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Who are the Top 15 Offensive Linemen of All Time?

The trenches are one of the most dangerous areas on a football field. They are also where most of the success of the play for each team is decided. Despite the lack of glamor that offensive linemen often are given, they have been and will always be one of the most important positions on the field. We wanted to take the time to give the best linemen of all time their well deserved flowers.

The best offensive linemen of all time have a multitude of important qualities. They are vocal leaders and level headed decision makers. Linemen are the biggest and strongest players on the field at any given time, and the best are even bigger and faster. There is no one way to be a great offensive linemen, but these 15 players forged their own paths for decades to earn the right to have their name immortalized as an “All Time Great”.

#15 Joe Thomas

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While being a loyal Cleveland Brown for 11 seasons, Joe Thomas won the hearts of fans, despite never winning much in the regular season. A strong and reliable tackle is one of the hottest commodities in the NFL and for that reason Thomas is one of the most valuable players in the long history of the Browns. Despite an impressive 10 Pro Bowl selections and 6 All Pro First Team selections, it is the lack of winning that keeps Thomas lower on the list. 

Joe Thomas is the most recent Hall of Famer to grace the list and was inducted in his first year of eligibility and on the first ballot. Thomas was defined by his consistent play. He clocked an inconceivable 10,363 consecutive snaps, the most in NFL history since snap count has been recorded. It is a no brainer for Thomas to make the Hall of Fame or this list.

#14 Orlando Pace

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Orlando Pace was a cornerstone of the Greatest Show on Turf, the high powered offense that won the Super Bowl in 2000. During that historic season, Pace played 99.3% of offensive snaps for the Rams and was never charged with a hold. It was this extremely high level of play for a few seasons that placed Pace on our list. He does still have 3 All Pro First Team and 2 Second Team selections, which is on the lower end for our list. 

Pace was incredibly fast for his large size, clocking in at 6 ft 7 in and 325 lbs when playing. He was able to leap off the ball to make contact and use his size to stay in front. His mobility was especially prevalent against edge rushers making him a top end tackle, able to hold off defenders, rarely needing a tight end chip. 

#13 John Hannah


Patriots legend John Hannah has been a fixture of the greatest linemen of all time conversation. His 9 Pro Bowls across 13 seasons proved he was an elite guard, but he was also the first Patriot to ever grace the Hall of Fame, a significant achievement. His 7 All Pro First Team selections are also notable as only one player has more. 

John Hannah may have only been 6 ft 2 in, but he never looked undersized on the field. His wide frame and bulky legs earned him the nickname “Hog”, fitting for the man who grew up a farm boy, which Hannah wore with pride. During his tumultuous seasons in New England, Hannah did eventually climb the mountain and make it to a Super Bowl, which they would eventually lose to in painful fashion.

#12 Willie Roaf


One of the most decorated Saints ever, having made both the 1990’s and 2000’s all decade teams, Willie Roaf was a massive presence at tackle. This also does not mention his extremely productive seasons in Kansas City, after injury. Once he moved on from the Saints, into the twilight of his career, Roaf still recorded 4 more Pro Bowls. 

Willie Roaf was a generational run blocker. Prior to Roaf’s retirement he was an integral part to the Chiefs historic 2003 and 2004 seasons in which they recorded the most rushing touchdowns in the modern era by a team. While this record would be broken after Roaf was out of the league, Roaf’s skill will ensure he will always be remembered for making the record possible for Kansas City.

#11 Johnathan Ogden

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During a 12 season career, Johnathan Ogden was always a successful and loyal Raven, helping bring them a title in the 2001 season. This Super Bowl and his 11 Pro Bowls were more than enough to place Ogden on the list. He also was able to clock 4 First Team and 5 Second Team All Pros.

Ogden was also a 6 ft 9 in giant, making his physical gifts just as if not more impressive than the technical skill he displayed throughout his career. At age 27, during his Super Bowl run was when Ogden was at his most consistent, making this peak season one of the most successful in the history of the league. 

#10 Will Shields

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Will Shields was a part of the Chiefs historic rushing offense in the early 2000’s. In addition to his multitude of Pro Bowls and All Pros, Shields also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2003, the same season he anchored the interior line while the Chiefs broke the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a team. None of this mentions the iron man levels of consistency that Shields had, starting in 223 straight regular season games, which is within the top 10 all time. 

While united with Willie Roaf, the Chiefs had one of the most complete and sound offensive lines of all time. We talk a lot about physical gifts and skill, but Shields’ leadership and character are huge difference makers here and contribute to his placement on the list. 

#9 Forrest Gregg


Tied for the second most seasons played at 16, Forrest Gregg is one of the most winning players in the history of football. Gregg won 3 Super Bowls, 1967, 1968, and 1971, along with 5 NFL Championships prior to the merger with the AFL. Gregg was also a consistent First Team All Pro, earning the honor 7 times. 

Gregg was a Packer and vital piece of the Lombardi era. Despite playing over 50 years ago, it is becoming increasingly rare for an offensive linemen to be as successful as Gregg was. He was able to collect 8 titles across leagues, which is an insane number, even one more than Brady. 

#8 Larry Allen

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Larry Allen’s performance in bringing the Cowboys a Super Bowl in the 1990’s is one of the largest reasons Allen moves up the list. America’s favorite team has a history of some of America’s greatest offensive lines, and Allen was a highly skilled anchor for them across his 11 seasons with the franchise. During that time he played across the entire line, only missing out on snaps at center.

Allen is easily the greatest player to ever arise from his small college, Sonoma State, and this lends into the legend of Larry Allen. Allen was always versatile and understands the importance of quality offensive line play at every level. Allen rose to the occasion every time and for every team.

#7 Zack Martin

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The only current player to crack our top 15, it is impossible to argue that Zack Martin will not be a first ballot hall of famer five years whenever he chooses to retire. 8 Pro Bowls, 6 First Team and 2 Second Team All Pros in just nine seasons is an unreal number. Martin is beyond just individually successful too, the lines that he is a part of consistently rank high within the league. 

Martin is arguably the best lineman playing right now, and after having made the 2010’s All-Decade team, he is currently poised to repeat that success during the 2020’s. The average number of seasons for players on our list is 13, so Martin is approaching, but if he were to make a Pro Bowl in just 2 of those remaining 4 seasons, that would put Martin at 10, which is just above our average. All of these hypotheticals feel like low end estimates as well. Only time will tell just how great Zack Martin can be.

#6 Alan Faneca

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As more time passes, the more our community has come to appreciate Alan Faneca. A recent hall of fame inductee, getting his jacket in 2021, Faneca was a vital part of Pittsburgh’s 2005 Super Bowl. Aside from winning it all, Faneca also made 9 Pro Bowls, earned 6 First Team and 2 Second Team All Pros. 

There is a good reason Faneca was the highest paid lineman of all time at one point. Aside from his notorious negotiating tactics, Faneca was incomparable from 2001-2009 during his peak play for the Steelers and then the Jets, where said contract was given. Faneca’s impact was immediately felt in New York as well, where he helped rocket the Jets from 4-12 to 9-7.

#5 Gene Upshaw

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Some of Gene Upshaw’s accolades may seem small compared to other linemen on this list, like his 6 Pro Bowl selections across 16 seasons, but Upshaw was in the AFL prior to the merger, meaning that much of his success came in a slightly different setting. In his sixteen seasons, Upshaw became the only player in the history of football to reach a Super Bowl in three different decades with one team. 

This Raiders legend is tied for second most seasons on our list at 16  and never had an unproductive season. His rookie year, when most of these players miss Pro Bowls and All Pros, Upshaw began the longest streak of games started in to begin a career with 231, still a league record when including playoffs.

#4 Mike Webster

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As a member of the Steel Curtain, Mike Webster was no stranger to winning. In ‘74, ‘75, ‘78, and ‘79, he was the center for Pittsburgh’s championship teams. Combining these Super Bowls with his other accolades, Webster has won more than enough to earn his spot on our list as a player. 

Despite a truly remarkable career, Webster gave us more off the field than anyone could have ever guessed. After his passing in 2002, we learned that Webster had CTE, a neurodegenerative disease. Webster was the first professional football player to have this illness linked to his time on the field, which doctors have described as taking the equivalent of about “25,000 car crashes”. It is because of Mike Webster and his struggle, we have a safer league. We should all remember Webster with grace and gratitude.

#3 Randall McDaniel


Randall McDaniel is a beast. There is no other way to put it. McDaniel’s career was always defined by his physical prowess and ability to dominate interior defensive lines. His talent earned him 12 straight Pro Bowl starts on top of his 9 total All Pro selections. His streak of 202 consecutive starts is yet another impressive feat.

One of the greatest Vikings ever, McDaniel’s career is still felt in Minnesota. His placement on the NFL 100th anniversary team further solidified an incredible career throughout college and the pros.

#2 Bruce Matthews


For Bruce Matthews, he is definitely the best linemen ever in one trait. Longevity. For 19 seasons, Matthews was one of the most consistent and versatile linemen in the league. As if having the most seasons played on this list wasn’t enough, during this long career, Matthews played all five positions on the line, even getting snaps as a long snapper. No one in the history of football has ever been like Bruce Matthews. 

Aside from longevity, Matthews collected more than enough accolades as well, with 14 Pro Bowls, another part of the list he leads, and 9 All Pro selections, 7 of which were First Team. Matthews also received the Bart Starr award in 2001 for his leadership. Matthews’ place in Canton may need an extra placard for all of that.

#1 Anthony Muñoz

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What can we say about Anthony Muñoz that hasn’t been said in every other linemen ranking ever. Easily one of the most talented players to ever grace a field, Muñoz had the perfect combination of size and speed, which made him an irreplaceable part of the Bengals two trips to the Super Bowl, both of which they lost. 

Although Muñoz wasn’t in the league the longest and didn’t win the most games, he still proved that he was a great player and man every season. He was awarded the NFL Man of the Year award in 1991 and the Bart Starr award in 1990. Because of his playing ability and leadership, Muñoz was not only the highest rated Bengals player, but also highest rated lineman on the NFL Network’s top 100 players of all time list.


Who had the greatest offensive line of all time?

Our list focused on individuals, but it is important to shout out some of the teams that had great offensive lines. Instantly, the 2001 Steelers come to mind, led by Alan Faneca, and the 2012 Washington team, which had a truly explosive run offense. We would choose the ‘90’s Chiefs line, specifically in 1995. During the height of Will Shields, the Chiefs had the most rushing yards per game in the league.

Who is the best LT in NFL history?

According to our list, it is Anthony Muñoz, which makes sense. We ranked him as the top offensive lineman of all time, so he has to be the best at his position. His 11 Pro Bowls across 13 seasons is impressive. While having his success, he also helped the Bengals reach two Super Bowls, despite never winning one.

Who was the biggest lineman to play in the NFL?

In terms of weight, the biggest lineman of all time was Aaron Gibson, who clocked in at 410 pounds. The tallest is Dan Skipper on offense, who is 6 ft 10 in, and on defense is Richard Sligh who was 7ft tall.

What offensive lineman has the most Super Bowls?

There are 4 linemen with 4 Super Bowl wins a piece. They are Sam Davis, Jon Kolb, Gerry Mullins, and Mike Webster.

Kilty Cleary is a regular contributor for sports news sites like Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and countless others. When he's not writing about all things sports, you can find Kilty rooting for his beloved Buffalo Bills.

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