Best Offensive Linemen Of All Time – Who Is The Greatest OL?


9 minutes

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Scott Kostov

Ranking the best offensive linemen of all time is hard. We already have a list covering the best NFL centers ever, but the O Line is so much more than its leader. The NFL has been rapidly evolving over the last decade, but in the end, the fate is decided in the trenches.

Apart from regulations, rules changes, and the NFL salary cap progressions, teams are now inclined more than ever to protect their QB. Once you find generational talent that can become the youngest Super Bowl-winning QB, you need to enable it.

That becomes a lot easier when you have a candidate for the greatest offensive linemen of all time title upfront. So, who are the best anchors throughout NFL history? Let’s find out!

Who is The Best Offensive Lineman in NFL history?

By most accounts, Anthony Muñoz is the best offensive linemen of all time. This legendary Left Tackle played for 13 seasons, serving as a superhero for the offensive linemen in the NFL today.

Munoz spent his whole career with the Cincinnati Bengals, from 1980 to 1992, being an absolute powerhouse on the field. With 11 Pro Bowl nods and nine First-Team All-Pro selections, he was basically the king of the gridiron.

Born on August 19, 1958, in Ontario, California, Muñoz came from a proud Mexican family. Even back in high school, he was a triple threat, dominating in football, basketball, and track.

In college  Muñoz rocked the field as a standout offensive tackle for USC under coach John Robinson. He even snagged All-American honors in 1979!

Drafted by the Bengals as the third overall pick in 1980, Muñoz wasted no time making his mark. With his killer technique, brute strength, and ninja-like agility, he was a force to be reckoned with on the offensive line.

Anthony Munoz

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (1980–1992)

Accolades: 9× First-team All-Pro (1981–1983, 1985–1990), 2× Second-team All-Pro (1984, 1991), 11× Pro Bowl (1981–1991)

Munoz had a long and storied NFL career, during which he missed just 3 games. Since availability is the best ability, he racked up 11 Pro Bowl selections, 9 First-team All-Pro nods, and even bagged the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year title three times!

Apart from being a constant feature of the Bengla’s frontline, Munoz’s impact exceeded his blocking capabilities. He caught 7 passes, 4 of which went for a touchdown, throughout his career.

His stellar protection on the blind side of his QBs resulted in Cincinnati making two Super Bowls, both of which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers dynasty. With Montana and Rice dominating at those positions, their continuity helped keep Munoz without a ring.

Despite this, Anthony was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the first exclusive Cincinnati Bengals player to be enshrined. Thus, the Cincinnati Bengals have never let anyone wear his number 78 jersey, despite never retiring it and including him in their Ring of Honor.

Top 10 Best Offensive Linemen Of All Time

02. Bruce Matthews

Teams: Houston / Tennessee Oilers / Titans (1983–2001)

Accolades: 7× First-team All-Pro (1988–1990, 1992, 1998–2000), 2× Second-team All-Pro (1991, 1993), 14× Pro Bowl (1988–2001)

Bruce Matthews is a part of NFL royalty by all accounts. Apart from his entire close family playing in the NFL, he also suited up at every position on the offensive line for at least 17 games throughout his career.

Now that’s one way to become one of the greatest offensive linemen of all time. Bruce had a remarkable career in the NFL, spending 19 seasons as an offensive lineman primarily with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise.

He was born on August 8, 1961, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and played college football at the University of Southern California (USC), where he was a standout offensive lineman.

Matthews was selected by the Houston Oilers as the ninth overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. He would go on to spend his entire career with the franchise, even after it relocated to Tennessee and became the Titans.

It took 6 years before Matthews settled into his role, but the rest of his career was absolutely exceptional. Matthews earned 14 Pro Bowl selections, tied for the most in NFL history. He was also a 9 First-team All-Pro and a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

Matthews’ longevity and durability were also exceptional. He played in 296 games, which was a record for offensive linemen at the time of his retirement. Resulting in one of the longest NFL careers to date.

03. Larry Allen

Teams: Dallas Cowboys (1994–2005), San Francisco 49ers (2006–2007)

Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XXX), 7× First-team All-Pro (1995–2001), 11× Pro Bowl (1995–2001, 2003–2006)

From the get-go, Larry Allen was a force to be reckoned with. Big, strong, and just a tad fierce, he carved his path as the greatest offensive lineman of all time in Dallas Cowboys history. He became a powerhouse of the gridiron and one of the NFL’s all-time greats, despite playing guard instead of the fancier left tackle spot.

Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in ’94, Allen burst onto the scene, leaving jaws dropped with his sheer might. Seriously, this guy could lift a small car! But it wasn’t just about brute strength; he had moves that could make a linebacker dizzy.

Apart from being one of the biggest NFL players ever, Allen was as loyal as they come. For 12 solid seasons, Allen anchored the Cowboys’ O line, earning a record-breaking 11 Pro Bowl nods.

10 of these came with the Cowboys and one with the Niners, in his last year in the league Plus, he snagged a Super Bowl ring in ’95 and even got a well-deserved spot in the Dallas Ring of Honor.

Allen played over 200 games, made 7 First-Team All-Pro selections, and is in contention for being the best offensive linemen of all time. Not bad for a guy that could bench press 700 and squat 900 pounds.

04. Jonathan Ogden

Teams: Baltimore Ravens (1996–2007)

Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XXXV). 4× First-team All-Pro (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003), 5× Second-team All-Pro (1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006). 11× Pro Bowl (1997–2007)

The Baltimore Ravens snagged Jonathan Ogden, a powerhouse of an offensive lineman, as the fourth overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft. Talk about hitting on a draft pick right after relocating 

Sure, his rookie year didn’t score him a Pro Bowl nod, but he kicked off his NFL journey by starting all 16 games, earning himself a well-deserved spot on the All-Rookie team. Ogden embodied what we call a consistent performer, never missing more than six games in any season throughout his entire 12-year career. Now, that’s what we call consistency!

By his second season, Ogden was already making waves, landing a spot on the First Team All-Pro roster. He would go on to repeat this feat, not once, but four times! With his massive 6 feet 9 inches frame and weight to match, Ogden was the block no defenders could get by.

Over his 13 seasons with the Ravens, Ogden was a Pro Bowl regular, missing out only in his rookie and final years, for a total of 11. Plus, he racked up a whopping 9  All-Pro honors along the way.

Ogden hung it up after the 2007 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 5 years later, in his first year of eligibility. That’s worthy of being mentioned as the best offensive linemen of all time.

05. Willie Roaf

Teams: New Orleans Saints (1993–2001), Kansas City Chiefs (2002–2005)

Accolades: 6× First-team All-Pro (1994–1996, 2003–2005), 3× Second-team All-Pro (1997, 2000, 2002), 11× Pro Bowl (1994–2000, 2002–2005)

Meet Willie Roaf, one of the best offensive linemen of all time, especially in the run game. Sure, he wasn’t one for flashy plays, but boy, was he consistent.  Born on April 18, 1970, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Roaf’s journey to football greatness began in his hometown. From Pine Bluff High School to Louisiana Tech University, he dominated the field, earning All-American honors and carving out a name for himself as a standout offensive tackle.

In 1993, the New Orleans Saints snagged Roaf as the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft. And boy, did he make an impact! Standing tall at 6 feet 5 inches and weighing over 300 pounds, Roaf was a force to be reckoned with on the offensive line, showcasing exceptional size, strength, and technique.

Throughout his NFL career, Roaf racked up an impressive list of accolades, including 11 Pro Bowl selections and 7 First-team All-Pro honors. He even earned a spot on the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.

In 2012, Roaf’s remarkable career was immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, cementing his place among the all-time greats of the sport. But his legacy doesn’t end there. He’s also been honored in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

06. Randall McDaniel

Teams: Minnesota Vikings (1988–1999), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000–2001)

Accolades: 7× First-team All-Pro (1990, 1992–1996, 1998). 2× Second-team All-Pro (1991, 1997). 12× Pro Bowl (1989–2000).

What happens when a track star experiences a growth spurt and becomes a lineman? Well, you get the recipe for one of the best offensive linemen of all time. Randall McDaniel still holds the fastest 100-meter dash time ever among offensive linemen in the NFL at 10.64 seconds.

The 19 pick in the 1988 NFL draft turned out to be a godsend for the Minnesota Vikings. For over a decade he protected the revolving door of QBs they had, accumulating a lot of accolades along the way.

12 Pro Bowl nods and 7 First Team All Pro selections were enough to land him in the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. In 2009 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as one of the greatest guards to ever play in the NFL.

07. John Hannah

Teams: New England Patriots (1973–1985).

Accolades: 7× First-team All-Pro (1976, 1978–1981, 1983, 1985). 3× Second-team All-Pro (1977, 1982, 1984). 9× Pro Bowl (1976, 1978–1985)

We won’t let John Hannah’s go unnoticed. He may not be remembered by all of today’s fans, but he was arguably the best offensive linemen of all time in his playing days. Before the Brady and Belichek Patriots, Hannah was a true team legend.

He spent 13 seasons with the franchise, in which he made the Pro Bowl nine times. Add 10 All-Pro appearances on top of this, seven of which were First-Team selections, and you have an all-timer.

08. Mike Webster

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers (1974–1988).Kansas City Chiefs (1989–1990)

Accolades: 4× Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV). 6× First-team All-Pro (1978–1983). 2× Second-team All-Pro (1982, 1984), 9× Pro Bowl (1978–1985, 1987).

The Steel Curtain Pittsburgh defense is often remembered as the key contributing factor for the Steelers winning four Super Bowls during the 1970s. But the offense had to hold its own, and Mike Webster was a big part of that by keeping Terry Bradshaw safe.

Apart from being the best center in his era, he’s also one of the best offensive linemen of all time. His glorious career was only a part of his contribution to the game of football. After his premature death at the age of 50, he became the first NFL player diagnosed with CTE, raising awareness around the issue of player safety.

09. Will Shields

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs (1993–2006)

Accolades: 3× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2002, 2003). 4× Second-team All-Pro (1997, 2004–2006). 12× Pro Bowl (1995–2006).

Will Shields started an NFL record 231 straight games, including the playoffs. He also made 12 straight Pro Bowl appearances. What more could you ask of a third round draft pick? The best ability is availability and that’s why he’s among the best offensive linemen of all time in our book.

10. Walter Jones

Teams: Seattle Seahawks (1997–2009)

Accolades: 4× First-team All-Pro (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007). 2× Second-team All-Pro (2006, 2008). 9× Pro Bowl (1999, 2001–2008)

Do you want to hear a statistic that makes you say “damn that’s crazy”? Walter Jones made 9 Pro Bowls in his 12 year career, and was penalized for holding just 9 times that entire time. Mind you, in 5700 passing snaps, his man sacked his QB just 23 times.

Jones was drafted by the Seahawks in the first round with the sixth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. And boy did they make the right choice. The production spoke for itself. This Seahawks and Washington state legend was inducted into the Hall of fame in 2014.

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