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NFL Offensive Line Projections for 2021: AFC and NFC East

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Every season, NFL teams are made and broken by the offensive line. It’s important to know how changes will affect your team.


In this article, I will be cataloging offensive line signings and cuts (starters lost to free agency will also be noted), and how these moves affected the line overall. Any teams not listed did not have any Free Agent additions to their offensive line. (Grades thanks to PFF. Grades from 60-65 are average, 65.1-69.9 grades are above average, and anything over 70 is great).

 

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Additions

Jon Feliciano, G (Re-signed)

571 Snaps (9 games)

2 penalties

0 Sacks

Pass Blocking 49.4

Run Blocking 72.4

Daryl Williams, T

1050 Snaps

9 Penalties (5th most)

3 Sacks

Pass Blocking 80.0

Run Blocking 76.9

 

Overall Feeling:  Very positive, I am concerned about penalties. Buffalo was in the bottom half of the league in penalties last season. Daryl could add a half penalty a game, but this line should give Allen plenty of time in the pocket.

 

Miami Dolphins

Additions

Matt Skura, C

661 snaps

3 Penalties

1 sack

Pass Blocking 50.2

Run Blocking 56.2

D.J. Flukers, T

531 Snaps

9 Penalties (2nd highest of career, 13 in 2015)

2 Sacks

Pass Bocking 57.5

Run Blocking 67.9

Overall Feeling:  The feeling is that this line is what it was last year, with the potential to take a step forward. Gone are last year’s additions. Ereck Flowers was traded, guard and center Ted Karras walked at the end of his one-year deal.

They brought in center Matt Skura, who was benched one year after tearing his ACL, MCL, and PCL in addition to dislocating his knee cap. If he can get back to the pre-injury player he was, the Dolphins got a really good player at a discount. If not, this line will struggle. The next man up behind him is a 3rd year player with a combined zero snaps under his belt.

Second-year starters Robert Hunt, Austin Jackson, and Solomon Kindley are all looking to take a step forward. Kindley is expected to move to left guard this season, which is where he played in college and should be more comfortable. Hunt is thought to be moving over to the right guard. Again, this line has the potential to be really good, maybe even a top 10 unit in the next few years. I’m excited to see what happens here.

 

New England Patriots

Ted Karras, C

1068 Snaps

3 Penalties

2 Sacks

Pass Blocking 67.8

Run Blocking 62.3

Trent Brown, T

2020

282 snaps

2019

581 snaps

 

Overall Feeling:  The Patriots are taking a lot of chances on the field this year. However, one place they chose not to take any risks was the offensive line. For the 2021 season, they brought two former Patriots, Trent Brown, and Ted Karras, and resigned David Andrews, who returned in 2020 after missing all of 2019 due to a pulmonary embolism.

The loss of Joe Thuney to the Chiefs is big, but if Trent Brown stays healthy he can more than makeup for that loss. Karras, while listed as the team’s center, can play both sides of the interior line (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change at center if there is a QB change during the season). Returning players, Shaq Mason and Mike Onwenu are good starters and will hold up nicely at their new positions.  This line is going to be strong all year. The Patriots have a great group of starters and very solid back-ups.

 

New York Jets

Additions

Morgan Moses

1065 Snaps

6 Penalties

5 Sacks

Pass Blocking 70.8

Run Blocking 85.9

Overall feeling:  When you put a terrible offensive line on the field,  you get terrible results. Thankfully the Jets have removed the Gase-colored glasses, and have brought in serious talent to go alongside last year’s 11th overall pick tackle Mekhi Becton. He was stellar in his first season with the jets, and we are expecting the same results from Alijah Vera-Tucker, who the Jets traded up from 23 to 14 to draft. The addition of the former WFT tackle Morgan Moses should turn this line from a zero to a hero, which shouldn’t be too hard considering the low bar that was set last year.

 

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Additions

Ty Nsekhe, OT

2020

54 Snaps

Pass blocking 62.4

Run Blocking 90.2

 

Overall Feeling: Ty is just a depth piece, after battling injuries last year, and losing Cameron Erving to free agency the Cowboys needed to bring in someone. In 2019 in Buffalo Ty only played 33% of snaps, in 2020 he was lost to the season with a leg injury. IF the offensive line can stay healthy this year, which is unlikely, it will be a top unit. If La’el Collins or Tyron Smith go down I’m not confident Ty is a good full-time replacement, he has never seen over 500 snaps in a season. He should be better than Brandon Knight who allowed over a sack every 100 plays.

 

New York Giants

Additions

Zach Fulton, G

953 Snaps

3 Penalties

11 Sacks

Overall Feeling: This was a terrible offensive line last year. This will be a terrible offensive line again this year.  The team has really done nothing to make it better. They lost Kevin Zeitler, who was the best player on the line and replaced him with Zach Fulton from the Texans. Fulton is similar to Zeitler, but not quite as good. The only hope is that the younger players take a step forward. Steve Palazzolo from PFF sums the line up better than I can “Giants offensive linemen have combined to produce the fifth-worst overall grade in the league over the past two years, and they rank in the bottom eight in both pass-blocking and run blocking.”

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Overall Feeling:  Currently this Offensive line looks as good as last year. There are no new additions of note. Third-year man, Jordan Mailata played well and should continue to improve. They are getting Brandon Brooks back this year, he was lost early last year to a torn Achilles. We shall see how much of his old self he returns as. They have to this point lost Jason Peters who is currently a free agent after signing a 1 year deal with the team for the 2020 season. He could return and would be a great starter or depth piece for one more season. This line should be at least what it was last year.

 

Washington Football Team

Additions

Samuel Cosimi, Rookie, T

Ereck Flowers, G

857 Snaps

3 Penalties

5 Sacks

Pass 73.8

Run 58.1

Charles Leno Jr, T

1066 Snaps

6 Penalties

5 Sacks

Pass Blocking 69.4

Run Blocking 74.5

 

Overall Feeling: The Football Team’s line was a pleasant surprise last season, finishing 2020 as the sixth-ranked line on PFF. The additions of Flowers and Leno Jr will only help strengthen this line. Leno Jr is an underrated tackle who consistently provides good protection. Flowers has been a solid pass blocker for years.  Brandon Scherff will return from another stint on IR this year. Scherff is entering a contract season and needs to complete the season without landing on IR to earn a huge payday. If Scherff goes down again there is good depth to make up for his loss. I truly believe this line will surprise us yet again this year.

 

Those are my offensive line projections for the AFC/NFC East! 

You can find my AFC/NFC North offensive line projections here, my AFC/NFC South offensive line projections here, and my AFC/NFC West offensive line projections here.


Thank you for investing some time in my articles. If you’d like to read more, you can visit my IDP Guys author page or follow me on Twitter at @FF_Skinnychef. If there is something you would like to see written, DM me. May the waivers be forever in your favor.

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