For the third time in the series the New Orleans Saints will come away with the crown. The Saint line is stout all the way across and stood out as easily the best in the South both last year and heading forward into this season. They have the right blend of youth and experience between vets like Unger and youngsters like Ramczyk, and are positioned to one again be dominant this year.
Finishing second are your Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is partially based on prognostication, because last season the Buccaneer offensive line was nothing to write home about. On paper however the Bucs are marching out a strong unit this season, thanks in large part to the addition of Ryan Jensen. A lot depends on how Demar Dotson returns from injury; that would make four quality starters between he, Marpet, Smith and Jensen, with a solid amount of chemistry already built up between most of them. Bright days are ahead for this line.
Atlanta finishes third thanks to a powerful trio made up of Jake Matthews, Ryan Schraeder and Alex Mack. When you have one of the league’s best centers like Mack you don’t necessarily need stars all around him, but the Falcons do well enough on the line to keep their offense moving and their run game potent. Pro Football Focus declared them the second best unit in all of football last year so perhaps I’m underselling them, but I have a hard time viewing this unit as superior to what the Buccaneers or Saints offer.
Last place are the Carolina Panthers, who are suffering from the rare plight of losing their best offensive lineman to free agency. With Andrew Norwell gone the Panthers now have a serious hole at left guard, and with Matt Kalil struggling consistently at left tackle the problem will only be magnified. I expect defensive lines to feast on the left side of the Panthers line, so it falls on studs Trae Turner and Daryl Williams to carry enough of the load on the right side to make up for it.
That’s a wrap on the offensive line rankings, and your Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished at what I believe is a fair second place. What are your thoughts, Buccaneer fans? Sound off with your own rankings, and be sure to check back next week for our first defensive position, the safeties!