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OAYP: 2019 ACC Offensive Line Rankings

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the ACC's offensive lines.

In case you missed it, I’ve already released the marginal OAYP rankings for all the qualifying ACC skill players. Those, along with a more comprehensive explanation (in the QB rankings), can be found here:

QB | RB | WR | TE

Today, we’re diving into the offensive linemen. Now, simply because of the sheer volume of qualifying returnees, I won’t list all 30+ individuals, rather the projected offensive line totals for each school. Those obviously include returning starters, but also factor in projections for new starters and team pedigree.

However, before we get to that, let’s tier some of the ACC’s blockers, just like we did with the skill players, into superstars (marginal OAYP >1.0) and second tier (marginal OAYP between 0.5-1.0) players. I’ll also list the top five at each position above the team projections.

*marginal OAYP in parentheses*

Superstars

-Tremayne Anchrum, T, Clemson (2.13)
-Sean Pollard, G, Clemson (1.19)

Clemson may have lost a four year starter and consensus All-American at left tackle in Mitch Hyatt, but they return three starters who happen to comprise the top three of the ACC marginal OAYP rankings, not to mention Gage Cervenka who saw significant time at center and guard last year. Anchrum and Pollard both earned second team all-conference honors, while Simpson ended up on the third team for a group that ranked in the national top ten in stuff rate, the top fifteen in sack rate, and the top twenty in line yards per carry. Individually, Anchrum allowed the fewest QB pressures in 2018 of any returning ACC tackle with at least 250 snaps in pass pro, according to Pro Football Focus.

Second Tier

-John Simpson, G, Clemson (0.83)
-Charlie Heck, T, North Carolina (0.75)
-Justin Herron (2017), T, Wake Forest (0.69)
-Dillon Reinkensmeyer, C, Virginia (0.67)
-Evan Adams, G, Syracuse (0.54)

North Carolina lost an elite pass protector at tackle, William Sweet, to the NFL, but they bring another one back. Thanks in large part to Sweet and Charlie Heck, the Heels allowed a sack on just 2.5% of their dropbacks in 2018 -- the fifth best percentage in all of college football. Heck himself only gave up 14 pressures throughout the entirety of last season, the third fewest among returning ACC tackles.

We’re looking at Justin Herron’s impressive 2017 campaign here, as a torn ACL saw the Demon Deacon miss most of last season. That said, if he can return to his old form, he will once more be among the best pass blockers in college football. Just two years ago, he went a full season without giving up a single sack. His 469 pass pro snaps that year were the most of any returning FBS tackle without allowing a sack.

Dillon Reinkensmeyer has started all but two games for UVA over the last two seasons at three different positions along the offensive front, but predominantly at center and boasts 50 knockdowns. Solid as both a run and pass blocker, Reinkensmeyer helped Virginia to convert 92.6% of their third and fourth yard runs with two or fewer yards to go last year, the second best mark in the country.

Evan Adams, a mountain of a man listed at 6’6” 341 lbs., is now the veteran presence on a Syracuse offensive line that ranked 8th in the country last season in allowed stuff rate, and the top 25 in line yards per carry. He enters his senior year with 95 career knockdowns to his name, and graded out as one of the nation’s elite pass blockers two years ago.

Top Five Tackles

1. Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson (2.13)
2. Charlie Heck, North Carolina (0.75)
3. Justin Herron (2017), Wake Forest (0.69)
4. Zach Quinney, Georgia Tech (0.49)
5. Ryan Nelson, Virginia (0.23)

Top Five Guards

1. Sean Pollard, Clemson (1.19)
2. John Simpson, Clemson (0.83)
3. Evan Adams, Syracuse (0.54)
4. Navaughn Donaldson, Miami (0.35)
5. Rakavius Chambers, Duke (0.27)

Top Five Centers

1. Dillon Reinkensmeyer, Virginia (0.67)
2. Kenny Cooper, Georgia Tech (0.24)
3. Jimmy Morrissey, Pitt (0.22)
4. Airon Servais, Syracuse (0.13)
5. Jack Wohlabaugh, Duke (0.07)

2019 Projected Marginal OAYP ACC Offensive Line Rankings

1. Clemson (4.71)
2. Wake Forest (1.52)
3. Virginia (1.21)
4. Georgia Tech (1.06)
5. North Carolina (0.63)
6. Duke (0.3)
7. Syracuse (0.21)
8. Virginia Tech (-0.55)
9. Miami (-0.59)
10. Pitt (-0.87)
11. Boston College (-1.09)
12. Louisville (-1.27)
13. NC State (-1.51)
14. Florida State (-3.78)

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP