With training camps approaching, Scouts Inc. ranks the NFL teams 1-32 at nine positions. Today's position: Offensive line. 1. San Diego Chargers The Chargers would rank No. 2 pretty much by default thanks to an impressive running game that posted nearly 5 yards a carry last season, but they were also able to hold opposing defenses to just 28 sacks in 2006. Left tackle Marcus McNeill was the gem of last year's draft class and does a great job of protecting the blindside of quarterback Philip Rivers from what is arguably the most crucial position on the line. San Diego also has a good blend of youth and experience with seasoned right guard Mike Goff holding down a starting spot in his 10th season in the league. This is a unit that can come right at opponents and create running lanes with drive blocking, or use finesse in pass blocking to give Rivers time to locate open receivers. Overall, they rely on athleticism more than bulk and pure power. 2. Indianapolis Colts The Colts don't have the best individuals at any one offensive line position, but they work together well, make few mistakes and are probably the best-coached unit in the league. Howard Mudd has them prepared well for every game and each player knows what the man next to him is doing. The Colts allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL last season (15) and managed to gain a respectable 4.0 yards per carry. They have an excellent left tackle in Tarik Glenn and four or five other smart, athletic linemen who are interchangeable and can play multiple positions. Everyone knows what the other players along the line are supposed to be doing, making it much easier to cover up mistakes. 3. Denver Broncos With one of the smallest lines in the league, the Broncos rely on quickness and agility to get the job done, registering 4.4 yards per carry and giving up just 31 sacks in 2006. They don't have a single returning starter on the line who weighs over 300 pounds, and former backup Chris Kuper (302 pounds) is the only projected starter who breaks that threshold. Denver's unit plays with an attitude and can cause opposing defensive lines to become a little timid, because they have a reputation for blocking around the knees. This causes defensive linemen to hold back a little to make sure they protect their legs. The Broncos also have one of the oldest offensive line units with only two players with less than 10 years of experience (Kuper and Adam Meadows are eight-year veterans). 4. Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles gained 4.8 yards per carry while holding opponents to just 28 sacks on the year. They are massive as a unit and have a wealth of experience at tackle with William Thomas on the left side and Jon Runyan on the right. Neither would be considered an elite athlete for the position, but both are more than adequate. What they lack in athleticism they make up for with reach (arm length) and technique. Guards Todd Herremans and Shawn Andrews are massive, powerful blockers, while center Jamaal Jackson appears to have a bright future. With the vertical passing game quarterback Donovan McNabb likes to employ, the line needs to give him time to let his receivers run their deep routes, and it does just that. 5. Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals have a combination of experience and youth with right tackle Willie Anderson entering his 12th season and the other four players following his lead. They have a quality left tackle in Levi Jones, who is more of a finesse-type blocker than a smashmouth drive blocker, and massive guards Bobby Williams and Andrew Whitworth, both of whom are in the 340-pound range. The center position is adequately handled by third-year man Eric Ghiaciuc, though he is still learning the nuances of the position at the NFL level. Cincinnati was in the middle of the pack last year with 36 sacks allowed and just 3.7 yards per carry, and having pretty much stayed put with the same group, it will be difficult to show much improvement. 6. New England Patriots Like the Colts, the Patriots have no stars but rather five quality linemen. They rely more on athleticism and intelligence than size and raw strength. Veteran offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia does a great job of molding a unit together that works in unison and avoids making mistakes. With an average of less than five years of experience across the board, they should do nothing but improve over the next few years after giving up just 29 sacks and rushing for almost 4 yards per carry last season. They lack the size and bulk to get much push, especially in and around the red zone, but can do a quality job of occupying opponents long enough to give running backs a seam to run through. 7. Washington Redskins The Redskins have one of the best tackle combinations in the league in Jon Jansen on the right side and Chris Samuels on the left. They are big parts of a unit that was one of only three in the NFL to give up fewer than 20 sacks (19) in 2006. At the same time, they were able to gain over 4.5 yards per carry and pile up the fourth-best overall rushing total (2,216 yards) in the league. With the highly respected Joe Bugel coaching the line, the players are starting to live up to expectations. They are not the heaviest line in the league, but they are athletic and do a great job of eliminating mistakes that can cause turnovers and losses. Center Casey Rabach has become the glue that holds the unit together and is just coming into his prime in his sixth season. Guard Randy Thomas is also in his prime. 8. New Orleans Saints The Saints had the best passing offense in the NFL at better than 281 yards per game, thanks in large part to the fact that they gave up just 23 sacks in 2006. However, they are well below average in the rushing department at just 3.7 yards per carry. Left tackle Jammal Brown is becoming a quality tackle entering his third year, and fifth-year right tackle Jon Stinchcomb gives the Saints a very good pair of bookends. Guards Jahri Evans and Jamar Nesbit and center Jeff Faine are more than adequate but hardly Pro Bowl-caliber, though as a group they do a respectable job of combining strength and athleticism to protect quarterback Drew Brees, who is not the most mobile quarterback in the league. They could stand to add some more power up front to give them stronger run blocking. 9. Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars have one of the most physical offensive lines in the league. They are stout and powerful in the middle with center Brad Meester and guards Vince Manuwai and Chris Naeole anchoring things. Left tackle Khalif Barnes and right tackle Tony Pashos do a very good job of protecting the edges against the speed rushers. With the league's third-best rushing offense (5.0 yards per carry), the Jaguars also managed to give up just 30 sacks. They are definitely better blockers when able to drive off the line and get some push at the point of attack in the running game. Line coach Andy Heck has done a very good job of utilizing the strength and power of his interior to attack opposing defenses, though the Jaguars struggle when defenses are able to stretch running plays laterally. 10. Chicago Bears The Bears are a good mixture of size and athleticism, youth and seasoned veterans. They have a good set of bookend tackles with left tackle John Tait being a fluid, easy mover and right tackle Fred Miller bringing a lot of experience and skills to the table. They did a good job of protecting quarterback Rex Grossman from outside pressure coming off the edges, and along with guards Ruben Brown and Roberto Garza and center Olin Kreutz, they held opposing defenses to just 23 sacks in 2006. The coaching staff would like to improve on the 3.8 yards per carry they gained last season, and that will likely have to happen from the middle of the line because neither tackle is a great drive-blocker. Kreutz, Brown and Garza are aggressive blockers with quick feet, but they lack the raw power to create big running lanes. 11. Minnesota Vikings The Vikings have one of the stronger left sides in the league with Bryant McKinnie teaming up with guard Steve Hutchinson, and 10-year veteran Matt Birk is the glue for this unit. The right side is a bit of a question with second-year pro Ryan Cook penciled in at right tackle and Artis Hicks holding down the right guard position. Minnesota should definitely be a left-handed team in 2007 and will need to shore up its pass protection because the unproven Tarvaris Jackson will be starting at quarterback. The fact that the Vikings gave up 43 sacks last season needs to be addressed, but their 4.1 yards per carry was respectable. Offensive line coach Pat Morris and his assistant Jim Hueber will have their hands full. 11. Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers must replace retired center Jeff Hartings, and Chukky Okobi and Sean Mahan will fight it out for that spot. Veteran guard Alan Faneca is one of the team's best leaders, and fellow guard Kendall Simmons is also a quality starter. Left tackle Marvel Smith does a quality job and right tackle Max Starks holds his own as well, but as a unit the line gave up too many sacks (49). Pittsburgh posted a decent 4.2 yards per carry in 2006, and with new coach Mike Tomlin coming from the Vikings and Russ Grimm returning to coach the offensive line, the Steelers should continue to focus on the running game while reducing the number of sacks they give up. 13. Seattle Seahawks The Seahawks have perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones back for his 11th season and he will be joined by a collection of linemen who are decent but not all-stars. Next to Jones will be second-year guard Rob Sims, who has just three starts on his résumé, and third-year center Chris Spencer, who is entering his second season as the starter. Right guard Chris Gray is a steady journeyman and right tackle Sean Locklear is adequate. Collectively, they allowed 49 sacks in 2006 and need to shore up their pass protection. Seattle's 4.0 yards per carry last season is just barely respectable, and this slightly undersized unit needs to be a bit more athletic to compensate for a lack of bulk. 14. Tennessee Titans The Titans are very young at both tackle positions but they are excited by the talent of third-year players Michael Roos and David Stewart, both of whom already have plenty of experience. They have a chance to become one of the best tackle combinations in the league over the next few years with their combination of size and athleticism. Center Kevin Mawae, who is in his 14th year, anchors the line and provides leadership along with 10-year veteran guard Benji Olson. They can show the younger players how to prepare for games as well as how to go after opponents. Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has done a very good job of assembling a unit that works well together and does not make many mistakes, evidenced by a 4.7-yard average on rushing attempts and just 29 sacks allowed. 15. Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys are a powerful zone-blocking team that sometimes struggles when their linemen are matched up one-on-one in space. They do a good job of scheming opponents to keep their linemen in tight, where they can use their bulk and strength to protect the pocket. They gave up a total of 37 sacks last season and posted a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, and the addition of Leonard Davis' bulk should help the running game. The question is whether he will line up at right tackle or right guard. If Davis moves inside to guard, then Marc Colombo will retain the right tackle spot. Center Andre Gurode and guard Kyle Kosier fill out the line and are serviceable but not great players. This is not the most athletic offensive line in the league, but they are massive and powerful. 16. San Francisco 49ers The 49ers managed a very respectable 4.9 yards per carry on the ground last year, a good indication that their offensive line is on the way up. Left tackle Jonas Jennings was a quality addition in 2005 before missing most of that season due to injury, but he started 13 games last season and showed promise. Right tackle Kwame Harris is massive, athletic and flexible, and he and Jennings played a part in the improvement of the passing game by helping to hold opponents to 35 sacks last season. Center Eric Heitmann is a quality starter (66 starts in five seasons) and is becoming the glue that holds the line together. As long as perennial Pro Bowl guard Larry Allen can stay healthy, they should be stout up the middle. 17. Green Bay Packers The Packers have a good tandem of tackles in LT Chad Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher, both of whom have been starters during each of their seven seasons in the league. They are solid but not elite, relying on technique and effort to compensate for a lack of premier athletic ability. Second-year pros Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz should improve at the guard spots with another season under their belts, while fourth-year center Scott Wells holds down the middle. As a unit they were able to hold opposing defenses to 24 sacks, though part of the reason for that is the ability of quarterback Brett Favre to get rid of the ball before being hit. Improving on their 3.9 yards per carry last season will help slow down the pass rush even more. 18. Carolina Panthers The Panthers' offensive line may end up being one of the surprises of 2007. Losing left tackle Travelle Wharton for all of 2006 forced right tackle Jordan Gross to switch sides, and the line struggled to regain its stride. Having Wharton back in the lineup and Gross back on the right side will definitely improve Carolina's offense. Center Justin Hartwig was signed away from the Titans prior to last season but played only two games because of injury, and his return will further boost the line. If Wharton and Hartwig are able to stay healthy, the Panthers should be able to improve on the 3.9 yards per carry they gained in 2006. The 32 sacks they allowed is not an unusual number, but one that should fall if everyone avoids injury. Will Montgomery and Mike Wahle will fight it out at left guard while Evan Mathis should again be the right guard. 19. N.Y. Jets The Jets have one of the more promising young left tackles in the league in D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who along with right tackle Anthony Clement gives them a pair of huge bookends who can slow down the edge rush of an opposing defense. Center Nick Mangold showed a lot of promise as a rookie last season and should be an anchor for this line for years to come. Guards Pete Kendall and Brandon Moore provide a good mixture of toughness and veteran leadership. The unit ranked in the middle of the league with 34 sacks allowed last season and struggled on the ground, gaining a league-worst 3.5 yards per carry. Offensive line coach Tony Wise will have his hands full trying to improve the ground game enough to take pressure off the passing attack. 20. N.Y. Giants The Giants have an offensive unit that is a good combination of size and athleticism. Left tackle David Diehl has held down the position since being drafted by the Giants five years ago and is athletic with a good wingspan, allowing him to protect quarterback Eli Manning's blindside well. He is joined on the left side by guard Rich Seubert, who looks like he is finally fully recovered from a serious leg fracture suffered in 2003. Center Shaun O'Hara is steady and smart, while the right side is manned by powerful right tackle Kareem McKenzie and tough right guard Chris Snee. Last year they gave up just 25 sacks while gaining 4.7 yards per carry. This is a unit that needs to play mistake-free football and has the intelligence to be able to rely on technique rather than pure athleticism. 21. Atlanta Falcons The Falcons led the league by a wide margin with 5.5 yards per carry in 2006, but that stat is a bit misleading. Quarterback Michael Vick gained 8.4 yards per carry on his way to over 1,000 yards, but a lot of that production came on outside pass/run options when the line was actually pass blocking. If you take away Vick's totals, the team ends up with 4.3 yards per carry. Right tackle Todd Weiner and left tackle Wayne Gandy are quality tackles, but with nine and 13 years of experience, respectively, they are getting a bit long in the tooth. Both guard positions are pretty much up for grabs with second-round draft pick Justin Blalock, P.J. Alexander, Tyson Clabo and Kynan Forney fighting it out. Six-year starter Todd McClure does a good job holding down the center position. The Falcons need to cut down on the 47 quarterback sacks they gave up in 2006. 22. St. Louis Rams The Rams still have one of the premier left tackles in the league in Orlando Pace, who is entering his 11th season with the club. He missed eight games in 2006 and is starting to have thoughts of retirement, but as long as he is healthy, he remains a top blocker. Huge right tackle Alex Barron is in his third year and teams up with Pace to from one of the better tackle tandems in the league. The team is hopeful Andy McCollum will be back at center after missing all but one game in 2006 with a knee injury, and if that is the case, Richie Incognito will start at right guard and Claude Terrell would likely return to the left guard spot after missing 2006 with a wrist injury. The unit gained 4.3 yards per carry in 2006, but the 49 sacks it allowed were far too many. 23. Baltimore Ravens The Ravens have one of the all-time great left tackles in Jonathan Ogden, and they have a massive unit with only center Mike Flynn coming in at less than 320 pounds. Flynn and Ogden have been in the league for over 10 years, while right tackle Adam Terry and left guard Jason Brown are still young and need some seasoning. With Ogden protecting quarterback Steve McNair's blindside, the Ravens gave up the second-fewest sacks in the league last season (17). They will need to improve their running game, though, after they gained only 3.4 yards per carry in 2006. They tend to be more on the finesse side as a run-blocking unit and do not do a great job of creating running lanes in designated holes. 24. Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs are going to have two new tackles in 2007: left tackle Damion McIntosh, who left the Miami Dolphins to sign with K.C., and possibly Chris Terry, who hopes to win the right tackle job vacated by the departed Kyle Turley. Neither McIntosh or Terry is considered an elite athlete and both will have to get used to playing with the rest of the line. At center, Casey Wiegmann has 11 years of experience to draw on and right guard John Welbourn is favored to return after starting four of nine games in 2006. Left guard Brian Waters has been steady in his previous seven years and appears to be solid. This is not a large unit and it needs to show more athleticism to be in the top half of the league. Last season it gave up 41 sacks while gaining 4.1 yards per carry. 25. Buffalo Bills The Bills are anchored by center Melvin Fowler and left tackle Jason Peters, both of whom are adequate at their positions. Right tackle Terrance Pennington started nine games in 2006, and guards Derrick Dockery (who started all 16 games in Washington last season) and Duke Preston (who started eight games for the Bills in 2006) need to get used to playing next to each other. None of Buffalo's offensive linemen would be considered elite athletes for their positions, but they all have size and bulk going for them. The Bills rushed for just 3.7 yards per carry and gave up 47 sacks. This is a relatively young unit that has a chance to grow into a decent group, but the Bills lack one premier player at his position to set the pace. With first-round draft pick Marshawn Lynch carrying the ball this year, they have a chance to improve on their ground game. 26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Bucs lack a premier tackle on either side, although they hope the acquisition of Luke Petitgout will solidify the left side. Petitgout does an admirable job of protecting the quarterback's blindside, but he is a marginal athlete for the position and relies on technique and long arms to get the job done. Jeremy Trueblood is a massive right tackle, while center John Wade and guards Davin Joseph and Dan Buenning are quality but not premier blockers. Tampa Bay was in the middle of the pack with 33 sacks allowed last season and picked up a pedestrian 3.8 yards per carry. With an added year of experience for the young guards and a veteran leader in Petitgout, this unit should improve on both numbers. 27. Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals had a league-worst 3.2 yards per carry last season, but were decent in the passing attack, allowing 35 sacks and finishing 10th in the league in total passing yards. They signed Mike Gandy away from Buffalo to anchor the left side of the line and drafted Levi Brown out of Penn State to hold down the right tackle spot. On paper, these two additions alone should improve their offensive line play. Undersized center Nick Leckey will fight it out with former Cowboy Al Johnson in the middle, and Deuce Lutui, Elton Brown and Reggie Brown will compete for the two guard positions. Arizona needs to decide who the starters will be early in training camp in order to provide some stability along the line. 28. Miami Dolphins The Dolphins will have a new, revamped offensive line when the 2007 season starts. After giving up 21 sacks in the first four games of 2006, they moved left tackle L.J. Shelton to right guard and right guard Damion McIntosh to left tackle. With McIntosh and starting guard Jeno James now gone, Miami will be looking at new players at as many as four positions, including second-round draft pick Samson Satele at center and Shelton possibly at right tackle. If Satele is able to take over the center position, expect Rex Hadnot to move from center to guard and newly acquired Chris Liwienski to guard. This should be a strong run-blocking group, but will need some time to form a unit that can provide quarterback Trent Green with time to locate his receivers. Line coaches Hudson Houck and Tim Davis will have their hands full, but they are good teachers. 29. Detroit Lions The Lions have an adequate left tackle in 2001 first-round draft pick Jeff Backus, who has started every game during his career. Dominic Raiola and his 80 consecutive starts at center give them some stability and two building blocks. But the Lions gave up the second-most sacks in the NFL last season (63) and gained only 3.7 yards per carry. They signed guard Edwin Mulitalo from the Ravens and tackle George Foster away from the Broncos in an attempt to shore up their running attack, and with their combined 688 pounds the two should make Detroit stronger on the ground. The Lions have a lot of size, but it still remains to be seen if they are athletic enough to stop the pass rush coming off the edge. 30. Houston Texans Like most teams near the bottom of this list, the Texans had a hard time settling on a permanent starting five last season. Center Mike Flanagan missed seven games due to injury after coming over from the Packers, while left tackle Jordan Black comes over from Kansas City to give a boost and right tackle Eric Winston should benefit from the seven starts he got last season as a rookie. The offense hopes to improve on the 3.9 yards per carry it posted in 2006 as well as the 43 sacks it gave up. The play of guards Chester Pitts and Fred Weary was one of the few bright spots for the Texans and should get better with more experience. Black is the key at left tackle; the line should be vastly improved if he meets expectations. 31. Cleveland Browns The Browns were one of the worst running teams in the NFL last year at just 3.6 yards per carry and also gave up 54 sacks. Cleveland has been searching for a left tackle for some time and hopes to finally have the position firmed up with first-round draft pick Joe Thomas of Wisconsin. Center is a question as well after last season's free-agent prize, LeCharles Bentley, was lost to a knee injury on the first day of training camp in 2006 and may never play again. The Browns settled on Hank Fraley toward the end of training camp and he played as well as could be expected for a player who was their third choice. About the only position with any stability is left guard, where the solid Eric Steinbach was signed away from Cincinnati to hold down that spot. It is very difficult to have a good, cohesive line when you are constantly shuffling the lineup the way the Browns have in recent seasons. 32. Oakland Raiders The Raiders gave up 72 sacks last season, far and away the most in the league, thanks to a line that looked disorganized and was poorly coached. Left tackle Robert Gallery took a lot of the blame, but there is more than enough to go around for his fellow linemen. Giving up so many sacks put the offense in too many holes and never allowed the running game to get on track. All things considered, the Raiders' 3.9 yards per carry last season was not horrible, but is nothing to brag about, either. There has been talk about moving Gallery to right tackle and left guard Barry Sims out to his old spot at left tackle, but no matter what the Raiders do, they need to settle on a starting unit as early as possible to allow the players to get used to each other and their new positions.