It’s not surprising to see the New Orleans Saints ranked in the top five of PFF’s recent offensive line rankings. The Saints came in at No. 4 on Steve Palazzolo’s list and Saints fans are used to seeing this group rank high year after year.
Palazzolo noted that the Saints get both of their star bookend tackles back in Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. The two are, as of now anyway, entering contract years so that’s a major incentive for them to continue playing well. Palazzolo added:
Both players are an excellent combination of power, quickness and technique. Armstead graded out at 84.9 in 2020, seventh-best among tackles. And he’s now earned 80.0-plus grades in five of his past six seasons. Ramczyk took a step back from previous levels last year but still recorded a 79.4 overall mark, the worst grade of his four-year career. That shows just how good he’s been and will continue to be.
It’s hard to argue against anything mentioned here. These two are top-notch at their respective positions and it’s why the Saints are ranked as high as they are once again.
Moving inside of the line, Erik McCoy returns at center after posting an impressive season in 2020. Cesar Ruiz could be an option to swap with McCoy at center but for now, he’s playing right guard and was hit or miss there. Andrus Peat rounds out the line at left guard and his play has been up and down as well.
Palazzolo also discusses how James Hurst presents a nice swing option for the Saints at tackle should they run into any injuries there. The Saints do a nice job in making sure their tails are covered in the event that someone gets injured and that’s why this unit is always consistently at the top of the pack.
The New Orleans Saints have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Palazzolo finished his assessment with this gem:
The Saints again have the pieces to rank among the NFL’s top offensive lines, with their final spot likely being determined by health and the development of their young interior players.
With Armstead and Ramczyk entering the final years of their contracts, it’s important for the young players in the organization to show something this year. Keeping one of the two is possible but it’s highly unlikely that both guys return to New Orleans for 2022 and beyond. Ramczyk is probably going to be the cheaper option seeing as how he’s a right tackle.
One thing is for sure though, the Saints will once again trot out one of the best o-lines in the entire league and that will help whoever is under center get more comfortable with his new starting role.