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Grading the performance of Alabama’s offensive line from 2022

Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Alabama concluded 2022 with a victory over Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

All eyes now shift to spring practice and the position battles that follow. However, the staff at Touchdown Alabama Magazine wants to grade the performances of each position group from last season. We begin this process now and it should finish at the end of the month. After grading quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receiver, the offensive line is next.

Offensive line

Grade: C

Starters: Tyler Steen, Javion Cohen, Seth McLaughlin, Emil Ekiyor Jr., JC Latham

Backups: Amari Kight, Tyler Booker, Darrian Dalcourt, Tanner Bowles, Damieon George, Jr.

Summary: Alabama played its best on the offensive line against Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

It allowed two sacks of Bryce Young, but the Crimson Tide assisted him to 321 passing yards and five touchdowns.

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Alabama’s running backs collected 175 yards rushing and one score, five different receiving options caught a touchdown, and the Tide recorded 45 points in New Orleans, La. Alabama’s front decreased the number of sacks to Young in 2022 versus 2021 (18 to 33); howeveer, it had moments where opposing defenses manhandled it. The Tide could not run the ball the way it wanted to at all times, and it put pressure on Young to create miracle plays. Javion Cohen and Emil Ekiyor had problems neutralizing pass rushers, and both guards allowed pressure up the middle to Young. Tyler Steen and JC Latham surrendered a sack or two, but they were more consistent to keep Young off the ground. Seth McLaughlin and Tyler Booker were the “mean” guys up front.

Both created opportunities for running backs while protecting Young in the pocket. Alabama returns veterans next season and has recruited talented freshmen that look to become impactful. We will see if Eric Wolford is the man for the job. 

He did some good things in 2022, but the Tide earns a “C” for its offensive line.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

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