Pro Football Focus has unveiled their rankings of the top offensive line units entering the 2021 season, and they don’t have much faith in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front.
PFF has the Steelers’ offensive line ranked as the second-worst unit in the entire NFL.
Even though there are technically only three new starters, the Steelers have basically overhauled the entire unit.
“With three new starters up front, Pittsburgh’s offensive line enters 2021 with its most question marks in years,” PFF’s Steve Palazzolo wrote. “The unit regressed to 17th in our final 2020 rankings after years of exemplifying the way offensive lines should be built — with solid starters and limited weaknesses in the starting lineup.”
Chukwuma Okorafor is switching to the left side, while Zach Banner is returning to man the right after playing just 63 snaps last season. Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Alejandro Villanueva have all moved on or retired.
Second-year guard Kevin Dotson was a bright spot in 2020, and will become a permanent fixture at left guard this year. He posted a pass protection grade of 87.2, but struggled in the run game like the rest of the offensive line with 55.1 grade in that department.
With all that turnover, PFF’s forecast for the Pittsburgh line is a boom-or-bust scenario.
“The Steelers enter 2021 with big question marks all over the place, and their offensive line looks like a bottom-tier unit unless players develop across the board,” Palazzolo wrote.
Adding insult to injury, PFF’s ranked the rival Cleveland Browns as having the best offensive line in the league entering 2021. Only the New York Giants’ offensive line is rated lower than Pittsburgh’s.