In recent years, the Pac 12 has earned (rightfully or unrightfully) a reputation built more on flashy football than powerful, dominant offensive lines. Across the college football landscape, powerful and talented offensive linemen can be found in the ACC, the Big 12, the Big 10, and the SEC. But make no mistake: the best Pac 12 offensive linemen returning for the 2022 season have plenty of size, athleticism, and NFL draft buzz as any conference in the country.
Best Pac 12 Offensive Linemen Returning For The 2022 Season
Fifth Best: Alex Forsyth – Oregon
Alex Forsyth is one of two Oregon Ducks to be amongst the best Pac 12 offensive linemen coming back for the upcoming season. Forsyth was a second-team all-Pac-12 selection for the second straight season. He has spent his entire Ducks’ career at the center position. Last season, he only surrendered two sacks in ten games (missed four games due to injury). Forsyth is a part of one of the most experienced offensive line’s heading into this college football season. The Ducks have five offensive linemen who started at least eight games last year. Four of them are in their sixth season of college football and the other is a fifth-year junior. Forsyth is a great anchor to have in a major transition season for the Ducks.
Fourth Best: Braeden Daniels – Utah
Entering the season fresh off a Rose Bowl appearance, Braeden Daniels has moved into the key leadership role for the Utes on the offensive line. His role coming into the 2022 season should not be a surprise to anyone. Daniels was a Pac-12 all-conference second-team selection in 2021. He also brings back a wealth of experience at many positions along the offensive line. He has played in 35 career games, with 29 starts split between left guard (18) and right tackle (11). This year, he will be moving from right tackle to left tackle to protect the blind spot of one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. If quarterback Cameron Rising performs at an all-conference or all-American level, it will be in large part because Daniels played at an equally high level.
Third Best: Andrew Vorhees – USC
Trojan fans are slobbering at the thought of what new head coach Lincoln Riley can achieve with this offense. And who’s to blame them? Transfer quarterback Caleb Williams will be throwing to last year’s Blitnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison after he transferred from Pitt. And while the skill position guys grab the fans’ attention, no doubt versatile offensive lineman Andrew Vorhees is exactly what Riley wants and needs to make his offense go.
Vorhees has appeared in 44 games in his USC career. He has started at three different positions, with 25 starts at right guard, eight at left guard, and four at left tackle. Vorhees was recently named to the Walter Camp Preseason All-American team, earning a spot on the first team with his teammates Addison and Williams. In what will be his final season in a Trojan uniform, Vorhees is looking to get back to similar team success he experienced his freshman year in 2017 when USC went 11-3.
Second Best: T.J. Bass – Oregon
First-time head coach Dan Lanning not only has the most experienced group up front, but he has two of the best linemen in the entire conference. T.J. Bass started all 14 games for the Ducks in 2021, and his performance earned him All Pac 12 first-team honors. According to Pro Football Focus, Bass was Oregon’s highest-graded player with an overall grade of 86.0. Bass achieved this outstanding grade while splitting time between two different positions. According to his official bio page, he played a team-high 931 offensive snaps; 500 at left tackle and 431 at left guard. Bass gave a serious look at entering the 2022 NFL draft but decided to return to school for one last year. Another outstanding season by Bass could help vault him up 2023 draft boards.
The Best: Jaxson Kirkland – Washington
The selection for the best Pac 12 offensive linemen returning for the 2022 season comes without much debate. Jaxson Kirkland is not only the best offensive lineman in the conference but one of the best overall players in the Pac 12. A two-time, first-team all-conference selection, Kirkland’s return to the Huskies was a bit of a shock. He has been a starter for the last four seasons for Washington. Head Coach Kalen DeBoer has one of the single most important pieces in the Pac 12 to work with. Washington still has a good amount of talent on the roster. A quick bounce-back season is possible. It will be even more obtainable if Kirkland elevates his play to All-American levels, which would push his name into first-round NFL draft. conversations