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AFC North Positional Rankings: Offensive Line

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Jun 16, 2015; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas (73) guards during a play during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This preseason positional ranking series will focus on the AFC North, looking at each position and where each team stands in comparison with its rivals. We’ve looked at each team’s quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, so now let’s take a look at the dominant offensive lines that set the tempo of the AFC North.

The AFC North is one of the NFL’s most competitive divisions, and to be competitive, football teams absolutely must have sufficient offensive lines. And in a division where teams love to run the ball over and over and over, offensive lines play a huge part in AFC North teams’ success. Ohio boasts two of the NFL’s best offensive linemen in Cleveland’s Joe Thomas and Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth. Pittsburgh has one of the NFL’s best young offensive lines, and Baltimore boasts the NFL’s best guard tandem. Each AFC North team has a quality offensive line, evidenced by top ten finishes by each team’s offensive line in Pro Football Focus’ 2014 Offensive Line Rankings. That’s right; the AFC North is the division with the best blocking in football.

Disclaimer: I am in no sense an offensive line expert. Most data in this post is pulled from PFF’s 2014 Offensive Line Rankings and a regular AFC North viewer’s observations from the 2014 season. PFF did a great job compiling the offensive line rankings; take a look at the above article if you haven’t already seen it.

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