Oakland Raiders: Ranking The AFC West By Position Group – Offensive Lines

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 7: Guard Gabe Jackson
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 7: Guard Gabe Jackson /
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Oakland Raiders
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 9: Center Matt Paradis /

4. Denver Broncos

The Broncos didn’t find a whole lot of offensive success in 2016. In large part, because their quarterback play was mediocre – at best. The combination of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch didn’t do much to move the chains or put a lot of points on the board. Neither did a running game that was well below average.

But Denver’s offensive line also deserves some of the blame for the unit’s lack of offensive firepower. Denver’s line gave up 40 sacks on the year – Siemian was sacked 31 times and Lynch, another nine. That’s a lot of time the quarterbacks were spending on their backs – not to mention, running for their lives. Without solid protection, the quarterbacks usually can’t get themselves into a rhythm to keep the offense moving.

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As far as running the ball goes, the Broncos averaged a meager 3.6 yards per carry and had just 11 rushing touchdowns on the year. Their running game ranked twenty-seventh overall and their offense as a whole was also twenty-seventh in the league.

Denver made a few changes to their line for the 2017 season, according to initial depth charts. Gone is Russell Okung, replaced by Ty Sambrailo, and they’ve added Dallas castoff Ronald Leary to the line. Other than that, Matt Paradis, Max Garcia, and Donald Stephenson – three-fifths of that sub-par offensive line in 2016 is back.

Leary has a somewhat spotty history with injuries and Sambrailo has been unimpressive – playing in just 13 games (with seven starts) since being taken in the second round of the 2015 Draft.

Denver’s line was decidedly ordinary in 2016, and having shuffled a few pieces around and not adding an impact guy, it’s hard to see them being any better – at all – in 2017.