We have previously looked at the entire NFC West, ranking each team in terms of offensive skill positions. Today we look at the offensive lines of the four teams in the best division of football. in such a physical division, the offensive lines should be quite talented.
However, you might be surprised at the uncertainty at many positions for most of the division.
Here is how I would rank the teams in terms of O-line right now.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Jared Veldheer, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Jonathan Cooper, Bobby Massie
Surprised, right? Part of this is because there is not a whole lot of uncertainty on the line. the center position is sort of up for grabs and first round pick D.J. Humphries is going to compete at right tackle, but it will take a lot (or an injury) to unseat Massie. Veldheer could have made the Pro Bowl in 2014. Iupati already is one. Cooper has the talent to be great. He just has to stay healthy. Massie has been average to above average. Shipley has proven to be a solid player. If this line is healthy, it might be the best the Cardinals have had since moving to Arizona.
2. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey, Lemuel Jeanpierre, J.R. Sweezy, Justin Britt
Seattle took a step back at center, trading away Max Unger and losing James Carpenter in free agency. Their line is still more than serviceable, but outside of a very solid Okung, there isn't a lot to fear on the offensive line. They have some uncertainty at left guard and at center. But with Marshawn Lynch as a running back, they don't have to be the best to have a solid running game, and Russell Wilson is so adept at extending plays that he also masks any issues the line might have.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore/Marcus Martin, Marcus Martin/Daniel Kilgore/Brandon Thomas, Erik Pears
This list of starters was provided to me by David Fucillo from Niners Nation. Center and right guard seem to be up in the air. San Fran has the best individual lineman in the division in Staley, but losing Iupati to the Cardinals is a step back. Boone is solid. Pears, added in free agency, will likely play tackle, but he started at guard all last season. He was a right tackle previous to 2014. Boone is good, but this offensive line is not what it was just a couple of seasons ago. It was hard to put the Niners below the Seahawks with Staley on this line, but it was close and the uncertainty was enough to bump them down.
4. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, Rodger Saffold, Barrett Jones, Jamon Brown, Rob Havenstein
This is a young projected line. Robinson was drafted in 2014. Jones was drafted in 2013. Brown and Havenstein are rookies. Robinson was last year's second overall pick, but there is definitely some question at left tackle. He is known as a mauler in the run game, but there are questions about his ability pass protect at tackle. Some believe he will be like Levi Brown. This line will be one thing -- big and physical. With the addition of running back Todd Gurley, this line should run block well. How good will it be? Can Saffold play 16 games for consecutive seasons for the first time in his career? This line oozes potential, but we don't know much yet.