1. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks offensive line was the class of the 2019 CFB landscape and will be poised to be among the best of all teams again in 2020. As a unit, they finished second in run-blocking and third in pass-blocking grades out of all teams in college football, according to Pro Football Focus. The Ducks boast a top-10 NFL draft prospect in Penei Sewell as the headline name of this group. The Ducks O-line as a whole returns all but one of their starters from a group that allowed just 15 total sacks and hits on 493 total snaps (that’s roughly three percent of ALL snaps in which they allow even a QB hit). This unit is among the elite of all CFB teams, and no question they’re best of the Pac-12.
This group will be headlined by Jared Hilbers, who stepped in and performed exceptionally well when Trey Adams missed time with an injury last season. The Huskies offensive line was a big time strength for them last year, although they lost two First Team All-Conference lineman in this past draft. Still, the Huskies unit as a whole allowed a QB sack or hit on just over five percent of all snaps. U-Dub has demonstrated that they routinely can reload their o-line, and should be ready to roll this season.
3. USC Trojans
The Trojan offensive line proved to be essential to helping Kedon Slovis succeed and perform under pressure during the 2019 season. The unit as a whole finished as the sixth highest-rated run blocking group in college football, and will only improve after having an offseason to fully integrate Slovis. Alijah Vera-Tucker is the highest graded returner for a group that is returning four of it’s five starters from last season, with the projected fifth starter still having in-game experience from last year. USC will have a battle tested line that should exceed expectations this season.
The Cougars offense needs a strong offensive line in order to succeed based on it’s air-raid offensive tendencies. When an offensive line group blocks for 786 total pass-blocking snaps (seriously, that is the number of times a Wazzu QB took a dropback in 2019), the unit needs to be strong in their pass blocking sets. Washington State, led by Second Team All-Conference junior Abraham Lucas, is definitely a fundamentally sound group that returns three of it’s five starters from a year ago. Just to put into perspective how good this unit can be; the 2019 Wazzu offensive line had a sack rate of just 2.8% of all 786 pass-blocking snaps, the lowest of any Power Five school in the country and third lowest out of all D1 colleges, period. No unit in the Pac-12 will face more pressure from their coaches than the Cougs o-line, but this group is well-equipped to handle that tall task.
So we all know the old stereotype that Stanford builds badass offensive lines year after year. That sorta went out the window when Stanford had a poor season last year. What we all forget is that Stanford as a whole was crushed by injuries last season, including the o-line. This unit will return four starters from a year ago. Walker Little is the big name of this group, and he should be a borderline first round pick in the NFL Draft if he stays healthy. Stanford also returns Center Drew Dalmon who earned a spot on the Second Team All Pac-12 last year, while the Foster Sarell will be the the other tackle that landed on the All Pac-12 Honorable Mentions list in 2019. If Stanford can stay healthy this season, we could see the Cardinal o-line return to it’s bruising ways that we all remember them for.