Preseason is winding down, and the starters are in place for the league's 32 teams. A few surprises (a rookie sixth-rounder!), a trade or two, and more to shake things up in the rankings. Here are the noteworthy developments since the magazine, and the way the rankings look today.
Carolina led the league in rushing the second half of last season, with their line looking like one of the league's better groups. But for that to be the case this year, they need last year's top pick Ikem Ekwonu to take another step forward, and he's kind of had a rough preseason, factoring into Bryce Young seeing a ton of pressure. Frank Reich isn't concerned, but we're lowering Carolina's grade some.
The Ravens lost left guard Ben Powers in free agency, and were expected to install another Ben Cleveland in that spot. But they're instead going with rookie sixth-rounder Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, whose name I look forward to butchering in future updates. He's the major question on what otherwise should be a top-10 line.
The Jaguars won't have left tackle Cam Robinson (suspension) until Week 4. The plan is apparently to move right tackle Walker Little (who was already an uncertainty replacing departed Jawaan Taylor) over to that spot and start rookie Anton Harrison on the right. Jacksonville opens the season with two divisional foes (Colts and Texans) and Kansas City, who will have one of the league's better pass rushes assuming Chris Jones actually shows up for the start of the season.
Preseason reports have been positive on Giants' second-round center John Michael Schmitz. The interior of the line has been a question mark (they're in great shape at the tackle spots), with the rookie and a pair of modest veterans (Ben Bredeson and Mark Glowinski), but early returns are good. Promising signs for the offense taking another step forward in Brian Daboll's second season.
We've been impressed by the Steelers' first-team offense this preseason, but it looks like first-round tackle Broderick Jones won't be a part of it, at least not right away. Their starting tackles will be holdovers Dan Moore and Chukwuma Okorafor, with Jones a swing tackle to open the season. This may be disappointing, with first-round tackles ideally in the lineup, but the results have been good in the practice games, so they can bring Jones along slowly.
The Cardinals traded lineman Josh Jones, a former third-round pick, to Houston yesterday. Jones wasn't going to be starting for Arizona and he won't start for the Texans, so the story got a little more attention than was called for.
Updated offensive line rankings are presented below. If you go to our Facebook page, there's a colorful table showing our grades for each of the projected 160 starters around the league.