Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Jason Peters a top-10 tackle
By Dan Graziano
Latest Power Rankings are up, and keeping with what seems to have been the theme of the past week, it's the league's top 10 left tackles. Nice close race at the top between Jake Long of the Dolphins and Joe Thomas of the Browns, but that means little here in the NFC East until those guys become free agents, doesn't it?
The only NFC East tackle who made the top 10 was the Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Peters. I ranked him sixth on my list and he finished seventh overall, named on seven of the eight ballots sent in by our crack team of division bloggers. Peters was a huge disappointment in his first season in Philly in 2009, but he got himself in shape and returned to his old Pro Bowl-level ways in 2010. Some suggest he wasn't really playing left tackle, since the Eagles were using a left-handed quarterback and Peters therefore wasn't protecting his blind side. I say show me the film breakdown that proves that holds up. Regardless of which way his ever-scrambling quarterback was looking, Peters played at an elite level in 2010 and, given his body of work, belongs on the list.
The only other NFC East tackle who got votes was the Cowboys' Doug Free, who impressed a lot of people in his first year on the left side but isn't yet thought of by most as an elite guy. Free was named on two of the eight ballots, by Tim Graham of the AFC East and Kevin Seifert of the NFC North, and finished 13th in the voting. If he has another year like the one he just had, and we're doing this list again next year, I predict he'll fare much better.
Washington rookie Trent Williams and declining Giants veteran David Diehl were shut out in the voting, as you might expect. But I predict big things for Williams on these kinds of lists in the future. Every scout and coach I talk to say he has all the makings.