. Miami has a lot of depth with guys like Berger, Nate Garner, and Lydon Murtha in the wings. All have seen significant time and also performed well. There is talent, the line is deep, and there is room for improvement.

    Minnesota Vikings

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 28th (downgraded from 26th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade:C
  • Overall Ranking: 20th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B+
  • Rank: 9th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 28th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Charles Johnson
  • LG Steve Hutchinson
  • C John Sullivan
  • RG Anthony Herrera
  • RT Phil Loadholt
  • Key Backups: DeMarcus Love [R], Chris DeGeare, John Cooper, Ryan Cook

    AUGUST UPDATE: The team brought in Charles Johnson to start at left tackle. He is a pedestrian lineman but he'll hold down the fort for now.

    Chris's Take: The Vikings once vaunted offensive line sagged horribly last season and it may be time to re-tool this group. Former elite left tackle Bryant McKinnie was terrible last year and when he showed up at camp over 400 pounds he was unceremoniously dumped to the curb. Now there is a huge hole at the left tackle position in which rookie DeMarcus Love will battle Charles Johnson for the starting nod. Steve Hutchinson was one of the top guards in football but he is turning 34-years old this season and beginning to slow down. He is still an above average blocker though in the NFL and by all accounts is in phenomenal conditioning heading into this season. John Sullivan battles hard but is just a serviceable player at the center position. Phil Loadholt is an interesting player. At 6-8 and 343 pounds he truly is a beast at the right tackle position. He had a solid rookie campaign in 2009 but was too inconsistent in his second season. He has potential and can maul opponents in the running game. Anthony Herrera is a decent veteran option at guard but is coming off of a torn ACL injury and doesn't have great power. He may be pushed by Chris DeGeare, a 5th round pick last season who has nice size at 335 pounds. If this group discovers the fountain of youth, perhaps a return to a high level is possible but it doesn't look great at this time.

    Sean's Take: Bryant McKinnie showed up reportedly over 400 pounds so Minnesota parted ways with a guy that simply did not commit to the off season except to party and get fat. It's a tough spot for Minnesota but they did the right thing even if it was painful. Looks like Charlie Johnson a former Indy lineman will take over initially at LT. Phil Loadholt, a 2nd round pick in 2009 will start at RT and I hope they don't think of rolling him to the left because he barely grades out at RT. He still is developing but overall he is not an impact RT. Steve Hutchinson is really just an average LG at this point. He's solid in pass blocking but he is just average at run blocking now. Anthony Herrera lines up at RG, both he and Hutch were injured at times last year so Ryan Cook OT-OG and Chris DeGeare both saw action for the Vikings last year. Both of them are decent and could start for other teams. That's a good thing for Minnesota and gives me some hope for their interior run blocking this year which is going to have to lead the way for Minnesota to have any kind of success. John Sullivan checks in at Center and he saw a pretty big uptick in production from 2009 to 2010. He was a former 6th round pick in 2008. Sullivan is middle of the pack but perhaps his game can improve in 2011 the way it did in 2010. Jeff Davidson rolls into town as the OL coach after 4 years as the OC in Carolina. They should find strength inside because of the depth. The LT spot is a major concern right now.

    New England Patriots

    Chris' 2011 Grade: A / Sean's 2011 Grade: A-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 2nd

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: A
  • Overall Ranking: 1st
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 4th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 2nd
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Matt Light
  • LG Logan Mankins
  • C Dan Koppen
  • RG Dan Connolly
  • RT Sebastian Vollmer
  • Key Backups: Nate Solder [R], Marcus Cannon [R], Rich Ohrnberger, Chris Morris

    AUGUST UPDATE: Business as usual in New England. Starting right guard Dan Connolly injured his right ankle August 27th in a preseason game vs. the Detroit Lions but nothing has been said about it yet.

    Chris's Take: This offensive line is experienced, talented and play within a great scheme. The Patriots did as expected and signed veteran Matt Light to a new contract. He'll start at left tackle, allowing rookie 1st round pick Nate Solder from Colorado to learn from the sideline to start the season. Solder has plenty of talent but underachieved in school and needs some time. Sebastian Vollmer who is capable of playing on either side is a decent starter. Light at 33-years of age is coming to the end of a career but his poise and experience is invaluable on the left side. Logan Mankins is one of the finest guards in football and entering his prime. He has been hit with the franchise tag once again in 2011. Guard Stephen Neal retired and there will be a battle for the right guard position. Dan Connolly has experience and should start. If Light returns, this unit is one of the best ones in the NFL, if not the top dog. However if they lose Light, having to start rookie Solder will drop them down from an exceptional group to an above average one until Solder finds his way.

    Sean's Take: Matt Light is presently on the PUP list but I wouldn't worry too much at this stage of camp. He does an admirable job at LT but he saw a 17 QBP/3 sack performance in 2009 become a 37 QBP and 7 sack campaign last year. That's not too good but he has a track history of being good. Light is now 33 years old and New England will have to replace him soon. The right side is anchored by Sebastian Vollmer who only allowed sack last year but he did surrender 31 QBP. Tom Brady can see those guys coming, not so much if Light is letting them pass by. Brady has a pretty quick release though so fans shouldn't worry too much. Logan Mankins thankfully returns to the Pats and in good spirits after a lot of hate passed back and forth last year and a holdout. Mankins can really move guys around in the running game. He will turn 30 next February and last year achieved the title of All Pro. Dan Connolly will play RG and while he isn't the impact player that Logan Mankins is, he still is solid and will play well within this unit. Connolly is perhaps the weakest part of this unit but he could start for probably half the league. At Center the Patriots will start Dan Koppen who has been a fixture at Center for them almost since he was drafted back in 2003. This is a veteran group that understands how to use each other to maximize their abilities. One thing that most of them do not do very well is setting up screens. You think of New England and you think short passing game but not much of it is a result of set screen passes. OL coach Donte Scarnecchia returns for season 13 in New England. This is a solid OL with lots of good pieces but they are starting to age. This will be a bigger problem in the future past 2011.

    New Orleans Saints

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B+ / Sean's 2011 Grade: B-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 6th

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 8th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 19th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 4th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jermon Bushrod
  • LG Carl Nicks
  • C Olin Kreutz
  • RG Jahri Evans
  • RT Jon Stinchcomb
  • Key Backups: Charles Brown, Zach Strief, Matt Tennant

    AUGUST UPDATE: Carl Nicks has been signed and should start week one. However he has a contusion on his knee that will likely mean he will miss the last preseason game. Veteran Olin Kreutz looks like the starting center heading into the season.

    Chris's Take: The Saints have a very good offensive line in which all of the starters are in the prime of their career. Jermon Bushrod signed a new two-year deal to remain with the team in 2011. He has done a god job since earning the starting nod in 2009. He has struggled with consistency at times in the two seasons he has been the starter. At the other tackle position, Jon Stinchcomb struggled last year thanks to a knee injury that bothered him all season. He had surgery in the offseason and should be ready to go this year. Charles Brown is an athletic, young tackle that has the ability to be a good NFL starter. The interior of the line is its strength with two elite guards and a dependable center. The team still needs to sign restricted free agent Carl Nicks but it will happen. The Saints lost veteran center Jonathan Goodwin to the 49ers this year so 2nd year center Matt Tennant will be in the hunt for a starting job. The team likes him but this unit may falter a little as they get used to a new leader in the middle. The other option is veteran Olin Kreutz, a free agent pickup from the Bears steps in. He is past his prime however and Tennant may be the better option. This will be another very good season for the Saints but the change at center drops them a few notches.

    Sean's Take: The Saints leave me scratching my head at times. Jermon Bushrod has looked good at times but he also has had his hands full against the better defenses and pass rushers. He is far from an elite LT heading into 2010. John Stinchcomb on the other side is a better run blocker than pass blocker. He also tends to make a lot of ill times penalties that take their toll over a season. This is not a horrible set of tackles but it also is not on the upper side of the league right now. Inside is where the Saints have a lot of strength with Carl nicks perhaps the best LG in the NFL and also Jahri Evans who was the top RG in the NFL but saw his play fall way off last year. Expect him to rebound and for this interior to get back to where it was. Oh wait a minute, what happened at Center? They let Jonathon Goodwin go who was fading at Center from where he was but then they settle on a fossil that ranked almost dead last in 2010, Olin Kreutz. Now Kreutz has been on perennial bad lines in Chicago and was always thought of as the best part in that mess but still he is old and a liability on almost any OL in the league. I rate this as "B-" overall and feel the Saints are avg at the Tackle spots, have a big hole at Center, and then perhaps the best pair of OGs in the NFL. Look for them to add a Center that is cut once the preseason ends.

    New York Giants

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C+ / Sean's 2011 Grade: B
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 13th (upgraded from 17th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: A
  • Overall Ranking: 3rd
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 6th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 1st
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Will Beatty
  • LG David Diehl
  • C David Baas
  • RG Chris Snee
  • RT Kareem McKenzie
  • Key Backups: James Brewer [R], Kevin Boothe, Adam Koets, Stacy Andrews

    AUGUST UPDATE: Adam Koets underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday, August 24th. He is just a reserve lineman and no word yet as to his return date.

    Chris's Take: The New York Giants released center Shaun O'Hara and guard Rich Seubert this off-season. The club brought in veteran center/guard David Baas who is likely to slot into the starting center role. He is a serviceable center in the NFL although he isn't an elite one David Diehl may stay at left tackle or slide back into his former home at left guard. If he does return to guard, perhaps Will Beatty, a 3rd year player will get the nod at tackle. He would be in competition with rookie James Brewer and Adam Koets. Both Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie are good starting linemen. Snee in particular is a nasty piece of business and one of the best guards in the game. This unit has been outstanding in the past but changes along the offensive line will bring them back to the pack in 2011.

    Sean's Take: The big news is Will Beatty being the possible starting left tackle on this team. In 2 games he started last year he gave up zero sacks so that's promising although it is a very small sample to turn over such an important position to. David Diehl was holding that position down and doing well until 2010. So the Giants are kicking him inside to LG and Beatty will try and fill the LT spot. I don't see how New York is being rated as a top10 and some places top3-5 OL. What is good and perhaps their biggest strength is the presence of Kareem McKenzie at RT. McKenzie only yielded 2 sacks at RT last year and is also a very good run blocker. Inside the Giants have signed David Baas to anchor the interior at Center. Baas is solid but he is not elite. Still his skills should do well with what the Giants already had in place. Chris Snee will anchor the RG spot. He is solid next to McKenzie on the right side of the line. Snee only accounted for 1 QB sack last year. Pat Flaherty the OL coach returns for his eighth season in New York and he deserves at least some of the credit for the cohesiveness there the past many years. This is a good OL but it still has question marks. In comparison to other offensive lines around the league they score out pretty well but it's far from perfect.

    New York Jets

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B+ / Sean's 2011 Grade: B+
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 4th

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 10th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B+
  • Rank: 7th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 17th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson
  • LG Matt Slauson
  • C Nick Mangold
  • RG Brandon Moore
  • RT Wayne Hunter
  • Key Backups: James Hunter, Vladimir Ducasse

    AUGUST UPDATE: Business as usual in New York as the starters and key backups are all ready to go heading into the season.

    Chris's Take: The Jets have a very good offensive line. D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one of the best few tackles in the NFL today. He is very difficult to get around with his wing span and lateral movement. He is a great luxury to have at left tackle. Nick Mangold is probably the best center in the game today and is the prime of his career. They released right tackle Damian Woody who suffered from knee and Achilles injuries last year and will have a battle between career backup Wayne Hunter and 2nd year player Vladimir Ducasse, who was drafted as an interior lineman but the team believes has the talent to play outside. It will be decided in camp and preseason who emerges with the job but in early August it appears to be Hunter's to lose. The rest of the offensive line is intact and fantastic. Matt Slauson started slowly last year but improved as it went on and should have a nice season in 2011. Unless the right tackle position is a train wreck this season, there is no reason to believe this will not be a top-5 group. Young, talented linemen are entering their prime.

    Sean's Take: D'Brickashaw Ferguson is right there with Jake Long for the best pass blocking LT in all of football. Incredible they share the same division. Ferguson allowed only 2 sacks on 16 QBP but Sanchez did take 9 QBH on that side. Someone needs to tell Sanchez to release the ball quicker and these stats might be even better. Vladimir Ducasse and Wayne Hunter. Ducasse came in from Umass and was I thought going to be an inside guy but the Jets are going to try and fill the big hole left by Damien Woody who despite his advanced age still graded out as a top 5 RT. This spot is one a lot of jet fans have shrugged off and I'm sorry but this spot is going to be a weakness and not a strength as it has been for many years with Woody anchoring the right side. They move from having perhaps the best pair of OT in the game to having one of the best and then something else on the other side. Inside you have the best Center in the game in Nick Mangold who is a 2 time All Pro and a 3 time Pro Bowler in his short career. He is on track to go to canton one day at the rate he is going. The other guys inside are a mixed bag of me. You cannot pretend the Jets were a dominant inside running team last year because they were not, and especially down the stretch where I find them to still have questions. Matt Slauson was a 6th round pick in 2009 and to this point he has been OK and that's about right for a guy that was drafted where he was. A lot of OG in the NFL are undrafted so you don't have to be a 1st round draftee to excel in the NFL. 6 sacks and 7 penalties from your starting LG just doesn't seem to be what you want. He is decent at run blocking and I have watched him eat up a defensive lineman on more than once occasion. It's not hard to see what the Jets hope he can become. This will be his 3rd year so he might show major improvement over last year. Brandon Moore at the G spot is pretty good but I don't think he dominated at run blocking in 2010 like he did back in 2009. I also think the loss of Woody is going to hurt him and the entire right side of the line. Bill Callahan is a guy that far exceeds his position as OL coach. He has had the position in New York for a few years now and he does a great job. As much as I don't like everything here they are heads and shoulders above most teams. Are they on the same level as Houston right now? They have 2 very elite players along the OL and most teams can't even find 1. They also have a RG in Brandon Moore who is pretty talented. They have some issues but they will get it ironed out I'm sure.

    Oakland Raiders

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- / Sean's 2011 Grade: D-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 21st (upgraded from 22nd)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade:B
  • Overall Ranking: 13th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 3rd
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 26th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jared Veldheer
  • LG Daniel Loper
  • C Samson Satele
  • RG Cooper Carlisle
  • RT Khalif Barnes
  • Key Backups: Stefen Wisniewski [R], Bruce Campbell, Joseph Barksdale [R], Mario Henderson, Langston Walker, Stephon Heyer

    AUGUST UPDATE: As of today, the Raiders are going with the proven, veteran offensive linemen over the two nice rookies on the roster. There is a chance that center Stefan Wisniewski will start his NFL career at the right guard position but at this moment it looks like he is being eased into the starting lineup. There is talent here to elevate the Raiders into the top 15.

    Chris's Take: The Raiders got a lot out of a patchwork offensive line last year but make no mistake this is a group in transition with four starters along the offensive line with two or fewer years of experience. This will help eventually turn this unit into a team strength but they are at least one season away from being a great unit. Jared Veldheer is a large athletic tackle who played well once he cracked the starting lineup last year. Daniel Loper is the lone veteran along the offensive line, has experience at guard and tackle and was the reason the Raiders could part with veteran Robert Gallery this year. Bruce Campbell is a 2nd year player from Maryland who also can play guard or tackle. He is still learning his craft. At center, expect rookie 2nd round pick Stefen Wisniewski to emerge as the starter. He is athletic, strong and has great technique. However the Raiders re-signed veteran center Samson Satele so perhaps he'll start and Wisniewski slides into a guard slot. Right tackle will be a battle between rookie Joseph Barksdale and seven-year pro Khalif Barnes. The future looks very bright for the Raiders come 2012 or 2013 but this very young group will struggle to find its game this season.

    Samson Satele and Stefen Wisniewski are splitting reps at center during the early going of training camp. Head coach Hue Jackson said Friday, August 5, that the two are going to have to earn their playing time. Wisniewski might also work at guard. 'You earn your way. As I said when we drafted (Wiz), we didn't have a center on our team at that time. But we brought back a guy who's started a lot of games for us. You have to earn your way up here. We're not just giving anybody anything.'

    Sean's Take: I want to start by saying I have had the "pleasure" of going toe to toe with several FBG shark poolers and I want to thank them for their input into this section, I truly appreciate it. Let's start with Jared Veldheer. He did what a lot of 3rd round rookies would do if they were asked to start at LT in the NFL, he fell flat on his face. 28 QBP and 8 sacks with an additional 7 hits on the QB. His run blocking was actually middle of the road but those 13 penalties he was called on did not help. The right side of this line will be anchored by in all likelihood, Joseph Barksdale, a 6-6/325 lb specimen from LSU. And if you notice I don't talk much about a guy's size but I really don't have a lot to go on here. Barksdale was a standout at LSU, but asking him to come in and start at RT might be a bit much. The Raiders also have Khalif Barnes who can play RT until Barksdale is ready. He has managed to start all of 6 games in 2 seasons for the Raiders. He's not great anyway but he has been a total waste of money in Oakland. Inside….inside…inside we have a lot of guys to cover and to be honest it is anyone's guess what the Raiders decide to settle on at the interior. The one thing we know is that Steve Wisniewski a 2nd round pick in 2011 will probably compete and win the starting job at Center in camp. I base that on the lack of anything else and the fact that Oakland was happy to start their 3rd round pick at LT last year. Possible rookie at RT, possible rookie at Center, you loving this yet? How about at OG, surely this is better. Bruce Campbell (4th round 2010), Daniel Loper(reserve), Roy Schuening(fighting for a roster spot), and Samson Satele round out the Oakland Raiders prospects right now. Campbell has got to stay healthy and then make his presence felt at LG. Satele has played C/OG most of his career and as a reserve I would like him a lot but I anticipate him rolling into the RG spot as needed and also to help Wisniewski get his bearings straight at Center. That's a guess folks but be sure some of those lesser names I mentioned will be around through camp. Oakland will be looking at people who are released from other teams as the cuts come towards the end of camp. The OL coach is Bob Wylie who before coaching in Denver as their OL coach last year, he wasn't in the NFL since 2004 when he was the OL coach in AZ and before that Chicago from '99-'03. Sorry but I am really unimpressed with what they have to work with and also the coaching in place.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C- (downgraded from a B) / Sean's 2011 Grade: B-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 26th (downgraded from 8th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B
  • Overall Ranking: 13th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: A
  • Rank: 2nd
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 27th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jason Peters
  • LG Evan Mathis
  • C Jamaal Jackson
  • RG Danny Watkins [R]
  • RT Todd Herremans
  • Key Backups: King Dunlap, Winston Justice, Julian Vandervelde [R], Jason Kelce [R], Ryan Harris, Fenuki Tupou

    AUGUST UPDATE: Jamaal Jackson is playing but battling a sore knee. Ryan Harris is possibly out for the season with injury, and Winston Justice is still battling his knee injury woes. This just in, the Eagles offensive line is resembling a 'Mash' unit more than a legitimate top unit. You have to feel shaky about this situation heading into the season with a rookie right guard, a pedestrian left guard and a right tackle who has been moved from left guard. Scary situation right now.

    Chris's Take: Last year was tough on this unit has they lost solid center Jamal Jackson in the season opener and then right tackle Winston Justice late in the season. Jackson is back ready to go while Justice is still on the PUP list but expected to be ready. Those two join with fellow veterans eight year veteran, Jason Peters who is a Pro Bowl level talent and the underrated veteran guard, Todd Herremans to give the Eagles a great, veteran nucleus. Jason Peters is a much better pass protector than run mauler but within the scheme the Eagles utilize, he will do another great job. The exciting addition in 2011 is rookie Danny Watkins from Baylor. He is an unusual rookie at 27 years old this year but he is athletic, tenacious and an immediate upgrade for the team. Will everyone healthy and young, rookie talent brought in, this unit is ready to leap back into the top ten at the position. The team really likes rookie center Jason Kelce who has had lots of looks in training camp.

    Sean's Take: Jason Peters was a big free agent two years ago and in my opinion he was productive last year. He only allowed 2 sacks from his spot and considering all the extra time Vick buys in the pocket and waiting till the last second at times to release the ball, that's a great number for Peters. He is not a terrific run blocking but in this system he is paid for pass protection skills. I watched a lot of games last year and Peters impressed me most of the time. Winston Justice is the RT and he is solid overall. He allowed 6 sacks last year and is probably middle of the pack in run blocking but again the Eagles don't run the ball nearly as much as they like to throw and use the short passing game like a run at times. Inside the Eagles are going to be shuffling around some guys. Todd Herremans will start at LG and he also is what I would call average. He is below average at pass blocking and allowed 24 QBPs and also called on 7 penalties. At RG, Philly drafted Danny Watkins from Baylor in the 1st round this year. And hopefully the glue holding all this together is the return of Jamaal Jackson who tore his triceps last year and was shelved for most of the season. Jackson is a top10 at Center when he is healthy. The Eagles don't run a lot but these guys are capable of catching defenses off guard because of Vick's presence. Reserves Evan Mathis and Ryan Harris have seen action filling in. Howard Mudd former OL coach in Indy for 12 years will take over in Philly. If anyone knows how to construct an OL that pass protects over run blocks, it's Howard Mudd. Again I want to reiterate that what Philly needs in their offensive line is what has been built and what will help Vick in going out and showing 2010 was no fluke.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C (downgraded from a B) / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 14th (downgraded from 11th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C
  • Overall Ranking: 21st
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 11th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 29th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Jonathan Scott
  • LG Chris Kemoeatu
  • C Maurkice Pouncey
  • RG Ramon Foster
  • RT Willie Colon
  • Key Backups: Marcus Gilbert [R], Doug Legursky, Trai Essex, Tony Hills

    AUGUST UPDATE: Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ankle injury in the August 27th preseason game but is expected to be ready for week one. Willie Colon has been moved to the right side and Jonathan Scott is starting at left tackle. Chris Kemoeatu is off of the PUP list but still has not played in a game and is questionable for week one. Tonny Hills may get the nod at left guard if Kemoeatu is unable to go week one. Ramon Foster may start at right guard but has been banged up and either Doug Legursky or Tony Hills may step into the job. All in all, the uncertainty here is a little troubling and I must knocked them down the ladder a few notches.

    Chris's Take: The Steelers offensive line did well considering all of the injuries last year. That was thanks to sensational rookie center Maurkice Pouncey who kept the group performing throughout the year. He is clearly the leader of this unit. The Steelers parted ways with both giant tackles, Max Starks and Flozell Adams, paving the way possibly for rookie 2nd round pick Marcus Gilbert to start at right or left tackle. He will compete with Jonathan Scott, who started in nine games for the Steelers last year and played decently, for the starting nod. At one of the two tackle positions will be Willie Colon. He is capable of sliding either to the left or right depending on what happens during camp. Ramon Foster started in eight games but the coaching staff love the tenacity of Doug Legursky and there will be a competition for the starting nod. Left guard Chris Kemoeatu is a good starting guard but he still is not 100% healthy He is a better run blocker than a pass protector. Willie Colon is back from injury and fresh off of a new $29 million dollar / five-year contract. He will help the Steelers greatly this season. All in all, despite some changes, the Steelers offensive line should play very well in 2011.

    Sean's Take: The Steelers are going to likely roll with Jonathon Scott at LT. He only allowed 4 sacks on 24 QBP from the spot last year. 11 penalties and this guy also is not a particularly good run blocker. Pittsburgh is not asking him to run block as much as thy want to protect Big Ben. He is far from elite but certainly serviceable in the passing game. It looks as if Willie Colon will play RT for the Steelers who inked him to a 5yr/$29m contract. Colon provides strong pass protection for Ben to work off of and fire down the right side of the field. The Guards are not great. On one side you have LG Chris Kemoeatu who allowed 19 QBP and 5 sacks from the LG spot and also racked 10 penalties along the way. He also is not a good run blocking LG in comparison to the rest of the league. RG will most likely be filled by Ramon Foster who is pretty pedestrian and also allows too many sacks for my liking inside. The final piece inside is Maurkice Pouncey who has a brother that was drafted by Miami in the 1st round this year. Pouncey is going to get better and better and I like what I see so far, not interested in what he graded out as a rookie with so much riding on his shoulders most of the season. He didn't even have his starting QB until week 5 last year. Sean Kugler shifted from Buffalo to Pittsburgh as the OL coach last year. He needs to show he has what it takes to lead an elite group. This is not an elite group but he did make what was there last year better.

    San Diego Chargers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: A (upgraded from a B+) / Sean's 2011 Grade: B-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 3rd

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B+
  • Overall Ranking: 4th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 10th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 8th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Marcus O'Neill
  • LG Kris Dielman
  • C Nick Hardwick
  • RG Louis Vasquez
  • RT Jeromey Clary
  • Key Backups: Stephen Schilling [R], Brandyn Dombrowski, Tyronne Green, Scott Mruczkowski

    AUGUST UPDATE: Marcus O'Neill has been unable to play this preseason with his knee issues. However the team expects him to play in the final preseason game and into the regular season.

    Chris's Take: The Chargers managed to sign veteran right tackle Jeremey Clary to a four-year deal this off-season which will keep the starting five intact. All of the starters are experienced, talented players that bring a tenacity to the rushing attack. The pass protection ability isn't quite as strong but the talents of Philip Rivers help to mask that area. Louis Vasquez joined the starting group last year and the 3rd-year pro did a great job in run blocking. He is a tenacious blocker who likes to put a lick on the defensive player. Marcus O'Neill and Jeromey Clary are as good of a tackle tandem as you will find in the NFL and are capable of doing a fantastic job in the running game. That is a skill that many good offensive tackles are not blessed with, In addition, both Nick Hardwick and Kris Dielman are top-tier offensive linemen capable of opening holes for the running game as well Put it all together and this should be a top-five unit in 2011.

    Sean's Take: Marcus McNeil is top5 at his position in terms of run blocking. In pass protection he is a beast as well with only 1 sack last year and 22 QBP in over 700 snaps on the season. McNeil is one of the best in the NFL. Jeromey Clary will likely return at RT. He is not nearly as impressive as McNeil and all in all is about average and even below average when talking about pass protection. He gave up 8 sacks on 38 QBP last year. Inside the line is pretty strong with Kris Dielman a top run blocking LG but he has some challenges in pass protection. 21 QBP from the LG spot is not what you want but he is one of the better run blockers at his position. The RG spot is filled by Brandyn Dombrowski and he is nothing special at the position. Dombrowski filled in at the Tackle spots when McNeil went down last year. I didn't see anything that made me think they needed to get him starting reps at RG. This spot could be fluid throughout the season. Reserves like Louis Vasquez will see action and can be called upon if needed. The Center spot will be filled by nick Hardwick. He is strong in pass protection but his run blocking might not be as good as Scott Mruczkowski. The OL coach here is Hal Hunter returning for his 6th year at San Diego. It's a good group with some flaws in it.

    San Francisco 49ers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C / Sean's 2011 Grade: C+
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 18th (upgraded from 20th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 27th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 24th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 23rd
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Joe Staley
  • LG Mike Iupati
  • C Jonathan Goodwin
  • RG Chilo Rachal
  • RT Anthony Davis
  • Key Backups: Tony Wragge, Barry Sims, Alex Boone, Adam Snyder

    AUGUST UPDATE: The 49ers offensive line looks ready as we head into the season. Sean's grade of a C+ is certainly doable for this group.

    Chris's Take: Last season, the 49ers started two rookies along the offensive line and that should pay dividends this season with one full year under their belt. Mike Iupati had a wonderful season as the starting left guard and his tenacity, size and quickness was impressive. He is on the way to being a top ten player at the position. Anthony Davis has all the tools to be a dominating right tackle and should be more consistent this season. He had some good moments as a rookie. The team lost their starting center but found an able replacement through free agency in Jonathan Goodwin from the Saints. He will stabilize the interior of this group. Joe Staley is a good offensive tackle but he has struggled to stay healthy, missing a number of starts once again last year. He must stay healthy for this group to elevate. This group has a chance to rise in the rankings in 2011.

    Sean's Take: Joe Staley had an off year in 2010 that also ended early for him. Staley in years past has graded out pretty consistently and usually in the top 10-12 LTs around the NFL. On the other side Anthony Davis will start year two and while he struggles early in the year he definitely showed the kind of improvement the 2nd half of the season that would give fans some optimism heading forward. Inside there is a lot of good things to talk about. I was a big fan of Iupati last year and he showed what many thought and that is he is a much better run blocker than pass blocker however the run blocking is every bit as good as was billed coming out of college. Chilo Rachal a former 2nd round pick back in 2008 from USC also stepped up his game big time. Unfortunately the Niners had to watch center David Baas leave. Baas is good but not elite. They signed Jonathon Goodwin from New Orleans and before you jump up and say that's great, understand that Goodwin took a major decline from 2009 to 2010 and he is now a 10 year vet so his best days may be over. Adam Snyder probably is the most seasoned lineman the Niners have for depth. He can move around the OL as needed. Mike Solari has a very decorated history in the NFL as a OL coach. He was the OL coach in Kansas City from '97-'07 when they were running all over the NFL. As is I rate the Niners in the C+ category with enough upside to land in the "B" grade easily if they live up to billing. I base it on Staley staying healthy, Davis improving, and continued strong play in the running game from both Iupati and Rachal. The Niners have not made a lot of moves in free agency but don't overlook the potential of this OL and another year under their belts playing together. Sure the numbers last year don't show a lot to be excited about but you have to dig a little further than just raw numbers from last year and look at the potential for 2011.

    Seattle Seahawks

    Chris' 2011 Grade: D / Sean's 2011 Grade: D+
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 31st

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C
  • Overall Ranking: 23rd
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 20th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 21st
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Russell Okung
  • LG Robert Gallery
  • C Max Unger
  • RG John Moffitt [R]
  • RT James Carpenter [R]
  • Key Backups: Mike Gibson, Tyler Polumbus, Sean Locklear

    AUGUST UPDATE: Russell Okung injured his ankle in the first preseason game but is expected to be ready by week one. Without him, this unit is horrific heading into the season. If Okung is healthy and if the rookie starters can find their stride, the Seahawks offensive line will improve as the year wears on. Those are two huge 'ifs' that still must be answered.

    Chris's Take: This is a unit that has the potential to be very good down the road if the young talent develops. At this time however, this situation has the making of a train wreck. Russell Okung is a second year starter who learned on the job last year but he struggled to stay healthy and was inconsistent. Max Unger has good technique and intelligence which makes up for suspect power. Robert Gallery was brought in to start at left guard and he'll be a dependable player for them. Finally on the right side of the line it looks like a pair of rookies will get the nod. James Carpenter has good ability and will only be a matter of time before he is a decent starting option. He'll struggle as a rookie possibly though learning the craft as he goes. John Moffitt is another rookie who will likely start but probably would benefit from a season or two as a backup first. There is no continuity here, the rookies are not really ready to be thrown into the fire and this group may struggle badly in 2011. Don't expect too much although potential is there to improve as season goes on.

    Sean's Take: Tackle Russell Okung got off to a shaky start for Seattle last year and also had injuries during camp that almost put an end to his rookie year. Okung got a lot of heat and many critics feel he was picked too high out of a deep class last year where there wasn't a need to reach. Yeah well all that is nice in a classroom but the reality is Okung delivered and he did it towards the end of the year and especially against the New Orleans Saints who he owned in the wildcard round last year. He has Tarvaris Jackson's blind side and he also has a QB that can buy a little time so I anticipate Okung having a pretty nice season in 2011. The right side of the line will likely be anchored by rookie James Carpenter out of Alabama. Rookie Tackles tend to struggle but at least Jackson can see it coming from the right side. Certainly this could be a major problem in 2011. Robert Gallery has come over from Oakland. Raiders' fans do not seem to be up in arms with his departure. I think he will fill a hole for Seattle and paired next to Okung this has some potential on the left side of the line. Mike Gibson and 3rd round pick John Moffitt are going to battle it out for the RG spot. At this point it looks like Max Unger who missed most of 2010 after a decent rookie season in 2009 will try and plug the hole at Center. The interior is pretty unsettled and these guys have had no time to build any cohesion. I like the long term outlook much better than what is about to happen in 2011. Stepping in at OL coach for Seattle will be Tom Cable and I think that will make a huge difference for them as well. He is going to have a chip on his shoulder after leaving Oakland. I see this as about a D+/C- right now. The future is looking better but we have possibly 2 rookies along the right side of this OL and a Center that has not played the position in the NFL.

    St. Louis Rams

    Chris' 2011 Grade: C / Sean's 2011 Grade: C-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 18th (upgraded from 19th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 31st
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: F
  • Rank: 32nd
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 22nd
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Rodger Saffold
  • LG Jacob Bell
  • C Jason Brown
  • RG Harvey Dahl
  • RT Jason Smith
  • Key Backups: Denardo Foster, Adam Goldberg, Ryan McKee, Hank Fraley, Quinn Ojinnaka

    AUGUST UPDATE: Veteran left guard Jacob Bell has been battling injury woes but should be ready to start the season. Jason Smith at right tackle has also been nicked up but will be ready to go.

    Chris's Take: The Rams offensive line is looking very solid heading into the season. Rodger Saffold exceeded expectations in his rookie season and displayed a nice balance of power, agility and technique. He is a keeper at left tackle for the next decade. Jason Smith is the incumbent at right tackle and entering his 3rd season in the NFL. He was good athleticism and can move fluidly for his size. He has had some good and bad moments since entering the league in 2009 but he should continue to improve and become a fixture on the right side. Harvey Dahl was brought in as a free agent from the Falcons and he is a very good football player. He should immediately slot in at one of the two guard spots. The other guard will likely go to veteran Jacob Bell who was serviceable last season but much better in pass protection than in run blocking. Anchoring this group is seven-year veteran Jason Brown who is a very capable center. He struggled some last year after a good 2009 campaign. He needs to get back to being a tenacious, intelligent player who made a big difference in the rushing game. Put all the parts together and the Rams should be pretty solid along the offensive line. If Harvey Dahl fits in and Jason Smith continues to improve, a top-ten finish is not out of the question.

    Sean's Take: Looking at the Tackles, the Rams drafted Rodger Saffold last year and early on like a lot of rookies he struggled. What I like about Saffold though was he graded out higher as the season wore on. Is Saffold a top10 Left Tackle at the moment? The answer is no but there is optimism that he can continue to improve and that of course will lead to great things for Sam Bradford and the Rams offense. On the other side however you find Jason Smith and he is having a lot of trouble finding his way in the NFL. The highly drafted player from Baylor just doesn't seem to have the footwork to make it at this level. If he were a poor pass protector which he is but perhaps was decent at run blocking then you could hang your hat on that, but unfortunately that simply is not the case. And it makes it tough for the Rams as they have a lot of money tied up in this guy right now. Inside the Rams have 2 pretty good OGs in Jacob Bell and Harvey Dahl. Bell was signed to a big contract back in 2008 and Dahl comes over from Atlanta. Dahl plays with an attitude and I believe he will strengthen the Rams inside which can only mean better things for Steven Jackson who has had poor interior line play the past few years. Part of that problem though is Jason Brown inside at Center. He is a very poor run blocker and that is something most Centers need to be good at. Hopefully the combination of Bell and Dahl will help this guy and not hold back the rest of the line. Steve Loney is the OL coach and he returns for his 4th season in St Louis. His results in the NFL are pretty mixed. The Rams are about a C- right now on the grading scale but there is hope with the addition of Dahl. One thing that scares me is the lack of any quality depth.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B / Sean's 2011 Grade: C
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 7th (upgraded from 9th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: B+
  • Overall Ranking: 6th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 12th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: B
  • Rank: 7th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Donald Penn
  • LG Ted Larsen
  • C Jeff Faine
  • RG Davin Joseph
  • RT Jeremy Trueblood
  • Key Backups: James Lee, Jeremy Zuttah, Demar Dotson

    AUGUST UPDATE: It appears that Trueblood has won the nod for starting right guard over James Lee this season. Both are very capable of getting the job.

    Chris's Take: The Buccaneers offensive line put together a really nice season last year. They have a dominating right guard in Davin Joseph who just re-signed for seven years. He continues to improve and made the Pro Bowl. Jeff Faine is a tenacious, intelligent center who is the leader of this group. Ted Larsen stepped in last year in did a wonderful job filling a weakness that had existed for two years when Aaron Sears left the team. At tackle they are blessed with three great tackles in Donald Penn (the definite starter at left tackle) and James Lee / Jeremy Trueblood who will battle for the starting right tackle position. This is a group that could make strides towards being an elite unit in 2011.

    Sean's Take: The Bucs made it a priority to resign their guys along the OL and that typically is viewed as a strong move when you analyze these players but it should be noted that the Bucs resigned guys that were not grading out as top players at their positions. So while I am optimistic that cohesion will elevate them above perhaps their real talent in a shortened off season, you also need to be realistic about what they are lining up with. Donald Penn gets a bad rap but outside of the Pittsburgh and Detroit games he was pretty solid in pass protection most of the year. In the middle of the year he went 7 games in a row without yielding a sack and Josh freeman was doing well last year so he had some time to set up in the pocket. Jeremy Trueblood returns after suffering an injury that cut short his season of a year ago. Trueblood was giving up a lot of QB pressures before he stopped last season. James Lee saw a lot of action filling in for Trueblood and there is a battle for the starting right tackle position.

    Ted Larsen is a young starting LG that was decent for an unheralded rookie. Davin Joseph was also resigned by the Bucs but his play has fallen off the last couple of seasons. We'll see what signing a nice contract does for him as motivation to get things turned around inside. Pat Morris arrives as the OL coach from Minnesota the last 5 years. I'm not a fan of this hire. The Bucs may not have an elite OL but they have some depth that other teams don't have so when they do suffer an injury the drop off isn't as much as you might think. The Buccaneers are a "C" group right now but they are equipped to improve and I would say their ceiling is somewhere in the "B"range .

    Tennessee Titans

    Chris' 2011 Grade: B / Sean's 2011 Grade: C-
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 8th (upgraded from 11th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: C
  • Overall Ranking: 19th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: C
  • Rank: 21st
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: C+
  • Rank: 15th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Michael Roos
  • LG Leroy Harris
  • C Eugene Amano
  • RG Jake Scott
  • RT David Stewart
  • Key Backups: Troy Kropog, Kevin Matthews, Mike Otto, Fernando Velasco

    AUGUST UPDATE: David Stewart had a sore hamstring but should be healthy heading into the season. The starting five appear set.

    Chris's Take: The strength of the Titans offensive line is the pair of underrated, veteran tackles. Both Michael Roos and David Stewart and equally adept in pass blocking and run blocking and our both in their prime. They should have another good season in 2011. The interior of this unit, Leroy Harris and Jake Scott at the starting guard slots and former guard Eugene Amano at the center position is an interesting area to analyze. The two guards are OK but do not have the ability of a top lineman. They are serviceable and get the job done but rarely excite you with big blocks on the field. Amano learned on the job last year and improved as the season went on. He should be better in 2011 but is not a top center in the AFC. Best case scenario for him would be a middle of the pack performance. Although not flashy or top-tier football players, this trio gets the job done and should be more consistent in 2011. The Titans starting five has tons of experience, plenty of talent and should have another solid season.

    Sean's Take: This group is going to be hard to define. When Michael Roos and David Stewart came off their rookie contracts they were each rewarded with very healthy salaries. Roos got $43m back in 2008 and Stewart received $39m about the same time. They were supposed to be one of the best tandems in the NFL at OT. Well a few years alter and we see that these two are solid but right now they are not playing like top tier OT in the NFL. Stewart allows less sacks but he is playing RT, and he also gets called for twice as many penalties as Roos. Neither of them is rating high in run blocking and neither of them is adding much in the screen game which is terrible because you have a true weapon in Chris Johnson, you just got him get in space. Inside you find Leroy Harris who re-signed with the team for 2 years. He is not a god run blocker and also was called on 6 penalties last year. Penalties to me show a majority of the time if a player is smart or not. Jake Scott will return at RG and last year he was called for 11 penalties!!! He is also a poor run blocker so the inside running lanes for Chris Johnson were not there last year. If you owned Chris Johnson despite him being top-10 last year he was frustrating for most owners. And the cherry on top last year for this group was Eugene Amano at Center which was a disaster coming over from OG. What is going to be better this year? Mike Munchak will oversee most of the OL from his HC position. This simply is not a great group and I see them better at pass protection than run blocking at this time.

    Washington Redskins

    Chris' 2011 Grade: D / Sean's 2011 Grade: D
    Chris' 2011 Rank: 30th (downgraded rom 29th)

    2010 Adjusted Final OL Stats

  • Overall Grade: D
  • Overall Ranking: 29th
  • Run Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 27th
  • Pass Blocking
  • Grade: D
  • Rank: 25th
  • 2011 Projected Starters

  • LT Trent Williams
  • LG Kory Lichtensteiger
  • C Will Montgomery
  • RG Chris Chester
  • RT Jammal Brown
  • Key Backups: Erik Cook, Artis Hicks, Sean Locklear, Donovan Raiola

    AUGUST UPDATE: It appears heading into the season that Montgomery may be the center and Chester the guard. Both are starting though.

    Chris's Take: The Redskins offensive line features two big, athletic tackles in 2nd year Trent Williams and 7th year Jammal Brown. Both have the ability to be very good players for the Redskins but Williams must show more consistency while Jammal Brown has never really been the same player as he was prior to missing the entire 2009 campaign due to injury. If he can re-discover his past form the Redskins offensive line will improve. The Redskins brought Chris Chester in from the Ravens and he is being slotted into the center position. He has some experience there and may be an upgrade from Casey Rabach who was sent packing. The two guard positions appear to be going to Will Montgomery and Kory Lichtensteiger. Both are average offensive linemen who are serviceable at best. Neither do a great job in either the rushing attack or in pass protection. The team also signed OT Sean Locklear for depth and he has some experience at the guard position. He may push for playing time with a great camp. There is potential here thanks to Williams and newcomer Chester but after the terrible 2010 season up front for the Redskins it is difficult to get too excited.

    Sean's Take: Let's start at the OT spots. Trent Williams has a lot to learn in the NFL. 11 QB hits and another 11 sacks is not going to garner him too many Pro Bowl votes anytime soon. Is it all his fault? The offensive line coach here is Chris Foerster. I don't rip the OL coach often but I went back to see what this guy has done and he has a very lengthy past. From 1996-2001 he was the OL coach in TB, OC in Miami 2004(Yikes), OL coach in BAL 2005-2007, then same in SF 2008-2009, and now in Washington for his 2nd season. I think it is safe to say that his best days as a coach are behind him. Now we see into some of the things Mike Shanahan is doing and Foerster might be a veteran coach but he hasn't done much as of late to make me think he can coach up a young group of guys. Jamaal Brown will try and play the RT spot. He had a promising career at one point but now is just a rental for teams trying to turnover their OFfensive line That's a shame as this guy was a 2 time Pro Bowler and also an All Pro in 2006, and hasn't turned 30 yet. So we know Washington could be in big trouble trying to set up their passing game but what about some good old straight ahead smash mouth football? Unfortunately they line up Kory Lichtensteiger who is middle of the road in terms of run blocking but he is a liability in pass protection to boot. 23 QBP and 7 sacks from your LG spot is too much. Will Montgomery might start the season at RG but I expect him to be shuffled in an out of the lineup. There isn't a whole lot of depth here either. Chris Chester will make the switch from OG to Center as he comes over from Baltimore. There really is nothing to get excited about in Washington with this offensive line right now and the only OL that ranks worse is Chicago at the moment.

    2010 Adjusted Offensive Line Rankings At a Glance - Sorted By Rank

    Team
    AdjRunRk
    AdjRunGrd
    AdjPassRk
    AdjPassGrd
    AdjScore
    AdjOvRk
    OverallGrd
    Houston
    1
    A
    5
    B+
    6
    1
    A
    New England
    4
    A
    2
    A
    6
    1
    A
    NY Giants
    6
    A
    1
    A
    7
    3
    A
    San Diego
    10
    B
    8
    B
    18
    4
    B+
    Indianapolis
    15
    B
    3
    A
    18
    4
    B+
    Tampa Bay
    12
    B
    7
    B
    19
    6
    B+
    Dallas
    13
    B
    6
    B+
    19
    6
    B+
    Jacksonville
    5
    A
    18
    C
    23
    8
    B
    New Orleans
    19
    C
    4
    A
    23
    8
    B
    NY Jets
    7
    B+
    17
    C
    24
    10
    B
    Atlanta
    14
    B
    11
    B
    25
    11
    B
    Kansas City
    8
    B+
    20
    C
    28
    12
    B
    Philadelphia
    2
    A
    27
    D
    29
    13
    B
    Oakland
    3
    A
    26
    D
    29
    13
    B
    Denver
    16
    C
    14
    C+
    30
    15
    C+
    Cleveland
    17
    C
    13
    C+
    30
    15
    C+
    Detroit
    18
    C
    12
    B
    30
    15
    C+
    Green Bay
    25
    D
    10
    B
    35
    18
    C
    Tennessee
    21
    C
    15
    C+
    36
    19
    C
    Minnesota
    9
    B+
    28
    D
    37
    20
    C
    Pittsburgh
    11
    B
    29
    D
    40
    21
    C
    Cincinnati
    31
    D
    9
    B
    40
    21
    C
    Seattle
    20
    C
    21
    C
    41
    23
    C
    Baltimore
    23
    D
    19
    C
    42
    24
    D
    Chicago
    28
    D
    17
    C
    45
    25
    D
    Miami
    29
    D
    16
    C+
    45
    25
    D
    San Francisco
    24
    D
    23
    C
    47
    27
    D
    Buffalo
    26
    D
    24
    D
    50
    28
    D
    Arizona
    22
    C
    30
    D
    52
    29
    D
    Washington
    27
    D
    25
    D
    52
    29
    D
    St. Louis
    32
    F
    22
    C
    54
    31
    D
    Carolina
    30
    D
    32
    D
    62
    32
    F

    2010 Adjusted Offensive Line Rankings At a Glance - Sorted By Team

    Team
    AdjRunRk
    AdjRunGrd
    AdjPassRk
    AdjPassGrd
    AdjScore
    AdjOvRk
    OverallGrd
    Arizona
    22
    C 
    30
    D
    52
    29
    D
    Atlanta
    14
    B
    11
    B
    25
    11
    B
    Baltimore
    23
    D
    19
    C
    42
    24
    D
    Buffalo
    26
    D
    24
    D
    50
    28
    D
    Carolina
    30
    D
    32
    D
    62
    32
    F
    Chicago
    28
    D
    17
    C
    45
    25
    D
    Cincinnati
    31
    D
    9
    B
    40
    21
    C
    Cleveland
    17
    C
    13
    C+
    30
    15
    C+
    Dallas
    13
    B
    6
    B+
    19
    6
    B+
    Denver
    16
    C
    14
    C+
    30
    15
    C+
    Detroit
    18
    C
    12
    B
    30
    15
    C+
    Green Bay
    25
    D
    10
    B
    35
    18
    C
    Houston
    1
    A
    5
    B+
    6
    1
    A
    Indianapolis
    15
    B
    3
    A
    18
    4
    B+
    Jacksonville
    5
    A
    18
    C
    23
    8
    B
    Kansas City
    8
    B+
    20
    C
    28
    12
    B
    Miami
    29
    D
    16
    C+
    45
    25
    D
    Minnesota
    9
    B+
    28
    D
    37
    20
    C
    New England
    4
    A
    2
    A
    6
    1
    A
    New Orleans
    19
    C
    4
    A
    23
    8
    B
    NY Giants
    6
    A
    1
    A
    7
    3
    A
    NY Jets
    7
    B+
    17
    C
    24
    10
    B
    Oakland
    3
    A
    26
    D
    29
    13
    B
    Philadelphia
    2
    A
    27
    D
    29
    13
    B
    Pittsburgh
    11
    B
    29
    D
    40
    21
    C
    San Diego
    10
    B
    8
    B
    18
    4
    B+
    San Francisco
    24
    D
    23
    C
    47
    27
    D
    Seattle
    20
    C
    21
    C
    41
    23
    C
    St. Louis
    32
    F
    22
    C
    54
    31
    D
    Tampa Bay
    12
    B
    7
    B
    19
    6
    B+
    Tennessee
    21
    C
    15
    C+
    36
    19
    C
    Washington
    27
    D
    25
    D
    52
    29
    D
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