Starters: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson
Backups: Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens (R), Jack Driscoll
Notes: Of the five Eagles starters, at least three are among the best at their spots: Center Jason Kelce remains a dominant All-Pro, uniquely effective blocking in space. Right tackle Lane Johnson made second-team All-Pro last season, despite missing three games with depression. Left guard Landon Dickerson is the third star, and he forms a power running duo with left tackle Jordan Mailata. The Eagles' run-first offense covers up some of the pass protection deficiencies of Mailata. What makes this line truly special is the depth of Andre Dillard at swing tackle (former first-round pick) and rookie Cam Jurgens at center. The Eagles invest in their line, and the results are apparent.
OL Coach: Jeff Stoutland: former Alabama line coach with 10 years as an NFL positional coach.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Starters: Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Lucas Niang
Backups: Andrew Wylie, Nick Allegretti, Geron Christian
Notes: The strength of this Kansas City line is the interior, where Joe Thuney, Creed Humphries, and Trey Smith grade out as elite performers. This high ranking takes in account the news that left tackle Orlando Brown signed his tender and reported to camp on Monday, August 1. Lucas Niang and Andrew Wylie will battle for the right tackle position: both have experience in the offense, and it's an extremely close battle. Niang has more physical upside while Wylie is the durable veteran, but they grade equally, and the overall team ranking shouldn't change much, regardless of who wins. The Chiefs also have one of the better line coaches.
OL Coach: Andy Heck, 10+ years as a player, 18 years as an NFL OL coach.
The Very Good Lines
3. Detroit Lions
Starters: Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Penei Sewell
Backups: Matt Nelson, Logan Stenberg, Tommy Kraemer
Notes: Center Frank Ragnow returns from injury, and when healthy, he grades out as one of the best centers in the game. Jonah Jackson is hugely underrated at left guard, performing at a Pro Bowl level. The tackle duo of Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell can be considered one of the league's most physically gifted tackle pairings. The only real question is at right guard, where power blocker Halapoulivaati Vaitai is declining. Still, the team has Logan Stenberg and Tommy Kraemer waiting in the wings. Casual fans of the league might be surprised by this high ranking, but the Lions have been quietly building an excellent group for years.
OL Coach: Hank Fraley: 10+ years as a player, three years as an NFL OL coach.
4. New Orleans Saints
Starters: James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk
Notes: The scouting report in New Orleans begins at right tackle where Ryan Ramczyk still grades among the best in the league. But Ramczyk is not alone in dominance. Center Erik McCoy can change a game from the inside. Left guard Andrus Peat is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but he and right guard Cesar Ruiz provide well above-average guard play. The left tackle situation is a competition between first-round rookie Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa) and veteran James Hurst. Penning is a beastly specimen who plays with attitude but he is prone to holding and personal foul penalties. Doug Marrone will have his hands full teaching the rookie, which could lead to Hurst getting the nod early in the season.
OL Coach: Doug Marrone: Four years as a player, former HC of the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. 10+ years as an NFL OL Coach, former Alabama line coach (2021).
5. Cleveland Browns
Starters: Jedrick Wills, Joel Bitonio, Nick Harris, Wyatt Teller, Jack Conklin
Backups: Chris Hubbard, Blake Hance, James Hudson
Notes: The guards, Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, perform at an extremely high level, driving this lofty team ranking. Right tackle Jack Conklin looks healthy again after elbow and knee injuries hampered his 2021 campaign. Conklin performs at a Pro Bowl level (or better) when he's in form. The center position is a bit down from last year, as Nick Harris steps in for veteran J.C. Tretter (still a free agent as of press time). Jedrick Wills hasn't lived up to his high draft status, but he does a decent job at left tackle. Should injury strike, line coach Bill Callahan always seems to find and develop starters out of nowhere, such as Harris, Blake Hance and James Hudson. This group should be among the league's better, especially if the right tackle stays healthy.
OL Coach: Bill Callahan: Former HC of the Oakland Raiders and Nebraska (college). 22 years as an NFL OL Coach.
6. Buffalo Bills
Starters: Dion Dawkins, Rodger Saffold, Mitch Morse, Ryan Bates, Spencer Brown
Backups: Cody Ford, Greg Mancz, David Quessenberry
Notes: The Bills' line was loaded, and they added Left guard Rodger Saffold from Tennessee. Saffold has durability concerns but is a game changer in the run game when healthy. Center Mitch Morse is also excellent in both phases, while left tackle Dion Dawkins was a Pro Bowl reserve. The rest of the line is up and coming, giving the line potential to move even higher in the rankings as the season progresses. Right tackle Spencer Brown is an efficient pass blocker, while right guard Ryan Bates is coming off an encouraging 2021, starting from Week 16 through the playoffs. The trade of Ryan Bates from Philadelphia for linebacker Eli Harold (now in the CFL) was a heist. Aaron Kromer arrives as the new positional coach, bringing a wealth of experience. This line should be fun to watch.
OL Coach: Aaron Kromer. Former interim HC of New Orleans Saints, 20+ years as an NFL OL coach, another 10+ in college.
Backups: Robert Hainey, Josh Wells, Luke Goedeke (R)
Notes: Despite the surprise retirement of left guard Ali Marpet and losing right guard Alex Cappa to free agency, the Tampa Bay line still grades out among the better in football. Their score is driven by the elite performers at center (Ryan Jensen) and right tackle (Tristan Wirfs). Unfortunately, Ryan Jensen suffered a major knee injury in training camp that will keep him out for months. Robert Hainey, a third-round pick from Notre Dame last year, is slated to take Jensen's place The arrival of right guard Shaq Mason from New England should be an easy transition, as the Patriots and Bucs run the same offensive system, and Mason has huge familiarity with quarterback Tom Brady. Aaron Stinnie will battle with second-round pick Luke Goedeke (Central Michigan) for the left guard spot. Stinnie isn't the impact player that Marpet was, but he can be a solid starter. The center injury hurts, but the Buccaneers' line is experienced and deep.
OL Coach: Joe Gilbert: 10 years as an NFL OL coach, another 20 years in college.
Backups: Connor McGovern, Matt Waletzko (R), Josh Ball
Notes: Right guard Zack Martin carries a perfect guard grade, as he's been a model of consistency and reliability year after year. Tyron Smith has been a legend at left tackle, and injuries are starting to take a toll on his play. But the team's constant investment in the position keeps the Cowboys in the top-10 conversation. Right tackle Terrence Steele has played left tackle when Smith has been unavailable and could do so again in the future. At left guard, rookie Tyler Smith from Tulsa could also be a long-term solution at left tackle, and Matt Waletzko (North Dakota) was drafted using the pick they got for Amari Cooper. This group lost La'el Collins and Connor Williams in free agency, but line coach Joe Philbin continues to reload.
OL Coach: Joe Philbin: Assistant HC, former HC of Miami Dolphins, five years as an NFL OL coach.
9. Indianapolis Colts
Starters: Matt Pryor, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter, Braden Smith
Backups: Bernhard Raimann (R), Will Fries, Dennis Kelly
Notes: Left guard Quenton Nelson continues his streak of domination, putting together a Hall-of-Fame caliber career since being drafted in 2018. Ryan Kelly isn't in Nelson's class, but they maul in the run game together. Right tackle Braden Smith is another high performer, and these three players are responsible for the Colts' relatively high ranking. Left tackle is a battle between Matt Pryor and rookie Bernard Raimann (Central Michigan). Raimann is a 24-year-old Austrian who is still raw to the game. If Raimann can beat out vet Matt Pryor, that frees Pryor to return to right guard. But if Pryor has to start at tackle, second-year player Danny Pinter will take over for Mark Glowinski, who departed in free agency.
OL Coach: Chris Strausser: 27 years in college coaching, six years as an NFL OL coach.
10. San Francisco 49ers
Starters: Trent Williams, Colton McKitvitz, Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill, Mike McGlinchey
Notes: Left tackle Trent Williams is really good. How good? This offseason, Williams received a 99 rating in Madden, the first perfect score EA has awarded to an offensive lineman since Walter Jones in 2007. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey has been mostly solid, and the tackle grades drive this top-10 rating. The rest of the time is a credit to line coach Chris Foerster, who has maintained a pipeline of cheap and reliable starters through the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. Left guard Colton McKivitz, center Jake Brendel and right guard Daniel Brunskill were all developmental projects when they arrived, and all will start this season. Even more impressive is the pipeline is still loaded, with players like Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore ready for duty. The 49ers line has irreplaceable star power in Trent Williams, but the other players rise to meet his level.
OL Coach: Chris Foerster: former OC, 22 years as an NFL OL coach, 10 years in college coaching.