Pro Football Focus makes a living out of grading individual performance of NFL players. In the age of Twitter, they have found a marketing formula that really works for them in which they compile top rankings for players in very specific categories and send them out with flashy graphics on a Tweet.
A marketing tactic that is a little more traditional is to write articles with standard rankings, and publish them — especially in the offseason. Some of these articles look back and some look ahead. In March we usually get the former type, the reviews, while July is the time for the latter, the previews.
Recently, PFF published an article titled, NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 team’s units entering 2018.
The article explains briefly how the rankings were arrived at:
The grades listed below are from the 2017 season alone, including PFF college grades for all incumbent rookies.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at the PFF Rankings for the NFC East Offensive lines.
Projected starting lineup:
Left Tackle: Jason Peters, 86.4 overall grade
Left Guard: Stefen Wisniewski, 74.8
Center: Jason Kelce, 91.3
Right Guard: Brandon Brooks, 88.3
Right Tackle: Lane Johnson, 86.2
2017 season-end rank: 1st (no change)
There is a little projection here as we’re assuming nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters will return to form after tearing his ACL and MCL in October of last year. At age 36, Peters is no shoe-in to do so. If he does though, the Eagles bring back the league’s best tackle tandem along with a top-five center in Jason Kelce and top-10 guard in Brandon Brooks.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
Left Tackle: Tyron Smith, 79.7 overall grade
Left Guard: Connor Williams, 85.7* (2017 college grade)
Center: Travis Frederick, 90.8
Right Guard: Zack Martin, 92.2
Right Tackle: La’el Collins, 50.7
2017 season-end rank: 4th (+2)
The great NFC East debate rages on with the Cowboys once again playing second fiddle. The three All-Pros aren’t enough to fill the two holes at left guard and right tackle – although those could be getting sealed this season. Rookie second-round pick Connor Williams should slate in nicely at left guard as we had a first-round grade for the Texas product even at tackle. At right tackle, La’el Collins rebounded after some early season struggles to at least flash some competent play down the stretch. If he can improve on his 51 total pressures allowed in 2017, they’re well on their way to earning back that No. 1 spot.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
Left Tackle: Trent Williams, 82.1 overall grade
Left Guard: Shawn Lauvao, 37.9
Center: Chase Roullier, 56.0
Right Guard: Brandon Scherff, 83.2
Right Tackle: Morgan Moses, 70.5
2017 season-end rank: 21st (+9)
Injuries absolutely ravaged the Redskins offensive line in 2017, but this was one of the best lines in the NFL prior to last year. The two names to watch here are center Chase Roullier and right tackle Morgan Moses. Roullier was one of our favorite sleepers in the 2017 draft out of Wyoming yet only earned a 56.0 overall grade as a rookie in 457 snaps. Moses on the other hand had established himself as one of the best right tackles in the game before taking a step back with a 70.5 overall grade last season. They’ll need both at their best to crack the top 10 this year.
#25 New York Giants
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
Left Tackle: Nate Solder, 75.7 overall grade
Left Guard: Will Hernandez, 91.4* (2017 college grade)
Center: Jon Halapio, 44.0
Right Guard: Patrick Omameh, 53.6
Right Tackle: Ereck Flowers, 51.5
2017 season-end rank: 26th (+1)
After making Nate Solder the highest paid tackle in football and drafting Will Hernandez in the second-round, the Giants offensive line has to be better than last year. Neither of those guys are sure-fire miracle workers though as Solder himself gave up 51 pressures a season ago (Ereck Flowers has averaged 58 a season for his career).
A few random thoughts:
- Does anybody seriously think that Trent Williams will not be the best tackle in the NFC East in 2018?
- The 37.9 rating for Shawn Lauvao is the lowest rank of the 20 players shown. Regardless of what you think of PFF rankings, isn’t it past time the Redskins find a good Left Guard?
- The commentary on Morgan Moses says, “Moses on the other hand had established himself as one of the best right tackles in the game before taking a step back with a 70.5 overall grade last season.” Given that the man was playing most of the season on two ankles held together with Scotch tape and bubble gum, this is pretty impressive. He should be a bookend-beast to Trent Williams again in 2018.
- Dave Gettleman can’t fix what ails the Giants in just one season. God bless Jerry Reese for all he did.
- All in all, PFF looked favorably on the Redskins, projecting them 9 spots higher than their final 2017 ranking. Still, I feel like the Redskins line is likely to be a top-ten unit this season — especially if anyone can find a good answer at the LG spot (Hope springs eternal - it ain’t over till the fat lady sings the national anthem on opening day in Arizona).
Which player will have more offensive yards from scrimmage in 2018?
This poll is closed
Jordan Reed led all tight ends in catch rate in 2017. pic.twitter.com/I30raAmknz— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 18, 2018
Paul Richardson delivered on plays where his quarterback faced quick pressure. pic.twitter.com/Nhe3Q9m0Ca— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 20, 2018
In a league with Von Miller, Cameron Jordan and Khalil Mack, Ryan Kerrigan still flies somewhat under the radar, but he consistently delivers in Washington:https://t.co/eMWd4dGP7H pic.twitter.com/YNNxLUZzZV— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 17, 2018
The top cornerbacks in the NFL when it comes to defending slant routes. pic.twitter.com/vJle7CI5MP— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 17, 2018
When the Washington Redskins blitzed on third and fourth down, they registered pressure on a higher percentage of plays than anyone else in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/Xc6pfzkn8N— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 17, 2018
Opposing quarterbacks avoided throwing into Josh Norman's coverage in 2017. pic.twitter.com/Gs2pQTRuLT— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 12, 2018
A look at new Redskins cornerback Adonis Alexander pic.twitter.com/H80vjvzpIp— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 11, 2018
Two key players for the Washington Redskins heading into 2018. pic.twitter.com/Q7oqmx9K6h— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 10, 2018
Quarterbacks have avoiding throwing passes into Josh Norman's coverage more and more as his career has progressed. pic.twitter.com/J2PqpKqjCq— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 5, 2018
Chris Thompson made the most of his receiving opportunities in 2017. pic.twitter.com/DCMzmnUwqJ— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 2, 2018
Edge defenders who impress with their all round game. pic.twitter.com/47JIjisMGA— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 1, 2018
Martrell Spaight had the highest impact play rate among LBs in 2017! pic.twitter.com/DlPGIKl7xj— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 27, 2018
When kept free from pressure, Alex Smith didn't turn the ball over much in 2017. pic.twitter.com/W4XtsYHKI8— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 13, 2018