Penn State's 2019 Offensive Line the 14th-Best in the Country, Per Pro Football Focus

By Nick Polak on January 7, 2020 at 4:15 pm
Oct 5, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez (74) lines up for a snap against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State offensive line may still have higher heights to reach as a group going forward, but that doesn't mean that they didn't perform well in 2019. In fact, per Pro Football Focus, they graded out as a top-15 unit in the country.

The advanced stats-based service was especially impressed with what now-departed Matt Limegrover's group did in the run game, and how well center Michal Menet, who is due to return in 2020, performed as a pass blocker.

Here's what they had to say about the Lions:


Highest-graded player: C Michael Menet – 78.0 (12th)

The Nittany Lions held the advantage over Notre Dame in the run game but did have some struggles in the passing game this year. Still, Penn State's prowess at some positions was too much to look over, specifically the play of their center in Menet. For the year, Menet allowed just 15 pressures on his 434 pass-blocking snaps despite seeing some feared interior pass-rushers.

When it came to the rest of the Big Ten, it was feast or famine, with five other programs within the top-20– Ohio State (4), Iowa (6), Wisconsin (9), Illinois (11), and Michigan (16). The rest of the conference was a mixed bag, with Minnesota (45) and Northwestern (47) grading out in the average range, while Indiana (87), Nebraska (93), Rutgers (110), Michigan State (114), Purdue (115), and Maryland (118) were varying degrees to bad-to-terrible.

Boston College, the former stomping grounds of new offensive line coach Phil Trautwein, finished 35th in the rankings and have every starting lineman finish with a grade of 65.0 or better.

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