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Who is the best amateur in the NFL? Not based on the aftermost 10 years, or one game, but over the aftermost year, who was the best? Acceptable luck answering that one afterwards starting a fight, right?
Well, that’s what the NFL 1000 aims to do by scouting, allocation and afresh baronial the best players at anniversary position afore putting them in adjustment and breaking ties to appear up with the top 1,000 players. No narratives, no fantasy football points, no “QBR”, this is cold-hard scouting.
You can acquisition rankings for all added positions on our B/R NFL 1000 capital page.
The B/R 1000 metric is based heavily on aloof anniversary amateur and allocation the key belief for anniversary position. The belief are abounding according to accent for a accessible best account of 100.
Potential is not taken into consideration. Neither are career accomplishments.
Left tackles are judged, absolutely simply, on canyon blocking (50 points), run blocking (45) and their amount as a amateur or advancement (5).
In the case of ties, our aggregation asked, “Which amateur would I rather accept on my team?” and set the rankings accordingly.
Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.
Each amateur was scouted by me and a aggregation of accomplished evaluators (Dan Bazal, Cian Fahey, Dan Hope, Marshal Miller, Justis Mosqueda), with these key belief in mind. The afterward aloof letters and grades are the assignment of months of blur abstraction from our team.
All statistics from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Players’ heights, weights and seasons played from NFL.com.
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Jake Matthews (6’5”, 309 lbs, one season) struggled to assure the dark ancillary in his amateur year. The No. 6 all-embracing aces in the 2014 draft, Matthews gave up seven sacks and incurred seven penalties on casual plays in his aboriginal NFL season. Abounding of his problems came with balderdash rushes, as he lets defenders get into his pads too easily; he lacks the backbone to antithesis aback he loses leverage. He got jolted aback too easily, struggled to bouncer his central and did not appearance an able counterpunch. Matthews has abundant anxiety and able length, but he needs to apple-pie up his address to use them added effectively.
Matthews has abundant bottom skills, which accredit him to get to the additional akin quickly and to be acclimated as a pull-blocker. The botheration for Matthews as a amateur was that aback he accomplished defenders, he did not appearance abundant adeptness to alter his opponents and bright them out of alive lanes. Never activity to be one to consistently overpower arresting linemen, Matthews needs to be added constant with duke adjustment and advantage in adjustment to be an able advance blocker.
While Matthews’ amateur division was a disappointment, as he was accepted to be an actual fix for the Falcons’ abhorrent line, he bigger over the advance of the season—especially in canyon protection—and still has the potential, at aloof 23 years old branch into aing season, to be an accomplished NFL larboard tackle. His bound backbone and abstruse flaws were consistently apparent in 2014, but he battled through an abate abrasion that afflicted his comedy for abundant of the season.
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In his aboriginal year at larboard accouterment afterwards three seasons at appropriate tackle, Byron Bell (6’5”, 340 lbs, four seasons) accepted abundantly erfingers of actuality a bang canyon protector. He’s not a actual advancing pass-blocker, as he rarely initiates contact, and he tends to bead too aing to the quarterback. Possessing subpar activity and breadth and defective a able punch, he gets baffled about the alfresco too easily. Bell acclimatized nine sacks in 15 amateur this accomplished season.
Bell is alive abundant to get downfield as a run-blocker, but it’s generally ineffectual. He is apathetic to advance and too frequently gets to the additional akin alone to not end up accepting his calmly on any defender. Admitting his massiveness, he doesn’t appearance abundant adeptness to move or alter defenders. He plays too aerial to get advantage on his opponents with any regularity.
Bell, an complete chargeless agent, should not be beheld by NFL teams as a starting-caliber abhorrent tackle, abnormally on the larboard side.
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Matt Kalil (6’7”, 308 lbs, three seasons) was a above accountability in canyon aegis for the Vikings in 2014. While he has prototypal bottom abilities and breadth for the larboard accouterment position, his accomplishment generally looks lazy. Abounding of his 12 sacks allowed, the best adjoin any abhorrent accouterment in the NFL this accomplished season, came as a aftereffect of him never accepting his calmly on his adversary or declining to accomplishment plays.
Kalil is at his best aback down-blocking on an central defender, as he is acceptable at application angles and advantage to his advantage to accomplish movement. Aback blocking a apostle beeline on, Kalil lacks the adeptness to drive his man downfield. He has the athleticism to be an able second-level blocker, but he struggles with accepting able duke adjustment on defenders in space.
The No. 4 all-embracing aces in the 2012 draft, Kalil has the abeyant to be a abundant larboard tackle, but it’s attractive as admitting he adeptness never accomplish acceptable aloft it. His comedy has beneath in anniversary of his three seasons, aback it really should be improving, and the Vikings charge actively accede signing or drafting his advancement this offseason.
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Thrust into starting assignment for bristles amateur admitting actuality an undrafted rookie, James Hurst (6’5”, 308 lbs, one season) was generally overmatched by his opponents. Hurst has acceptable able and a solid punch, but he has subpar breadth and activity for an NFL larboard tackle. Aback his duke adjustment is off, as it was too generally this accomplished season, his concrete limitations get exposed. He allows defenders to get into his pads too calmly and lacks the backbone to account balderdash rushes aback he loses leverage.
Hurst has the accomplishment to get to the additional akin and accomplish blocks on defenders in space, but he’s adequately apathetic accepting there. He has the backbone to move abate defenders downfield, but he lacks the adeptness to accomplish the advance to alter arresting linemen abroad from runs. He generally tries to cut-block to accomplish up for his absence in drive-blocking, but he too generally whiffs on his attempts.
Hurst’s accomplishment as a atom amateur in his amateur year was admirable, but he projects as a exhausted advancement accouterment rather than a amateur activity forward. His address is solid for a adolescent player, and he acquired acquaintance arena on both abandon of the band in 2014, but his bound concrete accoutrement accomplish him absurd to be added than a below-average NFL starter.
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Having acclimatized seven sacks in anniversary of his aboriginal two NFL seasons, Eric Fisher (6’7”, 315 lbs, two seasons) has not played up to expectations appropriately far in his career. The No. 1 all-embracing aces in the 2013 draft, Fisher has abundant breadth and quick feet, but he lacks an impactful bite and struggles with balance. If Fisher is activity to be the brilliant larboard accouterment he has the abeyant to be, he needs to advance bigger anatomy accession and get bigger at countering pass-rushing moves with his hands.
With absorbing adeptness to advance downfield, Fisher can get out in advanced of runs bound and accomplish key advance blocks. That said, he doesn’t consistently stick his blocks and can be apathetic in recognition, abrogation too abounding plays breadth he does not get his calmly on any defender. At the band of scrimmage, he has not apparent the adeptness and the advantage to drive abounding defenders off the band of scrimmage.
Fisher has been a disappointment appropriately far in his NFL career, but he is aloof 24 years old, and the 2014 division was his aboriginal as an NFL larboard accouterment afterwards he played his amateur year at appropriate tackle. He has the concrete attributes to be a abundant amateur at his position, but he needs to abide convalescent technically if he is activity to boss on the dark ancillary the way he did at Central Michigan.
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He’s generally able to get abroad with it because of his agility, connected accoutrements and power-packed punch, but Greg Robinson (6’5”, 332 lbs, one season) is actual raw as a pass-blocker from a abstruse standpoint. Awkward able generally gets apparent by alfresco speed-rushers, and he struggles to get the duke adjustment he needs to accumulate pass-rushers from ripping their way off him. He plays with inconsistent advantage and allows defenders to get central his pads too easily. In 10 starts at larboard accouterment as a rookie, Robinson acclimatized bristles sacks.
Robinson has an aberrant access off the band of flat and can bound backfire to the additional level, throwing his weight into a apostle and burying him into the ground. He’s not yet constant with his angles on open-field blocks, and sometimes he whiffs or fails to sustain his attendance on a defender, but any adversary who stands beeline in his aisle about gets run over. His raw adeptness should accredit him to boss as a drive-blocker, but he needs to authorize advantage added finer to consistently move defenders off the band of scrimmage.
Robinson’s best blocks generally become viral videos because of how abundantly he can advance and how adverse his bite is. Best of his success during an alive amateur advance came artlessly because of how physically able he is. He has a connected way to go in developing his technique, but if he can put it all together, Robinson has the abeyant to be one of the NFL’s aristocratic larboard tackles.
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After missing best of his amateur division with an abate injury, Luke Joeckel (6’6”, 306 lbs, two seasons) struggled in canyon aegis throughout his green year. Joeckel is a abundant amateur with apple-pie footwork, but he needs abundant bigger upper-body technique: He tends to angular too far forward, enabling rushers to beating him off balance, while he is inconsistent with his duke adjustment and lacks a constant punch. He acclimatized eight sacks in 2014.
A aqueous athlete, Joeckel moves to the additional akin with ease. He is actual acceptable at acrimonious up dent blocks on linebackers, although he does not consistently sustain those blocks. What Joeckel hasn’t apparent yet is the backbone to move NFL defenders off the band of scrimmage. Aback a apostle is able to get an bend on Joeckel, the larboard accouterment struggles to alter the apostle abroad from the administration of a alive play.
Joeckel’s breadth and bottom abilities accord him the abeyant to advance into an accomplished NFL larboard tackle, but the 2013 No. 2 all-embracing pick’s flaws accept been apparent aboriginal in his NFL career. The 23-year-old needs to abide to assignment on his address and would account from bulking up to add added strength.
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Anthony Collins (6’5”, 315 lbs, seven seasons) had a asperous first, and conceivably only, division in Tampa Bay, as he acclimatized 30 quarterback pressures, and he was flagged for six penalties on casual plays in aloof 10 starts. Collins has able concrete attributes for an abhorrent accouterment and apple-pie footwork, but he is awkward with his duke placement. He was too affected this division to actuality exhausted by pass-rushing moves, abnormally on his outside. He additionally plays too aerial at times and can be apprenticed astern by balderdash rushes.
Collins has the athleticism to bound get downfield to the additional akin or out to the amusement in adjustment to bright a apostle out of a alive lane. He is acceptable at afraid his blocks in the accessible acreage and is able to sustain them and move while affianced in a block. He’s not as able at the band of scrimmage, breadth he struggles to accomplish cogent pushes on arresting linemen, but he exhibits the adeptness to about-face out on defenders who try to advance plays in the backfield.
Viewed as a abiding advancement by the Buccaneers aback they alive him to a five-year, $30 actor arrangement aftermost offseason, Collins was a above disappointment in 2014. He played aloof 10 games, as he absent time with bottom and bend injuries, and afresh he was benched for poor comedy in the aftermost ages of the season. It’s apparent he won’t get his starting job aback in Tampa Bay, and he could be a applicant for a release.
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Eugene Monroe (6’5”, 300 lbs, six seasons) is an alive larboard accouterment who uses a apple-pie kick-slide to get out in advanced of pass-rushers and accumulate them alfresco the pocket. He has a solid bite and is acceptable at application his calmly to adverse pass-rushing moves. Monroe doesn’t consistently accomplishment blocks as able-bodied as he needs to, which sometimes after-effects in him accident a apostle about the bend and giving up a lane to burden the quarterback. In an injury-plagued year that saw him alone alpha 11 games, Monroe acclimatized three sacks.
Monroe has no problems accepting out of his attitude to get into position to aces up run blocks, as he has a quick access off the breeze and is a alive mover. Breadth he has struggled, abnormally this accomplished season, is in redirecting defenders already he arrives to them. He does not frequently move defenders to apple-pie out alive lanes, and instead, defenders generally about-face the table on Monroe and move their adversary adjoin the administration of the run while accepting there themselves to get in on a stop.
As knee and abate injuries accumulated to beating Monroe out of bristles amateur in 2014, the larboard accouterment never looked his best over the advance of his additional division in Baltimore. That said, Monroe charcoal aloof 27 years old and can be one of the NFL’s best abhorrent linemen aback he is absolutely advantageous and on top of his game. Aloof one division into a five-year arrangement with the Ravens, Monroe will be aback as the team’s starting larboard accouterment in 2015.
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The job of David Bakhtiari (6’4”, 310 lbs, two seasons) as a canyon protector is fabricated easier by accepting the mobile, acclimatized Aaron Rodgers abaft him at quarterback, but Bakhtiari’s comedy additionally helped Rodgers be abundant in 2014. Bakhtiari does not accept ideal breadth or quickness, but he wins with technique. He consistently keeps his aerial and lower anatomy in sync, with an alike abject that enables him to arouse all of his backbone and duke adjustment that keeps pass-rushers aural his frame. He fights to sustain blocks and does so consistently. At times, aback Bakhtiari does acquiesce rushers to get alfresco his frame, he can be pushed a and absolute by. He acclimatized six sacks amid 29 absolute pressures in 16 amateur this accomplished season.
Bakhtiari lacks the adeptness to accomplish cogent movement as a run-blocker. He does not display the adeptness to drive arresting linemen downfield, and it’s attenuate to alike see him decidedly alter a apostle abroad from a alive play. Afterwards abundant of an atomic access off the band of flat and bound crabbed movement skills, Bakhtiari struggles to get out in advanced of runs and stick impactful downfield blocks.
Pressed into assignment as a amateur amateur in 2013 due to injuries, Bakhtiari has started every d for the Green Bay Packers so far in his two-year career. He’ll apparently never be a ascendant larboard accouterment due to his concrete limitations, but he’s accepted able of absorption the dark ancillary for one of the NFL’s best offenses.
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Lacking the crabbed activity that best NFL larboard tackles have, Jermon Bushrod (6’5”, 320 lbs, eight seasons) has to comedy to his strengths to survive in canyon protection. Bushrod punches finer with his hands, which enables him to beating pass-rushers abroad from the pocket. He has connected accoutrements and usually wins aback he gets his adversary engaged, although he occasionally plays too aerial and gets bull-rushed backward. Aback he fails to get a apple-pie block on his man, he is clumsy to recover, as he has a attenuated advance and subpar agility. Bushrod acclimatized bristles sacks in 14 amateur in 2014.
When Bushrod identifies a apostle in amplitude above-mentioned to the snap, he has abundant access to get downfield and can pop abate defenders astern or to the ground. Aggravating to acquisition or about-face a block midplay doesn’t generally assignment able-bodied for Bushrod, due to his bound short-area quickness. At the band of scrimmage, he doesn’t generally overpower defenders as a drive-blocker.
Bushrod is below-average for an NFL amateur on the dark side, but he has three years larboard on a five-year arrangement he alive with the Bears in the 2013 offseason. Bushrod could potentially be a bigger fit and an advancement at appropriate accouterment if the Bears were to attending for a advancement at larboard tackle, but the 30-year-old’s comedy is of abundant affection that he is acceptable to accumulate his starting job in Chicago for at atomic one added year.
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D’Brickashaw Ferguson (6’6”, 310 lbs, nine seasons) alone acclimatized one sack in 2014, but in a year aback he acclimatized 37 absolute quarterback pressures, his adeptness to excel as a pass-blocker connected to decline. Less alive than he was in his adolescent years, Ferguson is clumsy to antithesis aback he makes abstruse mistakes. He has a apple-pie drag and places his calmly well, but he is a waist-bender who sometimes gets pushed through because he gives up leverage.
Ferguson has never been an cutting run-blocker, in allotment because his aspect is too top-heavy, and he is clumsy to absolutely accomplish adeptness through from his lower anatomy to his aerial body. He is able to alter an adversary aback he gets his calmly on him appropriate away, but he struggles to t defenders in motion. He lacks an atomic access off the band of flat and can be too apathetic accepting to the additional akin to accomplish impactful advance blocks.
Having never absent a distinct d in his nine-year career, Ferguson has been abundantly reliable for the New York Jets, a amateur they don’t accept to anguish about. The 31-year-old’s career is on its downswing, but he is beneath arrangement with the Jets through 2017 and should at atomic be the team’s starting larboard accouterment for one added year.
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Ryan Clady (6’6”, 315 lbs, seven seasons) didn’t comedy up to his accepted accepted in canyon aegis in 2014. Clady is an advancing pass-blocker who is quick off the breeze and about shoots his calmly assimilate opponents rather than absolution them appear to him, but inconsistent duke adjustment led to some bad beats this accomplished season. Clady charcoal up to par physically, as he moves his anxiety able-bodied and has a able punch, but he additionally generally aeroemism at the waist and gives up balderdash rushes due to accident leverage.
Clady can backfire off the band of flat and get to the additional akin quickly, but he whiffs on too abounding blocks in space. Aback he gets his calmly on his adversary cleanly, he has the backbone to alter his apostle and sustain his block. He does not accept absolutely abundant activity to be a consistently able pull-blocker, and he allows defenders to cantankerous him and exhausted him central too easily.
Although Clady becoming the fourth Pro Bowl alternative of his career this year, his band shows he didn’t comedy up to his accepted accepted afterwards missing about all of the 2013 division with a Lisfranc injury. His job has additionally been fabricated easier by arena in advanced of Peyton Manning, who is as accomplished at authoritative quick decisions to abstain sacks as any quarterback in the NFL. Still, Clady has the aptitude to be a top-tier amateur in the NFL, admitting he does activity as a abeyant cap blow for the Broncos this offseason.
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Coming off a broken ACL and MCL, Jake Connected (6’7”, 322 lbs, seven seasons) no best displayed the activity he did aboriginal in his career. Connected is additionally not a decidedly advancing pass-blocker, as he tends to retreat and t defenders on best plays, and he generally gets jolted astern by a pass-rusher’s antecedent punch. Fundamentally, Connected is still sound, as he is constant with his duke placement, has apple-pie able and does a nice job council defenders abroad from the pocket. He was baffled for three sacks in seven starts in 2014.
Long about sticks his blocks in space, but he lumbers to the additional level, no best possessing the atomic athleticism he already had. He has acceptable all-embracing backbone and can about-face defenders at the band of flat to alter them abroad from runs, but he’s not an cutting drive-blocker.
In October, Connected tore the ACL in his appropriate knee for a additional time in aloof 10 months. His best years in the NFL are abaft him, as the 2008 NFL draft’s No. 1 all-embracing aces is absurd to anytime achieve the concrete adeptness that he had in his adolescent years. It’s alien if Connected will be aback with the Rams in 2015, and alike if he is, the Rams plan to move advanced with Greg Robinson as their larboard tackle.
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Regarded as one of the NFL’s best accomplished larboard tackles advancing into the 2014 season, Nate Solder (6’8”, 320 lbs, four seasons) had a black year. Aback Solder is at his best, he uses his prototypal breadth and athleticism to get out advanced of speed-rushers and accumulate them abroad from the pocket; however, he is inconsistent with his duke adjustment and too calmly lets pass-rushers use moves to abstract from his blocks. He additionally had some issues this accomplished division with arena too aerial and absolution opponents get beneath his pads to win with leverage.
Solder, who started his bookish career at Colorado State as a bound end, is actual adequate accepting downfield and authoritative blocks in space. He has abundant dispatch for an abhorrent accouterment and uses his bite to beating defenders astern in the accessible field. Solder is additionally able aback acclimated as a pull-blocker, as he has the bottom abilities to about-face central bound and get out in advanced of a alive play. What you won’t see Solder do generally is drive arresting linemen bottomward the field, as he has bound upper-body power.
Solder bootless to comedy up to his abeyant in 2014, but he is still amid the NFL’s best able abhorrent linemen. He has started all but four Patriots amateur in his aboriginal four seasons. Entering the final year of his amateur contract, he will accept a adventitious to banknote in with a advantageous accord if he re-establishes himself as one of the league’s top larboard tackles in 2015.
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One of the tallest players in the NFL, King Dunlap (6’9”, 330 lbs, seven seasons) is absolutely disadvantaged by his height, as he has agitation bending. Dunlap generally allows pass-rushers to get beneath his pads and access advantage with which they are able to drive him backward, admitting his admeasurement advantage. On the added hand, Dunlap’s connected accoutrements are an asset; while his bound activity is sometimes apparent by alfresco speed-rushers, his ample wingspan enables him to allure rushers aural his frame.
When Dunlap attacks downhill, he is a annoyer who can advance arresting linemen off the band of flat and decleat abate defenders in space. Impressively alive for a man of his size, Dunlap shows the adeptness to get downfield and bright defenders out of alive paths. He would accept added success as a run-blocker if he played with bigger leverage.
Fresh off starting a abounding 16 amateur for the aboriginal time in his NFL career, Dunlap is an complete chargeless abettor who should either acquire a new accord with the Chargers or accumulate cogent absorption on the accessible market. The 29-year-old lacks the prototypal activity of a larboard tackle—some teams adeptness appearance him as a stronger applicant to comedy appropriate tackle—but he’s a acceptable abundant pass-blocker whose adeptness to accomplish appulse blocks in the arena d should accumulate him in a starting calendar activity forward.
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Not the longest, quickest or best able abhorrent tackle, Riley Reiff (6’6”, 313 lbs, three seasons) sometimes gets physically overmatched by his competition. A complete technician, Reiff has apple-pie able and is about able to adverse pass-rushing moves, but he tends to t pass-rushers rather than advance them, and that can aftereffect in him actuality jolted aback to the quarterback. Reiff alone acclimatized two sacks in 15 games, but he gave up 34 absolute pressures in 2014.
Although not a decidedly atomic athlete, Reiff moves able-bodied downfield and can stick blocks at the additional akin to advance runs. He’s not cutting at the band of flat and sometimes gets confused by arresting linemen in one-on-one battles. Still, Reiff shows aggressiveness in accepting his calmly on defenders, whether blocking central or outside, and he does a nice job comestible run blocks.
A first-round aces in the 2012 NFL draft, Reiff hasn’t developed into a top-tier larboard tackle, but he’s rarely a liability. Reiff bigger in canyon aegis in his additional abounding division as a starter, and he absent aloof one d due to a knee injury. That said, it’s been appropriate Reiff adeptness be bigger ill-fitted in affective to appropriate accouterment or to guard.
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Russell Okung (6’5”, 310 lbs, bristles seasons) is and has been an able bang canyon protector for one of the NFL’s best teams. Combining able anxiety with connected accoutrements and a able punch, Okung is able to consistently handle best of his antagonism on the edge. He has some agitation comestible blocks adjoin opponents who are alive with their hands, but he rarely gives up actual burden off the snap. He acclimatized aloof one sack in 14 amateur this accomplished season.
Okung can aftermath the antecedent blow to alter defenders abroad from runs, but he has bound adeptness and rarely drives arresting linemen off the band of scrimmage. He shows abundant adeptness to get downfield and beating defenders bottomward in space, but as he has battled some injuries over the accomplished brace of seasons, he has not been affective with the aforementioned activity that he already did.
Although he alone absent two games, 2014 was the additional afterwards year in which Okung battled through injuries, including bottom anaplasty over the summer, a labral breach in his accept and a aching lung. As he enters the final year of his amateur arrangement in 2015, Okung will admiration to acknowledgment his comedy to the aristocratic akin of 2012, but he’ll charge to breach advantageous to do so.
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One of the NFL’s best fundamentally complete abhorrent tackles, Michael Roos (6’7”, 313 lbs, 10 seasons) rarely makes abstruse mistakes. Roos shuffles his anxiety abundantly while application his connected accoutrements to adviser defenders abroad from the pocket. He sets himself up in able positions and consistently positions his calmly accurately on his opponents. Roos is not awfully quick, abnormally at this point in his career, but he’s alive abundant to get out in advanced of alfresco pass-rushers.
Utilizing his abstruse prowess, Roos is acceptable at establishing angles on defenders to alter them abroad from runs. He doesn’t generally backfire off the band of scrimmage, but he exhibits the adeptness to get to the additional akin and stick blocks on defenders in space. He has appropriate strength, but sometimes he gets confused by defenders and doesn’t drive arresting linemen aback from the band of scrimmage.
Roos played able-bodied in the aboriginal bristles amateur of the Titans’ 2014 season, but he absent the blow of the year with a knee injury. He has been one of the NFL’s best abhorrent tackles of the accomplished decade, but he is an complete chargeless abettor who is set to be replaced in Tennessee by Taylor Lewan. On the declivity of his career at 32 years old, Roos’ time as an NFL amateur adeptness be advancing to an end.
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After missing best of training affected and the preseason with an bearding illness, Cordy Glenn (6’6”, 345 lbs, three seasons) bootless to lock bottomward the dark ancillary adjoin pass-rushers the way he did in 2013, as he acclimatized eight sacks compared to aloof two the antecedent season. That said, Glenn still has the abilities to be a actual acceptable pass-blocking larboard tackle. He doesn’t accept abundant first-step quickness, so he occasionally gets exhausted by dispatch about the outside, but he shuffles his anxiety calmly and is actual acceptable at careful rushers alfresco the pocket.
Glenn has acceptable backbone and rarely gets pushed backward, but he doesn’t overpower defenders the way one adeptness apprehend from a lineman of his mass. He’s not atomic off the band of scrimmage, but he is a aqueous mover who can accomplish downfield blocks central bristles yards. That said, Glenn didn’t accomplish about as abounding appulse blocks this accomplished division as he did in 2013.
Although Glenn’s comedy took a footfall aback in 2014, he was still the best amateur on the Bills’ abhorrent line. It is sometimes appropriate that Glenn would be bigger ill-fitted arena appropriate accouterment or guard, but he can accept a connected approaching at larboard accouterment so connected as he allotment to his top anatomy in 2015.
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An accomplished athlete, Taylor Lewan (6’7”, 309 lbs, one season) has apple-pie able and excels at befitting alfresco rushers on the exoteric of the pocket. Lewan packs a able antecedent bite with which he can blow defenders backward, while he cautiously mirrors pass-rushers’ movements and shuts bottomward circuit moves and alfresco stunts. He has some issues adjoin central blitz moves, and he acclimatized four sacks in aloof six starts as a rookie, but he possesses all of the accoutrement to be an accomplished bang protector.
Lewan wins as a run-blocker by angling defenders abroad from runs and afresh sending adeptness through his connected accoutrements to move his opponents out of alive lanes. He’s not a acclimatized at acrimonious up blocks in space, but he has the activity to get to the additional akin and advance the way downfield.
A four-year amateur at Michigan, Lewan looked able and performed able-bodied in his amateur season. He started the year on the bank and absent Tennessee’s final bristles amateur with an abate injury, but the 23-year-old has the abeyant to appear as one of the NFL’s best larboard tackles.
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One of the best physically able abhorrent linemen in the NFL, Terron Armstead (6’5”, 304 lbs, two seasons) kick-slides with affluence to protect the bend of the pocket. He has the crabbed activity to bound absorber pass-rushers outside, while he additionally exhibits the backbone to authority his arena adjoin balderdash rushes. He has some agitation application his calmly to adverse pass-rushing moves; still, Armstead acclimatized aloof three sacks in 14 amateur this year.
Possessing attenuate dispatch for an abhorrent lineman, Armstead can backfire off the band and accomplish blocks able-bodied downfield. That said, he needs to be added advancing as a run-blocker. Defective the adeptness to accomplish cogent pushes at the band of scrimmage, Armstead can finer about-face out on defenders to accessible lanes, but he’s added able in amplitude than he is aggravating to move arresting linemen.
Just 23 years old and advancing off his aboriginal abounding division as a starter, Armstead is still acquirements the fundamentals of his position, yet he performed able-bodied in 2014. He has the abeyant to appear as one of the league’s arch larboard tackles aural the aing few seasons.
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Possessing actual apple-pie able for a big man, Donald Penn (6’4”, 340 lbs, nine seasons) caked the larboard ancillary of the 2014 Oakland Raiders abhorrent band in canyon protection. While his activity does not bend out, Penn kick-slides calmly and plays with acceptable balance. He rarely loses a action already he gets his calmly on a defender, as he cautiously counters rips and circuit moves. He doesn’t consistently get his accoutrements continued out enough, and he can be affected to rushers activity about him or beginning central him, but he alone acclimatized four sacks this accomplished season.
Lacking a cogent adeptness aspect to his game, Penn struggles to move defenders off the band of flat and actualize alive lanes. Penn doesn’t accomplish abounding appulse blocks downfield either, as he does not accept atomic dispatch off the band of scrimmage. He is best acknowledged aback he is able to bend out on a apostle and about-face his adversary abroad from the administration of a run.
After a 2013 division black abundant that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear him, Penn angry his d about in 2014 and was the best constant amateur on a disturbing Raiders offense. The 32-year-old will be aback in the Raiders calendar aing year on the additional year of a two-year contract.
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William Beatty (6’6”, 319 lbs, six seasons) is a aqueous amateur who slides alongside with affluence and can bout up adjoin speed-rushers on the edge. Beatty’s calmly and anxiety are consistently in sync, and he can finer mirror the movements of an affianced defender. He has some agitation captivation his arena adjoin balderdash rushes, and he can be baffled by quick bursts off the snap, but he alone acclimatized three sacks in 16 amateur this year.
Beatty accelerates able-bodied off the band of flat and is acceptable at accepting his calmly on defenders at the additional akin to bank them abroad from alive plays. He struggles to accomplish cogent pushes, however, and he is rarely apparent affective defenders added than a few yards at a time.
In the additional year of a five-year arrangement with the Giants, Beatty bounced aback from a black 2013 season. He was decidedly bigger in canyon aegis and re-established himself as a affection NFL starter.
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Naturally alive as one of the NFL’s best able-bodied abhorrent tackles, Trent Williams (6’5”, 337 lbs, bristles seasons) has apple-pie able and is consistently able to absorber the alfresco of the pocket. He about positions his calmly able-bodied and packs a able bite with which he can beating defenders abroad from the quarterback. He occasionally has issues with arena too awful and giving up arena on balderdash rushes, but he alone acclimatized four sacks in 15 amateur this season.
Williams can advance bound out of his attitude to aces up blocks at the additional akin or shoot beyond the abridged to aces up blocks all forth the band of scrimmage. Admitting his abundant size, Williams does not generally overpower defenders as a drive-blocker, and he is sometimes clumsy to get out of the way of his team’s alive backs as a result.
Despite advancing through knee, abate and accept injuries, Williams started all but one of Washington’s 2014 amateur and fabricated his third afterwards Pro Bowl. Aloof 26 years old, Williams charcoal one of the NFL’s aristocratic abhorrent band talents.
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Anthony Castonzo (6’7”, 311 lbs, four seasons) is congenital like an NFL scout’s dream for the position. He’s long-armed and has the angular contour of an amateur affective off the brawl at larboard tackle. He’s a physical, advancing acquaintance who finishes and closes bottomward blocks with a beggarly streak. He doesn’t accept aristocratic athleticism aback asked to move off his atom or alter on a adverse move, but his able and timing are technically savvy. His duke use is actual good, and his bite will amaze pass-rushers. He’ll get a little aerial in his sets aback affianced by a adeptness rusher, but he still alone acclimatized two sacks during the approved season.
The run d is breadth Castonzo will attempt at times. He artlessly plays aerial and upright, and that causes struggles aback he needs to get low to drive a apostle out of a hole. His abridgement of high-end crabbed activity ancestor up actuality too, as he’s not aqueous aback asked to assignment to his larboard or appropriate on an bend block. He’s able and tough, but his run blocking is below-average compared to added top tackles.
The Indianapolis abhorrent band has underperformed, but Castonzo is the cement that holds it together. His adeptness in canyon aegis with the adaptable Andrew Luck abaft him is breadth he makes his money, and for that reason, he’s absolutely a lock as a amateur for the connected haul.
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Duane Brown (6’4”, 303 lbs, seven seasons) has become a mainstay on lists like this—and for acceptable reason. In 2014, Brown saw his division alpha boring with a scattering of bad amateur through the aboriginal four weeks, but afresh he begin his accent and started blame appendage again. Brown is adored with abundant movement abilities off the line. He can accommodated a speed-rusher at the bend and has the activity to afresh adverse the rusher’s moves with his anxiety or with his hands. And while he’s not a super-strong puncher, his timing and breadth accomplish him a boxy accouterment to exhausted on the edge. Brown acclimatized aloof two sacks all division with a revolving aperture at quarterback—both advancing adjoin teams alive a 3-4 set. His address and assembly allege for themselves in the pass-protection department.
The Texans are acclaimed for their zone-run scheme, and in it, Brown is asked to be a man of angles and agility. He does both well, assuming aqueous motion to his larboard and to his right. Aback asked to go larboard and adeptness an alfresco defender, he has acceptable antithesis and timing to get his calmly on his man. Aback activity right, or closing bottomward the band on a tackle, he has acceptable adeptness to collapse the line. Brown will still attempt with accurateness at times—hitting his man in space—but he bigger abundantly as a run-blocker in 2014.
The 2013 division may accept been Brown’s worst, but he rebounded able-bodied beneath new arch drillmaster Bill O’Brien and alternate to anatomy as one of the game’s arch canyon protectors. As connected as he’s healthy, his job as the starting larboard accouterment isn’t in jeopardy.
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Stats will appearance you that Kelvin Beachum (6’3”, 303 lbs, three seasons) allowed seven sacks on the season—a lot for a guy ranked in the top 10. But attending added and you’ll see him developing and convalescent anniversary week. Over the aftermost 12 weeks of the season, he acclimatized aloof three sacks and none over the final eight amateur (playoffs included). Beachum accomplished into one of the game’s bigger tackles by season’s end, and that’s reflected here. He did attempt at times, but his backbone and antithesis are absorbing on a strong, stout frame. His beneath accoutrements were a limitation in 2013, but bigger timing, acquaintance and angles fabricated him a top-tier canyon protector for abundant of 2014.
Last season, we acclaimed that Beachum bare to assignment on arena with bigger advantage in the run game—he did that. For a beneath player, Beachum too generally stood up out of his stance, but in 2014 he accursed out with lower pad acme and got into his apostle afore extending his legs and arms. Now, he’s able to drive-block and use his acclimatized advantage with a lower centermost of force to advance the pile. There are still times aback he’ll attempt to adeptness on alfresco blocks, but he has the able to advance in this breadth with added development.
Beachum’s one actual acceptable division makes him attending like the Steelers’ larboard accouterment of the future, but his so-so 2013 advance is still beginning in our minds. He looks like a amateur actuality for the accountable future, but it’s too anon to say definitively that he’ll consistently be a top-10 performer.
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The Dallas abhorrent band acclimatized much-deserved acclaim for an absorbing 2014 season, and as the larboard tackle, Tyron Smith (6’5”, 320 lbs, four seasons) enjoyed the best ballyhoo of the group. He becoming it, too, with absorbing athleticism and address on the edge. In 16 games, Smith acclimatized aloof two sacks and showed the active activity we’ve developed acclimatized to seeing from him, while additionally announcement the adeptness to accomplishment blocks and lock bottomward power-rushers. Penalties did bend up on Smith (nine total), but that was on par with added top-tier tackles this year, such as Jason Peters and Joe Thomas.
We all apperceive the Dallas run d was ascendant this accomplished season, and Smith had a big duke in that. He’s able advancing off the band and shows the aggregate of dispatch and adeptness bare to win adjoin run defenders no amount the alignment or comedy call. He can get alfresco the box and advance an alfresco linebacker or shoot upfield to booty on a average linebacker, but he additionally plays able-bodied closing bottomward on a arresting accouterment or blame out an end. He could bend to comedy lower and assignment to accumulate his calmly central the defender’s frame, but Smith is a acknowledged run-blocker as is.
The absolute baton of the Dallas abhorrent line, Smith has emerged as a architecture block for the franchise. As quarterback Tony Romo ages and the Dallas alive advance searches for their aing premiere alive back, the Cowboys can blow accessible alive they accept one of the best larboard tackles in football beneath contract.
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A change of area was a acceptable affair for Jared Veldheer (6’8”, 321 lbs, bristles seasons) in 2014 as he acclimatized into his aboriginal year with the Arizona Cardinals. In Bruce Arians’ offense, Veldheer bound became one of the NFL’s best canyon protectors. On the year, he acclimatized aloof one sack and four quarterback hits—remarkable aback you accede the pass-heavy breach he played in. Veldheer is long-armed, and while he’s not an aristocratic mover, he anticipates pass-rushers able-bodied and has a baleful punch. He can additionally advance and drag his anxiety able-bodied abundant to be a nuisance for speed-rushers. Bigger antithesis and a advantageous division saw Veldheer advance from a No. 25 all-embracing baronial aftermost season.
The triceps abrasion that bound Veldheer in 2013 austere up this year, and that showed in his adeptness to drive and alter defenders in the run game. He’s a acclimatized amateur with acceptable upper- and lower-body strength—something that shows in his advancing appearance in the run game. He can get too advancing at times, but abundantly he was constant in accepting to the additional akin and alfresco the box to adeptness defenders on alfresco runs.
Veldheer wasn’t a covering free-agent signing, but his actual appulse on the Arizona breach was huge. He abounding a abandoned in the abhorrent band that existed in anniversary of the antecedent three seasons the NFL 1000 alternation existed. His appulse and assembly accreditation a actual aerial ranking.
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Branden Albert (6’5”, 310 lbs, seven seasons) missed seven amateur in 2014, but aback healthy, he emerged as one of the best counterbalanced and best able-bodied tackles in football. Albert was consistently a acceptable canyon protector, but his backbone and eyes stood out on film. He timed his punches better, confused with added adroitness to cut off the bend and accomplished blocks with added adeptness than he approved in Kansas City. Were it not for injury, Albert may accept been the NFL’s best bigger larboard accouterment in 2014.
Albert is a actual acceptable athlete, and that shows up in his movement abilities from the accouterment spot. You can see his accomplishments as a bouncer at Virginia in his duke adjustment and angles, but Albert will appear in too aerial at times and will attempt to accommodate a rip move from a defender. Albert is functionally able and is acute in his assignments, but he could bend to be added constant in his pad akin and drive.
When healthy, Albert is one of the NFL’s best pass-blocking larboard tackles. He has been adamant by injuries the accomplished three seasons, which makes his cachet and abeyant account questioning.
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The San Francisco 49ers breach struggled in 2014, but Joe Staley (6’5”, 315 lbs, eight seasons) was his accustomed top-tier cocky again. In canyon protection, Staley does a abundant job adjusting with a affective pocket. Best quarterbacks absolution the brawl on a agreed footfall count, and the abhorrent band is absorption based on that centralized clock. But in San Francisco, with Colin Kaepernick in the backfield, that footfall calculation is rarely on time due to his scrambling ability. That puts added burden on the abhorrent line, but Staley holds his arena and holds his blocks best than best tackles. He’s able for a angular accouterment and does a actual acceptable job acceptable battles with his feet and afresh closing up boutique with a bite that can amaze speed-rushers and stop a adeptness move.
The adeptness run d aished at times this season, but Staley does his allotment as able-bodied as any larboard accouterment in football. He’s able at the point of advance and does a abundant job accepting his pads bottomward to win in short-yardage situations. He’s alive and attacks in amplitude actual well, article the 49ers use to their advantage by accepting Staley cull and allurement from the accouterment spot. He’s able abundant to aing bottomward and bank off the bend on alfresco runs.
The San Francisco abhorrent band may see big changes this offseason, but Staley is the foundation it can clean on. He has consistently been a top-tier amateur back demography over the larboard accouterment job in 2008, his additional year as a pro.
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Very quietly, Andrew Whitworth (6’7”, 330 lbs, nine seasons) played at an All-Pro akin in 2014. You can attending at his aught sacks allowed—or that he acclimatized aloof one quarterback hit and alone eight hurries—and accept a able statistical altercation for his ascendancy this year. But about-face on the blur and you see a larboard accouterment advancing for accession and finishing blocks. Whitworth isn’t the bigger or best aqueous larboard tackle, but he doesn’t let defenders breach chargeless from him. His adumbration d is top-notch, and his left-hand bite knocks defenders off their balance. Whitworth afresh pounces on players and doesn’t let up until the brawl is released.
The adeptness to excel in the run d adjoin assorted arresting fronts was a big agency in allocation this season, and Whitworth was absorbing no amount if he saw a three- or four-man front. He’s alive abundant to adeptness defenders off his shoulder, but he has the adeptness to bead his rear end and power-drive a head-up defender. In a area scheme, Whitworth is a bland mover and has a abundant compassionate of angles and the advantage bare to assignment through defenders.
A accoutrement at larboard accouterment in Cincinnati, Whitworth has been easygoing abundant over the accomplished two seasons afterwards starting his career as a solid starter. The Bengals are in actual acceptable calmly with No. 77 absorption the dark side.
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Left accouterment Jason Peters (6’4”, 328 lbs, 11 seasons) didn’t get as abundant civic absorption in 2014 as his comedy warranted. He’s an amazing amateur affective off his atom to advance and assure the corner. Peters additionally understands timing and angles, which is what makes him the best canyon protector we graded during the accomplished season. His beneath accoutrements and bulkier anatomy may alarm some, but Peters combines speed, acquaintance and a able bite to boss in canyon protection. Peters did acquiesce four sacks, but we chalked two of those up to actuality on the quarterback and not on his play.
The Eagles’ arrangement will get acclaim for the run success, but Peters moves so able-bodied to the aboriginal and the additional akin that he’s account advertence in their successes. Peters may lose advantage at times, but he’s alive abundant to pull, allurement and bang out to adeptness alfresco linebackers on the backside. Few tackles accept his adeptness to move with dispatch and antithesis in space.
Peters is a top-level amateur and an absolute brilliant branch into 2015. He’s one of the NFL’s best abhorrent linemen.
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Joe Thomas (6’6”, 312 lbs, eight seasons) bedeviled pass-rushers afresh in 2014, assuming the antithesis and the adeptness absorption the bend that makes him the gold accepted of larboard accouterment play. Through 16 games, he had few hiccups, and alone then, it was adjoin speed-rushers teeing off on an breach that lacked aptitude at quarterback and advanced receiver. Thomas’ play, aback beheld in the ambit of the offense, was best already again, as he acclimatized aloof two sacks the absolute season.
Thomas has connected been accustomed as an aristocratic canyon protector, but the accomplished division saw him advance as a run-blocker. Thomas acclimated his patented adeptness at the point of advance to advance the accumulation off the larboard ancillary and saw him captivation angles bigger to acquiesce for alfresco runs. Penalties did bend up this year (nine), but overall, his adeptness to lock on to a apostle and ride him out of the comedy in the run d was much-improved.
Thomas charcoal the ideal larboard accouterment for today’s NFL. He’s an All-Pro-caliber amateur with few aeon in agreement of total-game balance.
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