Ranking the NFC West Offensive Lines

How does the 49ers offensive line stack up?
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During the next two weeks, I will publish a series of articles in which I rank the 49ers position-by-position against the other three teams in the NFC West. Which team has the best quarterbacks? Which one has the best running backs? And so on.

Today, we rank the NFC West teams based on their offensive lines, from the worst to the best.

4. The Rams

Left tackle: Andrew Whitworth

Left guard: Austin Corbett

Center: Brian Allen

Right guard: Austin Blythe

Right tackle: Rob Havenstein

The Rams had an excellent offsensive line when they went to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Then they decided to give tons of money to Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. Those contract extensions came at the expense of the Rams' offensive line. They gutted it.

The Rams still have a good left tackle -- Andrew Whitworth. He gave up just one sack last season. But he will turn 39 in December. He's getting worse. And the rest of the Rams offensive line is no good. They skimped on the wrong position group, and now they can't run the ball effectively anymore.

3. The Cardinals

Left tackle: D.J. Humphries

Left guard: Justin Pugh

Center: Mason Cole

Right guard: J.R. Sweezy

Right tackle: Marcus Gilbert

The Cardinals had an atrocious offensive line for years, but have quietly improved it recently. They've developed former first-round pick D.J. Humphries into a solid left tackle. And they signed Justin Pugh, a terrific left guard. The rest of this unit isn't good, but at least the Cardinals have two decent offensive linemen, as opposed to the Rams, who have just one.

2. The Seahawks

Left tackle: Duane Brown

Left guard: Mike Iupati

Center: B.J. Finney

Right guard: Damien Lewis.

Right tackle: Brandon Shell

The Seahawks also had a terrible offensive line for years. But they hired offensive line coach Mike Solari in 2018, and their run-blocking has improved dramatically since then. Solari coaches a power running game -- he was Jim Harbaugh's offensive line coach on the 49ers. Carroll must have admired Solari from a far.

Solari slowly has remade the Seahawks offensive line. This offseason, they signed center B.J. Finney, who will replace Justin Britt. Upgrade. They drafted Damien Lewis, who will replace D.J. Fluker. Another upgrade. And they signed Brandon Shell -- Art Shell's son. He will replace Germain Ifedi, one of the worst right tackles in the league the past few seasons. Big-time upgrade.

The Seahawks' offensive line still isn't what you'd call, "good," but it's improving.

1. The 49ers

Left tackle: Trent Williams

Left guard: Laken Tomlinson

Center: Weston Richburg

Right guard: Tom Compton

Right tackle: Mike McGlinchey

This is a good offensive line. It's not great in pass protection, but it's the best run-blocking line in the NFL. Williams and McGlinchey certainly are the best run-blocking tackle duo in the league. And Tomlinson and Richburg help the ground attack as well. Compton may or may not be an upgrade over Mike Person -- Compton doesn't have much of a track record as a starter. But the Niners don't need him to be a Pro Bowler to have the best offensive line in the NFC West. The 49ers already have the best one by far. 

Strange how such a strong division has such a weak collection of offensive lines.