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Data-driven ranking of all starting NFL offensive tackles in 2023

Where did Denver Broncos tackles Garett Bolles and Mike McGlinchey rank? Let’s find out.

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Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

On the heels on Ross Allen’s great analysis of Garett Bolles, I have been planning to review the offensive line play of the entire league by position group. So let’s start with the tackles. I only looked at starting tackles and my definition was based on total offensive snaps. I set the bar at 400.

For offensive tackles that meant that there were 75 qualifiers for 2023. The table is below sorted by ‘points’ which is a score that SIS gives for player performance. All of this data is freely available from sisdatahub.com, but it is a pain to get it into a table format.

By profootballfocus.com, Denver Broncos tackles Garett Bolles had an overall score of 75.9 for 2023 while Mike McGlinchey had a score of 67.5. Ross has a subscription to PFF so he can tell you how that ranked among LTs and RTs using PFF scores.

Using SIS, Garett Bolles was the sixth best LT in the league in 2023. Here are the top 10 :

  1. Dion Dawkins
  2. Rashawn Slater
  3. Taylor Decker
  4. Tristan Wirfs
  5. Jordan Mailata
  6. Garrett Bolles
  7. Laremy Tunsil
  8. Trent Williams
  9. Tyron Smith
  10. Christian Darrisaw

It’s interesting that #8 and #9 were named All-Pro. If we add their PFF grades you get this:

  1. Dion Dawkins 73.7
  2. Rashawn Slater 76.6
  3. Taylor Decker 77.3
  4. Tristan Wirfs 81.1
  5. Jordan Mailata 84.1
  6. Garrett Bolles 75.9
  7. Laremy Tunsil 73.5
  8. Trent Williams 89.7
  9. Tyron Smith 83.8
  10. Christian Darrisaw 82.4

The All-Pro designation makes more sense with the PFF grade for Williams, but Smith appears to be comparable to Wirfs, Darrisaw and Mailata. I’m guessing they defaulted to Smith because he has plenty of All-Pro designations during his career.

If we sort the list by blown block rate, Wirfs was the best LT in the league at 1.47%. Bolles was tied for 7th best at 2.60%. That was tied with perennial All-Pro Trent Williams, who was named 1st team All-Pro in 2023.

In terms of sacks allowed, Bolles’ six was about average among starting LTs. Only two starting LTs did not allow a sack (Terron Armstead and Trent Williams). The worst in the league was Ikem Onwonu who allowed 15.

Among RTs, Rob Havenstein was the best also at 1.47%. Mike McGlinchey was near the bottom with a blown block rate of 5.32%. The worst RT in the league, Blake Freeland, was at 7.16%.

In terms of sacks allowed, only one RT, Braden Smith, allowed none and he only played 544 snaps. McGlinchey allowed eight which was a fairly high number. Only four starting RTs allowed more sacks: Terrence Steele (9), Luke Goedeke and Andrew Wylie (11) and Colton McKivitz (12).

Interestingly enough, SIS shows that the 179 starting offensive line players allowed a total of 714 of the 1410 sacks that occurred in the 2023 regular season. That’s only 50.6%, which means that either SIS blames many sacks on the QB OR that the backup OL gave up sacks at a much higher rate than the starters (which would explain why they were backups).

If you look at the three backup offensive linemen who played for the Broncos, Quinn Bailey, Cameron Fleming and Luke Wattenberger, they allowed a total of one sack (Fleming), but they only combined to play on 105 passing snaps.