O-Line Shifts: #8-#1


8. Pittsburgh Steelers (15th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 3rd, Run Blocking Ranking: 11th, Penalties Ranking: 17th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Kelvin Beachum (+21.7)
  • LG Ramon Foster (-0.9)
  • C Maurkice Pouncey (+9.8)
  • RG David DeCastro (+5.2)
  • RT Marcus Gilbert (+6.8)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Kelvin Beachum (+21.7)
  • LG Ramon Foster (-0.9)
  • C Cody Wallace (N/A)
  • RG David DeCastro (+5.2)
  • RT Marcus Gilbert (+6.8)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • In the second preseason game, First-team All-Pro C Maurkice Pouncey broke his ankle and is expected to miss the first 10 games. He is the crux of the offensive line and his absence will hurt the entire offense. Replacements are difficult to find at such a difficult position. The current replacement, Cody Wallace, has started 6 games in 6 seasons. 

2015 Outlook: -1

It looked like this would be one of the few offensive lines to retain the exact same cast from the previous year. However, a year after remaining spectacularly healthy, the injury bug bites this line once again. Pouncey's absence could have significant effect on the performance of the rest of the line. 

 

7. Cincinnati Bengals (2nd)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 6th, Run Blocking Ranking: 6th, Penalties Ranking: 6th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Andrew Whitworth (+36.8)
  • LG Clint Boling (+5.0)
  • C Russell Bodine (-13.8)
  • RG Kevin Zeitler (+17.2)
  • RT Andre Smith Jr. (-5.4) - injured in week 9
  • RT Marshall Newhouse (-11.6) - replaced Smith Jr. in week 9

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Andrew Whitworth (+36.8)
  • LG Clint Boling (+5.0)
  • C Russell Bodine (-13.8)
  • RG Kevin Zeitler (+17.2)
  • RT Andre Smith Jr. (-5.4)

Key Losses:

  • OT Marshall Newhouse (-11.6)

Key Additions:

  • OT Cedric Ogbuehi (Round 1, Pick 21)

  • OT Jake Fisher (Round 2, Pick 21)

Notes:

  • Not that the line is lacking in depth, but the Bengals also have RT Eric Winston (+0.7) who filled in quite well when RT Andre Smith Jr. got hurt and RT Marshall Newhouse just wasn’t cutting it.

2015 Outlook: +1

Curiously, the Bengals decided to further reinforce their already potent offensive line in the draft, spending their top two picks on tackles Ogbuehi and Fisher. While some wonder if this is best for the team as a whole, at least the line has some extra depth this season and is almost certain to be strong in years to come.

 

6. Cleveland Browns (12th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 2nd, Run Blocking Ranking: 7th, Penalties Ranking: 16th

2014 Offensive Line

Greco, Mack, and Bitonio form a tremendous interior while 5-time 1st team All-Pro Joe Thomas holds down the left. 

Greco, Mack, and Bitonio form a tremendous interior while 5-time 1st team All-Pro Joe Thomas holds down the left. 

  • LT Joe Thomas (+33.5)
  • LG Joel Bitonio (+22.4)
  • C Alex Mack (+6.9) - broken leg in week 6
  • C Nick McDonald (-28.3)
  • RG John Greco (+15.6)
  • RT Mitchell Schwartz (+0.5)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Joe Thomas (+33.5)
  • LG Joel Bitonio (+22.4)
  • C Alex Mack (+6.9) - broken leg in week 6
  • RG John Greco (+15.6)
  • RT Mitchell Schwartz (+0.5)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • C Cameron Erving (Round 1, Pick 19)

Notes:

  • Reports are that this is likely C Alex Mack’s last year in Cleveland. The Browns have braced themselves for such an event and, as such, have invested a first round pick in C Cameron Erving.

2015 Outlook: +2

Last season, the line play really suffered once Mack went down in week 6. With his return into the lineup, and C Cameron Erving waiting in the wings just in case, the Browns are in the conversation for best offensive line in the league.

 

5. Houston Texans (16th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 12th, Run Blocking Ranking: 3rd, Penalties Ranking: 10th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Duane Brown (+16.1)
  • LG Ben Jones (-0.8)
  • C Chris Myers (+2.3)
  • RG Brandon Brooks (+18.7)
  • RT Derek Newton (+8.9)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Duane Brown (+16.1)
  • LG Xavier Su’a-Filo (-8.5 on 130 snaps)
  • C Ben Jones (-0.8)
  • RG Brandon Brooks (+18.7)
  • RT Derek Newton (+8.9)

Key Losses:

  • C Chris Myers (+2.3)

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • LG Xavier Su’a-Filo was drafted in the 2nd round, 33rd overall in the 2014 NFL draft. His inexperience really showed and he played sparingly.

2015 Outlook: -1

You’d have to be very bullish on LG Xavier Su’a-Filo’s second season not to project a bit of regression from this unit.

 

4. Green Bay Packers (10th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 1st, Run Blocking Ranking: 14th, Penalties Ranking: 8th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT David Bakhtiari (-7.1)
  • LG Josh Sitton (+22.7)
  • C Corey Linsley (+10.0)
  • RG T.J. Lang (+23.1)
  • RT Bryan Bulaga (+11.9)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT David Bakhtiari (-7.1)
  • LG Josh Sitton (+22.7)
  • C Corey Linsley (+10.0)
  • RG T.J. Lang (+23.1)
  • RT Bryan Bulaga (+11.9)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • Solid production out of rookie C Corey Linsley contributed to a tremendous performance out of the interior.

2015 Outlook: +0

One of the most stable franchises in the NFL, the Packers are famous for keeping quiet in free agency while resigning their core players. 

 

3. Baltimore Ravens (23rd)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 7th, Run Blocking Ranking: 4th, Penalties Ranking: 14th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Eugene Monroe (-12.9)
  • LG Kelechi Osemele (+21.6)
  • C Jeremy Zuttah (+1.5)
  • RG Marshal Yanda (+43.4)
  • RT Ricky Wagner (+12.5)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Eugene Monroe (-12.9)
  • LG Kelechi Osemele (+21.6)
  • C Jeremy Zuttah (+1.5)
  • RG Marshal Yanda (+43.4)
  • RT Ricky Wagner (+12.5)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • RG Marshall Yanda was the top graded lineman at any position.
  • OC Gary Kubiak departs for Denver but the Ravens should retain the same zone blocking scheme. Don't fix what ain't broken.

2015 Outlook: +0

The line stays plays well together, stays together. Or is it the other way around? This is line be consistently great.

 

2. Philadelphia Eagles (1st)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 10th, Run Blocking Ranking: 1st, Penalties Ranking: 27th

2014 Offensive Line

The complete Eagles starting O-line was never on the field at the same time in 2014. 

The complete Eagles starting O-line was never on the field at the same time in 2014. 

  • LT Jason Peters (+38.2)
  • LG Evan Mathis (+25.8)
  • LG Matt Tobin (-8.2) - 532 snaps
  • C Jason Kelce (+7.5)
  • RG Todd Herremans (-12.3)
  • RG Andrew Gardner (+1.2) - 431 snaps
  • RT Lane Johnson (+14.3)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Jason Peters (+38.2)
  • LG Allen Barbre (N/A) - just 33 snaps last year
  • C Jason Kelce (+7.5)
  • RG Andrew Gardner (+1.2)
  • RT Lane Johnson (+14.3)

Key Losses:

  • LG Evan Mathis (+25.8)
  • RG Todd Herremans (-12.3)

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • LT Jason Peters was the top graded tackle and LG Evan Mathis was the second highest graded guard. 
  • That this line placed second in PFF’s O-line rankings is both surprising and remarkable considering how each of the starters, except for LT Peters, missed significant time. In fact, the entire starting 5, LT Peters, LG Mathis, C Kelce, RG Herremans, ands RT Johnson were never on the field at the same time in 2014. RT Lane Johnson missed the first 4 games due to PED suspension, LG Evan Mathis suffered a knee injury in week 1 and returned in week 10, C Jason Kelce suffered a hernia injury in week 3 and returned in week 9, and RG Herremans was placed on season-ending IR after an ankle injury in week 9.
  • In such a chaotic situation, linemen David Molk,  Andrew Gardner and Matt Tobin were asked to play all over the line. Molk played 1 game at left guard and 5 at center, Gardner played 3 games at right tackle and 7 at right guard, and Tobin played 5 games at left guard and 2 at right guard. They weren’t great but neither did the line fall apart.
  • Mathis' current replacement, Allen Barbre hasn't had significant playing time since 2009, which is worrying. If he struggles, I expect William Tobin to move in.

2015 Outlook: -2

Normally, losing Mathis and Herremans would be a much bigger deal but last year the line held together even with multiple starters absent. Gardner and Barbre are currently penciled in to start in their place and, if nothing else, Gardner has shown that he can do enough to not be a liability, especially now with a year of playing time under his belt and the benefit of committing to a single position.

 

1. Dallas Cowboys (4th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 4th, Run Blocking Ranking: 2nd, Penalties Ranking: 2nd

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Tyron Smith (+21.1)
  • LG Ronald Leary (+6.5)
  • C Travis Frederick (+18.3)
  • RG Zack Martin (+21.6)
  • RT Doug Free (+8.5)

2015 Projected Offensive Line

  • LT Tyron Smith (+21.1)
  • LG Ronald Leary (+6.5)
  • C Travis Frederick (+18.3)
  • RG Zack Martin (+21.6)
  • RT Doug Free (+8.5)

Key Losses:

  • OT Jermey Parnell (+8.2)

Key Additions:

  • OG La’el Collins (UDFA)

Notes:

  • OG La’el Collins was projected as a first round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft but went undrafted due to an untimely incident regarding the death of a woman that Collins previously had a relationship with. Collins was not considered a suspect. Getting a player of his caliber for basically nothing is just unfair.

2015 Outlook: +0

For most teams, losing a player like OT Jermey Parnell would be quite a setback. The Cowboys wont miss a beat. Not only is the line so stacked that Parnell didn’t even start, the signing of OG La’el Collins makes it so that they won’t even miss Parnell as depth. The Legion of Room will reign supreme once again.