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2019 NFL preview: Ranking the NFC North offensive lines

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One thing is for sure: The Vikings are dead last.

NFL: DEC 23 Packers at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 teams’ offensive line. The Lions came in at a respectable 15th, but both the Packers (eighth) and Bears (ninth) finished ahead of them.

Do I agree with them?

Let’s take a look at my NFC North offensive line rankings for 2019.

Previously:

(Note: I only list the starting lineups, but depth is considered)

1. Chicago Bears (Charles Leno Jr., Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, Kyle Long, Bobbie Massie)

You may not know it, but the Chicago Bears are going through an offensive shuffle almost identical to the one the Lions are going through. Second-year guard James Daniel is moving over to center, while Pro Bowl center Cody Whitehair is sliding over to left guard.

It’s a little more of a risk for the Bears, seeing as Whitehair did a fine job at center last year, but like Frank Ragnow, James Daniels should be more comfortable in the middle of that offensive line.

On the edges, Charles Leno Jr. and Bobbie Massie aren’t big names, but both are coming off very productive years in Chicago.

Overall it’s a solid line with no clear weakness, and it’s certainly worthy of top-10 consideration.

2. Green Bay Packers (David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Billy Turner, Bryan Bulaga)

It’s a passing league and there’s no doubt that the Packers have the best pass blocking tackles in the division. Bakhtiari is a two-time first-team All Pro, while Bulaga remains criminally underrated.

There are more concerns on the interior for Green Bay. Corey Linsley has been an extremely solid center—especially entering the league as a fifth-round pick. However, Lane Taylor and Billy Turner are the weak points on the offense line. Taylor, at the very least, has been part of this offensive line for years and is keeping the chemistry together.

The wild card is Billy Turner, who was signed to a four-year deal with Green Bay this offseason. Prior to last year, Turner had only started in 14 games through his first four years in the league. In 2018, he started another 11 for the Broncos, but turned in a weak 62.8 PFF grade (33rd). If not for this weak link, they’d probably be first in the division.

3. Detroit Lions (Taylor Decker, Kenny Wiggins, Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow, Rick Wagner)

The Lions offensive line is full of solid but unspectacular players in the starting lineup. Decker, Ragnow, Glasgow and Wagner have all shown they can consistently play at an average level, but none have shown—with enough consistency—that they belong in a conversation that elevates them to a next level. That being said, three of those four are still on their rookie contract and have plenty of time to develop.

Of course, development is not guaranteed in the NFL, and I’m not prepared to give this group the benefit of the doubt quite yet. Plus there’s a huge question mark there at left guard.

4. Minnesota Vikings (Riley Reiff, Pat Elflein, Garrett Bradbury, Josh Kline, Brian O’Neill)

The Vikings offensive line was really bad in 2018 and bless their little hearts, they knew it. They went out and made some changes, but aside from using a first-round pick on Garrett Bradbury, nothing screams drastic improvement here. Reiff is still a subpar left tackle. Free agent addition Josh Kline is coming off his worst year. 2018 second-round pick Brian O’Neill has promise, but had a rough rookie season at right tackle.

The Vikings are a distant fourth in the division, but could certainly see some improvement from last season.