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Ranking AFC West offensive lines: Kolton Miller, Jermaine Eluemunor keep Raiders afloat

How do Las Vegas’ big fellas stack up?

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kolton Miller
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Football purists will argue that no position group is more important than a team’s offensive line as games are typically won in the trenches. So, heading into the 2023 campaign, how does the Las Vegas Raiders’ group stack up against the rest of the AFC West?

All starter projections below are based on the depth charts from, listed from left tackle to right tackle, and the number next to each player’s name is their rank at their respective position.

1) Kansas City Chiefs

Projected starters: Donovan Smith (4), Joe Thuney (1), Creed Humphrey (1), Trey Smith (1), Jawaan Taylor (1)

Average rank: 1.6

Despite losing both starting tackles from last season, the Chiefs’ offensive line is still really strong. It helps that they replaced Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie with a couple of quality players in Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor. Smith isn’t the player he used to be but still only allowed 31 pressures on 633 pass-blocking snaps in 2022, per Pro Football Focus, and Taylor surrendered just 16 on 675. Then there’s Kansas City’s interior three, who might be the best in the entire league.

2) Denver Broncos

Projected starters: Garett Bolles (3), Ben Powers (2), Lloyd Cushenberry (4), Quinn Meinerz (2), Mike McGlinchey (3)

Average rank: 2.8

Staying healthy is going to be the biggest key to success for the Broncos’ unit. For example, Garett Bolles has posted PFF grades above 70 every year of his career but has missed 15 games over the last two seasons. Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey were good additions as Powers tied for the best pass-blocking efficiency rating (98.9) among guards a year ago, and McGlinchey gave up just 27 pressures on 529 opportunities while earning a top 25 run-blocking grade (73.3) among offensive tackles.

3) Los Angeles Chargers

Projected starters: Rashawn Slater (2), Zion Johnson (3), Corey Linsley (2), Jamaree Salyer (3), Trey Pipkins III (4)

Average rank: 2.8

It was nearly a coin flip between Kolton Miller and Rashawn Slater as the conference’s top left tackle. Slater managed to be an All-Pro as a rookie but unfortunately, an early season injury sidelined him for the majority of year two. However, that did make way for Jamaree Salyer to impress as a rookie with a solid 69.2 PFF grade. Now Salyer gets to slide inside and play the position he was drafted to play. Then there’s Corey Linsely who hasn’t given up a sack in two years as a Charger and is a year removed from being the sixth-highest-graded run blocker (84.6) among NFL centers.

4) Las Vegas Raiders

Projected starters: Kolton Miller (1), Dylan Parham (4), Andre James (3), Alex Bars (4), Jermaine Eluemunor (2)

Average rank: 2.8

Kolton Miller is becoming a perpetual Pro Bowl and/or All-Pro snub as he’s led the AFC in overall grades from PFF the last two seasons with marks of 84.0 and 84.1, respectively. In 2022, Jermaine Eluemunor enjoyed a breakout campaign, ranking seventh among the conference’s tackles with a 75.3 PFF grade while allowing only 26 pressures and earning a 75.7 mark as a run blocker. Ultimately, it’s the Raiders’ interior three that was the tie-breaker among the other two teams with a 2.8 average ranking since two guys ranked at the bottom of their positions and Andre James came in second to last.