Trying to pick the top 10 offensive linemen? Don’t rely on stats.
For this group, it’s all about film, consistency and accolades. For some, there have been Pro Bowls and All-Pro awards on an annual basis. For a few who missed our list, such as left tackles Andrew Thomas of the Giants and Rashawn Slater of the Chargers, it feels their inclusion is coming shortly.
For now, though, the top of the list is dominated by ageless veterans ticketed for Canton, while the back end is a good mix of young studs and top-tier performers in their primes.
Here’s our list, starting in Houston.
10Laremy Tunsil, LT, Houston Texans
Tunsil has starred ever since being selected by the Dolphins on his infamous draft night in 2016. Since then, the former Ole Miss standout has been traded to Houston, where he signed a three-year, $75 million extension this offseason.
Over the past four years, Tunsil has earned three Pro Bowl berths but is still trying to make an All-Pro team. Turning 29 years old in August, the time is now for Tunsil to enhance his credentials.
9Creed Humphrey, C, Kansas City Chiefs
Humphrey has been one of the league’s best centers over the first two years of his career. A second-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2021, Humphrey has started 34 consecutive regular-season games, along with six playoff games, including Super Bowl LVII.
Last season saw Humphrey break through as a second-team All-Pro. Once the Eagles’ Jason Kelce retires, Humphrey should start racking up first-team awards as well, blocking for the league’s best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.
8Tristan Wirfs, RT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Despite already being in the NFL for four seasons, Wirfs is only 24 years old. He’s had an illustrious career to this point, manning the right side of Tampa Bay’s line, protecting Tom Brady (including in his rookie season) and winning the Super Bowl.
A two-time Pro Bowler, and a first-team and second-team All-Pro, Wirfs has been one of the league’s best tackles since being a first-round pick in 2020.
7Joe Thuney, LG, Kansas City Chiefs
Thuney has been an ironman for the Patriots and Chiefs ever since being a third-round pick out of North Carolina State in 2016. In seven seasons, Thuney has played 112 of a possible 114 games, along with a streak of 16 straight postseason affairs.
A two-time All-Pro, Thuney is a technician who can play any position on the line, but he stars for the Chiefs at left guard alongside Humphrey. In 2021, Kansas City signed Thuney to a five-year deal worth $80 million, the largest deal for an interior lineman in NFL history at the time.
6Joel Bitonio, LG, Cleveland Browns
Bitonio is a veteran who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Browns. As part of an elite line throughout the years, alongside stars such as left tackle Joe Thomas, fellow guard Wyatt Teller and right tackle Mitch Schwartz, Bitonio has earned five Pro Bowl selections, a number matched by his All-Pro honors.
At 31 years old, Bitonio is making a serious case for the Hall of Fame. For now, he’s charged with protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson through his current deal, which runs through 2025.
5Quenton Nelson, LG, Indianapolis Colts
Nelson and the Colts’ offensive line had a rough time last season, but the 27-year-old remains high on the list. In five years, Nelson has never missed the Pro Bowl all while earning four first- or second-team All-Pro honors.
A top-10 pick in 2018, Nelson is a rare guard who entered the league with hype. Still, he’s lived up to it, being arguably the best at his position since entering the league.
4Jason Kelce, C, Philadelphia Eagles
A 12-year veteran with the Eagles, Kelce has established himself as one of the NFL’s greatest centers of all time. In those dozen seasons, Kelce has racked up six Pro Bowl berths, five first-team All-Pro awards and a Super Bowl ring.
Now playing on a series of one-year deals, Kelce remains the best center in football, and, at 35 years old, he has shown little sign of slowing down. Small for his position at 295 pounds, the veteran has shown incredible durability, missing only four games since 2013.
3Zack Martin, G, Dallas Cowboys
A nine-year starter with the Cowboys, Martin will one day wear a gold jacket in Canton. The former Notre Dame star has eight Pro Bowls and six first-team All-Pro seasons to his name, along with being on the 2010s Hall of Fame team.
Like many of the others on this list, Martin has been able to avoid injuries, missing only eight games in his career. The only missing honor is a Super Bowl ring, something Dallas has a shot at rectifying this season.
2Lane Johnson, RT, Philadelphia Eagles
Johnson has become the best right tackle in the game by a considerable measure. The Eagles drafted Johnson with the No. 4 pick in 2013, and he’s since developed into a four-time Pro Bowler, including last season when he became a first-team All-Pro.
In 2022, Johnson didn’t allow a sack of quarterback Jalen Hurts, helping Philadelphia win the NFC championship. Now, at 33 years old, it’s about staying healthy, with Johnson missing 35 games over his career.
1Trent Williams, LT, San Francisco 49ers
Williams is without peer as he enters his age-35 season with the 49ers. After spending nine years in Washington, the hulking left tackle has starred for the last three in San Francisco, including reaching two NFC title games.
Over the past 10 years, Williams has reached the Pro Bowl each time. He’s also made first-team All-Pro each of the last two years, while earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2015. Williams is the highest-paid tackle in history, signing a six-year, $138 million deal in the ’21 offseason.