Offensive Line Rankings and Notes: Week 1

Offensive line related news, injuries and updates, prior to week one of the regular season.

Preseason is over, cuts are in the rear-view mirror and it's time for real football. With almost all starters resting preseason week four, it has been a mostly quiet week for offensive line news. This must be the calm before the storm.

It's Week One, and the big men are ready for the season, let's get after it!

UPGRADES

Carolina up 23 spots

A few weeks ago, All-Pro Darryl Williams suffered a dislocated knee and his entire season was in doubt. Not too long after, left guard Amini Silatolu had his knee scoped to repair a torn meniscus. Neither player was expected to contribute to the team early in the season (or in Williams' case, possibly at all) but something miraculous occurred this week when both players were seen practicing in full pads. Assuming Williams can start at right tackle, and Silatolu can start at left guard, this Panthers' line blasts up the rankings from the low-tier all the way to the high-tier. If Williams can't go, the likely starter would be Corey Robinson, acquired from Detroit in a cut-down-day trade, and if Silatolu can't go, Greg Van Roten would start at guard. Van Roten is a decent replacement, but if Robinson is in the lineup would be a huge drop-off from Williams, not just in talent but in cohesion, having never played a snap with his teammates before. This is the hard part of ranking the offensive lines on a weekly basis: trying to determine who will play hurt. Williams is listed as questionable, but considering it's Week 1 and Williams' contract negotiations were halted by the injury, assume he will be starting Sunday. With him in the lineup, this power running offensive line again looks like one of the league's better units.

DOWNGRADE

Minnesota down six spots

Center Pat Elfein has missed the entire preseason rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder. The team activated him from the PUP list prior to cut-down-day, but he is not expected to start Week 1 against San Francisco. In his place, the team will start Danny Isidora, who got his first start at center at any level during Week 4 of the preseason. His second start will happen this week. He is an interesting guard prospect but shockingly raw to be starting Week 1 at center. The team also traded for veteran Brett Jones from the New York Giants. Jones is a slightly undersized but technically sound player. Jones is still learning the playbook but could join the lineup quickly if Isidora falters. The Vikings' offensive line has had a tough preseason, but the model had always assumed the team would get Elfein back for opening day. With their young promising center out of the lineup, the Vikings fall to the low-tier of the rankings.

OTHER NEWS

IND - LT Anthony Castonzo is questionable - Castonzo has missed all preseason with a hamstring injury and is officially listed as questionable for Week 1 against the Bengals. These rankings assume he plays.

IND - RT Denzelle Good is doubtful - Good has been called week-to-week with a knee sprain. J'Marcus Webb will likely start at right tackle in his place.

NE - LT Trent Brown did not practice - Brown was not seen at Patriots' practice this week but the team has said Brown has an excused absence and will play Week One when the team hosts the Texans.

NYJ - LT Kelvin Beachum is questionable - Beachum has been out several weeks with a foot injury but has returned to practice. Beachum has a history of foot ailments but these rankings assume he's ready for Monday Night Football at Detroit.

TB - LT Donovan Smith is doubtful - Smith has missed the last month with a knee sprain, but sources report Smith is optimistic he will play Week One against the Saints. Even though he is officially doubtful, these rankings assume he plays.

FULL RANKINGS

Rank
Team
Old
Diff
Score
Overall Grade
Run Grade
Pass Grade
Cohesion
Notes
1
Philadelphia
1
0
34.7
A+
A+
A+
5.0
2
Pittsburgh
2
0
31.7
A
A
A
5.0
3
Atlanta
3
0
31.6
A
A
A
4.5
4
Green Bay
4
0
31.5
A
A
A
5.0
5
Carolina
28
23
31.3
A
A+
A-
4.0
Assuming RT Darryl Williams and LG Amini Silatolu play Week 1.
6
LA Rams
5
-1
31.3
A
A+
A-
4.0
RG Jamon Brown suspended 2 weeks (Austin Blythe).
7
Washington
6
-1
31.1
A-
A-
A
5.0
8
Kansas City
7
-1
31.0
A-
A
B+
5.0
9
Jacksonville
8
-1
30.9
A-
A
B+
4.5
10
New Orleans
9
-1
30.8
A-
B+
A
5.0
11
Baltimore
10
-1
30.7
B+
A-
B
5.0
12
Dallas
11
-1
30.3
B+
A-
B
4.0
13
Oakland
12
-1
29.7
B
A-
C+
3.5
14
Tennessee
13
-1
29.6
B
B+
B-
4.5
RT Jack Conklin out for opener (Dennis Kelly).
15
LA Chargers
14
-1
29.5
B
B+
B-
4.0
16
San Francisco
15
-1
29.5
B
B+
B-
4.0
17
Chicago
16
-1
29.3
B-
B
C+
5.0
18
Detroit
17
-1
29.3
B-
B
C+
4.0
19
Denver
18
-1
29.3
B-
B-
B-
4.5
20
Cleveland
22
2
29.3
B-
B
C+
4.0
RG Kevin Zeitler returns to the lineup (cohesion boost).
21
Seattle
19
-2
28.8
C+
B-
C
4.0
22
NY Jets
20
-2
28.4
C+
C+
C+
4.0
23
New England
21
-2
28.4
C+
C
B-
4.5
24
Miami
24
0
28.0
C
C+
C-
4.0
25
Tampa Bay
25
0
28.0
C
C+
C-
3.5
26
Indianapolis
26
0
27.8
C-
C+
D+
3.0
27
Cincinnati
27
0
27.8
C-
C+
D+
3.5
28
NY Giants
29
1
27.5
C-
C-
C-
4.0
29
Minnesota
23
-6
27.3
D+
C-
D
3.5
C Pat Elfein activated from PUP but out Week 1. (Danny Isidora and Brett Jones).
30
Arizona
30
0
27.3
D+
D+
D-
4.0
31
Houston
31
0
27.2
D+
C-
D
3.5
32
Buffalo
32
0
26.9
D
C-
D-
4.5

If you have a question about a player, team or matchup not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact the author via Twitter.

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