Here they are, the full and complete offensive line rankings, just prior to week four of the preseason. Or in other words, the grades that will hopefully remain unchanged before opening day. As usual, there are several injury situations that bear observation. There will be another matchups article with Justis Mosqueda prior to week 1 of the regular season.
But this one is just for the offensive line. Let's get after it.
LT Donald Penn reported and the team looked much better with their starting left tackle in place. Penn's return allowed Marshall Newhouse to move back to right tackle, where he looks more comfortable. Vadal Alexander will return to the bench.
Funny thing about injuries, they don't always result in downgrades. Losing rookie Forest Lamp looked disastrous on the surface. But Kenny Wiggins has cohesion with Barksdale and the rest of these veterans. Rookie offensive linemen always have shaky moments, most people forget it's a man's world in the trenches and these draft picks are still boys most of the time. The line as a whole is more experienced without Lamp and in showed in preseason week three, when the starters had a strong performance against the crosstown rival Rams' defensive front.
The Kyle Long injury situation has officially become too troubling for my taste. The vague statements from coaches and other signs seem to point to the team not having this player available for opening day, and possibly much longer. Please note this is a pure judgment call and only really has relevance to the start of the season. Maybe Long shows up opening day looking fit as a fiddle. At this point I'll believe it only when I see it.
The shuffle of right tackle Rob Havenstein and right guard Jamon Brown has not gone well. The last time we saw Havenstein, he was being dominated by Chargers' defensive end Joey Bosa. Havenstein looks decent in the running game at least. Jamon Brown looks awful in all phases and he should be on the verge of being benched.
Small downgrades and situations to watch
The Washington offensive line just hasn't looked good all preseason. There's nothing wrong with injuries (that we know of) they just haven't been on the same page. Probably everything is fine but a month of consistantly poor play cannot be rewarded.
Right guard John Jerry was blown up by Sheldon Richardson in the preseason win over the New York Jets. Quarterback Eli Manning was hit throwing and the result was a red zone pick. Brett Jones relieved John Jerry and only a late game Jones injury has saved Jerry's starting position. But it wasn't a good look and the coaching staff knows they have a problem festering at the right guard spot.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga seems tough enough to play through an ankle sprain, given this many days off before opening day. Lane Murphy had been getting the starts in Bulaga's place.
There's nothing that the model likes about Seattle's offensive line. I know they are probably too low, in the sense that they are not really the worst line in all of football. But the shuffling brought about by the George Fant injury has not been good for cohesion. Russell Wilson is an elusive and mobile quarterback who will still be productive behind this line. I know Tom Cable will make me eat this ranking. It is what it is. People don't draft Seahawks' skills positions based on the strength of the line.
|3||OAK||22||19||31.03||A+||A||A+||LT D. Penn reported to team.|
|5||WAS||2||-3||30.43||A||B+||A||Weak play all preseason.|
|7||BUF||6||-1||30.35||A+||B+||A||Assuming LT C. Glenn plays.|
|10||NYG||7||-3||29.98||B+||B+||B+||LG Uncertainty (Jerry/Jones)|
|MID TIER||12||AZ||11||-1||29.45||B||B+||B+||Assuming LG M. Iupati plays.|
|16||GB||19||3||29.1||B-||B+||B||Assuming RT B. Bulaga plays.|
|19||LAC||26||7||28.9||C+||B||B-||Veteran right side adds cohesion.|
|LOW TIER||22||CHI||12||-10||28.53||C+||B-||C+||Assuming LG K. Long misses week 1.|
|26||LAR||17||-9||28.4||C+||C+||C+||Right side playing poorly.|
|28||HOU||28||0||28.1||C||C||C||Assuming LT D. Brown out. #12 w/ Brown.|
As usual, if you have a question about a team not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact me via Twitter.