O-Line Shifts: #17-24


24. Arizona Cardinals (32nd)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 24th, Run Blocking Ranking: 23rd, Penalties Ranking: 26th

The Cardinals may have one of the most improved O-Lines this season.

The Cardinals may have one of the most improved O-Lines this season.

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Jared Veldheer (+16.5)
  • LG Ted Larson (-17.2)
  • C Lyle Sendlein (-29.1)
  • RG Paul Fanaika (-20.9)
  • RT Bobby Massie (-4.0)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Jared Veldheer (+16.5)
  • LG Mike Iupati (+11.2)
  • C A.Q. Shipley (+5.7)
  • RG Jonathan Cooper (Round 1, Pick 7 in 2013)
  • RT Bobby Massie (-4.0)

Key Losses:

  • OG Paul Fanaika (-20.9)

Key Additions:

  • OG Mike Iupati (+11.2)
  • C A.Q. Shipley (+5.7)

Notes:

  • While on the Colts last year, C A.Q. Shipley was benched after week 4 in favor of C Jonotthan Harrison (-14.4).
  • Ted Larson (-17.2), who played LG for the Cardinals last season, has a chance of jumping Shipley on the depth chart.
  • RG Jonathan Cooper was the 7th overall pick in 2013 but has had trouble staying healthy. He’s played just 189 regular season snaps in 2 years.
  • On August 19th, Mike Iupati suffered a knee injury. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. 

2015 Outlook: +2

Iupati and Shipley are strong upgrades over the men they replaced and if Jonathan Cooper can stay on the field long enough to realize his value as a lofty draft pick, the Cardinals offensive line could improve dramatically. However, the Iupati injury tempers expectations early on. 

 

23. New England Patriots (14th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 31st, Run Blocking Ranking: 8th, Penalties Ranking: 19th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Nate Solder (-4.9)
  • LG Dan Connolly (-22.4)
  • C Bryan Stork (-4.7)
  • RG Ryan Wendell (+2.5)
  • RT Sebastian Vollmer (+15.5)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Nate Solder (-4.9)
  • LG Josh Kline (-0.8)
  • C Bryan Stork (-4.7)
  • RG Ryan Wendell (+2.5)
  • RT Sebastian Vollmer (+15.5)

Key Losses:

  • OG Dan Connolly (-22.4)

Key Additions:

  • OG Tre’ Jackson (Round 4, Pick 12)

Notes:

  • While an astute cost-saving measure, the Logan Mankins trade was, undoubtedly, the cause of regression for this offensive line. New England struggled to find a suitable replacement, rotating between guards Josh Kline (-1.9), Jordan Devey (-19.2), and Dan Connolly (-22.4).
  • LG is a concern although the current starter, Josh Kline, was serviceable alternating between LG and RG in 2014. 
  • LT Nate Solder posted his first negative grade (-3.9) in his career (2011 - 1.8; 2012 - 23.7; 2013 - 23.5).

2015 Outlook: +0

LG is potentially still a problem but the Patriots offensive line should remain around the league average, especially with a bounce-back performance by LT Nate Solder.

 

22. Carolina Panthers (7th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 27th, Run Blocking Ranking: 15th, Penalties Ranking: 3rd

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Byron Bell (-33.4)
  • LG Amini Silatolu (-7.1)
  • LG Andrew Norwell (+8.5) - replaced the injured Silatolu in week 6
  • C Ryan Kalil (+6.6)
  • RG Trai Turner (+4.5)
  • RT Nate Chandler (-16.1)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Michael Oher (-20.2)
  • LG Andrew Norwell (+8.5)
  • C Ryan Kalil (+6.6)
  • RG Trai Turner (+4.5)
  • RT Mike Remmers (+1.9) - replaced injured RT Nate Chandler for the final 5 games

Key Losses:

  • OT Byron Bell (-33.4)
  • OG Fernando Velasco (-2.9 )

Key Additions:

  • OT Michael Oher (-20.2)
  • OT Jonathan Martin (-11.9)

Note:

  • As maligned as OT Michael Oher is, he represents an upgrade over OT Byron Bell.
  • LG Andrew Norwell and RT Mike Remmers both filled in nicely when starters Silatolu and Chandler got injured. They did well enough to wrestle the job for themselves.

2015 Outlook: +1

There aren’t many situations in which Michael Oher would be considered an upgrade but here’s one of them. The Panther’s O-line did get better towards the end of the year, a trend they hope will continue into this season.

 

21. Minnesota Vikings (6th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 25th, Run Blocking Ranking: 17th, Penalties Ranking: 15th

Considered one of the most promising young tackles in the league, Kalil has regressed each year since his rookie season (+14.4).

Considered one of the most promising young tackles in the league, Kalil has regressed each year since his rookie season (+14.4).

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Matt Kalil (-29.1)
  • LG Charlie Johnson (-12.1)
  • C John Sullivan (+5.6)
  • RG Joe Berger (+2.7)
  • RT Phil Loadholt (+0.3)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Matt Kalil (-29.1)
  • LG Brandon Fusco (+15.7 in 2013)
  • C John Sullivan (+5.6)
  • RG Michael Harris (-6.6)
  • RT TJ Clemmings (Round 4, Pick 1)

Key Losses:

  • OG Charlie Johnson (-12.1)
  • OG Vladimir Ducasse (-14.1)

Key Additions:

  • OG TJ Clemmings (Round 4, Pick 11)

Notes:

  • Rookie RG TJ Clemmings was projected to go in the 1st round but injury concerns pushed him down all the way to the 4th. The Vikings took him as a value pick and long-term stash. If he can debunk the concern over the stress fracture in his foot, he may turn out to be one of the steals of the draft. However, expecting him to produce in 2015 is optimistic. 
  • Michael Harris took over at RT starting in week 12 after an injury to RT Phil Loadholt. He may be better suited at right guard. 
  • LG Brian Fusco had a great 2013 but missed 2014 due to a torn pectoral muscle.
  • Matt Kalil has regressed each year since his stellar rookie season (+14.3 in 2012, and -6.0 in 2013). He was reportedly playing hurt last year.
  • RT Phil Loadholt tore his Achilles on August 17th, 2015. Last year was a down year for Loadholt, grading at +0.3. He graded at graded at +13.3 in 2012 and +20.8 in 2013. Loadholt was arguably their best lineman and without him the right side of the line could really struggle. 

2015 Outlook: +0

I was quite optimistic about this line before the Loadholt injury. As it is now, the Vikings are going to need a bounce back performance by Matt Kalil to make up for the weakened right side. 

 

20. New York Giants (28th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 13th, Run Blocking Ranking: 30th, Penalties Ranking: 19th

2014 Offensive Line

An unfortunate injury to LT Will Beatty complicates things on the Giants' O-Line.

An unfortunate injury to LT Will Beatty complicates things on the Giants' O-Line.

  • LT William Beatty (+13.0)
  • LG Weston Richburg (-14.3)
  • C J.D. Walton (-19.6)
  • RG John Jerry (-16.3)
  • RT Justin Pugh (-2.6)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Ereck Flowers (Round 1, Pick 9)
  • LG Justin Pugh (-2.6)
  • C Weston Richburg (-14.3)
  • RG Geoff Schwartz (+18.6 in 2013)
  • RT Marshall Newhouse (-12.2)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • OT Marshall Newhouse (-12.2)

Notes:

  • The tackles were solid but the interior was a mess.
  • The good news is that that Giants get a healthy Geoff Schwartz who missed 15 games last year due to injury.
  • The bad news is that LT William Beatty tore his pectoral muscle in May and will be out 5-6 months.  Overpaid or not, he was the best player on the line last season.
  • This forces rookie Ereck Flowers to start at LT right away. Though he was drafted top 10 overall, rookie left tackles, even those drafted so highly, don’t tend to fare well at such a demanding position.  In addition, it also forces the Giants to play Marshall Newhouse at RT. Newhouse struggled mightily last year with the Bengals. 
  • C Weston Richburg (drafted Round 2, Pick 11) played left guard for the Giants last year. He played center in college and the hope is that he will improve significantly in his sophomore season at his preferred position.

2015 Outlook: +1

The Giants have made strides at improving their line in the last couple drafts and in free agency. The interior has improved significantly but an unfortunate injury to LT William Beatty puts a cap on overall improvement. 

 

19. Seattle Seahawks (27th)

Pass Block Ranking: 18th, Run Blocking Ranking: 17th, Penalties Ranking: 30th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Russell Okung (-1.5)
  • LG James Carpenter (-12.0)
  • C Max Unger (+10.3) - missed 10 games
  • RT J.R. Sweezy (-7.6)
  • RT Justin Britt (-18.5)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Russell Okung (-1.5)
  • LG Justin Britt (-18.5)
  • C Drew Nowak (1 career snap)
  • RT J.R. Sweezy (-7.6)
  • RT Garry Gilliam (80 career snaps)

Key Losses:

  • C Max Unger (+10.3)
  • LG James Capenter (-12.0)

Key Additions:

  • None

Notes:

  • The loss of C Max Unger led to a game of musical chairs at center, with Steve Schilling (-2.2), Lemuel Jeanpierre (-7.1), and Patrick Lewis (-7.7) rotating in at various points in the season.
  • A similar situation seems destined for the Seahawks in 2015 as they apparently thought they were okay without him, dealing him and a 1st round pick to the Saints for Jimmy Graham.
  • The current starter at center, Drew Nowak, was an UDFA and has 1 career snap. Nowak played defensive tackle in college and switched to guard when he signed with Jacksonville in 2012. 
  • RT Garry Gilliam was a 2014 UDFA. He has 80 career snaps.
  • LG Justin Britt was drafted in Round 2, Pick 32 of the 2014 NFL Draft and may improve this season. He did well run blocking but was a liability in blocking against pass rush.

Outlook: -2

Losing C Max Unger isn’t the end of the world since they played most of last year without him, but the Seahawks made the decision to downgrade at the line to give Wilson another weapon to work with in TE Jimmy Graham. But, I guess who needs an O-Line when you have Marshawn?

 

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (31st)

Pass Block Ranking: 15th, Run Blocking Ranking: 25th, Penalties Ranking: 6th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Luke Joeckel (-15.8)
  • LG Zane Beadles (+1.9)
  • C Luke Bowanko (-9.2)
  • RG Brandon Linder (+16.6)
  • RT Sam Young (-8.8) - 402 snaps
  • RT Austin Pasztor (-7.8) - 500 snaps

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Luke Joeckel (-15.8)
  • LG Zane Beadles (+1.9)
  • C Stefen Wisniewski (-2.5)
  • RG Brandon Linder (+16.6)
  • RT Jermey Parnell (+8.2)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • RT Jermey Parnell (+8.2)
  • C Stefen Wisniewski (-2.5)

Notes:

  • Surprisingly, the Jaguars O-line actually managed to improve after trading away their best lineman in LT Eugene Monroe in 2013.
  • The improvement was mainly thanks to the acquisition of LG Zane Beadles and rookie RG Brandon Linder, drafted in the 3rd round and 93rd overall. Linder was one of the highest graded rookies in the 2014 draft.
  • This year, the line improves once again as RT Jermey Parnell was the the odd man out in Dallas’ “Legion of Room”. Parnell graded well (+8.2 on 507 snaps) but how will he perform as a full-time starter on an overall weaker offensive line?

2015 Outlook: +1

This young offensive line still has much room to improve. LT Luke Joeckel, in particular, has yet to meet the expectations befitting of a 2nd overall pick. “Potential.” That seems to be the buzzword for the Jags of late. Maybe this will be the year that it actually comes to fruition.

 

17. Indianapolis Colts (25th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 21st, Run Blocking Ranking: 13th, Penalties Ranking: 18th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Anthony Castonzo (+15.2)
  • LG Jack Mewhort (-0.2)
  • C Jonotthan Harrison (-14.4)
  • RG Hugh Thornton (-6.7) - 584 snaps at RG
  • RG Lance Louis (-14.3) - 543 snaps at RG
  • RT Gosder Cherilus (-16.8)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Anthony Castonzo (+15.2)
  • LG Todd Herremans (-12.5)
  • C Khaled Holmes (-13.2)
  • RG Lance Louis (-14.3)
  • RT Jack Mewhort (-0.2)

Key Losses:

  • C A.Q. Shipley (+4.3)

Key Additions:

  • OG Todd Herremans (-12.5)

Notes:

  • RG Hugh Thornton and RG Lance Louis alternated pretty evenly throughout the season at right guard.
  • Recent acquisition LG Todd Herremans is on the backend of his career but should still be able to hold his own. The veteran guard departs Philadelphia after a decade as one of the most reliable players on the team. 
  • C Khaled Holmes started for the Colts at the end of the season and in the playoffs.

2015 Outlook: +1

LG Todd Herremans gives them a boost but it’s hard to see significant improvement as right guard is still a concern.