With just under a week left until the official start of NFL free agency on March 15th, it’s time to take a look at the top offensive linemen available. This position is not as popular as the others but you better believe it’s, along with quarterback, the most valuable in the sport. Every offseason, there’s a big list of teams in need of offensive linemen and that’s the case yet again this time around. There’s some talent up front and interesting names to watch as we head toward one of the most exciting dates on the NFL calendar.
(Legal tampering period on March 13th)
2023 NFL Free Agency: Top Five Offensive Linemen
1. Orlando Brown Jr. (Tackle)
Orlando Brown Jr. is not only the best offensive lineman in NFL free agency but one of the best overall players on the market. He struggled to start the season after threatening to sit out in 2022 with the Kansas City Chiefs due to being franchise tagged but he quickly turned it around in the second half and became one of the top left tackles over that stretch. His efforts earned him his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl in his five-year career. Along with winning a Super Bowl this past season, Brown’s consistent play will earn him some noticeable interest when the free agency period opens.
2. Dalton Risner (Guard)
One of the best attributes offensive linemen can have is versatility across the line and that’s exactly what Dalton Risner possesses. Starting in all 62 games he’s played in at both guard spots, Risner showed consistency on a Denver Broncos offensive line that lacked so much of it in 2022. While he’s played guard on both the right and left side, the former second-round pick also has a history of playing at right tackle. The versatility and consistency rolled in one are exactly what teams are looking for in today’s NFL and that will get Risner a top deal at his position this offseason.
3. Ben Powers (Guard)
Among the best offensive linemen on the market, Ben Powers formed into one of the best pass-protectors in 2022. While starting in all 17 games with the Baltimore Ravens in 2022, the 26-year-old guard didn’t allow a single sack while only giving up one quarterback hit the entire season. While his run-blocking needs work, he’s shown so much improvement in other areas to catapult him as one of the most intriguing free agents on the market.
4. Mike McGlinchey (Tackle)
While Mike McGlinchey has been known to be inconsistent through his five years in the league, in part to due injury, he put together a career performance in a very important contract year for the San Fransisco 49ers. After missing time with a torn quad in 2021, McGlinchey started in all 17 games this past season while only surrendering two sacks and is known as one of the best run-blocking tackles in the league, especially in the wide-zone rushing scheme. He comes into the offseason as one of the top options on the offensive line.
5. Jawaan Taylor (Tackle)
Like McGlinchey, consistency has been an issue for Jawaan Taylor for the better part of his career but he put that aside in 2022 just in time for NFL free agency. He had the best pass-blocking season of his four years in the league, starting in all 17 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars while keeping pressures allowed to a minimum, grading as one of the best tackles in that department. Taylor is the youngest lineman of the five on this list at 25 years old, something that will help his market even more. Taylor’s run-blocking isn’t where it needs to be but with his upgrade in the passing game, that’s enough for teams to snatch him up.
Other Notable Free Agent Offensive Linemen
Taylor Lewan (Tackle)
Isaac Seumalo (Guard)
Terence Steele (Tackle)
Kaleb McGary (Tackle)
Ethan Pocic (Center)
Yosh Nijman (Tackle)
Kelvin Beachum (Tackle)
Connor McGovern (Center)
(Status of names on these lists may have changed due to contract extensions or the franchise tag being placed ahead of free agency)
Main Image: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports