NFL Offensive Line Rankings for 2013
23. Indianapolis Colts (Best Player: Gosder Cherilus) (X-Factor: Anthony Castonzo): Quarterback Andrew Luck was knocked down a ton last year, so the Colts did well to bring in Cherilus, one of the game's top pass blocking right tackles. Donald Thomas is a nice left guard, but current projected starter at right guard Hugh Thornton is a question mark. Former first-round pick Castonzo needs to step it up at left tackle in his third season for Luck to really show us what he can do.
24. Atlanta Falcons (Best Player: Justin Blalock) (X-Factor: Lamar Holmes): It's odd to think that the Falcons' electrifying offense could have a weakness, but here it is - the offensive line. Blalock is a top-10 left guard, and Sam Baker can hold his own at left tackle. Peter Konz was considered the best center in his 2012 draft class, so that position should be okay. Releasing right tackle Tyson Clabo, however, could end up backfiring. Holmes was expected to start at right tackle during the spring, but lost his job to Mike Johnson, who then dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula, putting Holmes back in the driver's seat for the starting job. He's played just one game during his NFL career, and it remains to be seen how he'll fare as a starter.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (Best Player: Eugene Monroe) (X-Factor: Luke Joeckel): The Jaguars have a shot at having one of the better tackle combinations in the NFL. Monroe is already a stud, and Joeckel was widely considered the likely first overall pick in the 2013 draft. The line's interior, however, is a bit of a mess. Uche Nwaneri is a pretty average talent at right guard, while 36-year-old center Brad Meester is on his last legs and Will Rackley is a poor excuse for a left guard. If Joeckel can pan out immediately, the line could end up being okay.
26. Miami Dolphins (Best Player: Mike Pouncey) (X-Factor: Jonathan Martin): This line probably would not have been so bad if the team had held on to Jake Long during the offseason, but they will now rely on Martin to protect the blindside. Martin struggled at left tackle as a rookie in 2012, and he has reportedly been dominated in training camp by Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan. Tyson Clabo was a nice steal late in free agency. Pouncey has become one of the game's best centers. Guards Richie Incognito and Lance Louis are not very good, but could be somewhat serviceable.
27. Arizona Cardinals (Best Player: Jonathan Cooper) (X-Factor: Levi Brown): I told myself I wouldn't put any rookies as best players, but after what the Cardinals showed me last year, I had to put the seventh overall pick at the top of this unit. New right tackle Eric Winston gives Cooper a run for his money and is a nice upgrade over Bobby Massie. Brown was the fifth overall pick in 2007, and it's obviously too much to ask him to all of a sudden "start playing like it," but he's got to show something on Carson Palmer's blindside this year.
28. Dallas Cowboys (Best Player: Tyron Smith) (X-Factor: Travis Frederick): Not much to love here outside of Smith at left tackle. The team isn't sure who their right tackle is, and three starting guard candidates are currently sidelined due to surgery. I made Frederick the X-factor because maybe he can dominate the interior and prove to the world that Jerry Jones was not an idiot for drafting him in the first round.
29. Buffalo Bills (Best Player: Kraig Urbik) (X-Factor: Left Tackle): The Bills have some solid pieces on the interior with Urbik and center Eric Wood, but the left side is a mess. They recently tried kicking Cordy Glenn inside to guard and using practice squad talent Thomas Welch at left tackle, all because they were so disappointed in their left guard play. Whoever takes over at left tackle needs to play well to protect E.J. Manuel and Kevin Kolb - one of which is a rookie, the other is not known well for his composure under pressure.
30. Detroit Lions (Best Player: Dominic Raiola) (X-Factor: Riley Reiff): After losing Gosder Cherilus to the Colts and Jeff Backus to retirement, the Lions went from having two solid tackles to having none. Many people believe that Reiff is out of his element at tackle and should be a guard, but the Lions are hoping he proves that they were right when they drafted him in the first round of the 2012 draft. The interior isn't horrible, but is certainly not good. Jason Fox may be a turnstile at right tackle, but it's tough to tell based on his five career appearances.
31. Oakland Raiders (Best Player: Stephen Wisniewski) (X-Factor: Alex Barron): The Raiders' O-line was on the fringe of bad and not-so-bad, but after left tackle Jared Veldheer went down with a torn triceps, the unit plummeted into the "bad" section of this list. Outside of Wisniewski, there is not a single good player on this line. Barron will take over Veldheer's job on the left side. The 19th overall pick in 2005, Barron has been a monumental draft bust and hasn't even played in a game since 2010. He needs to give the Raiders something - anything - if they want to have any success offensively this season.
32. San Diego Chargers (Best Player: Nick Hardwick) (X-Factor: King Dunlap): If Chargers fans want some good news, keep in mind that rookie D.J. Fluker has been performing very well in preseason action. Hardwick is solid at center, but the Chargers have nothing at either guard spot. Dunlap looks like the favorite to start at left tackle, but to be frank, he is bad at football.