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B/R NFL 1,000: Top 32 Right Guards

Matt MillerNFL Draft Lead WriterMarch 8, 2012

B/R NFL 1,000: Top 32 Right Guards

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    Operating deep in the trenches, right guards get little exposure—at least until they're badly exposed by the opposing team's defense. It takes an attentive eye to see which guards are best at doing their jobs, but a close look can answer the question, "Who are the best right guards in the NFL?"

    To find out, we've determined what makes up a great guard and how well each 2011 starter represents those traits. The quest comes as part of the B/R NFL 1,000. The new series offers an in-depth look at every position in the NFL, breaking down players' skills in a way never before seen on the Internet.

    B/R 1,000 rankings don't assess who had the best year or even who has the most potential. Rather, players—in this case, right guards—are judged on their current skills and mechanics, based on film study of the 2011 NFL preseason and regular season only. 

    After hours spent scouting every starter and every potential starter, the top 32 right guards have been scored in 10 criteria (here's more on the criteria). In the slides that follow, we'll explain each player's strengths and weaknesses as the final ranking is revealed.

32. Adam Snyder, San Francisco 49ers

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    Agility

    4

    Decent agility seems to come and go. Snyder has played guard and tackle. He has quick feet, but poor flexibility.

    Pass Block, Speed

    2

    Was absolutely dominated by speed-rushers on the New York Giants roster—twice. Is not quick enough to snap up and adjust to speed-rushers.

    Pass Block, Power

    2

    Snyder did not fare much better against power-rushers—see Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Baltimore as examples. Is easy to run over, as he plays too high.

    Run Blocking

    1.5

    Is a better tandem-blocker than Chilo Rachal, but is not a good player when asked to single-handedly open a hole. Snyder's play against Cleveland and St. Louis was abysmal.

    Move in Space

    3

    Snyder has quick feet to get off the line, but often misses when asked to block in space. Is not trustworthy in screen packages.

    Pull/Trap

    3

    Only average moving laterally and as an athlete—not a great fit in the power-blocking scheme.

    Strength

    6

    Functionally, Snyder's strength doesn't show up on the field. He's a big, strong player but can be beat because he's not applying that strength to the position.

    Technique

    4

    Only four flags thrown his way in 2011, but he's a reacher and a grabber at the line. Doesn't set his feet well and is often off balance when contact is made. Catches the defender instead of making the first hit.

    Size

    10

    Built at 6'5" and 325 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started every game during 2011 season.

    Overall

    45.5

    The San Francisco 49ers were fortunate enough to play in 18 games during the 2011 season, including the playoffs. During that time I charted just four games where Snyder had a "plus" score—Cincinnati, Washington, Pittsburgh and New Orleans. The other 14 games were solid evidence of the fact that Snyder has to be replaced.

31. Ryan Diem, Indianapolis Colts

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    Agility

    5

    An average athlete with good lateral agility but not elite quickness. Has decent burst out of his stance and good enough balance. Has the flexibility of a tackle, not a guard.

    Pass Block, Speed

    3.5 

    Has the size and quickness to be great in this area but misses on blocks and can give up the inside shoulder too often with poor timing and poor angles.

    Pass Block, Power

    3.5

    Poor leverage leads to Diem being put on his backside too often by bigger rushers in the middle. Must fire out lower and initiate contact better.

    Run Blocking

    2.5 

    Really struggles at guard to stay low and keep his weight balanced. Does not have the hips to roll through defenders. Too often gets caught standing up.

    Move in Space

    3

    Below average in space. Doesn't have the agility to move laterally with elite balance, quickness or control. 

    Pull/Trap

    4.5 

    Limited mobility prevents him from getting out in front of a play. Not someone you want leading the way on a screen or toss.

    Strength

    Has the strength to stand in and fight against interior pass-rushers, but doesn’t execute as well in the run game.

    Technique

    Only two penalties in his 10 appearances, but will struggle to roll through defenders. Is very stiff and more of a waist-bender than a guard should be. Is much more natural at tackle.

    Size

    10

    Has the size of a right tackle at 6’7” and 320 lbs.

    Health

    5

    Missed seven games due to a knee injury during 2011 season.

    Overall

    49

    A former tackle, Diem made the move inside and struggled during an all-around bad season in Indianapolis. He’s a much better fit at right tackle, and ideally would be a wave offensive lineman filling in where needed.

30. Cooper Carlisle, Oakland Raiders

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    Agility

    4.5

    Has decent agility but is very inconsistent. Doesn't possess great body control or quickness. Struggles to keep his balance when coming out of a three-point stance. Age is setting in.

    Pass Block, Speed

    3

    Allowed 23 quarterback pressures in 2011, most of them coming at the hands of outside speed-rushers. Will easily give up when asked to take on a blitzing linebacker.

    Pass Block, Power

    Lacks awareness and often fails to recover and reset to battle second and third moves.

    Run Blocking

    An average power-blocker who can drive off the line if not asked to reach or extend. Can get his pads low and drive off the ball.  

    Move in Space

    4

    Limited ability to get to the second level, toward the defensive backfield. Is average at attacking angles and clearing space. Not a factor on screen packages.

    Pull/Trap

    Doesn't move well laterally. An in-the-box guard who shouldn't be asked to pull or trap.    

    Strength

    Has good strength, but is somewhat limited by his size. Could have gained strength or added bulk.

    Technique

    Comes out high and will get blown over by rushers because he's not set to mirror or slide. Poor hips and knees.

    Size

    Has very good height at 6’5”, but is light for the inside at only 295 lbs.

    Health

    10

    A 16-game starter for the Raiders in 2011.

    Overall

    50.5

    A smart veteran player who doesn’t get noticed much, Carlisle is serviceable, but a player the Raiders should look to move on from when given a chance. With limited draft picks in 2012, Carlisle may have a job for one more season.

29. Chris Chester, Washington Redskins

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    Agility

    A limited athlete, Chester can be effective at times but often struggles against elite pass-rushers and when asked to play in space. Would benefit from a move to a backup position.

    Pass Block, Speed

    5

    Showed decent recovery and average awareness, but poor quickness out of his stance. Can be beaten easily when helping down block on the center if an end or linebacker crashes his outside shoulder.

    Pass Block, Power

    5

    Handled 5-technique defensive ends—those lining up on his outside shoulder—better than players inside, closer to the ball, in a 0-technique.

    Run Blocking

    0.5 

    A perfect display of how to not run block was on display in Week 3 against Dallas in 2011. Few current blockers have been worse at pushing the pile than Chester was in this game. Does not work well to double-down on nose tackles.

    Move in Space

    2.5

    An average player in space. Doesn't have the agility to move laterally with elite balance, quickness or control.

    Pull/Trap

    3.5 

    Doesn't work well getting out in front of the play due to limited mobility from the right guard spot. Would be better in a scheme that doesn’t live and die with the stretch run play.

    Strength

    Good strength and bulk provide a strong base. Fails to impress at the point of attack.

    Strength

    Only penalized once all season, but did not look good in the run game. Failed to drive off the ball and played too high and too wide all season. Lacked fire and burst.

    Size

    10

    Very good size, at 6’3” and 305 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started all 16 games during 2011 season.

    Overall

    52.5

    Chester was a very solid player in Baltimore, but since coming over to Washington he has struggled. He is not a good fit in Mike Shanahan’s mobile-pocket passing game, nor is he agile enough to get down the line in the run game.

28. Anthony Herrera, Minnesota Vikings

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    Agility

    5

    An average athlete with good lateral agility, but nothing special. Can be limited in terms of quickness and flexibility.

    Pass Block, Speed

    3

    If you ever want to see horrible pass blocking, watch Herrera Week 3 vs. Detroit and Week 17 vs. Chicago. Absolutely horrid.

    Pass Block, Power

    5

    Herrera has shown the ability to anchor against bull rushes, but there are times he’ll give up to inside moves. He can be power-driven off the ball.

    Run Blocking

    3

    Herrera lacks the strength and angles to attack a defender in one-on-one situations. He does not have the hip flexibility to roll through blocks.

    Move in Space

    3.5

    Limited athletically, Herrera fails to reach the second level.

    Pull/Trap

    3

    Is not a player you want working on the move. Struggles to maintain balance and will often miss when blocking on the run.

    Strength

    6.5

    Solid strength when his feet are set, but when asked to execute on the move—even when sliding in protection—he suffers.

    Technique

    6.5

    Doesn’t get flagged much, but struggles with angles. Better agility and better flexibility would be major improvements.

    Size

    10

    A little short at 6’2”, but makes up for it with powerful 315-lb frame.

    Health

    8

    Started just 12 games during 2011 season.

    Overall

    53.5

    Herrera is nearing the part of his career where teams know what he can do and what he can’t do. A role as a backup guard is most likely, especially after a very poor 2011 campaign.

27. Chris Spencer, Chicago Bears

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    Agility

    3

    A limited athlete with below-average ability to slide laterally. He doesn't adjust well on the move and is slow to reset himself out of his stance.

    Pass Block, Speed

    3

    Has the size and quickness to be great in this area but misses on blocks and can give up the edge too often with poor timing and poor angles. Way too many penalties.

    Pass Block, Power

    4

    Lacks the flexibility and agility to sink his hips and drop his weight to take on power-rushers. Poor hand placement and angles leave him getting run over by big ends.

    Run Blocking

    5

    Lacks the leverage and the quickness to get out in front of the play. Needs to learn how to take the correct angles. Awareness is average.

    Move in Space

    3.5

    Spencer doesn't show good range on pass protection and would be much better lining up inside where he's not asked to extend.

    Pull/Trap

    4

    He's not great at leading on tosses and would rather be used setting up inside the tackle box.

    Strength

    8

    Has very good strength at the point of attack. Spencer can sit down and control a gap.

    Technique

    5

    Penalized seven times during 2011 season—far too often for a guard who is asked to clear piles in a power-run game.

    Size

    10

    Has ideal size for an interior lineman at 6’3” and 310 lbs.

    Health

    9

    Missed one start during the 2011 season.

    Overall

    54.5

    Spencer has moved around during his career, but settled in at guard this season. In Mike Martz’s scheme he was a poor fit, but may be better off in a power-run scheme instituted by Mike Tice during the 2012 season.

26. Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos

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    Agility

    5

    A solid athlete with good ability to slide laterally. Kuper does a nice job to adjust on the move and is quick to reset himself out of his stance.

    Pass Block, Speed

    6

    Kuper’s agility is a nice asset here. Is very good at chipping the nose tackle and then looking to pick up blitzers as needed. Very good awareness.

    Pass Block, Power

    5.5

    Blocking for a mobile quarterback, Kuper was impressive at sealing off the backside when Tim Tebow scrambled and at taking away power moves. He’s stronger than one would think.

    Run Blocking

    0.5

    Masked by the impressive numbers of the Denver run game, Kuper is very poor in run blocking. He fails to open holes alone and is constantly driven off the ball. A smart scheme and tough runners are to credit for high rushing stats.

    Move in Space

    4

    Has the basic athleticism to get to the second level. Can struggle in screen packages to get free of traffic and locate defenders.

    Pull/Trap

    4

    Does well to come off the ball and take a 45-degree step to open up zones, but fails to initiate contact when in space. Poor leverage and strength in the open field.

    Strength

    6

    Above-average strength, but can be pushed out of the way if he doesn’t get set fast enough. Struggles in the run game to open holes when blocking alone.

    Technique

    4

    Decent number of penalties in 2011. Must do a better job keeping his hands inside the frame and chopping his feet. In the run game he has to dominate angles and learn better technique to roll through defenders. Initial contact is good; follow-through is not.

    Size

    10

    Ideal size at 6’4”, 302 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started every game in 2011 season.

    Overall

    55

    Kuper has impressive potential, but his ability to last as a starter in the NFL depends on his run-blocking skills making a dramatic improvement. He has the agility to be a solid player, but his inability to drive through defenders and his lack of strength on the move are major concerns.

25. Kyle Kosier, Dallas Cowboys

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    Agility

    4.5

    A little stiff in his movements and isn't as crisp as you'd like moving from guard.

    Pass Block, Speed

    4

    Struggles to recognize and adjust to stunts and twists, as he’s not athletic enough to pick up changes.

    Pass Block, Power

    Has the strength to take on a bull rush, but can be beaten with a strong swim move. Needs to get set faster and show better leverage.

    Run Blocking

    Kosier fails to drive the defender off the ball, even with very good strength. He’s a liability on stretch plays and cannot adequately get to the second level to seal a block.

    Move in Space

    4

    Struggles to get out in the open field and engage moving targets. Doesn’t always use correct angles in short areas.

    Pull/Trap

    Limited athlete who fails to get around end on time. Can be wild and off balance. Misses often on the move.

    Strength

    He has good lower-body power and is a true anchor against a pass rush.

    Technique

    Only three penalties in 2011, and all came in Weeks 3-5. Has clean hand placement, but takes poor angles to the defender. Loops around too often.

    Size

    10 

    Built like a brick wall at 6’5”, 310 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started every game in 2011.

    Overall

    56.5

    Kosier is interesting in that he could be so much better, but his inability to move the pile in the run game is frustrating. He lacks the agility to get outside and lead block, but doesn’t want to engage and lock on inside. The talent is there; the production is not.

24. Danny Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Agility

    6

    Has a quick initial step to create movement off the snap but average in-line kick slide to mirror the bull-rushers at the line of scrimmage.

    Pass Block, Speed

    4

    Struggled against defenses where he had to extend to reach the defensive tackle. Works well in a combination, but doesn't reach well due to average experience and technique.

    Pass Block, Power

    Best when blocking in-line, as he sets with a strong base and shows better balance when he sinks his weight and stays low in his pad level.

    Run Blocking

    Can be dominant at the point of attack if he learns to keep his legs driving and maintains good hand placement.

    Move in Space

    4

    Struggles some at locating a moving linebacker when working in space. Has room to be much better here.

    Pull/Trap

    4

    He's not great at leading on tosses and looks more comfortable coming back to his right to wham a defender crashing the backfield on traps.  

    Strength

    6.5 

    Good enough but could stand to add upper-body strength and flexibility.

    Technique

    4.5 

    Watkins needs work here. Does a good job getting out of his stance, but his hand placement was all over the map. Must do a better job taking the right angle for impact on a defender.

    Size

    10 

    Ideal interior line size at 6’3”, 310 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Was not injured during the 2011 season.

    Overall

    57

    Watkins has immense potential, but his play as a rookie in 2011 was bad. He did look good at times, but needs a full offseason to learn the NFL and gain strength.

23. Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay Buccannears

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    Agility

    Good initial burst but lacks the elite agility or balance to see a higher score.  

    Pass Block, Speed

    5.5 

    Was dominated in Week 5 loss to the 49ers, but otherwise had a good year. His ability to shuffle his feet and pick up late-coming blitzers was a big help.

    Pass Block, Power

    Joseph improved in this area over the course of the year. Showed good awareness and the strength to chip with the center and then look to locate blitzers.

    Run Blocking

    One of the least effective run-blockers in the NFL, Joseph rarely does more than get in the way. Tries to finesse block and can be easily beaten inside.

    Move in Space

    3

    Struggles to get out in the open field and engage moving targets. Good, not great, speed to get to the second level.  

    Pull/Trap

    Doesn't play great under his pads. Can eat up ground with big steps, but lacks the leverage or lower-body strength to lock on. 

    Strength

    Shows much better strength in the passing game. His strength moving inside is good, but when asked to drive off the ball he's weak.

    Technique

    Gets a little high and a little too far outside with his hand placement at times. Would like to see better awareness on the edge.

    Size

    10

    Ideal size at 6’3”, 311 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started all 16 games in 2011.

    Overall

    57.5

    Joseph gets a bad name for his run-blocking skills, but his ability in pass protection saves him. His inability to drive the pile or wash down defenders in the run game is a problem, but something he could improve upon with better technique and more aggression at the snap.

22. Rex Hadnot, Arizona Cardinals

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    Agility

    Good initial burst but lacks the elite agility or balance to see a higher score.  

    Pass Block, Speed

    3.5

    Allowed 31 quarterback pressures in 2011, many of which came by way of a speed rush and rip move to the inside.

    Pass Block, Power

    3

    A decent help-blocker, Hadnot cannot be asked to handle a power rush one-on-one. See Weeks 10-11 against Philadelphia and San Francisco as evidence.

    Run Blocking

    4.5 

    Too aggressive at times, which puts him out of position. Does not get the push against a powerful interior defensive lineman—too stagnant.

    Move in Space

    5

    Struggles to get out in the open field and engage moving targets. Good, not great, speed to get to the second level.  

    Pull/Trap

    He's not great at leading on tosses and looks more comfortable inside the tackle box.

    Strength

    Fundamentally strong with a wide frame and solid base.

    Technique

    Gets a little high and a little too far outside with his hand placement at times. Would like to see better awareness on the edge.

    Size

    10

    Heavy, with good natural leverage, measuring in at 6’2” and 325 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started every game in 2011.

    Overall

    58

    A smart, experienced veteran who was expected to shore up the run game in Arizona, Hadnot started the year off hot before fading down the stretch. His Week 7 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was one of the worst grades all season in terms of overall play.

21. Garrett Reynolds, Atlanta Falcons

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    Agility

    Has a quick initial step off the snap but average in-line kick slide to mirror the bull-rushers at the line of scrimmage.  

    Pass Block, Speed

    4.5

    Gave up sacks early in the year to teams with fast-charging defensive tackles. Must become more comfortable with line calls and use his length better.

    Pass Block, Power

    4.5 

    There is good potential here. Can set his feet and stand his ground against power moves. May be best served on the edge.

    Run Blocking

    Doesn't lock on fast enough. Needs to use his strength better to drive defenders out of the hole. Gets way too high in his stance and doesn't overpower tacklers.

    Move in Space

    5

    Needs to stay lower when moving. Would like to see him move better and with more control on sweeps and screen plays.

    Pull/Trap

    Struggles locating a moving linebacker when working in space. Comes out as average.

    Strength

    Fails to get leverage and can be handled by a defender who attacks his body. Played too high.

    Technique

    5.5 

    Was penalized five times in his seven starts. Gave up the outside too often and looked lost.

    Size

    10 

    Built like a tackle at 6’8”, 310 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Did not miss games due to injury.

    Overall

    58.5

    A starter through Week 6, Reynolds finished the season as a reserve guard. Reynolds was seen by many as a future tackle, which is where he could be moved to in 2012.

20. Vernon Carey, Miami Dolphins

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    Agility


    Struggles to move laterally and is just average here. A limited athlete who may be playing too heavy.

    Pass Block, Speed

    3

    Fails to finish his blocks and lacks the foot speed to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage. Isn't quick enough off the ball to help much here.

    Pass Block, Power

    While he has a good hand punch, he will overextend and lose the block too quickly. Too often tries to wait and catch the defender instead of delivering the first hit.

    Run Blocking

    5

    Missed far too many blocks in 2011. Consistency is the key. Struggled to move nose tackles off the ball in games against New England, Denver and Miami.

    Move in Space

    4

    Doesn't always get out in the open field and engage moving targets. Uses correct angles in the short area, but gets tangled up when on the move. A player you'd rather have in the trenches than on the edge.

    Pull/Trap

    4.5 

    Only average moving laterally and as an athlete—not a great fit in the zone-blocking scheme.

    Strength

    8.5 

    Very powerful in his upper body. Knows how to use his strength in run and pass blocking. Can be a physical presence inside, especially when he’s helping on double-teams.

    Technique

    Just one penalty committed in 2011. Has shown remarkable improvement since moving from tackle.

    Size

    10

    Massive frame and bulk at 6’4”, 335 lbs.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game due to injury.

    Overall

    60

    A former right tackle, Carey impressed during 2011 but is still considered a third-tier offensive lineman. He’s solid and strong enough to flash at times, but lacks consistency.

19. Joe Hawley, Atlanta Falcons

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    Agility

    5

    Decent agility seems to come and go. Has played center and right guard, but should stick to the right side.

    Pass Block, Speed

    4

    Can be blown off the ball by a speed rush. Doesn't have the quickness or agility to shuffle back and cut off speed-rushers.

    Pass Block, Power

    3.5

    Doesn't follow through on blocks. Will punch and then struggle to adjust and reset. Very inconsistent. It's as if he doesn't see pass-rushers at times.  

    Run Blocking

    5

    Hawley lacks the leverage and the quickness to get out in front of the play. Is a developmental player in regard to technique and angles.

    Move in Space

    5

    Struggles with footwork and execution. Has enough agility to play on the move, and can help extend the pocket.

    Pull/Trap

    5

    Only average moving laterally and as an athlete—not a great fit in the zone-blocking scheme.

    Strength

    7

    Can be a physical presence inside, especially when he’s helping on double-teams.

    Technique

    6.5

    Six penalties in 2011, but half of those came in first two weeks while playing center. Has proper knee bend to gain position, anchor and sustain.

    Size

    10

    Solid size at 6’3”, 300 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Played in every game during 2011 season, becoming a starter full-time in Week 9.

    Overall

    61

    Hawley opened the season as a starting center, but eventually moved to right guard, where he’s expected to stay. His play early in the year was poor, but once making a move to guard full-time he showed nice potential.

18. Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Agility

    5.5

    Has the ability to stay in control but will lunge into his blocks. He's quick off the ball. An average athlete.

    Pass Block, Speed

    6

    Was susceptible to teams blitzing through the A/B gaps, as he struggled to adjust to inside rushes.

    Pass Block, Power

    6

    Can stand up and fight in a double-team, and is able to pin defenders. Has to backpedal better and has difficulty dipping his hips to contain the bull rush.

    Run Blocking

    3.5

    When working upfield, he's ineffective in space and sometimes will duck his head upon contact. Fails to make contact consistently. Will get caught up in traffic.

    Move in Space

    4

    Overextends when trying to work the screen. Not the type who can be counted on to neutralize linebackers in the second level.

    Pull/Trap

    4

    Average at leading on tosses and would rather be used coming back to wham a defender crashing the backfield on traps.  

    Strength

    7.5

    Has above-average strength for the position with no major flaws in pass protection. Doesn’t fire off low enough to generate a push in run schemes.

    Technique

    6.5

    Only three penalties during 2011 season, but must do a better job sealing hand placement inside the defender. Doesn’t always churn his feet to drive block.

    Size

    10

    Very good size for a power guard at 6’5”, 325 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started 15 games during the 2011 season.

    Overall

    63

    Foster has the potential to develop into a very good right guard. He has the strength to be elite, but his run-blocking skills have to improve.

17. Louis Vasquez, San Diego Chargers

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    Agility

    5

    A limited athlete with below-average ability to slide laterally. Vasquez doesn't adjust well on the move and is slow to reset himself out of his stance.

    Pass Block, Speed

    5.5

    Lacks the quickness to be great in this area, as he misses on blocks and can give up the edge too often with poor timing and failed finishing on his blocks.

    Pass Block, Power

    5.5

    Is strong enough to pin defenders when they try to bull rush him. Should improve his footwork as well as hand placement.

    Run Blocking

    3

    Often failed to keep his pads down and doesn't have the strength to drive tacklers out of the play. Doesn’t generate much push off the line.

    Move in Space

    5

    Shows good range on pass protection. Can quickly get to the corner. Has the feet to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage.

    Pull/Trap

    4

    Limited ability as a blocker on the move. He has the quickness to get out in space and very good agility, but he doesn't see the field well and can be a liability when pulling.

    Strength

    8

    Has above-average strength. Shows good base power and enough strength to be a full-time starter on a pass-first team.

    Technique

    8.5

    Can rely too much on strength and his reach, failing to properly position himself at the corner. Will overextend at times. Does a good job chopping his feet and sliding within one- to two-yard space to mirror defenders.

    Size

    10

    Ideal size at 6’5”, 325 lbs. Very good bulk.

    Health

    9

    Missed time in Weeks 10-12 with injury.

    Overall

    63.5

    Started the season hot, with solid play through the first eight weeks, but regressed considerably after missing time with injury in Weeks 10-12. If back at full strength in 2012, should move up the list.

16. Geoff Hangartner, Carolina Panthers

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    Agility

    5

    Average overall agility. Struggles to slide laterally and can be very stiff. Doesn't possess great body control or quickness.

    Pass Block, Speed

    5.5

    Was destroyed by the Detroit Lions in Week 11, but otherwise had a very solid season with consistent play down the stretch.

    Pass Block, Power

    6

    Doesn't have great strength, but is strong enough to pin defenders when they try to bull rush him. Inconsistent. He can improve his footwork as well as hand placement.

    Run Blocking

    6

    His pad level isn't always right, but he has the quickness to get out in front of the play. Would score much higher here if more consistent.

    Move in Space

    5

    Can quickly get to the corner. Has the feet to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage.

    Pull/Trap

    5

    Can get out and lead on sweeps and tosses, reaching linebackers. Can handle the backside of a play, too.

    Strength

    8

    Good strength with a strong base and the proper bulk. He doesn't show great field strength when locking on with defenders.

    Technique

    7

    Shows inconsistent play and can be run over too easily. He can improve his strength as well as hand placement and footwork. Rarely penalized, with just two in all of 2011.

    Size

    10

    Ideal build at 6’5”, 301 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started all 16 games in 2011.

    Overall

    67.5

    A former fifth-round draft pick, Hangartner played well in a new offensive system this season. He was solid enough, outside the Detroit game, to prove he belongs as the long-term option on the right side of the Carolina offensive line.

15. Mike Brisiel, Houston Texans

19 of 33

     

    Agility

    6

    Good initial burst but lacks the elite agility or balance to see a higher score.  

    Pass Block, Speed

    6.5

    Has the quickness to keep up with speed-rushers, but doesn't always finish with good technique. Does a nice job of sustaining his block.

    Pass Block, Power

    7

    Has a good anchor but doesn't always handle a nose tackle on his own. A good help-blocker or combo player. Does much better closing his zone to linebackers.

    Run Blocking

    6.5

    Effective widening and maintaining the rush lanes working between the tackles. Has the strength to drive the defender off the ball and wall off lanes.

    Move in Space

    7

    Has the lateral agility to get out front on traps and pulls. Gets moving and can run behind his momentum.

    Pull/Trap

    7

    Shows great quickness and flexibility in his hips to come off the line and change direction.

    Strength

    7.5

    Shows much better strength in the run game. His strength moving inside is good, but when asked to punch and redirect he's weak.

    Technique

    3.5

    Eight penalties in 2011 were far too many, especially considering he played in just 15 games.

    Size

    10 

    Ideal size for a zone-blocking scheme guard at 6’5” and 282 lbs.

    Health

    8

    Missed time in Weeks 15-17, but was back in time for the playoffs.

    Overall

    69


    One of the best help-blockers in the NFL, Brisiel’s score would be in the top 10 if it weren’t for his eight penalties in 2011.

14. Uche Nwaneri, Jacksonville Jaguars

20 of 33

     

    Agility

    6

    Has above-average lateral agility and quickness off the ball. Snaps up quickly and shows good balance with a quick first reaction.

    Pass Block, Speed

    6

    Has the size and quickness to be great in this area, but he misses on blocks and can give up the edge too often with poor timing and poor angles.

    Pass Block, Power

    6.5

    Has the base to stand up power-rushers who try to go through him. Really improved in this area during 2011 season. Doesn't have the strength to overcome a strong double move.

    Run Blocking

    6.5

    Would score much higher here if more consistent. He keeps his feet churning through blocks. He shows good pad level, smart leverage and the quickness to get out in front of the play.

    Move in Space

    6

    Does a good job getting out in front of screens and tosses. Has great vision and knows where to be on the field.

    Pull/Trap

    5.5

    Doesn't move well laterally. Limited agility and athleticism.

    Strength

    7

    Above-average strength. Shows a strong base and good sting on his punches. Not so strong when locking on with defenders.

    Technique

    6

    Keeps his head on a swivel and shows the ability to extend and pick up the edge. Would like to see him show better balance and footwork. His pad level consistency is very poor.

    Size

    10

    A little shorter than you'd like at 6'3", but very good bulk at 325 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started all 16 games in 2011.

    Overall

    69.5

    An underrated run-blocker who has good production in the run game, Nwaneri is a solid starter but not on a level where he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player. If he can get a little more consistent overall, Jacksonville can win with him at right guard.

13. Chad Rinehart, Buffalo Bills

21 of 33

     

    Agility

    5.5 

    Limited athleticism and agility. Rinehart is stiff at the knees and more of a waist-bender. Shows very good body control and awareness.

    Pass Block, Speed

    Has the size and quickness to be great in this area, but flubs blocks and gives up the edge too often. Room for improvement with more reps and experience.

    Pass Block, Power

    Is strong enough to punch and dump defenders when they try to bull rush him. Better positioning and patience in defending secondary moves will move his score up.

    Run Blocking

    6

    His pad level isn't always right, but he has the quickness to get out in front of the play. Would score much higher here if more consistent.

    Move in Space

    5

    Can stumble getting to the corner. Has the feet to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage.

    Pull/Trap

    5

    Can get caught up when asked to lead on sweeps and tosses. Misses when asked to reach linebackers.

    Strength

    7

    Good strength with a strong base. 

    Technique

    6.5

    Has quick hands and solid reflexes. A natural knee-bender who must improve his hand placement and his balance when taking kick steps. Poor angles result in too many penalties.

    Size

    10

    Very good size—built more like a right tackle at 6’5” and 323 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Was banged up with a shoulder injury, but did not miss time due to injury.

    Overall

    70

    A young player with good potential, Rinehart started 12 games for Buffalo this season and was a consistent performer on the right side. He has a future as a starter in the NFL.

12. Stephen Peterman, Detroit Lions

22 of 33

     

    Agility

    6.5

    Has very good lateral agility and quickness off the ball. Snaps up quickly and shows good balance. Is quick at taking kick step.

    Pass Block, Speed

    7.5

    Has the quickness to be great in this area, but he misses on blocks or doesn't finish them. Can give up the inside too often with poor timing.  

    Pass Block, Power

    7.5

    Doesn't have great strength, but is strong enough to pin defenders when they try to bull rush him. Inconsistent. He can improve his footwork as well as hand placement.

    Run Blocking

    3

    Will miss blocks at times and can fail to get to the second level. Doesn’t latch on and move defenders. Much more likely to wall off a would-be tackler.

    Move in Space

    8

    Shows good range on pass protection. Can quickly get to the corner. Has the feet to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage. Surprisingly effective in screen packages.

    Pull/Trap

    6

    Will stretch and get to linebackers. Can get out and lead on sweeps and tosses. Does a good job walling off defenders on the backside of the play.

    Strength

    6

    Doesn't show great field strength when locking on with defenders. Needs to use base to maximize leverage.

    Technique

    6

    Will overextend at times. Must become better at using leverage and maintaining his blocks. His struggles at giving up big plays in the run game.

    Size

    10

    Has great height and length at 6'4". Weighs in at 323 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Started all 17 games in Detroit during the regular season and playoffs.

    Overall

    70.5

    Peterman is a good starting guard, but his failures in the run game keep his score down. Watching the Lions against the Cowboys, Raiders and Saints in 2011 was particularly troubling, as Peterman failed to maximize his blocking ability to open lanes and protect the passer.

11. Bobbie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

23 of 33

     

    Agility

    Has lost a step. Doesn't possess great body control or quickness. Can lose his balance when coming out of a three-point stance.  

    Pass Block, Speed

    6.5

    Williams misses on blocks and can give up the edge too often with poor timing and poor angles. Will reach outside the pads and get tagged for holding.

    Pass Block, Power

    Has the strength to stand up power-rushers. Good arm length helps him lock his arms on the inside and pin defenders.

    Run Blocking

    8.5

    Very strong at the point of attack and shows the ability to pancake defenders. Would grade higher if he were more flexible and better at moving in space.

    Move in Space

    6

    Williams doesn't have elite agility, but his huge reach allows him to make up ground. Isn't extremely quick, but is a road grader on the move.

    Pull/Trap

    6

    Can get out and lead on sweeps and tosses. Does a good job walling off defenders on the backside of the play. Will stretch and get to linebackers.

    Strength

    8.5

    Good strength, with a strong base and the proper bulk. Upper-echelon strength, especially at the point of attack.

    Technique

    8

    Does a good job chopping his feet and sliding within a one- to two-yard space to mirror defenders.Has quick hands and solid reflexes. A natural knee-bender who is patient and strong at the point of attack.

    Size

    10

    Very good bulk at 340 lbs stretched over a 6’4” frame.

    Health

    6

    Played in just nine games this season due to injury.

    Overall

    73.5

    An old warrior in the NFL, Williams is strong and steady in power situations but hasn’t seen the easiest transition to the quick-moving offensive line play of today’s game. At 36 years old when the 2012 season begins, Williams may be on his way out of the league.

10. Brandon Moore, New York Jets

24 of 33

     

    Agiity

    6.5

    Has good speed and impressive burst off the ball. Moves equally well going to the outside or inside. A good all-around athlete.

    Pass Block, Speed

    8

    Has long arms and a big stride. Is able to shuffle step and can slide to pick up blitzers off the edge. Has strong inside-out presence.

    Pass Block, Power

    8

    Can sit down on pass-rushers and lock them up. Does a good job pinning rushers inside their pads and driving up.

    Run Blocking

    4

    Struggles as a run-blocker. Doesn't lock on and direct traffic well. Can get too high and will be whipped past by defenders.

    Move in Space

    5

    Struggles in the screen game to chip, re-establish himself and get upfield. He has good agility, but lacks vision and the ability to execute.

    Pull/Trap

    6

    Moves well going left or right. Has no issues getting to space. Would like to see him show more strength when blocking on the move, as well as limit his penalties.

    Strength

    8.5

    Can be pushed back off the ball if he doesn't beat his man off the snap but has enough of a base that this rarely happens.

    Technique

    7.5

    Five penalties in 2011, most of which were for holding when a speed-rusher beat him inside.

    Size

    10 

    Solid build at 6’3” and 295 lbs.

    Health

    10

    No injury issues.

    Overall

    73.5

    A very good pass-protector, if Moore was better at locking on and clearing holes in the run game he would be ranked much higher. Allowed no sacks and only 14 pressures all season.

9. Chris Snee, New York Giants

25 of 33

     

    Agility

    6

    Is a good overall athlete, but doesn't show great flexibility. Is much better moving forward than side to side.

    Pass Block, Power

    6

    Can be too out of control and gets caught with his hands outside the body. When consistent he’s very good. Struggled when asked to pick up inside blitzes.

    Pass Block, Power

    7

    Can sit down on a pass-rusher and lock them up. Does a good job pinning rushers inside their pads and driving up.  

    Run Blocking

    7

    Has a mean streak and will lock on and drive tacklers out of the play. Is good at chipping and getting to the next level on weak-side runs.

    Move in Space

    6

    Moves well getting upfield. Average on screen packages.

    Pull/Trap

    6.5

    Is smart and takes good angles, but has never been quick enough to get out in front and lead downfield.

    Strength

    10 

    Is strong enough to control the line of scrimmage. Among the strongest players in the game.

    Technique

    6.5

    Six penalties are far too many for a veteran like Snee. Gets wild and outside. Plays with a mean streak.

    Size

    10

    Ideal size for the position. Tall, long arms and has big, strong hands.

    Health

    9

    Missed one game in 2011 but returned the next week.

    Overall

    74


    A longtime mention as a top guard, Snee saw his production dip in 2011. Too many penalties and giving up the inside move to defensive tackles dropped his overall score.

8. Jon Asamoah, Kansas City Chiefs

26 of 33

     

    Agility

    6.5

    Is more of an athlete than a road grader. Has good lateral quickness or agility. Needs to improve footwork and balance.

    Pass Block, Speed

    7.5

    Can struggle getting set up in space due to lack of great agility. Asamoah is much better working in tight spaces.

    Pass Block, Power

    8

    Works very well in a window and gets the knee bend and leverage to handle power-rushers and inside blitzes.

    Run Blocking

    6.5

    A good pulling blocker who can make impact on the move. Could stand to improve his timing.

    Move in Space

    6.5

    Doesn't have elite athletic ability, but he takes smart angles and has good vision when moving off the line or getting into the second level on blocks.

    Pull/Trap

    6

    Can get out in front of the play and has above-average strength to lock on and drive defenders out of the box or to the sideline.

    Strength

    8

    Good strength with a strong base. Doesn't grade as high as others due to the lack of strength in driving off the ball.

    Technique

    5.5

    Needs refined hand placement when run blocking. Four penalties in 2011 result of getting too far outside the frame of the defender.

    Size

    10 

    Ideal size for a guard. Very nice build at 6’4” and 305 lbs.

    Health

    10

    No injury issues.

    Overall

    74.5

    An up-and-coming player at the position, Asamoah has the tools to be very good. He will still miss assignments and needs work on his hand placement, but he has a long future in Kansas City.

7. Kraig Urbik, Buffalo Bills

27 of 33

     

    Agility

    7.5

    Enough of an athlete to have played guard and center during the season. Very quick and able to move inside and out.

    Pass Block, Speed

    8

    Has the length, quick hands and footwork to be very good against speed-rushers.

    Pass Block, Power

    8.5 

    Has the power to knock defenders off the ball, and is quick enough to snap power-rushers out of their stance with a quick punch off the ball.

    Run Blocking

    5.5

    Struggled late in 2011 to open holes and get the right leverage and hand placement to allow lanes. Much better at guard than at center.

    Move in Space

    7

    Has big, long legs and can eat up space with his gait. Good quickness.

    Pull/Trap

    7

    Does a nice job working down the line. Has a quick and balanced slide step.

    Strength

    8

    Is strong enough to stop defenders in their tracks and can get dirty in the run game by pancaking defenders off the ball.  

    Technique

    7

    Will lunge at defenders too much and doesn’t always get proper arm extension. Goes in reverse too often instead of just shuffling his feet laterally.

    Size

    10 

    Has a good frame for any position on the line at 6’5” and 323.

    Health

    8

    Missed two games early in the season and then the last game of the year.

    Overall

    76.5

    Helped out by lining up at guard and center, but his natural position is guard. Urbik has a big frame and the athletic ability to be a dominant player if kept at one position.

6. Harvey Dahl, St. Louis Rams

28 of 33

     

    Agility

    7

    Is a good overall athlete, but doesn't show great flexibility. Is very quick and light on his feet, but has stiff hips and can stumble to get to the edge.

    Pass Block, Speed

    7

    Plays with a mean streak and isn't always under control and balanced. Can improve in this area with more body control and better hand placement and technique.

    Pass Block, Power

    7.5

    Works well in tight spaces against power-rushers. Is much more comfortable working in close quarters than in space.

    Run Blocking

    7.5

    Plays tough and loves mixing it up inside. Is a very good combo-blocker who can move to his left or right without a drop-off in production.

    Move in Space

    7

    Does a good job clearing out at the first level and then looking to get downfield. Is used on a number of plays that ask him to block in space.

    Pull/Trap

    7

    Doesn't have the footwork to be effective consistently in space. Will lunge too often and reach for blocks instead of adjusting his body to drive through players.

    Strength

    8

    Fundamentally strong with a wide frame and solid base.

    Technique

    7

    He's quick out of his stance but will overextend at times trying to get to the edge. Needs to play under control and not lose his cool.

    Size

    10 

    Very good length and reach. Built more like a tackle.

    Health

    10

    No injury issues.  

    Overall

    78

    Dahl is a hard-nosed blocker who does well in every aspect of the game. If he can play under control he has the talent to be elite. A full offseason in the St. Louis offense will help him with his overall play.

5. Jake Scott, Tennessee Titans

29 of 33

     

    Agility

    6.5

    Struggles to slide laterally and can be very stiff. Has very good body control and enough quickness.

    Pass Block, Speed

    8

    Does a good job setting up and sliding laterally to stop speed-rushers. Doesn't give up many sacks or pressures.

    Pass Block, Power

    8.5

    Has the strength and solid base to sit down on the edge and hold his own against power-rushers. Plays with good balance and power to thwart rushers.

    Run Blocking

    6.5

    Is able to move the pile. Scott fires off with solid burst and has good pad level when moving through defenders and to the second level.

    Move in Space

    6.5

    Shows good range on pass protection. Can quickly get to the corner. Has the feet to mirror and slide with defenders at the line of scrimmage.

    Pull/Trap

    6.5

    Can be used when pulling to his left, but doesn't move as well going right. Has good vision at the next level and can move with adequate quickness.

    Strength

    8.5

    Good strength. Has a strong base and the proper bulk needed. He doesn't show great field strength when locking on with defenders. Would like to see stronger hands as well.

    Technique

    8

    Has few flaws, especially as a pass-blocker, but gets too high out of the blocks when run blocking and doesn't have great leg drive.

    Size

    9

    Thinner than most at 280 lbs but fits the mold of a zone-scheme guard very well.

    Health

    10

    No injury issues.

    Overall

    78

    Underrated by fans, Scott is an exceptional pass-protector who didn’t fare as well in run-blocking situations during 2011. Better play when attacking the second level is needed.

4. Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers

30 of 33

     

    Agility

    8

    Sitton is not an elite athlete at the position, but he has enough agility to get to the edge when run blocking and to quickly slide to pick up pass-rushers turning the corner.

    Pass Block, Speed

    8

    Has the length to knock speed-rushers off balance and the strength to finish them once he locks on. Is quick enough to take the big kick step and get to far-reaching pass-rushers trying to turn the corner.

    Pass Block, Power

    8

    Sitton does a good job standing his ground, but can be taken by a hard bull rush if the defender beats him off the ball.

    Run Blocking

    7

    Can struggle to get his pad level low and keep it there when locking on in run blocking. Does a good job providing backside support.

    Move in Space

    5

    Struggled to get clean and reach the second level. Not effective on screen packages.

    Pull/Trap

    6.5

    Has the agility, but loses his balance and can struggle to find his man when asked to come down the line.

    Strength

    8

    Great lower-body strength and size. Great bubble and can really sit down to stonewall blockers.

    Technique

    8.5

    Very clean blocker who keeps his hands inside and uses his base to power through the defender. Limited penalties in 2011.

    Size

    10

    Has the ideal frame at 6’4” and 320 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Missed two starts near the end of the season once Green Bay had wrapped up home-field advantage.

    Overall

    79

    Sitton is a rising star at right guard. He’s already an accomplished pass-blocker who could become a great all-around player with a little more consistency in the run game.

3. Brian Waters, New England

31 of 33

     

    Agility

    7

    His footwork, from speed to balance, is perfect, but Waters has aged and his agility has fallen off.

    Pass Block, Speed

    10

    Is able to handle speed-rushers thanks to his toughness and quick feet. He has big, strong hands and can redirect or mirror speed-rushers with quick, choppy feet.

    Pass Block, Power

    10

    Has the ability to dig in his heels and thwart the bull rush. He's big, strong and impossible to move once he locks on.

    Run Blocking

    5.5

    Struggled late in 2011 to open holes and get the right leverage and hand placement to allow lanes. Doesn’t extend well to the outside.

    Move in Space

    7

    Does a good job clearing out at the first level and then looking to get downfield. Doesn’t have the agility to be a factor on the second level.

    Pull/Trap

    7

    Used some on slide blocking and showed the footwork to move around good enough. Although he needs to improve his footwork some, it’s good enough for the few times he’ll probably be asked to pull or trap.

    Strength

    8.5

    Fundamentally strong with a wide frame and solid base.

    Technique

    8

    Great experience and IQ for the game. He's quick out of his stance but will overextend at times trying to get to the edge.

    Size

    10

    A little short at 6’2”, but makes up for it with a strong and wide base.

    Health

    10

    Played every game in 2011.

    Overall

    83

    Waters had a brilliant 2011 season after being written off by the Kansas City Chiefs. His ability as a pass-protector in the middle of the line was key to the Patriots’ playoff run.

2. Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints

32 of 33

     

    Agility

    8

    Does a good job making up ground with long arms and legs. Can be heavy-footed, but has very good burst and balance.

    Pass Block, Speed

    7.5

    Can get beat to the inside but has good recovery speed and is smart enough to take the right angles to give himself an advantage.

    Pass Block, Power

    7.5

    Can get run over a bit if he's not set up. Struggles with stunts and will be beaten inside by tackles at times. Has a soft inside shoulder.

    Run Blocking

    10 

    Does a good job drive blocking and is great at kicking out defensive ends or moving in space on stretch plays. Can drive block defenders out of his zone.

    Move in Space

    8

    Has a long stride and quick feet, allowing him to make up ground when working to get to the second level to attack linebackers. Keeps his balance. Has a surprising first step.

    Pull/Trap

    8

    Is more of a man-blocking guard, but Evans can get down the line of scrimmage and work to get to linebackers on zone or stretch runs.

    Strength

    8.5

    Grades out very well on the move, but can give up ground when asked to lock down as a pass-protector. Weak inside shoulder leads to sacks and penetration.

    Technique

    8

    Evans is fluid, quick and strong at the point of attack. He's very quick out of his stance and does a great job moving forward to push the pile. Has consistent hand placement.

    Size

    10

    Fits the ideal mold of a guard at 6’4” and 320 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Did not miss a start in 2011.

    Overall

    85.5

    One of the best pure run-blockers, at any position, in the NFL. Saw his pass blocking regress as New Orleans replaced their starting center. In a pass-heavy offense he was not as effective but allowed just three sacks.

1. Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens

33 of 33

     

    Agility

    8

    Yanda is quick off the blocks and has the footwork to reach the corner on pulls and traps. He's light on his feet and shows good overall lateral agility and quickness.

    Pass Block, Speed

    9

    Has experience at tackle, which helps out here. Allowed two sacks during regular season. Was beaten by Houston’s defense for two sacks due to them crowding his space.

    Pass Block, Power

    9

    Struggled some against 3-4 defenses late in the year, but otherwise exceptional at holding his ground. Smart enough to cut defenders when being overpowered.

    Run Blocking

    8.5

    Does a great job kicking out defensive ends or moving in space on stretch plays. Can drive block defenders out of his zone.

    Move in Space

    7

    Does a good job moving his feet and keeping his balance when mirroring pass-rushers or setting up out of his stance. Experience at tackle helps.

    Pull/Trap

    7

    Is used on pull and stretch plays and will lock on and drive. Has the agility to be used pulling both right and left. Good vision.

    Strength

    9

    Yanda is among the strongest players on the field at his position. Very good field strength.

    Technique

    9

    Is very clean in his stance and in his kick steps. Smooth and athletic. Does a good job getting and maintaining leverage.

    Size

    10 

    Very good size and bulk at 6’3” and 310 lbs.

    Health

    10

    Played every game during 2011 season.

    Overall

    86.5

    A prototypical guard, Yanda is versatile and smart along the offensive line. When asked to play inside at guard he is among the best all-around blockers in the NFL.

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