We agree with Pro Football Focus’ selection of the Eagles as the NFL’s top offensive line. The Eagles’ line deserves the distinction.
We don’t know for sure, of course. If they were ranked fourth or fifth, we wouldn’t protest.
These choices are what they are: somewhat data-driven but they aren’t exactly a mathematical equation. They are based on the selectors’ opinions, forged by what they see and hear and feel.
Here are the receipts: The Eagles led the NFL in rushing last season. You can’t do that without a superior offensive line. Beyond PFF, the Eagles’ offensive line is highly regarded around the league.
When healthy, the Eagles’ line of Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and Lane Johnson opens holes, protects the quarterback and moves people around. They get downfield for second-level blocking.
KELCE NOT THE TOP CENTER?
However, we seriously question PFF’s individual ratings at center.
Kelce is ranked fourth, which feels like a real slap in his proverbial face.
The top three are placed in what PFF called Tier I: Elite
- No. 1 is Corey Linsley, of the Los Angeles Chargers.
- No. 2 is Creed Humphrey, of the Kansas City Chiefs.
- No. 3 is Frank Ragnow, of the Detroit Lions.
Kelce is by himself in Tier 2: Still elite but on the way out
The NFL Center rankings were done by PFF’s NFL analyst Ben Linsey.
PFF ranked the top half of the NFL’s centers. No one from Dallas or the New York Giants was ranked in the top half. The Commanders’ Chase Roulier is the ranked 10th. He is listed in Tier 3: Good, veteran starters.
About Kelce, PFF said:
“The 34-year-old Kelce hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down, as evidenced by his first-team All-Pro selection in 2021.
“The longtime Eagle is still one of the best run-blockers the position has to offer. Kelce’s 89.0 run-blocking grade in 2021 was the second-highest mark of his career, and he hasn’t graded below 75.0 in that department since his rookie season in 2011.
“However, it’s reasonable to expect some level of decline for a player who will turn 35 years old during the 2022 season, especially a player like Kelce, whose athleticism has been one of his biggest separators. That bumps him just outside the first tier, but it’s hard to move him much lower after his 2021 performance.”
OK, got it. PFF is anticipating that Kelce will “show some level of decline.”
Best Eagles offensive lineman on one of the top lines in the league. What are we missing here? When you read PFF’s comments on Kelce, you are puzzled enough to ask:
- How is he not among the top three?
- He’s 34 and PFF says he’s “on the way out” but he was *first-team* All-Pro last year and he anchors the top-rated offensive line.
- Did something happen over the offseason other than he got older? Did he lose a limb or something?
PFF’s TOP LINES
PFF’s top five lines after the Eagles are the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. Three of the top five teams made the playoffs last season.
Last year, the Eagles were not ranked in the top 10.