Editor’s note: Joe Thomas was asked to name the best offensive line in the NFL. The former Cleveland Browns all-pro tackle put his bias aside for a second to evaluate his pick — the Philadelphia Eagles O-line … after discussing his Browns, of course.
It would be easy for me to put on my Browns hat and say the Browns have the best offensive line in the NFL. Due to injuries, that isn’t the case, although they certainly are in that conversation.
If I’m going to give you one other team, it’s going to be the Philadelphia Eagles.
There are some question marks for Cleveland. The Browns lost Nick Harris, their starting center to a knee injury in the first preseason game. He’s going to be out for the season. Right tackle Jack Conklin is coming back from a torn patellar tendon and is expected to return at some point this season. They’re hoping that he can be back for Week 1, but they’re not exactly sure.
With the uncertainty at center and right tackle, I don’t know exactly where the Browns will stack up this season.
I got a chance to see the Eagles in their joint practices vs. the Browns last week. There are really no weaknesses on their offensive line. They’re big and they’re massive. They can lean on you, can beat you down and roll you up into a ball and dribble you down the field in their run game, which is such a big part of that offense.
Just going down the line, they’ve got outstanding tackles in Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson — a couple of the best to do it in the business. Inside they have Jason Kelce, the longtime center who’s incredibly intelligent. He’s very savvy, which is what you get when you have a center who has been playing the position a long time. Also, Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo are two excellent guards.
When you put all those guys together, they’ve been playing well as a unit for a while. They’re all really big and physical players, and they fit exactly with what the Philadelphia Eagles want to do on offense. Which is a lot in the run game, a lot of RPOs. They want to dictate and play that old-school, smashmouth football on the defensive line that’s across from them.