ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN ranks Arizona Cardinals as No. 3 pass-blocking offensive line

Jul 25, 2021, 8:12 AM
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh cracks a smile during Day 2 of Cardinals minicamp Wednesday, June 9, ...
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh cracks a smile during Day 2 of Cardinals minicamp Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals revamped the roster across multiple position groups this offseason.

One of the groups addressed by general manager Steve Keim was the offensive line that is tasked with protecting franchise quarterback Kyler Murray.

Having re-signed Kelvin Beachum in March, Keim also traded for three-time Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With a projected starting O-line of D.J. Humphries at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Hudson at center, Justin Murray at right guard and Beachum at right tackle, ESPN ranks Arizona as the No. 3 pass-blocking team in the league with a pass-block win rate of 63%.

The projections are based on each offensive lineman’s pass-block win rate over the last two seasons, which is used to measure how often teams and players held their pass blocks for a minimum of 2.5 seconds using tracking date from NFL Next Gen Stats.

If a player does not meet the two-year qualifications, their win rate was lowered to a below-average target.

The Cardinals lack an elite talent along their offensive line, but there’s an argument it’s more important to not have a single weak link rather than being particularly strong at one position. And that’s their exact situation: There is no hole in the line here.

Last season, the Cardinals had a pass-block win rate of 67%, which also ranked No. 3 in the NFL.

Clearly the market has not been particularly high on Beachum — he re-signed on a two-year, $4 million deal this offseason — but our win rates have always been fond of his blocking dating back to his days with the Jets. Hudson, who joined in a March trade from the Raiders, appears to have fallen off from what he once was, but he’s no liability

Pro Football Focus ranked Hudson as the best center in the league last week.

When looking at NFC West division opponents, only one team didn’t crack the top 10 but all four were in the top half of the league.

The Seattle Seahawks are right behind the Cardinals at the No. 4 spot (62%), while the Los Angeles Rams are projected at No. 8 with a 61% pass-block win rate and the San Francisco 49ers rounded off arguably the NFL’s toughest division at No. 13 (59%).

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