New England Patriots top 5 offensive linemen in franchise history

New England Patriots John Hannah (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots offensive lineman Leon Gray. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots all-time offensive lineman: No. 3 – Leon Gray

Leon Gray is often linked with another lineman on this list (more on him later), and together they formed one of the best one-two punches offensive line punches in the history of the National Football League.

From the left tackle position, Gray, helped the New England Patriots reach the top status as arguably the best team in the NFL some years, though they never reached the Super Bowl during his tenure in Foxborough.

Here’s what the Patriots Hall of Fame has to say about their member and this terrific left tackle,

"Leon Gray joined the Patriots in 1973 after being released from the Dolphins before the start of the season. Gray spent six years with the Patriots and played a major role in leading the most prolific rushing attack in NFL history … Gray and the 1978 Patriots rushed for an NFL record 3,165 yards on the season – a number that has never been challenged. The 1978 club was also the first Patriots team to win the AFC Eastern Division title. In 1977, Gray was part of an offensive line that was also prolific in pass protection as Grogan was sacked only 14 times all season."

The Patriots certainly owed former legendary Hall-of-Fame Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula a big “Thank you” for releasing Gray. As a member of the Patriots, he made them pay dearly for that rash decision.

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The 70’s Patriots teams were well-balanced and could easily have been Super Bowl Champs in two or three seasons that decade from 1976-1978. Gray manned the absolutely crucial left tackle position at 6’3″ tall and 256 pounds, the size of a big linebacker in today’s NFL. He did his part to open the holes for the running game that as noted above has never been surpassed in yards gained.’s Ron Borges talks about Gray’s brilliant career,

"Gray was named first-team All-Pro three times, went to four Pro Bowls and was twice named the NFL’s Offensive Lineman of the Year (1979 and 1980) after leaving New England for Houston in a block buster trade …"

In his article, Borges made the case that Gray should be a Hall of Famer,  Pro Football Hall of Famer, as well as being a current member of the Patriots Hall of Fame.  Who’s to argue with that point? No one here.