With the 2020 NFL regular season now on the doorstep, we’re breaking down the top position groups in key areas. Now that starting rosters are pretty much set, here are the league’s top 10 offensive lines entering Week 1:
10. Cleveland Browns: This was a major weak spot last year because the Browns got such poor play from their tackles. But with top-10 pick Jedrick Wills Jr. teaming up with standout veteran Jack Conklin, that has all changed. With those two sandwiching Joel Bitonio and J.C. Tretter, the Browns are damn close to having an elite offensive line.
9. Baltimore Ravens: The loss of Marshal Yanda hurts quite a bit, but Ronnie Stanley is the most promising young left tackle in the league and is coming off an All-Pro season. Right tackle Orlando Brown also has sky-high potential, center Matt Skura gets the job done, and there’s hope for young guard Ben Powers. A lack of depth and continuity could be a problem, though.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, and Maurkice Pouncey are highly established veterans, Matt Feiler looked the part in his first full season as a starter, and their weakest link (guard Stefen Wisniewski) is at least deeply experienced. No superstars here, but it’s a solid all-around line.
7. Houston Texans: It’s amazing how far this group has come. Finally having a legit left tackle in Laremy Tunsil is huge, but there’s also a lot to be excited about with 2019 draft picks Tytus Howard and Max Scharping. They at least have a multitude of options at guard, and Nick Martin has become a solid center.
6. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams could be an upgrade over the retired Joe Staley at left tackle, Mike McGlinchey has become a reliable right tackle on the rise, and center Weston Richburg is back from injury. They’re weaker at guard, but there are plenty of worse duos than Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton.
5. Green Bay Packers: David Bakhtiari is one of the most respected left tackles in the sport, Rick Wagner could be an upgrade over Bryan Bulaga on the other side, and Corey Linsley, Billy Turner, and Lane Taylor make up a decent interior.
4. Las Vegas Raiders: Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown remain elite, Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito are reliable veterans, and Kolton Miller looks to be on track to become a pillar left tackle. This line is transitioning a bit, but remains top-notch in both pass protection and run blocking.
3. Dallas Cowboys: They’ll miss retired center Travis Frederick, but La’el Collins, Tyron Smith, and Zack Martin are all studs, and Connor Williams has growth potential at guard. Plus, vet Joe Looney isn’t a terrible replacement for Frederick.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Mark Glowinski might not be a star, but it’s a great sign when a player like that is your weakest link along the offensive line. Quenton Nelson is a superstar, Ryan Kelly has that potential, and Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith are rock-solid on the edges.
1. New Orleans Saints: There isn’t a deeper, more balanced line than this one, which ranked in the top three in terms of both pass protection and run blocking at Football Outsiders in 2019. Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk make up the best tackle duo in the league, and they’re extremely deep with Erik McCoy, Andrus Peat, Cesar Ruiz, and Nick Easton inside.