PFF: Raiders Offensive Line Ranked Sixth-Best In The NFL

This much we know about Reggie McKenzie: he isn’t the most interesting man in the world and he doesn’t like to spend money. But when he does spend money, it’s no secret that he prefers to spend on his offensive line.

Since joining the Raiders in 2012, McKenzie has brought in Mike Brisiel (5 years, $20M), Austin Howard (5 years, $30M), Donald Penn (2 years. $9.6M), and Rodney Hudson (5 years. $44.5M) with mixed results. Going into the 2015 season, the Raiders boasted the fifth highest-paid offensive line in the league – accounting for 17% of their full roster spending.

It took some some (and a solid draft pick in Gabe Jackson), but it finally appears McKenzie is getting a return on his investment in the trenches.

According to statistics determined by Pro Football Focus, the Raiders offensive line was sixth-best in the NFL – with particular production in pass protection, where PFF ranked them second overall. As a run-blocking unit, the Oakland line graded among the worst in the league (ranked no. 30) despite Latavius Murray’s success as a runner. As it turned out, the Raiders weren’t shy about playing to their strengths – only three teams ran the ball less than the Raiders (DET, JAX, MIA) in 2015.

If there’s a personnel weakness to Reggie’s road graders (and there is), it’s on the right side. Next season, McKenzie hopes to return Menelik Watson (torn Achilles tendon in preseason) at right tackle and Austin Howard will compete again at right guard.

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