Pro Football Focus released their offensive line rankings for the 2022 NFL season. Obviously we’re not even in training camp yet so they’re all just projected starting lineups, but for the Seattle Seahawks the projected OL consists of rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, guards Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson, and new center Austin Blythe.
PFF ranks based on their proprietary grading system and other data they have, and perhaps unsurprisingly the Seahawks are at rock bottom.
32. Seattle Seahawks
Projected Starting Lineup
LT: Charles Cross
LG: Damien Lewis
C: Austin Blythe
RG: Gabe Jackson
RT: Abraham Lucas
There’s quite a lot of hope for the future with the talent Seattle has brought into the fold, but it has crash-and-burn potential. Starting two rookie offensive tackles – both from Air Raid offenses – is a scary proposition. And considering Gabe Jackson’s decline in recent years, there is not a single quality starter this unit can rely on.
They bring up Gabe Jackson’s decline, and that’s based off PFF grades. Jackson’s three lowest-graded years are in these past three seasons, and his 63.6 in the 2021 season was his second worst to date. Damien Lewis had just a 57.1 grade move out to left guard, down from his 70.2 as a rookie right guard. Blythe barely played in 2021 but he did have a 69.3 grade in 2020, his lone year as a full-time starting center. In 2019 he was a pretty weak 50.2 splitting his time at center and right guard while with the Los Angeles Rams.
Cross and Lucas may have graded well in college but that is college, and rookie tackles more often than not look like rookies over the course of a season.
The Optimist says the Seahawks OL with the young players on the squad – Lewis, Cross, Lucas, maybe even Jake Curhan – can be good down the line. Realistically they’ll be bad in 2022, but we’re battle-tested fans who know a thing or two about wretched play. It could have been worse with a payoff being good later, as opposed to the 2016-2017 group that made you question whether there was an effort to get Russell Wilson and every running back on the squad maimed.
By the way, last year PFF actually had Seattle’s OL a mediocre but hardly embarrassing 19th entering the season. I think we’d celebrate a top-20 finish given how much inexperience could be in this year’s starting lineup.