Aug 20, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro (66) blocks Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (53) at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
With the 2018 NFL season quickly approaching, many teams are hoping to see improvement in their offensive lines, while some are looking to maintain their success from a year ago. No offense wants to be one-dimensional, so having linemen who excel in both the pass and run game has become increasingly sought after.
With that said, let’s look at the league’s balanced offensive lineman across every position by using their PFF grades from the 2017 season and who of those players ranked inside the top 20 in both run-block grades and pass-block grades.
For this, we combined grades across all three position buckets (center, guard, tackle) and compared the two facets that make the composite overall grade – run-blocking and pass-blocking grades. Seven players across the league found themselves in the top 20 in terms of both run-blocking and pass-blocking grades from 2017 – here’s how they stack up:
The Steelers have plenty of well-known offensive weapons and DeCastro proved to be as important as any of them in 2017. The former first-rounder continued to impress a year ago by posting a career-high overall grade of 91.7, which ranked second not only at the guard position but among all offensive linemen.
DeCastro was also one of only two linemen to finish top 10 in both pass-block and run-block grades last season. With grades of 88.9 in pass-blocking and 90.6 in run-blocking, the Steelers guard ranked fifth overall in both categories helping pave the way for the Steelers explosive offense. Throughout the season, DeCastro only allowed 16 total pressures (14 hurries, two hits, no sacks) earning him a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 98.2.
DeCastro also showed once again that he’s as durable as any lineman in the NFL, playing 1,125 total snaps (698 in pass protection, 427 on run plays) all while maintaining an elite overall season grade.
The Cowboys offensive line has been well recognized as one of the stronger units in the league for some time. When you look at why, look no further than their starting right guard in Martin.
It’s no secret that Martin was one of the league’s top guards coming into 2017, but he took his game up another level this past season. After posting overall grades of 85.9, 89.0, 88.6 in his first three years in the league, respectively, Martin led all offensive lineman…