Would You Rather...Tyron Smith or Trent Williams?

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJune 25, 2012

Getty Images
Getty Images

This week on Would You Rather? we compare two franchise left tackles-in-the-making, both well under the age of 25 and both seemingly on the verge of exploding into All-Pro form. And again, it's Dallas vs. Washington. 

Who would you rather have on your team, Tyron Smith or Trent Williams

I'm sure Cowboys fans are going to tell me that this isn't even a debate and take their top pick from the 2011 draft, while Redskins fans are going to stand their ground and insist that their top pick from 2010 is going to put it all together and emerge as the stronger offensive tackle in 2012.

Still, for the sake of open-minded fans from each city and those who don't hail from either Cowboys or Redskins Nation, let's break it down.

First, if we're comparing rookie seasons, Williams is in trouble. The Oklahoma product struggled badly in 2010, giving up 11 sacks and drawing pathetic grades from Pro Football Focus. But based on his emergence in 2011, this is a legit debate. 

It might not be totally fair to compare the two based solely on what happened last year, either, because Smith was only a rookie trying to adjust on the fly after the lockout mutilated the offseason. Considering those circumstances, Smith's first year was sensational. Then again, he wasn't thrown to the wolves on the blind side like Williams was.

On paper, here's how the two match up:

Combined, they allowed the quarterback to be hit only 15 total times in 26 games, which is amazing. Williams was slightly better as a pass blocker, which is the primary objective for an offensive tackle, but Smith was more versatile and better all-around. 

Still, when you consider that Smith probably gained at least a small pass-blocking advantage from manning the right side as opposed to the left, it's tough to decide which player had a better year.

Of course, we also have to consider that Williams missed six games—two due to injury and four as a result of a drug suspension. He was playing his best football when that suspension was handed down for the final four games of the season, so, if anything, his numbers might have been better. 

That said, he's now only one failed drug test shy of being suspended for an entire season. And if I'm a general manager given the choice between the 21-year-old Smith and the 23-year-old Williams, I'm taking that into consideration, as well.

Ultimately, I'd take Smith, who is much further ahead of where Williams was at the same point. Who would you rather have on your team?