Top Preseason Grades: Offensive Tackles
We don’t know about you, but we’ve had some with preseason. It’s not the best way of seeing who will succeed when win-loss records start to matter, but it has given us a first look at some players and really gives second- and third-stringers a chance to prove their worth.
So with three weeks of action in the bag we’re going to be looking across all the positions to let you know who have earned the grades in the Top 5 at each position.
Now of course there’s a lot more than five players at each position we’ve graded. We’ve run every player to play a single snap on offense or defense through the grading process so if you want to see how they’ve fared this preseason, and get access to seven seasons worth of historical grades and access for 365 days which will include the entire 2014 season (and postseason) then you’ll need a PFF Premium Package. At only $26.99 you won’t get better value.
1. Ryan Harris, KC, +4.8
Breakdown: With solid positives in both pass blocking and run blocking so far this preseason, Harris is primed to fill the right tackle spot vacated by Donald Stephenson’s suspension, though he’s played almost exclusively on the left these past three weeks.
Signature Stat: Third-most positively-graded plays among tackles this preseason.
2. Cameron Fleming, NE, +4.2
Breakdown: The fourth-round rookie from Stanford has the second-highest pass-blocking grade among right tackles to this point and a clean sheet, giving up no pressure on 42 pass-blocking snaps. Seems to be fitting in well.
Signature Stat: Fleming is one of 12 offensive tackles with at least 25 pass-blocking snaps (119 qualifying OTs) who haven’t yet given up a pressure.
3. Rogers Gaines, NYG, +4.1
Breakdown: Doing his best to latch on, the former Baltimore and Chicago practice-squad player has put up better grades each time out through his four preseason appearances with New York, culminating in a +3.2 overall mark against the Jets.
Signature Stat: After earning a +0.6 in the 2013 preseason, good for 63rd among tackles, Gaines’ overall mark this season has come on more than twice as many snaps as he got last preseason.
4. Sam Young, JAX, +4.0
Breakdown: If he’s fighting for a roster spot with the Jags, there’s not much more he can show. Young has collected small positives at each step and they’ve added up to hoist him among the preseason leaders at the position.
Signature Stat: Holds both the best pass blocking grade and the best run-blocking grade among Jacksonville OTs this preseason.
5. Charles Leno, Jr., CHI and Carter Bykowski, SF +3.8
Breakdown: Bykowski leapt ahead of Leno Jr. to lead left tackles in the preseason with a +3.8 pass-blocking grade (over Leno’s +3.3) and the pair have given up a single pressure each — a sack on 61 pass-blocking snaps for Bykowski and a hurry on 56 for Leno.
Signature Stat: Leno kicked off his preseason run with a +2.5 overall (+1.5 pass blocking) on 46 snaps against Philadelphia while Bykowski has posted green grades in the last two games.
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