Welcome to the NFC East Positional Power Rankings!  Now that the NFL draft is over, we will be breaking down 1 position group per week and power ranking each unit in the division.  Today we are wrapping up the offensive side of the ball by talking about the big guys in the trenches that make it all work.  That’s right, today we are wrapping up the offense by talking about offensive lines!

If you missed any of the previous articles in our series you can check them out here:

1) Philadelphia Eagles

The Depth Chart & 2020 Stats

  • Jordan Mailata – 733 snaps, 3 penalties, 7 sacks allowed, 70.3 PFF grade
  • Isaac Seumalo – 588 snaps, 2 penalties, 4 sacks allowed, 62.4 PFF grade
  • Jason Kelce – 1,126 snaps, 10 penalties, 4 sacks allowed, 69.6 PFF grade
  • Brandon Brooks – Did not play
  • Lane Johnson – 405 snaps, 2 penalties, 1 sacks allowed, 71.9 PFF grade
  • Andre Dillard – Did not play
  • Landon Dickerson – Rookie

The Eagles are a team that heavily believes in investing in the trenches and have long had one of the top offensive lines in the NFL to show for it.  That was before 2020 when the Eagles allowed 65 sacks (15 more than the 2nd highest sacks allowed in the league).  How did such a historically great unit fall apart so fast? There is some much-needed context to look at.

Before the season even started, the Eagles lost starting RG Brandon Brooks and starting LT Andre Dillard to season-ending injuries.  That would be a huge blow to any team if it stopped there. 

But, as Eagles fans no, the football gods were just beginning to pour out their wrath on the team.  Starting LG Isaac Seumalo was injured.  Replacement LT Jason Peters was injured.  Starting RT Lane Johnson went down to an injury.  When the dust settled on the season, the Eagles would start 14 different offensive line combinations in 16 games and have 11 different offensive linemen take over 50 snaps while 2 starters never played a down during the 2020 season. And yet, despite all of that, they were still ranked as the 19th best unit by PFF.  

How could a team with so many sacks allowed be ranked near league average?  Because of the fact that sacks aren’t always an offensive line stat, and in 2020 many of the sacks were the fault of struggling QB Carson Wentz.  

Despite the rough 2020 outing, the Eagles still come in at #1 on this list.  Jordan Mailata and Isaac Seumalo are both replacement level starters on the left side of the line while the trio of Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson are the best right side in the NFL when healthy.  Health is the question with this unit, not ability.  Fortunately for the Eagles, they proved last year that they have plenty of depth at the position.

2) Dallas Cowboys 

The Depth Chart & 2020 Stats

  • Tyron Smith – 154 snaps, 1 penalties, 0 sacks allowed, 67.8 PFF grade
  • Connor Williams – 1,146 snaps, 4 penalties, 4 sacks allowed, 70.8 PFF grade
  • Tyler Biadasz – 427 snaps, 4 penalties, 1 sacks allowed, 53.5 PFF grade
  • Zack Martin – 618 snaps, 1 penalties, 1 sacks allowed, 91.3 PFF grade
  • La’el Collins – Did not play
  • Connor McGovern – 606 snaps, 1 penalties, 3 sacks allowed, 61.7 PFF grade

The Cowboys were the only NFC East team not to rank in the top 3 in sacks allowed a year ago.  They came in 7th.  That should give you an idea of how bad line play was in the division last season.  Like the Eagles, the Cowboys were plagued by injuries on the line last season.  Their 3 best players (Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins) combined to play only 772 snaps and their replacements struggled mightily.  Brandon Knight and Terence Steele both gave up pressures on 7% of pass snaps.

In 2021, the Cowboys will look to get healthy in the trenches.  While Tyron Smith and Zack Martin are every bit as good as Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks, the Cowboys don’t have the depth that the Eagles do to push them into the #1 spot.  Tyron Smith, Connor Wiliams, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins are a formidable group and, if untouched by injury, should be a top 5 unit in the league.

3) Washington Football Team 

The Depth Chart & 2020 Stats

  • Charles Leno Jr. – 1,066 snaps, 6 penalties, 5 sacks allowed, 74.6 PFF grade
  • Ereck Flowers – 857 snaps, 3 penalties, 5 sacks allowed, 65.9 PFF grade
  • Chase Roullier – 1,089 snaps, 5 penalties, 1 sacks allowed, 76.8 PFF grade
  • Brandon Scherff – 857 snaps, 2 penalties, 3 sacks allowed, 84.1 PFF grade
  • Cornelius Lucas – 536 snaps, 1 penalties, 2 sacks allowed, 78.2 PFF grade
  • Samuel Cosmi – Rookie

Last season the Washington Football Team allowed 50 sacks, 2nd most in the league.  However, that stat is very misleading.  Horrible QB play contributed greatly to the sack totals behind what was actually a very good offensive line.  Cornelius Lucas stepped into the starting tackle role vacated by Trent Williams and was a pleasant surprise, ranked 11th overall by PFF.  Meanwhile, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses were all top 10 players at their position and the unit was ranked 6th overall in the league in 2020.

This offseason, the team moved on from Morgan Moses for cap savings after losing Trent Williams a year ago.  Losing highly talented tackles like that always hurts, and the key for this season will be replacing Moses, a role that the team hopes their 2nd round pick Samuel Cosmi can fill.

This unit has top-end talent but can’t quite get to #2 in the rankings behind the more proven talent on the Cowboys’ offensive line.

4) New York Giants 

The Depth Chart & 2020 Stats

  • Andrew Thomas – 978 snaps, 3 penalties, 10 sacks allowed, 62.4 PFF grade
  • Shane Lemieux – 504 snaps, 3 penalties, 5 sacks allowed, 32.2 PFF grade
  • Nick Gates – 1,015 snaps, 8 penalties, 0 sacks allowed, 59.7 PFF grade
  • Will Hernandez – 525 snaps, 1 penalty, 1 sack allowed, 58.1 PFF grade
  • Matt Peart – 150 snaps, 0 penalties, 2 sacks allowed, 69.7 PFF grade
  • Zach Fulton – 953 snaps, 3 penalties, 11 sacks allowed, 63 PFF grade

The Giants offensive line is a disaster.  Last season they allowed 50 sacks (tied for 2nd most in the league) and were ranked 31st overall by PFF.  They lost Kevin Zeitler to Baltimore and Cameron Fleming to Denver in free agency this offseason.   

Starting guards Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez both allowed pressures on 8% of all passing plays a year ago.  Meanwhile, Andrew Thomas, the first tackle taken off the board in the 2020 draft, had a disastrous rookie season.  He allowed 57 pressures at LT, 14 more than any other player, and was the only LT responsible for allowing 10+ sacks.  This offensive line is a disaster and even if Andrew Thomas turns it around in year 2 and plays up to his draft selection the unit will still likely be a bottom 5 unit in the league.

Positional Power Rankings

  Cowboys Eagles Giants Football Team
QB 1 2 3 4
RB 3 2 1 4
WR 1 4 3 2
TE 4 1 2 3
OL 2 1 4 3
DL ?? ?? ?? ??
LB ?? ?? ?? ??
DB ?? ?? ?? ??
SPT ?? ?? ?? ??
AVG 2.2 2.0 2.6 3.2