Is Laremy Tunsil a top 10 tackle in the NFL? Most people would agree he is. Is the Houston Texans' blindside protector a top 100 player?
That’s a question that might come with mixed reviews.
Pro Football Network's Dalton Miller recently released a portion of their top 100 players for the start of the 2021 season. Tunsil, who enters his third season in Houston, came in as the No. 97 player.
'Miami Dolphins fans should dedicate September 1 to Laremy Tunsil. That trade sparked a domino effect that still lasts today and will continue into the future.
Tunsil’s size and athleticism are why he inked a three-year, $66 million contract extension with the Texans. He’s an outstanding pass protector and can improve some of the smaller details that could elevate his game as a run blocker.
It’s amazing what a last-second gas mask video did for the landscape of the league. At 26 years old, there is still a lot of time for Tunsil to climb his way up the NFL Top 100 Players in years to come. - PFN's Dalton Miller
Miller's evaluations are spot on when describing Tunsil's best attributes. He thrives as a pass protector, allowing just four total sacks in two seasons with the organization. According to Pro Football Focus, Tunsil also has graded out with an 85 or high in pass blocking sets for both years.
The run game is his overall weakness. Tunsil can be caught leaning to heavy and become off balanced when trying to deliver a strike. It allows defensive ends or linebackers to win battles and bulldoze their way into the backfield.
Last year, Houston finished 31st among teams in rushing offense, averaging 91.5 yards per game and 4.3 yards per run.
Is Tunsil though just No. 97 in the league? That’s based off the value of the position players versus protection.
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When looking at the tackle position as a whole, the drop off in the top 10 isn't that far off from one another. Packers David Bakhtiari seems to be the consensus No. 1 tackle, with San Francisco 49ers Trent Williams a close second.
After that, it's a pick your poison for what you’re looking for.
Currently, Miller has only listed five tackles outside the top 50, with Tunsil coming in last. The other four include Broncos' Garrett Bolles (No. 87), Browns' Jack Conklin (No. 76), Buccaneers' Tristan Wirfs (No. 58) and Ravens' Ronnie Stanley (No. 53).
All four had stellar 2020 campaigns, but Tunsil might be forgotten about since he played on a 4-12 Texans roster.
Depending on who one asks, offensive tackles might not be the flashiest players, but they are more valuable to the success of an offense. Therefore, having them higher on the list would make sense.
At least the Texans will be represented on a top 100 list with the addition of Tunsil. This could be the start of a promising outlook despite questions surrounding the franchise.
Houston returns to NRG Stadium for the start of the 2021 season on July 27.
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