Tag:Ryan Clady
Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:40 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 9:40 pm

Film Room: Patriots vs Broncos divisional preview

Will Gronk get his Gronk on this time around? (Getty Images)
Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

It was assumed the Patriots would draw a rematch in their divisional round playoff opener. However, most figured that rematch would be of their Week 8 bout with Pittsburgh, not their Week 15 bout with Denver.

Here’s the breakdown of what could turn out to be the highest-rated divisional round Saturday night game of all-time.

1. New England’s plan for Tebow
Something to keep in mind is the Steelers had a sound gameplan last week, playing man coverage and using a tepid pass-rush to ensure that Tim Tebow stayed in the pocket. What the Steelers didn’t count on was Demaryius Thomas being able to get by Ike Taylor and Tebow being able to pull the trigger on downfield throws. Those two young ’10 first-rounders both had career days.

The Patriots might bet that the two youngsters can’t do it again.

On the one hand, that’s a smart bet given that Thomas and Tebow were inconsistent all season (Tebow especially). On the other hand, it’s foolish given that cornerback Kyle Arrington – who would draw the Thomas matchup, as Thomas almost always lines up on the favorable side of the left-handed Tebow – is not half the cover artist Ike Taylor is, and given that logic says if Tebow can win against the man coverage of the league’s best pass defense, he can surely win against the man coverage of the league’s worst pass defense.

In the last meeting, the Patriots played predominant Cover 3 in the first half:

The Broncos had success throwing skinny posts to Tebow’s left against the Patriots Cover 3 defense in the last meeting. Cover 3 is what you’d guess it is: three defensive backs each responsible for a third of the field. Because there is so much field to cover, the outside defensive backs often play man-to-man concepts (as Devin McCourty is doing on the right side). Cover 3 is something defenses play when they blitz or when they want to force a quarterback to throw (it’s the default zone coverage behind an eight-defender box).

In this example, the Patriots were clearly baiting Tebow to throw. Notice there are only five rushers (which is hardly a blitz considering Denver has seven guys in pass protection – the idea was to keep Tebow from scrambling). Also notice how linebacker Dane Fletcher has his back to the quarterback and is running towards the left passing window. (Fletcher was late getting there; Tebow did a good job recognizing the coverage and getting the ball out quickly. The result was a 22-yard completion to Eric Decker.)

The Broncos used great routes for beating this anticipated coverage, but Tebow was unable to connect on some of the throws.

Still, throws against Cover 3 are easier than throws against quality press-man, as long as the pass protection holds up. Denver’s protection was tremendous last week.

If tackles Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin (who may need some help on the right side) can keep speed-rusher Mark Anderson at bay, the Broncos will be golden. (Keeping a backup like Anderson at bay may not sound difficult, but the former Bear was actually very disruptive in the last meeting.)

2. Stop the run!
The Patriots gave up 167 yards rushing in the first quarter of the Week 15 contest. They wound up winning the game handily, but they were on the fortuitous side of a few fumbles.

Common sense says you can’t bank on having success with such porous run defense. The issue last game was outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich’s inability to set the edge and the defensive line’s inability to prevent the Bronco linemen from contacting inside linebackers. This was a problem both with New England’s 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork must stand out more this time around. The Broncos will be willing at times to block him one-on-one with J.D. Walton. The second-year center has been up-and-down (in a good way) handling tough solo assignments against nose tackles down the stretch this season. He was phenomenal against Antonio Garay of the Chargers in Week 12 but had been just so-so the previous week against Sione Pouha of the Jets. In Week 15 he held his own against Wilfork, but in Week 16 he got schooled by Marcell Dareus.
If Walton has a strong game, the Broncos can pound the rock inside. If he struggles, Denver’s at least capable of getting to the perimeter, though they’ll miss the fervid blocking of wideout Eric Decker.

3. Defending the Patriots tight ends
Greg Cosell, executive producer of the NFL Matchup Show, did an excellent job breaking down the Week 15 film back in December. Cosell wrote that the Broncos focused their coverages on Rob Gronkowski, successfully disrupting his timing by hitting him at the line of scrimmage.

However, that left fourth-round rookie safety Quinton Carter on Aaron Hernandez. Carter, like the rest of Denver’s safeties, is not great in man coverage, which Hernandez proved by posting what were at the time his career highs in catches (nine) and yards (129).

Though still a little green as a route runner (particularly against zone), Hernandez has the movement skills of a wide receiver. The Broncos may choose to defend him with rising rookie nickel back Chris Harris. That would leave safeties and linebackers to cover Gronkowski.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen may figure he can get away with that as long as coverage linebackers Wesley Woodyard and D.J. Williams are once again physical with the second-year superstar.

The Patriots’ counter to this would be splitting Gronkowski into a slot receiver position (likely in a spread 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 set), where he could line up a few yards off the line and operate against an overwhelmed defender in space. Even if the Broncos decided to sacrifice their run defense by going with dime personnel against the two tight ends, they still would be overmatched.

After all, just because Jonathan Wilhite is a corner doesn’t mean he can cover Gronkowski. This is the problem New England’s offense poses, this is why the Patriots are the No. 1 seed.

4. If lightning strikes twice ...
As the tight end analysis just suggested, the Broncos are faced with a very serious matchup problem that can only be solved by their players rising up and doing things no one thought they could do. It’s improbable, but as Denver’s offense showed last week, not impossible.

So let’s say for the sake of extra analysis that the Broncos can stop Gronkowski and Hernandez with their inside pass defenders. That leaves outside corners Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman on Wes Welker and Deion Branch (who did not play in the last matchup).

If the Broncos want to avoid the matchup problems that New England’s flexible formations create (such as Welker working against a linebacker in the slot), they’ll have to play man-to-man, with Bailey assigned on Welker and Goodman on Branch. Those aren’t bad matchups for either side – it would come down to who executes better (general rule of thumb, over the course of 60 minutes, put your money on the offense).

What we’re not considering is New England’s ability to run the ball. They’re not known for that, but against nickel or dime defense, they’re capable of controlling the game the old fashioned way.

Danny Woodhead has great lateral agility. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a steady, highly professional runner. Of course, he may lose snaps to the more dynamic Stevan Ridley, a third-round rookie who has come on as of late. The Patriots have an excellent run-blocking front five with LG Logan Mankins being a premier puller, RG Brian Waters a shrewd playside anchor, LT Matt Light a crafty angles-creator (including at the second level) and RT Nate Solder a ridiculous athlete out in front.

5. Broncos pass-rush slowing down?
Pass-rush pressure is always a prerequisite for beating Tom Brady. Lately, the Patriots have nullified it with an increased emphasis on three-and five-step drops. Brady is especially sharp at this when working out of an empty backfield.

The Broncos have not had the most fervid pass-rush the last month anyway. They sacked Brady just twice in Week 15. They got Ryan Fitzpatrick just once the next week and Kyle Orton once in the season finale. They got to Ben Roethlisberger in the wild card round but that’s a product of Roethlisberger’s style of play. Denver’s pass-rush did not control the flow of last Saturday’s game. Von Miller has had just one sack since his first game back from a thumb injury (December 11 at Minnesota) and has been less explosive playing with a cast.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all divisional-round games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 11:31 am

Film Room: Broncos vs. Patriots preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

It might just be the most anticipated matchup of the season: Tom Brady vs. Tim Tebow. One quarterback inspires because he has it all and wins, the other inspires because he has none of it and wins. Let’s break it down.

1. Evaluating Tebow
If you want a rehashing of Tebow’s quarterbacking strengths and (many) weaknesses, or an opinion on whether the Broncos should invest long-term in their unconventional “star”, or a theory about motivation and inspiration and divine intervention, hit the message boards or talk radio. The focus of this post is on what Tebow has shown on film the past few weeks.

In short, he’s getting better as a passer but still has a long ways to go. He’s been very good against Cover 2 looks. He made the Vikings pay for their frequent (and, frankly, mind-boggling) mistakes two weeks ago, and he conjured up several critical late-game completions the week after, when the Bears moved from man coverage to a soft Tampa 2 (where a few goofs by the secondary and a lack of pass-rush killed them down the stretch).

Tebow remains slow in the pocket – in terms of progressions, decisiveness and ball release – and he falls back on sandlot tactics if his first read is not there. This isn’t the worst thing, though, as he’s clearly proven to be clutch in this style. He’s very effective on the move, both as a scrambler and passer. He can extend the play with a unique Roethlisberger-like sense for avoiding and shedding pass-rushers.

But unless the Broncos can continue to win while averaging less than 20 points per game offensively, they’ll need more aerial dimension, progression reads and overall consistency from their young quarterback.

2. Denver’s run game
When offenses put a bunch of bodies on the line of scrimmage, the natural assumption is that they’re relying on sheer human mass to bulldoze the defense and clear a path for the running back. In actuality, what they’re often doing is creating more running options for the back. The more players there are along the line of scrimmage, the more gaps there are for the defense to worry about.

This is why you frequently see the Broncos bring a receiver in motion down to the tight end spot just before the snap; it’s not the receiver’s blocking prowess that the Broncos like, it’s that his presence expands the run front surface. Generally, the defense responds to this by matching players to gaps (in other words, crowding the line of scrimmage).

The brilliance of Denver’s zone-option run is that it forces defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage when there’s still the threat of a pass. Granted, this passing threat is weak – usually only two or three receivers run routes, and defenses are happy to see Tebow throw – but it’s not weak enough for defenders to completely ignore. Thus, they’re distracted ever so slightly from their run-stopping assignments.

More than that, the zone-option presents a myriad of run possibilities on a given play. The ball could go to Willis McGahee, fullback Spencer Larsen, a sweeping receiver or stay with Tebow. And with so many options, the ball does not necessarily have to follow the direction of the blocking scheme.

These are all factors that defenders must mentally process after the snap. That’s not how defenders are accustomed to playing the run.
Also, keep in mind, defenses do not generally account for quarterbacks in the run game; Tebow’s threat as a runner has a wildcat effect that gives the offense a numbers advantage if the D does not bring an eighth man in the box.

3. How the Patriots will defend the run
A smart, fundamentally-sound run-defending front seven can still stymie the zone-option. Usually, it takes two stud linebackers and two stud defensive ends. The Bears and Jets both had these resources and, aside from a play or two, they both shutdown the Broncos’ ground game. The Bears did it out of a base 4-4 (safety Craig Steltz played in the box all game); the Jets did it out of a base 3-5.

Whatever the defensive alignment, the basic principles are the same: the linebackers must see the field well enough to track the ball and identify gaps. More importantly, they must run well enough to catch up to the ball (because, as we’ve examined, defending the zone-option is strict assignment football, where the reads are more details-oriented than in conventional run defense). The defensive ends must have the physical strength to penetrate against one-on-one blocking, as well as the discipline to stay within the strict confines of their edge duties.

It’s unknown whether the Patriots will follow Chicago’s 4-4 scheme or New York’s 3-5 scheme Sunday. They’ve alternated between various defensive fronts all season. More pressing is whether the Patriots even have the personnel. Inside linebacker Jerod Mayo is elite, but whoever’s next to him is most certainly not (Bill Belichick has tried a litany of different players here). At left end, Vince Wilfork is obviously a monster.

On the defensive right side, Andre Carter has been outstanding at times, but he may not have the necessary size to trade blows with a left tackle like Ryan Clady for four quarters. If the Patriots go with a 3-5 approach, they may want to rotate massive youngsters Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick at end and use Carter’s flexible movement skills in space (ala Calvin Pace of the Jets).

Keep in mind, the Broncos have a sound rushing attack even without the zone-option. McGahee has a league-leading six 100-yard games on the season, and his front five is capable of winning one-on-one battles across the board. The Patriots got abused last week by a Redskins rushing attack that entered the game ranked 31st.

4. Back to the air
It’s entirely possible that Tebow and the Broncos will be able to move the ball through the thin Mile High air this Sunday. The Patriots’ pass-rush has been more “miss” than “hit” in 2011. Their secondary currently features a journeyman special teamer at strong safety (James Ihedigbo), a wide receiver and career-long special teamer at free safety (Matthew Slater) and another wide receiver at nickelback (Julian Edelman).

That’s the type of lineup you only see when someone is screwing around playing Madden.

If the Patriots bring Ihedigbo into the box, they’ll have to play either Cover 3 (zone) or man-to-man downfield. Because defensive backs must face inside when playing Cover 3, the way to attack them is with outside routes. Broncos wideouts Eric Decker and Matt Willis are effective on these patterns.

In man, cornerbacks must obviously stay with their assigned wide receiver. This season, Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty have simply not done that. Arrington improved his ball skills but has still been exploited. McCourty has been just plain porous.

5. Patriots previous blueprint for Tebow?
We’ve looked at how the Patriots might defend the Broncos offense as a whole. What about defending Tebow specifically? One player who is somewhat similar in style is Vince Young.

The Patriots devised a shrewd gameplan when they faced the Eagles backup in Week 12. Using a mix of 3-4 and 4-3 looks, they focused on keeping Young in the pocket, forcing him to be a passer. They did this by jamming his tight ends and wing/flex receivers with defensive ends and blitzing linebackers.

That disrupted a lot of Young’s quick outlet throws and forced him to make reads downfield. When Patriot blitzers did actually go after Young, they always came from the front side. That way, Young would see the blitz and instinctively scramble to the backside. On that backside would be a defensive end in containment.

At the end of the day, this approach generated three sacks and 21 incompletions for the Patriots defense.

6. Other side of the ball
Even though Tebow has been at his most comfortable throwing against Cover 2, the Patriots would presumably love to play that defense often this Sunday, as that’s the tactic they tend to fall back on when protecting a big lead. The reason Tebow has not had to put together four good quarters of even semi-traditional quarterbacking during this six-game win streak is because no team has managed to jump way out in front against the Denver defense.

New England will certainly look to change that. Expect some form of hurry-up early in the game. Even if playing with a lead weren’t extra important this week, Tom Brady would still come out throwing, as it’s difficult to run against Denver’s base 4-3 (their tackles Broderick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas hold ground well, and their linebackers all cover ground well).

Most offenses would prefer facing Denver’s nickel D. It’s a much easier group to run inside against, and the revolving door at No. 3 slot cornerback has been a weak spot for the Broncos since Day One. The Broncos will likely use their nickel D against the Patriots’ base 12 offense (one back, two tight ends, two wide receivers). This will make John Fox’s group somewhat vulnerable to the run, but Fox would rather see Brady handing off than throwing.

Because so much of New England’s offense is horizontal, it’s important for a defense to have as much speed at linebacker as possible. In this sense, nickel linebacker Wesley Woodyard is better suited than starter Joe Mays. What’s more, in nickel, the Broncos can go with three downlinemen and create more space for their excellent inside blitzers, Von Miller and D.J. Williams.

Generating pressure inside is a must against Brady. The only way to disrupt him is to move him off his spot and make him play frenetic. The more Brady moves, the less likely he is to throw between the numbers. That’s critical, as these statistics show:

                            Tom Brady 2011 Passing Stats
          Between the Numbers         Outside the Numbers
   COMP %
                  73.4                     54.7
    YPA                   9.44                     7.31
  QB Rating
                 118.2                     86.8

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 15 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:18 pm

Broncos get key components of running game back

Posted by Andy Benoit

Injuries hounded the Denver Broncos this preseason. But in the end – or, from a regular season standpoint, in the beginning – all turned out well (for the running game, anyway).

All-World left tackle Ryan Clady returned to action Thursday night in the team’s final preseason contest. Clady is coming off surgery for a partially torn patellar tendon suffered in April. His recovery was impressively efficient.

Knowshon Moreno also returned – sort of -- after missing all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Moreno did not play Thursday night, but he suited up and sprinted full speed onto the field in pregame warmups (a good sign when dealing with a hamstring injury). It looks like he’ll be ready to go in Week 1.

The man competing for Moreno’s snaps, veteran Correll Buckhalter, also played. Buckhalter started after missing all but the first day of training camp with a back injury. He ran the ball three times for three yards and caught two passes for 26 yards.

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Posted on: August 26, 2010 1:35 pm

Offensive tackles getting healthy

Posted by Andy Benoit

Ryan Clady and Jared Gaither, arguably the NFL’s two most naturally talented offensive tackles, both could be on the field come Week 1 after battling injuries the past several months.

Clady returned to practice Wednesday, marking one of the quickest recoveries from a torn patella tendon that football has ever seen. Also on Wednesday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed optimism about Gaither returning from a back injury by September 13.

There has been some confusion regarding the nature of Gaither’s injury. Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com writes:
On Tuesday Gaither told reporters that a second opinion he got on his back revealed a thoracic disc injury, which causes pain and numbness in the upper back. He didn’t give a timetable for his return, but said he wouldn’t need surgery.

Harbaugh cleared up the diagnoses Wednesday. After being told Gaither had a small tear weeks ago, Harbaugh now understands there’s a lining on the thoracic disc that is either irritated or torn. One doctor said it’s torn and the other says there’s a slight tear. That is what caused Ravens’ trainers to tell Harbaugh that Gaither had back spasms.

Gaither has missed a lot of practice time while transitioning from left tackle to right tackle (he had foot problems earlier in the offseason and lost a significant amount of weight due to an illness early in training camp). However, he should be able to immediately snatch a starting job once fully healthy (especially given that backup Oniel Cousins has had concussion problems as of late).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:39 pm

News from around the AFC West

Some quick-hitting news from around the AFC West:


Shawne Merriman is getting some terrible advice. The damaged linebacker (knee) is staying away from the first few days of training camp not as a holdout looking for a new deal, but as an unsigned RFA looking for assurance that the team is committed to him (whatever that means). Few players have as much to prove in 2010 as Merriman. He needs to be practicing.


Oversized tight end Brad Cottam, who showed flashes of promise at times last season, is out for the season. Cottam broke his neck in Week 15 last year and hasn’t rebounded well.


Coaches seem inclined to move franchise defensive end Richard Seymour to defensive tackle. Seymour, who was versatile as a 3-4 end in New England, is better inside than outside (especially in Oakland’s 4-3 scheme). If Seymour slides inside next to Tommy Kelly, run-stopping youngster Matt Shaughnessy and explosive second-round rookie Lamarr Houston would be the starting ends.


The Broncos say left tackle Ryan Clady is making great progress in rehabbing his surgically-repaired knee. (Clady, you may recall, partially tore his patellar tendon playing pickup basketball in April.) Of course, would you expect the Broncos to say anything about Clady that isn’t glowing with optimism? The good news is, outside observers have noted that Clady appears to be walking without a limp. The hope is that the game’s most athletic offensive tackle will be ready come mid-September.

-- Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:04 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 12:14 pm

Position rankings: offensive tackles

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on offensive tackles.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Jon Stinchcomb, Saints

4. Jake Long, Dolphins

3. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets

2. Ryan Clady, Broncos

1. Joe Thomas, BrownsJ. Thomas (US Presswire)

This is the first top five list for offense we’ve done, and naturally, we start with, other than quarterback, perhaps the most important position on the field. We speak, of course, of the offensive tackle (specifically, left tackle, but on this list, we won’t discriminate against anybody playing on the right side). Tackles have finally been recognized for their importance, as teams are doling out huge contracts to pay the men who protect the quarterback.

Thomas is as quick a left tackle as you’ll find. He’s an outstanding run-blocker who uses his mobility to turn away onrushing defenders. Quite simply, he might be the best offensive linemen in all of football.

Clady gave up 0.5 sacks in his rookie season in 2008, which is pretty amazing. He took a small step back last season, but his blend of athleticism is impressive. He’s coming off a serious April knee injury, though (tore his patella tendon playing basketball). The Jets obviously think highly of Ferguson, considering he was the first of New York’s “core four” to sign a contract extension. He’s becoming more of a complete player – especially with his run-blocking during the past two seasons. Long doesn’t always do so well against the speediest pass-rushers in the league, and there were times last season when Miami’s coaches had to give him help in protection. Still, he’s made two Pro bowls in his first two years in the NFL.

And because I have to get a right tackle in there, I went with Stinchcomb. I think the Jets’ Damien Woody and Tennessee’s David Stewart were pretty good candidates, but Stinchcomb allowed only three sacks on more than 1,000 snaps last season (he allowed only one sack in about the same number of snaps the season before). Plus, he grades out as one of the better run-blockers in the league. Hmm, I wonder what Andy will think of my Stinchcomb selection. 

Andy's top five list

5. Michael Roos, Titans

4. Jared Gaither, Ravens

3. Jake Long, Dolphins

2. Ryan Clady, Broncos

1. Joe Thomas, Browns

If putting Stinchcomb on your list is meant as a joke, that’s funny. If you’re being serious, that’s even funnier. Stinchcomb is a grizzled mauler in the run game, but he’s a liability in pass protection. He surrenders few sacks because Drew Brees takes few sacks. Stinchcomb is maybe a top five right tackle. But for tackles overall? He’s not even top 25.
People hardly notice Roos because he’s so steady and fundamentally sound that he never stands out on TV. His long arms are a major asset. I hesitate to put Gaither here because I hear so many gripes about his attitude and work ethic. But in the end, his raw talent is second to none, and he’s improved his technique and awareness every year in his young career. We’ll see how he does on the right side this season.

Long has lived up to his No. 1 overall draft status thus far. He gets out of his stance quicker than any blocker in the game. Clady is the most athletic offensive lineman in the NFL. Thomas, however, was a tad more consistent in 2010. He can get out in front and even change directions as a run-blocker, plus pass protection comes easy to him.

I like Ferguson – he’s my No. 6 (or No. 5 if Gaither has another screw-up).

Josh, I was glad to see you didn’t follow the mindless herds that think Jason Peters or Bryant McKinnie are elite players. Both guys are paid like elite players, but both are below average left tackles. That’s right – below average. Talent-wise, they’re amazing. But output-wise, they’re unforgivably inconsistent. Peters has shoddy technique and McKinnie is soft.

You mentioned that tackle is a position getting its due. It’s true – too true, in fact. Because of Michael Lewis’s The Blind Side, left tackle has become the chic position. It makes a person feel smart to talk about how important the left tackle is. In reality, the best teams in recent years have not had the best left tackles. Not even close, in fact. The most obvious example? The Saints and Colts both had atrocious left tackles last season (Jermon Bushrod and Charlie Johnson). And look at the guys on our lists. How many are from playoff teams?

Josh’s rebuttal

It’s funny you bring up The Blind Side; neither of us picked the subject of that book, Michael Oher. I’ve talked to a few offensive tackles – none of whom are on my top five list – who basically scoffed at Oher’s play. They believe the only reason people know Oher is because of the movie. I’m glad to see you didn’t put him on your list either.

I agree that Stinchcomb is not one of the five best tackles in the league overall. But, unlike you, I felt it was necessary to put a right tackle on the list (Gaither doesn’t count, because he hasn’t played there before). Sure, a left tackle might be the most important spot on the offensive line – if you want your quarterback to finish the season with his head still attached to his shoulders – but without a good right tackle, a quarterback will still feel the brunt of many sacks. (He’ll just see them coming instead.) In regards to right tackles, Stinchcomb is the best (with the possible exception of the injured Willie Colon). His Pro Bowl selection means that somebody agrees with me.

As for Roos, I’m not sure he’s the best tackle on his team, much less the league.

Andy’s final word

I’m not going to bother arguing about who’s better between the polished Roos and gritty Stewart (by the way, gritty = euphemism for “unathletic and unrefined”). I will, however, respond to your righteous attitude about right tackles. I didn’t get the memo from our editors saying we had to compromise the integrity of our lists simply to acknowledge the best guys from the inferior tackle position.

I’m not a right tackle hater – I’ll even rank my top three: 1. Damien Woody, Jets; 2. Ryan Diem, Colts; 3. Ryan Harris, Broncos. I would have had Oher at two if not for his move to the left (those offensive tackles who criticized Oher are speaking out of jealousy). If Jammal Brown is as good in Washington as expected, he’ll overtake Woody. After all, Brown is so gifted that he’s spent most of his career playing the premium left side position.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker | Defensive Tackle | Defensive End)

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com