The word underrated gets thrown around, especially in fantasy football circles. The offensive line is already an underrated position in football. There are few flashy stats compared to skill positions and even IDP defenders. When an offensive lineman gets his name called during a broadcast, it's usually a penalty. The best lines are known factors and have been for years. These teams have their cast-offs picked through after cuts. These programs have an abundance of riches, and they live in the top 10 of the rankings.
What does it mean to be underrated? For this article, there are two types of underrated. First, teams that the public underrates. These lines have a respectable ranking, maybe even a high one, but casual NFL fans don't know about them (yet). These teams could easily find their way to the top of the rankings if they aren't ranked there already. Then there are teams that my model underrates, perhaps too harshly. The model rewards consistency. Admitting a total rebuild and replacing most of the starters from last year will never result in a high Week 1 rating. But while many of these rebuilds will be disasters, some of these rebuilds will work. If these underrated groups avoid injury, they could achieve high rankings just in time for fantasy playoffs. And just for fun, I'm picking one longshot line to make an unlikely jump. The full rankings follow.
Underrated by the Public
Detroit - 4th
Center Frank Ragnow has been mauling all preseason. The tackles of Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell have been excellent in pass protection. Not even the fourth-ranked line is perfect, as right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai can lose in pass protection. But still, the 2022 Lions are the classic example of an offensive line that grades way better than the casual public realizes.
Denver - 11th
In nearly ten years covering offensive lines for footballguys, I've never seen a situation where a highly paid star guard like Graham Glasgow rides the pine simply because two younger, better players came along. Dalton Risner, Quinn Meinerz, and Glasgow have to be the best guard depth in the league. It also speaks to the importance of depth that there was no discussion of trading Glasgow.
Washington - 12th
Despite losing Brandon Scherff to free agency, the Commanders brought in veteran guards Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner to compete with Wes Schweitzer. These players should acclimate quickly. Charles Leno has been excellent at left tackle, and right tackle Sam Cosmi has taken a step up this summer. Getting center Chase Roullier back from a broken leg has been immense. It all adds up to a borderline top-ten ranking from a squad most casual fans have written off.
LA Chargers - 15th
When left tackle Rashawn Slater made all-pro as a rookie last year, along with free agent center Corey Linsley, people started to the Chargers' line. This year's draft pick Zion Johnson (first-round, Boston College) projects as a David Decastro-level instant starter and should be the third star in the group. The situation at right tackle, where Trey Pipkins just nudged out Storm Norton in the preseason, is the only difference between a top-15 and a top-10 rating.
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