The New Orleans Saints had one of the strongest offensive lines last year, and not much will change going into this season. Assuming their dual threat tackling duo of Ryan Ramcyzk and Terron Armstead stays intact, they should be looking at another solid year for their rushing and passing attack.
Here are the Saints’ offensive line options, along with their respective positions, for 2021:
- Terron Armstead (T)
- Ryan Ramczyk (T)
- Andrus Peat (G/T)
- Erik McCoy (C/G)
- Cesar Ruiz (C/G)
- James Hurst (OT)
- Landon Young (T)
- Will Clapp (C)
- Derrick Kelly (OL)
- Ethan Greenidge (OL)
- Calvin Throckmorton (OL)
- Christian Montano (OG)
- Mike Brown (OL)
- Kyle Murphy (OT)
The biggest question going into the season will be whether the Saints can re-sign Terron Armstead. After New Orleans locked up Ramczyk with a record-breaking $96 million extension this offseason, would they be willing to fork over a hefty contract for their star left tackle as well?
Armstead might not be worth paying an “arm” and a leg for, but he’s definitely not worth losing either. According to PFF, he’s the third-highest-graded left tackle and the sixth-most valuable tackle overall over the past seven years. In each of the past six years in the league, Armstead has produced a top-10 pass-blocking grade and reigns king at one of the most important positions on the field.
New Orleans Saints’ o-line remains dominant as ever for next season
Currently, the Saints’ starting o-line speaks for itself: Armstead, Peat, McCoy, Ruiz, Ramcyzk. These guys could be called the Mr. Reliables of the team after their consistently stalwart performances last season. Expect them to do some of the same in 2021.
If the Saints decide to move on from Armstead, they have some alternatives in the form of veteran James Hurst and rookie Landon Young. Hurst got some minutes starting five games at tackle last year, and Young is, well, a rookie. The sixth-round pick from Kentucky won’t come close to Armstead’s talent and production value for a few years, but he can be groomed as a long-term future investment.
The rest of the o-line unit consists of mostly young players who add necessary depth and contingent value, and strong showings in training camp could see them make the roster. Will Clapp enters his third season with New Orleans and has four starts at tight end and both guard positions; Derrick Kelly enters his season and joins Clapp as another key depth piece in the o-line.
Formerly undrafted agents Ethan Greenidge, Calvin Throckmorton, Christian Montano, and Mike Brown continue to develop their physique and skills to make it in the pro league. This offseason the Saints also signed Kyle Murphy from Green Bay, a three-year veteran whose experience at both guard and tackle and versatility will add to the brewing training camp competition.
Barring any unwelcome surprises from the Saints’ front office, and hoping Armstead inks his next contract with New Orleans as soon as possible, the Saints have one of the most dependable o-lines in the league for 2021. The quarterbacks thank you.