Ranking the NFC South Offensive Lines

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

We've been ranking the NFC South teams by position or position group and today we have the offensive line. Which NFC South team brings the best offensive line into the 2013? Let's take a look.

Right before I decided to start writing this post I happened across a similar post from Bleeding Green Nation (Eagles blog) that listed every teams' offensive line by name and age so I decided to borrow some of that article to ease my job a bit.

As it turns out the Panthers have the 11th oldest offensive line in the NFL if you include Geoff Hangartner at RG. Don't let the number scare you though. If Edmund Kugbila (22 yrs old) should win the job at RG the Panther ranking would drop to one of the youngest lines in the NFL, the bottom 10 at least, and that is even if one of the other OGs like Hayworth Hicks or Justin Wells should win the job. They are only slightly older at 24 & 25 respectively. Obviously the elder statesman Jordan Gross is skewing the average at 32.

Yet age doesn't solely determine our rankings so we will look at some other stats and awards. I will look at some key stats like rushing yards, sacks and offensive line DVOA, the complex stat developed by Football Outsiders.

At the top is the Bucs, who boast 2 Pro Bowl guards, a solid center and a solid LT.

#1: Tampa Bay Bucs


The only question is at RT where the recently acquired Bear Gabe Carimi will line up. I'm never sold on another teams castoffs so Charles Johnson just might light him up. Still these guys should be good every week and give the Bucs another formidable run game.

#2: New Orleans Saints


Though the Saints lost a Pro Bowl guard before the 2012 season they replaced him with another fine player in Ben Grubbs. Besides they still have two Pro Bowlers left at Center and RG. Their tackles are decent starters as well earning them the #2 ranking.

#3: Carolina Panthers


The Panthers bring two Pro Bowlers into the season, albeit 33 yr old Jordan Gross at LT. Getting Kalil back at Center will be huge as well as any progression at LG and RT. The big question mark is at RG were the aging Hangartner is better suited to be a back-up. Should the 4th round rookie Kugbila get the start you expect a learning curve.

#4: Atlanta Falcons


The Falcons will line up a cadre of JAGs on the offensive line with Center Konz being the best of them. This is not a bad group but one without a high caliber player. Hence they come in last. Plus given the fact the Panthers defensive line ate these guys last year gives me confidence to place them last.

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