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Offseason Extra: Grading offensive lines for 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
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They're the protectors of quarterbacks and gatekeepers for the running backs. They're the unsung heroes on teams that put up a ton of wins and the scapegoats of teams that have bruised and battered quarterbacks (that's after the quarterback himself is a scapegoat).

They're five oversized guys most Fantasy Football players don't care about. But, for the ones that do -- or those who want to know more about them -- we're here for you.

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Rating offensive linemen and offensive lines is something we've done for four years now. The methodology is simple: A grade is given out much like a student would get in school for each lineman. The five grades for the starting line is averaged and a final grade is given to each team. Film study, statistical review and even consultation with ProFootballFocus.com's 2012 offensive lineman grades are the basis of our findings.

What we've learned over the years is that there might be a difference between the best and worst offensive lines in the league, but it's not by much. Last year 15 offensive lines, nearly half of the league's squads, graded out as either a B- or C+ unit. This year that number swelled to 19, which is to say there are a lot of above average offensive lines out there, but not as many great or deplorable ones.

Team GPA '13 Grade '12 Grade Team GPA '13 Grade '12 Grade
1 Patriots 3.396 B+ B 17 Seahawks 2.528 C+ C-
1 Titans 3.396 B+ B- 18 Panthers 2.464 C+ B
3 49ers 3.33 B+ B- 18 Packers 2.464 C+ C+
4 Eagles 3.198 B B- 18 Redskins 2.464 C+ C-
5 Bengals 2.928 B- B- 21 Jaguars 2.332 C+ C
6 Browns 2.862 B- C+ 21 Rams 2.332 C+ C
7 Broncos 2.798 B- C 23 Ravens 2.33 C+ B-
7 Texans 2.798 B- C+ 24 Chargers 2.264 C C
7 Saints 2.798 B- B 25 Cowboys 2.262 C C
7 Jets 2.798 B- B 26 Falcons 2.198 C C+
11 Vikings 2.796 B- C+ 27 Bills 2.196 C C
12 Dolphins 2.794 B- C+ 27 Raiders 2.196 C C
13 Buccaneers 2.664 B- B- 29 Cardinals 2.13 C C-
13 Giants 2.662 B- C- 30 Bears 2.064 C D+
15 Steelers 2.66 B- B- 31 Lions 2.062 C C+
16 Chiefs 2.598 C+ C+ 32 Colts 2.0 C C-

If a team has a camp battle for a starting spot then both players are listed with a combined grade. If a team has four or five returning starters that's also taken into consideration. In the past, the highest grade a rookie could get was a B, but after seeing several rookie linemen up close and coming away impressed the new max-grade on a rookie lineman is a B+.

Use these grades the same way NFL talent evaluators use scouting combine results: as tiebreakers. For instance, if you're debating between Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew before Draft Day, maybe this will be your tiebreaker. Same thing if you are debating between Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck. These grades are not end-all, be-all ... more like just part of the process in preparing for Daft Day 2013.

Arizona Cardinals
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 1.8 (C-)
LT LG C RG RT
Levi Brown Jonathan Cooper Lyle Sendlein Earl Watford Bobby Massie
C B+ C- C C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.13 (C)
Atlanta Falcons
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.4 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Sam Baker Justin Blalock Peter Konz Garrett Reynolds Lamar Holmes
B C+ C- C C
Cumulative GPA: 2.198 (C)
Baltimore Ravens
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.6 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Bryant McKinnie Kelechi Osemele Gino Gradkowski Marshal Yanda Michael Oher
C C+ C- A- C
Cumulative GPA: 2.33 (C+)
Buffalo Bills
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.134 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Cordy Glenn S. Young/C. Brown Eric Wood Kraig Urbik Erik Pears
B+ D C+ B- C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.196 (C)
Carolina Panthers
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.868 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Jordan Gross Amini Silatolu Ryan Kalil Geoff Hangartner Byron Bell
B+ C B+ C+ D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.464 (C+)
Chicago Bears
Returning Starters: 2 Last year's grade: 1.4 (D+)
LT LG C RG RT
Jermon Bushrod Matt Slauson Roberto Garza Kyle Long J'Marcus Webb
B B- C- C D
Cumulative GPA: 2.064 (C)
Cincinnati Bengals
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.6 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Andrew Whitworth Travelle Wharton Trevor Robinson Kevin Zeitler Andre Smith
A+ C- C- A- B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.928 (B-)
Cleveland Browns
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.4 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Joe Thomas Jason Pinkston Alex Mack S. Lauvao/J. Greco Mitchell Schwartz
A+ C- A C- B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.862 (B-)
Dallas Cowboys
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.134 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Tyron Smith Nate Livings Travis Frederick P. Costa/M. Bernadeau Doug Free
A- C+ B- D C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.262 (C)
Denver Broncos
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.0 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Ryan Clady Zane Beadles J.D. Walton Louis Vasquez Orlando Franklin
A B- C B B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.798 (B-)
Detroit Lions
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.4 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Riley Reiff Rob Sims Dominic Raiola Larry Warford C. Hillard/J. Fox
C B- B- C+ D-
Cumulative GPA: 2.062 (C)
Green Bay Packers
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.4 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Bryan Bulaga Josh Sitton E. Dietrich-Smith T.J. Lang M. Newhouse/ D. Sherrod
B+ B+ C C C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.464 (C+)
Houston Texans
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.532 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Duane Brown Wade Smith Chris Myers Ben Jones B. Williams/D. Newton
A+ C+ A C D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.798 (B-)
Indianapolis Colts
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 1.6 (C-)
LT LG C RG RT
Anthony Castonzo Donald Thomas S. Satele/K. Holmes M. McGlynn/H. Thornton Gosder Cherilus
C+ C C- C- C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.0 (C)
Jacksonville Jaguars
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.2 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Eugene Monroe Will Rackley Brad Meester Uche Nwaneri Luke Joekel
B+ D C C B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.332 (C+)
Kansas City Chiefs
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.53 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Branden Albert J. Allen/G. Schwartz Rodney Hudson Jon Asamoah Eric Fisher
B C+ C C+ B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.598 (C+)
Miami Dolphins
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.33 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Jonathan Martin Richie Incognito Mike Pouncey John Jerry Tyson Clabo
C- B- A- C+ A-
Cumulative GPA: 2.794 (B-)
Minnesota Vikings
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.4 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Matt Kalil Charlie Johnson John Sullivan Brandon Fusco Phil Loadholt
A C- A D B+
Cumulative GPA: 2.796 (B-)
New England Patriots
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.73 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Nate Solder Logan Mankins Ryan Wendell Dan Connolly Sebastian Vollmer
A A- B+ C+ A-
Cumulative GPA: 3.396 (B+)
New Orleans Saints
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.86 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Charles Brown Ben Grubbs Brian De La Puente Jahri Evans Zach Strief
C B+ B A C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.798 (B-)
New York Giants
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 1.6 (C-)
LT LG C RG RT
Will Beatty Kevin Boothe David Baas Chris Snee Justin Pugh
B+ B- C B- B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.662 (B-)
New York Jets
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.8 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
D'Brickashaw Ferguson Willie Colon Nick Mangold Stephen Peterman Austin Howard
B+ B- A C C
Cumulative GPA: 2.798 (B-)
Oakland Raiders
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.0 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Jared Veldheer Tony Bergstrom Stefen Wisniewski Mike Brisiel M. Watson/K. Barnes
B+ C- B- D C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.196 (C)
Philadelphia Eagles
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.66 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Jason Peters Evan Mathis Jason Kelce Todd Herremans Lane Johnson
B+ A+ C B B+
Cumulative GPA: 3.198 (B)
Pittsburgh Steelers
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.6 (C+)
LT LG C RG RT
Mike Adams Ramon Foster Maurkice Pouncey David DeCastro Marcus Gilbert
C C+ B+ B B-
Cumulative GPA: 2.66 (B-)
San Diego Chargers
Returning Starters: 2 Last year's grade: 2.0 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Max Starks Chad Rinehart Nick Hardwick Jeromey Clary D.J. Fluker
C+ C+ C C- B
Cumulative GPA: 2.264 (C)
Seattle Seahawks
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 1.93 (C-)
LT LG C RG RT
Russell Okung James Carpenter Max Unger Paul McQuistan Breno Giacomini
A- C- A C- C-
Cumulative GPA: 2.528 (C+)
San Francisco 49ers
Returning Starters: 5 Last year's grade: 2.66 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Joe Staley Mike Iupati Jonathan Goodwin Alex Boone Anthony Davis
A A- B- B B+
Cumulative GPA: 3.33 (B+)
St. Louis Rams
Returning Starters: 3 Last year's grade: 2.0 (C)
LT LG C RG RT
Jake Long Shelley Smith Scott Wells Harvey Dahl Rodger Saffold
B+ D C B C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.332 (C+)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.6 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Donald Penn Carl Nicks Jeremy Zuttah Davin Joseph Demar Dotson
B A- C+ C C+
Cumulative GPA: 2.664 (B-)
Tennessee Titans
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 2.6 (B-)
LT LG C RG RT
Michael Roos Andy Levitre Fernando Velasco Chance Warmack David Stewart
A- A- B+ B+ B
Cumulative GPA: 3.396 (B+)
Washington Redskins
Returning Starters: 4 Last year's grade: 1.93 (C-)
LT LG C RG RT
Trent Williams Kory Lichtensteiger Will Montgomery Chris Chester J. Trueblood/T. Polumbus
A- C B C+ D+
Cumulative GPA: 2.464 (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 .

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Player News
Lions' president optimistic team will re-sign Ndamukong Suh
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:47 pm ET) Lions team president Tom Lewand is expecting the team to be able to re-sign defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

"I really do believe he's got a lot invested in here, in himself and the community and the football team," Lewand said Sunday morning during an interview on WDIV-TV's Flashpoint. "He wants to have success in the NFL, obviously, but he wants to do that with us.

"I think there's a very, very good chance that we can get something done with him in the next few weeks."

Suh can become a free agent if the team does not use their franchise tag on him by March 2. 

"We've had a good chunk of our salary cap tied up in three players over the last few years," Lewand told WDIV. "Matthew, Calvin and Ndamukong have all had very lucrative contracts under the old rookie system, and even as Matthew and Calvin have done their extensions. So we've done that, we've lived in that environment. There's no reason we can't continue to live in that environment."


Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant expects to remain with team
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:50 pm ET) Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said Saturday he is expecting to be back in Dallas in 2015 and have fans excited for a long time.

"Regardless, I’m a Cowboy," Bryant said to NBC Dallas. "But it is what it is. It’s business. I am a free agent. I’m very confident that something is going to happen, something is going to get done, and have these Cowboys fans excited for a long time."

Bryant is set to become a free agent this offseason if he and the Cowboys cannot agree to a deal or Dallas uses the franchise tag on him.

"I’m a Cowboy at heart. It’s Cowboys forever," Bryant said.


Falcons' owner wants Julio Jones long term, but not his decision
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:45 pm ET) Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Sunday the team wants to sign Julio Jones to a contract extension, but it is not his decision to make.

"As the owner, it's not my decision to make," Blank said. "The new coach will spend a great deal of time assessing the roster and all of our players, and obviously Julio is a critical one.

"Well, I think it's a decision that the head coach will look at the talent on the roster," Blank said. "Julio's been a great player for us and a great talent, and he represents us on the field and off the field as well as anybody else."

Jones is set to make $10.2 million in 2015 and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2016 if a new deal is not signed. In 2014, Jones set a franchise-record 1,593 receiving yards in 15 games on 104 receptions with six touchdowns.


Lions' Calvin Johnson wants to keep Ndamukong Suh in Detroit
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson said he's willing to do just about anything to keep defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in a Lions uniform, reports MLive.com.

Suh is set to become a free agent in March if the Lions cannot reach a deal with him and Johnson said he wants Suh to remain a Lion.

"I'll do whatever I got to do," Johnson said.


Report: Jets, Bills interested in pursuing Patriots' Darrelle Revis
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:14 am ET) If Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis becomes a free agent in the offseason, the Jets and Bills would reportedly be interested in the Pro Bowl cornerback, reports ESPN.

Revis is a former first-round pick of the Jets, where he played for current Bills coach Rex Ryan. The Patriots have a $20 million team option they can exercise to keep Revis off the market.

In 16 games for the Patriots during the 2014 season, Revis registered 47 tackles and two interceptions.


Jets' Johnson: Signing Muhammad Wilkerson is among priorities
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters Saturday keeping defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson beyond the 2015 season is among the team's top priorities in the offseason, reports NJ.com.

Wilkerson can become a free agent after the 2015 season and signing Wilkerson to a long-term deal will be a topic of discussion when the front office meets Tuesday.

"I think that's something that we'll be looking at, starting Tuesday, when we get our first staff in there," Johnson said. "We're going to take a look at Mo; Mo's obviously a great player. In terms of getting all that going, I'm sure that will be one of their priorities."

Wilkerson played in 13 games during 2014 season and registered 56 tackles and six sacks.


Report: Patriots expect center Bryan Stork to start Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:35 am ET) Patriots center Bryan Stork is dealing with an MCL injury in his knee, but is expected to start the Super Bowl on Sunday against the Seahawks, sources told the NFL Network.

Stork suffered the injury during the divisional playoff game against the Ravens. He was recently upgraded from questionable to probable.

The Patriots were favored by one-point, but the line has moved to pick'em.


Report: Seahawks offer Marshawn Lynch huge extension
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:31 am ET) Wanting to keep Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch for the long haul, the Seahawks have offered Lynch a contract extension that could possibly keep him in Seattle for the rest of his career, sources told NFL.com.

Lynch is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season. If signed, the deal would pay Lynch $10 million in 2015 instead of the $5 million he is currently due next season.

Over the last four seasons, Lynch has amassed the most carries and rushing yards in the NFL. He has been in contract discussions with the Seahawks for several weeks with the team believing he has earned a hefty raise. 


Packers' Aaron Rodgers named NFL MVP at NFL Honors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named the 2015 NFL MVP at the NFL Honors awards show, held Saturday at the Phoenix Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Ariz.

Rodgers played all 16 regular-season games in 2014 for just the second time in the last five seasons, completing 65.6 percent of his passes while racking up 4,381 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added two more touchdowns on the ground while gaining 269 rushing yards on 43 carries.

Several other awards were handed out at the ceremony Saturday, as follows.

AP Offensive Player of the Year: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys

AP Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, Texans

AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham, Giants

AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Donald, Rams

AP Comeback Player of the Year: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

AP Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Cardinals

AP Assistant Coach of the Year: Todd Bowles, Cardinals

Walter Payton Man of Year: Thomas Davis, Panthers

Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

Salute to Service Award: Jared Allen, Bears

NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers

FedEx Air Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, Packers

FedEx Ground Player of the Year: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers

Deacon Jones Award: Justin Houston, Chiefs

Greatness on the Road Award: Tony Romo, Cowboys

Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year: Odell Beckham one-handed catch

Don Shula High School Coach of the Year: Bruce Larson, Somerset (Wisconsin) High School

In addition, eight finalists were voted into the Hall of Fame: running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff and executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.


Seahawks' Kam Chancellor participates in Saturday walkthrough
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor injured his knee late in Friday's practice but was well enough to participate in Saturday's walkthrough for Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Coach Pete Carroll indicated optimism that Chancellor, who is considered probable to play Sunday, would be cleared to participate in the Super Bowl, per the Seahawks' pool report.

"He looked pretty good today," Carroll said. "We will make sure we test him in pregame, but he remarkably looked great today, and so that’s all we have to go on."

Chancellor is one of six Seattle players listed as probable to play in Sunday's game.


 
 
 
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