|ESPN.com: NFC West||[Print without images]|
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers are excited about Joe Staley taking over at left tackle. Others are taking notice as well. Former NFL scout Tom Marino, now with Scout.com, ranks Staley among the 10 best left tackles in the NFL, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Marino's top five: Buffalo's Jason Peters, St. Louis' Orlando Pace, Seattle's Walter Jones, Dallas' Flozell Adams and Carolina's Jordan Gross. Marino then lists Staley among five players receiving honorable mention.
The other four: New England's Matt Light, Washington's Chris Samuels, Cleveland's Joe Thomas and Philadelphia's Tra Thomas.
Marino's assessment draws three of the 10 left tackles in the league from the NFC West. Pace has hardly played over the last two seasons, however, and Jones has battled through injuries that have prevented him from dominating as thoroughly. Pace and Jones are feeling better this summer. Their teams will improve if they regain top form.