Home NFL NFC South Place Rankings: OL

NFC South Place Rankings: OL

NFC South Place Rankings: OL


In an ongoing summer season collection, Pewter Report appears at and ranks every place group within the NFC South. To date, we’ve chronicled and ranked the NFC South quarterbacks, operating backs, huge receivers and tight ends. Now it’s on to the NFC South’s offensive strains.


Operating Backs

Vast Receivers

Tight Ends

Atlanta Falcons

Falcons Rg Chris Lindstrom

Falcons RG Chris Lindstrom – Picture by: USA At the moment

After scoring the highest spot in operating backs and tight ends, the Falcons spherical out the offensive facet of the ball by taking the No. 1 spot for offensive strains within the NFC South. Let’s go from finest to worst. Proper guard Chris Lindstrom has developed into among the finest guards within the NFL, culminating in an general Professional Soccer Focus grade of 95.0 in 2022.

Following Lindstrom is left deal with Jake Matthews, who year-in and year-out, has offered above common manufacturing. Drew Dalman has quietly emerged as a succesful starter at heart in head coach Arthur Smith’s huge zone offense, and proper deal with Kaleb McGary had an excellent 2022 season as a run blocker. There may be purpose to consider each of the latter two could expertise some regression in 2023, however general this can be a stable line.

The Falcons appear to be out on Matt Hennessy as a starter regardless of stable play over the previous two years. As an alternative, they’re opting to go together with rookie Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse. Bergeron performed left deal with in school however will probably be making the change inside, the place most draft analysts consider he ought to play.

For depth, the Falcons don’t have a lot outdoors of Hennessy. Jalen Mayfield has been a disappointment since being drafted early within the third spherical of the 2021 draft. Tackles Ethan Greenidge and Josh Miles have a mixed 73 snaps of their careers. Backup heart Ryan Neuzil has even much less at a complete of 5. The scheme the Falcons run ought to assist masks deficiencies if they’ve to make use of any of those backups, however there might be issues in the event that they expertise multiple important damage.

General, the dearth of questions among the many entrance 5 and the general success this unit sustained in 2022 bodes nicely for the Falcons having one of the best offensive line within the NFC South.

Carolina Panthers

Panthers Rt Taylor Moton

Panthers RT Taylor Moton – Picture by: USA At the moment

The second and third groups within the NFC South rankings for offensive line had been very shut in my grading. Finally, the Panthers gained the sting for the same purpose as to how I closed out my ideas on the Falcons. The Panthers function much less query marks than the subsequent group on this listing.

At left deal with, Ickey Ekwonu skilled some rising pains in his rookie season, however in the end had a sturdy inaugural marketing campaign and must be anticipated to take a step ahead in 2023. Subsequent to him Brady Christensen and Chandler Zavala will compete to be the beginning left guard. Assuming Zavala’s again is ok I might not be shocked if he wins the job. I’m very excessive on Zavala, rating him 69th on my general 2023 draft large board.

At heart, the Panthers re-signed Bradley Bozeman, who was stable in his first season in Carolina after coming over from Baltimore.

Shifting to the fitting facet of the road, Austin Corbett has been a constantly common participant over the past three years. Taking part in subsequent to the superb Taylor Moton ought to imply that he’ll proceed to ship that sort of manufacturing.

Very like Atlanta, Carolina might want to rely on well being as their depth is suspect as nicely. If Christensen does lose the left guard battle to Zavala, he can present 4 place flexibility as a utility sixth man. Behind him, Sam Techlenburg and Cam Erving have expertise enjoying satisfactory soccer, however Larnel Coleman and Justin McCray don’t.

The Panthers can rely on stable play from three of their beginning spots and good play out of a fourth on their offensive line. That’s good for second within the NFC South.

Tampa Bay Bucs

Bucs Rt Tristan Wirfs And C Ryan Jensen

Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs and C Ryan Jensen – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Very like quarterback, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bucs ended the season with one of the best offensive line within the division. The group has eschewed final 12 months’s roster-building philosophy of plugging in veterans who’ve comparatively secure efficiency curves (however large damage dangers) in favor of excessive variance gamers. However realistically, there are query marks at each single place on the Bucs offensive line. Some are greater than others, however the actuality is there is not going to be a single place manned by the identical participant as final 12 months. And that in and of itself is inherently dangerous.

Let’s undergo the Bucs offensive line from the smallest query marks to the most important. Kicking issues off is Tristan Wirfs at left deal with. Personally, I’m betting Wirfs transitions nicely from proper deal with to left. However when analyzing the unit, you possibly can’t rule out that the transition isn’t profitable or that on the very least he isn’t pretty much as good as he was on the fitting facet. Moreover, going from Tom Brady’s lightning-quick 2.29 second time to throw to Baker Mayfield’s 2.86 seconds will probably be an adjustment in and of itself.

Subsequent to Wirfs is Matt Feiler, who’s a confirmed regular commodity. Feiler offers stable play, and mixed with Wirfs makes a formidably sized left facet of the road. Then again, Feiler is coming off of his worst season as a professional. I believe he has performed his finest ball for granted deal with courting again to his Steelers days, and would have liked him manning that spot. However the Bucs appear content material permitting him to proceed at left guard the place he has performed over the previous two seasons.

Ryan Jensen returns to the Bucs beginning lineup for 2023 after lacking all however the group’s playoff sport as a consequence of a devastating knee damage he suffered early in coaching camp. The professionals and cons to Jensen are fairly clear. Previous to the damage he was arguably one of the best heart in soccer. However he’s 32 years previous and nonetheless rehabbing from the aforementioned damage. There is no such thing as a assure Jensen can return to his 2020-2021 type the place he performed at a Professional Bowl degree.

Bucs Rg Cody Mauch

Bucs RG Cody Mauch – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

The suitable facet of the Bucs line is a respectable concern. The group chosen North Dakota State deal with Cody Mauch within the second spherical of the 2023 NFL Draft. Mauch has all of the athletic traits you can need in a Dave Canales offensive lineman. He additionally has an amazing demeanor that ought to play nicely with the Bucs line. However he’s switching sides and shifting from deal with to protect. These aren’t straightforward transitions (as we’ll cowl in a second). The Bucs are hoping for one of the best with Mauch, however there may be proof that he could also be a 12 months away from being prepared.

Lastly, the Bucs have determined to return 2022 second-round choose Luke Goedeke to his school place of proper deal with after an objectively disastrous 2022 season the place he tried to transition to left guard. Goedeke confirmed in Week 18 of final 12 months that he is likely to be at his finest for granted deal with, however the considerations about his wingspan in addition to the tape he produced final 12 months are nonetheless there.

The place the Bucs outshine a lot of the division is with the depth they’ve been capable of assemble behind the starters. Robert Hainsey offered good play at heart final 12 months and is an excellent hedge to Jensen’s damage. Nick Leverett likewise confirmed he is usually a beginning offensive lineman within the NFL after supplanting Goedeke because the beginning left guard halfway by final 12 months.

Aaron Stinnie is coming off of a critical knee damage that saved him out for all of final 12 months as nicely. Stinnie is small pattern sizes has offered ample play for the Bucs in 2020 and 2021. And Justin Skule and Brandon Walton every have some restricted first rate tape to their names, though each would probably be uncovered in prolonged playtime.

With the caveat that the variance degree for this unit is extraordinarily excessive, the sum of the components is more likely to be better than the components themselves with a bunch that has a number of choices if a few of the starters don’t pan out to be one of the best and even good variations of their potential. This will get the Bucs to 3rd within the NFC South for offensive line models. And out of the entire models within the NFC South profiled right here that is the one that might make sense on the finish of the 12 months in any of the 4 spots.

New Orleans Saints

Saints Lt Taylor Penning

Saints LT Taylor Penning – Picture by: USA At the moment

As soon as the crown jewel of offensive strains within the NFC South, the Saints now have a satisfactory, however unremarkable entrance. It’s not that they don’t have expertise. Trevor Penning, a 2022 first spherical choose, missed over half of his rookie season however closed the season sturdy. From Week 15 by Week 18 Penning recorded PFF grades of 89.5, 87.6, 79.9 and 61.0. With higher well being and a full 12 months of reps he may take one other step ahead and turn out to be a High 20 deal with within the NFL.

Reverse Penning is Professional Bowler Ryan Ramczyk on the fitting facet. Ramczyk had a down 12 months by his requirements in 2022. That down 12 months was nonetheless good for the Thirteenth-best PFF grade amongst all offensive tackles.

Whereas the Saints ought to be ok with each the current and the longer term at their deal with positions, the outlook for the inside of their line is way much less rosy. Proper guard Cesar Ruiz has performed beneath common for the whole lot of his three-year profession. Left guard Andrus Peat equally has performed disappointingly since 2017.

Between these two is heart Erik McCoy. McCoy has offered stable play for 4 years straight. However I might be remiss to not point out that his play has regressed every year since his rookie marketing campaign.

The Saints function one superb backup in deal with James Hurst. He performed so nicely in Penning’s absence early within the season final 12 months that he had many analysts questioning if the Saints ought to have gone in a unique route than drafting Penning. Past Penning it’s a veritable “who’s who” of “who’re they?” Storm Norton has been one of many worst starters within the NFL over the previous few seasons. Calvin Throckmorton has carried out worse than Norton in additional restricted playtime. Nick Saldiveri is an attention-grabbing rookie deal with to protect convert, and Alex Pihlstrom is a rookie undrafted free agent.

The Saints ought to get satisfactory play from their line this 12 months, however they’re fourth within the NFC South in offensive line rankings due to the dearth of upside from their inside and lack of depth from their backups.

Closing Ideas

I might not be shocked one bit if three of the 4 strains within the NFC South rank within the prime of the league this 12 months. Equally, I wouldn’t be very shocked if two of the 4 strains find yourself within the backside 10 of the NFL. The Bucs are the actual wild card. Generally questions are answered in a optimistic manner. Different instances you don’t just like the solutions which might be offered.

If Tristan Wirfs makes a seamless transition, Ryan Jensen returns to pre-injury type, Luke Goedeke performs a satisfactory proper deal with versus a horrible left guard, Cody Mauch hits the bottom operating and Matt Feiler performs equal to the common of his final three seasons, this line may assist the Bucs turn out to be a surprisingly good offense. However greater than probably solely two of these best-case situations come to fruition and Tampa Bay’s line is extra of a High 20 unit mired of their third-place standing within the NFC South.



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