Nick Hardwick is the last of the old guard on OL. He'll lead this group. But what kind of group is it? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Losses: Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Scott Mruczkowski
Additions: Mario Henderson, Rex Hadnot, David Molk
Returning: Jared Gaither, Tyronne Green, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Jeromey Clary, Brandyn Dombrowski, Colin Baxter, Stephen Schilling
Projected Starters: LT Jared Gaither*, LG Tyronne Green*, C Nick Hardwick, RG Louis Vasquez, RT Jeromey Clary (* = new starter)
- Consistency: Three returning starters, plus other two projected starters were starting by the end of last season.
- Experience: Center is experienced and can make all the line calls. All others also have starting experience in the NFL, with the right side have a fair amount more.
- Upside: New LT has physical ability to be above average blindside protector.
- Depth: Two experienced backups (Henderson and Hadnot) have been brought in and another one returns (Dombrowski). Young players (Schilling, Baxter and Molk) have promise.
- Downside: New LT has lost starting jobs and been cut before. New LG might get exposed with extended playing.
- Injuries: Four of the five lineman have had injuries that have cost them playing time over the last 2 years.
- Level of play: There's no likely Pro Bowlers here. The likely scenario is that this line is somewhere between slightly below average and slightly above average. This may not be a weakness, but it's certainly not a strength,