Pro Football Focus’ analytics team shared its ranking of the NFL’s offensive lines, and Chicago Bears fans will be pleased to see the top of the rankings.
The Bears’ offensive line enters the 2019 season as the ninth best by PFF’s grading standards. What might be the most encouraging thing about the grade PFF gave the Bears’ offensive line is the love the site’s analytics gang shows for Mitch Trubisky’s blind-side protection:
“Charles Leno Jr. has been a pleasant surprise for Chicago. The 2014 seventh-rounder finished the 2018 season s the team’s highest-graded offensive linemen while playing over 1,000 snaps at left tackle. He earned an impressive 75.2 overall grade and 79.2 pass-blocking grade on the year, and he’s now earned 70.0-plus overall grades in four consecutive seasons.”
Put some respect on his name, football fans!
Leno has established himself as the Bears’ best blocker and one of the best in the league, even if he isn’t a household name. He has done so in impressive fashion by playing 3,981 of a possible 4,146 offensive snaps since the start of the 2015 season. Or to put it in a different way, Leno has been on the field for more than 96 percent of the team’s offensive snaps over the last four years. Leno was a Pro Bowl tackle last season, but has been a steadying force on the line for a few years now. The combination of durability and solid play had gone overlooked until his Pro Bowl appearance last season, but that shouldn’t be the case for much longer.
A projected starting lineup of Leno, left guard Cody Whitehair, center James Daniels, right guard Kyle Long, and right tackle Bobby Massie is among one of the best in football to start the year. This is the same group that ended the 2018 season grading out just outside the top-10, but firmly entrenched in the top half of the league with room to grow. It’s not a surprise to see a group that was a clear strength last year receive continued praise, but it’s still reassuring to see the most important unit on the offense acclaimed as one of the best.