Chicago Bears: Home and AwayKyle Long
In his second season in the NFL, Long is proving that he is one of the top guards in the NFL. He finished the 2014 regular season with a 12. 1 rating from Pro Football Focus, making him the 12th-ranked guard in the league. He played in 15 games, totaling 1,024 offensive snaps, all of which were played on the right side of the offensive line. The best aspect of Long’s game was pass blocking, where he received a 9.3 rating after being credited for allowing only two quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries. The one aspect of his game that Long needs to work on is discipline, as he struggled with penalties, but that should improve as he gains more experience.
Detroit Lions: Home and AwayLarry Warford
Warford missed three weeks in the second half of the season, but that didn’t stop him from having a good season, especially considering he had some of the best games of the season after returning in Week 14. In the 13 games that Warford played, he started at right guard and recorded a 6.8 rating from PFF. He struggled from time to time in run blocking situations and finished the season with a -0.6 rating. The strong part of his game was pass protection, where he received a 5.7 rating after being credited for allowing two sacks, two quarterback hits and 12 quarterback hurries.
Green Bay Packers: Home and AwayT.J. Lang
After the first game of the 2014 season, it seemed as though Lang was going to have a long season after he received a -3.9 rating from PFF, but he was able to turn it around for the remainder of the season. At the end of the regular season he was given a 23.1 rating, which made him the third-highest rated offensive guard in the NFL. Lang started in all 16 games during the regular season and never missed a snap. His strength was blocking for the running game, but he also did well blocking in the passing game – he was credited with allowing three sacks, two quarterback hits and 12 quarterback hurries.
Seattle Seahawks: HomeJames Carpenter
Carpenter was the starting left guard for the Seahawks during the 2014 season and the season seemed to be going the right way for him before he got injured in a Week 9 game against the Oakland Raiders. He missed three weeks because of the injury and once he came back he never seemed to be the same player. In the final five weeks of the regular season, Carpenter never once received a rating higher than -0.5 from PFF. At the end of the season he was given a -6.6 overall rating after struggling in the running game. His pass blocking was better, as he was credited for allowing five quarterback hits and 14 quarterback hurries. Carpenter is a free agent this offseason, and at the age of 25 there should be plenty of teams interested in signing him.
Arizona Cardinals: AwayTed Larsen
Larsen was the starting left guard for the Cardinals in the 2014 season, and even though he played in all 16 games, not all of them were at left guard. He had to make a change to the right side during Weeks 13 and 14, and while playing right guard he had his two best games of the season. At the end of the season, Larsen was ranked -17.2 overall, and a big part of that came from the fact that he really struggled when pass blocking. During the regular season he was credited with allowing three sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and 18 quarterback hurries.
St. Louis Rams: HomeRoger Saffold
At the beginning of the season, the idea was to have Saffold be the starting left guard for the Rams, and while that happened for a majority of the games he also started at right guard for three games, and even left tackle for a game. PFF gave him a -2.2 overall rating at the end of the regular season. A big part of the negative rating came from his struggles blocking in the running game, especially considering he finished the season with a 6.2 rating in pass protection after be credited with allowing two sacks, two quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries.
San Francisco 49ers: AwayMike Iupati
Iupati is one of the top free-agent offensive guards this offseason after having a 2014 season where he received a 11.2 overall rating. He was one of the best run defenders in the NFL last season, as his 18.5 run-blocking rating was the second-highest among guards. He struggled with pass blocking and was credited with allowing seven sacks – tied for the most among guards – two quarterback hits and 22 quarterback hurries.
Kansas City Chiefs: HomeZach Fulton
It was a rough season for the Chiefs’ guards in 2014 and it is shown by the fact Fulton was the lowest rated guard by PFF at -14.6. Fulton just finished his rookie season with the Chiefs and only had four games over the course of the season where he received a positive rating. He was credited with allowing three sacks, five quarterback hits and 21 quarterback hurries.
Denver Broncos: AwayOrlando Franklin
Franklin is considered by most to be the best free-agent offensive guard this offseason. He finished the season with a 12.0 overall rating by PFF, which made him the 13th-ranked guard in the NFL. Franklin did not dominate in any one area of his game but instead played well in both run defense and pass defense, where he was credited with allowing one sack, two quarterback hits and eight quarterback hurries. If there was one part of his game that he still needs to improve, it would be discipline, as he was responsible for 10 penalties over the course of the season.
San Diego Chargers: HomeChad Rinehart
Rinehart played in all 16 games and 1,089 offensive snaps during the Chargers’ 2014 regular season, but struggled for a majority of the time. He finished the year with a -22.7 rating from PFF after struggling with both run blocking and pass blocking. He was credited with allowing four sacks, six quarterback hits and 31 quarterback hurries. Rinehart first joined the Chargers in 2013, and then the team re-signed him to a two-year contract last offseason, so he will be with them for at least one more season – barring any trades or cuts.
Oakland Raiders: AwayGabe Jackson
Jackson was the Week 1 starter for the Raiders at left guard. The first half of the season was not the best for Jackson as he struggled while blocking for the run. The second half of the season was much better for him, though he did still struggle run blocking from time to time. He finished the season with a 3.7 overall rating and a lot of that positive rating came from the success he had while pass blocking, where he was credited with allowing an impressive one sack, two quarterback hits and 16 quarterback hurries. Jackson was drafted by the Raiders in the third round last year.
New York Giants: HomeWeston Richburg
The offensive guards of the Giants had a rough year in 2014, with the highest-rated one being Richburg, who was given a -14.3 rating by PFF at the end of the 2014 regular season. Richburg was a second-round draft pick out of Colorado State last May and he had a rough rookie season. At the end of the regular season he was rated -8.7 run blocking and -3.5 pass blocking after being credited with allowing two sacks, seven quarterback hits and 16 quarterback hurries.
Atlanta Falcons: AwayJustin Blalock
Blalock had a good season by most accounts, as he only had four games during the regular season where he received a negative rating from PFF. He finished the season with a 3.8 overall rating after having an up and down season run blocking, and a good season pass blocking, where he was credited with allowing three sacks, six quarterback hits, and 20 quarterback hurries. But his final game wasn’t good – he was credited with allowing two sacks, one quarterback hit and five quarterback hurries. Blalock is 31 years old, so he should still have a couple more seasons where he can perform at a high level.