O-Line Shifts #32-#25

The Shift: Offensive Line Rankings and Comparison

Intro: Offensive Line Rankings and Comparison

Part 1: O-Line Shifts: #32-#25

Part 2: O-Line Shifts: #24-#17

Part 3: O-Line Shifts: #16-#9

Part 4: O-Line Shifts: #8-#1

32. Miami Dolphins (21st)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 32nd, Run Blocking Ranking: 31st, Penalties Ranking: 29th

Losing LT Branden Albert in week 7 resulted in a disastrous O-Line shuffle for the Dolphins.

Losing LT Branden Albert in week 7 resulted in a disastrous O-Line shuffle for the Dolphins.

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Branden Albert (+17.5) - missed final 7 games due to injury
  • LG Daryn Colledge (-22.8)
  • C Samson Satele (-11.9)
  • RG Mike Pouncey (-17.6)
  • RT Ja’Wuan James (-28.4) - moved to LT once Albert got hurt
  • RT Dallas Thomas (-20.2) - replaced James at RT when he moved to LT

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Branden Albert (+17.5)
  • LG Dallas Thomas (-20.2)
  • C Mike Pouncey (-17.6)
  • RG Billy Turner (drafted in the 3rd round of 2014)
  • RT Ja’Wuan James (-28.4)

Key Losses:

  • None

Key Additions:

  • OG Jamil Douglas (Round 4, Pick 15)

Notes:

  • While neither OG Richie Incognito or OT Jonathan Martin were world-beaters by any means, the rift caused by their absence left the Dolphins’ line in shambles.
  • The problem was exasperated once Branden Albert, who had been performing terrifically at left tackle, was lost to injury in week 10.
  • The resulting shuffle was disastrous. Rookie Ja’Wuan James floundered at left tackle while Dallas Thomas was completely overmatched at right tackle. Mike Pouncey also struggled when forced to play at right guard rather than his normal position at center.

2015 Outlook: +1

With Albert back from injury at left tackle, Pouncey back at center, and James at right tackle, the Dolphins have no where to go but up. They’ll improve even with a young, unproven fill-in at guard.

 

31. St Louis Rams (13th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 30th, Run Blocking Ranking: 28th, Penalties Ranking: 28th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Jake Long (-1.5) - missed the final 9 games after tearing his ACL in week 8
  • LT Greg Robinson (-24.1) - moved from LG to replace Long at LT
  • LG Rodger Saffold (-1.7)
  • C Scott Wells (-29.7)
  • RG Davin Joseph (-24.6)
  • RT Joseph Barksdale (-5.9)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Greg Robinson (-24.1)
  • LG Rodger Saffold (-1.7)
  • C Barrett Jones (23 career snaps)
  • RG Jamon Brown (Round 3, Pick 8)
  • RT Rob Havenstein (Round 2, Pick 25)

Key Losses:

  • OT Jake Long (-1.5)
  • OT Joseph Barksdale (-5.9)
  • OG Davin Joseph (-24.6)
  • C Scott Wells (-29.7)

Key Additions:

  • OT Garrett Reynolds (+3.0 in 2013)
  • OT Rob Havenstein (Round 2, Pick 25)
  • OT Jamon Brown (Round 3, Pick 8)
  • OT Andrew Donnal (Round 4, Pick 20)

Notes:

  • 4-time Pro Bowler Jake Long tore his ACL in week 8 and missed half the season last year.
  • Presumably, 2014 2nd overall pick Greg Robinson should play better than he did in his rookie season.
  • In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Rams spent 3 picks in the first 4 rounds on linemen hoping that at least one of them will turn out serviceable. As of now, Rob Havenstein is listed as the Rams’ right tackle and Jamon Brown is listed as the Rams’ right guard.
  • The front-runner for the center job is Barrett Jones who has only seen 23 snaps since he was drafted in the 4th round in 2013.  But how much worse can he be than his predecessor, Scott Wells, who graded as the worst center in the league last year?

2015 Outlook: +1

The Rams cleaned house on their offensive line, replacing 4 out of their 5 starters from 2014 and 6 of 9 linemen overall. You’d imagine it could only be a net positive considering how poorly they played.

 

30. Buffalo Bills (22nd)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 23rd, Run Blocking Ranking: 32nd, Penalties Ranking: 4th

2014 Offensive Line

Former Philadelphia Eagle LeSean McCoy may struggle a bit going from one of the best lines in the league to one of the worst.

Former Philadelphia Eagle LeSean McCoy may struggle a bit going from one of the best lines in the league to one of the worst.

  • LT Cordy Glenn (+6.5)
  • LG Kraig Urbik (-9.1)
  • C Eric Wood (-5.5)
  • RG Erik Pears (-25.0)
  • RT Seantrel Henderson (-29.9)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Cordy Glenn (+6.5)
  • LG Richie Incognito (+9.4 in 2012 and +7.2 in 2013)
  • C Eric Wood (-5.5)
  • RG John Miller (Round 3, Pick 15)
  • RT Seantrel Henderson (-29.9)

Key Losses:

  • OG Erik Pears (-25.0)

Key Additions:

  • OG Richie Incognito (+9.4 in 2012 and +7.2 in 2013)
  • OG John Miller (Round 3, Pick 15)

Notes:

  • There are rumblings out of camp that former OT Cyrus Kouandjio is the favorite to start at right tackle. Last year, Kouandjio (2014 second round pick) arrived at camp out of shape and unprepared, thrusting Henderson (2014 sixth round pick) into the role.

2015 Outlook: +1

The Bills didn’t get as much help on the line as you would like but RG Richie Incognito represents a significant upgrade over RG Erik Pears, at least.

 

29. San Diego Chargers (18th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 27th, Run Blocking Ranking: 26th, Penalties Ranking: 11th

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT King Dunlap (+6.8)
  • LG Chad Rinehart (-22.7)
  • C Rich Ohrnberger (-11.0) - became the starter once C Nick Hardwick was placed on IR in week 1
  • C Chris Watt (-0.4)
  • RG Johnnie Troutman (-25.1)
  • RT D.J. Fluker (-8.8)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT King Dunlap (+6.8)
  • LG Orlando Franklin (+15.4)
  • C Chris Watt (-0.4)
  • RG Johnnie Troutman (-25.1)
  • RT D.J. Fluker (-8.8)

Key Losses:

  • OG Chad Rinehart (-22.7)
  • OG Jeromey Clary (-17.9 in 2013) - hip injury sidelined him for the entire 2014 season
  • C Nick Hardwick (+11.9 in 2013) - neck injury in week 1 led to his retirement this offseason
  • C Rich Ohrnberger (-11.0)

Key Additions:

  • OG Orlando Franklin (+15.4)
  • OT Joe Barksdale (-5.9)

Notes:

  • C Chris Watt replaced C Rich Ohrnberger after 7 starts. Ohrnberger was dealing with a back injury.
  • Injuries to starters C Nick Hardwick and OG Jeromey Clary put the Chargers in a pretty tough spot to start the season.

2015 Outlook: +2

The guards Rinehart and Troutman were disastrous last year. LG Orlando Franklin is a massive upgrade and whoever starts at RG is likely to be one as well.

 

28th. Tennessee Titans (17th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 29th, Run Blocking Ranking: 16th, Penalties Ranking: 31st

2014 Offensive Line

The Titans had too many needs to address their O-line in the draft.

The Titans had too many needs to address their O-line in the draft.

  • LT Michael Roos (+4.6) - placed on season-ending IR after week 5
  • LT Taylor Lewan (+2.2) - replaced Michael Roos at RT
  • LG Andy Levitre (-5.8)
  • C Brian Schwenke (-13.2)
  • RG Chance Warmack (+4.1)
  • RT Michael Oher(-20.2)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Taylor Lewan (+2.2)
  • LG Byron Bell (-40.1)
  • C Brian Schwenke (-13.2)
  • RG Chance Warmack (+4.1)
  • LT Jeremiah Poutasi (Round 3, Pick 15)

Key Losses:

  • OT Michael Roos (+15.2 in 2013)
  • OT Michael Oher (-20.2)
  • C Chris Spencer (-5.1)
  • LG Andy Levitre (-5.8)

Key Additions:

  • OT Jeremiah Poutasi (Round 3, Pick 15)
  • OT Byron Bell (-40.1)

Notes:

  • The Titans lost their best lineman of the last decade when LT Michael Roos retired this offseason. Thankfully, LT Taylor Lewan filled in quite nicely after Roos was placed on the IR in week 5.
  • On September 4th, the Titans traded LG Andy Levitre to the Falcons for a 6th round pick and future conditional pick. Levitre was far from the weakest link on the line but it was clear that he would never live up to his massive contract (he was the 3rd highest paid guard in 2014).
  • Levitre's current replacement is OT Byron Bell. Over 17 games in 2014, Bell earned the worst grade of all linemen in 2014 (-40.1).  
  • To make matters worse, the Titans have little depth on the line. Besides the 5 starters, there are just 3 additional linemen on the 53-man roster: rookie C Andy Gallik was drafted in the 6th round, rookie OG Quinton Spain was an UDFA, and OG Jamon Meredith who is on his 10th team in 7 seasons.
  • RT Michael Oher also disappointed and was released by the Titans. His replacement is rookie OT Jeremiah Poutasi. Rookies tend to struggle at tackle but Poutasi won't have to be great to be an improvement over Oher. 

2015 Outlook: -2

Unfortunately, the Titans had too many holes to fill during the draft and, as a result, were unable the major problems on their offensive line. Rookie QB Marcus Mariota's mobility helps but he'll have run for his life just to get some time to throw behind what could be the worst offensive line in the league in 2015. 

 

27. Kansas City Chiefs (20th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 22nd, Run Blocking Ranking: 27th, Penalties Ranking: 12th

Jamaal Charles feeling good about this year's line. 

Jamaal Charles feeling good about this year's line. 

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Eric Fisher (-17.5)
  • LG Mike McGlynn (-32.6)
  • C Rodney Hudson (+13.0)
  • RG Zach Fulton (-14.6)
  • RT Ryan Harris (-1.6)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Eric Fisher (-17.5)
  • LG Ben Grubbs (-0.2)
  • C Mitch Morse (Round 2, Pick 17)
  • RG Jeff Allen (-10.5 in 2013)
  • RT Donald Stephenson (-11.9 in 2013)

Key Losses:

  • C Rodney Hudson (+13.0)
  • OG Mike McGlynn (-32.6)
  • OT Ryan Harris (-1.6)

Key Additions:

  • OG Ben Grubbs (-0.2)
  • OG Paul Fanaika (-20.9)
  • C Mitch Morse (Round 2, Pick 17)

Notes:

  • Reportedly, the competition for the right guard position is wide open between Jeff Allen, Zach Fulton, and Paul Fanaika.
  • Significant upgrades at the guard positions but downgrades (presumably) at center and right tackle.
  • RB Jamaal Charles feels good about the line

2015 Outlook: +2

The key upgrade here is at LG with Ben Grubbs replacing the helpless Mike McGlynn. If former first overall pick Eric Fisher can get a little more comfortable in his second year at left tackle, the left side of the line could actually be quite good.

 

26. Atlanta Falcons (30th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 19th, Run Blocking Ranking: 29th, Penalties Ranking: 22nd

2014 Offensive Line

High hopes for a healthy Jake Matthews.

High hopes for a healthy Jake Matthews.

  • LT Jake Matthews (-36.8)
  • LG Justin Blalock (+3.8)
  • C James Stone (-14.1) - replaced C Joe Hawley after he tore his ACL in week 4
  • RG Jon Asamoah (+4.4)
  • RT Ryan Schraeder (+7.1)

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Jake Matthews (-36.8)
  • LG Andy Levitre (-5.8)
  • C Joe Hawley (+1.1 in 2013)
  • RG Chris Chester (+1.5)
  • RT Ryan Schraeder (+7.1)

Key Losses:

  • OG Justin Blalock (+3.8)

Key Additions:

  • OG Chris Chester (+1.5)
  • OT Tyler Polumbus (-12.6)
  • OG Andy Levitre (-5.8)

Notes:

  • C Joe Hawley tore his ACL last year in week 4.
  • LT Jake Matthews was the 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft. His PFF grade was the worst of all linemen in the 2014 regular season but, upon closer examination, most of his negative grades came during a 6 weeks stretch in which he was playing hurt. If, while healthy, he can improve significantly, the line looks rather solid overall.
  • The Falcon's line had severe depth issues in 2014. OT Sam Baker was supposed to start at LT but was injured in the preseason so rookie Jake Matthews was thrust into starting at LT before he was ready and had to stay in even while hurt. At one point, the line situation was so desperate that TE Levine Toilolo was forced to play right tackle.
  • New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has had success with the offensive lines of his previous teams, Houston, Washington, and Cleveland. To be fair, those teams seem to have better offensive line talent than Atlanta. But if he can make the line function anywhere near as efficiently as on those three teams, it will be a massive improvement. 
  • Determined not to repeat the crisis of last year, the Falcons have added extra depth in the form of OT Tyler Polumbus. While much maligned by Redskin fans for his poor play last season, it should be noted that he had, by far, his best season playing for Shanahan in Washington in 2013 (+14.0). He could be solid as a backup. 
  • RG Jon Asamoah was placed on season ending IR on September 5th due to a hip injury. 
  • On September 4th, the Falcons traded a 6th round pick and a future conditional pick to the Titans for LG Andy Levitre. In 2013 heading into free agency, Levitre was considered one of the most promising guards in the league, earning a PFF grade of +19.5 in 2011 and +18.9 in 2012. The Titans signed him to a 6 year, $46.8 million deal making him the 3rd highest paid guard in the league. However, Levitre never lived up to the contract, earning grades of +13.7 and -5.8 in the last two seasons. The Titans decided to save money and cut their losses on a player they realized would never live play at the level he was being paid. Still, while Levitre was a great disappointment relative to his contract, he wasn't even that bad. For one thing, he started all 32 games while in Tennesee. In fact, he has started every game of every season since entering the league in 2009. That is valuable in itself and, considering the sorry state of Atlanta's line last season, it's exactly what the Falcons are looking for. Besides, +13.7 and -5.8 aren't All-pro lineman grades but they are at least average and there's a good chance that he could bounce back under the tutelage of Kyle Shanahan who has been good at getting the most out of his offensive lines. 

2015 Outlook: +2

After being disastrously thin at the position in 2014, the Falcons really made an effort to improve the depth on their offensive line this off-season.  With offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan running the show, the line could take a big leap this season. 

 

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 26th, Run Blocking Ranking: 10th, Penalties Ranking: 32nd

2014 Offensive Line

  • LT Anthony Collins (-12.9) - benched after week 13
  • LG Logan Mankins (+4.8)
  • C Evan Dietrich-Smith (-0.2)
  • RT Patrick Omameh (-10.8)
  • RT Demar Dotson (+5.8) - moved to LT for the final 3 games

Projected 2015 Offensive Line

  • LT Donovan Smith (Round 2, Pick 2)
  • LG Logan Mankins (+4.8)
  • C Evan Dietrich-Smith (-0.2)
  • RG Ali Marpet (Round 2, Pick 29)
  • RT Demar Dotson (+5.8)

Key Losses:

  • OT Anthony Collins (-12.9)

Key Additions:

  • OT Donovan Smith (Round 2, Pick 2)
  • C Ali Marpet (Round 2, Pick 29)

Notes:

  • It's still early but rookie RG Ali Marpet has been getting dominated in the preseason.

2015 Outlook: +1

Last year’s worst offenders are gone but the Bucs are relying on rookies to take their place. Asking for decent production from rookie linemen is a tall order, especially at left tackle.