2010 Offensive Line Report
By Chris Smith and Guest Analyst Sean Scott
July 11th, 2010

Hi everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read over our extensive 2010 Offensive Lines Report. Once again for the third consecutive season, I will share my thoughts on each of the 32 offensive lines. I have watched film, pored over obscure stats and crunched numbers to come up with the best possible set of analysis and rankings. In addition, I have recruited help from a long-time friend in Sean Scott who is also known as Ministry of Pain in our football forums. He has an excellent grasp on all things NFL and combined, I believe we will do a very nice job of breaking down the potential success and failures of each offensive line.

I have each team ranked from 1st to 32nd overall using multiple stats such as sacks allowed per passing attempt, total carries, yards per carry and more. In addition we have given a grade to each team in terms of run blocking and pass blocking. Sean's grades will be in parentheses next to mine like this:

Run Blocking C+ (C)

Hope you enjoy the article and I would love to receive feedback from you. Please contact me at smith@footballguys.com.

Arizona Cardinals

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C+
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 14th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C-)
  • Rank: 14th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (D)
  • Rank: 8th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jeremy Bridges, 8th season
  • LG Alan Faneca, 13th season
  • C Lyle Sendlein, 4th season
  • RG Rex Hadnot, 7th season
  • RT Reggie Wells, 8th season
  • Key Backups

  • C/G Ben Claxton
  • G Deuce Lutui
  • T Levi Brown
  • G Brandon Keith
  • T Herman Johnson
  • Smith's Take

    The Cardinals offensive line did a very good job at pass protection last year but still is struggling to open holes for the running game. There is good experience now along the starting unit with one player brought in (Rex Hadnot, 7th season) to start at right guard and another veteran performer (Alan Faneca) to start at left guard. One scenario put out by OL Coach Russ Grimm is to move Reggie Wells to right tackle and Faneca into the left guard spot. Last year's starting right tackle Levi Brown really struggled in pass protection and has never reached his lofty potential. Left tackle Jeremy Bridges only started four games last year and perhaps he'll compete with Levi Brown for the position. Brown has potential but the move to left tackle may be troublesome considering his nine sacks allowed in 2009. One current wild-card in the mix is Deuce Lutui who has legitimate starting talent but weighed in this off-season at a mind-numbing 396 pounds. He'll have to drop 40+ pounds to truly be effective

    Bottom Line

    The Cardinals offensive line is certainly headed in the right direction and could make the transition into a top-ten if improvements continue.

    Scott's Take

    Levi Brown will shift from RT to LT and that's not good. He surrendered nine sacks from the RT spot last season, committed 11 penalties and allowed 28 QB pressures. If Leinart is starting at QB, that might be best since Brown is not a top tier tackle in the NFL. The RT spot which would be Leinart's blind spot as he's a lefty will be a camp battle between Brandon Keith who has no starts in the NFL under his belt, and Jeremy Bridges who was a guard and started 24 games for Carolina before coming to Arizona. Always remember that the tackle position along the OL typically impacts the passing game the most. A veteran like Kurt Warner could probably manage the heat a lot better than Leinart so the outlook right now cannot be too high despite some serious weapons at his disposal.

    The inside of the OL is built to pound the football and Arizona actually has some beef inside this year. The Cardinals have brought in Alan Faneca to play LG and despite his pass blocking problems the past couple of years he still can line up and maul in the run game which looks like the plan here. Faneca will help elevate the run game. Deuce Lutui returns at RG, and improved a lot last year as he cut his penalties from 13 in 2008 to only four last season and allowed only two sacks. Lyle Sendlein rounds out the interior of this OL and he ranks in the bottom third of the league. Hopefully Faneca lining up to his left will help him run block better. There is some depth here with Rex Hadnot and Reggie Wells who both have starting experience and come off the bench to relieve Faneca who is getting mighty old.

    Bottom Line

    This OL is not strong, but it appears to be built a little better for the run vs. the pass.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Sean and I are quite far apart when it comes to the Cardinals offensive line. I see a group heading in the right direction and see the addition of Faneca and Hadnot pushing them into better things this season. Sean is more skeptical which explains the different grades. As you can tell from reading both of our blurbs, the starting five is still a work in progress in Arizona and players may still be shifted around.

    Atlanta Falcons

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 13th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 15th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (B)
  • Rank: 10th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Sam Baker, 3rd season
  • LG Justin Blalock, 4th season
  • C Todd McClure, 12th season
  • RG Harvey Dahl, 6th season
  • RT Tyson Clabo, 6th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Quinn Ojinnaka (suspended for 1 game)
  • T Will Svitek
  • G Mike Johnson [r]
  • G Joe Hawley [r]
  • Smith's Take

    The Falcons have a good offensive line, which performed well last season but perhaps not at the level that was expected heading into the season. Sam Baker, now heading into his 3rd season needs to make the next step in his development. He has loads of potential but the former 21st overall pick has yet to really live up to that hype yet. Tyson Clabo is a good right tackle who hasn't missed a start over the past two seasons. He has great size and is an efficient pass blocker. Blalock has started 46 of 48 games as a pro, has great size and is a good road-grader. Harvey Dahl has started 27 games over the past couple of seasons and become a dependable presence at guard. He had ankle surgery this off-season and will be 100% by training camp. At center, Todd McClure hasn't missed a game over the past eight seasons and is the leader of the group. Mike Johnson of Alabama and Joe Hawley are two guards that were drafted this season that will add to the overall depth of the group.

    Bottom Line

    This is a very good unit that could be great if Baker and Blalock continue to progress this season. Expect more of the same this season.

    Scott's Take

    Sam Baker has been solid since being drafted form USC a couple seasons ago. He's not an elite LT but he has decent feet and gave up five penalties and five sacks but 28 QB pressures last year. He missed two games last season. At RT, Tyson Clabo a 6'6" 330 lb monster will return for Atlanta. He has not missed a start over the last 32 games and his pass blocking abilities are well noted. These two tackles set up a nice shield for Matt Ryan to drop back and pick defenses apart.

    The interior of this OL has an excellent runner in Michael Turner behind them. Harvey Dahl is the starting RG and he loves to gash the opposing defenses. This OL made guys like Jason Snelling look good last season. Justin Blalock is probably the weakest link at LG but some of his run blocking deficiencies is covered up when this group is working together as a unit. Todd McClure is entering his 12th season and has started 150 games for the Falcons. He is still a premium center in this league and very underrated for most of his career. Brett Romberg is behind him and give him a breather when need be. McClure and Dahl make a very nice 1-2 punch for Turner to bang behind.

    Bottom Line

    This OL is solid and the run blocking inside is part of the reason Turner excels so well.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Both of us are certainly on the same page here. Both believe the Falcons offensive line will be pretty good this season.

    Baltimore Ravens

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 9th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 3rd
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 17th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Michael Oher, 2nd season
  • LG Ben Grubbs, 4th season
  • C Matt Birk, 13th season
  • RG Chris Chester, 5th season
  • RT Jared Gaither, 4th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Marshal Yanda
  • G/C David Hale
  • T Oniel Cousins
  • Smith's Take

    The young Ravens offensive line came together very nicely last season. They were one of the top rushing teams in all of football and much of that success can be attributed to the excellent work the offensive line did opening holes. Rookie Michael Oher had a very strong season at right tackle, excelling in run blocking. He struggled at times in pass protection but overall had a very strong 1st season. He'll be making the move over to left tackle this year. At right tackle this season will be Jared Gaither who played at a Pro Bowl level although he wasn't selected because he missed five games due to injury. He was clearly one of the top left tackles in the AFC and should become a top right tackle this year. Ben Grubbs played in all sixteen games and had a strong season. He was able to run block well and did a great job in pass protection. Chris Chester started 13 games and had a good season as well. He was a better run blocker than in pass protection. He is in a battle with Marshal Yanda for the right guard position. Yanda has started 26 starts over three seasons and could emerge as the starter over Chester. Finally the leader of the group, Matt Birk had another strong season. He is in his 13th season but didn't appear to slow down in 2009.

    Bottom Line

    This unit is one of the best in the NFL in regards to run blocking but still could make some improvements in regards to pass protection. Definitely a top-ten group

    Scott's Take

    Ray Rice had a ton of success last season and Joe Flacco made strides. Let's look closer at this OL because it has some interesting parts to it. At LT, Michael Oher is entering his 2nd season after being drafted out of the University of Mississippi last year. Oher played RT last year and he was called for 10 penalties and five sacks. I'm not sold on him to play LT but Baltimore is moving forward with him at that spot. If Oher struggles it's going to impact the passing game and Flacco's blindside. Oher is not a big man by NFL standards at 6'4" and 310 lbs. That sounds strange to write but many of the OL in the NFL now are a good 3-4 inches taller at the tackle spot and are north of 325 lbs. Jared Gaither is flipping over to RT but the truth is he had a great year at the LT spot. Both Gaither and Oher are strong run blocking tackles and allow Rice to run wide with sweeps which is good for his health. Gaiter gave up a miniscule six QB pressures in the 11 starts he had last year. Oher did start five games at LT last year so it's not like he's never played the position. There is a lot of potential here between the two of these guys but Oher settling into the LT position is vital.

    Inside there is a camp battle brewing between Marshal Yanda who has 26 starts under his belt the past three seasons and Chris Chester who has 24 starts the past two seasons at a couple spots along the OL. My money is on Yanda as he looked great run blocking in his seven starts last year at RG. What is great is you have real game experience here in Chester behind him. At LG, Ben Grubbs will return. He's solid although not spectacular and he's going to have to be at his best with Oher lining up to his left. Matt Birk is entering his 13th season and is coming off one of his very best last year. He is a mauler in the run blocking game; you have to put him as top 5 right now. Certainly he could start to decline but he knows what he does well and that's pound the ball.

    Bottom Line

    A terrific blend of pass and run blocking. As long as the tackle spots can improve this has the making of a possible top 5 OL.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We are both very high on the Ravens offensive line this season. We both believe that run-blocking wise, there are not many units better in the NFL and the pass blocking has potential to be better than last season. This is certainly one of the top-ten offensive lines in football and could be a top-five group by year's end.

    Buffalo Bills

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 29th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 24th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 32nd
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Demetrius Bell, 3rd season
  • LG Andy Levitre, 2nd season
  • C Geoff Hangartner, 6th season
  • RG Eric Wood, 2nd season
  • RT Jamon Meredith, 2nd season
  • Key Backups

  • T/G Kirk Chambers
  • T Cornell Green
  • T Ed Wang [r]
  • T Andre Ramsey
  • Smith's Take

    Demetrius Bell was below average at left tackle last season before suffering a season ending knee injury in week ten. He took a number of penalties, gave up too many sacks and was overwhelmed at times by quality defensive ends. He'll be in a fight for the starting job with Cornell Green (brought in from Oakland), Kirk Chambers and rookie Ed Wang, a 5th round draft choice from Virginia Tech. James Meredith started four games for the Bills last year but he was pedestrian at best. The team really likes rookie Ed Wang and believes he can step into the starting left tackle position soon. Andy Levitre started 16 games at guard last season as a rookie and gained valuable experience while fellow rookie Eric Wood started ten games. Both rookies displayed some nice moments and should continue to develop although Wood may not be ready to return from injury to start this season. Geoff Hangartner started all 16 games at center and did a nice job.

    Bottom Line

    Expect another disappointing season for the Bills offensive line in 2010 as they continue to gain experience and confidence.

    Scott's Take

    It's easy to tear this group apart but let's take a closer look and see if there is any room for optimism. Demetrius Bell is slated to start at LT although nothing is definitive with a new coach and system entering camp. Bell was a good starting LT last season. In half a season he was called for 10 penalties and five sacks which obviously double to 20 and 10 if he played the whole season. Bell is entering his 3rd season and perhaps a coach like Chan Gailey can work with him and improve him. At RT, the Bills have brought in Cornell Green who started the past three seasons for Oakland, not sure that's a good thing. Green is old and entering his 12th season, at best he is average but perhaps he can plug a hole for the time being as they work to rebuild this OL.

    Andy Levitre will enter only his 2nd season and he had a rough go of it a year ago. His run blocking is poor but he's disciplined which is evident in only being called for three penalties on 852 snaps last season. He's the type o player a coach likes except he just doesn't have a tremendous skill set. He is somewhat small for a guard but again Gailey should be able to work with him. At RG, Eric Wood will try and fend off Kirk Chambers who played a lot of tackle last year. Wood should win this battle but Chambers add some depth. Buffalo has a lot of bodies they'll be bringing into camp so this OL probably has some fluidity to it as well. Geoff Hangartner is decent at run blocking but he still ranks in the lower third of centers around the league and allowed 16 QB pressures which for a center is a lot.

    Bottom Line

    This is not a strong unit by any stretch but I also think folks are going to dismiss them completely and that would be a mistake.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    There is some good young talent here in Buffalo but they are at least a season away in my opinion from being considered even an average unit.

    Carolina Panthers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 2nd
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: A (B)
  • Rank: 5th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (C)
  • Rank: 5th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jordan Gross, 8th season
  • LG Travelle Wharton, 7th season
  • C Ryan Kalil, 4th season
  • RG Mackenzy Bernadeau, 3rd season
  • RT Jeff Otah, 3rd season
  • Key Backups

  • G Duke Robinson
  • C Steve Justice
  • T Geoff Schwartz
  • Smith's Take

    The Panthers offensive line is a very good one and considering the youth amongst the starting unit, capable of improving this season and into the future. Ryan Kalil has become an excellent center and in his 4th season is just starting to hit his prime. He was a Pro Bowl reserve this past season. Jordan Gross missed seven games due to injury and the team missed him while he was gone. He is an experienced, capable left tackle. Jeff Otah missed three starts last season but continued to improve in his 2nd season. He is a better run blocker than a pass protector but has the skills to eventually thrive in both areas. Geoff Schwartz started three games as a rookie and earned some experience. Wharton started 16 games last season and did a good job. He starts at guard but can slide outside to tackle if needed. Bernadeau started seven games last season and did pretty well when called upon although he needs to improve his run blocking.

    Bottom Line

    Overall this is a very good group which should continue to develop this season into a top unit.

    Scott's Take

    The tackle spots will be filled by Jordan Gross who is entering his 8th season and has 104 starts under his belt. He has played his whole career with Carolina. He was a better RT than LT but he tends to get the job done. Too many sacks last season with six in about nine games but the Panthers need him as they don't have a lot of options behind Gross. Jeff Otah is in his 3rd year out of Pittsburgh and he is solid but not spectacular to this point. Last year his run blocking did improve and Carolina likes to run off tackle to his side. The Panthers could use some improvement out of this spot so their passing game can be more effective but the two of them certainly are not a detriment by any stretch to the team.

    Inside the Panthers is a mix of good and bad. Ryan Kalil is one of the best run blocking centers in the league after Nick Mangold of the Jets. Kalil can tee off and punish the interior of a defense, and he rarely needs help taking on most defensive linemen. At LG, Travelle Wharton will return to a position he is comfortable with. He was forced to play LT in the absence of Gross last year and he struggled. Wharton and Kalil inside make a nice punch along the left A-gap where both Stewart and Williams like to push through. At RG, there was to be a camp battle between Mackenzy Bernadeau who had no penalties called on him last year, and Keydrick Vincent who has a lot of playing time under his belt. Vincent, however, signed with the Buccaneers, so Bernadeau looks to have the job. He is below average in the run blocking department.

    Bottom Line

    A good solid run game but needs some work in the pass protection scheme. A good running game though like Carolina will take heat off the passing game so look for more of the same this year for the Panthers. Stewart and Williams cover up any weaknesses too.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We definitely have some disagreement here. I think this unit, led by one of the best young centers in the game in Ryan Kalil has the potential to be outstanding this year. Gross and Otah could be great if Otah can reach his potential and Wharton is a very good guard. Sean makes a good point about the strong running back talent in Carolina but I see lots of talent and potential in this group.

    Chicago Bears

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 27th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 32nd
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (D)
  • Rank: 24th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Chris Williams, 3rd season
  • LG Josh Beekman, 4th season
  • C Olin Kreutz, 13th season
  • RG Roberto Garza, 10th season
  • RT Frank Omiyale, 6th season
  • Key Backups

  • T/G Lance Louis
  • T/G Kevin Shaffer
  • T/G Frank Omiyale
  • T James Marten
  • Smith's Take

    The Bears offensive line performed as expected last season. They were below average in run blocking while holding their own in pass protection. For the Bears it all starts with Olin Kreutz who has missed just one game over the past nine seasons. He is still a solid player in his 13th season. At guard, Garza has started each game over the past four seasons. He is a strong pass blocker but struggles to open holes in the running game. Beekman started four games last year after starting all 16 in 2008. He will likely start at guard and may be the starting center once Kreutz retires. If he doesn't start, it may be Johan Asiata, a 2nd year pro that has had a good start to this season during mini-camps. Kevin Shaffer is a decent option at tackle but is not going to get better. He'll compete with Frank Omiyale for the starting job. At this time it appears that Omiyale will emerge here. Chris Williams is still learning on the job and really struggled in pass protection last year. He needs to improve this season or may find himself in a battle for his job. Lance Louis and Omiyale are decent depth guys for the Bears.
    Bottom Line

    With youngsters Chris Williams and Josh Beekman, there is hope for improvement along the offensive line IF these two players can elevate their play. As of now though, this group looks like below average heading into the season

    Scott's Take

    Lots of angles to look at with this OL. Martz is coming in at OC which is going to put some pressure on the pass blocking. Chris Williams is slated to start at LT. He is going into year three after he was drafted from Vandy and quite frankly this writer does not think he's ready but there are no other options at LT with Pace gone, not that he was doing a stellar job in his brief run in Chicago either. Williams played a little of both LT/RT last season and gave up a whopping 34 QB pressures, seven sacks, plus another nine QB hits were directly related to him. What he is good at and some of the other OL here as well is screen blocking. Now why is that important? You have two backs in Forte and Taylor that can create problems and mismatches in the passing game. I look for a lot of screen passes unfortunately Cutler has the touch of a bull in a china shop at times. Opposite Williams, will be Frank Omiyale with Kevin Shaffer backing him up. Omiyale is really a guard and started 12 games for Chicago last year. RT is going to be an adjustment for him but hopefully he can fill the spot.

    Inside this line has some issues as well. Johan Asiata is a rookie out of UNLV and as of right now he has the inside track at start at LG. I'm sure with a rookie LG, Martz is not going to be running much thru the left "A" gap which can create some predictability in the running game. Of course whoever would start at LG is not going to be a better option than the right A-gap between Olin Kreutz and Roberto Garza, both have been long time starters for the Bears. Kreutz best days are behind him but he can still be effective. His worst stat though is six penalties last year. How can you do that when you are the player who puts the ball in motion every time? Certainly he should know the snap count. And if it's not false starts he's getting too many holding calls for a center.

    Bottom Line

    Martz is going to put a lot of pressure on the pass blocking and Cutler is not going to have a lot of time to make decisions. We could talk about the run blocking but Martz is not going to change his ways and suddenly start pounding the ball a ton. Even if he wanted to this OL would struggle.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Sean and I are fairly close in our viewpoints here. We both believe these two teams will really struggle with run blocking this season but I see the potential here for improved decent pass protection.

    Cincinnati Bengals

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C+
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 11th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (A-)
  • Rank: 16th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 11th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Andrew Whitworth, 5th season
  • LG Nate Livings, 5th season
  • C Kyle Cook, 3rd season
  • RG Bobbie Williams, 11th season
  • RT Andre Smith, 2nd season
  • Key Backups

  • T Anthony Collins
  • T/GL TE Dennis Roland
  • G Evan Mathis
  • C Jonathon Luigs
  • Smith's Take

    The Bengals had an average performance in regards to offensive line play in 2009. They finished 15th in run blocking and 14th in pass protection. They managed this however with their 1st round pick, Andre Smith, missing all but six games last year. He is a big, strong talented kid who should start at right tackle. Bobby Williams, the veteran of the group has started each game over the past three seasons while LT Andrew Whitworth and C Kyle Cook played in all sixteen games last year. Nate Livings earned nine starts last year and the 330-pound bruiser at guard did a good job in the running game. At right tackle, Anthony Collins started seven games and played in fourteen. He did some good things and will likely be a dependable backup this season. Dennis Roland is a dependable backup tackle and the goal-line tight end. Evan Mathis started some games and did a fine job. He'll compete for the left guard position.

    Bottom Line

    With a healthy mix of young players coming into their own, expect more of the same from this unit in 2010. If Andre Smith can stay healthy and improve week-to-week expect a very good season out of this group.

    Scott's Take

    This OL is exciting when you expect the addition of Andre Smith into the mix. What happened is that because of his injury last season, many of the other guys played and gained valuable experience which we'll discuss. What makes this OL a little different from others is they have depth, lots of it. Let's start at LT where Andre Whitworth held his won last year. Yes, he had a lot of penalties with 13 but he also only allowed five sacks. Did he get caught holding some? You bet but he's smart enough to know that a 10 yard penalty now and again is better than Palmer lying down in pain after a sack. Whitworth is very effective at run blocking as well. The other side will likely be filled by 1st round pick from a year ago Andre Smith. I'm not going to play psychologist and try to get in this guy's head but he has the skills to dominate once he hits the field. If he falls though never fear because both Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland combined for over 1100 snaps last season along the OL. They might not be great but they have a ton of experience now and combined they only allowed 14 QB pressures the entire season. This is a good group here.

    Inside there is a lot to like as well. Bobbie Williams and Evan Mathis make a strong run blocking duo. It's not magic why Cedric Benson had so much success last season for the first time in his career. Forget his legal problems for the minute, he went from a terrible OL in Chicago and found himself with lots of open holes. The Bengals would be wise to find a speedy counterpart to Benson but we'll let them figure that out. Kyle Cook is the center and he's nothing special but he has a lot of help from the LG/RG spots which makes his job a lot easier.

    Bottom Line

    We are very optimistic about this group despite playing some ferocious defenses within their division. This OL should carry them for another playoff run. Look for Palmer to have a nice bounce back season with improved weapons. There is a lot to get excited about in Cincinnati which has had a tremendous off season. Cross your fingers that Benson is not in too much trouble.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both believe that this unit is capable of very good play this season. Sean is a little higher on them for this season with an 'A-' and 'B' rating but both of us have them slotted inside the top-12.

    Cleveland Browns

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C+
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 15th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (B-)
  • Rank: 7th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C (C)
  • Rank: 25th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Joe Thomas, 4th season
  • LG Eric Steinbach, 8th season
  • C Alex Mack, 2nd season
  • RG Floyd Womack, 10th season
  • RT Tony Pashos, 8th season
  • Key Backups

  • C/G Eric Ghiaciuc
  • T/G John St. Clair
  • T Scott Kooistra
  • Smith's Take

    The talent is certainly good enough in Cleveland to make the leap into a top-15 unit this season or better. When you look at the separate parts, there is no reason for this group to be ranked 13th in run blocking and 25th in pass blocking. Some of that poor grade however can be attributed to sub-par quarterback play and it will be interesting to see how far they can progress this season. Joe Thomas is already one of the best left tackles in the game today and is just entering his fourth season. He is clearly the anchor of this unit. He has started every game in his first three seasons. Alex Mack learned on the job last year and started all sixteen games in his first pro season. He was becoming a very strong run blocker by the end of the season and is still getting better. Floyd Womack is a veteran presence along the offensive line and isn't bad at opening holes. His pass protection skills however are questionable and he is not a lock to start at guard this season. Look for Eric Ghiaciuc, a free agent signing from San Diego to compete for playing time. Eric Steinbach started 46 of 48 games since joining the Browns in 2007. He struggled at times last season but still has the potential to be quite good. Finally, the Browns added Tony Pashos to start at right tackle. He is an upgrade for the club and should do a good job.

    Bottom Line

    When you look at the mix of veteran leadership and young talent, there is an outside chance the Browns finish 2010 inside the top-ten in terms of offensive line play. They are better than their performance last season.

    Scott's Take

    Joe Thomas is an elite LT in the NFL and has been almost since day 1. Only yielded three sacks all season and is one of the best run blocking LT in the league. It would be wise for Cleveland to continue with Harrison and his speed on the outside. Eventually he is going to break a long one if they run left. If I was the OC you can bet that a sweep left would be called more than once or twice a game. The right side is not nearly as strong with Tony Pashos coming over from disappointing injury riddled season in SF. If he can't return to his old self then John St. Clair is ready to step in and start, that's not an endorsement of praise I assure you. He is average at best but continues to work in the NFL.

    Inside will be Eric Steinbach at LG who has been terrible at times since coming over from Cincinnati three years ago. On one hand he looks great only allowing one sack, and called for only three penalties all season. But on the other hand he doesn't run block well and most of the time when backs run behind him they go nowhere. That's not good when you see he has an elite LT next to him. Floyd Womack had some injury issues last year but when he played he was effective. No penalties all season although he only played about 400 snaps. What is exciting inside is the emergence of Alex Mack. Last year he had one of the best rookie seasons a center has ever had. Only two penalties and 10 QB pressures all season but what he excels in is run blocking. He puts guys on their back and that's what you want from the position.

    Bottom Line

    Some of it is really strong especially running the football. Someone might want to send some game tapes to Eric Mangini when Harrison was called upon often at the end of the season. That was no fluke but can they continue on that path? There are no weapons in the passing game so temper any Delhomme enthusiasm.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both believe the Browns offensive line will do a great job with run blocking and struggle somewhat in pass protection. Don't be surprised to see the Browns rush the ball often in 2010.

    Dallas Cowboys

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 8th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (A)
  • Rank: 13th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (B)
  • Rank: 6th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Doug Free, 4th season
  • LG Kyle Kosier, 9th season
  • C Andre Gurode, 9th season
  • RG Leonard Davis, 10th season
  • RT Marc Colombo, 9th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Pat McQuistan
  • G Montrae Holland
  • T Alex Barron
  • G/C Cory Procter
  • T Robert Brewster
  • Smith's Take

    The Cowboys have ushered in a new era at left tackle as Flozell Adams, the former cornerstone of the offensive line was released this offseason. At this point it appears it is Doug Free's spot to win but the Cowboys may still slide Leonard Davis back outside to tackle if he doesn't work out. They also brought in Alex Barron from the Rams but he was terrible last season and he'll have to have a great camp to compete at tackle. Davis has started 48 straight games and has missed just five starts in his NFL career. He is more suited to guard than tackle at this point of his career though as quickness is an issue. Kyle Kosier has started all 16 games in three of the past four seasons while Andre Gurode has missed just two starts at center over the past four seasons. Kosier will start at guard but is the top backup at the center position as well. Both players are gifted run blockers with plenty of experience. Colombo started just nine games last year but 48 straight from 2006 to 2008.

    Bottom Line

    All in all, this is a very good unit and losing Adams is not a huge issue as his skills have eroded over the past few seasons. If Free can step in and play well, the Cowboys offensive line will be great once again. If he struggles, the effectiveness will drop a notch or two.

    Scott's Take

    The OL has some question marks but if they stick with what they have over what has been brought in they should be fine. At LT, Dallas brought Alex Barron in and he was horrific in St Louis last year. 14 penalties which is a downgrade form Flozell Adams, seven sacks, 24 QB pressures, and 15 direct QB hits from his blindside pass blocking, OUCH!!! If Dallas is smart they will go with Doug Free who only allowed one sack on 570 snaps last season. He is a young up and coming guy who simply needs to be on the field more. If Barron does start I look for him to be benched quickly. Marc Colombo hopefully can stay injury free and play RT where he also only allowed one sack on 540 snaps last year. The good news is Free is there although we think he should start, but he's there should anyone go down. Dallas has depth and Barron would be better suited off the bench.

    Inside is a trio of road graders that make one of the very best run blocking combos in the NFL. Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis return to terrorize defensive linemen in the running game. Kosier adds an element in the screen blocking that Davis lacks but again they grade out top 10 in run blocking which means good times for Barber and Jones. Andre Gurode is top 3 in run blocking, after Mangold he is one of the best. Dallas is thought of at times as a finesse team but when they want to just load up and run the football they can do so. In fact they really should run the ball more but Romo and all those weapons are just too enticing sometimes.

    Bottom Line

    One of the best inside and out. Romo's quick release also helps with the pass blocking. I don't know how defenses are going to stop these guys.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Both Sean and I believe the Cowboys offensive line will be very effective in pass protection. In terms of run blocking prowess, I have them graded out at a C+ level and 13th best in the NFL. Sean has them as one of the top-five offensive lines in the league this season. If the left tackle position can find an effective player this season, there is plenty of potential here but I must err on the side of caution here and grade accordingly.

    Denver Broncos

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 26th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 29th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C)
  • Rank: 21st
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Ryan Clady, 3rd season
  • LG Russ Hochstein, 10th season
  • C Dustin Fry, 2nd season
  • RG Chris Kuper, 5th season
  • RT Ryan Harris, 4th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Zane Beadles [r]
  • T Tyler Polumbus
  • G Seth Olsen
  • Smith's Take

    Denver's offensive line was decent but not great last season. Once a top-tier run blocking unit, they slid all the way to 18th overall last season as the young players up front struggled to open running lanes. The pass protection was decent though and the overall rating of 16th overall was a fair season. The Broncos brought in Russ Hochstein to start at left guard last season and it was to mixed results. He only started 10 games and only has 30 starts throughout his entire career. Chris Kuper was a good pass blocker but struggled to run block consistently. The bright light of the offensive line was at left tackle. Ryan Clady had really developed into a good tackle and was only going to get better as he enters his 3rd season. He hadn't missed a start in his first two seasons but he suffered a torn patella tendon late April and will miss a lot of time. Ryan Harris only started eight games last year and is only a decent option at right tackle. He may be pushed by Tyler Polumbus who did well when he was in there last season.

    Newsflash-May 26th: Frank Schwab, from the Colorado Springs Gazette, reports offensive tackles Ryan Clady (knee) and Ryan Harris (toe) and guard/center Russ Hochstein (knee) are all recovering from injury and coach Josh McDaniels said he is optimistic about each of them. "We expect and hope for everybody to be back by August," McDaniels said. "Whether or not a guy is ready to participate fully by then, we'll have to wait and see." McDaniels said Harris should return to practice soon, then Hochstein will likely return before Clady. Clady and Harris are two premier tackles, and Denver needs both of them back.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, there is some talent here but the young talent still needs time for growth and if they are without their best lineman in Clady, it could be a long, frustrating season in Denver.

    Scott's Take

    The fact is they are not close to what they were a few years back when Shanahan was running the show. Ryan Clady made major improvements in his 2nd season and reduced his 37 QB pressures in 2008 down to only 20 last year, perhaps his game will improve even more. He did get called on eight penalties and gave up eight sacks but he looked better and hopefully he continues to improve. (Smith note: First Clady has to get healthy and on the field or there will be a giant hole at left tackle. Ryan Harris will line up at RT where he has started 24 games in two years and suffered some injuries which shortened his season last year. Denver has some depth as Tyler Polumbus played in 670 snaps last year and was never called for one penalty. That is the type of player that HC Josh McDaniels is looking for. I would assume he will see more time this season even if injuries don't play a huge factor. Polumbus will eventually start or become a great find for another team in the future.

    Inside is nothing to write home about with Russ Hochstein and Chris Kuper slated to start. Neither of them is outstanding at run blocking which is what is expected when you play inside. To compound the problems they have a rookie in J.D. Walton starting at center. It's hard to get too excited about Knowshon Moreno when you see the difference at OL between a team like Denver and say the team we just reviewed in Dallas. Certainly there is room for improvement and maybe another year in McDaniels' system will work wonders but not all OL are going to be good and you have to be suspect of this bunch.

    Bottom Line

    Average at best.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Both of us have Denver's offensive line as below average this season. If Clady is able to play and can put the injury behind him, I think they elevate up to an average group in terms of production.

    Detroit Lions

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 24th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C (B-)
  • Rank: 22nd
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (C+)
  • Rank: 27th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jeff Backus, 10th season
  • LG Rob Sims, 5th season
  • C Dominic Raiola, 10th season
  • RG Stephen Peterman, 6th season
  • RT Gosder Cherilus, 3rd season
  • Key Backups

  • G/T Jon Jansen
  • G Daniel Loper
  • G Manny Ramirez
  • Smith's Take

    The good news for Detroit Lions fans is the offensive line is heading in the right direction. The bad news is the group isn't quite there yet. There is a real opportunity this season though for the Lions to make some big strides and possible elevate into a top-fifteen unit if they can improve their teamwork and consistency. The cornerstones of this group are veterans Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola who are now in their tenth seasons. Backus has never missed a start while Raiola has started 124 of 128 games with Detroit. Both players are not the reason for the Lions offensive struggles as of late. Gosder Cherilus started fifteen games at right tackle and is starting to come into his own. He did pretty well in run blocking schemes but still needs some work in pass protection. Manny Ramirez was terrible last season and will be in a real dogfight to keep the starting job. He was one of the worst starting guards in the NFL and needs better agility to go with his great size. Stephen Peterman will likely take Ramirez job and start at right guard. The Lions brought Rob Sims in from Seattle this offseason and he'll start at left guard. He has 34 career starts and is an upgrade for the Lions. He could be a top-15 guard this season.

    Bottom Line

    The addition of Rob Sims this year will make a different in Detroit and there will be a better effort from the Lions offensive line in 2010. They have a long way to go though to be considered a good offensive line and may need time to gel.

    Scott's Take

    You would think this unit would be below average in the NFL but surprisingly there is a lot to be optimistic about. Gosder Cherilus made strides in year two and looks like he will be a good player for years to come. Might not be an all pro but he's solid and fill the RT spot fine for now. Jeff Backus gets a lot of heat and praise at times but he's also a solid if not spectacular LT. His numbers are pretty much the same as Gosder but where he distances himself is screen blocking which Backus continues to do very well. This should bode well for the new toy, Best. Stafford could use a little more time to throw but I believe the improvements to the running game and the arrival of Best is going to take a lot of pressure off the passing game.

    Inside the Lions have brought in Rob Sims to play LG. He will be a welcome arrival and is going to upgrade the running game immediately. In almost 900 snaps in Seattle last year he was only called for two penalties and gave up only one sack. He's solid, has good feet, and will improve playing next to Backus. At RG, they will likely roll with Stephen Peterman. Detroit saw many guys playing inside last year but look for those spots to be settled down and the good news is the backups like Manny Ramirez and Dylan Gandy have real playing experience. That can invaluable when things go wrong during the season. Dominic Raiola will start at center and he's solid. With Best and his blazing speed on the carpet, look for some big runs this season.

    Bottom Line

    Improvement from a year ago which will help the entire offense.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both have this unit making strides in 2010 although I am still a little lower on them across the board than Sean is. After all, they are the Lions (just kidding Detroit fans). I believe the potential is here for improvement and they could surprise if they come together.

    Green Bay Packers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C+
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 16th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C-)
  • Rank: 12th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 20th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Chad Clifton, 11th season
  • LG Jason Spitz, 5th season
  • C Scott Wells, 7th season
  • RG Josh Sitton, 3rd season
  • RT Mark Tauscher, 11th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Bryan Bulaga [r]
  • G T.J. Lane
  • T Allen Barbre
  • Smith's Take

    The Packers offensive line has an experienced and talented pair of bookend tackles. Both Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are entering their 11th season and are beginning to get long in the tooth. They aren't as good as they once were but are still good starting tackles. The Packers also drafted a tackle this year (Bryan Bulaga) and he'll be expected to join the starting lineup in the next season or two. Josh Sitton started all sixteen games last year and had a very good season. He is likely locked into that right guard position. Daryn Colledge is an unsigned RFA who is looking for a big contract. However there are no guarantees he even starts on this squad as Jason Spitz is a very capable guard when healthy. It will be interesting to watch what happens with Colledge as the Packers likely won't break the bank to keep him on team. Scott Wells is a very capable center but has struggled to stay healthy throughout an entire 16-game season.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, the Packers were pretty good towards the end of last season after a disastrous start to 2009. This season, The Packers should start the season off as they ended last year and have a successful campaign.

    Scott's Take

    Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are getting older by the minute, both entering their 11th season and both have been battling injuries as of late. The problem is they form a fantastic pass blocking duo as they combined for only five sacks allowed last year. More good news on the way as Green Bay selected Bryan Bulaga in the last draft. Bulaga won't have to start immediately and will be eased into it but his services might be called upon quickly inside if things don't improve.

    Josh Sitton is a solid run blocker but most guards have problems when they are asked to pass block a lot and his pass blocking skills are questionable. Jason Spitz should return from injury. He's not a superstar but he can hold the fort down and is not nearly as bad as Sitton in pass protection. Scott Wells is the starting center and is pretty mediocre at his position in comparison to some of the better ones around the league.

    Bottom Line

    If they had an OL like Dallas for instance then you would have something truly special. The strength of the team is the passing game and the OL is a reflection of that right now.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    I believe that the Packers have more run blocking potential than Sean does for this season. I see some potential to really elevate their play in 2010 with two veteran tackles and decent interior lineman. We both agree they'll be a middle of the road line in 2010.

    Houston Texans

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 12th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C (D)
  • Rank: 21st
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: A (D)
  • Rank: 3rd
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Duane Brown, 3rd season
  • LG Wade Smith, 8th season
  • C Chris Myers, 6th season
  • RG Kasey Studdard, 4th season
  • RT Eric Winston, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Rashad Butler
  • C/G Antoine Caldwell
  • G Chris White
  • G Mike Brisiel
  • Smith's Take

    The Texans offensive line is definitely getting better. In terms of pass protection, the Texans did an awesome job in 2009, grading out with an 'A'. Run blocking however was a different story however as the team struggled to run the ball and the 'D' grade is justified. However it should be mentioned that the Texans running back stable was pedestrian at best and a great running back may have made this unit look much better throughout the season. Duane Brown has started all 32 games in his NFL career and is still learning his craft. He had some nice moments last year but he still struggles against top-end defensive ends and needs to do a better job in pass protection. Eric Winston did an excellent job at right tackle last year. He was a machine in terms of pass protection but could improve his run blocking ability. Wade Smith was brought in from Kansas City this year to start somewhere in the interior of the offensive line. The most likely slot will be at left guard. Chester Pitts is an unrestricted free agent who will start if re-signed on the Texans. If not, expect Kasey Studdard and Mike Brisiel to battle it out for the starting job. Chris Myers has started all 32 games for the Texans since joining the organization in 2008.

    Bottom Line

    This group is much better than most people think. Put a good running back behind this offensive line and they may be considered a top-ten unit or better. Expect more progression this season as the group gains in experience and cohesiveness.

    Scott's Take

    When you look at the OL it seems obvious why they have problems running the football and it isn't just the quality of their RBs. What isn't obvious until you take a closer look is how the Houston Texans are able to keep Matt Schaub healthy with the Swiss cheese pass blocking scheme they have staring at the tackle positions. Duane Brown has struggled a lot since entering the league. You can understand why he would get torched by guys like Dwight Freeney, but Brown went from 25 QB pressures as a rookie to a whopping 35 last season - 11 QB hits directly attributed to him. He has allowed 18 sacks in his 1st two seasons. There will have to be remarkable improvement for him to keep this job for much longer. Eric Winston is the RT and had a solid year last season but still allows quite a few QB pressures which leads to bad things. \

    Inside is not a lot better in terms of helping the running game. Kasey Studdard is a disciplined enough guy only getting called for one penalty all season but as a run blocker he is below average and it doesn't appear Houston feels a need to upgrade. The inside of this line is decent in pass protection which is fine but that doesn't create open holes for the backs. At RG Mike Brisiel will try and hold off Antoine Caldwell in camp. This slot could be fluid throughout the season which doesn't build a lot of cohesion. Chris Myers is a decent center but surely nothing special and is not helped out much with his buddies inside.

    Bottom Line

    Until this improves Houston will never be able to make a strong playoff push in a highly competitive division.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We disagree in a huge way here. I see the Texans group as a young, improving offensive line that appeared worse than they are thanks to suspect running back talent. Sean doesn't see as much potential with this unit. The youth and growing experience is an exciting combination this year, and I believe by season end, most will consider this group inside the top-ten as the Texans make a playoff push.

    Indianapolis Colts

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 19th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 29th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 4th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Tony Ugoh, 4th season
  • LG Andy Alleman, 4th season
  • C Jeff Saturday, 12th season
  • RG Kyle DeVan, 2nd season
  • RT Ryan Diem, 10th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Adam Terry
  • G Mike Pollak
  • T Charlie Johnson
  • Smith's Take

    The Colts offensive line often appears better than it is thanks to the presence of Peyton Manning in behind them. However the run blocking last season was terrible and nothing Manning does could mask that weakness. While the pass blocking grades better, much of that success goes to Manning's smarts and savvy on the field. At center, Jeff Saturday is still very good but is now entering his 12th season and could begin slowing down soon. Tony Ugoh is a talented left tackle but has really struggled to stay healthy and on the field and has never really made the leaps that were expected of him. His potential is still quite high and there is a real chance he moves inside to guard this year. Ryan Diem has been the starter since 2001 at right tackle and is a consistent, hard working player. He is beginning to get long in the tooth as well but still has some fight left in him. The two guard positions look very weak at this time. Andy Alleman, Kyle DeVan and Mike Pollak will fight it out for the two starting jobs with DeVan looking like the surest bet to start. None of the three are tremendous talents but DeVan has the highest upside.

    Bottom Line

    The Colts offensive line is an average unit playing in front of a tremendous quarterback. Manning masks some of the issues along the line, but both Saturday and Diem are capable of elevating the effectiveness of this group if healthy and if age is not a problem. Expect similar results to last season with good pass protection (thanks in part to Manning) and suspect run blocking.

    Scott's Take

    No doubt this line is built to protect number 18. There's enough to allow the ground game to keep defenses honest. Charlie Johnson has replaced Ugoh at LT and so far he has done very well keeping Manning upright allowing only two sacks however some of that is a result of Manning getting rid of the football quickly. Johnson also allowed 26 QB pressures so he isn't all world at LT, but he understands his job, keep Manning upright. Ryan Diem has 123 career starts and is entering his 10th season. He only gave up one sack out of the RT spot last year. He is a slight upgrade over Johnson in run category but Indy is built to throw the football often. If there was an injury Ugoh could be thrust into the line up so there is some depth here too.

    Inside is Mike Pollak at LG who is a terrific pass blocking guard but has limited run blocking skills. Ugoh is being flipped inside and could push Pollak although as long as he helps Johnson on the left keeping Manning's jersey clean he probably is safe. Kyle DeVan is entering his 2nd season at RG and he also is a solid in pass blocking and perhaps is a little better at run blocking than many of the others. When they need a year it probably is going to be a Manning pass but if they decide to run it's the A gap on the right side between DeVan and Jeff Saturday who will return for a 12th season at center. He is borderline top 10 now at his position with his best days behind him. Still he is the glue that holds it all together and Peyton loves him hiking the ball so the machine rolls on.

    Bottom Line

    Hmmmm, I think they'll throw the ball more.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We agree exactly on the grades here. Expect more of the same in 2010.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 18th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (B-)
  • Rank: 6th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C (D)
  • Rank: 26th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Eugene Monroe, 2nd season
  • LG Justin Smiley, 7th season
  • C Brad Meester, 11th season
  • RG Uche Nwaneri, 4th season
  • RT Eric Britton, 2nd season
  • Key Backups

  • T Jordan Black
  • G Kynan Forney
  • C Cecil Newton
  • Smith's Take

    The Jaguars have gotten much younger over the past couple of seasons beginning at tackle where two 2nd -year players are slotted in as the starters. Both Eugene Monroe (LT) and Eric Britton (RT) started 15 games last year and learned on the fly. Both did a good run in run blocking schemes but need to improve their pass protection to become better tackles. The talent is there for both players to become top-fifteen tackles but both are still learning their craft and it may still take some time. Vince Manuwai started 16 games at left guard last season and was dependable. He is a much better run blocker than a pass blocker. He'll be in competition with Justin Smiley for the starting position and my money is on Smiley at this time. Uche Nwaneri is the starting right guard and made some strides last season. He has started 28 games over past two seasons. He pass blocked well but was over-matched in run blocking battles at times. Brad Meester has been the starting center since the 2000 season and has started 145 games but is coming off a very poor season by his standards. At 33-years of age this year, it may be that his skills are beginning to erode.

    Bottom Line

    If the two young tackles can elevate their pass blocking prowess, this unit could slide into the top-ten offensive lines. The worst case scenario is a similar result to last year with good run blocking and poor pass protection.

    Scott's Take

    Eugene Monroe looked pretty good at times last year as a rookie. 26 QB pressures from the LT spot, nine sacks, and four penalties called on him. He has a lot of room for improvement but he also faced some very good DE within his own division. Look for improvement as he enters year 2. Eben Britton was forced to start due last year as a rookie RT, it's amazing that Garrard was even as good as he was with the protection he had up front. Britton gave up a whopping 40 QB pressures but only one sack so it appears he has the discipline desired by Del Rio and that should make for a marked improvement this year. 66 QB pressures from your starting bookend tackles are not good but there is optimism that the two of them can cut these down significantly in 2010.

    At RG, Uche Nwaneri should get the nod as he gave up no sacks last year and was only called for one penalty all year. Some think Kynan Forney will start at LG but the last time he was starting on the OL was 2007 for Atlanta and he wasn't all that special when he was on the field. I think the arrival of Justin Smiley who is far from a superstar but is adequate inside should stabilize the running game. Also, the Jags have Vince Manuwai who has lots of game experience and can push for time. Last year he started quite a few games and was decent in run blocking. All this adds up to depth which a lot of teams don't have. Brad Meester is the biggest liability inside on the running game. The Jags should really upgrade there when the opportunity arises. They need it.

    Bottom Line

    The Jags have some real pass protection issues and need to see improvement but the run game should continue to open holes for MJD to squirt through.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We are similar enough in our thoughts and grades with the Jaguars offensive line. They should be average this season.

    Kansas City Chiefs

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 23rd
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C (C)
  • Rank: 19th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C (D)
  • Rank: 22nd
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Branden Albert, 3rd season
  • LG Brian Waters, 11th season
  • C Rudy Niswanger, 5th season
  • RG Ryan Lilja, 7th season
  • RT Ryan O'Callaghan, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • G Jon Asamoah [r]
  • T Ike Ndukwe
  • C Casey Weigmann
  • Smith's Take

    The Chiefs offensive line is rebuilding nicely. It isn't as strong as it was in the past but it is certainly headed back in the right direction. Branden Albert is a top-tier talent at left tackle but is still learning his craft and needs to get better in terms of discipline and consistency. He took too many penalties last season but made strides in both pass protection and run blocking. He could emerge as a top-five tackle in the next season or two if he works hard at his craft and keeps his weight under control. Ryan O'Callaghan is a huge man at 6'7 and 330 pounds and he does have talent. However with just 19 career starts he may not have the athleticism to turn the corner at this level. Waters has started 125 of the past 128 games for the Chiefs. He is an exceptional guard but at 33 years of age, he is entering the down slope of his career. He took too many penalties and wasn't as dominant as he used to be. Rudy Niswanger has started 31 of 32 games for the Chiefs and he is beginning to emerge as a force at center. He isn't there yet but if he continues to improve, he will be very good. Finally the Chiefs added a very good guard in Ryan Lilja from Indianapolis. If his knees are in good shape, he'll be a huge upgrade for the Chiefs at right guard.

    Bottom Line

    This unit, still a far cry from the glory days of the past appears to be much better than it did at the start of last year. If everything comes together and the group gels it could be a very nice season in Kansas City. Most likely however is an up-and-down campaign in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    Let's take a look at Branden Albert who managed to drop his QB pressures from a high of 30 in 2008 down to 15 last year. That shows a lot of improvement, unfortunately he went from one penalty in 2008 to 13 in 2009 so things have not really gotten better for him. Cassel suffers in the passing game due to this. Ryan O'Callaghan allowed 24 QB pressures but only had two penalties. Neither of these starting tackles is particularly great at run blocking which would have a big impact for a guy like Charles so he could run off tackle a little more often.

    Brian Water is entering his 11th season and has 133 games started to lean on. At this stage he's a better pass blocker than run blocker which most would prefer the reverse. Help is on the way though as Ryan Lilja who we highlighted in the Indy thread signed with Kansas City and will have a big impact on the inside running game. The right side A-gap between Rudy Niswanger and Lilja should be a path to freedom for both Charles and Thomas this year. Rudy has started 31 games the past two seasons.

    Bottom Line

    Albert has to improve his game or the offense is going to be spotty at best. Hopefully the arrival of good assistant coaches on both sides of the ball will help further some of these guys along.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We are almost dead on in our grading for the Chiefs this season. There is potential here but they'll almost certainly finish as an average unit.

    Miami Dolphins

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 10th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 4th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 16th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jake Long, 3rd season
  • LG Richie Incognito, 6th season
  • C Jake Grove, 7th season
  • RG Nate Garner, 3rd season
  • RT Vernon Carey, 7th season
  • Key Backups

  • T/G John Jerry [r]
  • G Donald Thomas
  • C Joe Berger
  • Smith's Take

    The Dolphins offensive line has developed nicely and with youth along the offensive line has the potential to improve going forward. Jake Long is a monster at left tackle. He may already be the top left tackle in the NFL and he is still getting better. He has started all 32 games since entering the NFL. Vernon Carey has become an excellent right tackle and has started all but two of the past 80 games. Together they may be the best tackle duo in the NFL today. Jake Grove has also come into his own although durability has certainly been an issue. When healthy, he is a top-ten center. Richie Incognito is a tough, mean road grader but has struggled with discipline throughout his NFL career. He'll compete with Donald Thomas and rookie John Jerry for the left guard spot. Thomas has shown lot of potential but injuries have set him back. He may emerge as a very capable guard in 2010. At right guard, Nate Garner did a pretty solid job last year and should have the starting position entering camp. He is being pushed by Joe Berger though so far in camps. All in all, the Dolphins offensive line is very strong and should be a good job again in 2010.

    Newsflash, May 30th: The Miami Dolphins have been rotating their interior offensive linemen every practice session during minicamp, reports Omar Kelly, of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. OG John Jerry would line up as the left guard, C Jake Grove at center and OG Richie Incognito at right guard with the No. one offense in the morning. OG Cory Procter would line up as the left guard, C Joe Berger at center and OG Donald Thomas at right guard with the No. one offense in the afternoon.

    Bottom Line

    All in all, the Dolphins offensive line is very strong and should be a good job again in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    Jake Long and Vernon Carey make a dynamic duo at offensive tackle for Miami. Long had only seven QB pressures from the LT spot all year. No wonder he has been to two straight Pro Bowls since being selected #1 overall in 2008. Carey also has been a terrific run blocker and makes for a lot of fun running off tackle to the right side. Only four sacks off the right side, both Carey and Long are one of the better run blocking combos in the NFL. They are the rare kind that can do both things well on the OL.

    The running game inside is going to be exciting with a lot of depth and also some shuffling in of new players. Donald Thomas looked incredible in camp a couple years ago and lost his entire rookie year due to injury. Last year he had a hard time keeping his job but most are confident he can do well at LG vs. the RG spot he filled a year ago. Richie Incognito comes with some baggage but Miami, Parcells, and Sporano might be just what the doctor ordered. Miami understands what they want to do and that is pound the football. Richie will be fine lining up and mauling the guy on the other side. Where this gets fun is that Jake Grove will return at center but now actually has competition with Joe Berger at center. Berger was drafted by Miami five years ago but left for Dallas after only one year. He learned alongside Parcells and Sporano and came back to Miami last year. In Grove's absence Berger gave up no penalties the entire time. Berger and Grove also combined for zero sacks. Grove has only been able to start 24 games over the past three seasons but he is an absolute beast in the run game. There is talk that one of them could roll over to LG/RG if need be. To top it off the Dolphins drafted John Jerry who was ranked in the top 3-5 at his position coming out of Mississippi. Miami is loading up inside.

    Bottom Line

    They can pass protect to give Henne time, and they can run block to open holes for Ricky and Ronnie, this is a very strong OL and Miami is going to need it if you have looked at their front seven on defense. The name of the game is ball control for Miami. Over the past two years they have sunk roughly $150 million so they expect a strong return on investment.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both believe the talent and ability of the Dolphins offensive line grades highly this season. Two strong tackles and good talent along the interior of the offensive line will result in a very strong campaign.

    Minnesota Vikings

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 7th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (C-)
  • Rank: 9th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (C-)
  • Rank: 9th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Bryant McKinnie, 9th season
  • LG Steve Hutchinson, 10th season
  • C John Sullivan, 3rd season
  • RG Anthony Herrera, 7th season
  • RT Phil Loadholt, 2nd season
  • Key Backups

  • T Ryan Cook
  • T Chris Clark
  • C Jon Cooper
  • Smith's Take

    The Vikings have the makings of an excellent offensive line. In fact, the potential is there for this group to be a top-three unit this season. Bryant McKinnie is a massive, talented left tackle but he struggled last season and played his worst football as a pro. He needs to rebound this season for the Vikings offensive line to elevate their play. Phil Loadholt started 15 games as a rookie last season and had some good moments. However he struggled at times in both the running and passing game and needs to improve his lateral movement this year. The good news is both are capable of playing much better than they did last season. John Sullivan started all 16 games last year but needs to elevate his run blocking ability. He struggled to open holes for the running backs to exploit. Steve Hutchinson is a fixture at left guard. He isn't as dominating as he once was but is still a very good football player. Finally Anthony Herrera has started 42 of the past 48 games for the Vikings. He does a decent job but he'll never be considered a great lineman.

    Bottom Line

    As stated above, the Vikings have the makings of an excellent offensive line if everything comes together.

    Scott's Take

    For a line that gets a lot of praise it sure doesn't have quite the zip and punch one would expect. Bryant McKinnie is absolutely average despite his humongous size. He enters his 9th season but the work ethic just does not seem to be there for him. nine sacks on Favre's blind side and the OL as a whole was one of the main reasons the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship. Phil Loadholt did alright as a rookie giving up seven sacks at RT but he also committed 11 penalties. One would think he should improve in year 2.

    Steve Hutchinson is starting to show some signs of wear and tear, but he is now going to be a 10 year veteran so in some aspects that's natural. Again though the left side of this OL should be a lot better with him and McKinnie teaming up but the rushing numbers don't lie. A 4.1 average turns out to be only 22nd in the league. Anthony Herrera will start at RG; again he is pretty average as is the starting C, John Sullivan. We're not saying this is a reason to avoid Adrian Peterson for example but it is cause for concern for both the rushing and passing game. This is not the most disciplined bunch of guys either.

    Bottom Line

    Proceed with caution.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    Wow, we really disagree here. I agree this unit underperformed a year ago but there is serious talent here and I expect a top-ten performance in 2010.

    New England Patriots

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 3rd
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (B)
  • Rank: 10th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 2nd
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Matt Light, 10th season
  • LG Dan Connolly, 5th season
  • C Dan Koppen, 8th season
  • RG Stephen Neal, 9th season
  • RT Nick Kaczur, 6th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Sebastian Vollmer
  • G Rich Ohrnberger
  • C Ryan Wendell
  • Smith's Take

    The Patriots have a great, veteran offensive line. Pro Bowler Logan Mankins wants a long-term / big contract deal. He will start at left tackle if and when he signs. Matt Light is in his 10th season and is a good veteran presence at left tackle. However the team really likes young tackle Sebastian Vollmer who filled in at both right and left tackle last year. There is a chance the Patriots cut Light before training camp and insert Vollmer into the starting position. Either way the team is in great shape at left tackle. Nick Kaczur isn't a tremendous talent but works hard and is a dependable fixture at right tackle. He could be in a battle with Vollmer if Light sticks around. Stephen Neal is a horse at right guard although he has fought injury issues over the past four years. He is one of the best in the League at his position. Dan Koppen has missed just one game over the past four seasons and is the anchor of this unit.

    Bottom Line

    With Mankins on board, the Patriots may be the best offensive line in the league and are certainly one of the top-five.

    Scott's Take

    This is a decorated group with Pro Bowls and Super Bowl rings to boot. It's a shame the Patriots don't have a bell cow at RB because there is certainly the makings of a strong rushing attack to compliment one of the best pass blocking OL in the NFL too. Matt Light has been an anchor at LT. He fought through injuries a year ago but along the way New England discovered they had a pretty solid rookie in Sebastian Vollmer who looks to start this season at RT. He only yielded one sack as a rookie so that will surely earn him more playing time. Even Nick Kaczur works in the rotation and adds nice depth for this group.

    Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal make for one of the top tier duos inside at guard. There are rumors of some of these guys grumbling about their contracts but you rarely see anyone in this organization hold out of try and force the Patriots' hand. Dan Koppen at center is the icing on the cake as he allowed no sacks last year and is a very good run blocker as well.

    Bottom Line

    There really is not much to pick on with the OL in New England. It continues to provide strength for Brady to drop back and operate from. They can run the ball too but they seem to choose a group of spare parts at RB which holds their numbers back.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    I see the Patriots offensive line as potentially the best group in football and Sean is right there with me. They are experienced, talented and in the prime of their career. Expect a very strong season out of this unit.

    New Orleans Saints

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 1st
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (A)
  • Rank: 8th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 1st
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jermon Bushrod, 4th season
  • LG Carl Nicks, 3rd season
  • C Jonathan Goodwin, 9th season
  • RG Jahri Evans, 5th season
  • RT Jonathan Stinchcomb, 8th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Charles Brown [r]
  • G/C Nick Leckey
  • G Tim Duckworth
  • Smith's Take

    The Saints offensive line did a tremendous job last year in both run blocking and pass protection. They were the top-ranked offensive line last year and deservedly so. If everyone returns this year the unit can be even better with the addition of talented rookie Charles Brown at tackle. However with Jamaal Brown still holding out for a big contract, it is too early to tell which direction this will go. The guaranteed starters heading into this season, RT Jonathan Stinchcomb, LG Carl Nicks, RG Jahri Evans and C Jonathan Goodwin each started all sixteen games last year and did a good job. Stinchcomb may have been a top-ten tackle last season and has really come into his own. Carl Nicks was exceptional last year and Jonathan Goodwin was strong in the middle. Former Pro Bowl LT Jammal Brown missed the entire season and the team recently traded him to the Washington Redskins. Jermon Bushrod started 15 games in his place last season and did a good, not great job. Perhaps rookie 2nd round pick Charles Brown from USC will emerge as the starter this season. Will be interesting to watch this situation unfold. The other key free agent was Jahri Evans who was a key player for the Saints to re-sign. He was one of the top guards in the NFL last season and is deserving of a big deal. He signed a massive seven-year-$56 million dollar deal to remain with the team.

    Bottom Line

    Without question the Saints offensive line will be a good one. Being an elite unit this season really all depends on figuring out left tackle. Expect more great things in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    One of the biggest surprises and what helped propel them to a Super Bowl win last season was the spectacular play of their OL. So much so that Jamal Brown found himself a new home in 2010 with the Washington Redskins. Let's start with Jermon Bushrod...who? Most don't know him by name and to be honest he was pretty average allowing 22 QB pressures, five penalties, and eight sacks last season. But Bushrod is quickly becoming an excellent screen blocker and that is a vital part of the New Orleans offense. It's an overlooked aspect at times for most OL in the league but those that can do it really distance themselves between run of the mill and excellence. Bushrod needs to work on his game but he made huge strides last year. John Stinchcomb is one of the better run blocking RT in the league. Only three sacks allowed and three hits on the QB for the season too. Can he repeat that performance in 2010? With Brown leaving it will create some holes with depth but look for New Orleans to be a team that also finds guys that want to play for a winner. There still are some names floating around free agency right now.

    Jahri Evans got paid and he deserves every dollar of it. He absolutely destroys guys at the RG position and makes for a fantastic right side along with Stinchcomb. He simply is nasty and when he wants to tee off on guys he can do almost anything he wants. Carl nicks is nothing to sneeze at filling up the LG position as well. Nicks is a very good at run blocking as well, but he might actually be better at pass blocking than Evans. Nicks only made three penalties for the season and yielded only two sacks. When you consider how many times he has to pass protect for the Saints that's actually a great statistic and a showcase of his abilities. Jonathon Goodwin is solid at center and benefits a lot from the great guys on both his right and left side.

    Bottom Line

    Strong and maybe getting better which is scary.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both see this unit as perhaps the best in the NFL. They were good last year and amazingly, may be even better in 2010.

    New York Giants

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 6th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: B (C+)
  • Rank: 11th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (B)
  • Rank: 7th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT David Diehl, 8th season
  • LG Rich Seubert, 10th season
  • C Shaun O'Hara, 11th season
  • RG Chris Snee, 7th season
  • RT Kareem McKenzie, 10th season
  • Key Backups

  • T/G Guy Whimper
  • G Kevin Boothe
  • T Adam Koets
  • Smith's Take

    The Giants have a terrific, veteran offensive line but didn't play their best last season. Kareem McKenzie was perhaps a top ten tackle last year and did a great job. He did miss four games last year but only three in the previous seven seasons. David Diehl is a very good lineman but he did not play his best football last season and will be looking for redemption. He hasn't missed a game in the NFL. Chris Snee is one of the best guards in all of football and hasn't missed a start since 2004. He is an incredible run blocker. Rich Seubert is a dependable guard who has missed just two starts over the last three years. At center, Shaun O'Hara is one of the best in the game today and he hasn't missed a start over the last five seasons.

    Bottom Line

    The Giants offensive line is experienced, talented and could be the best in the NFL in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    A veteran group where most of the parts have been here a long time. Most years that has worked great but last season they sputtered a bit and fell below their usual standards. At LT, David Diehl is entering his 8th season. Diehl has never missed start since being drafted by New York. Last season he struggled - allowing 12 hits on Eli and 26 additional QB pressures while his run blocking was also subpar. Hopefully he can bounce back. At RT, Kareem McKenzie has over 120 career starts and will play in his 10th season this year. He was pretty good allowing only two sacks and was only called for three penalties all season. McKenzie is a solid run blocker as well. These two don't get injured much although they did shuffle a bit last year so depth is a concern.

    As you look inside you see Chris Snee at RG, a starter since being drafted six years ago. Snee is a strong run blocker and the right side of the Giants line is where the RBs want to exploit. Snee only gave up two sacks all season as well. Rich Seubert has started 46 of 48 games the past three years and when you add in center, Shaun O'Hara who has missed only one game the past five seasons, you start to see that this is one of the most cohesive groups you will find in the NFL. They have been playing together a long time and even though last year they fell off some, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they can come back strong this year. If not, this group will soon be dismantled and usher in a new era for New York.

    Bottom Line

    These guys are aging but there is reason to be optimistic about their chances in 2010.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    While the Giants offensive line failed to live up to their ability last year, I believe this unit is poised for a bounce-back season. Great experience and talent should equate to success. Sean and I expect a very good season in 2010.

    New York Jets

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 5th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: A (A)
  • Rank: 1st
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C (A)
  • Rank: 15th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, 5th season
  • LG Vlad Ducasse [r]
  • C Nick Mangold, 5th season
  • RG Brandon Moore, 8th season
  • RT Damien Woody, 12th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Wayne Hunter
  • G Matt Slauson
  • T Robert Turner
  • Smith's Take

    The Jets have a very good offensive line that has great potential. It all starts in the middle of the line with Nick Mangold who is the best center in the NFL today. He is an incredible run blocker and a leader for the team. He also hasn't missed a start in the NFL. The Jets are blessed with one of the best book-end tackle combinations in the NFL. Both D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Damien Woody are equally adept in run blocking and in pass protection. Ferguson is entering the prime of his career and hasn't missed an NFL start while Woody is likely to start slowing down soon. Woody however hasn't missed a game in two seasons with the Jets. Brandon Moore is a very good guard who is solid in all facets of blocking. The only question mark is at left guard as the Jets released veteran Alan Faneca this off-season. It appears likely that draft pick Vlad Ducasse will be the front-runner for the job but there will certainly be a training camp battle for the starting position. He played tackle in school but he feels he is a much better fit at guard in the NFL.

    Bottom Line

    All in all, this is a top offensive line and if they adequately fill the left guard position, they could be an elite unit.

    Scott's Take

    LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and RT Damien Woody combine for one of the best book end OT in the NFL. We have seen OL that give up 35 QB pressures just by themselves. These two combined for only 19 QB pressures all season. A total of nine sacks between the two and Woody did not allow one hit on the QB all season outside of the few sacks he gave up. They form pillars for Sanchez to drop back in the pocket and set up shop. Ferguson has not missed a start in four years and Woody the past two years. The run blocking is not quite as strong for them but remember that OT typically has more impact on pass protection with the speedy defensive ends whizzing by. These two excel at keeping Sanchez upright.

    The Jets have parted ways with Alan Faneca. As good as he is at run blocking; he was killing the Jets in pass protection so they drafted his replacement in Vladimir Ducasse out of UMass. Ducasse will take awhile to get up to speed but the good news is he plays between Ferguson and all pro Nick Mangold who is hands down the best center in the NFL right now. In fact Mangold is building a Hall of Fame resume with each passing week. Nick has started all 64 games since he was drafted the same year as Ferguson (what a catch), and last year only allowed one hit on his QB and five pressures all year. The RG spot will be filled again by Brandon Moore who doesn't get enough credit. He has not missed a start in five years, and last season only gave up one sack. The Jets as a team yielded 30 sacks last year which was top 10 but with Faneca departing this number should improve.

    Bottom Line

    One of the best units in the NFL right now.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both see this group having elite potential. I suppose the only difference is Sean has rookie Ducasse's arrival as a starter having less of a negative impact than I do. I believe by season end, this unit may be firing on all cylinders but I expect a bit of a learning curve from Ducasse this season. The Jets offensive line may be considered the best in the NFL by season end however. The talent and potential is undeniable.

    Oakland Raiders

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 30th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 27th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (F)
  • Rank: 30th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Mario Henderson, 4th season
  • LG Robert Gallery, 7th season
  • C Samson Satele, 4th season
  • RG Cooper Carlisle, 11th season
  • RT Khalif Barnes, 6th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Bruce Campbell [r]
  • G Chris Morris
  • T/G Langston Walker
  • T Erik Pears
  • T Jared Veldheer [r]
  • Smith's Take

    The Raiders do have some talent along their offensive line and could elevate their play from last season which was in a word, awful. Mario Henderson started all sixteen games last season for the Raiders but was one of the worst tackles in the NFL. He was a swinging gate at left tackle and must improve greatly through training camp to keep his job. Expect rookies Bruce Campbell and/or Jared Veldheer to emerge as the starter in place of Henderson. One of those two will also compete with Khalif Barnes at right tackle. He started just two games last year and is serviceable at best. However it appears most likely that Bruce Campbell will push for a starting job at the right tackle position where he has been training. It is a tough position for him as he played left tackle in school and there will be a learning curve. The Raiders guard play is actually pretty good. Robert Gallery missed ten games last season but when healthy is a solid option at left guard. Cooper Carlisle is a good veteran player who has started in all but one game with the Raiders since 2007. Samson Satele started 12 games at center in his first year with the Raiders but was inconsistent and didn't play as expected. He will have to be better this year or the Raiders may sour on him as the starter.

    Bottom Line

    There is a lot of competition coming up in training camp between the young players and the veterans and with the right mix, the Raiders offensive line can elevate their play in 2010. Certainly something to keep an eye on through training camp and into preseason.

    Scott's Take

    This is a mess but help is on the way for Oakland. Mario Henderson had one of the worst years last season at LT - 17 hits on the Quarterback directly attributed to him and 38 additional QB pressures. He never had Russell's back and I believe that Jared Veldheer from Hillsdale who was drafted this past spring will overtake Henderson in training camp. Henderson is a back up at best. The right side has been vacated by Cornell Green who went to Buffalo. Khalif Barnes who has had a slew of injuries the past couple seasons will try and start at RT. Folks that are optimistic about Jason Campbell might want to take a good hard look at this OL because as of right now it has no continuity.

    Inside you have Robert Gallery entering his 7th season at LG. He was injured last year but is probably the best run blocker the Raiders have right now. Cooper Carlisle has only missed one start the past three seasons but his job is in jeopardy as Oakland has drafted Bruce Campbell out of Maryland. Many think Campbell can make it as an OT, and he might get a shot at RT immediately if Barnes doesn't pan out but he also is built for guard in the NFL. How long it takes him to adapt to the NFL is anyone's guess but look for Campbell to gain playing time at several positions in training camp and preseason. Samson Satele is a turnstile at center and allows way too many pressures up the middle. He simply does not possess the strength to be a starting center in this league.

    Bottom Line

    Not good right now but there is hope for the future.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both believe there is promise for the future but the present appears very bleak.

    Philadelphia Eagles

  • 2010 Overall Grade: B
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 13th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B-)
  • Rank: 17th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (B)
  • Rank: 12th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jason Peters, 7th season
  • LG Todd Herremans, 6th season
  • C Jamaal Jackson, 7th season
  • RG Stacy Andrews, 7th season
  • RT Winston Justice, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • G Nick Cole
  • G Max Jean-Gilles
  • Smith's Take

    The Eagles offensive line was alright last season but didn't play up to expectations. Jason Peters played in fifteen games in his first season with the Eagles and did a good job. He excelled in pass protection but was not as good as advertised in terms of the running game. Winston Justice started in all sixteen games in his first season as a starter and did not disappoint. He had a fine season and is now a fixture at right tackle. Stacy Andrews was injured for most of last season and only started two games. He has big plans this season though and expects to have a good season. He is a very good run blocker when healthy. Todd Herremans is a very good guard who is wonderful in run blocking techniques but only average in pass protection. He missed five games last season and the Eagles missed him during those games. At center, Jamaal Jackson has missed just one start over four seasons and is a top ten center. All in all, this is a good group.

    Bottom Line

    If Andrews can rebound from his disappointing 2009 campaign, the Eagles have the potential to be a top-five unit. More likely however is they have a good but not great campaign.

    Scott's Take

    Jason Peters was a welcome addition to the Eagles last year. Peters was called for 10 penalties but only yielded 12 QB pressures all year. Winston Justice at RT provided solid work on pass protection. The problem with these two is they don't make a huge difference in the run game. Also for a team that likes to throw short passes you would like to see better movement on screen set ups but both these guys are pretty middle of the road in those departments. A lot of team would love to have these two vs. what they currently have so Kevin Kolb should have decent pass protection to set up behind.

    Injuries hurt the Eagles inside last season. Stacy Andrews only started two games last year. Currently he is slated to start at RG. The LG spot will be filled by Todd Herremans who has battled injuries as well missing six games over the past two years. The Eagles need some cohesion along the inside of this line if they expect to be able to run the ball effectively. Center is interesting as Nick Cole who filled in for Stacy Andrews last year is looking to bump Jamaal Jackson a four year starter to the bench. The good news is this creates competition and depth for the running game. Jackson had no penalties, two sacks, and zero QB hits last season, what more can you ask for? He's not that bad of a run blocker. Camp should shake this situation out.

    Bottom Line

    Good but not great OL

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both have the Eagles right around the same level for the upcoming season. The Eagles appear good but I don't see enough here for them to elevate to a top-five performance in 2010. Even a top-ten finish may be a reach.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 30th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 31st
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 27th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Max Starks, 7th season
  • LG Chris Kemoeatu, 6th season
  • C Maurkice Pouncey, rookie
  • RG Trai Essex, 6th season
  • RT Jonathon Scott, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • C Justin Hartwig
  • G Kraig Urbik
  • T Ramon Foster
  • Smith's Take

    The Steelers offensive line is in a transitional state. Usually a strength of the team, the talent isn't as strong as years past and the unit is struggling to find itself. The best lineman on the team is right tackle Willie Colon who has started each game over the past three seasons. He is an exceptional pass blocker but not nearly as effective in run blocking. He may be top-five at right tackle in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Steelers, Colon is out for the season due to injury and now this unit is in disarray. In looks right now that Jonathon Scott will start in his place but Scott is pedestrian at best. Of note is the Steelers interest in free agent Flozell Adams but the two sides are rumored to be far apart. Starks started in all sixteen games at left tackle last year. It was only the 2nd time in his career he was able to play in all sixteen games. He is a decent left tackle but is not considered to be a top player. Chris Kemoeatu started 12 games at left guard but was ineffective in 2009. He has started 28 games over the last two years but there is no guarantee he starts in 2010 after his poor play last season. Trai Essex started all sixteen games at right guard last year but was terrible. One of the worst guard performances in the NFL last season. As a result, there will be competition for the starting guard position between several players. It appears rookie Maurkice Pouncey will emerge as the starting center although he is in a battle with veteran Justin Hartwig for the job. Hartwig was below average last year though and Pouncey is one of the best center prospects to come out in the draft in a long while. Of note is the Steelers interest in free agent Flozell Adams but the two sides are rumored to be far apart.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, the Steelers offensive line just doesn't look very good heading into this season. The glory days as a top-tier blocking team are in the rear-view mirror but youngsters such as Pouncey may help right this ship sooner than later.

    Scott's Take

    Willie Colon suffered an injury in OTAs and will miss the entire 2010 season. Many fans feel it's not that big of a loss. Let's put it in perspective. Sure, Colon gave up a good amount of penalties but he also only allowed five QB pressures all year beyond the six sacks he gave up. Colon is a fantastic pass blocking RT, somewhat average at RB but he will be sorely missed and to think otherwise is unrealistic. It looks like Jonathan Scott will fill in at RT. Last season on Buffalo over about 485 snaps, Scott gave up 13 QB pressures, seven sacks, six penalties...most OL that start all season play about 1050-1100 snaps. So double most of those numbers to 26, 14, and 12...you can see the difference between a Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott. The LT spot will be filled by Max Starks who did well last year but battles a lot of injuries in 2007 and 2008. He is not a bill of clean health most of the time. The Steelers cannot afford for him to miss a snap the whole year so any injury there and you have to start thinking catastrophe for the Steelers passing game which already is down Big Ben for six games as we go to press with this. Maybe that gets reduced to four games.

    Want some more bad news? Trai Essex returns after posting one of the worst years in 2009 for any starting RG in the league. At RG, Essex gave up 27 QB pressures and those are numbers you would expect form perhaps a rookie LT, not a 5th year starting RG. Trai can't run block very well either. Chris Kemoeatu at LG is average by NFL standards. The center spot will be a battle between rookie Maurkice Pouncey and the incumbent Hartwig who was miserable last year in the middle. Pittsburgh has holes and questions along their OL. In years past they have danced around it but it may be time to pay the piper in 2010.

    Bottom Line

    Good luck for those taking an early position on Mendenhall. The passing game is in shambles with Big Ben out six games, but there doesn't seem to be a strong pass protection scheme in front of him when he does return.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    The loss of Colon is crippling for the Steelers offensive line this season and we both agree they'll be amongst the worst in the NFL in 2010.

    San Diego Chargers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 22nd
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 27th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (C+)
  • Rank: 11th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Brandyn Dombrowski, 2nd season
  • LG Kris Dielman, 8th season
  • C Nick Hardwick, 7th season
  • RG Louis Vasquez, 2nd season
  • RT Jeromey Clary, 4th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Corey Clark
  • C/G Scott Mruckzkowski
  • G Tyrone Green
  • Smith's Take

    Marcus McNeill, the incumbent at left tackle is a restricted free agent and is looking for a big money deal. If he signs, he'll be back in the starting role and he has the talent to be a top-tier blocker. However last season, he really regressed overall and it remains to be seen whether the Chargers are willing to shell out those big bucks to land him. He is tendered at the highest level though and he'll probably be back. Jeromey Clary played pretty well last season at right tackle although he missed six games. He isn't an elite blocker but does pretty well in all facets of the game. He started all sixteen games in 2008. Louis Vasquez as a rookie last season was the best guard on the team. He did a decent job in his first season. Kris Dielman really disappointed last year. He didn't play up to the level he did in years past and he will need to improve this season. Nick Hardwick missed 13 games last year and 20 of the past 48 games. Scott Mruckzkowski did a good job in his absence last year and there could be a battle for the starting job this season during training camp.

    Bottom Line

    The potential is there in San Diego to have a top-ten offensive line but with McNeill currently unsigned and some veterans coming off of disappointing seasons, it is better to be cautious in regards to this situation. If and when McNeill signs, their rankings could jump several places.

    Scott's Take

    Marcus McNeil is starting to look like a real hold out situation for the Chargers. Honestly, McNeil along with most of this unit did poorly in 2010. If McNeil cannot make it into camp or play when the season starts, it looks like Brandyn Dombrowski will get the start. He needs a lot of work though and would be a real detriment to Rivers' blind side. Jeromey Clary will start at RT; he was injured some last year but is a decent in the ground game. Clary also is fairly disciplined and doesn't usually make a ton of penalties which kills drives.

    When you look inside you need to take notice of Nick Hardwick. He missed most of last year and has only started 26 games in three seasons. The good news is Scott Mruckzkowski looked solid filling in for him and now has valuable game experience. The guards are filled by veteran Kris Dielman who has only missed four games in five years. RG Louis Vasquez will enter only his 2nd season but looked promising as a rookie committing only one penalty all season. The problem with these two guards is they yielded almost 30 combined QB pressures. Most guards don't face the speed of the outside rushers that the OT face week in week out. Both are better run blockers although the stats did not prove that last year.

    Bottom Line

    They finished dead last in YPC rushing however they only allowed 26 QB sacks on the season.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We are both in the same ball park in regards to the Chargers. They need to get McNeil signed or this unit will take a big step back.

    San Francisco 49ers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 20th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (B)
  • Rank: 18th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C+)
  • Rank: 18th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Anthony Davis, rookie
  • LG David Baas, 6th season
  • C Eric Heitmann, 9th season
  • RG Mike Iupati, rookie
  • RT Joe Staley, 4th season
  • Key Backups

  • G Tony Wragge
  • T Adam Snyder
  • G Chilo Rachal
  • T Barry Sims
  • T Chris Patrick
  • Smith's Take

    The 49ers offensive line is once again in flux. As has happened many times over the past decade, this unit has been re-tooled looking for the right combination. Also, former Chiefs standout OL Coach, Mike Solari has been brought in to coach the unit. The team drafted Anthony Davis to become the cornerstone at left tackle and the Rutgers standout has every chance to become just that. At 6'5 and 323 pounds, he is a mountain of a man who has every chance to be an excellent pro. Another rookie that will possibly start as a rookie is Mike Iupati from Idaho. The 17th overall pick is a huge player that can dominate a football game. He should emerge as the starter although the competition at guard will be heated. At right tackle will likely be Joe Staley who will move over from left tackle. Staley is an excellent lineman who may become one of the top right tackles in the league. He missed seven games last year but none in the previous two. David Baas started in all sixteen games last year for the first time in his career but he was below average on the season. There is a chance that he loses his starting job to Chilo Rachal who started in fifteen games last year and/or rookie Mike Iupati. It will be a hard-fought battle throughout training camp. Eric Heitmann has missed just two starts in six seasons and is a dependable player at center.

    Bottom Line

    There is lots of talent here but this unit will likely take a season or two to gel. If the young players excel early though, watch out.

    Scott's Take

    They have had a terrific off season and there is a lot to like with the OL they drafted in April. At LT, hopefully Joe Staley will remain healthy and be the pillar that he should be on this team. Last year he missed time but played about half a season only allowing one sack and was never called for one penalty. That folks is dominating and we hope to see more of it. The RT spot will be a battle between rookie Anthony Davis and veteran Barry Sims. The good news is there is depth here and guys can get a breather once in awhile. The Niners are going to be tough in short yardage situations because of their depth.

    Inside you have rookie Mike Iupati at LG. This writer was high on Iupati coming out of college and some experts felt he was one of the top OL overall in the draft. He has good feet although at guard he won't need that as much but he can line up and tee off on the defense. This is welcome news for Frank Gore owners. Adam Snyder was forced to play OT last year and he was not effective. This year he will roll back inside and compete in camp at RG vs. David Baas and Chilo Rachal. Again the good news is there is depth here and a rotation of guys that can come in on short yardage situations to move the sticks. Eric Heitmann is nothing special at center but his game might improve with the infusion of talent now inside for the running game. Heitmann by far is not a liability but he is quite further down the totem pole form some of the better centers in the league.

    Bottom Line

    Finished top 12 in YPC last year, 22nd in sacks but those numbers are going to go up.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We both love the direction this group is headed in. If the youngsters do come in and thrive right out of the gate, it could be a very fun season in San Francisco.

    Seattle Seahawks

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 31st
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 30th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 28th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Russell Okung, rookie
  • LG Ray Willis, 6th season
  • C Chris Spencer, 6th season
  • RG Max Unger, 2nd season
  • RT Sean Locklear, 7th season
  • Key Backups

  • G Ben Hamilton
  • C Steve Vallos
  • G Mike Gibson
  • G Mansfield Wrotto
  • Smith's Take

    The Seahawks drafted Russell Okung from Oklahoma State in the first round this year and he'll likely slot in at left tackle this season and for the next decade. He'll be an upgrade for the team but may take some time to get used to the speed and pace of the pro game. Willis started in all 16 games for first time in career and he'll start at either left guard or right tackle. Ray Willis started 16 games at right tackle this season and will be in the running for the position again this season. Expect a battle between Sean Locklear and Willis for the starting right tackle position. It is also possible however that the Seahawks move Willis inside to left guard to cover the weakness in that position. He will compete with FA pickup Ben Hamilton for starting LG if this happens. Max Unger started all sixteen games last year including time at center. He did a good job in pass protection but was a liability in the running game. Chris Spencer is a decent option at center and is the anchor of this unit.

    Bottom Line

    With the young talent along this offensive line, there is lots of potential for growth but that will likely take a season or two as they learn on the job.

    Scott's Take

    The OL in Seattle has been in shambles as of late. It's not helping their specialty positions and Matt Hasselbeck's career is crashing to a halt quickly. I believe Russell Okung was a terrific selection for the Seahawks but you can only expect so much from him as a rookie. There are big shoes for him to fill but Okung has some big shoes himself. The rest of the OL is a pretty mixed bag. The loss of Rob Sims cannot fully be measured yet but it hurts the inside running game and he also is one of the better pass blocking LG in the league. The 1st person being tossed around is Ray Willis who struggled at RT last season and flat out doesn't have the footwork or speed needed to take Defensive Ends wide and out of the play. Look for him to do much better inside but there will be an adjustment period for him plus he has to compensate as he has a rookie in Okung to his left.

    Sean Locklear is being projected as the RT for the moment but he is no sure fire bet. He had his struggles at LT last season but should be able to make a better impact at RT until Pete Carroll and the staff can turn more guys over thru the draft and FA next season. Max Unger is entering his 2nd season and should retain his spot at RG. Unger is solid in pass protection but needs improvement on his interior run blocking. Called for six penalties as a rookie but yielded one sack all season. Chris Spencer returns at C and is probably in the top half of the league right now or slightly below that. Spencer only had three penalties all season, two sacks, and simply needs to pick up his run blocking a bit. This OL is going to be in flux with a new coaching staff. Specialty positions like RB and WR likely should be looked at with tempered enthusiasm.

    Bottom Line

    Continuity is going to be a problem for them early on. This unit needs time to gel but that is a luxury they won't have. Expect a couple of these guys to be gone next season.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    This is an offensive line in a transitional phase at the moment. There is hope for the future but don't expect too much out of them in 2010.

    St. Louis Rams

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 28th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 25th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (F)
  • Rank: 31st
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Jason Smith 3rd season
  • LG Jacob Bell, 7th season
  • C Jason Brown, 6th season
  • RG Hank Fraley, 11th season
  • RT Rodger Staffold [r]
  • Key Backups

  • T Adam Goldberg
  • T Eric Young
  • G Mark Lewis
  • G John Greco
  • Smith's Take

    The Rams drafted tackle Rodger Staffold from Indiana with the 1st pick in the 2nd round and he'll be given every chance to start in 2010. Last year's LT Alex Barron was traded away to the Cowboys so this is now open competition. Expect Staffold and Jason Smith to fight for the position with the loser sliding over to right tackle. Both of these players have excellent potential and could emerge as very good blocker in 2010. Adam Goldberg actually did a decent job at right tackle in eleven starts last season and he may be able to hold off rookie Staffold or Smith this season, although unlikely. Jacob Bell did a decent job at left guard last season in his thirteen starts and will be back as the starter. Hank Fraley was brought in via free agency to start at right guard this season. While his best years are behind him, he is still an upgrade at the position for the Rams. At center, Jason Brown is a very good pass blocker but struggles in the running game. He is an average talent with limited upside.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, this unit will likely continue to struggle this season unless players such as Barron and Bell can elevate their play and/or rookie Staffold becomes a force.

    Scott's Take

    The Rams are trying to get better but this OL is still a work in progress. Jason Smith is making the jump from RT to LT. He only played 330 snaps last year and looked promising only yielding two sacks and called for one penalty during that stretch. It is going to be a challenge for him at LT. When I watch him I don't always see a guy that has the speed and footwork to shine at LT. It's a tall order for him to protect a rookie QB's blind side. At RT, it looks like Rodger Staffold; a rookie will be given the chance to start. A rookie QB, rookie RT, and a LT that is doing it in the NFL for the 1st time...it just doesn't add up to success in 2010, sorry St Louis fans.

    Inside is a little better and the running game will be leaned on again. Adam Goldberg will play RG, Jacob Bell at LG. Goldberg had to fill in different slots last year but should settle back in at RG where he is comfortable. Jason Brown is the center and is below average. The trio of Bell, Goldberg, and Brown is not anything to brag about but collectively they can open holes for Jackson. The bigger question is with no passing game, the pressure on the running game will be difficult at best.

    Bottom Line

    The word "bottom" is telling here. Avoid the passing game if you can.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    I agree with Sean's take here but there is certainly potential for much greater things in 2010 and beyond if the young tackles mature quickly. This will be an interesting situation to watch during preseason.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • 2010 Overall Grade: D
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 32nd
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: D (C-)
  • Rank: 31st
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: D (D)
  • Rank: 29th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT James Lee, 3rd season
  • LG Jeremy Zuttah, 3rd season
  • C Jeff Faine, 8th season
  • RG Davin Joseph, 5th season
  • RT Jeremy Trueblood, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • G Keydrick Vincent
  • G Jonathan Compas
  • T Xavier Fulton
  • Smith's Take

    The Buccaneers offensive line is currently in disarray. Jeremy Trueblood was a restricted free agent but did sign his tender on May 15th and will be a starter at tackle. Donald Penn is demanding a big money deal despite pedestrian play last year. The Buccaneers appear to be hesitant to lock him into a long-term contract. Without him however the Buccaneers have very little to work with in terms of filling the starting left tackle position. Even more surprising is they didn't spend any draft picks on linemen. That could mean that Penn is in the picture and will be signed before training camp. Both players have good upside if they rebound from a disappointing 2009 season. Davin Joseph, now in his 5th season should be a force for the Buccaneers but he is coming off of his worst professional season last year. He was horrible as a run blocker and must be much better if he is to keep his starting job. The other guard, Jeremy Zuttah was just as bad but not as much is expected from him. The former 3rd round pick from Rutgers has some potential though and could become a decent option in time. Center Jeff Faine has bounced around the NFL and is a decent player. He missed four games last season and like his fellow Buccaneers, did not have a very good season. Looking at the individual parts in Tampa Bay, if everybody does sign there is potential to do much better in 2010. However the team added nothing to the mix this season, has their starting left tackle currently unsigned and this entire group underachieved in a big way last season.

    Bottom Line

    For those reasons, expect more of the same this year.

    Scott's Take

    This OL is an enigma. For years we have been told how great they are going to be but the reality is "Where's the Beef?" Score board baby. They rank amongst the lowest so why the hype? For starters they have a shell of what he once was in "Cadillac" as their starting RB. They went from Byron Leftwich (Pitt fans take note) to Johnson to the rookie Freeman and that played a factor in the results. Compounding the problem is the fact Donald Penn wants a long term deal and the Bucs are only going to offer him a one year tender as a RFA for now. The ownership of the Bucs is far more interested in their soccer team in Europe than the football team in Tampa right now and it shows. Penn will play for $3 million but he isn't going to show up for a snap until he has to. Not a good sign for the 2010 Bucs. Trueblood started opposite Penn at RT and he was even worse in pass and run blocking. He grades out as one of the five lowest starting RTs in the league.

    Moving inside is Jeremy Zuttah entering his 3rd season and Davin Joseph an often over-hyped RG who was merely average last year but again the surrounding pieces have a lot to do with it. He needs to bounce back. The other position at center is filled with Jeff Faine who has been solid for TB the past couple years. Bottom line for the Bucs, this OL has to rebound and hopefully Freeman in year two will help some of that. The writer is assuming that present hold outs will play but if they don't sign their tenders this situation could get worse. James Lee and Demar Dotson are not what you want to roll with right now.

    Bottom Line

    Time to put up or shut up for this unit; otherwise start selling off the pieces.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    We are both down on the Buccaneers offensive line for the upcoming season. This unit is certainly in a state of flux at this time.

    Tennessee Titans

  • 2010 Overall Grade: A
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 4th
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: A (B-)
  • Rank: 2nd
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: B (C+)
  • Rank: 13th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Michael Roos, 6th season
  • LG Eugene Amano, 7th season
  • C Leroy Harris, 4th season
  • RG Jake Scott, 7th season
  • RT David Stewart, 6th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Michael Otto
  • C/G Fernando Velasco
  • Smith's Take

    The Titans have a very good, young offensive line. There is plenty of talent along this group and they are all into the prime of their career. The two tackles, Michael Roos and David Stewart are excellent football players and are one of the top-five tandems in the NFL. Roos hasn't missed a game in five NFL seasons while Stewart has missed just three of the past 64 games. Left guard Eugene Amano has missed just one start over two seasons and has developed into a very good run blocker. His pass protecting skills are only average however and not likely to improve much going forward. The other guard, Jake Scott is another very good run blocker who has only decent pass blocking skills. He is a perfect fit on the Titans who love to run the football. The big question mark heading into this year is at center. Leroy Harris has only three career starts but he has been thrust into the starting position this year with veteran center Kevin Mawae not being re-signed. Harris has plenty of potential but only time will tell how effective he'll be as a starter.

    Bottom Line

    With the system in place and the team focusing on the run, this is the perfect offensive line for the Titans. Expect more big things in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    Let's start with the passing game and the starting OT. Michael Roos struggled at times at LT last season. He is paid as one of the top 5 at his position but he did not live up to that standard last year. 23 QB pressures but even more evident is his ability to run block. He needs to pick that part of his game up with an all star like Chris Johnson behind him. Most of Johnson's big runs were up the middle. Some of that is coaching but the holes have been in the middle as of late. David Stewart did an admirable job at RT and only gave up one sack all season. This duo is solid and provides a nice base for Young to operate behind.

    Eugene Amano and Jake Scott are not too good in pass protection allowing a combined 40+ QB pressures up the middle. On the other hand they are good at run blocking, at least enough to give Johnson some creases to explode through into the secondary. Still, these are not All Pro guards and there is plenty of room for improvement which is scary considering what Johnson did last year. Amano will be asked to play center most likely as Kevin Mawae has seen the end of his career. Leroy Harris could play the LG spot but he has been on the team three years and only started three games. There are some question marks with the interior of this OL.

    Bottom Line

    Get Chris Johnson a new contract!!!

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    I am certainly higher on the Titans offensive line this season. I see five guys just now entering the prime of a NFL offensive lineman and their continuity and experience together should be perfect this season. I do agree they are better run blockers than pass protection guys but I simply see them better overall than Sean does.

    Washington Redskins

  • 2010 Overall Grade: C
  • 2010 Overall Ranking: 21st
  • Run Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C)
  • Rank: 17th
  • Pass Blocking

  • Grade: C+ (C-)
  • Rank: 19th
  • Projected Starters

  • LT Trent Williams, rookie
  • LG Derrick Dockery, 8th season
  • C Casey Rabach, 10th season
  • RG Mike Williams, 7th season
  • RT LT Jammal Brown, 5th season
  • Key Backups

  • T Stephon Heyer
  • G Will Montgomery
  • G Edwin Williams
  • T Artis Hicks
  • Smith's Take

    The Redskins offensive line was getting long in the tooth over the past couple of seasons. They took a giant step to fix that this season with the drafting of Trent Williams from Oklahoma with the 4th overall pick. He has the look of a true difference maker at tackle and the team hopes he will be their cornerstone for the next decade. Stephon Heyer started 16 games last season but was a below average tackle. He was terrible in pass protection and not much better in run blocking. The Redskins recently upgraded this spot significantly by trading for former Pro Bowl Jammal Brown. He was a very good left tackle for the Saints but missed the 2009 season with injury. If healthy, he is a massive improvement for the Redskins offense. Derrick Dockery has started in 96 consecutive games with both the Redskins and Bills. He is a good option at guard but isn't as dominating as he was in his first few seasons. He struggled at times in run blocking last season. Artis Hicks was signed this season but he only had 13 starts over three seasons with the Vikings. He can play at either right tackle or guard and will be in the running for a starting spot. It appears as Junes rolls in that Mike Williams has moved closer to solidifying a starting spot at right guard. He is in much better shape than at this time in years past.

    Bottom Line

    There is some talent in Washington and if rookie Trent Williams can immediately become a force at left tackle, this unit may surprise. Having a veteran quarterback in Donovan McNabb calling the plays can only help and the competition at right guard and right tackle will be fun to watch and could push the players into better efforts in 2010.

    Scott's Take

    A few months back this looked like a putrid OL but there has been some changes and upgrades, suddenly it looks at least average which is good for the pass and run game here. This writer is not a huge Trent Williams fan but he was drafted because he can adjust to the zone blocking scheme that Shanahan will implement. Then they found Jammal Brown and traded for him from New Orleans. While Brown struggles at LT, surely he can come in and take over at RT where he can blow open some holes in the run game. This is not perfect but when you see what Washington was looking at before, this is a legitimate OL. Williams is going to take time to adjust to the NFL.

    Derrick Dockery is an eight year veteran who is solid inside for the Skins. He's not flashy, he doesn't do anything at an All Pro level but he will respond with the influx of talent now at the tackle positions. Mike Williams will try and hold the fort down at RG, there is some depth behind him should he struggle with the zone blocking scheme. Casey Rabach is a veteran center but expect by next year to see some new faces on the interior of this OL. Washington is rebuilding and the OL is a major part of that rebuild.

    Bottom Line

    Not special but light years ahead of where we thought they might be at the end of 2009. The RBs are going to be worth a flyer in the middle to later rounds.

    Smith's Final Thoughts

    With the addition of two good, young tackles in combination with strong veteran guys in the interior, this could be a good unit if they mesh well together this season. I agree with Sean than they'll likely be average but the potential is certainly there for more this season.


    Team Grades - Sorted By Rank

    Rank
    Team
    Smith's Grades
    Scott's Grades
    Combined
    Grades
    Rush
    Pass
    Overall
    Rush
    Pass
    Overall
    1
    New Orleans
    B
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    2
    NY Jets
    A
    C 
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    3
    New England
    B
    A
    A
    B
    A
    A-
    A
    4
    Dallas
    C+
    B
    B
    A
    B+
    A
    B+
    5
    Baltimore
    A
    C+
    B
    A
    B
    A-
    B+
    5
    Miami
    A
    C+
    B
    A
    B
    A-
    B+
    7
    NY Giants
    B
    B
    A
    C+
    B
    B-
    B+
    8
    Carolina
    A
    B
    A
    B
    C
    C+
    B
    8
    Cincinnati
    B
    C+
    B
    A-
    B
    B+
    B
    8
    Tennessee
    A
    B
    A
    C+
    B-
    C+
    B
    11
    Atlanta
    C+
    B
    B
    B
    B
    B
    B
    12
    Philadelphia
    C
    B
    C+
    B-
    B
    B-
    B-
    13
    San Francisco
    C+
    C+
    C
    B
    C+
    B-
    B-
    14
    Minnesota
    B
    B
    B
    C-
    C-
    C-
    B-
    15
    Indianapolis
    D
    A
    C
    D
    A
    C+
    C+
    16
    Cleveland
    B
    C 
    C+
    B-
    C
    C
    C+
    17
    Green Bay
    C+
    C+
    C+
    C-
    B
    C
    C+
    18
    Detroit
    C
    C 
    C
    B-
    C+
    C+
    C+
    19
    Houston
    C
    A
    B
    D
    D
    D
    C
    19
    San Diego
    D
    B
    C
    C-
    C+
    C
    C
    21
    Jacksonville
    B
    C 
    C
    B-
    D
    C-
    C-
    22
    Washington
    C+
    C+
    C
    C
    C-
    C-
    C-
    23
    Kansas City
    C
    C 
    C
    C
    D
    C-
    C-
    24
    Denver
    D
    C+
    C
    D
    C
    C-
    C-
    25
    Arizona
    C+
    B
    C+
    C-
    D
    D+
    C-
    26
    Pittsburgh
    D
    D
    C
    D
    D
    D
    D+
    27
    Chicago
    D
    C 
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    27
    Tampa Bay
    C
    D
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    29
    Buffalo
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    30
    Seattle
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    31
    Oakland
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    F
    D-
    D
    31
    St. Louis
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    F
    D-
    D

    Team Grades - Sorted By Team

    Rank
    Team
    Smith's Grades
    Scott's Grades
    Combined
    Grades
    Rush
    Pass
    Overall
    Rush
    Pass
    Overall
    25
    Arizona
    C+
    B
    C+
    C-
    D
    D+
    C-
    11
    Atlanta
    C+
    B
    B
    B
    B
    B
    B
    5
    Baltimore
    A
    C+
    B
    A
    B
    A-
    B+
    29
    Buffalo
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    8
    Carolina
    A
    B
    A
    B
    C
    C+
    B
    27
    Chicago
    D
    C 
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    8
    Cincinnati
    B
    C+
    B
    A-
    B
    B+
    B
    16
    Cleveland
    B
    C 
    C+
    B-
    C
    C
    C+
    4
    Dallas
    C+
    B
    B
    A
    B+
    A
    B+
    24
    Denver
    D
    C+
    C
    D
    C
    C-
    C-
    18
    Detroit
    C
    C 
    C
    B-
    C+
    C+
    C+
    17
    Green Bay
    C+
    C+
    C+
    C-
    B
    C
    C+
    19
    Houston
    C
    A
    B
    D
    D
    D
    C
    15
    Indianapolis
    D
    A
    C
    D
    A
    C+
    C+
    21
    Jacksonville
    B
    C 
    C
    B-
    D
    C-
    C-
    23
    Kansas City
    C
    C 
    C
    C
    D
    C-
    C-
    5
    Miami
    A
    C+
    B
    A
    B
    A-
    B+
    14
    Minnesota
    B
    B
    B
    C-
    C-
    C-
    B-
    3
    New England
    B
    A
    A
    B
    A
    A-
    A
    1
    New Orleans
    B
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    7
    NY Giants
    B
    B
    A
    C+
    B
    B-
    B+
    2
    NY Jets
    A
    C 
    A
    A
    A
    A
    A
    31
    Oakland
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    F
    D-
    D
    12
    Philadelphia
    C
    B
    C+
    B-
    B
    B-
    B-
    26
    Pittsburgh
    D
    D
    C
    D
    D
    D
    D+
    19
    San Diego
    D
    B
    C
    C-
    C+
    C
    C
    13
    San Francisco
    C+
    C+
    C
    B
    C+
    B-
    B-
    30
    Seattle
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    D
    31
    St. Louis
    D
    D
    D
    C-
    F
    D-
    D
    27
    Tampa Bay
    C
    D
    D
    C-
    D
    D+
    D+
    8
    Tennessee
    A
    B
    A
    C+
    B-
    C+
    B
    22
    Washington
    C+
    C+
    C
    C
    C-
    C-
    C-