Baltimore Ravens Offensive Line: How Do They Compare

ravens offensive line
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens offensive line has been a popular topic as of late. Throughout recent history the Ravens have had one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. But how does this years offensive line compared to years prior? Lets take a look.

The Ravens Offensive Line

Week in, week out, they are the first to be blamed and the last to fame. As a fan base, we need to do an in-depth look at our previous and current “Status Quo” of the offensive line. With that being said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of things.

Some say that the Ravens’ current offensive line is good. Others will say that they are bad. Some of us roll with a happy medium of good enough. It’s tough to properly grade all these big fellas in a world where everyone is focused on skill positions, but thankfully, some people at Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference have us covered.

The Present

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Ranked 57/81 in the Tackle position
Marked as a 62.7 Graded Yellow Player

This guy is a solid player game in and game out. Yes, unfortunately, he has gotten beaten in the pass pro a lot more than I’d like to admit, but the guy is always looking to make improvements when he can. Coming to Baltimore has opened his versatility more, in my opinion, considering he was going to be placed at right tackle before the Ronnie Stanley injury. The transition to right tackle was a little rough, but it was also full of potential. The team moving him back to his most comfortable position ended up working out.

Left Guard: Ben Powers

Ranked 25/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as a 68 Graded Green Player

Ben Powers has been a giant question mark of “Can he fill in this weird left guard void?” since Bradley Bozeman moved over to center. Don’t get me wrong, he is a quality player and has been proving me wrong week in and out. The way he tends to move around to get in crucial blocks has been quite impressive. Will he keep the “this all game thing” going, or will there be more rotations?

Center: Bradley Bozeman

Ranked 10/38 in the Center Position
Marked as 72.1 Graded Green Player

Everyone should know by now that Bozeman is my favorite offensive lineman on this current Ravens team. Outside of a few bad snaps (which happens from time to time) he’s been an excellent guy in the communications job, along with getting in all of his assigned blocks. I have been praying to the football gods that he stays Raven for a long time.

Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler

Ranked 17/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as 70.9 Graded Green Player

Mr. Kevin Zeitler. A guy we only wish we had sooner to fill the large shoes left by the retirement of future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda. A guy who has now played for 3/4 AFC North teams (if I’m not mistaken) and excels in the right guard spot. His footwork, hand in the cadence/snap count, and ability to make adjustments at whims notice are uncanny. Sometimes, he does get beat but not very often. Just get his replacement ready to fill his shoes whenever he goes to retire (hopefully as a Raven).

Right Tackle: Patrick Mekari

Ranked 44/81 in Tackle Position
Marked as 68.4 Graded Green Player

Patrick Mekari has been at the top of my list for this team, starting center or guard. It hurt a little seeing him not a starter in either position at first, but when Stanley went down early in the season & seeing him take over right tackle with huge success was a pleasant surprise. Later on he got hurt himself. His presence was missed while away. The game vs. the Bears, though, did show that the rust needs to be shaken off.

This lineup listed above is good enough to get this Ravens team to the playoffs & into a bit of a post-season run. You can take whatever you want out of the stats you can find, the film, & anything else to form your own opinion. But at the end of the day, this is a solid unit, even with a 68.42 grading average.

2019 Offensive Line

  • Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley
    • 88.5 Graded Blue Player
  • Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
    • 63.4 Graded Yellow Player
  • Center: Matt Skura/Patrick Mekari
    • Matt: 68.7 Graded Green Player
    • Patrick: 70.5 Graded Green Player
  • Right Guard: Marshal Yanda
    • 86.6 Graded Blue Player
  • Right Tackle: Orlando Brown Jr
    • 72 Graded Green Player

The 2019 14-2 Baltimore Ravens offensive line was an average of 74.95 graded team. They were roughly 6.53 points better than the current team (as of somewhere in between weeks 11 & 12 of the 2021 season). There was some bolstering but also some regression in other areas, as we all know. We had all pros in Ronnie, Marshal, and Zues Jr.

2020 Offensive Line Grading

  • Left Tackle: Zues Jr
    • Graded as a 76.5
  • Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
    • PFF Grade 64.3
  • Center: Matt Skura
    • PFF Grade 50.2
  • Right Guard: Ben Powers
    • PFF Grade 59.4
  • Right Tackle: DJ Fluker
    • PFF Grade 63.8

We can also ask how did the team have an 11-5 record with this offensive line? Let me remind you of these things. Ronnie went down the first time. Matt Skura, Trystan Colon, & Patrick Mekari were all competing for the starting center position. Tyre Phillips was also in the right guard rotation. The 2020 COVID season was bizarre and mildly successful for a whole lot of offensive line shuffles.

Anyways, as we look forward to the remaining weeks in the 2021 season, note that our current starting lineup can be just as good as the 2019 offensive line. Give it time and let it grow. Even though times look tough with the recent injury report, the big guys up front are communicating more and getting that chemistry they need to get the job done. Thanks to them, the Baltimore Ravens can end the 2021 season as a 12-5 or 13-4 team.

The Packers Offensive Line’s Future

Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Packers offensive line’s future is something that has been talked about in recent weeks amongst Packers fans. With Jon Runyan Jr. taking over at left guard, Jenkins playing well at left tackle, and Newman playing solid at right guard. Going forward what is the Packers plan on the offensive line? Because it seems like they have 7 guys who could all be starters in the NFL. So I will attempt to lay out what their plans going forward probably are by looking at them as an organization and their history. I’ve come up with three potential scenarios all will include a couple obvious picks. Bakhtiari at left tackle and Josh Myers at center. Also Lucas Patrick is not coming back and Billy Turner probably gets cut, I think most of us know that. Now lets get to it!

Option 1(everyone’s favorite one):

So the first option seems to be most fans favorite. The Packers move Elgton Jenkins over to right tackle and everyone else stays where they are. So the offensive line would be Bakhtiari-Runyan-Myers-Newman-Jenkins. I understand why a lot of fans like this plan; Jenkins can play all five spots and your tackles tend to be your better offensive linemen. LaFleur has also said he wants his best five guys on the field and objectively these are probably the five best linemen on the roster. I do not feel like tackle is Jenkins best spot and I think LaFleur would want guys at their best positions. To me this is still probably option 1A or 1B to Brian Gutekunst and LaFleur.

Option #2(My favorite):

The five best offensive linemen on the roster going forward are Bakhtiari, Runyan, Myers, Newman and Jenkins. I think most Packers fans would not debate that. Bakhtiari when healthy is a top 2 left tackle in the league, and he ain’t #2. Myers has looked like a three year vet at center, he can still improve of course. Runyan has looked good two years in a row and does have some of his dad in him. He plays hard and is physical like his dad, and is a better athlete than him. He could play either guard spot. Jenkins of course can play anywhere and at a high level. And last but not least Newman did beat out both Runyan and Patrick for the right guard spot. He has had some troubles of course and hopefully continues to improve as the season goes, but he is still one of the five best linemen. He needs to add some strength and mass in the off-season.

With all that being said how I feel they should line up next year would be Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Runyan-Newman. The thinking behind this is putting each guy at their best position. While Jenkins can play any spot, Its shown in the film that he can be an all pro left guard. Runyan has looked solid at both left and right guard so that wouldn’t matter either way. Newman though physically looks more like a tackle. Long arms, long body, and quick feet. Off his college film he looked better and more stout at tackle. He has had trouble with anchoring at right guard so far in the NFL and I feel would hold up better outside.

Option 3(The wild card):

This is one that had not talked about a lot amongst fans, but I know it is a scenario the Packers have talked about or worked though. Inset Yosh Nijman in at right tackle. He played well against the 9ers, and coming out of Virginia Tech he was an athletic freak. His RAS score was a 9.81 at 6’6 6/8ths and 314 pounds with 34 1/4″ arms. I tweeted this out yesterday. The reason he went undrafted is that he was a four year starter at VT and his technique and hand usage was a complete mess. Exactly what happened there to cause this? who knows. But scouts saw that as a sign that he didn’t have it, that he was a “looks like Tarzan plays like Jane” type player. Yosh also wasn’t the most aggressive player.

He has changed that. Nijman still has work to do. He can still get a lot better, but he has shown enough growth that he looks to have starter potential. Then of course everyone else kind of easily slots in Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Newman-Nijman.

Bonus option #4!

The fourth potential option would be an easy one. The Packers take a right tackle early in the 2022 draft and slot him in there as a rookie. Jenkins moves back to left guard. They let then let Runyan and Newman fight it out for the right guard job and the loser backs up both guard spots and right tackle.

So what do you guys think is the Packers offensive line’s future looks like?

Ravens Report: Breaking Down The Roster Ahead of Week 1

*Checks phone and realizes what day it is* Hold up! Wait you’re all telling me we’re almost a week away from our 1st game?! And the ATB RR roster breakdown is late being written & Published?! Ok, in my defense, work & prepping for vacation has my mind else where. You’d probably be in the same boat if your vacation started in 3 days.

Anyways, for those of you all who aren’t caught up, the Baltimore Ravens will travel to… cue the Elvis Presley song. No? Ok, fine, we’ll type it. “Viva! Viva Las Vegas!” Yes, that’s right. The Ravens at Raiders for the first Monday Night Football game of the season on Sept 13th at 8:15pm EST.

Now, I’ll expect this to be a fairly close game at start but with what we know of our team, things will get interesting in our favor to say the least as the game goes on.

Also before actually making in depth predictions we have to first look at the final 53 man roster first.

Here below will be a group of spread sheets put together by yours truly giving you the final 53 man roster. Would give you all the official depth chart off of the Baltimore Ravens’ website but at this time it hasn’t been updated yet.

Take a second and let that marinate. We have a nice active 53-man roster right here a lot of players on here that were expected to make the team & did, but there are a few that were kind of surprises. We’ll get into that here shortly, but before we do that let’s give a look at the Practice Squad & Injured Reserve lists.

Wait another second! Also note that below I didn’t include Co-Cap Anthony Levine Sr in here due to sheer potato brain, but they do have him on the Practice Squad regardless of what you see on the charts.

On this side we have the PS.

And here we have IR. Since you all had time to let everything sink in let’s finally get down to the details we wanna react to, so get your coffee, adult beverage, or juice box handy.

Let’s get the heartbreak out of the way first.

Where in the hell is FB2/RB4/TE8 Ben Mason on these lists?! *Cries from Tuesday until like yesterday* Oh yeah, he got signed by the NE Patriots on Wednesday. That’ll be good experience for the young player out of That Team Up North. With the system the coach Belichick & McDaniels run it’ll fit Mason well.

Most of the other cuts were as expected but…

Another major heartbreak that made me do multiple takes before the PS signees were announced was Co-Cap & Pernell McPhee. 2 key rotational Ravens that were highly important to not only the defense & special teams but also to the team’s voice/leadership. It was so reassuring to see them clear waivers and get picked back up. CoCap is still unfortunately on the PS which if I’m not mistaken can be a little stressful. Cause can’t teams poach off other another team’s PS? Anyways, McPhee thankfully was able to come back to the regular roster thanks to some of the IR folks.

Speaking of Injured Reserve…

What is 1st round pick WR Room X-Factor The Dark Knight aka Batman… I mean former MN Golden Gopher WR Rashod Bateman, doing on IR? Well don’t you all remember that he went down in training camp and had to have surgery? Yeah it makes sense, granted the Ravens will have to cut someone on the 53 when he comes back but either way he’ll be back and playing a good amount by week 5 or 6. Just have to be patient and wait for good news to return.

As far as Mr. Boykin’s situation, I’m still kinda confused on this but some times it takes year 3 or 4 to have that breakout year. And maybe in the final preseason game or in practice he went down with a bad injury that needed some time off. We’ll see what happens.

Now that’s over, lets get into some happy thoughts

Some are ecstatic over this fact, self included but we have a total of 11 Defensive Backs & 10 LB(Inside, Trad Outside, & EDGE) on there roster. It’s a great thing thinking about how much depth is in these rotations such as AA, Young, Stone, Washington, and can’t forget about OG Raven CB Jimmy Smith. These guys are great compliments to Humphrey, Peters, Clark, & Elliott. Bet you $5 Wink is foaming at the mouth with all the schemes he’s can execute with having all these guys.

And to add on to that last sentence, having a dominant LB corps with everything listed above is terrific. Ok, ok, I’ll pump the brakes… I understand that a lot of people are questioning the decision on keeping Welch or Ferguson on the active roster but let me tell you this. GET OFF THE CROSS, WE NEED THE WOOD! The Ravens have had minor instances where you can correctly challenge their “next man up” mentality but as of late for the most part, it’s worked. Sack Daddy is in for a blowout year coming up to establish where he belongs in the market & Welch just to make it known that he’s a good enough depth player for the Ravens.

Staying on Depth or there lack of. I’m glad to see the team keep B. Williams, Campbell, & Wolfe but all we have for backup is Justin Madubuike & Broderick Washington as official back up. Oh yeah, and Justin Ellis & Chris Smith(Who doubles as DE/EDGE) on the practice squad. Also can’t forget when Pancake Pat Ricard jumps in on defense but that still leaves the actual defensive front 2 to 6 players less in depth vs the rest of the team. Don’t get me wrong, I know the team runs a base 3-4 for the most part and relies on the LB/Secondary more, just being a OL/DL guy it hurts my heart a bit, but it’ll be alright. The Defense is stacked anyways.

Moving to the Offensive Side.

It wasn’t surprising seeing LJ8 as QB1 & TH2 aka Snoop as QB2. We all seen that coming, but what we didn’t necessarily see the well now RB2 contest to be so close. Well kinda, as most of us were lead to believe, Ty’Son Williams was going to be backing up/rotating with Gus Bus Edwards & Nate McCrary backing up Williams. That’s obviously not the case right now. John Harbaugh & Co decided to keep Justice Hill over McCrary. With no RB on the Practice Squad, it is very obvious that the coaching staff sees something in Hill that we can’t. Honestly it’s going to be interesting to see how this backfield runs without JK Dobbins as the starter due to a bad season ending injury.

Moving over real quick to the TE room, we once again have an official 4 Tight Ends on the roster and an official Fullback. This brings joy to the heart. The hunch that Josh Oliver was going to be the official TE3 and make the team was right. He is meant to be and play like a Raven. Backing up or possibly lining up in a 3 TE set behind the likes of Mark Andrews & Nick Boyle is what we like to see.

Kinda Reminds me of the Pitta, Daniels, & Gilmore or! Or! The Pitta, Boyle, & Maxx Williams days. Ah! Good times, good times.

But we have another name to throw in the mix. Eric Tomlinson. I’ll agree with the coaching staff that he did very well with the blocking scheme during the preseason which gives the Ravens another good or decent option with the Run Pass Option.

They’ve also elected to add Tony Poljan to the practice squad which is interesting to say the least. Moving on to the next topic…

My personal favorite, the big boys upfront!

Starting line up is still probably going to be as followed:

  • LT: Ronnie Stanley
  • LG: Ben Powers
  • C: Bradley Bozeman
  • RG: Kevin Zietler
  • RT: Alejandro Villanueva

Now this is a very complete set for the most part. Ben Powers obviously still being the question mark since you have Patrick Mekari as your versatile all around lineman. Ben Cleveland looking to make his name a household one and same with Philips at the LG or RG spots. Keeping Ealy & Smith on the Practice Squad was probably for insurance purposes but we’ll never know.

Also I’ll take this to the grave with me… having TCC on the roster is crucial because having a dedicated Center is extremely important! Yes we have Boze & Mekari but my boy TCC has proven that he can be ready to go and perform at a very high level when called upon.

Last minute notes & wrapping up.

So with everything being said be ready for this entire team to be ready to take on everything that’s thrown at them next Monday & all season long.

Josh Bynes was brought back for a 3rd stint to help the LB depth via the Practice Squad. TE Eli Wolf has filed a grievance against Baltimore claiming he should’ve been placed on IR vs being cut, I do believe he won the case. WR Devin Gray & Ravens reached an injury settlement that allowed him to become a FA. Lastly WR James Proche was fined by the NFL for Mossing an WFT Defender, I thought it was great but apparently the No Fun League didn’t.

Any whoot, that’s it until next time, and until then don’t forget to check out everything & everyone on the Around The Block Network. Follow us individually or the network itself on all forms of social media. Have a great night or day everyone!

Early Bird List part 5

See the previous part here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/08/19/the-early-bird-list-part-4/

Early on this offensive line class looks deep at tackle. Maybe not as strong at the top as recent years, but deep. The center class though looks strong. Don’t forget this list is just alphabetical.

Offensive Line:

Daniel Faalele – Minnesota

He is a huge man. 6’8 370. Similar body type to Mechi Becton. Big hands and long arms. Faalele still could stand to loose about 20 pounds to help his agility to keep up with the pass rushers he will see in the NFL. Sat out 2020 season due to COVID. He is still raw after not playing in high school and coming over from Australia. Big and strong with raw power. His agility is lacking some. He may have trouble at the next level with quicker defenders. Still he is pretty athletic for his size. Technique needs refinement. Probably a one position player(right tackle).

Kenyon Green – Texas A & M

Two year starter. Green started the 2019 season at right guard. He then started the 2020 season on the left side. He has a tendency to get too aggressive, which throws off his balance. Green still could use some minor technique work on pass blocking. Strong lower body that shows up in the running game, a beast as a run blocker. Excellent overall athlete. He is quick, explosive, and strong. Probably the top guard in the class. The current Aggie could go in the 1st.

Darian Kinnard – Kentucky

Kinnard is another huge man with long arms and big strong0 hands. He is not as big as Faalele, but similar size and body type(6’5 345ish). He has 26 consecutive starts entering the 2021 season. Kinnard is Powerful but also surprisingly agile for his size. Plays with a mauler mentality. That might make him a better fit inside? Kinnard can be inconsistent with his hands. Comes out of his stance too high and sometimes leans too forward throwing off his balance. Could shed weight and stay at tackle.

Zion Johnson – Boston College

Position versatile. He has experience at both OT and OG. Decent size at 6’3 315. He has big strong hands. Plays a physical and aggressive game. Great in the run game. He switched to OT in 2020. His NFL future is at guard though. Has experience pulling. Johnson lacks the length to play tackle at the NFL level. He wasn’t as comfortable playing in space in 2020 versus 2019 when he was at guard.

Jaxson Kirkland – Washington

Big offensive tackle at 6’7 310. Follows in the tradition of recent UW tackles. Definitely a left tackle at the next level. Not an elite level athlete. But he still moves well. Also he plays with excellent technique. Patient and has a high football IQ. Kirkland’s anchor is just average. He could struggle against powerful bull rushers at the NFL level. If he can add some weight/strength that would help him against bull rushes. Even though he still lacks some power on film he shows up in the running game. Could stand to play with a little more physicality. Kirkland has a high floor.

Tyler Linderbaum – Iowa

Came into Iowa as a defensive tackle. Converted to center in 2019. A little undersized at 6’3 290. Has the frame for more weight though. High level athleticism on film. Explosive, always keeps his feet moving. He can get to the second level and could be one of the rare centers that is used on pulling plays. Plays hard and physical despite his size. For being under 300 he shows surprising strength. Has a background in wrestling. Despite his surprising strength he could still use added strength and another 15 pounds or so. He has been knocked down by bigger more physical defenders. Still some obvious rawness to his game since he is so new to the position. Might need a year as a back up. Potential to be elite.

Alec Lindstrom – Boston College

3 year starter. Dad played in the NFL and brother currently plays in the NFL, so he has the bloodlines. Average size at 6’3 300. Shows great technique and footwork on film. Shows a high football IQ. Head is always on a swivel looking for work. Great in the passing game. Decent athlete. Has shown the ability to get to the 2nd level at times. Like Linderbaum though he still is a little lacking in anchor and strength. Can get overpowered. His length just average. Could be a starter if he added some strength.

Thayer Munford – Ohio State

Good size with a big wingspan. 34 career starts at OSU. Not an elite athlete, but good enough to stay at tackle. Has a habit of oversetting in pass pro. Fluid mover. Shows sufficient power on film. He uses his hands independently of each other. Still needs work on his aiming points though. He has shown improvement each season. Still has some room for growth from a technical standpoint. Needs to improve his anchor. It is mostly a technical issue. Able to block on the second level. He will be a right tackle at the next level with the ability to add some guard versatility to his game if he likes. Should be a solid player at the next level.

Evan Neal – Alabama

Another big athletic tackle in the Mekhi Becton mold. 26 career starts. Started 2019 at left guard and 2020 at right tackle. Elite athlete, especially for his size. 6’6 350 and is well put together. Shows great strength on film. Neutralizes bull rushers. Does a good job at dealing with speedy-bendy rushers even at his size. He is still a bit raw with his technique. Might take a couple years for him to reach his potential. Can get to the second level with ease. He has trouble with leaning too far forward, throwing off his balance and ending up on the grass far too often. He needs to watch his weight. As long as he doesn’t get any bigger he should be fine. Teams might ask him to drop a few pounds. Could be the first tackle off the board.

Sean Rhyan – UCLA

Good size at 6’4 320ish. A two year starter at left tackle. Has a big strong torso and lower body. Shows a lot of power on film. Explosive off the snap. Good strong hands. Shows good leg drive as well. Average athlete. Efficient in his technique. Aggressive, plays with a maulers mind set. Quick feet. Has the potential to play inside because of his size, strength and nasty disposition. His length is very average which may limit him to right tackle or guard long term. This causes him trouble with longer defenders. Still needs to refine his technique. Also needs to improve his pad level and his angles.

Jarrett Patterson – Notre Dame

Big for a center at 6’5 305. Also he played offensive tackle in high school. Two year starter at center. Expected to move to guard in 2021. This should add some versatility to his game. Smooth mover. Excellent in pass pro. He is tall and has good length for a center. Some teams could see him as a guard at the next level. Not a lot of power for his size. Also he could stand to add some strength and bulk if he is going to play guard as well. Patterson lacks aggressiveness in his game. He has the athleticism to be used as a pulling offensive linemen. Could also be used in the screen game. Could end up at guard or center at the next level.

Nicholas Petit-Frere – Ohio State

Elite recruit coming out of high school. A lot of improvements as a pass blocker in 2020. Great size and quick off the line. Good length and strength. He is also a good run blocker. Though there is still some rawness to his game. Mostly in pass protection. His draft stock could take a big jump in 2021. Could be a starting left tackle in the NFL by year two or three. Only one year of starting experience as a right tackle.

Mutualism: Offensive line and the Run game

The NFL is an ecosystem, in an ecosystem there are predators and bottom feeders.

In short, there are winners and losers every single year in the NFL and the ecosystem changes. For better or worse.

In Terms for the Miami Dolphins, you couldn’t have seen such a turnaround from 2019 to 2021. A team crafted out of street free agents, undrafted players and ageing veterans had the makings for predators to lick their chops.

It was trial by fire to see who could overcome and adapt harsh situation, and at times while trying to cool the flames, they would hinder themselves and the rest of the team.

The Defense struggles at times but found their footing, they went from prey to predator by learning and adapting to the environment.

2019

On the other hand, the offensive line is trying to find a footing to best handle it’s surroundings. At times in 2019 and 2020 there were inconsistencies. Some days the line was meshing well other days, well, they were fresh meat.

In this league you cannot have abysmal trench play, it hampers the running game and QB play. We all have seen how poorly the line played in 2019, the statistics tells a holistic story.

A Historic Rate

There are other metrics to gauge Offensive line play such as PFF’s pass/run block win rate. ESPN’s rate also shows it too.

Michael Dieter, who was a in 2019, finished as the team’s worst offensive linemen. Jesse Davis, who started 15 games, was the only other offensive linemen to make the list.

The team had the worst pass blocking scheme in the NFL. Trench play was absolutely abysmal and there were many instances where Ryan Fitzpatrick could not do anything.

Trickled down Economics

Running backs Kenyan Drake, Marl Walton, Myles Gaskin and Kalen Ballage could not even eclipse anywhere near 100 yards a game.

Fitzpatrick was the leading rusher for the team.

To say the least, the offensive line was a nagging parasite, harmful to the team overall.

Miami’s offense could not score to compete with its opponents, Defense on the field for more than 60+ snaps every week. As a team, the Dolphins could not function properly.

Sort of like eating gas station sushi to fill your hunger on a road trip, it does not end well.

2020

The good news about the offensive line was that it did not get worse. As a result of newly introduced reinforcements into the NFL landscape there were some improvements.

Helpful Vets

Jesse Davis has been the anchor of the offensive line for the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in the 2017 NFL draft. As a rookie, he has played in 47 of the team’s 48 games. He’s been improving every year.

Ereck Flowers was brougth in as a Free Agent to plug the hole at Left Guard. He was an important piece to help Austin Jackson understand the NFL before going down with a season ending injury.

The Miami Dolphins have been looking for a solid center since Mike Pouncey left in 2018. They got one in Karras, who did a decent job protecting Fitzpatrick and Tua as the quarterbacks.

The Newbies

Some people may think that Jackson was drafted too high despite having played less games than other starters in college. He showed that he can play left tackle in the NFL, but is still very raw.

Kindley was given no reconsideration as a right guard in 2020. His ability to protect Tua’s blind side helped the team establish a running game that finally eclipsed over 100 yards in the final 6 games. Kindley shifted to left guard when Ereck Flowers went down.

Robert Hunt played on the right side as a right tackle alongside Solomon Kindley, protecting Tua’s blindside. Although Hunt was decent, his highest celling as a lineman looks to be a fixture at Right Guard.

Impact

Overall, the play was significantly better compared to 2019; however, it can always improve. Per PFF, the Dolphins offensive line was ranked 28th. A slight improvement over the worst rank in 2019.

Few teams invested more in improving the offensive line than the Dolphins did entering the 2020 season. They spent draft picks on Austin Jackson in the first round, Robert Hunt in the second round and Solomon Kindley in the fourth round — all who played more than 700 snaps in 2019.

An offensive line with three rookies, would struggle early on, but did improve slightly. Robert Hunt looked to be the best out of the bunch as his 76.4 PFF grade from Week 12 through the end of the regular season was 5th out of 37 right tackles.

2021

As Pre-season winds down we see glimpses of what this Dolphins offensive line could be, thus as it factors into offensive philosophy.

Scheme

Contrary to Ben Fennels point (I love ya ben) but the Offense looks to be a pass first offense. In theory, it will open up the run game.

In fundamentals of an RPO-based offense the offensive line has to consist of guards and tackles that can run block well. The top three run blockers on this offensive line consists of Soloman Kindley, Robert Hunt and rookie OL Liam Eichenberg.

Eichenberg has tried out playing Left Guard at camp but looks to fight Jesse Davis for the starting RT spot. He took first team reps at Right Tackle for the first time against Atlanta and looked consistent opening up holes in the run game.

“Eichenberg is an extremely solid, if unspectacular, tackle prospect. He saw his performance take a massive leap from his first to his second season as a starter. His pass-blocking grade went from 63.5 in 2018 to 85.6 last year and his run blocking grade from 60.8 to 78.8.”

PFF’s Mike Renner on Liam Eichenberg

Recipe for Success

I expect some growing pains on the offensive line to happen against the 3rd pre-season game against the Bengals and early on in the regular season. Furthermore, there has been a noticeable trend from since last year particularly on the right side of the line.

Last season on the right side proved it with the Combo of Hunt/Kindley as the running game was efficient running the ball to the right. Pass protection and the running game worked on Tua’s Blindside.

Thanks to some help from Kyle Crabbs and Sharp Football analysis, rushing YPC produced on the right side of the line.

It’s about fundamentals and execution this pre-season. If the entire line can stay disciplined, stay confident and build upon fundamentals, this OL will be even better.

Not only will it not harm the team but become another strength to push the Dolphins to the top of the NFL ecosystem.

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  • You pick 2-5 players and can win up 10x on any entry.
  • PrizePicks has no sharks, optimizers, or mass-multi entry (It’s just you vs. the projection).
  • Allows mixed-sport entries (You can take the OVER on Lebron parlayed with the UNDER on Mahomes).
  • PrizePicks has a slick easy to use mobile app, both on the App Store and Google Play

How to use PrizePicks: