September 23, 2014

AFC North Top Dogs: Left Tackle

 

We're starting "Top Dogs" with some beef

With the lockout in place and a slow news cycle outside of Chad Ochocinco’s antics (is he entering the Rock-Paper-Scissors World Championship next?), I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the AFC North’s best players at some key positions. For each position, I’ll give my pick for the Top Dog (the best player) and the Big Dog (second best). I’ll continue the segment for as long as the lockout lasts or my attention span holds. (Smart money is on the lockout lasting longer).

Without further ado, here is left tackle, thought by many to be the cornerstone of a good football team.

Top Dog:  Joe Thomas, Cleveland

Big Dog:  Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati

Analysis:  According to ScoutsInc., Thomas grades out as a 93 (out of 100) and Whitworth is a 77. I don’t think the discrepancy is quite that big on the field. Whitworth is an extremely solid player and has been consistently undervalued, even making a recent James Walker list of the most underrated players in the division. Thomas is younger, has already made the Pro Bowl, and might be a little better overall, but Whitworth isn’t far behind. Both are quality players, among the best on their respective teams. Baltimore’s Michael Oher might also develop to be in their class, but he’s not quite there yet.