The Houston Texans may have given up everything but the kitchen sink up in order to get him, but left tackle Laremy Tunsil is undoubtedly one of the best at his craft in the NFL. In their infinite wisdom, Pro Football Focus has put together a list of the top 32 offensive tackles in the league and, naturally, Tunsil makes an appearance.
In eighth place, Tunsil was outranked in ascending order by Garret Bolles, Tristan Wirfs, Ronnie Stanley, Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk, Trent Williams and David Bakhtiari.
When it came to Tunsil, PFF had this to say:
Tunsil has been a standout pass-blocker but a middling run-blocker in every season of his NFL career. He trails only Ronnie Stanley and David Bakhtiari in pass-blocking grade among tackles since coming to Houston in 2019. Considering the sheer number of long-developing plays he has endured as a Texan, that is quite impressive.
On plays where the quarterback gets rid of the ball within three seconds of the snap, Tunsil ranks second among tackles in pressure rate allowed. At the same time, he sits right at the 50th percentile in run-blocking grade at his position over the past couple of years. Tunsil's price tag in his trade to Houston was clearly too high, but his pass-blocking prowess easily makes him a top-10 tackle.
While they may have been complimentary of Tunsil, unfortunately, neither right tackle Tytus Howard nor any of Houston's guards were ranked among the top 32 at their respective positions by PFF.
And in the case of their guards, their absences are understandable given that as it stands neither position seems to have been solidified.
Max Scharping has featured as a starter the past two seasons, but given his yo-yo-ing in and out of the lineup last season, he'll need to convince new line coach James Campen that he deserves another shot. Plus, throw in the signing of former Green Bay Packers starting left guard Lane Taylor this offseason and the job is seemingly up for grabs.
Meanwhile, after right guard Zach Fulton was released earlier this year, the Texans acquired Marcus Cannon via trade, along with multiple other options. Cannon seems the most likely starter, but again, the role appears up for grabs.
Predicted starting center Justin Britt did get featured but only came in 25th. Fresh off of a year away from the league, and given he is last season was shortened by injury, it's anybody's guess how he will perform this season.
Again, PFF had the following to say of Britt:
At his peak during the 2016-17 seasons, Britt was a quality starting center. PFF WAR tagged him as the 12th-most valuable center in the NFL over that stretch, but we’re now three years removed from that peak. Britt earned overall grades of 60.8 and 62.0 during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectively, and he hasn’t played since Week 8 of 2019 due to injury. It’s bold to expect him to be even average when he returns healthy in Houston.
While their closing statement seems somewhat harsh given he was a solid long-term starter, his one-year deal also indicates he still has to prove to the organization that he deserves the role beyond this year.
Overall, the only complaint Texans fans could arguably have about the rankings would be in the absence of Howard. If he continues to improve as he did in 2020, he should break his way into the top 32 this season.