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Top 10 NFL Offensive Lines: Where Do Patriots Rank?

Is the New England Patriots' offensive line still considered one of the best in the league?

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots offensive line is a wild card at best. However, in a recent ranking of the offensive lines in the NFL, ESPN actually had the Patriots coming in at No. 10.

ESPN's surprisingly high ranking:

"The Patriots lost two fairly strong guards this offseason in Shaq Mason and Ted Karras -- they were ninth and 11th in PBWR last season, respectively, with Karras also finishing 14th in RBWR. But the versatile Onwenu is a solid replacement, even though the model will assume Strange is below average -- as it does for all rookies."

In addition, the line was projected to have the No. 10 overall pass-blocking rank and the No. 15 overall run-blocking rank.

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Yet, through nearly three weeks of training camp, it's hard to see this offensive line doing much of anything productive.

The starting line (from left tackle to right tackle) of Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu, and Isaiah Wynn is yet to play like a proper unit.

The Patriots' offense seems to be relatively functional in seven-on-seven drills, but the moment the play turns to 11s, they sputter to a halt. A major reason for this is the overall inefficacy of the line in run blocking, whether on zone or gap schemes, and pass blocking, often allowing free rushers through. 

In past seasons, the offensive line has been a strength for the team -- so much so that the team made a notable transition to a power run-first approach at the end of 2018. However, with the team now reliant on a younger line following key personnel losses, there remain significant growing pains left to overcome.