Best offensive tackle in NFC South?

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
2:08
PM ET
Here’s a pretty interesting item by Jonathan Bales from the DC Times. Bales ranks the top 20 offensive tackles in the NFL.

There’s only one NFC South tackle on the list and it’s probably not who most of you would name with your first guess. Or your second.

It’s Atlanta right tackle Tyson Clabo. Although he has a reputation for being a decent player, nobody has ever called Clabo elite. But that’s basically what Bales did by ranking Clabo as the No. 2 tackle in the NFL.

According to Bales, Clabo gave up quarterback pressures on just 1.4 percent of the snaps he took part in. That’s pretty impressive. It’s too bad the rest of Atlanta’s offensive line didn’t play like Clabo last season. The Falcons struggled with pass protection early in the season and there probably will be major changes on the offensive line this offseason. The biggest change could come at left tackle where Sam Baker entered last year as the starter. Baker got hurt and Will Svitek replaced him. When Baker was healthy again, the Falcons kept Svitek as the starter. There’s lots of speculation the Falcons will part ways with Baker and look for a new left tackle in free agency or the draft.

Going back to Bales’ list, I’m a little surprised that Carolina’s Jordan Gross and Tampa Bay’s Donald Penn didn’t make the top 20. Those are the two most scouts point to as the best tackles in the division.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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