Lately there's been a movement to knock down the value of a great offensive tackle, especially on the left “blind side,” and there’s some validity to that. Creative pressures and stunts on the inside have made the need for a well-rounded protection scheme paramount, and both the Broncos (Ryan Harris) and Panthers (Michael Oher) made it to the Super Bowl without top-notch left tackles.
But let’s not go nuts here. The value of right tackles are on the rise with many top edge players (Von Miller and Khalil Mack, among others) lined up on the offense’s right, and great left tackles make life for franchise quarterbacks a lot easier over the course of a 16-game season. What follows is our list of the best tackles heading into the 2016 season. But first, a glimpse of the player who will almost surely join this list next year.
The next big thing
Cordy Glenn, Buffalo Bills: Was very tempted to go with the Eagles’ Lane Johnson in this spot since it’s only a matter of time before he ascends Jason Peters’s throne, but Glenn is the much more consistent performer at this point. It was no accident that Glenn got the franchise tag and then signed a $65-million extension. A smooth pass blocker, Glenn needs to improve in the running game to burst open that door he’s been knocking on.