NBA OL Ranking | the third week
Let’s take a tour of the league and take in the most prominent offensive line positions in the NFL. We’ll start in Detroit, where the Lions were without three starters in week two.
Injuries don’t bother lions
The Lions, who are at Level 1 of our OL rankings, faced a tough challenge on Sunday. Not only did they confront the strong defensive front of the leaders led by Jonathan Allen and Darron Payne, but they were doing so without the entirety of the expected internal offensive line.
Right keeper Halapulivati Vaytay has been injured in reserve since early September, forcing the outstanding pre-season Logan Stenberg to solve the problem. Meanwhile, midfielder Frank Ragno missed the second week due to a groin injury. Evan Braun, who made 12 appearances in Rajno’s absence in 2021, replaced him again against Washington.
The most interesting decision in Detroit came in the left guard, with rookie Jonah Jackson out while dealing with a finger issue. Early in the week, it appeared that Lyons would include Drew Forbes in the squad, but he joined the roster just two weeks ago. Instead, Detroit went with a call-up to coaching staff Dan Skipper – and the results were fantastic.
At 6’9″, Skipper is probably the tallest lineman ever to play a guard. Since the Pro Football Reference began collecting Combine data in 2000, only two line workers — Kolton Miller and Dennis Roland — have measured 6’9″ or higher, both of whom handle. Skipper is a nominal interference, but the Lions felt it was the better choice on guard in Week 2.
Detroit ran for 191 yards and averaged eight yards per carry, while the front five gave Jared Goff enough time to throw four touchdowns and finish with the seventh-best averaged net yards per week for each attempt.
First-year Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was a find in two weeks, and the team’s offensive line was a huge part of his playing success. And while no team wants injuries, Detroit’s health question marks allow backups like Skipper, Sternberg and Brown to gain valuable experience.
When will Jason Peters start with the Cowboys?
The Cowboys’ most significant injury is in the middle, but they have also been forced to reshape their offensive line. Rookie No. 1 Tyler Smith plays the left tackle in place of the injured Tyron Smith, while a sprained high ankle for Conor McGovern means Matt Varniuk, who picked the seventh inning in 2021, plays in the left keeper.
Dallas OL – at level 2 of our OL rankings – has played better than expected by two games, given the changes they had to absorb. Having said that, Farniok is pure Achilles’ heel. The Nebraska alum is only 146 in his career, so there’s definitely room to grow. But he gave up 12 compressions in two weeks, four times what any Cowboys linear operator would allow.
40-year-old Jason Peters, who is currently on the Dallas coaching staff, will be training on podiums for the first time this week. When he’s ready, the Cowboys can play him on the left tackle and bring Tyler Smith back on guard. but, Peters also saw time in the right tackle and left goalkeeper during Thursday’s trainingindicating that it could be an option in many positions.
Pirates, rams and commanders assess infection issues
Major injury problems also hamper three other NFC teams. The Buccaneers may have dropped to their left third streak in Week 3 after putting Josh Wells into the injured reserve.
Wales filling in the starting place was Donovan Smith, who overextended his elbow in the first week and hasn’t played since. Smith has yet to train this week, and Tampa 2020 UDFA Brandon Walton will start if the veteran can’t go.
In Los Angeles, Rams Coleman moved Shelton to center to replace Brian Allen, who will miss several weeks with a knee injury. Tremayne Anchrum took over Shelton in the right guard, but is now out of the season after breaking his leg. Alaric Jackson, who played 61 shots with Los Angeles in 2021, is now the rookie RG in the Rams’ rapidly deteriorating offensive line.
Finally, center leaders Chase Roullier may need surgery at the end of the season after sustaining a knee injury on Sunday, according to ESPN’s John Kim. Washington Rollier, who missed nine games in 2021 due to an ankle injury, is now placed in the ranks of the IR.
Versatile interior designer Wes Schweizer is expected to start at the center, while leaders have also signed veteran Nick Martin (62 career starts).
Hawks show improved offensive line
The Falcons – which were placed in Tier 3 of our OL rankings – entered the 2022 season with what appeared to be one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. However, the unit has shown a significant improvement so far. In the first week, Atlanta rushed for more than 200 yards against the Saints’ scanty defense.
Within two weeks, the Falcons ranked second in the percentage “stuffed” by the football team, meaning that the Atlanta appearance was not dealt with before they reached the scrimmage line.
Like the Giants, the Hawks are not playing for anything this year. But pure efficiency along the offensive line – particularly in the left guard, where veteran Elijah Wilkinson was promoted over the start of 2021 Jalen Mayfield – will help Marcus Mariota and the rest of the attacking job, allowing the Falcons to assess their future young talents.
If rookie quarterback Desmond Reader eventually takes the field, he’ll do so behind a lead that should be able to keep him upright.
The Giants’ OL Doesn’t Help Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones needs to get better at pocket manipulation to his advantage, but the Giants quarterback doesn’t get much help from his offensive line. No signal caller was harassed more than Jones, who pressured 49.3% of callers.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas has improved consistently since a lackluster junior season and looks like an excellent start in the long run. On the right side Evan Neal got his break as he is 133 years old in his career.
But the interior of the New York line is problematic. After leaving the above-average offensive lines at Indianapolis and Buffalo, respectively, free agent additions Mark Glowinsky and John Feliciano didn’t look the same. And a turn on Big Blue’s left guard — made up of Ben Bredeson and third-round rookie Joshua Ezeudu — doesn’t get the job done.
If Neil and Izudo advance this season, we’ll call it a win for the Giants, who aren’t really contending for anything despite their 2-0 start. But as Jones completes a successful or unsuccessful campaign, he’ll have to get used to working around a sub-quintile front. Giants are at level 4 in our OL rankings.
NFL OL Rankings | Levels 1-4
Now that we’ve taken a deeper look at some of the most famous offensive line groups around the NFL, let’s show how they are ranked based on levels.
OL Ranking: Level 1
Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Washington leaders
OL Ranking: Level 2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos
OL Ranking: Level 3
Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams
OL Ranking: Level 4
Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears