Way-too-early rankings of SEC offensive lines leading up to the 2024 season

The SEC will have some of the premier offensive line starting units in college football for the 2024 campaign.
Hayden Conner, Jake Majors, Texas football
Hayden Conner, Jake Majors, Texas football / Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY Sports
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SEC football is known for its intensity in the trenches, with some of the best offensive and defensive lines in the entire country calling this conference home. When discussing the SEC, most football fans in this conference usually emphasize the strength of the best defensive lines.

Offensive line play is also an incredibly important part of finding success for the top teams in the SEC year in and year out. The physical grind-it-out nature of SEC games wouldn't be possible, especially for run-heavy teams like the Georgia Bulldogs and Mizzou Tigers (among many others), without strong offensive line performances.

Which SEC football offensive lines will dominate the line of scrimmage?

The SEC adding the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners to expand to 16 teams in the conference for the 2024 season only makes this conference more competitive in the trenches. Texas especially brings one of the most physical, deep, and physically imposing offensive line units to a conference in the SEC that already has some of the best OLs in all of college football in 2024.

A couple of months out from the start of preseason camp, we broke down the most experienced and proven projected starting offensive lines in the SEC for 2024. That helps us establish a foundation to rank the best SEC offensive lines, with a few other factors involved.

Obviously, returning experience isn't the only important factor. Talent, chemistry, depth, cohesion, and run/pass blocking proficiency are all important factors when considering the top offensive lines in college football (specifically in the ever-so-difficult SEC trenches).

Since this breakdown is a ranking of the best projected starting offensive lines in the SEC for 2024, we excluded depth as a factor here. That leaves returning experience/career starts, talent, chemistry, and proficiency in different blocking plays/situations as the top factors considered for this ranking.

Here's a breakdown and ranking of every projected starting offensive line unit in the SEC for the 2024 season.

16. Vanderbilt

Stacking and developing offensive line talent with the Vanderbilt Commodores is never an easy task. Vanderbilt ranked dead last in the SEC in yards before contact and 13th out of 14 teams in pass-blocking efficiency in 2023.

The Commodores are relying on a couple of transfers and a first-year starter to bolster an offensive line that was already arguably the worst in the SEC last season. Redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Gunnar Hansen is the only returning starter for a rebuilding offensive line for Vandy in 2024.

15. Arkansas

Arkansas has built a reputation of being one of the steadier and more imposing offensive lines in the SEC, given their ground-and-pound style of play offensively. The Hogs ranked third in the SEC in run play percentage in 2023, running the ball on nearly 56 percent of its offensive play calls (per TeamRankings).

Head coach Sam Pittman only returns two starters from an offensive line unit that struggled to move bodies off the line of scrimmage and protect the passer last season. Arkansas ranked 12th of 14 in pass-blocking efficiency and in the bottom half of the SEC in yards before contact.

14. Mississippi State

Ironically, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Oklahoma are the only two SEC teams that don't return any starters along the offensive line. Former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby has the task of rebuilding a Mississippi State offense that ranked dead last in the SEC in passing offense.

Despite turning over all starters from an offensive line that ranked in the top half of the SEC in pass-blocking efficiency and yards before contact last season, Mississippi State has a good amount of of experience it brought in via the transfer portal to the trenches. Projected starting offensive tackle Makalyn Pounders and center Ethan Miner were multi-year starters in the FBS before coming to Starkville this offseason.

Miner was the highest-graded starting center in the C-USA last season at North Texas. He can stabilize an interior offensive line that has three new faces among the projected starters in 2024.

Questions remain, though, if Mississippi State's projected starters at offensive tackle, Pounders and freshman Leon Bell can hold up reliably and consistently in pass pro in Lebby's pass-happy air raid system on offense.