The 50 Greatest Offensive Linemen in NFL History (Revised and Updated, 2012 edition)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Part of a series. Previous entry is here.
50. Mel Hein '31-45 Giants
-Hard to analyze individual linemen, hard to analyze anyone from the war era, but we'll consider Hein first anyway.
49. Stan Jones '54-66 Bears
-3 good years, solid until position switch.
48. Dwight Stephenson '80-87 Dolphins
-Can't rank him higher than this given the short career; he turned 30 and was done.
47. Dermontti Dawson '88-00 Steelers
-Top end not as good as Stephenson's, but much more career.
46. Bob Kuechenberg '70-83 Dolphins
-3 years you'd call good, but productive throughout career.
45. Joe Jacoby '81-93 Redskins
-Most of his productive career done after '86
44. Joe Delamieullure '73-85 Bills/Browns
-4 good years spread throughout his career.
43. Rayfield Wright '67-79 Cowboys
-5 good seasons, Wright and this next guy should have played together.
42. Larry Allen '94-07 Cowboys
-6 good years, not much after he turned 30
41. Ralph Neely Cowboys '65-77
-4 good seasons and no bad ones, Neely was valuable throughout his career. I'm not sure why Wright's in the Hall and not Neely.
40. Lou Groza '46-67 Browns
-Not only best kicker of the era, part of that dominant Browns line.
39. Charlie Cowan '61-75 Rams
-3 good seasons and then a long career of solid play.
38. Leon Gray '73-83 Patriots/Oilers
-A helluva peak; his '78 is the best year on the board so far.
37. Frank Gatski Browns '46-57
-Browns linemen. They all make it.
36. Dick Schafrath '59-71 Browns
-Even Browns linemen in the 60s make this list.
35. Alan Faneca Steelers '98-10
-7 good years, long consistent career
34. Steve Wisniewski Raiders '89-01
-7 good seasons
33. Will Shields '93-06 Chiefs
-Was always solid - and then from 31-35 had his five best seasons and retired. As good as any of the guards in this run.
32. Dan Dierdorf Cardinals '71-83
-Solid, hearty 6 year peak. I'm going to leave him ahead of Faneca, but they maybe should be flipped.
31. Mike Munchak Oilers '82-93
-7 good thumping seasons; there's no good reason to put Munchak and Dierdorf in the Hall and leave out Wisniewski/Faneca (they might not leave Faneca out, I'm just guessing)
30. Lomas Brown '85-02 Lions
-As good as the next guy and for the same reason.
29. Jackie Slater Rams '76-95
-Here for longevity, he was still productive at 38.
28. Mike Kenn '78-94 Falcons
-Just like the previous two guys.
27. Matt Light '01- Patriots
Light's a hall of famer; his '07 is the best season on the board so far.
26. Bob Brown Eagles/Rams/Raiders '64-73
-Half dozen good years.
The 25 best offensive linemen of all time.
25. Tom Mack '66-78 Rams
-A half dozen good years inside a productive career. That's apparently the profile of a HOF guard who isn't Steve Wisniewski.
24. Russ Washington '68-82 Chargers
-Half dozen good seasons, his best coming in his 30s.
23. Mick Tingelhoff Vikings '62-78
-Half dozen good seasons and then value well into his 30s
22. Gene Hickerson Browns '58-73
-All Browns linemen go to heaven.
21. Jim Tyrer '61-74 Chiefs
-7 good years right in the heart of his career; he fits right in with this coming group of guys all considered HOF candidates.
20. Willie Roaf '93-05 Saints/Chiefs
-Half dozen good years and a great late career finishing kick.
19. Jonathan Ogden Ravens '96-07
-7 good seasons. We've hit a new level I think once we get to the upper half.
18. Walter Jones '97-08 Seahawks
-7 good seasons; he and Ogden had the same career.
17. Mike Webster Steelers '74-90
-6 good seasons and titles, long, productive career.
16. Orlando Pace '97-09 Rams
Pace's top end is the best on the board; his '00 is the best season and his 3 year stretch from '99-01 is easily the best on the board so far.
15. Richmond Webb Dolphins '90-02
-8 good seasons right out of the gate; I do not understand why this isn't a HOF'er
14. Randall McDaniel Vikings '88-01
-9 good seasons, he's a step up from that run of guards earlier.
13. Ron Mix Chargers '60-71
-9 good seasons.
12. Larry Little '67-80 Dolphins
-7 punishing years and titles.
11. Gary Zimmerman Vikings/Broncos '86-97
-8 good seasons and titles; from Tyrer all the way through here I wouldn't object to any ordering, Pace was best top end but fewest good years, all the other guys just had long, consistent, productive careers.
The 10 Best Offensive Linemen of all Time.
10. Jim Parker '57-67 Colts
-Parker was a better Larry Little.
9. John Hannah '73-85 Patriots
-7 good seasons.
8. Bruce Matthews '83-01 Oilers
9 good seasons, multiple positions, long, productive career.
7. Ron Yary '68-82 Vikings
-7 good to great seasons, his top end is as good as Pace's.
6. Jim Ringo '53-67 Packers/Eagles
-8 good seasons and titles.
5. Forrest Gregg Packers '56-71
-9 good seasons right in the heart of his career and titles, not quite Shell's top end.
4. Art Shell Raiders '68-82
-8 good seasons and titles. His '77 is the second best season on the board.
3. Jim Otto Raiders '60-74
-9 good seasons, the best center who ever lived.
2. Gene Upshaw '67-81 Raiders
-9 good seasons and titles.
1. Anthony Munoz '80-92 Bengals
-10 good seasons, many of them great. He's the best lineman ever.