NFL 2013: Ranking The Top 5 Offensive Lines
We all know every team's success comes from the players who seem to get the least amount of credit and that would be the offensive line.
Yeah, your quarterbacks are very important and get all the credit when you win ball games but what they do wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for an offensive line working their butts off every play to protect their QB and open lanes up for that running back.
So here are my top five NFL offensive lines.
5. New York Giants -
The Giants failed to make the playoffs last season but the offensive line did improve on the year and looked very solid as they gave up the leagues fewest sacks with 20 total for the entire season.
At the tackles the Giants have Beatty who just signed a nice five-year contract extension for his performance last season, and rookie Justin Pugh who is a very athletic right tackle who is expected to take the job from David Diehl who struggled last season.
At the guard spots the Giants have Kevin Boothe who just signed a one-year deal this offseason and while he isn’t great at pass blocking he should provide a good run blocking aspect, and then on the right side at the guard position you have Chris Snee, who is coming off of hip surgery this offseason but is back and even though he doesn't stand out anymore he still will provide New York with a solid run and pass blocker.
Center David Baas is also coming off of surgery this offseason but the Giants are hoping the same David Baas from last season shows up this year instead of the inconsistent player in 2011.
4. Baltimore Ravens -
Projected Starters: Tackles: Bryant McKinnie (33), Michael Oher (27); Guards: Kelechi Osemele (24), Marshal Yanda (28); Center: Gino Gradkowski (24)
The Ravens are going through a few changes this year at on the line after finishing towards the middle in sacks allowed after giving up 38 sacks and ranking 11th overall in rushing yards a game.
At left tackle the Ravens have Bryant McKinnie who took over the spot late in the season and played at a high level and is looking to continue that into this year; at right tackle is Michael Oher is a great asset to this line but has played a little inconsistent as he alone gave up 11.5 sacks last season.
Kelechi Osemele played all 16 games at right tackle before being moved to left guard at the start of the playoffs and will remain there this season.
Marshal Yanda is coming off of shoulder surgery this offseason but is healthy and is still one of the best right guards in all of football. At the center position the Ravens have Gino Gradkowski who set behind Birk last season but will start this season as the Ravens have big hopes for Gradkowski.
3. Washington Redskins -
Projected Starters: Tackles: Trent Williams (25), Tyler Polumbus (28); Guard: Kory Lichtensteiger (28), Chris Chester (30); Center: Will Montgomery (30)
The Redskins are returning all five starters from last year's team and four out of the five were here in 2011 so without a doubt the Redskins have some chemistry up there on that offensive line and are consistent. The Redskins only gave up 33 sacks last year and ran the ball better than any other team in the league due to that offensive line.
At the tackles you have returning Pro Bowler Trent Williams who very young and is only going to improve, and Tyler Polumbus who had a shaky year last season as he was the NFL’s worst right tackle last season according to Pro Football Focus and will have some competition for that starting job.
At the guard spots the Redskins have Kory Lichtensteiger who just signed a five-year extension after a bit of a rough season after battling through injuries all season, and right guard Chris Chester who at the age of 30 had a fantastic year and the Redskins hope that it plays over in to this season.
Then at center they have Will Montomgery who according to Pro Football Focus ranked 3rd among all centers. The Redskins will look to him to help hold down that O-line.
2. New England Patriots -
The Patriots ranked 5th in the NFL last season only giving up 27 sacks all year and ranked 7th in rushing, and that same group of guys are all still intact this season.
At the tackles they have Nate Solder who stepped up big last year in his first year as a starter and in young and is only going to improve; then and the right tackle they have Sebastian Vollmer re-signed with the team this season after having a knee scope and back injuries last season but is good to go now.
At left guard is Logan Mankins who is still playing at a high level at the age of 31, and at right guard is Dan Connolly who even after a good year is being challenged by youngster Marcus Cannon.
At center the Patriots have Ryan Wendell who is playing at a very high level and you can expect that to continue this year.
1. San Francisco 49ers -
Projected Starters: Tackles: Joe Staley (29), Anthony Davis (23); Guards: Mike Iupati (26), Alex Boone (26); Center: Jonathan Goodwin (34)
The 49ers gave up 41 sacks last season although a lot were to Alex Smith so I look for that number to drop, and the 49ers ranked 4th in rushing yards a game. At the tackles they have Joe Staley who at the age of 29 is still a stud and is the leader of that offensive line.
At right tackle is Anthony Davis who is the weakest link as he gave up 10 sacks alone last season and is under contract for seven more seasons.
At guards they have Mike Iupati who is coming off of a Pro Bowl year and the 49ers are looking to sign the 26-year-old to a long contract.
At right guard is Alex Boone who was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and is looking to take his game up a notch and not have to be an alternate next year.
Then the center Jonathan Goodwin who is aging but is expected to be the starting in Week 1 over Daniel Kilgore who will be a good player to step in and start when it’s time. Not only do the 49ers have a great starting O-line but they have good quality backups in Kilgore, Joe Looney, and Adam Snyder.