Potential Stud Fantasy Offenses: Offensive Line Analysis of AFC South

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These offensive line breakdowns originally appeared on Rotoback.com

In an effort to better prepare your expectations of RBs and QBs, I'll be taking a look at each offensive line in every division, evaluating both pass blocking and run blocking based on their latest season to date.  For those who lack playing time in the NFL, I'll examine some college tape in an effort to get you ready for your draft.  All data gathered from Profootballfocus.com.

Before we can start though, it's important to note the league average at each position for our metrics, according to PFF:

Position 2014 AVG P-Block 2014 AVG R-Block
Tackle -1.6 1.1
Guards -1.9 0.2
Center -1.6 4.8


Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line Analysis

Projected Starter Year Position 2013 P-Block 2013 R-Block Career AVG P-Block Career AVG R-Block
Anthony Castonzo 4 LT -8.70 11.20 -6.77 7.00
Jack Mewhort 1 LG 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Khaled Holmes 2 C 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hugh Thornton 2 RG -15.40 -5.70 -15.40 -5.70
Gosder Cherilus 7 RT 2.70 2.80 2.30 0.02
Total -21.40 8.30 -19.87 1.32

New starters in Bold. Rookies in Red.

Anthony Castonzo hasn't done anything in his career to instill confidence in his pass blocking. On the other side, he's been very good in run blocking. He has the athletic potential to be completely dominant in both.

Jack Mewhort looks like a better run blocker than pass blocker on tape, which is probably one of the reasons the former tackle was moved to guard. Mewhort doesn't have a particularly special athletic build so it's questionable how high his ceiling is. As a first time starter expectations should be set low.

Khaled Holmes has 13 snaps in his NFL career. Tape on Holmes is limited and only from his 2011 college season. He also didn't perform more than the bench press at the combine. There isn't much to say about the first time starter.

Hugh Thornton is another inexperienced player on this line. He wasn't good at either types of blocking but at least he's a great athlete for his position. The potential for improvement is there but there's no promise it's coming soon.

Gosder Cherilus is the only proven player on the line and he's only around the league average for his career. Cherilus had some more success in his final two years with the Lions but it didn't carry over with him when he joined the Colts.

Final Analysis: Three parts on the Colts Offensive Line are completely inexperienced and are being counted on to play significant roles this year. Other then Cherilus there isn't a lot of information to go on for how these players will do. Last years line had Samson Satele and Mike McGlynn playing C and LG, respectively, and both of them were awful in run and pass blocking, so they should see addition by subtraction at the very least. Andrew Luck is almost a given to face at least as much pressure as he did last year and the run game looks like it's definitely going to be facing difficulties with so many new and young parts. This will not make it easy for Trent Richardson to breakout as many are predicting, nor for Ahmad Bradshaw to be a viable RB2 either.


Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Line Analysis

Projected Starter Year Position 2013 P-Block 2013 R-Block Career AVG P-Block Career AVG R-Block
Luke Joeckel 2 LT -2.50 -4.80 -2.50 -4.80
Zane Beadles 5 LG -5.90 2.10 -5.53 2.00
Mike Brewster 3 C 1.10 -5.60 -7.05 -5.55
Jacques McClendon 5 RG 3.70 -3.80 3.70 -3.80
Austin Pasztor 3 RT -0.30 -11.40 -1.10 -4.55
Total -3.90 -23.50 -12.48 -16.70

New starters in Bold.

Luke Joeckel was last years second overall selection and had a really weak rookie season, showing plenty of difficulty adjusting in the 5 games he played. He should be better than this but so far he hasn't shown it on the field.

Zane Beadles was part of the line last year that helped make Knowshon Moreno a fantasy star. Unfortunately, his numbers don't really show an incredible blocker. He's generally been better than average in the run game but it's a different story in the passing game where he's struggled often.

Mike Brewster will be starting for the first time at center this year after playing at guard the previous two years. He's taking up the spot that use to be manned by Brad Meester who's now retired. To say there is a significant downgrade occurring is putting it softly. Brewster is amongst the worst rated centers in the league for the preseason, and has looked lost plenty of times. The Jaguars should be hoping that rookie Luke Bowanko is able to perform as soon as possible.

Jacques McClendon has been in the league for 5 years and has only 200 snaps to his name. It's pretty telling that he hasn't had a lot of opportunities.

Austin Pasztor is another inexperienced player on this line. Unlike the others though, he's actually played through a full season. Last season he was doing pretty well in pass blocking up until a series of injuries struck him late in the season, causing his performance to slip. However, run blocking was a weakness for him all year long.

Final Analysis: Another line in the AFC South hoping that inexperienced starters become significant contributors. Outside of Beadles, everyone in this line is going to be under the microscope and hoping to improve. In the limited showings those players had, they've consistently struggled in run blocking. I'm very low on the Jaguars run game this year and the lack of playing time on the Jaguars offensive line will show a high variance of performances from game to game. The same should be said of their pass blocking, but at least they've shown some signs of life there. Still, if Blake Bortles does come out and play and is under a lot of pressure, the Jaguars aren't going to be looking good. Not that Chad Henne would do them much better. Neither of these players are being drafted in 99% of leagues though, so the most pertinent info you need is that Toby Gerhart will have a tough time fulfilling his potential this year.


Houston Texans Offensive Line Analysis

Projected Starter Year Position 2013 P-Block 2013 R-Block Career AVG P-Block Career AVG R-Block
Duane Brown 7 LT 8.10 -0.10 1.23 7.87
Ben Jones 3 LG -4.00 2.30 -10.50 3.90
Chris Myers 10 C -6.80 22.10 0.16 18.09
Brandon Brooks 3 RG 0.00 17.80 0.00 17.80
Derek Newton 4 RT -21.50 -6.70 -13.35 -8.60
Total -24.20 35.40 -22.46 39.05


Duane Brown's career at left tackle started slow and his career blocking shows it. Since the 2010 season, he's been one of the best Run Blockers in the league and has been getting better in the pass game every year. He's coming off his worst season but he was hampered by injury all year, so expect him to return to elite form.

Ben Jones improved from his previous year, but it still wasn't exactly what Houston was expecting. He's trending upwards and has the athletic ability to be a good guard in the league, so there will be a better year to look forward to.

Chris Myers is amongst the leagues best for run blocking over the course of a career. Last year, he was the second best run blocker at his position.

Brandon Brooks barely saw the field his rookie year, so when the Texans named him the starter in 2013 it was a real leap of faith. Brooks performed incredibly well and was the 3rd best run blocking guard in the league. If his pro day results are actually the truth, then Brooks is a monster of an athlete at guard and could be one of the best in the league for years to come. However, Brooks is currently on IR and no report tells the exact time table for his return. If he misses time, in his place will be Alex Kupper, who will have much more modest expectations set for him.

Derek Newton hasn't been good. He also doesn't have a very good athletic profile. Tyson Clabo was brought in to compete for this spot and although last year was a particularly down year, he's at an age where decline is expected. He could still be better than Newton but the depth chart doesn't think so.

Final Analysis: Look at that run block grade last year and tell me it doesn't get you interested in Arian Foster, and even Jonathan Grimes, who will be running behind the Houston Texans offensive line this year. What's crazier is according to the career average they underperformed. Things could be even better this upcoming season. The passing game has a much different story though, with three players having more bad plays than good plays, one evening out and Duane Brown being good. It's not surprising Matt Schaub had a difficult time last year. This year doesn't look much better, as two of the returning starters are very bad at pass blocking.


Tennessee Titans Offensive Line Analysis

Projected Starter Year Position 2013 P-Block 2013 R-Block Career AVG P-Block Career AVG R-Block
Michael Roos 10 LT -0.90 11.80 6.54 8.80
Andy Levitre 6 LG 1.40 12.90 7.18 1.76
Brian Schwenke 2 C -11.00 1.30 -11.00 1.30
Chance Warmack 2 RG -8.10 1.00 -8.10 1.00
Michael Oher 6 RT -5.60 -13.10 -5.46 -0.74
Total -24.20 13.90 -10.84 12.12

New starters in Bold.

Michael Roos has been a fixture on the Titans line for 10 years and has yet to lose a step.

Andy Levitre was one of the most sought after free agents after the 2012 season and in his first year with Tennessee he did not let them down. He finished amongst the top run blockers in the league and had the best run blocking grade of his career. Although it was a down year for his pass blocking, Levitre has gotten better with every passing season. Expect better this year.

Brian Schwenke was a rookie when he was thrust into the starting position after Robert Turner suffered a season ending injury. It was probably for the best, as Turner graded terribly last year. Schwenke graded well in the run game but definitely needed to improve his skills in pass blocking. He has a pretty nice athletic chart for a center, and the potential to improve is definitely there.

Chance Warmack was considered the best guard prospect to come out of last years draft but failed to perform better than average in his first year. Warmack should be better than this but it's still kind of up in the air. He hasn't been great so far this preseason.

Outside of his rookie year, Michael Oher has been pretty bad. After his first year in the league he never managed to even hit average grades at either run or pass blocking. Oher will definitely be dragging down this line.

Final Analysis: Last years RT starter David Stewart wasn't exactly playing great at the position but Oher is still a downgrade from him. Is it possible for him to ever bounce back to his rookie year and reinvent himself on the Titans offensive line? It doesn't look like it but at least he's only one bad piece. Whether it's Shonn Greene, Bishop Sankey or Dexter McCluster running here, they'll have a chance to do pretty well especially on the left side. Jake Locker might have a tougher time though, which could impact deep play potential for Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Locker's entire right side has a negative career pass blocking grade but two of those players should be improving, at least that's what you'd expect. With Locker having so many injuries in his career you really hope they do.