2011′s Best Performances: Offensive Tackles

| May 11, 2012

We’ve checked off the skill position players on offense with quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. Now it’s time to hit the offensive line as we continue our look at the highest-graded individual performances of 2011.

Up first are those offensive tackles who are dealing with speed rushers off the edge and giving their running backs ample room to run. Our grading takes into account what they do in pass protection, how they grade in run and screen blocking, and what penalties they give up. Obviously, it goes far beyond any box score you could ever wish to look at.

Here are 10 of the best from 2011, looking at the Top 5 on the left and the same for the right.

 

 

 

LEFT TACKLE

5. Bryant McKinnie, Baltimore Ravens: Divisional Playoff vs. Houston (+5.2)

With the eyes of the NFL world on him, all wondering if he could keep Joe Flacco clean, McKinnie gave up just two pressures and had an outstanding day with his run blocking. Eight times he graded positively during the game as Antonio Smith found out that Mount McKinnie can still be a formidable challenge.

 

4. Trent Williams, Washington Redskins: Week 12 at Seattle (+5.2)

After a horror show of a rookie year, Williams started to really get it in year No. 2. This was clearly evident in the Week 12 encounter with the Seahawks. Williams didn’t give up a single pressure or penalty, while grading positively five times in the run game. It was a near-flawless display and with Chris Clemons going up against you, that’s not often heard.

 

3. Jared Veldheer, Oakland Raiders: Week 17 vs. San Diego (+5.6)

The Raiders left tackle gave up just the one pressure in this game which isn’t bad since there were 47 occasions he was pressed into pass blocking. Veldheer absolutely dominated in the run game here. Vaughn Martin and Corey Liuget were the primary victims, but Veldheer also did a nice job getting to the second level and neutralizing Takeo Spikes on more than one occasion.

 

2. Jeff Backus, Detroit Lions: Week 17 at Green Bay (+5.7)

Backus gave up just two pressures on an astounding 64 pass blocks while earning a positive grade in the run game. What’s interesting is that these blocks came against linebackers and safety Morgan Burnett, with Backus having enough about him to get to the second level and assist a run game that sorely needed it.

 

1. Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles: Week 8 vs. Dallas (+6.2)

It’s only fitting that our top-ranked left tackle produced our top-ranked left tackle performance. It was very nearly perfect with Peters giving up no pressure against top opposition, and just the one false start penalty. Still, it was his work in the run and screen games that earned him this nod. With an impressive eight positive grades, he showed that on his day there may not be a more athletic tackle than him. The Eagles will sorely miss him in 2012.

 

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RIGHT TACKLE

5. Breno Giacomini, Seattle Seahawks: Week 15 at Chicago (+5.2)

This will come as a surprise to Packers fans who watched Giacomini fail to develop, but he earned himself a contract extension with some good play at the end of the 2011 season. The Week 15 matchup with the Bears was the best example of this. A false start penalty and poor work on a screen pass being the only blemishes on an otherwise perfect game. Stephen Paea in particular got taught some things by his more experienced foe here.

 

4. Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals: Week 16 vs. Arizona (+5.6)

It hasn’t always been easy for Smith in Cincinnati, but he made it look that way against a lackluster Cardinals team. He didn’t give up a single pressure and earned five positive grades in the run game without a single negative play.

 

3. Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay Packers: Week 1 vs. New Orleans (+5.6)

After a tough rookie season, Bulaga showed that things had changed right out of the gate in his second year. He gave up a pressure but nothing more, as he had success against various members of the Saints’ defensive line. He also dominated every time he got to the second level against Jonathan Vilma and Co.

 

2. Phil Loadholt, Minnesota Vikings: Week 13 vs. Denver (+5.7)

Outside of giving up a penalty for holding Elvis Dumervil, Loadholt had a lot of success here, particularly against Marcus Thomas in the run game. A fine effort from a player who wasn’t always the most consistent in pass protection (the next week he gave up two sacks to Cliff Avril). This was a good sign of what he is capable of.

 

1. Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens: Week 8 vs. Arizona (+5.9)

Two of the top right tackle performances came against Arizona. What does that tell Cardinals fans? In any case, let’s not take anything away from a fine showing by Oher in a year that was riddled with inconsistency. He didn’t give up a single pressure and effectively neutralized Darnell Dockett every time the two men went head-to-head. That’s never an easy job, but Oher made it look so.

 

 

2011′s Best Performances:  QB | RB | WR | TE | OT

 

Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled … and our main feed too: @ProFootbalFocus


  • cdub

    Awh, somebody doesnt like the Cardinals… LMAO! Did you convienently forget to mention that both the Ravens and Bengals were doubling Dockett alot of the time? Or did you just not watch the games? Ill take it as both! Your such a goober haha

    • cdub

      By alot of the time I mean that Oher and Carter both had help from the RG almost every snap… smh…. this site is going to XXXX. Way to much inconsistancy in the way players are graded.

      • Hu

        So just go away. You’re annoying.

    • jojomellon

      Is the AZ Cardinals season ticket holder going to reply to every article bemoaning the lack of Cardinals on these lists?
      Believe it or not bro but the Cardinals don’t feature an all pro at every position.
      Docket gets washed out against the run on a regular basis. Am I dreaming or did the cardinals not even come close to winning their division the past few years? Not sure where this blind homerism is coming from.

      Also, your you’re, you goober.

      • cdub

        Haha you got a problem with me replying? Listen here brah, the fact that they had Calais Campbell ranked as the 2nd best 3-4 DE in the league last season, yet had him behind McDonald and Watt on there horribly contstructed “Top 100″ list shows just how inconsistant this guy is with his assessments and rankings. The fact that Daryl Washington had an outstanding year, prolly the 2nd or 3rd best year of all ILBs in the NFL, yet doesnt make the list… again, inconsistant and idiotic. The kid had sacks, pressures, hits, INTs, passes defended, tackles for loss, was very good against the run, even better in coverage and blitzing… and nowhere to be found? GTFO man.

        Dockett is a natural 3tech playing the 5tech position, of course he gets washed out occasionally, especially as he learned the position and his new responsibilities. Did I even mention Dockett anywhere in any post? SMH stay on topic, or is that to hard for you? Keep up or shut up kid.

        • cdub

          Haha I meant I didnt mention anything about Dockett in the run game. He was talking about Oher not giving up any pressures against Dockett which was the subject. When in reality, Oher rarely matched up against Dockett one on one, especially in passing situations where we only use 2 down lineman.

        • jojomellon

          Lists are subjective. Why don’t you wave the flag for non Cardinals who aren’t on on the list? Did you watch game film for every team and every game or are you just a Cardinal homer bitching that the player you bought a jersey of is ranked #4 instead of #1? The fact that this honestly bothers you this much worries me. With these two scary talents in Campbell and Washington its no wonder the Cards field the #1 D in the history of the NFL.

          • cdub

            Well I appreciate the concern bud, I really do. But Im talking football on a football site, so your concern may be unwarranted.

            And yes, I tend to speak what I know, and I know the Cardinals better then anyother team out there so that is where the focus of my arguement will stay. Im sure I could go dig up Info and watch games on other teams and make a case for quite a few other players on different teams, but frankly, I dont give a $hit about other teams so Im not gonna waste my time. And I actually waived my flag for Matt Flynns performance against Detroit as well. Try to keep up.

            You seem to have no idea what Campbell and Washington accomplished this year, so I will fill you in with the basic stats

            Campbell: 72 Tackles, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 Int, 10 passes defended, 3 blocked FGs….. this guy is a 5tech DE mind you

            Washington: 106 Tackles, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 Int, 7 passes defended…..

            ….. and you were saying?

        • Hu

          Again, this site is for people who want to go beyond the usual stats of tackles, sacks, pass defended, etc. Those guys are doing a great job of watching every plays (of every games mind you, not just those of your beloved Cards). If you can’t appreciate that and want to discuss based on the stats, go on NFL.com forums, there is a lot of people just like you over there.

  • http://www.profootballfocus.com Khaled Elsayed

    I don’t think anybody dislikes the Cardinals. Stayed tuned tomorrow and one features extremely prominently, and likewise on Sunday.

    We don’t grade players negatively for being double teamed, but in games against the Bengals/ Ravens the tackles had a lot of joy when they were one on one with Cardinals defenders. It happens, and it happened. Nothing against Arizona as subsequent looks at the best performance will show.

  • Saracen

    I’m surprised Jared Gaither is not on this list for the San Diego vs Baltimore game. He allowed zero pressures, hits or sacks…most of the time single handedly shutting down Suggs, and easily picking up Baltimore’s mustang blitz.

    Just curious, what was Gaither’s rating for that game?