Want to know the importance placed on left tackle in the NFL versus right tackle? The top-10 ranked tackles in the league, according to Pro Football Focus’ rankings, were all left tackles.
They are the protectors of the franchise and have the responsibility of battling one of the highest paid positions on defense, the pass rushers, most of which are coming their way. If a quarterback is getting crunched too often, the eyes of the fan base start to turn to the offensive line, and especially the offensive tackles.
Here the best in the game for 2015:
In the last six years, Whitworth has missed only two games and has been an impressive staple for the Bengals’ offensive line since he became a starter as a rookie in 2006, registering 136 games and 132 starts over those nine seasons of stability. The Bengals ranked third last year for fewest sacks allowed (23) and PFF didn’t credit Whitworth for any of those, handing him only one quarterback hit and eight quarterback hurries. He was the only tackle that played in at least 500 snaps (he had 1,057) that didn’t give up a sack and his eight hurries were the fewest among those that played at least 600 snaps. He wants to sign an extension and that would be a wise move on both sides, as he remains an important, versatile piece yet is 33 years old with a deep tackle class scheduled for free agency.
Buffalo Bills in 2009. Rising from the ranks of the undrafted in 2002, Peters finished 2014 as PFF’s top-rated tackle, giving up four sacks and 17 quarterback hurries.
USC, Smith is adept at run and pass blocking, with the former being even more important this year after the loss of RB DeMarco Murray in Dallas.
Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy.
Honorable mention: Ryan Clady, Joe Staley, Sebastian Vollmer, Branden Albert, Jared Veldheer.
NFL’s top 5 offensive tackles for 2015
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