Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Draft Prep: Setting the offensive lines

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

For each of the last three seasons, I've taken up the task of grading starting linemen one by one and assigning a letter grade like the kind you see on a typical school report card, calculating the average and then rank them accordingly. The point of it is to give you an idea of which offensive lines are expected to be strong and which ones will be weak.

 
Team
GPA '12 Grade
1 Carolina Panthers 2.868 B
2 New Orleans Saints 2.86 B
3 New York Jets 2.8 B
4 New England Patriots 2.73 B
5 Philadelphia Eagles 2.66 B-
5 San Francisco 49ers 2.66 B-
7 Baltimore Ravens 2.6 B-
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2.6 B-
7 Tennessee Titans 2.6 B-
7 Cincinnati Bengals 2.6 B-
7 Pittsburgh Steelers 2.6 B-
12 Houston Texans 2.53 C+
12 Kansas City Chiefs 2.53 C+
14 Cleveland Browns 2.4 C+
14 Green Bay Packers 2.4 C+
14 Minnesota Vikings 2.4 C+
14 Atlanta Falcons 2.4 C+
14 Detroit Lions 2.396 C+
19 Miami Dolphins 2.33 C+
20 Jacksonville Jaguars 2.2 C
21 Dallas Cowboys 2.134 C
21 Buffalo Bills 2.134 C
23 Denver Broncos 2.0 C
23 San Diego Chargers 2.0 C
23 St. Louis Rams 2.0 C
23 Oakland Raiders 2.0 C
27 Washington Redskins 1.93 C-
27 Seattle Seahawks 1.93 C-
29 Arizona Cardinals 1.8 C-
30 New York Giants 1.6 C-
30 Indianapolis Colts 1.6 C-
32 Chicago Bears 1.4 D+

Over the last few seasons I came to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of O-lines around the NFL effectively grade out similarly. Some were noticeably better than the rest, some were noticeably worse, but the majority were bunched together.

So in an effort to change that "bunching" I made some changes to my system. For instance, you'll find several instances where two linemen are graded for one spot. This might be because two guys are fighting for a job in camp or the starter isn't expected to make it through most of the season and the backup needs to be addressed. When you see two players listed in one spot, the expected starter is named to the left of the slash and the grade is a cumulative total for both men. Additionally, I was more aggressive in grading linemen this season, dishing out more D's than ever before (I even doled out an F). I also gave credit to O-lines that worked in the same system for multiple seasons with at least three returning starters.

Also, in an attempt to provide as accurate of a grade as possible, and to make sure I didn't provide a list of 32 teams with the exact same grade, I cross-referenced my notes with the 2011 evaluations at ProFootballFocus.com .

And after all of these measures were taken, the following conclusion was reached: the overwhelming majority of O-lines around the NFL effectively grade out similarly.

There's no sugar-coating this, no way to make the list more attractive without going against my notes (or ProFootballFocus' notes). Let's just put it this way: If we had to draft individual offensive linemen in Fantasy, we might end up reaching for the best ones.

You'll find all of the information about every offensive line below. Keep in mind that no rookie lineman is eligible for a grade higher than a B and there is no weighting for blind-side tackles or Pro Bowlers. A line is as strong as its weakest link.

The grades should provide some food for thought. Use this guide as a potential tiebreaker between quarterbacks and running backs throughout your draft. For instance, if you're debating between Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton, maybe Dalton has an edge because his O-line graded out better. Or if you're looking at the lesser of two evils between Donald Brown and James Starks, at least Starks' line has some continuity and a better grade.

Arizona Cardinals
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Levi Brown Daryn Colledge Lyle Sendlein Adam Snyder B. Massie/J. Bridges
C+ C C D C-
Cumulative GPA: 1.8 (C-)
Atlanta Falcons
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Sam Baker Justin Blalock Todd McClure Jameson Konz Tyson Clabo
D+ C B- C+ A-
Cumulative GPA: 2.4 (C+)
Baltimore Ravens
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Bryant McKinnie Bobbie Williams Matt Birk Marshal Yanda Michael Oher
C- B B- B+ C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.6 (C+)
Buffalo Bills
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
C. Hairston/C. Glenn Andy Levitre Eric Wood Kraig Urbik Erik Pears
C B- C- C C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.134 (C)
Carolina Panthers
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Jordan Gross A. Silatolu/M. Pollak Ryan Kalil Geoff Hangartner Byron Bell
A- C A- B+ C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.868 (B-)
Chicago Bears
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
J. Webb/C. Williams Chris Spencer Roberto Garza C. Rachal/L. Louis Gabe Carimi
D+ D+ C- D C-
Cumulative GPA: 1.4 (D+)
Cincinnati Bengals
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Andrew Whitworth Travelle Wharton Kyle Cook Kevin Zeitler Andre Smith
A C- C+ B C
Cumulative GPA: 2.6 (C+)
Cleveland Browns
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Joe Thomas Jason Pinkston Alex Mack Shawn Lauvao M. Schwartz/O. Cousins
A- C- B+ C- C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.4 (C+)
Dallas Cowboys
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Tyron Smith Nate Livings Phil Costa Mackenzy Bernadeau Doug Free
B C C- C C
Cumulative GPA: 2.134 (C)
Denver Broncos
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Ryan Clady Zane Beadles J.D. Walton/P. Blake Chris Kuper Orlando Franklin
B+ D+ D- C B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.0 (C)
Detroit Lions
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Jeff Backus Rob Sims Dominic Raiola Stephen Peterman Gosder Cherilus
B- B- B C C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.4 (C+)
Green Bay Packers
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Marshall Newhouse T.J. Lang Jeff Saturday Josh Sitton Bryan Bulaga
D+ B- B B- C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.4 (C+)
Houston Texans
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Duane Brown Wade Smith Chris Myers B. Brooks/A. Caldwell Rashad Butler
B+ C+ A C- D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.532 (C+)
Indianapolis Colts
Returning Starters: 1
LT LG C RG RT
Anthony Castonzo J. Reitz/B. Ijalana Samson Satele Mike McGlynn Winston Justice
C D+ C D+ D+
Cumulative GPA: 1.6 (C-)
Jacksonville Jaguars
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Eugene Monroe Will Rackley Brad Meester Uche Nwaneri Eben Britton
B+ D- B C C
Cumulative GPA: 2.2 (C)
Kansas City Chiefs
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Branden Albert Ryan Lilja Rodney Hudson Jon Asamoah Eric Winston
B- B- C- C+ B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.53 (C+)
Miami Dolphins
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Jake Long Richie Incognito Mike Pouncey Artis Hicks Jonathan Martin
A- C B D+ C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.33 (C+)
Minnesota Vikings
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Matt Kalil J. Berger/C. Johnson John Sullivan Brandon Fusco Phil Loadholt
B C- B+ D+ B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.4 (C+)
New England Patriots
Returning Starters: TBD
LT LG C RG RT
Nate Solder L. Mankins/R. Gallery D. Connolly/D. Koppen Brian Waters S. Vollmer/M. Cannon
B- B+ C+ B C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.73 (B-)
New Orleans Saints
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Jermon Bushrod Ben Grubbs Brian De La Puente Jahri Evans Charles Brown
B+ B+ C+ B+ C
Cumulative GPA: 2.86 (B-)
New York Giants
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Will Beatty Kevin Boothe David Baas Chris Snee David Diehl
C D C- C+ D
Cumulative GPA: 1.6 (C-)
New York Jets
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
D'Brickashaw Ferguson Matt Slauson Nick Mangold Brandon Moore J. Otah/W. Hunter
B+ C A+ B D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.8 (B-)
Oakland Raiders
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Jared Veldheer Cooper Carlisle Stefen Wisniewski Mike Brisiel Khalif Barnes
B- D+ C B- D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.0 (C)
Philadelphia Eagles
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Demetress Bell Evan Mathis Jason Kelce Danny Watkins Todd Herremans
C+ A+ C+ D+ B
Cumulative GPA: 2.66 (B-)
Pittsburgh Steelers
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Mike Adams Willie Colon Maurkice Pouncey David DeCastro M. Gilbert/M. Starks
C- B- B+ B C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.6 (C+)
San Diego Chargers
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Jared Gaither Tyronne Green Nick Hardwick Louis Vasquez J. Clary/M. Henderson
B+ D B C D-
Cumulative GPA: 2.0 (C)
Seattle Seahawks
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Russell Okung Paul McQuistan Max Unger J. Moffitt/D. Lutui Breno Giacomini
C C- B+ D C-
Cumulative GPA: 1.93 (C-)
San Francisco 49ers
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Joe Staley Mike Iupati Jonathan Goodwin Alex Boone Anthony Davis
B+ A C+ C C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.66 (B-)
St. Louis Rams
Returning Starters: 3
LT LG C RG RT
Rodger Saffold B. Mattison/R. Watkins Scott Wells Harvey Dahl Jason Smith
C- F A- B+ D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.0 (C)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Donald Penn Carl Nicks Jeremy Zuttah Davin Joseph Jeremy Trueblood
B A+ C+ C+ D
Cumulative GPA: 2.6 (B-)
Tennessee Titans
Returning Starters: 4
LT LG C RG RT
Michael Roos Steve Hutchinson Eugene Amano Leroy Harris David Stewart
B+ A- D+ C B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.6 (B-)
Washington Redskins
Returning Starters: 5
LT LG C RG RT
Trent Williams Kory Lichtensteiger Will Montgomery Chris Chester Jammal Brown
C+ B- C C- D
Cumulative GPA: 1.93 (C-)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(7/11/2014) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


Colts dump LaVon Brazill, sign Aaron Burks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Colts waived suspended wideout LaVon Brazill and signed receiver Aaron Burks, an undrafted free agent from Boise State. Brazill, 25, is suspended for at least a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Burks caught 18 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns for the Broncos last season, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.


 
 
 
Rankings