Establish The Run’s Brandon Thorn finished up studying all 32 offensive lines to give his 2020 rankings for the best linemen by position in football. Generally, the Steelers graded well, though there are question marks in some obvious areas.
Working left to right, Alejandro Villanueva was ranked in Tier 3 and the #10 left tackle according to Thorns’ list.
That seems like a fair ranking for him, especially seeing the names ahead of him. While he allowed a career low 2.5 sacks in 2019, his play wasn’t quite as good as that number indicates and his run blocking has always been average at best.
Thorn’s including Feiler with the left guards, a smart assumption given Mike Tomlin’s statement that Feiler will begin training camp at that spot. He winds up in Tier 4 as the #17 left guard in football.
Feiler should move up those rankings once he gets consistent playing time there. Last season, he started against the Rams at left guard and held his own. He’s shown the underrated ability to move around the offensive line, plugging whatever hole the team had, with consistent and steady play. He’s arguably the strongest linemen on the team, too.
Maurkice Pouncey gets shown some serious love here after being undervalued by outlets like Pro Football Focus. Thorn puts Pouncey in Tier 2 and the #4 center behind his top three of: Rodney Hudson, Jason Kelce, and Alex Mack.
Pouncey definitely had a frustrating problem of bad snaps last season but he’s still one of football’s best in the middle. Even into his 30s, he’s one of the most athletic linemen who plays with a combination of technique and nastiness that continues to make him a top-tier starter.
David DeCastro is showed the same, also falling in Tier 2 and the #2 right guard, only behind Dallas’ Zach Martin, given a class all his own.
Over the past two seasons, DeCastro’s allowed only 1.5 sacks and registered just six penalties. Aside from the Fletcher Cox’s of the world giving him fits, he’s one of football’s best. Should he continue the path he’s on, there’s a chance DeCastro makes it into Canton one day.
Finally, Thorn gave the edge to Chukwuma Okorafor over Zach Banner for the right tackle rankings. But predictably, Okorafor was low on the list, ending up in Tier 5 and 24th place.
A fair evaluation with how little we know about him. He’s made just two starts in his first two years and given plenty of tight end/slide protection help in both games. The battle between him and Okorafor is one of the Steelers’ closest ones and without a preseason, it’ll be hard for us to evaluate who’s winning.