Regular Season NFL Offensive Line Rankings
Overview: Earlier this season, I previewed the 5 best offensive lines in the NFL. While three of the five selections held up pretty nicely, one notable team fell out (Buccaneers). The other (Chargers) was decimated due to injury, but still proved to be extremely solid & also served as confirmation of one of my best draft evals to date (Jamaree Salyer).
Ranking Criteria: As for my rankings, I’m not a huge fan of using “pressure rate” or “hurries” when I narrow these lists down. Mainly due to the fact that they can be skewed based on who is doing the tally. Besides that, blocking is HARD. Winning ugly sometimes is the job. Also, being in a division laden w/ great pass rushers (AFC East or NFC East) for example, can heavily skew numbers & not necessarily paint the full picture. Injuries to a certain key cog can draw attention away from how stout a unit has been overall. Even sacks allowed can be deceiving. If you have an older guy who isn’t as mobile, a mobile guy that extends plays (too long), or a young guy with developing pocket awareness that may hold on to the ball too long, that can lead to misleading and undeserved stats . All these are factors to be considered.
Rankings (In Order):
- Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles OL consisting of Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson (Pro Bowl), Jason Kelce (Pro Bowl), Issac Seumalo, & Lane Johnson (Pro Bowl) led the way for the 3rd total offense in the NFL. Eagles also finished 5th in rushing yards & 9th in passing yards. They are one of the examples of why sack stats can be misleading. While they finished middle of the pack in sacks allowed, Jalen Hurts was hit less than most starters this year. Some of that is due to Hurt’s escapability, but that also plays into the sack numbers. There is no denying their efficiency in the run game as well. The preseason number one group held their spot.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Orlando Brown (Pro Bowl), Joe Thuney (Pro Bowl), Creed Humphrey (Pro Bowl), Trey Smith (Pro Bowl snub), & Andrew Wylie paved the way for the Kansas City Chiefs to have the number one total offense in the NFL. They also finished number one in passing offense. Patrick Mahomes certainly contributes to the fact that they gave up the 3rd least amount of sacks in the NFL, but the OL, especially the interior three, more than staked their claim as an elite group in pass protection. The running game wasn’t leaned upon, but was certainly efficient. 4.7 yards per rush to go along with the aforementioned number one passing offense is unstoppable. This group was as good as any in the league.
- Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow (Pro Bowl), Evan Brown, & Penei Sewell (Pro Bowl snub) anchored the four total offense in football. Finishing 8th in passing offense & 10th in rushing offense offers some insight into how balanced this group was. Finishing this high on a rankings list may be a surprise to some, but they’ve been bubbling for a couple years now. Watching this group put it all together was one of the highlights of the 2022 season. The scary part is, they could surely upgrade at guard and seriously vie for one of the top spots. 2023 projects to be an even better year for Detroit.
- Dallas Cowboys: This group is interesting for a bevy of reasons. Due to injury, they’ve had to reshuffle the line as much as anyone. Despite that fact, they’ve still been an imposing group. Dak Prescott also missed a month of the season with a hand injury. Amidst all the shuffling, they still were counted on to deliver- and they did that and more. Going 4-1 with Cooper Rush at the helm during Dak’s absence & leading the NFL in points per game since’s Dak’s return is no small feat. Unquestionably, this is mainly due to the big guys up front. Additionally, Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott combined for nearly 2k yards rushing & 24 total touchdowns. Tyler Smith, Connor McGovern, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin (Pro Bowl), Tyron Smith, & Jason Peters- take a bow!
- Cleveland Browns: Admittedly, I understand how this could be a controversial pick. This front, akin to the Cowboys, got dealt a raw deal due to injury & quarterback rotation. Despite that, they led the 6th best rushing offense in the game. When you consider the lack of weapons in the skill group and the limitations at the quarterback position, the rushing success is borderline amazing. When Jedrick Wills, Joel Bitonio (Pro Bowl), Ethan Pocic, Wyatt Teller, & Jack Conklin were on the field I believe they were as solid as any group in football. 2023 could look very different for this group. If it is the end of this core group being together, they had an incredible half decade run.
Honorable Mention: Jacksonville Jaguars. San Fransisco 49ers. New York Giants. Minnesota Vikings. Buffalo Bills.
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