But when you belong to ESPN.com's prestigious Power Rankings syndicate, you have to make tough choices.
In this week's left tackle poll, Thomas edged Long by one point. Long was listed first or second on each of the eight division bloggers' ballots. Three of them, including me, placed Long on top. Thomas received one third-place vote, but amassed five first-place votes to come out ahead.
The ballot I submitted:
Jake Long, Dolphins
Joe Thomas, Browns
Jordan Gross, Panthers
Michael Roos, Titans
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets
Ryan Clady, Broncos
Chad Clifton, Packers
Donald Penn, Buccaneers
Doug Free, Cowboys
Andrew Whitworth, Bengals
Choosing between Long and Thomas is splitting hairs. They've been selected for the Pro Bowl every season in the NFL and are the reigning first-team All-Pros. Thomas was the third overall draft pick in 2007, Long the top choice in 2008.
But I gave Long the edge because of the circumstances he has dealt with in Miami.
Thomas has benefited from playing alongside reliable and steady left guard Eric Steinbach all four years. Steinbach has started 62 of a possible 64 games. For the past two seasons, first-round pick Alex Mack has shined, going to a Pro Bowl last year.
The Dolphins have been just as dicey at center. They should have their fourth different opening day starter in four years after drafting Florida center Mike Pouncey. They've used five centers the past three seasons.
Long also played at an All-Pro level last season despite a shoulder injury that had some wondering if he should shut it down.
New England Patriots fans might be wondering why I didn't include Matt Light on my ballot. While he did go to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last year, Stats Inc. blamed him for 10 sacks for 78 yards in losses and four penalties -- all more than his previous two seasons combined.