Pro Football Focus lists Steelers as 3rd-best offensive line in preseason rankings
Despite offseason upheaval that included the trade of wide receiver Antonio Brown and the official departure of running back Le’Veon Bell, one area of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense remains a constant.
And Pro Football Focus took notice.
The web site devoted to analyzing NFL players and teams compiled its preseason list of top offensive lines on Tuesday, and the Steelers earned a No. 3 ranking.
Positioned ahead of the Steelers are the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 1 and the Dallas Cowboys at No. 2.
The Eagles held the top spot in the 2018 preseason rankings — the Steelers were fourth — but the Steelers offensive line jumped to the head of the line in PFF’s end-of-season rankings in January.
The line, of course, returns four of its five starters, including Pro Bowl players David DeCastro, Alejandro Villanueva and Maurkice Pouncey. Guard Ramon Foster, entering his 11th season, was brought back with a two-year contract.
The only new starter is likely Matt Feiler, who filled in capably for injured Marcus Gilbert and started 10 games. Gilbert was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason. Feiler will compete with 2018 third-round pick Chuks Okorafor in training camp.
Here is what Pro Football Focus wrote about the front five:
“It will be tough for the Steelers to replicate the efficiency that their offensive line maintained in 2018, but then again, it will be challenging for any team in the league. Le’Veon Bell now finds himself with the Jets, and Antonio Brown with the Raiders, but their offensive line remains the one consistent in the Steelers’ ever-changing offense.”
Pro Football Focus based its rankings on a combination of “grades, college evaluations and age projections.”
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens drew a No. 11 ranking. The Cleveland Browns were at No. 20 and the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 27.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .