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Ranking the NFC offensive tackles

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The sporting gave their opinions a few days ago on the top offensive tackles in the NFC and the top OT tandems in the conference. It's mildly interesting...

1. REDSKINS Left tackle Chris Samuels has good agility, strength and versatility and has improved in handling speed rushers. Jon Jansen is strong at the point of attack and has improved his technique on the right side.

2. EAGLES William Thomas had a strong 2006 on the left side after battling a blood clot in his leg and back surgery in '05. Right tackle Jon Runyan remains a model of consistency after 11 seasons.

  1. SEAHAWKS Left tackle Walter Jones has nimble feet, which allow him to play with great balance and recover quickly. Right tackle Sean Locklear has a powerful first punch but needs to become more consistent.
  2. SAINTS Jammal Brown adjusted to the left side quicker than anyone could have expected and made the Pro Bowl in his second season. Right tackle Jon Stinchcomb is dependable.

I think the top 2 are fair. Frankly both the Eagles and Skins units were great last year. The one who got jobbed was the Saints. I know it cant all be blamed on the tackles, but the Seahawks gave up the 2nd most sacks in the NFL last year, behind only the Rams who the Sporting News ranked as the 5th best tandem in the conference. Plus, the Seahawks and Rams were in the mid to lower half of the conference in rushing.

And their top 5 offensive Tackles in the NFC...

1. Walter Jones, Seahawks. With his ideal combination of size, balance, long arms and footwork, Jones is the best tackle in the business.
2. Orlando Pace, Rams. Age is creeping into the picture and he missed half of last season with a torn triceps, but Pace has the skills to be an elite player for another couple of years.
3. Jon Runyan, Eagles. He is not an elite athlete, but he is a great lineman. He makes his blocks and plays the game with old-school gusto.

Frankly, I think Runyan got this one a little bit on reputation. I didn't think he was bad last year, but he struggled a little more often than usual. I actually thought William Thomas was the best Tackle on the team last year... Still, the guy's body of work speaks for itself. He's been a great Eagle and has been dominant in this conference for many many years now.