Offensive line rankings
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Football > Preseason > Offensive line rankings

Offensive line rankings

We grade the unsung blockers that open holes and protect - or don't - for our fantasy stars
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The difference between winning and losing in the NFL isn't always decided by quarterbacks, running backs or wide receivers. The game is also played in the trenches and their one-on-one battles are just as important. Protecting your playmakers by keeping them upright is easier said than done and it should come as no surprise that some of the best teams are toward the top of the list.

It isn't recommended you make any firm decisions based solely on these offensive line rankings. It is more of a general football knowledge piece that adds to your broader understanding of the league. You still want to draft Adrian Peterson at No. 1, Darren McFadden continues to be an injury risk and Calvin Johnson is really good no matter what you read below.

The rankings below were compiled by examining the current depth chart of each team. The grades were affected by sacks allowed, rushes of 20-plus yards, yards per carry (left, middle, right), conversion rates on third and short & fourth and short, goal-line success rates, red zone rushing performance, player additions and subtractions, draft pick investment, free agent investment, miscellaneous training camp tidbits and beat coverage and various advanced statistics from across the web. Remember that this is a subjective analysis and you could add or subtract fractions of points from grades for every group depending upon different points of view.

OFFENSIVE LINE RANKINGS

Rank

Team

Final Grade

Run Blocking

Pass Blocking

Assessment

1

New England

9.50

9.50

9.50

An excellent mix of veteran and young at starting positions. Could afford to add depth at RT and on the interior.

2

San Francisco

9.25

10.00

8.50

Three first round picks (one in '07 and two in '10) laid the foundation for the best run-blocking unit in the league.

3

New York Giants

9.00

8.75

9.25

Highly underrated group. First-round pick Justin Pugh will be groomed at RT. Does everything well.

4

Houston

9.00

9.25

8.75

Not as elite as they once were, but still excellent. LT Duane Brown anchors the left, right side needs more experience.

5

New Orleans

9.00

8.75

9.25

Excellent interior between Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs. Adequate depth, aided by Drew Brees' quick decisions.

6

Tampa Bay

8.75

8.75

8.75

Could easily make the leap into Top 2 or 3. RT only weak link. Probably best guard duo in NFL with Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph.

7

Tennessee

8.50

8.50

8.50

RG Chance Warmack will be dominant. New emphasis under HC Mike Munchak. Could be slightly overrated, has tons of potential.

8

Philadelphia

8.50

8.50

8.50

Decimated by injuries in '12. Waiting on RG Danny Watkins. RT Lane Johnson will be special. LT Jason Peters was a beast two years ago.

9

Cincinnati

8.50

8.50

8.50

Good depth. Done an excellent job grooming talent in-house. Not given enough credit for new-found success.

10

Baltimore

8.50

8.75

8.25

Depends heavily on development of LG Osemele & OC Gradkowski. Solid unit with no obvious flaws.

11

Minnesota

8.25

8.50

8.00

LT Matt Kalil could make leap in second year. Good, but not great up the middle. Offense doesn't take many chances.

12

Seattle

8.25

8.50

8.00

LT Russell Okung is one of the best. Waiting on OGs Carpenter and Moffitt to blossom. Good young depth.

13

Atlanta

8.25

8.00

8.50

Rotating in a couple new players. Will need C Peter Konz to hit the ground running in his second-year.

14

Buffalo

8.00

8.00

8.00

Good on the left, still looking for appropriate pieces on the right. LT Cordy Glenn could move inside.

15

Kansas City

8.00

8.00

8.00

Very young unit with a ton of potential. RT Eric Fisher will be groomed to take over for LT Branden Albert. Paper-thin depth.

16

Denver

7.75

7.00

8.50

LT Ryan Clady still very good. QB Peyton Manning gives them a bump in pass blocking given his ability at the line.

17

Carolina

7.00

7.25

6.75

Not much investment via draft in recent seasons. Pieced together unit anchored by the adequate LT Jordan Gross.

18

Dallas

7.00

7.00

7.00

Rookie C Travis Frederick must provide stability/consistency to interior group. LT Tyron Smith a real gem.

19

Detroit

7.00

6.00

8.00

Underappreciated pass-blocking unit that spreads field well to minimize stacked boxes. LT Riley Reiff looks as good as advertised.

20

New York Jets

7.00

8.00

6.00

Excellent run-blockers who are turnstiles in pass protection. Need both 2013 OL rookies to pan out for the future.

21

Jacksonville

7.00

7.00

7.00

RT Luke Joeckel is a can't-miss prospect. Decent interior run-blockers that need to start staying healthy.

22

Green Bay

6.75

6.50

7.00

Scrappy group that counts on QB Aaron Rodgers to float in and out of the pocket. Underwhelming with run blocking.

23

Washington

6.75

7.25

6.25

LT Trent Williams looks like perennial Pro Bowler, but must stay healthy every week. Good depth, benefitted by zone scheme.

24

Pittsburgh

6.50

6.75

6.25

Lots of youth with LT Adams, C Pouncey, RG DeCastro & RT Gilbert. Must make developmental leap to protect Big Ben.

25

St. Louis

6.25

5.75

6.75

Bump from 2012 by signing LT Jake Long. He is no longer elite, but very good. Rookie OC Barrett Jones very underrated.

26

Cleveland

6.00

5.75

6.25

Young starters will likely benefit from offensive scheme change. Lots of upward potential.

27

Chicago

5.25

5.50

5.00

RG Kyle Long will be around for a long time. Three big FA signings have to find chemistry and cohesion.

28

Indianapolis

5.25

5.00

5.50

Reliant on free agents in recent years. Extremely young offense, anchored by the very average LT Anthony Castonzo.

29

Oakland

5.00

5.25

4.75

Injury to LT Jared Veldheer is a big blow to already sub-par unit. Could be a really bad year in pass protection without him.

30

Miami

4.50

5.00

4.00

Not paying to retain LT Jake Long could be trouble. Right side is solid. Jon Martin could be worst LT in NFL in 2013.

31

Arizona

4.00

3.75

4.25

Worst OL unit in 2012. Not dead-last for drafting LG Jon Cooper and bringing in small FA army in camp to find right guys.

32

San Diego

4.00

4.25

3.75

Worst pass-blocking unit in 2012. Good move to draft RT DJ Fluker. Really need a miracle at left tackle.

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Matt De Lima
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White Plains, MD
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2010
Matt is a football field. He is a published sportswriter who contributes here at FFToolbox.com, 4for4.com and many other sports sites. His concise and straightforward fantasy expertise has been featured here since 2010. Follow him on Twitter (@mattkdelima) to talk sports and engage in some personalized fantasy discussion.
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